George Will

WASHINGTON -- Hillary Clinton's campaign, useful at last, has in recent days added to the nation's stock of harmless merriment. It has done so by floundering around, like a dinosaur drowning in a tar pit, with the sticky problem of being as "sensitive" as good liberals, our multicultural role models, are supposed to be.

For decades, liberals, believing that "self-esteem" is a universal entitlement that is endangered by nearly universal insensitivity, have striven to make everybody exquisitely sensitive to slights. Liberals have become industrialists as an indignation industry has burgeoned. It writes campus speech codes, infests corporations with "sensitivity training"

workshops and "consciousness-raising" retreats, and generally enforces the new right to pass through this vale of tears without tears or even being peeved.

It is unfair, and wonderful, that Clinton has been castigated for her insensitivity in uttering the incontestable truth that President Lyndon Johnson, as well as Martin Luther King Jr., was indispensable to enactment of the civil rights acts of 1964 and 1965. To his credit, Barack Obama seemed not quite able to conceal his boredom with his assigned role of slighted victim in the charade of being offended. His campaign, however, methodically played a muted part in the required dance of agreement.

Clinton's clanking, wheezing political jalopy, blowing its gaskets and stripping its lug nuts, has moved on from faulting Obama for a kindergarten essay (in which he supposedly revealed a presidential ambition that was unseemly around the teeter-totter) to accusing him of wanting to be reasonable, even likable. Is there nothing the man will not stoop to?

America has passed another milestone on its march to equal opportunity thanks to Robert Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television, who this week proved that a black billionaire can be just as witless as are certain white billionaires who think their wisdom is commensurate with their net worth. Introducing Clinton at a rally, Johnson called Obama a "guy who says, 'I want to be a reasonable, likable Sidney Poitier in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.'" For the uninitiated, that is how you call someone an Uncle Tom in an age that has not read "Uncle Tom's Cabin."


George Will

George F. Will is a 1976 Pulitzer Prize winner whose columns are syndicated in more than 400 magazines and newspapers worldwide.
 
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