Andrew Sullivan seems to be in a tiff with Glenn Reynolds over a picture of President Obama and Vice President Biden. This is getting some play on both the left and the right. There’s an accusation of racism being floated at Reynolds, though nothing in his post suggests that that is most definitely the cause for Reynold’s complaint. And yet, some of Reynold’s commenters reveal their racialist bent of mind at his prompting – when asked to caption the photo, some commenters cast President Obama in the role of a drug dealer. Ugh. Because a black man, no matter how accomplished, can be ridiculed with drug dealer jokes, right? If there was no racial intent, my bad, but as the saying goes… if it looks like a duck and quacks like one – it just might be a duck.
More disturbing than cranks on the right with their willful viciousness, is the defense from the left. They assert that when one zooms up close, the president looks “uppity” or “condescending” to his white subordinate, and that this must be what got Reynolds riled up. Maybe so. But having looked at the whole picture, and the zoomed up version, I have yet to see any appearance of uppitiness, condescension, drunkenness, or any other such look. I saw the president listening intently to the vice president, from an angle that forces his eyes downward – because the president is in fact, taller than the vice president.
It seems to me that any attempt to see this in any other light is reaching … and the reach is because the president is black.
Editing to add two points: 1 – the controversy hipped me to the flickr stream – which is just AWESOME. So, I’m glad for that… and 2 – I guess it might be helpful if I upload the picture???
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk before the start of the Kennedy Center Honors at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., Dec. 6, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Even down to the arrangement of the furniture, tonight’s poetry jam in the East Room is all about dialogue, according to a White House aide.
The room will be set up, not in rows of chairs or tables, but with ottomans, tall tables for people to stand around and chat, and other seating arrangements that encourage guests to talk and get to know each other.
“It’s a very important part of the Obama’s philosophy,” said the aide, who described the event as “a really organic group setting.”
The president and first lady will each make brief remarks at the event, which will feature light appetizers and drinks. The idea is to hopefully inspire young and old alike with a mix of successful artists – James Earl Jones – and up-and-coming performers.
“Hopefully the people who watch this online will get a good feeling from it,” the aide said. – Carol E. Lee (5:25 p.m.)
Seriously? The Presidential Poetry Jam. I hope this is on C-Span…
He said his concern about the health effects of soot grew from his interest in Africa, where poor families who cook on wood stoves can suffer lung diseases from the soot.
As for the oddness of his alliance with the climate evangelist Gore, Inhofe said: “Al Gore probably would be against automobile accidents and I am too. This has nothing to do with the CO2 issue.”
But the convergence of interests has raised hopes among environmentalists that it might be easier to reach consensus on the need to act on soot – which is familiar and can be felt and touched – than it has been on greenhouse gases.
“This is a very significant breakthrough from his past positions so we are very pleased,” said Erika Rosenthal of EarthJustice.
In a further twist, Inhofe came out a few days ahead of Gore in drawing the public’s attention to what scientists have recently identified as the main cause of global warming after carbon dioxide.
This is very good news – and the very essence of what we can hope for out of bipartisanship. Finding areas where we can agree – and making it POSSIBLE for us to agree where we can – is what the Obama brand is all about. It isn’t bipartisanship if it requires one party or the other to relinquish their principles – it’s only bipartisanship if we create a climate where our “convergence of interests” can be expressed.
Honestly – it made me chuckle. I remain one of the people who really thinks that President Obama is an amazing President, doing stuff that we’ve not seen before, against overwhelming odds. But – I’m not sure I needed him to repair my car.
And part of the reason we don’t spend a lot of time looking at blogs is because if you haven’t looked at it very carefully then you may be under the impression that somehow there’s a clean answer one way or another – well, you just nationalize all the banks, or you just leave them alone and they’ll be fine, or this or that or the other.
So tonight I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be a community college or a four-year school, vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma.
And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It’s not just quitting on yourself; it’s quitting on your country. And this country needs and values the talents of every American.
Last night my eyes opened wide and my mouth hung open as I heard these words. Never have I heard a president make such a statement, nor felt so compelled, myself, to rise to the challenge, nor felt so hopeful that others would hear this call as well. Can you imagine if we as a nation really do heed this call?