Michael Barone notes something I’ve been watching happen over the past few months:
As Barack Obama’s lead over Mitt Romney in the polls narrows, and his presumed fundraising advantage seems about to become a disadvantage, it’s alibi time for some of his backers.
His problem, they say, is that some voters don’t like him because he’s black. Or they don’t like his policies because they don’t like having a black president.
Barone goes on to explain what that’s such a bankrupt excuse:
There’s an obvious problem with the racism alibi. Barack Obama has run for president before, and he won. Voters in 2008 knew he was black. Most of them voted for him. He carried 28 states and won 365 electoral votes.
Nationwide, he won 53 percent of the popular vote. That may not sound like a landslide, but it’s a higher percentage than any Democratic nominee except Andrew Jackson, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.
Democratic national conventions have selected nominees 45 times since 1832. In seven cases, they won more than 53 percent of the vote. In 37 cases, they won less.
That means President Obama won a larger percentage of the vote than Martin Van Buren, James K. Polk, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and (though you probably don’t want to bring this up in conversation with him) Bill Clinton.
Those are facts. Those that didn’t vote for him or support him, for whatever reason the last time, are even more unlikely to support him this time, given his record. If race was the reason for not voting for him in 2008, you’re probably going to find 99% of those type people in this bloc of voters in 2012 as well.
So if he loses, he’s going to lose because his support eroded among those who put him over the top the last time. Some aren’t going to vote for him this time and others are going to support the opposition candidate.
Is the left really going to try to sell that as a result of “racism”?
Yes. That is a developing theme. The fear, I suppose, is that the white guilt the race war lords have tried to instill and exploit for years has been assuaged by his election and thus can no longer be exploited for his re-election.
Thus the push to reestablish the meme.
It’s all over the place. Joy Behar and Janeane Garofalo provide a typical example.
How absurd has it gotten. Well, the Congressional Black Caucus is always a good place to go to figure that out:
Angela Rye, Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus, argued that President Obama has struggled during his first term due to racially-motivated opposition from conservatives who dislike having a black president.
"This is probably the toughest presidential term in my lifetime," Rye said during CSPAN’s Q&A yesterday. "I think that a lot of what the president has experienced is because he’s black. You know, whether it’s questioning his intellect or whether or not he’s Ivy League. It’s always either he’s not educated enough or he’s too educated; or he’s too black or he’s not black enough; he’s too Christian or not Christian enough. There are all these things where he has to walk this very fine line to even be successful."
She said that "a lot" of conservative opposition is racially-charged, citing the use of the word "cool" in an attack ad launched by Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS superPAC.
"There’s an ad, talking about [how] the president is too cool, [asking] is he too cool? And there’s this music that reminds me of, you know, some of the blaxploitation films from the 70s playing in the background, him with his sunglasses," Rye said. "And to me it was just very racially-charged. They weren’t asking if Bush was too cool, but, yet, people say that that’s the number one person they’d love to have a beer with. So, if that’s not cool I don’t know what is.
She added that "even ‘cool,’ the term ‘cool,’ could in some ways be deemed racial [in this instance]."
“Cool” is racist? Who knew? They’re essentially making this stuff up on the fly. Racism has become, for some, the tool of choice to stifle debate and muffle free speech. Don’t like what you’re hearing? Claim it’s racist and they’ll shut up. How “cool” is that?
By the way, speaking of “blaxploitation”, what would you deem this ad?
More examples of racially charged words you never knew about? Well, consult the ever knowledgeable Ed Shultz for the latest:
On his MSNBC program last night, Schultz referred to Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), someone Herman Cain would seriously consider as a running mate, as "the guy who used an old Southern, racist term when talking about defeating President Obama during the healthcare debate. Below is the offending statement:
DeMint (Audio, July 9, 2009): "If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him."
“Break” = racism. Of course Ed Shultz, “racism” authority, was also the guy who edited a tape by Governor Perry of Texas to make a perfectly innocent remark sound racist. He later apologized for it.
Chris Matthews is not averse to making the racism excuse, or at least, interviewing those who will:
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown if House Chairman Darrell Issa’s treatment of Attorney General Eric Holder was "ethnic." Brown agreed, and Matthews said some Republicans "talk down to the president and his friends."
Because, you know, lying to Congress and the death of two federal agents as a result of a horrendous operation has nothing at all to do with Issa’s inquiry.
Finally there is this nonsensical “correlation is causation” study that the NYT saw fit to print.
Oh, yes, the racism charge is fully loaded and ready to be used, no question about it.
