Herman Cain is the same guy who confused "right of return" with a retail customer policy before deciding to answer a question in an area where was clearly uninformed thereby taking a policy position with no idea the consequence. This is all too familiar ground for Republicans for whom looking Presidential is more important than being Presidential. Form over substance. This is part and parcel of the misconception about business success as a qualifier for public office. Leave that for later.
The contrast between Darrel Brown and Herman Cain is important for Republicans to come to grips with to understand why many African Americans will hang with the Democratic Party well into the next generation or until the greatest generation is passed on and the ugly, embarrassing past isn't so personal. You see, there just aren't many Republican heroes in the fight for civil rights. And those Democrats who were obstructionists in the era when it mattered, moved on to and found a new home in the Republican Party using social issues like abortion for cover. Yes, we understand the many reasons "evangelicals" found cover there.
I was very much struck by his final three paragraphs, which I will quote without interruption before I offer my thoughts below the fold.
In the flood of anniversary commentary, notice how often the term "the lost decade" has been invoked. We know now, as we should have known all along, that American strength always depends first on our strength at home - on a vibrant, innovative and sensibly regulated economy, on levelheaded fiscal policies, on the ability of our citizens to find useful work, on the justice of our social arrangements.
This is not "isolationism." It is a common sense that was pushed aside by the talk of "glory" and "honor," by utopian schemes to transform the world by abruptly reordering the Middle East - and by our fears. While we worried that we would be destroyed by terrorists, we ignored the larger danger of weakening ourselves by forgetting what made us great.
We have no alternative from now on but to look forward and not back. This does not dishonor the fallen heroes, and Lincoln explained why at Gettysburg. "We can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow this ground," he said. "The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract." The best we could do, Lincoln declared, was to commit ourselves to "a new birth of freedom." This is still our calling.
In The Boston Globe we can read in King Memorial celebrates a leader, not just a symbol the following:
So let's be clear: Without King, the black uprising would have been far more furious and more painful for African-Americans; even in the darkest days, he reminded his followers of their faith in God and in the American Dream. For white people, especially the timid moderates at whom the Letter from Birmingham Jail was aimed, a more violent uprising would only have deepened the racial wedge. It took King's rational, but urgent, appeals to make enough whites understand what was at stake.
But there is more, both in this editorial, and in that of The New York Times.