Rev. Jesse Jackson didn’t mean to, but he’s helping Sen. Barack Obama.
Here’s some of what the Chicago Tribune’s John Kass said today about Jackson’s latest, with my comments below the star line.
Kass begins - - -
So what part of Barack Obama will Rev. Al Sharpton want to chop off now? …
Sharpton's got to find something, now that his fellow racial crisis broker, Rev. Jesse Jackson, said something not even Don Imus would dare utter.Speaking into a microphone on Fox News, Jackson whispered he was tired of Obama talking down to black people. And he said he wanted to cut off Obama's special purpose. Both of them. …
The national media was stunned, as if they'd just found out Obama is a Chicago politician rather than a mythic hero of Kennedyesque proportions, who drew the great sword Axelrod from the cornerstone of Chicago's City Hall.
So stunned, they missed the truly freaky part, Jackson twisting his right wrist, as if he held a curved blade, giving a little pull, grunting for emphasis, like a butcher of the old school, if you will. (emphasis added)Blessed are the peacemakers.
Here in Chicago we're not shocked. Chicago was once the hog butcher for the world, so our politics is stuffed with meat metaphors and references to animal reproductive parts.
Our Machine Democrats who back Obama are constantly preoccupied with nuts of all kinds.
When our first king, Richard I, was elected, the hacks went around saying that "Daley is the dog with the big nuts," though they wouldn't dare say so in the presence of mob boss Paul Ricca.
And when Daley's son, Richard Shortshanks, began the restoration, his anatomy was also favorably described by trembling politicians who still act like puppies in his presence.
Our own Machine-backed governor, Rod "The Unreformer" Blagojevich, once made news by bragging he had "testicular virility" to make tough decisions, although now everyone's patiently waiting for him to get indicted without making a mess.
Rather than listen to Washington talking heads explain our town's politics, I called a friend, a prominent African-American activist of the far left persuasion. He considers me his token conservative buddy.
"All I want to know," he said, "is how much David Axelrod paid Jesse to say that @#$%! [rhymes with "it"].
He was speaking rhetorically, knowing that Obama/Daley strategist Axelrod wouldn't pay Jackson for such nonsense when he could get it for free.
Jackson's rhetorical castration—and the grunting—helps Obama with white voters. Even those Hillary Clinton voters who, in Obama's mind, cling to their guns and religion can see it.
"Jesse's got an ego. He can't stand it. He couldn't stand it when Harold ran things. He can't stand it now, watching Barack climb up the Daleys into the White House," said my friend.
He was talking about Chicago's first black mayor, the late Harold Washington. I covered Washington's opening announcement of his historic campaign.
The platform at the Hyde Park Hilton was ringed with large, tough, black police officers in plain clothes, their arms locked, letting no one up there with Washington.
The reason?Washington didn't want Jackson up there. He knew the Rev. would try to grab the limelight.
Once Washington was elected, Jackson was politically invited to leave Chicago for Washington, where he ultimately ran for the presidency.
That's what Chicago does with politicians who could threaten the mayor. We get them to run for the White House. …
Kass entire column’s here.
I enjoyed Kass’ humorous, insightful political punditry filled with local color.
I also admire his willingness to describe public and community leaders in his hometown just as they are. We need someone like Kass writing here for either the Durham Herald Sun or the Raleigh News and Observer.
Obama can only benefit politically from Jackson’s remarks and the Rev can only lose in the long run.
The best part for Obama is he doesn’t have to do anything to benefit from Jackson’s latest.
There must be millions of voters who a few days ago were expressing strong reservations about Obama who tonight are saying : “Well, if that’s how Jackson feels about Obama, maybe he’s better than I thought.”
What do you think?