I don’t know whether it was before or after Obama won the election that security officials threw a three-block cordon around his house in Chicago. I’m no security expert, and given this country’s penchant for knocking off progressive politicians, perhaps that’s what it takes to protect the first black President we’ve ever had. But surely it’s worth reflecting on the practical and symbolic significance of sealing Obama off from the very people who helped elect him? For the same reasons, it’s been depressing to read all the assiduously uncritical media fizz — including from the New York Times — speculating about which ritzy Washington private school the Obama girls will attend once the First Family lands in the White House. Call me a purist, but given the message of change and inclusivity on which Obama campaigned, wouldn’t it be nice if he set the tone and sent his daughters to one of the many decent public schools the nation’s capital has to offer? Obama’s election was the best news we’ve had all year. But no one has ever governed wisely or well from inside a moated castle.

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