The Wright stuff Archives

May 2, 2008

Cap & gown poltroonery

"Pedagogue," in classical Greek, means a slave who accompanies your kid back and forth to school -- literally, a boy-herder.

The slavish character of the profession has not changed. Examples always abound. Here's one of the more recent:

Rev. Wright's honorary degree canceled by Northwestern

May 1 (Bloomberg) -- Northwestern University withdrew an invitation for the Reverend Jeremiah Wright to receive an honorary degree at this year's commencement.

Wright... was selected to be honored at the June ceremony in Evanston, Illinois, on the recommendation of faculty committees, Alan Cubbage, vice president for university relations, said in a statement.

"In light of the controversy around Dr. Wright and to ensure the celebratory character of commencement not be affected, the university has withdrawn its invitation to Dr. Wright,'' Cubbage said.

"Celebratory," huh? What exactly are they celebrating? Perhaps it's that bold fearless commitment to open inquiry and freedom of thought on which the servile, cringing, boy- and girl-herders of Academe so groundlessly pride themselves.

None of the above

Here's an example of the intellectual range of The Nation magazine:
Nation Poll Will the Jeremiah Wright controversy doom the Obama campaign?
  • No. Obama was right to disassociate himself from his former pastor. Now he can adddress the real issues
  • Wright's not the biggest threat to Obama--it's how the media and the right-wing spin machine take the preacher's comments out of context.
  • Real damage has been done. If Obama's campaign goes down in flames, Wright's incendiary comments will be partly to blame.
These folks really do live in a walnut-shell, don't they, and think themselves kings of infinite space. Quite beyond their ken to imagine that anybody would think Wright was more right than not, or that Obama ended up looking like a coward, or a fool, or both, by turning on an old friend as he did.

May 5, 2008

Ho hum

The Jeremiah Wright flap provided, what, a week's worth of excitement, but the dreary campaign is back once more on its stupefyingly tedious track. The Note is again full from end to end of soporific, sophomoric inside-baseball wiseacre-y. How long, oh Lord, how long? Who cares, oh Lord, who cares?

The only mildly interesting thing to come out of the Wright-o-machia was a dog that didn't bark. The whole carpet-chewing brouhaha appears to have made very little difference to anybody. Which is actually a phenomenon worth pondering, especially since nothing else of any interest is going on. (The gas tax holiday? Puh-leeze.)

Better a non-phenomenon than none at all.

The pollsters have been busy:

In Poll, Obama Survives Furor, but Fall Is the Test

WASHINGTON — A majority of American voters say that the furor over the relationship between Senator Barack Obama and his former pastor has not affected their opinion of Mr. Obama, but a substantial number say that it could influence voters this fall....

This is a classic slow-news-day exercise in squeezing blood from a stone. The poll shows that nothing has happened. Stop The Presses! Day Passes! Nothing Happens! Experts Baffled!

But some of the people polled allow as how the Wright flap might perhaps make a difference to some unspecified other people -- though it's made little or none to them. So that is the news. It hasn't made any difference -- yet. But some people think it might. Stop The Presses! Subjunctive Mood Alive And Well!

Mixed feelings, as usual, seems like the right response. The good news is that the ogreish cartoon of black anger which the media tried to construct out of Pastor Wright doesn't seem to have scared anybody very much. That is unquestionably progress. Score one for the good sense of the public.

The bad news is that Obama isn't utterly disgraced for his weak-kneed response. (Whatever you say, officer! I'll talk!)

One wonders how anybody who ever believed that the guy represented something really new, and hopeful, and positive, can continue to believe that after his barefoot penance at the frigid windswept Canossa where the infallible Papacy of received ideas retired to sulk after the intolerable insults Wright offered it.

But maybe even within the bad news there's a silver lining. From the same Times story:

... nearly half of the voters surveyed, and a substantial part of the Democrats, said Mr. Obama had acted mainly because he thought it would help him politically, rather than because he had serious disagreements with his former pastor.
In other words, the process of discounting the shiny new Obama coinage is well under way, and probably was so even before Jeremiah Wright made the National Press Club look like a foot-shuffling gaggle of ignorant, ill-bred schoolboys.

Which brings us back to the old story -- Obama is the quadrate term of lesser-evillism, the lesser evil of the lesser evils.

But that, ah that, is apparently the inoperable tumor of American political thinking. How do we persuade people to stop caring which evil is lesser?

About The Wright stuff

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Stop Me Before I Vote Again in the The Wright stuff category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

The thumbscrew society is the previous category.

Toil and trouble is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31