Free Markets, Free People
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.
First up on the “thee but not me” list of being for “civil discourse” but not practicing it, is our old buddy from a show which should be called “Beanball”, Chris Matthews.
Chris is a great proponent of “civil discourse” unless you try to apply it to him. He is apparently attempting to repeal Goodwin’s law or to so cheapen the term “Nazi” that it no longer carries the horror it should. Mr. Moral Equivalence’s latest? Here’s his intro:
Good evening. I’m Chris Matthews in Washington. Leading off tonight: Glenn Beck shoots off his mouth. Today Jared Loughner pled not guilty. So has the right wing to the charge it promotes trouble with its endless rants about guns and hatred of government. Take Glenn Beck — please. He targets what he calls radicals in Washington who, quote, "believe in communism," and "you’re going to have to shoot them in the head." Gotcha!
We’ve got a Republican member of Congress out there going full bore on this stuff, saying he wants him and his fellow members of Congress to carry guns at the Capitol. Welcome to the State of the Union 2011. The violent rhetoric of the right won’t stop. It’s our top story tonight.
There’s your set up – the “violent rhetoric of the right won’t stop”, and it’s his top story. Lead with a discredited Glenn Beck story. Got it.
Commercial break and what do we see and hear? A few vids of Obama, McConnell and Cantor – discussing each side’s take on Obama economic policy.
And Matthews next statement? The next one after seeing the three vids noted?
MATTHEWS: Don’t you just love the new Republican Party? We have the Tea Party people with the placards and the Nazi stuff, and then you have these two Junior Chamber types representing them in Washington.
The irony bug hasn’t yet found Matthews apparently. The guy (and much of the left) are walking, talking hypocrites. Palin is lambasted for putting crosshairs on a campaign map months ago and 3 days ago, what does Matthews and company do? Yeah, put crosshairs on the US Capitol with the title “Fire on the Right”. Uh, the word “on” is significant when used in conjunction with a crosshairs graphic, wouldn’t you say – using the left’s standard for this sort of thing and all. Notice it isn’t “fire from the right” or “fire of the right” or even “fire by the right.”
It is “Fire on the Right” which, one assumes, given their instant pop analysis of the Tucson shooting would mean that if any assassin of a left leaning persuasion should shoot at a politician (or anyone) on the right in the next, oh, 6 months or so, it’s Matthews fault. Because his graphic and its title told them to do so.
Oh, and how did Matthews use the graphic? Hypocritically, of course:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Leading off tonight: Words and actions. Are people affected by what they hear? If not, why do people speak? If the messages people get day after day have no effect on their behavior, why do big corporations spend millions on advertising? Why do politicians? Does the daily climate of attack, the constant torrent of angry attack and questioning of loyalty, of legitimacy, of Americanness, stir people up? Does it trigger the zealots, the unstable, those who are a bit of both?
The politically correct judgment is that we can`t blame anyone for what we`ve seen recently, that words don`t matter in this discussion of people`s violent actions. But do we really believe words don`t matter, that they don`t incite, that they don`t cause trouble? Do we really believe you can say anything you want about someone and not expose them to the actions of a zealot or a nut?
Well we’ll see, won’t we Chris, now that using the left’s standards, you’ve done more than enough to incite “a zealot or a nut”.
Meanwhile down in GA, we have a different and appallingly ignorant revocation of Goodwin’s law and even more moral equivalence:
A Spanish-language newspaper in Georgia has drawn bipartisan criticism for publishing a doctored photograph depicting the state’s new governor as a Nazi.
Some whackado editor of a Spanish-language paper depicts a governor who has been in office all of a week as a Nazi. Why?
But Navarro said the picture represents the fear immigrants in Georgia feel with the arrival of Deal to the state’s top office, because of Deal’s strong anti-immigrant rhetoric during the last campaign.
Well there you go. He disagrees with Deal’s political approach to the issue – which is, btw, not “anti-immigration”, but against “illegal immigration” (I refuse to let the left conflate the two). So what do you do? Depict your political opponent as a Nazi obviously.
