Marc Ambinder has written a post today lamenting the lack of serious outrage in today’s political dialogue.  Ambinder explained that this “editorial comment” was in reference to the New Yorker cover that’s been discussed the past few days.

I disagree.  There certainly was/is reason to be outraged.  Yes, it was a satire.  Yes, it turns a lot of heads.  Yes, the magazine usually places some kind of artwork on its cover that is… out there.  Yes, they have a First Amendment right to print whatever they would like.  And yes, the story inside is nothing like the cover.

But the problem was, is, and will continue to be the ignorant citizens who happen to see this on a newsstand somewhere.  Because they will look at it for a few seconds and that image will be etched in their brains.  The Obamas will subconsciously be the trojan horse couple who ransacked the Oval Office and captured America.

See, Democrats and liberals (the New Yorker does lean in that direction) have this problem of giving too much credit.  They nominate candidates like Michael Dukakis, the 2000 Al Gore, and John Kerry who are policy wonks, thinking that America will listen to what they have to say and be impressed and wowed and overjoyed.  They significantly undervalue the gut check in American electoral politics, especially at the presidential level.  And this is another instance — some liberals thought that Americans would dutifully notice the cover and be dedicated and committed to reading the article for its intellectual value.  News flash — they are not!

Whether Americans fearing that the Obamas are some black Muslim power couple bent on attacking the United States from within is delusional or not, this is an issue that is best-served, from a liberal and Democratic perspective, left untouched.  The only one bringing it up should be the Obama campaign itself in order to fight the smear — so far, they have an impressive record in this line of work.  When any other person, organization, or media outlet reinserts it into the larger political discussion, there’s no positive to be gained from it.

So Marc Ambinder:  I’m outraged about this incident — legitimately — for two reasons.  1.) I don’t ever like seeing a presidential candidate caricatured as being disloyal to his or her country in a widely-read American magazine.  There are better things to discuss in the campaign.  And 2.) I am outraged because the New Yorker may have done more damage than good by using that image for its cover.

Finally, I’m generally outraged because this isn’t the 1960s, 70s, 80s, or 90s anymore.  Sooner or later, we need to start being outraged at all of these distractions so that we can get to a political dialogue focusing on the things that matter.

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