Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Obama and Rev. Wright - the saga continues

Obama responded forcefully to the latest Jeremiah Wright mess today. Good for him. Early this morning, I read some posts to the effect that Obama supporters were feeling demoralized. Andrew Sullivan felt it. Josh Marshall picked up on it.

Buck up, people. Did you think this was going to be easy? Do you subscribe to the magic wand theory of racial healing? Did you think the fact that Barack Obama gives great speeches was going to be enough? Did you think that Obama could snap his fingers, and anger would no longer vent from unexpected places, in unexpected ways, at inappropriate times?

If you thot any of that, then you deserve your fear and disillusionment. Obama consistently and constantly reminds us that change is not easy. Buck up. This will not be easy. Staying calm in the face of anger and cynicism is difficult. It's very hard. Sometimes it's almost impossible. But it is never less than crucial. This is the beginning of a very long and very hard road to travel. This is not the end of anything - not the end of the politics of fear or the politics of polarization. This is the middle of American history. There are many who have come before us who had much greater tasks and faced worse odds. We are extraordinarily fortunate to have a great leader who can meet difficult challenges with grace. This will not be the last time he faces dissension within the ranks and disappointment and crisis. We have not heard the end of this, and probably won't until the general election. Even then Jeremiah Wright and his asinine commentary will linger in the American consciousness. But it will fade, and more important ideas and issues will surface.

Have faith. Do not deny your fears, but deal with them. Stay calm. And don't even think about giving up.

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