Monday, January 28, 2008

Campaign 08: Obama on Libby

Jim Tynen has written a very on-point editorial, entitled "The Scary Side of Obama," in the Daily Herald today. Along the way it has this to say about Barack Obama's casual references to Scooter Libby in campaign stump speeches:

This kind of moral confusion leads to ideological confusion. To pick one example, Obama declaimed: "We have a [moral] deficit in this country when there is Scooter Libby justice for some and Jena justice for others."

White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was accused in the CIA leak case. His career was ruined, he spent a fortune on his defense, and he was convicted. In Jena, La., the media may have badly distorted confusing incidents of teens fighting and a noose that may or may not have had racial implications. Legal cases are still pending, and the full story has yet to be made clear.

The point is that in both cases the truth is complex and can be debated. But Obama ignored the complexities and nuances. He couldn't resist the cheap shot, the flawed symbol. That is a dangerous weakness. It hints that his aura of being above the fray might not be durable.

See the full editorial here.

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