Using the race card to drive off independents
As the health care debate has raged over the last year, one of the side benefits has been to watch the left make absolute fools of themselves trying to make it all about race. I mean to any impartial observer it is clear which side is obsessed with the issue – to the point of making statements like this:
“The conjunction of a black President and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play.”
That, of course, is Frank Rich. And Mr. Rich has never met anyone who opposes what he supports that isn’t a racist, homophobe or, well, whatever it takes to dismiss them and ignore their arguments.
The proof of this, at least to Rich, is the fact that the majority of those who’ve turned out for Tea Party events are white. Therefore, it must be about race. Not about opposing ideas. Not about freedom. Not about liberty. Race obsessed leftists simply can’t see beyond the predominant color of the crowd. And Rich isn’t the only one, of course. Joan Walsh, infamous for her pronouncement that all who oppose Obama are traitors, has crawled out from under her rock again to add racist to her condemnation. She sort of tiptoes around it, but her intent is more than clear:
The “I want my country back!” rhetoric does reflect a mind-set in which one’s country has been taken away by … others. But in thinking about race this weekend, I got more out of a column by Ron Brownstein, which examined poll data showing that white voters — wrongly — tend to believe healthcare reform helped “other people,” not themselves.
Note the premise – the “I want my country back” isn’t driven by the obvious power grab made by government this year in a myriad of areas. Oh, no – it’s about race. And it’s about whites not being happy with becoming a minority and with seeing “other people helped”. Walsh is pretty sure “other people” is code for, well, you know. Their dissatisfaction couldn’t possibly be government, or politicians, or God forbid – Democrats – could it? And they certainly couldn’t possibly conclude that any help their family might get would be vastly overshadowed by what it will eventually cost them to obtain it where that might not be the case for “others” (regardless of race)?
Oh, no. It has to be about race.
By playing the race card, Walsh, Rich and Brownstein miss the point completely. Health care is only the current reason for the demonstrated dissatisfaction. Government expansion, cost and intrusion are the real issues driving these protests. Protesters are mad at those who are doing the expansion, intruding and the spending. And protesters really don’t care what their race might be. It isn’t about race – its about redistribution, intrusion, more government and more regulation. It’s about the increasingly bigger and more costly federal government and it’s attempt to build a dependent class while billing the rest of us.
One of the reasons the Democrats are losing independents in droves can be seen in statement’s like Rich’s and implications like Wash’s. When independents see a policy they don’t like and they dissent, the first thing they’re accused of is being a racist. It has to be true – the crowd is mostly white and the president is black. The independent knows perfectly well, of course, that race has nothing to do with the reason they’re protesting, yet the Richs, Walshs and Sharptons of the world (and yes, Rich and Walsh belong in the same class as Sharpton – race hustlers) insist that’s their primary motivation. It couldn’t possibly be anything any more noble.
Even though the Obama administration tried to stress the bill’s benefits to all families — insurance for folks with preexisting conditions, restrictions on companies dropping you when you get sick, letting kids stay on parents’ policies until they’re 26, as well as subsidies that will mainly go to middle- and working-class families (the poor are already covered by Medicaid) — a Gallup survey found that 57 percent of white respondents said that the bill would help the uninsured, and 52 percent said that it would improve conditions for low-income families. Only a third of whites thought it would benefit the country, and shockingly, only 20 percent thought it would benefit their family. (Nonwhites polled were more likely to say the bill would help their families.)
I hate to get into word parsing, but read that through carefully. In fact, click on the Brownstein link and read it as well. Note the final sentence above. Nonwhites polled were “more likely” to say the bill would help their families. That means a significant portion of nonwhites apparently said the opposite. So what does that make them?
These are the sorts of convoluted arguments one is forced to make when they’re a professional race-baiter. Well, if a majority of whites are racists if they oppose health care because (pick your reason from those listed in Walsh’s quote), then what are the minority of nonwhites who feel the same way? Or are they instead just ignorant? Misinformed? Stupid? Or could they too be worried about the eventual cost to them of the monstrosity the Congress passed and called “health care reform?”
Anyone who didn’t fall off the turnip truck last night knows the purpose of playing the race card as Walsh and Rich are doing is to stifle debate and discredit dissent (when you can’t fight their ideas, call ’em racists). It doesn’t take long for such attempts to backfire on those making the groundless accusation. That’s because the people they continue to accuse of racism know quite well they’re not racists and that race doesn’t factor into their dissatisfaction at all. That allows them to reject the argument and those making it. And one by one, independents, many of whom were Obama voters, finally tire of the continued accusations thrown and the dismissal of their dissent and they desert the Democrats.
The funny thing? I expect the Walshs, Richs and Sharptons of the world to characterize their defection as being racist as well. I’ll be interested to see their explanation of how the racists managed, at one time, to overcome their inherent racism long enough to vote Obama into office. That should be quite a treat.