Obama on Faith and Web Maintenance

Barack Obama is one of the most popular politicians in America right now. He’s sharp, friendly, and he doesn’t keep track of his web site. What was that you say? His web site?

Yes, yes. Politicians not only fail to read the legislation they pass, they also fail to read their own web sites. It’s all the rage right now.

Martha Rainville, who almost looks as friendly and “aw shucks” as Obama, found herself in quite a mess when one of her staffers ripped policy information from some noted Democrats, such as Queen Hilary. Yes, the bloggers had a field day with it. Of course it’s nothing she couldn’t fix without passing the buck.

But now I’m off track. Back to our good, cheerful friend Barack Obama.

Obama has several articles in the latest issue of Time magazine. They are quite good. I read most of them in line at the supermarket. In his article on faith he shares the following story about his own web site negligence in the article about his spiritual journey:

“The reason the doctor was considering voting for my opponent was not my position on abortion as such. Rather, he had read an entry that my campaign had posted on my website, suggesting that I would fight “right-wing ideologues who want to take away a woman’s right to choose.” He went on to write:

“Whatever your convictions, if you truly believe that those who oppose abortion are all ideologues driven by perverse desires to inflict suffering on women, then you, in my judgment, are not fair-minded. … I do not ask at this point that you oppose abortion, only that you speak about this issue in fair-minded words.”

I checked my website and found the offending words. They were not my own; my staff had posted them to summarize my pro-choice position during the Democratic primary, at a time when some of my opponents were questioning my commitment to protect Roe v. Wade. Within the bubble of Democratic Party politics, this was standard boilerplate, designed to fire up the base. The notion of engaging the other side on the issue was pointless, the argument went; any ambiguity on the issue implied weakness.”

Ah, so we can go easy on Martha. If Obama, the true “man with the plan,” can let someone else botch up his web site, let’s go easy on Rainie (if I may insert my own Bushism).

It’s not her fault that politicians don’t read their own web sites. It’s just par for the course.