It seems to me that a lot of the reaction to Richard Cohen’s column about how Barack Obama’s minister’s daughter likes Louis Farrakhan is pretty overstated. I feel like someone like Jeff Weintraub who’s taking this issue seriously is being an idiot, but Cohen’s just being a mildly cynical columnist who doesn’t want Obama to win the election. Lots and lots of our political debate consists of things that aren’t incredibly serious, and I’ve certainly made not-especially-serious criticisms of politicians I don’t like in my day.
Meanwhile, it’s not as if if Cohen had kept his mouth shut this whole thing was going to go unnoticed and unaddressed for the next ten months. It’s political common sense to have your surrogates attack Obama on these grounds and it’s common sense for Obama’s campaign to have had a perfectly good response up his sleeve.