{Empty title} | The Nation

When a politician, who preaches "unity" in a presidential campaign, fails to speak out against the "racial disunity" preached in his church for twenty years until it explodes in his face during his campaign, it raises fair questions whether that politician truly believes what he says in his speeches. That was the thrust of the cultural questions in the first half of the debate. It's an insult to my intelligence to expect me to accept any politician's self-serving campaign rhetoric on face value.

It's also an insult to my intelligence to describe an orchestrated "blog swarm" against ABC as a spontaneous "public uproar." We all know about viral web blasts, gaming of digg, reddit, google bombs, etc.

In his March speech on race, Obama said we need a "national conversation" about race before we can deal with all these other issues like health care and jobs.

"...the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we’ve never really worked through... if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like healthcare or education ..."

In Obama's own words, these "complexities" have to be addressed before we can solve specific policy problems. That is exactly how the ABC moderators structured the debate.

Did you actually think a "national conversation" will be constrained by political correctness? That the views of Sean Hannity, Pat Buchanan, Rush Limbaugh, or the many millions of viewers of FOX News, listeners to Talk Radio, of the devoutly religious, of people who wear flagpins, of people without college degrees, people of "average intelligence"-- that all these views would be excluded from the "national conversation"?

Obama's speech was hailed by some, maybe most of the signers of this "Open Letter." And yet his speech had no effect on you, other than to satisfy your intellects. Your first instinct is to "retreat into your corner" of liberal consensus. "The debate should be tailored to the intellectual aesthetics of our elite echo chamber. Anyone who thinks these questions are relevant is an idiot."

Listen to the elitist arrogance: "a revolting descent into tabloid journalism." "Tabloid", as in popular, high-circulation newspapers read by millions of people who don't read 'superior' papers like what--the Washington Post? You find it revolting that people who read "tabloids" should have their questions answered. You demand an elite "literacy" test on public political discourse.

Who do you think is so stupid as not to recognize that this suppression campaign is about your fears that Obama cannot answer the questions of voters who read tabloids?

We're talking about questions. Not smears, questions. You are trying to suppress questions. That's disgusting.