At the Daily Beast, Stuart Stevens wants to know what happened to that “hopeful, eloquent man we elected in 2008.” Read:
Six years into the Obama presidency, it’s still true that no problem confounds America like black-white relations. In the country that defines itself by an assumption that no challenge is beyond our grasp, the quest for a post-racial society is like the elusive cure for an ever-transmuting disease. Great effort and time has produced grudging improvements in quality of life, but the sickness defies a cure. It is always there, ready to strike without warning.
Could Obama have done more to help heal the trauma of Brown’s death? He’s played a healing roll well in the past. If the president had stepped in early and reassured the Brown family, Ferguson, and the world that a fair and impartial investigation was under way, it is difficult to imagine it not helping. That would have required putting his personal credibility on the line as president and, yes, as our first African American president.
But clearly this president is uncomfortable in this role. For a political leader propelled to the heights by his ability to speak of race in transforming terms, he seems to have lost faith in his own voice.
The hope was a sham and the eloquence was scripted. Confronted with the realities of six years of bad policies and vindictive governance, I might conveniently lose my voice, too.