Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Methinks the Laddy Doth Protest Too Much

There are times when the best thing to say is nothing. Barack Obama doesn't seem to know this yet, as he has turned a relatively small and not that widely known story into a much bigger and widely known firestorm. I'm speaking of the controversial New Yorker cover. At first, he brushed it off and was content to make what I felt was a strong stance on it.

Then, he had to go and bring it up again. On CNN's "Larry King Live", Obama was asked about the controversy and said the cover and the emails circulating questioning whether he is a Muslim were "actually an insult against Muslim Americans."

Now, let that comment sink in for a moment. The cover made no visual reference to Muslim Americans and, aside from Obama's garb and the picture of Osama Bin Laden on the wall, it made no reference to Muslims at all. The emails themselves, of which I've seen a number, also don't insult Muslim Americans; they merely raise the question of whether Obama is a Muslim. For the record, I don't care one way or the other what his religion is because I don't think he's fit to be President, and his responses about the New Yorker cover only confirm this in my mind.

Having said that, there are a number of people who will not accept Obama's explanation or proof that he's a Christian, not a Muslim. His comments on "Larry King Live" really don't quell the issue, in my opinion, and if anything keeps the fires of controversy going. Why would he say the emails and cover were "an insult to Muslim Americans" when they don't really target them?

The most obvious answer is that he was trying to turn the controversy into a campaign ad, and I found it as effective as the "satire" of the New Yorker cover. Instead, his response leaves the door open for more speculation about his religious affiliations.

And this guy wants to be President?

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