Friday, May 30, 2008

Dipping a Toe into Punditry

So, recently Senator Obama mentioned that his uncle was involved in the liberation of Auschwitz during WWII. He also mentioned that, upon returning from war, his uncle then spent the next six months sequestering himself in the attic. Turns out it was his great uncle, not his uncle (totally understandable, I refer to my grandmother's brother as "uncle") and that it was Buchenwald not Auschwitz (Auschwitz was liberated by the Soviets). Honestly, these aren't really that big of a deal, to me at least. Calling a male, non-parent, older relative as "uncle", when he's not really your parents' brother, strikes me as rather normal. And confusing which Nazi concentration camp your relative liberated seems like a rather honest mistake. What caught my attention was his referring to his uncle's response when he returned from WWII.

Back when the revelation that Senator Obama and Vice President Cheney were related the senator said:
"The name Dick Cheney, my cousin, will not appear on the ballot," Obama said. "We had been trying to hide that cousin thing for a long time. Everybody's got a black sheep in the family. A crazy uncle in the attic."
When the senator originally made that remark I just figured he was speaking metaphorically. Nope. Turns out he really did have an uncle who spent six months in the attic after returning from war.

Maybe I'm being over-analytical, but is Senator Obama saying that his family considers the man who served in World War II was present at the liberation of a Nazi concentration camp a "black sheep" and "crazy"?


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