It?s time for Barack Obama to get angry. Not as a black man, but as an American. Because too much is at stake if he doesn?t. The Bush Administration, with Dick Cheney in the role of the Wizard of Oz, has taken us down a path that menaces not just our own people but the entire world, and they are not turning back. Righteous anger is the correct response, and the only one that can save us.
John McCain?s selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, 44, as his running mate makes indelibly clear the Democratic error in not exposing the Republican abuse of power that has flowered since the attacks of 2001. The opportunity for someone as inexperienced and volatile as Palin to exploit these newly assumed powers is all too real. George W. Bush's and Dick Cheney?s quest for the ?unitary executive? has lead them to trample on Constitutional protections Richard Nixon only dreamed of violating. And no matter what his claims of being a maverick, McCain has yet to assert that his view of power and how to yield it differs from theirs.
Summarizing reporting by the New Yorker?s Jane Mayer, and Barton Gellman and Jo Becker of the Washington Post, Hendrik Hertzberg wrote back in the July 9, 2007, New Yorker: ?... it is now, so to speak, official: for the past six years, Dick Cheney, the occupant of what John Adams called ?the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived,? has been the most influential public official in the country, not necessarily excluding President Bush, and his influence has been entirely malign.
It?s been a long time since I?ve rested as well as I did last night.
Thank you, Bill Clinton, for delivering a ringing, unequivocal endorsement of Barack Obama. Thank you, Barack Obama, for choosing a running mate who is not afraid to speak truth to power. Joe Biden finally confronted the debacle that Republicans have visited upon the American people. And he addressed directly the ?issue? of Barack Obama?s patriotism by introducing his great uncle who helped liberate Buchenwald. Nice touch.
Hillary has spoken and it is good.
Senator Clinton?s speech Tuesday night to assembled Democrats and watchers around the nation and the world was superb. The historian Michael Beschloss said it was the best he?d heard her give.
Like a lot of Democrats, I was holding my breath.
Who makes you most comfortable, Barack or Michelle Obama?
Michelle Obama made her case on Monday night with her smart, warm and sometimes humorous speech at the Democratic Convention in Denver. Observing her mother, Marian Robinson, watching proudly from the audience moved me for tears, because Michelle made it clear that she became who she is through the support and sacrifice of her family. Just in case we thought she was a happy accident, we also heard from her only brother, Craig, whom she followed to Princeton and authorized to vet her boyfriend, Barack, on the basketball court. If there?s a better advertisement for the middle class black family, I?ve yet to see it.
But there?s the rub. Many Americans don?t know any middle class African Americans. Despite decades of civil rights legislation, it?s still possible to live in an all-white enclave from which you can project whatever ideas you have about race onto the people with brown, black, yellow and red skin around you. And those isolated white people bubbled into my consciousness after the first night of the 2008 Democratic Convention.