THE PLANK MARCH 19, 2008
Today's WSJ editorial about Obama's speech makes some decent points. But then there's this:
He dwelled on a lack of funding for inner-city schools and a general "lack of economic opportunity." But Mr. Obama neglected the massive failures of the government programs that were supposed to address these problems, as well as the culture of dependency they ingrained.
As Noam recently pointed out, Obama specifically criticized the welfare state's failures, and the culture of dependency they ingrained:
"I thought the nod at the conservative intellectual's critique of welfare policy was very shrewd. As in: 'A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one’s family, contributed to the erosion of black families--a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened.' Obama was essentially saying to conservative elites, 'You can't exactly be surprised when black pathologies seep out into the open. You're the same people who said public policy had been nurturing those pathologies.' I'm not sure conservatives will be won over by this, but it could make them stop and say, 'Okay, good point.'"
Apparently, conservatives didn't stop and say, "Okay, good point." They flat out ignored Obama's words, put words they wanted to hear in his mouth, and then condemned those.