It's said that there are those who walk the walk and those who talk the talk with the latter being a pejorative description.
Barack Obama is one of the few people who went from walking the walk to merely talking the talk and his lame speech this week on race relations is living proof.
Before his oratory debacle Obama really did walk the walk. Americans by and large judged him not as a black (well, actually mixed race) man but rather on the content of his character. He even won the Mississippi Democratic primary.
When I visited a Des Moines area nursing home just before the Iowa caucuses I heard a lot of excitement about Obama and not one word mentioned that he is the "black" or "colored" candidate. That played out time and time again as Americans proved the capability to judge a man on the content of his character. That, however, is a two-way street.
Now that Americans are moving past the color barrier, they are beginning to judge Obama on the content of his character and with growing frequency not liking what they see.
For starters, Obama is a third-year senator with little experience beyond being a "made for TV" candidate who rolls off sound bytes like a juke box but stumbles and deflects when asked something off his script.
His legislative accomplishments are virtually nil.
And yet a good thing is that Americans are putting aside their taboos to begin questioning Obama's qualifications without worrying about being called racists if they dare suggest that he's not up to the task.
When the poop hit the oscillating device after it was discovered that Obama's pastor is some crazed bigot, Obama miraculously decided it was about time he talk to Americans about race, something he hasn't had to do -- thankfully -- up to this point.
He condemned the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's views in strong language -- yet embraced Wright as a wayward member of the family. The condemnation was too little and came way too late. Where was Obama all these years when Wright was spewing forth his misguided hate?
The problem with Obama's argument is that Wright is not a symbol of the strengths and weaknesses of African Americans. He is a political extremist, holding views that are shocking to many Americans who wonder how any presidential candidate could be so closely associated with an adviser who refers to the "U.S. of KKK-A" and urges God to "damn" our country.
Obama did little to address his strange tolerance for the anti-Americanism of his spiritual mentor. For example, he didn't take on Wright's 2003 sermon in which Wright claimed, "The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color."
This accusation does not make Wright, as Obama would have it, an "occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy." It makes Wright a dangerous man.
Wright's accusation is batty, reflecting a sputtering, incoherent hatred for America. And his pastoral teaching may put lives at risk because the virus that causes AIDS spreads more readily in an atmosphere of denial, quack science and conspiracy theories.
But what America especially didn't need is a self-serving lecture on race from one of our most privileged black citizens. The viability of his candidacy shows that Americans are capable of setting race aside in a very dramatic way.
The problem with Barack Obama is that when you do judge him on the content of his character, particularly his belated condemnation of Wright's crazed bigotry, he comes up as being morally and mentally unfit to be commander-in-chief.