A magazine profile of President Barack Obama has set the commentariat a-talking.
On racism, the president says that “some” folks hate him because he’s black; and others support him because he’s black.
Wow. What was obvious in 2008 seems . . . painfully obvious now.
Similarly, the prez ’fessed up (again) to his past marijuana use — and his long-term tobacco habit. He uttered the word “vice.” He noted that marijuana doesn’t seem any more harmful than alcohol . . . which implies that the prohibition of marijuana makes less sense than the once-prohibited but now-legal hootch.
A reasonable opinion. Held, before President O’s pronouncement, by a clear majority of the public . . . not as radical, but as obvious.
So why make such a big deal about these statements? Because of previous taboos? It’s not as if Obama took leadership on any of these ideas, moving them from “horrors!-false” to “blah-true.”
Years ago, the movie Bulworth featured Warren Beatty as a senator who, all the sudden, started blurting out things he believed to be true, but which were not usually said in public. It was a comedy. (Your tastes and appraisals may vary.) The prez comes off as nowhere near as outrageous (or straightforward) as the Beatty character, though he, too, has rapped in public.
But perhaps we grade on a curve. A president speaking obvious truths is memorable not because the truths are daring, but because of the novelty: a politician has deigned to acknowledge truth.
File the brouhaha under O, not for Obama but for Obvious.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.