May 18, 2010

Quote of the Day

From a long interview of Paul Berman by Michael Totten. I don't agree with everything Berman says*, but this really resonated:

Obama is a complex symbol, more than any of our previous presidents. The fact that he's black counts for a lot. It signifies, I think, to a lot of people around the world that America really is the democratic place it claims to be. Every last person around the world who knows the slightest thing about politics knows that the worst thing about America has always been its racism against blacks... So the fact that America has elected a black president and the fact that the black president is attractive and appealing communicates a message, in Reagan-like fashion, in a way that's not even conveyed necessarily through words. Reagan was said to be a master of the photo op, but Obama is a walking photo op. If he just stands there, he's a photo op. It's as if he has beautified the American flag.
*I'm wondering how anyone, in 2010, can still talk about "Bush Derangement Syndrome." That was just an excuse the right used to deflect any and all anti-Bush criticism. A lot of it, we know now, turned out to be valid.

Posted by Stephen Silver at May 18, 2010 02:26 PM
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