Thursday, July 10, 2008

Obama's Accidental Sister Souljah Moment

From a Washington Post blog, on the continuing Jesse Jackson brouhaha, wherein the Reverend's harsh words were caught on an open microphone whilst he awaited to go live on a Fox News talk show. (Appearing on Fox might be enough to bring about retribution, n'est-ce pas?

Whatever his disagreements, Jackson's outburst suggested that he has some fundamental disagreements with Obama's worldview. The more he makes that clear, the better it's likely to be for Obama. Jackson is an old-fashioned liberal with an abiding faith in government, for which he makes no apologies. He has kept that flame burning for many years.

Operative term here is old-fashioned liberal. In 1984 and 1988 the slogan was "Run, Jesse, run." Today it might be "Shut up, Jesse, shut up."

While Obama has acknowledged his debt to those who led the civil rights movement, he has never sought to define his candidacy or his politics strictly in a racial context. Even in attempting to praise Obama, Jackson left the impression that he is unhappy with the way Obama has projected his candidacy, or would like all Americans to see it strictly through the prism of civil rights.

Obama has been reluctant to pick fights within the Democratic family. He has not tried to define himself by taking issue with one faction or another, as Bill Clinton did when he was running. He has often floated above the party on his rhetorical message of change and new politics.

Nonetheless, by opening up his mouth, Jesse Jackson likely has helped Barack Obama.

If Obama were looking for a way to endear himself more to those white, working class voters who were resistant to his appeals in the Democratic primaries, nothing is likely to help more than a condemnation from Jesse Jackson.

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