And here’s the irony – the boob depicts Deal as a Nazi (and everyone knows how they dealt with opposition press) and then says:
Navarro, who immigrated to the United States from Colombia, said he printed the picture knowing he didn’t have to fear retaliation from the governor because of the freedom of speech guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
Yeah, that happened all the time in Nazi Germany Mr. Navarro, you ignorant jackwagon.
Yeesh … you just can’t make some of this stuff up.
It appears we’re again witnessing leftist projection as those on that side of the ideological divide continue to try to sell the “violent and hateful right-wing rhetoric” canard as a reason for concern.
In fact the right can’t really hold a candle to some of the left. Media Research Center provides a little primer.
Under the category of hateful rhetoric, see if you can guess who said this Michelle Malkin?
“…a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it.”
If you guessed Keith Olberman, give yourself a point. Of course we could probably cite Olberman for any number of hateful diatribes but one example makes the point.
And this about then sitting (2007) VP Dick Cheney?
“I’m just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That’s a fact.”
A little hard but not much – that would be Bill Maher, that paragon of restraint and good taste. Maher also popped this one out there about Rush Limbaugh when Heath Ledger was found dead (2008):
“Why couldn’t he have croaked from it instead of Heath Ledger?”
No cries for “civility in discourse” then, were there?
Hateful? Try this from Charles Karel Bouley, a San Francisco radio host on the announced death of Presidential spokesman Tony Snow from cancer:
“I hear about Tony Snow and say to myself, well, stand up every day, lie to the American people at the behest of your dictator-esque boss and well, how could a cancer NOT grow in you. Work for Fox News, spinning the truth in to a billion knots and how can your gut not rot?”
Yeah, “civil discourse”.
Violent rhetoric? Any idea who said this about Congresswoman Michele Bachman in 2009?
“Slit your wrist! Go ahead! I mean, you know, why not? I mean, if you want to — or, you know, do us all a better thing. Move that knife up about two feet. I mean, start right at the collarbone.”
That would be Air America’s Montel Williams. Had that been someone on the right we’d have heard the usual suspects on the left denounce Williams as a misogynist, etc. Instead – crickets.
Mike Malloy, a favorite lefty radio talker on Rush Limbaugh:
“I’m waiting for the day when I pick it up, pick up a newspaper or click on the Internet and find out he’s choked to death on his own throat fat or a great big wad of saliva or something, you know, whatever. Go away, Rush, you make me sick!
That was just last year when Limbaugh was taken to the hospital with chest pains – you know, “civil discourse.” (more Malloy here)
Ed Shultz joins the civil discourse choir talking about the left’s favorite righty, Dick Cheney. Here he lovingly wishes the former VP a happy life in 2009:
“He is an enemy of the country, in my opinion, Dick Cheney is, he is an enemy of the country….Lord, take him to the Promised Land, will you?”
And in 2010, Schultz continued his enviable record of “civil discourse” when talking about Cheney and his heart problems:
“We ought to rip it out and kick it around and stuff it back in him!”
Who is “we” Mr. Schultz?
hypocrite master of civil discourse who has been chiding the right for a couple of weeks now fantasized on the air about the death of Rush Limbaugh:
“Somebody’s going to jam a CO2 pellet into his head and he’s going to explode like a giant blimp.”
Bless their little hearts, when it comes to “civil discourse”, they are the standard, no? And of course, as anyone who has followed the “discourse” during the Bush years (and as the examples above point out, since) they know that what is listed above is the very tip of a honking big iceberg of similar “civil discourse” from the left.
It is the primary reason I refuse to be lectured to by these people. I’ll again make the point that they’re much less interested in “civil discourse” than they are in shutting the right up.
Ain’t gonna work, fellas.
And an amazing one at that, although when you consider the source, perhaps not:
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: You know, a great question, Charles, that wasn’t on my list to ask but I’m going to ask you because you seem like a sophisticated guy of many parts. You think business can sit on those billions and trillions of dollars for two more years after they screw Obama this time? Are they going to keep sitting on their money so they don’t invest and help the economy for two long years to get Mr. Excitement Mitt Romney elected president? Will they do that to the country?
Yes friends, he really said that. Businesses are, per Matthews, purposely sitting on their money in order to "screw Obama" without any thought or concern about what they’re doing to the country. And all to get "Mr. Excitement" elected.
