On Tuesday and again yesterday, I’ve been claiming that, due to the long-standing liberal mainstay of countering substantive arguments with charges of racism and intolerance, Sen. Barack Obama will be practically untouchable during the general election, even under what will inevitably be only a marginal increase in scrutiny from the mainstream media. I’ve been saying that, once backed into a corner by the more capable McCain on substantive issues, somebody on the left–probably Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, or Louis Farrakhan–will be broadcasting cries of racial intolerance all over television and radio. That’s why McCain’s super-quick apology on Tuesday bothered the hell out of me, because it plays right into the hands of this time-tested liberal strategy.
And, you know what? I’m not ashamed to say that, already, I am being proven correct.
Today, the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune proved that a certain segment of people on the left are already lashing out in offense at the folks at Saturday Night Live for deciding to represent Obama in their sketches with the blackfaced, white Fred Armisen rather than an African-American actor. If such an insignificant issue as a borderline un-funny Saturday Night Live sketch brings forth such offense–remember, if you will, that Darryl Hammond (a white guy) does a dead-on impression of Jesse Jackson while wearing blackface–how will they react when McCain raises a legitimate, substantive challenge to Obama’s outlandish, idealistic and hardly feasible domestic nanny- and welfare-state agenda?
Furthermore, a piece in today’s New York Times –a front page, supposedly objective NEWS piece, NOT AN EDITORIAL– (1) goes after republicans for using Obama’s middle name, Hussein, to play up fears of terrorism, (2) lambasts McCain for “mocking” Obama with regard to substantive comments made about Obama’s own statements regarding Al Qaeda in Iraq, and (3) chides President Bush for “assailing” Obama’s plans to reach out to and meet with Cuban leader Raul Castro.
In that piece, the Times characterizes Obama as a “candidate who is trying to cultivate an appeal that transcends policy specifics.” How, exactly, do you go about attacking somebody like that on the issues? How, exactly, are we to expect the mainstream media to scrutinize Obama at all on his ultra-liberal policies if he “transcends policy specifics” and if substantive political arguments such as the existence of Al Qaeda in Iraq are denounced as “mocking” and as personal attacks?
As I’ve mentoned before, all of this does a disservice to Obama. Here is a man that, like his policies or not, wants to ascend to the presidency to actually get things done. Here is a man that, despite the emptiness of his rhetoric, manages to inspire and unite a large amount of people. I sincerely hope that his candidacy is not marred by the expected actions of the few, and I hope that whatever votes he gets are based upon his ideas and plans rather than a will to simply be a part of a history-making event.