A job for Eliot!... 1:44 P.M.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Sniper Fire: Hillary appears to have been totally busted on her claim of a dangerous landing during her 1996 Balkans trip.WaPo has photos and video. ... P.S.: Always trust content from Sinbad. ... 11:12 A.M.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Abby Thernstrom liked Obama's race speech for its anti-black-victim-mentality passages. I think she's a bit of a cheap date in that respect, but maybe I'm being too expensive. If only he'd left out the bogus parallel with "white resentments." ... In fact, wouldn't the best parallel to a black victim mentaility be the populist victim mentality that Bob Shrum always seeks to nurture--and, to a certain extent, that Obama seeks to nurture in this very speech with his talk about how the "real culprits of the middle class squeeze" are
a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests ...
I would tend to blame ... increasing returns to skill produced by trade and technological change! They are hard to personify and demonize--they're just problematic trends we all need to confront. But the need to demonize is the problem with a victim mentality, isn't it? ...
Update: Marc Ambinder gives Obama credit for saying "white resentments ... are grounded in legitimate concerns." The problem is he said that only after the populist passage cited above. The clear implication was not that resentment about welfare and affirmative action was "legitimate," but that these resentments were actually misguided symptoms of the legitimate anxiety, which would be anxiety over "stagnant wages," etc. caused by "corporate ... greed" etc.. ... If you think concern over welfare and affirmative action has an independent, legitimate basis apart from anxieties about the "middle class squeeze," it's highly condescending for Obama to tell whites (and similarly disposed blacks, for that matter) that, in effect, that they suffer from false consciousness--'I know you're really concerned about economics and declining wages and in your anxiety you let yourself be distracted into blaming welfare and affirmative action.' But that's what he says, as I read it and heard it. (Obama does allow that concern over crime is in itself legitimate, but spoils this 1992-era insight when he disses his grandmother--a "typical white person," he tells us today--for worrying about getting mugged.) ... 4:38 P.M. link