Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Division Is Not his Best Subject

Bret Stephens has a mostly unremarkable column in the Wall Street Journal basically letting us know how lucky we are to live in America. But his first paragraph (which really has little or nothing to do with the remainder of the column) is just plain silly. He writes:

Barack Obama, still fresh from his victory in Iowa last week and confident of another in New Hampshire tonight, has as his signature campaign theme the promise to "end the division" in America. Notice the irony: The scale of his Iowa victory, in a state that's 94% white, is perhaps the clearest indication so far that the division Mr. Obama promises to end has largely been put to rest.
In other words, Obama's win in Iowa demonstrates that division based on race no longer exists in America. Now, this might come as a surprise to those in the inner cities of this country, and in our justice system, but even if it were true, Stephens is misrepresenting Obama's claims of division.

Obama does not talk of a racial division in the country. Instead, he speaks, quite eloquently, of a political division. I can only assume that Mr. Stephens wants to further his own belief that racial division (and I assume unequal opportunity) needs no cure in this country. But why he feels a need to preface his column with a misleading claim of irony escapes me.

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