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.
As Herman Cain rises in the polls, the race warlords and their enablers are dusting off their tired old arguments and attacking the black man who has had the temerity to wander off the plantation and dares to buck the conventional wisdom.
First up was Harry Belafonte, ripping into Cain as a “bad apple” and claimed he has no authority to talk about “the pride of people of color.” No one is sure what gives Belafonte such “authority” but he certainly had no problem exercising it on “The View” in answer to questions by enabler Joy Behar.
Behar opened the floor to the topic on her program tonight, noting Cain’s comments and asking for a response. “It’s very hard to comment on someone who is so denied intelligence,” Belafonte replied, “someone who has denied such a view of history.” Adding that Cain only believed that because “he happened to have good fortune, a moment when he broke through– the moment someone blinked,” he insisted statistics on the number of black people in the American prison system and the exorbitant unemployment rate in the black community clearly disproved Cain’s point.
The comment by Cain to which Belafonte was replying was that racism isn’t “hold[ing] anybody back in a big way today.” Cain just doesn’t see racism as a significant problem for blacks this day.
Notice the premise of Belafonte’s attack. Someone “blinked”. He means, of course, some whites obviously screwed up and let a black man slip through a crack and succeed. The obvious implication is that such a thing is a) unusual and b) a mistake. Belafonte also implies that Cain’s success is a matter of “good fortune” and not talent, drive, hard work or an entrepreneurial spirit.
He simply lucked out and was in the right place at the right time when the racist white power structure screwed up and let the black guy succeed.
Of course, one has to understand what a significant threat Herman Cain’s success and popularity are to those who’ve made a business and significant living in the racial hatred field. If Herman Cain is right, they’re out of business.
So how does one maintain the myth that racism is a significant problem today for people of color? And what must those who’ve built a very nice lifestyle doing so do when that myth is attacked and threatens that lifestyle?
Attack the miscreant that is voicing this heresy and destroy his credibility, of course. The politics of personal destruction, something at which the left is quite accomplished. Herman Cain is the new Clarence Thomas.
Appearing Monday on "CNN Newsroom," PBS host Tavis Smiley and Princeton University Professor Dr. Cornell West –the brain trust for the 18-city "Poverty Tour" that aims to highlight the plight of poor people– begged to differ.
"There are disparities in this country in every [socioeconomic] factor that we follow. In every aspect of our human endeavors in this country there is a racial disparity element that’s a part of it. It’s almost silly to respond to [Cain] because the evidence is so overwhelming," Smiley said in the interview with CNN anchor Suzanne Malveaux.
"There’s disparity in healthcare. There’s disparity economically."
West, taking a sharper route, also challenged Cain’s understanding of the economic issues that affect black Americans, saying, "Black people have been working hard for decades. I think [Cain] needs to get off the symbolic crack pipe and acknowledge the evidence is overwhelming."
Overwhelming in what way? If a true disparity exists, is it a result of racism or could it have its roots in another area? The lazy answer is “racism”. It’s the easy way out. It is the route that doesn’t demand internal self-examination and self-criticism. It is the blame-shifting way which results in the maintenance of the threatened lifestyle.
Black “leaders” continue to blame the problems in the black community on whites and continue to stay in the racism business while nothing changes in the black community.
How shallow is the argument? Well, look at Tavis Smiley’s “proof” of racism today:
Smiley referenced this political shift, saying that Cain’s comments about the insignificance of racism can be attributed, in part, to how these views will resonate with Republican voters.
"Herman Cain is trying to get the GOP nomination," Smiley said. "When you’re running for the nomination of a Republican Party…these are the kind of statements that you make that play to your base. It’s politics."
Smiley continued, saying that President Barack Obama’s rendezvous with racism should be noted.
"There’s no comparison in history for any president that’s had a budget the size of the Secret Service budget now just to protect Barack Obama and we’re talking about whether or not [Cain] has a point about racism in America?"
That’s the proof – the Secret Service has a bigger budget now than in the past, Obama is a black man, therefore the budget increase must be proof that racists are trying to harm a black man who happens to be president.
Really? Note the underpants gnome approach to that conclusion by a supposed educator. Logic free, correlation is causation.
This is what the race baiters are reduced too right now. Illogic and irrationality. Anything necessary to keep the genie in the bottle. These sorts of attacks and the type of attack Lawrence O’Donnell launched on Herman Cain in an interview are what you will see in the coming weeks if Cain continues to rise in the polls.
Barack Obama is acceptable to the race warlords because they can spin him as a black man who succeeded on their terms. Herman Cain, on the other hand, is a threat to every premise and myth they hope keep alive.
Herman Cain is a threat to the race warlords because he is ready to put the “racism” claim to death. He’s the proven exception to the race warlord’s cherished premises. Smart people know Cain’s success can’t be relegated to “good fortune” and white racists letting down their guard. Cain is everything the racebaiters say is impossible for a black man in America to accomplish. And, of course, he doesn’t toe the line they have drawn to keep the race war alive and profitable.
Herman Cain has to go and you can count on the usual suspects to do everything in their power to discredit and destroy the man. Instead of taking pride in the success of a man of color, the Belafonte’s, Smiley’s and Sharpton’s of this world want him gone.