Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Obama's Fathers' Day Sermon

Barack Obama gave a great sermon on Fathers' Day calling fathers to responsibility for their children. He aimed at black fathers especially, for whom this problem is particularly acute. All fathers, though, were the subject of his comments. Some have read this argument, and his calls for personal responsibility along with government programs, as an attempt to appeal to white religious conservatives.

I hope Obama does appeal to religious people, conservative and otherwise, of all races. I believe that the message that fathers should be responsible for their children is not especially conservative. Parental responsibility is about as centrist a message as they come, being a subset of "mom, the flag, and apple pie."

What I would like to see is for Sen. Obama, and others promoting responsible fatherhood, to ground that message in the larger understanding that marriage is the most effective, most natural, happiest, and easiest way for fathers to be responsible for and to their children.


Anonymous said...

I wonder why Bill Cosby was excoriated when he said the same things.Is the drive-by media in the bag for the Obama's? Why does Barak assume that husbands paying child support need help from new government programs? Michelle is hosting the "View" today.

Gruntled said...

I think Cosby was treated worse than Obama for saying similar things for two reasons. First, Cosby said it in a major public forum first; second, Cosby is older and speaks to an older audience primarily. Cosby is of the generation of deserting fathers; Obama is of the generation of deserted fathers. That makes a huge difference.

I thought Michelle Obama did well on "The View." She did a fine job of connecting Barack Obama's views on fatherhood with his actual behavior as a father.

Anonymous said...

My sister was commenting on Anderson Cooper's show the other day that seemed to suggest that Michelle Obama comes across as a little too aggressive. Her question was what happened to the idea of "strong" women? Or does that not apply to the wives of those running for office?

Anonymous said...

It is obvious that she has a more dominant personality than he. There is nothing wrong if she "wears the pant in that family". So does my wife. Michelle is fair game though because she is campaigning too. I wonder if she convinced him to forgo public financing of his run? Nothing wrong with that either he still is a new kind of politician.