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June 05, 2008


I recently received an email with a laundry list of anti-Obama statements. Near as I can tell, it is a repackaging of this website:

Yes, we will see lots more.

P.S. Trivial, but I don't really think Chris Matthews was saying the O.J. is weird when Obama ordered it. I think his point was, Obama was offerred a cup of coffee, and he asked for O.J. instead...I think C.M. thought that was rude, or bad form.

I agree with Brendan's point, but would object to his headline. The word "un-American" has a specific connotation of disloyalty. That's how the word was used during the McCarthy era by the House Commmittee on Un-American Activities. A less charged adjective for what Matthews is asserting would be "elitist."

I would add that the "not a regular guy" attack is nothing new. It was used against John Kerry, who was supposedly "French-looking". It was used agaisnt George H. W. Bush who supposedly didn't know about supermarket price-reading machines. It was even used against George W. Bush in his early Congressional campaign in Texas, where degrees from Harvard and Yale proved to be a negative.

I agree with David that Chris Matthews' suggesting that Obama is not a regular American or is reluctant to express his "gut sense of Americanism," while undeniably foolish, is quite different from calling Obama un-American. That's a specific term with a specific history and should not loosely be applied to characterizations of Obama as elitist.

Of course charges of un-American activity did not end with HUAC. As recently as four years ago, a candidate's wife was lamenting the other side's "un-American traits." Now that's a charge worthy of condemnation, and I'm sure Brendan wrote witheringly about it at the time.

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