The Corner

The Significance of Chris Matthews’s Admission

Personally, I think Chris Matthews’ momentary colorblindness offers a telling insight. As many of us have argued around here for a while, conservatives aren’t obsessed with Obama’s race, liberals are. That’s why we’ve had so many asinine, nasty and ignorant charges of racism hurled at Obama’s critics.  There’s a certain species of liberal that can’t get over Obama’s race. They assume that conservatives can’t get over it either and so criticism of Obama from the right must — according to Olbermannesque thinking — stem from some evil desire to see a “black man fail” or some other idiocy. I think it’s nice that we have a black president as do most conservatives I know. I just don’t think it’s the most important thing in the world. Nor do I think that his blackness makes bad liberal ideas suddenly good. Black men are wrong when they say 2+2 is 5 too.

Unlike Chris Matthews, I go weeks, even months, without “remembering” that Obama is black. It’s just not a big part of how I see the world or his day-to-day presidency. It is a big part of how Matthews sees things. I leave it to others to decide whose outlook is healthier.

Update: From a reader:

“Unlike Chris Matthews, I go weeks, even months, without “remembering” that Obama is black. It’s just not a big part of how I see the world or his day-to-day presidency. It is a big part of how Matthews sees things. I leave it to others to decide whose outlook is healthier.”

Your remark immediately reminded me of a bit of dialog from the movie, Lawrence of Arabia:

 

Bentley: I heard in Cairo that Major Lawrence has a horror of bloodshed.

Feisal: That is exactly so. With Major Lawrence, mercy is a passion. With me, it is merely good manners. You may judge which motive is the more reliable.

 

To paraphrase, then, with Chris Matthews, race is a passion.  With Jonah Goldberg, equality is merely good manners.  You may judge which motive is the more reliable.

 

I think I am safe in judging that between the two of you, the Goldberg approach is more color blind.  Your approach is certainly less partisan.

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