Let me finish tonight - and this week - with a challenge to the Republican party. Don't do what Huckabee did this week.
Skip the talk about the "Mau Mau" revolt in Kenya back in the 1950s, about the influence his African father or grandfather might have on the President and make this campaign about how this President has performed, the policies he's advanced and how they've performed.
Our country has a lot to talk about between now and November 2012; don't waste time talking about a country, Kenya, Barack Obama never lived in, a distant father he hardly even met, and a grandfather he never met. Why? For one reason, and I didn't think of it, talking about something as faraway, as exotic, as the "Mau Mau revolt of the 1950s," seems a strange way to address the 2012 American presidential campaign, more important, the gigantic economic and other challenges facing the country right now. It's like that general in "Dr. Strangelove" talking about "precious bodily fluids." Or as George F. Will puts in a column for this weekend, "Sensible Americans must be detecting VIBRATIONS OF WIERDNESS" in what Huckabee was saying. Vibrations of weirdness.
Of course, looking at it a from a different angle from the conservative George Will, you can spot something dirtier in this tying of the president to a revolt against white rule in East Africa back sixty years.The image of black men killing white people in a political struggle goes right to the ideological, cultural and ethnic nervous system of those people who might just be ready to hear just the kind of weirdly exotic nonsense ole Huckabee got caught pedeling on the AM dial early this week - something ordered up from the Dark Continent for the late night fear-mongering of a pol from Arkansas who knows how to hit the sweet spot of American racial nervousness. You know, the ole Nat Turner business, of slaves breaking lose and killing their owners. This is precisely, dead-on what Huckabee did this week talking up the Mau Mau and Obama's dad and grandpop: sell the kind of black against white violence that sells in the dark, nervous night of the soul.