Much more to the point is the astute criticism leveled by the gay Democratic congressman Barney Frank, who, in dissenting from the Warren choice, said of Obama, “I think he overestimates his ability to get people to put aside fundamental differences.” That’s a polite way of describing the Obama cockiness. It will take more than the force of the new president’s personality and eloquence to turn our nation into the United States of America he and we all want it to be.
Obama may not only overestimate his ability to bridge some of our fundamental differences but also underestimate how persistent some of those differences are. The exhilaration of his decisive election victory and the deserved applause that has greeted his mostly glitch-free transition can’t entirely mask the tensions underneath. Before there is profound social change, there is always high anxiety.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Being Frank About Warren
Frank Rich has a good column on the Warren affair. He annoyingly cites the canard about Obama dissing Clinton as "likable enough", but other than that I think he pretty much nails it. He includes a good quote from the always quotable Barney Frank as well: