Embracing Obama, Despite His ‘Bloodline’

Editor & Publisher‘s Greg Mitchell (11/8/08) notes conservative columnist Kathleen Parker’s “misty-eyed” writing (11/7/08) about the Obama victory: “The little speck of difference that kept us imperceptibly apart had been dissolved in a lovely instant of national consensus that race no longer matters.” But he notes that not so long ago, that “little speck of difference” loomed much larger to Parker, who wrote back in May (5/14/08) that the election was about

fullbloodedness…about blood equity, heritage and commitment to hard-won American values. And roots…. there is a very real sense that once-upon-a-time America is getting lost in the dash to diversity. We love to boast that we are a nation of immigrants–and we are. But there’s a different sense of America among those who trace their bloodlines back through generations of sacrifice.

Of course, Obama’s “bloodline”–that is, his mother’s family–has been in this country for centuries; his grandfather fought in World War II. But one gets the sense, reading that May column, that the main point is that the opposite of “fullbloodedness” is “mixedbloodedness.”

Mitchell points to Peggy Noonan as another columnist whose writings on Obama have gone from creepy to celebratory. In April, Noonan had been wondering (Wall Street Journal, 4/25/08) “about Obama and America”–” Who would have taught him to love it?”–contrasting his purportedly dubious attitude toward America’s heritage with John McCain’s, who “carries it in his bones.” Now she’s writing that “the explosion of joy in large pockets of the country Tuesday night was beautiful to see, and moving.”

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.