Respect Yourself

If you disrespect everybody that you run into - how in the world do you think anybody gonna respect you?

In this piece from Friday (still returning to normal; long trip back from the DNC in Denver), respected (?) journalist provides his analysis on the convention speeches - with his greatest focus on Obama's acceptance speech and the themes it contained. How does his analysis conclude? Well, like so many in the press, he has some advice for our young hero, so that the good ship Change - as navigated by Obama - does not run aground on the rocky shores of reality. The reality in this case being, attempts to portray this son of a single mom, raised by his grandparents will have a hard time convincing people he is not an elitist - given how thin he is and how "difficult it is to imagine Obama - so disciplined and imperially slim - wolfing down a Big Mac".

This qualifies as political analysis nowadays? One perhaps should not be surprised by this piece from this author and from this journal; after all - it was the National Journal who trumpeted to the world the very liberal status of this Senator from Illinois. Somewhat obviating the fact that his voting record - on which this claim was based - was necessarily impacted by his travel schedule for the 18 months of this presidential campaign. Regardless, let me keep my focus on that "difficult to imagine" line from this "analysis"; apparently - if you are black - you can be too rich and too thin. Sure, Obama is not as rich as John McCain - for all of her charms, Michelle Robinson Obama has never been described as an heiress - but his books have made him wealthy (damn those people who have the temerity to be good writers! John McCain knows that Senators are supposed to have their books ghost-written for them). And his tendency towards frequent exercise and healthy living has led him away from a fast food diet - two tendencies that are most certainly not shared by our increasingly overweight and diabetic society. So of course, it is entirely appropriate for an analysis of four days of convention speeches to zero in on the major problem Obama has: "imperially slimness" and an inability to credibly "[wolf] down a Big Mac".

And this man hopes to be taken seriously as a respected journalist.

Now, I know not what is in Ron Brownstein's heart; I only know the man by his actions. And for him to write that Obama cannot seriously be credited with humble beginnings because he is both now successful - usually a good trait in those we seek for our highest office - and disciplined (horror of horrors!) is to enact journalistic malpractice and or malfeasance. One has to wonder what crosses the mind of a man as he commits such words to electronic ink: do they cause his heart to fill with the simple pride of a job well-done? I know that much is made these days of how little esteem the public holds for the press: I say the press must first respect themselves to engender respect from the public.

When you put your name to a piece of analysis that proffers the difficulties a candidate would face in credibly downing a Big Mac, you disrespect yourself and your profession.

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