Obama’s possible failure to be re-elected couldn’t be because he’s been a dismal failure as president and a huge disappointment even to those who elected him could it?
Nope, it has to be because he’s black.
Back to Garafalo and Behar for a wrap up:
“And I don’t understand why so many people are reticent to discuss race in this country. We are not a post-racial society,” she added.
“No, not yet,” Behar said. “Not in our lifetime. There‘s no country in the world that’s post-racial yet, I don’t think.”
“Until the human condition changes, we won’t be,” she added …
Actually, it won’t change until some among us quit finding racism as the primary motive behind everything that happens when there are much more plausible reasons available. The fixation on racism comes from the left and is its fall back position whenever it encounters political or electoral reverses. It is convenient.
But racism is an excuse, not a reason. This goes back to the almost religious belief on the left that it isn’t their message (or performance) that is being rejected, so it must be something else. The means of message delivery must be deficient or the race of the messenger is causing a racist public to reject it.
It couldn’t be because he has been a terrible president or that the message sucks.
Nope, it has to be racism.
The Congressional Black Caucus, a mostly Democratic caucus in Congress that focuses almost exclusively on the black community in America, is not particularly happy with the President. So while the President is on a midwestern bus tour, the CBC is on a permission tour.
Meaning? Well they’re politicians seeking permission from the black community to “unleash” on the President according to Rep. Maxine Waters.
"We don’t put pressure on the president," Waters told the audience at Wayne County Community College. "Let me tell you why. We don’t put pressure on the president because ya’ll love the president. You love the president. You’re very proud to have a black man — first time in the history of the United States of America. If we go after the president too hard, you’re going after us."
The problem, Waters said, is that Obama is not paying enough attention to the problems of some black Americans. The unemployment rate for African-Americans nationally is a little over 16 percent, and almost twice that in Detroit. And yet, Waters said, the president is on a jobs-promotion trip through the Midwest that does not include any stops in black communities. "The Congressional Black Caucus loves the president too," Waters said. "We’re supportive of the president, but we’re getting tired, y’all. We’re getting tired. And so, what we want to do is, we want to give the president every opportunity to show what he can do and what he’s prepared to lead on. We want to give him every opportunity, but our people are hurting. The unemployment is unconscionable. We don’t know what the strategy is. We don’t know why on this trip that he’s in the United States now, he’s not in any black community. We don’t know that."
She joins the rest of America wondering “what the strategy is”. The President has talked all around it, but as usual, has offered nothing concrete, nothing in writing and certainly nothing the CBO could score. That would provide a record, and it appears this President wants to avoid such things. It would also provide leadership, something this President has avoided like the plague during his tenure.
The CBC still loves him, but they just don’t think he’s doing as well as he could (a sentiment shared by many in varying but overwhelming degrees). So, fingers firmly in the wind, the CBC is asking permission to launch on the Prez:
As she discussed her dilemma — frustrated with the president but hesitant to criticize him lest black supporters turn on her — Waters asked the crowd for its permission to have a "conversation" with the president. "When you tell us it’s alright and you unleash us and you tell us you’re ready for us to have this conversation, we’re ready to have the conversation," she said. Some members of the crowd immediately voiced their approval.
"All I’m saying to you is, we’re politicians," Waters continued. "We’re elected officials. We are trying to do the right thing and the best thing. When you let us know it is time to let go, we’ll let go."
"Let go!" some in the audience yelled.
Indeed. But don’t expect the same sort of treatment the CBC would give a GOP leader to be “unleashed” on Obama.
It is interesting, though, to analyze situations like this and to realize that there are very few if any constituents who are pleased with the President’s performance and leadership. All have different reasons – to far left, not left enough, etc. – but almost all seem to agree he’s provided little if any leadership during his presidency.
As for the CBC and their constituency – they’ll still vote for Obama and will support him to the bitter end, which many hope is January of 2013. However, like many communities of voters on the left, their enthusiasm isn’t at all what it was when it was Candidate Obama they were supporting. And that lack of enthusiasm could be fatal to Obama’s reelection hopes next year.
If you’re going to hand out big bucks, you need to do it in a politically correct manner.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Monday criticized the lack of minority participation in the government’s financial bailouts and suggested that President Barack Obama isn’t doing much better than his predecessor to ensure diversity.
These particular vultures are feeling a bit peevish. They’re just not seeing the flow of money to their favored constituencies that they expect – especially with a brother in the Oval Office. I mean, come on – we are talking trillions here, right?