Friday, July 27, 2007

The Dignity Issue...and Courage

I didn't address the dignity issue behind this YouTube "debate" format, but Romney does, and does it nicely: "I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman."

The first question of the debate began, "Wassup?" It's easy to be disrespectful when addressing a home video camera in your parents' basement. This same guy asked, "Can you as politicians do something revolutionary and actually answer questions rather than beat around the bush?" Each of these candidates has been elected by the people, entrusted and invested with public authority for solemn purposes. They are vying before a watching world for an office that wields the power of life and death on a global scale. All of them, even Dennis Kucinich, should be shown proper respect.

Speaking of dignity, Obama missed his opportunity to assert his own dignity in response to the question whether he was "authentically black." He should have condemned the question, rejecting its very premise. He would have lost the voter but gained the electorate. Instead he accepted the premise and offered an argument for his being truly black.
"You know, when I'm catching a cab in Manhattan ... in the past, I think I've given my credentials." (Oddly, a New York example, not a Chicago one.) Is he afraid of losing the black vote? It could have been his Sista Souljah moment. It was no profile in courage.

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