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.
I don’t fling the “R” word around much, because it is a pretty loaded word. But every now and then you come across something that just requires its use.
One of the things I’ve noticed about many “progressives” is their smug belief that they’re untainted by racism while most of those on the right are completely eaten up with it. So what they tend to do is try to validate that belief with outlandish and absurd scenarios that they obviously believe because they actually put them out publicly with a straight face.
For example, take Janeane Garofalo’s recent rambling thoughts on why GOP presidential nominee Herman Cain is in the race. It has nothing to do with his political desires or issues he’d like to effect. It has nothing to do with his life’s experiences and how they’ve shaped his political beliefs.
Nope, it has to do with his race and a conspiracy by Republicans to appear to not be what Gerafalo is sure they are. Thus this explanation:
“It’s actually not new,” Garofalo said. “It’s from the first time I ever saw him, especially after the first Fox debate and Frank Luntz as you know, has zero credibility — has these alleged ‘just plain folks’ polls after these Fox debates — and he asked who won the debate. And he was just about to say raise your hand if you support and before he finished, everybody’s hand went up to support Herman Cain. So it seemed as if they had been coached to support Herman Cain.
“I believe Herman Cain is in this presidential race because he deflects the racism that is inherent in the Republican Party, the conservative movement, the tea party certainly, and the last 30 years, the Republican Party has been moving more and more the right, also race-baiting more, gay-baiting more, religion-baiting more.”
You might believe she was saying all of that to comfort herself and deny the reality that the GOP actually none of the above. She has obviously been a leftist Kool Aid drinker for years and this is the litany they believe despite facts to the contrary. Thus it is important to those like Garafalo that they “refute” this new reality by claiming, without evidence (or by making up stuff – coached?), to fit in their manufactured reality.
Herman Cain, in Garofalo’s world and the world of many on the progressive left, is a race traitor. He can’t be a serious candidate, because she assumes anyone with black skin must reject the right because the right is “inherently racist”. Of course that must make Allen West, Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley all racial plants as well. But to explain people like this, it requires a grand conspiracy designed to “deflect” attention away from that “inherent racism” assumed by Garofalo’s ilk:
“But Herman Cain, I feel like, is being paid by somebody to be involved and to run for president so that you go, ‘Oh, they can’t be racist. It’s a black guy. It’s a black guy asking for Obama to be impeached’ or ‘It’s a black guy who is anti-Muslim,’ or ‘It’s a black guy who is a tea party guy,’” she continued. “I feel like, well wouldn’t that suit the purposes of whomever astroturfs these things, whether it be the Koch Brothers or ALEC or Grover Norquist or anything. It could even be Karl Rove. ‘Let’s get Herman Cain involved so it deflects the obvious racism of our Republican Party.’”
The absurdity of Garofalo’s theory is evident to anyone who knows even a little bit about Herman Cain. He’s no one’s dupe. But to the racist left he’s the Clarence Thomas of the political world. “How dare he wander off the plantation. We want our escaped slave back!”
Yeah, harsh, I know – but deserved. Garofalo comes from a long line of projecting progressives who hide their inherent racism with ignorant utterings like this. The purpose is to warn other blacks away from such behavior, i.e. thinking for themselves, and to again try to use racism as a potent charge against the right. It is all about narrative building.
The problem for Garofalo is she comes off as ignorant and transparent in her attempt. Stupid. She still doesn’t understand that in terms of narrative, that ship sank long ago. It is both insulting to Herman Cain and other blacks who’ve chosen the right because that’s where they feel most comfortable and revealing about Garafalo and where the real “inherent racism” lies.