Sure, I could sit down this morning and link my readers to a dozen critiques of Barack Obama’s Tuesday Jeremiah Wright “damage control” speech from conservative bloggers and other commentators. That wouldn’t prove very much, I think. Besides, it would require more time than I have to give a thorough spectrum of responses.
Instead, here are a couple of takes from the Left. One not-too-surprising source is Mickey Kaus. On his Slate magazine blog, he highlights the “troubling equivalences” in Obama’s speech. One of his more salient observations:
In general. Obama’s explanations of black anger seem intimate and respectful. His explanations of white anger seem distant and condescending. (“They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away ….”) Unfortunately for him, it’s white votes he needs.
But then there’s the New York Times‘ snarky Left-liberal columnist Maureen Dowd (H/T Real Clear Politics blog). After offering up some flattery (“he addressed a painful, difficult subject straightforwardly with a subtlety and decency rare in American politics”), she came down hard on Obama:
The candidate may have staunched the bleeding, but he did not heal the wounds. His naÃ¯ve and willful refusal to come to terms earlier with the Rev. Wrightâ€™s anti-American, anti-white and pro-Farrakhan sentiments â€” echoing his naÃ¯ve and willful refusal to come to terms earlier with the ramifications of his friendship with sleazy fund-raiser Tony Rezko â€” will not be forgotten because of one unforgettable speech.
Most telling is what comes in her follow-up appeal to her liberal audience to rationalize the two thoughts:
A little disenchantment with Obama could turn out to be a good thing. Too much idealism can blind a leader to reality as surely as too much ideology can.
Huh? Wow … okay. Yeah, I guess that Obama was a bit too idealistic. Hope, change, and all that inspirational rhetoric … that was really too much of a good thing, a political liability for the junior Senator from Illinois. Better for the people to see him unable to come to terms with his spiritual mentor’s racist, anti-American hate speech.
Perhaps this confirms an observation recorded by Rich Lowry at the Corner:
By the way, my friendâ€”who has shrewd political instinctsâ€”thinks the speech means Obama gets the Democratic nomination, but will have a big problem in the general election.
That wouldn’t be all bad.