Andy Griffith once famously described football as a game where one side tries to get a funny-looking ball over the other side's goal "without gittin' knocked down, or steppin' in sumpin'" President Obama has stepped in it royally, and he's doing his best to keep from getting knocked down over it. To say the least, his comments on the Sgt. Crowley/Henry Louis Gates fiasco were incautious, if not mean. He didn't know the facts. He was biased toward his friend, "Skip." And he didn't have a teleprompter to guide his remarks. So when he said the Cambridge police acted "stupidly", he simply thought he could say whatever he wanted and everyone would just say, "Well, OK, that's that." Not quite. The President offended all police officers with his remarks, and particularly the Cambridge police and Sgt. Crowley - whom he called yesterday to, you know, chat him up a bit. Then he burst into a press conference, unannounced, to explain that he "unfortunately gave an impression" that he was "maligning Cambridge police or Sgt. Crowley." He said he thought he could have "calibrated" his words differently. And then he expressed his regret that the media - heretofore his great bosom pals - had made a big deal over something that really wasn't all that important. Sooner or later he's going to offend the media, too, and then it will be hell to pay. Don't miss the logic: I said something that was unfortunate and could have been calibrated differently. Then the media, they... If ever there was an argument for original sin, this is it. Mr. Obama sounded just like Adam explaining the reason for his fall into from grace: "The woman You gave me, she..." This is the most overtly Biblical act our Christian President has taken since coming into office, but I'm quite sure he didn't intend it in that vein. "Pride comes before the fall" Solomon warned. The President is too determined not to be put in a position of having done something wrong. He screwed up. He stepped in it big time. He needs to admit his foolish mistake, apologize to the police and the public - and, OK, maybe the press - and get on with his job. He wants this to be a teaching moment, he said. Perhaps he will learn that there's more to that Biblical truth which he routinely ignores than he really understands. If he learns to get off his high horse and show a little less arrogance and a little more wisdom in leading the nation, well, that will be a good thing.
T. M. Moore