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Disaccomplishmentarianism

By Jesse Taylor
Monday, June 9, 2008 17:52 EDT
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Via Ta-Nehisi Coates, today’s Krugman column is problematic.

Unlike Ta-Nehisi, I don’t find the problem to be Krugman’s citation of faceless fervent Obama supporters, but instead this:

Fervent supporters of Barack Obama like to say that putting him in the White House would transform America. With all due respect to the candidate, that gets it backward. Mr. Obama is an impressive speaker who has run a brilliant campaign — but if he wins in November, it will be because our country has already been transformed.

(Emphasis added.)

Now, I’m not of the opinion that the Glorious Revolution* will transform our nation outright, but I’m starting to notice an undercurrent of dismissiveness towards what Obama represents. When he becomes president, it won’t be because he put together a remarkable campaign that took on the best opposition available and triumphed over it, or because he mounted a campaign that put forth the first credible black candidate in a general election and convinced enough of the American public that he was better than their worst fears about black men and the black community.

No, it’ll be because we did the hard work of letting ourselves know that black people really aren’t that scary, and (presumably) that Obama just happened to stumble along and notice the sign on the window that said “Help Wanted – First Black President”.

I’m already tired of accomplishments that aren’t accomplishments because they were accomplished.


*This week’s edict from the Revolution: Macbeth was no longer written by William Shakespeare, but instead by Tyler Perry. Lady Macbeth was never so sassy!

Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor is an attorney and blogger from the great state of Ohio. He founded Pandagon in July, 2002, and has also served on the campaign and in the administration of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He focuses on politics, race, law and pop culture, as well as the odd personal digression when the mood strikes.
 
 
 
 
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