Debra J. Saunders

Of course, most white voters don't want to elect a president who bears them ill will. That's why Jesse Jackson was never viable. He overplayed the race card. He sang a one-note whine of endless victimhood, which gave little recognition to the many opportunities now open to black Americans. On the other hand, Obama is a viable candidate because he is a black man with a foot in two worlds. With his Harvard law degree and Senate seat, Barack appeals to white America as a black success story. But even if Obama has grown beyond grievances, that doesn't mean Obama has moved beyond recognizing the grievances of underclass African Americans, who have fared less well in a world that can look at them with hostility.

It is simply no more possible to nominate a black candidate who does not recognize racial animus than it is to nominate a female candidate who, her Yale law degree and Senate seat notwithstanding, does not recognize the gender hurdles facing some American women.

"Obama should be held accountable for his beliefs," Sen. Dick Durbin, D- Ill., told reporters during a press call Monday. And: "To go beyond that I just don't think is fair."

Durbin is right. I hope he remembers those words the next time he wants to dump on a GOP supporter who talks outside the party lines. Not that I expect Durbin to resist the Democrats' double standards.

Here's the problem with the renunciation game. If it succeeds, you cut away nonpolitical people from a candidate -- until only the carefully scripted professional political class has access to elected officials. You drive average citizens who speak their minds away from the process, so that only the nakedly ambitious need apply.

I've written whole columns against America haters who blamed this country -- instead of the terrorists -- for the 9/11 attacks. If Wright were running for office, he would get the full treatment for his race-baiting and delusional ramblings and for rhetoric that ill serves Chicago's black community. But as long as Wright is not drafting policy for Obama, he is entitled to his uninformed opinion.

Debra J. Saunders

TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Debra Saunders' column. Sign up today and receive daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.