Saturday, May 03, 2008

WSJ ON RACE The Wall Street Journal wades into the gutter--and very close to the cesspool of racism--in a bizarre Saturday op-Ed from Jon Keller.

The conceit of the piece, titled, "President Obama: The Preview?" is this:

There may not be two politicians on the national stage more alike than Barack Obama and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Both went to Harvard Law, are African-American politicians with mass appeal, and use soaring rhetoric to promise a bold new postpartisan politics.
The piece proceeds to catalog Patrick's supposed failures, and to suggest--with no justification beyond what's in the above paragraph--that Obama would make similar mistakes.

But plenty of politicians in this country--former Gov. Eliot Spitzer and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) come immediately to mind--went to Harvard Law School.

And literally dozens of pols on the national scene "use soaring rhetoric and promise bold new postpartisan politics."

So how does Keller reach the conclusion that Obama and Patrick are political twins? And that Patrick's record is a preview of what an Obama presidency would look like? Clearly, the decisive factor is that they're both "African-American politicians with mass appeal." (Although it's not clear how "mass appeal" figures into the equation.)

So, would editors at the WSJ allow a writer to lump together as near-facsimiles two Jewish politicians on the basis of their Jewishness? Would they allow this kind of guilt-by-ethnicity smear with two Catholic candidates or two Americans of Polish descent?

Of course not. Disgusting.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.