From the Washington Post online:
Teachable Moments Lost
by Richard Cohen
Let’s go back to that “teachable moment.” It was proclaimed by Barack Obama after he said that police in Cambridge, Mass., had acted “stupidly” in arresting Henry Louis Gates Jr. for essentially being black in his own house. It has been a month now, and the one sure thing we have learned in this extended teachable moment is about Obama himself. He can’t teach.This is clear when it comes to two of the major challenges confronting his administration: health-care reform and the war in Afghanistan. Both are losing popular support. Increasingly,Americans are becoming convinced that Afghanistan will cost lots of lives and that health-care reform will cost lots of money — and both will have paltry payoffs or none at all. Teacher, please explain.Obama cannot — or, to be both fair and precise, he has not been able to. This is because of an insufficiency I have noted previously — his distinct coolness, an above-the-fray mien that does not communicate empathy. If you recall, for instance, that teachable moment about Gates, you will remember it was about racial profiling and such. Commentators galore jumped right in and in some cases — Glenn Beck comes to mind — proved they were whores for controversy, but Obama stayed above the fray. Class was in session but he was not.