Monday, July 14, 2008



One could not be forgiven for suspecting that the entire “Jesse Jackson wants to cut Barack Obama’s nuts out (Sic. I know I’m an older guy, and maybe they’re making them differently nowadays, but how does one cut one’s testicles “out”? One would have thought “off” was the proper adverb, but I digress.)” controversy was completely staged, an effort to improve the Obama “brand” (or some such modern marketing gibberish) with moderate to conservative voters by highlighting the most salient of Mr. Obama’s few sensible utterances. In this case, one could suspect that the Jackson rock removal dust-up was much like the “Reverend Wright does not speak for me” flapdoodle (See the 4/30/08 Insightful Pontificator posting.): an attempt to fabricate a Sister Souljah moment for Mr. Obama.

Nonetheless, the subject matter of Mr. Jackson’s stated desire to figuratively (I (and doubtless Mr. and Mrs. Obama) hope!) castrate Mr. Obama, i.e., Mr. Obama’s perfectly sensible contention that all parents, including Black parents, ought to take their responsibilities as parents more seriously and that all of our nation’s “urban problems” do not have their origins in discrimination or a dearth of public funding, give one hope that perhaps Mr. Obama might somehow be a different kind of Democrat, even a different kind of politician, or at least might have a platform for saying things that ought to be said but that others not similarly situated cannot find the courage to say, at least in public.

However, such hopes were, if not crushed, greatly diminished when Mr. Obama appeared before the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in my hometown in order to receive that union’s endorsement. In his speech, Mr. Obama argued that No Child Left Behind (“NCLB”) was a failed policy. He argued that it has done little besides label schools, and students, failures. No argument here. But, then, after lambasting NCLB with both aplomb and great enthusiasm, Mr. Obama promised to (Surprise!) spend more money on NCLB.

Hmm…throwing more money into failed programs. One might suppose that Mr. Obama, rather than being at all different or representing some kind of change, sounds like an old style Democrat, and a new style, if you will, Republican, after all.

No comments: