The conversation in the wake of the Gates incident has been like a Kama Sutra of things that are annoying for The Gurgling Cod. Old fashioned hometown bigotry, mote/beam myopia, smug academic racial fetishizing, conflation of local/national situations,* imprecise language, and I could go on. But I did want to share my ideas.
1) For the sake of a control experiment, we need to lock Harvey Mansfield out of his house, then call 911 when he tries to get in.**
2) This much touted big-boy playdate is covered with a thick layer of awkward sauce. A) At best, it seems like the outcome would be kind of like in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure when Pee-Wee and Francis shake hands. B) Kind of strange to announce in advance which beer each protagonist will be drinking. I'm fine w/ Bud for Obama, but for one Blue Moon is kind of a wussy pick for Sgt. Crowley, not to mention it is a Coors product. Becks/Red Stripe for Gates goes against a White House tradition of serving domestic beer,*** but whatever.
More immediately, think of the opportunity for President Obama to take The National Conversation On Race™ in a whole new and entirely unexpected direction, were he to channel Frank Booth and exhort both Crowley and Gates to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon.
*For the connoisseur who is jaded by Brooklyn/Manhattan arguments, consider the far subtler pleasures of the 02138 vs. 02139/40 debate.
**Longtime readers of the Cod will recall this is not the first appearance of Harvey Mansfield. Sadly, Dr. Mansfield is not playing for the Atlanta Falcons.
***There is, in fact a longer-term tradition of importing booze for the White House.