Alex Massie

Obama is Obviously Just the New Bush...

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Lord knows there's no shortage of stupidity swishing around Barack Obama's candidacy. But this, from Victor Davis Hanson - the Cincinnatus of the National Review - is as dumb as a bag of spanners:

Whence Obama's problems? It is not that he believes in the venom of Rev. Wright, or that when he says something stupid like a "typical white person" he means to imply a stereotyped distasteful race. He doesn't.

The problem is instead the environment that he heretofore has navigated in — prep school, the Ivy League, the regional identity politics of Chicago, or Illinois liberalism — is hardly representative of his own country. So what he can say among sympathizers and friends will not be excused or contextualized by average others who don't know him and won't give him the latitude he is accustomed to and apparently has counted on.

An elementary test of intellectual credibility is whether one applies the same standards to one's own side as one insists upon for the opposition. Perhaps I'm mistaken in suspecting that this is a test Mr Hanson (or Davis Hanson?) fails but if that's the case I'm sure some eager or diligent reader will explain why George W Bush's life at prep school, the Ivy League, the regional identity politics of Texas and feather-bedded capitalist ventures that go wrong with no price to pay is anything that "will not be excused or contextualized by average others who don't know him and won't give him the latitude he is accustomed to and apparently has counted on."?

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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