Apparently Matthews thinks this is a "sophisticated" question to ask a "sophisticated" guest.
Listen to the non-answer answer. You can see "oh, thanks for that pile of crap question" written all over his face:
This, apparently, is what passes for journalism on the left. This is also why only 12% of cable viewers tune into MSNBC and the hosts there remain largely unknown.
They’ve earned their place.
Welcome to post-racial America:
CYNTHIA TUCKER, ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION: Well I think it may help the Democrats in some races this time, Chris, because some of the Tea Party candidates are so extreme. But there is another issue. There is, as Norah said, a whole lot of voter anger, discontent out there. We haven’t talked about the elephant in the room, and I don’t mean the Republicans: race. Changing demographics. Fear of a white minority.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: That’s so interesting.
TUCKER: Obama’s election has suddenly made many white Americans aware of the loss of a white majority.
MATTHEWS: That’s so interesting.
TUCKER: That’s what this crazy summer has been all about. Anti-mosque construction. Anti-immigrant ravings. It, that fear is very difficult for Obama to overcome.
As Noel Sheppard asks, then how do you explain the fact that 43% of “white America” voted for Obama or that he had 78% approval rating in January 2009 according to Gallup?
And, of course, it couldn’t be the rotten economy, the promise that the trillion dollar stimulus would fix it when it actually seems to have made it worse (or at least had no effect), or that the government took over car companies, has proposed trillion dollar deficit budgets as far as the eye can see, rammed an unpopular health care law down our throats and has seen no leadership whatsoever out of the White House could it?
Nope – it’s all about losing the “white majority” isn’t it?
An amazing conclusion that could only be cobbled together by a professional race baiter. And another in a long line of excuses tendered to explain the massive unpopularity of the liberal agenda.
That’s about the nicest thing I can say about Courtland Milloy’s screed in the Washington Post. Entitled "Tolerance of white militias exemplifies the racial double standard", Milloy tries his best – which is none to impressive – to whip up a little racial hatred and divisiveness.
His two tools to lend credibility to his poorly constructed argument are the Southern Poverty Law Center, which sees a right wing conspiracy and racial hatred behind every corner, and a special Chris Matthews did – Chris Matthews – on Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia.
Matthews special was entitled "The rise of the new right", but there’s nothing especially new about the SMVM. It has been around since at least 2002 and their website openly announces ("On line since 02/02/02").
Apparently the SMVM also saw some potential problems in perhaps, oh I don’t know, 9/11? And it existed through most of the Bush presidency which, one would guess, would mean race has nothing to do with their existence or they’re wildly colorblind and just didn’t know that George Bush was a cracker.
Maybe Obama is just being savvy by not coming down hard on the militia. As Potok said, "There’s a huge amount of anger, and what we are really lacking at this moment is a kind of spark." In an apparent attempt to defuse the tension, Obama does such things as supporting a U.S. Supreme Court decision crippling D.C.’s gun control law and then signs a bill that allows visitors to national parks to carry guns.
Potok, of course, is with the SPLC and while he certainly is correct in pointing out there is a “huge amount of anger”, the implication that it is racially based and found solely on the right is simply unsupportable. MIlloy is also obviously one of those who believes that only government should have guns.
And speaking of double standards, Milloy somehow forgot to mention the Obama DoJ’s decision not to prosecute a well-known black militia, the New Black Panthers, for obvious (it’s on film) voter intimidation in Philadelphia during the last presidential election.
He finishes with this:
Still, gun advocates keep him in their sights. They show up outside presidential town hall meetings brandishing firearms. When a young black man, identified only as Chris, showed up at one such event with a rifle strapped to his back, white protesters cited him as proof that race had nothing to do with their contempt for Obama.
But they missed the point.
Had the black rifleman showed for, say, Ronald Reagan’s "states’ rights" speech in Philadelphia, Miss., back in 1980, they might still be dredging the Pearl River for his remains.
Really? From Philadelphia, MS to Philadelphia, PA – we’ve come a long way haven’t we Mr. Milloy. If this is the best you can muster to keep the fires of racial hatred stoked, it’s going to be a long, cold winter for you, isn’t it?