Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's Already Too Late

It has now been a week since the Washington Post put up the picture of Jon Favreau and his bud acting out a hilarious joke about date-raping Hillary Clinton. Barack Obama has said nothing.

There can be no doubt that he is aware of this, the controversy over Gov. Blagojevich notwithstanding. It's been on CNN. Dee Dee Meyers has condemned it. It's been all over the blogosphere.

So he knows. And once he knows, there can be only one appropriate reaction -- moral outrage. And there can be only one action that demonstrates leadership -- firing Favreau, accompanied by a public statement that his behavior does not represent the beliefs and values of the American government or American society or the Obama Administration.

Failure to have that reaction and to take that action shows one of two things, neither of which is savory. Either Barack Obama simply doesn't see this as an important problem. or he and his people have been spending this time behind closed doors, figuring out how to spin it. Waiting to see whether there's enough of a stink about this that they have to respond in some way, or whether it'll just fade away.

Even if you don't believe it's important to send a signal to the women in his government -- and the women and girls of the world -- that misogyny is wrong (that is, even if you are a sexist pig), you still must, as a leader, defend your people. He apparently doesn't care enough to show the world that one of the key players on his team can't be treated with contempt.

Well, time has run out. The clock has finished ticking. All pens have been put down, and the blue books have been handed in. Our incoming president has flunked his first major test on values. That's a bummer.


harpie said...

Failure to have the moral outrage reaction indicates a deficiency of morals.

This could actually show that both of your unsavory options are true: that Favreau’s actions and mind-set are not seen to be troublesome AND that Obama’s possible reactions will be determined by whom and how much outside pressure is applied. And even then, the response might sound right, but be slippery because it doesn’t come from a core place.

[Since Favreau is so good with high-minded scripts, perhaps Obama’s response will even be written by the perpetrator himself?]

But as they say, there’s never a second chance to make a first impression. Candidate Obama’s first chance elapsed long ago. President elect Obama’s first chance is history now, too.

Falstaff said...

He's voting "present" -- again -- and on an issue related to women -- again.

To paraphrase the old trope, I sincerely hope this Administration doesn't become the "present"s of an absence...

Koshem Bos said...

I don't believe Obama's behavior in this case is unexpected. Unless, one ignores the primaries, where he accused the Clintons of racism, one should expect to have four more years of morals free administration.

Does it remind us of someone?