There I suggested that folks give President-Elect Obama "some sympathy" and that we "must pay due penitence for the sins" of our fathers, our white fathers.
That didn't go over too well with some folks on the left, who attacked and ridiculed my essay as outside the bounds of propriety.
Naturally, I have no regrets whatsover, and I'm returning to this meme in light of some essays debating how "gracious" conservatives should be in treating "The One."
Patterico, for example, wrote last week what I thought was a strange post at the time, "Obama: A Flawed But Good Man Who Has Made Bad Decisions And Will Make More."
Sure, while I understand the need for conservatives to accept defeat with honor, there's something about Obama's victory that was fundamentally dishonest, if not sinister, and I don't believe that President-Elect Obama has any reservoir of "truth capital" that entitles him to particularly gracious treatment from those on the right. In contrast, some argue that John McCain's own ennobled graciousness cost him the election, sadly enough.
In any case, Jeff Goldstein took exception to Patterico's claim that Barack Obama's "a good but flawed man":
In [a] political environment wherein the left has managed to turn the introduction of inconvenient facts into “smears” or “racism,” this willingness, on the part of some conservatives, to believe themselves capable of seizing the moral high ground by essentially giving cover to the demonstrably bad by allowing that it is merely “misguided,” is yet another step toward the very kind of partisan pragmatism that has cost Republicans so dearly, and that, even more troubling, has served to devalue language and further institutionalize a dangerous idea of how interpretation works....This I refuse as well, although I've made case with a bit less post-structural analytical methodology.
It matters who gets called a “good man.” It matters who we say has this country’s best interests at heart. And yes, it’s possible Obama does, to a certain extent — though what is important to recognize is that, at least so far as his governing principles to this point suggest, he doesn’t hold that view from the perspective of the country as it was founded, and as it was intended to be governed.
Which means that Obama’s best interests for the country are really the best interests for a country he’d like to see this one become — a new text that he’d like us to believe will be but an re-interpretation of the original text.
As someone who believes in the principles upon which this country was founded, I refuse to allow that someone whose ideological predispositions compel him to radically redefine that “imperfect document” that is the Constitution, has this country’s best interests at heart.
And I likewise refuse to allow that a man whose thuggish deeds and unsavory associations have defined him be granted the honor of “good man.” Because to do so is to make a mockery of good men, and to cede yet another bit of our ability to evaluate and describe and conclude in good faith into a bit of “hate speech” that won’t help the GOP regain power.
I've simply said, "Fight with Me ... Fight for what's right for our country!", borrowing, perhaps ironically, even tragically, from our erstwhile yet too gracious GOP nominee, and now applying it to the ideological and moral challenges ahead.