We all remember a few months ago when Jesse Jackson said some…intemperate things about Barack Obama because of his father’s day speech. But I did some reporting, and it turns out that Obama and the Democrats have more than just words this time around when it comes to dealing with the problem of absentee fatherhood. This piece is a reported piece, not an opinion piece, so it’s not as fiery as some of my other work at TAP but I hope ya’ll will take some to hope over there and have a read.

An excerpt after the jump.

For years, conservatives have shrugged off public-policy solutions to black poverty, arguing that cultural problems with marriage and fatherhood are primarily to blame. Liberals, hobbled by a desire to avoid alienating black voters, failed to acknowledge their own public-policy failures and ensuing cultural problems as contributors to black poverty. In short, conservatives blame the breakdown of the black family, and liberals blame the breakdown of the system.

Neither explanation adequately explains the dilemma nor provides for a solution, but together they effected a stalemate on an issue that remains a low priority in the minds of most lawmakers. John McWhorter, a self-identified centrist and fellow at the Manhattan Institute who sees fatherlessness as one of the causes of lingering poverty in the black community, was glad Obama gave the speech. “The sad fact is that fatherlessness does not stand out in the popular imagination as an emergency in the way that, say, poverty or Jim Crow did in the ’60s,” McWhorter says. No matter what the reaction, Obama’s speech brought fatherlessness to the forefront of public debate.

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