A Quarrel of Style Over Substance

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Jul 09, 2008 4:57 PM
Matt notes below  (as does Kathryn Jean Lopez at NRO) that a public kerfuffle with Jesse Jackson can only help Barack among mainstream voters.

That's true, of course.  But my thought is that it doesn't really provide him with anything approaching a Sister Souljah moment because the whole country knows enough about Jesse Jackson to realize that he's probably been driven insane with jealousy by Barack Obama's political success.  And, of course, he's desperately trying to remain relevant.

What's more, when it comes to a policy issue -- any policy issue -- can anyone identify somewhere that Barack is demonstrably to the right of Jesse Jackson?  Not rhetorically, because words can be cheap . . .but really, when it comes to voting.  Is there any area (aside, of course, from his recent flips toward the center like today's FISA vote) in Barack's voting history with which Jesse Jackson or others who, like him, are on the left of the Democratic Party could take issue?

In fact, if Kathryn's report is accurate, Jackson isn't trashing Barack for any of his policies or his record . . . it's just about rhetoric, and where the rhetorical emphasis should lie when it comes to discussing the responsibility for the plight of some African Americans.  Sounds to me like a matter of style over substance.