Free Markets, Free People

Monthly Archives: June 2012


Was “Fast and Furious” a government plot to increase gun control?

We’ve been asking about that since the scandal first came to light months and months ago on the podcast and on the blog.  Usually not given to conspiracy theories, we’ve found it hard to justify the operation otherwise.  The recent use of executive privilege by the President seems to lend credence to the assertion/theory.

At least in this case, It appears where there’s smoke there may be fire.  And both Rep. Issa and Sen. Grassley have spoken out on the notion:

But the suggestion by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., that the deadly operation was conceived to advance the administration’s gun-control agenda is quite plausible.

"Here’s the real answer as to gun control," Issa said on ABC’s "This Week": "We have email from people involved in this that are talking about using what they’re finding here to support the — basically assault weapons — ban or greater reporting."

Issa was asked about the possible connection after comments he made at an NRA convention. "Could it be," he said on NRA News’ "Cam & Company" program, "that what they really were thinking of was in fact to use this walking of guns in order to promote an assault weapons ban? Many think so. And they haven’t come up with an explanation that would cause any of us not to agree."

Grassley is less oblique about it:

According to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, "There’s plenty of evidence developing that the administration planned to use the tragedies of Fast and Furious as rationale to further their goals of a long gun reporting requirement."

In fact, they’ve already cranked up the reporting requirements:

As Issa noted on "This Week," the Department of Justice announced on April 25, 2011, "right in the middle of the scandal," that it was requiring some 8,500 gun stores in Arizona, California, Texas and New Mexico to report individual purchases of multiple rifles of greater than .22 caliber by law-abiding American citizens to the ATF because such guns are "frequently recovered at violent crime scenes near the Southwest border."

Of course every one of the multiple sales that contributed to the guns that went into Mexico were okayed by the ATF. And don’t forget the prelude to all of this:  the use of a discredited study that supplied the justification for an attempt to increase gun control:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others in the administration had been pushing the discredited line that 90% of guns seized in Mexico came from the U.S. as justification for stricter gun laws and reporting rules.

But of course, it’s all really nothing more than a logical assertion or theory at the moment since the misnamed Department of Justice won’t release key documents as legally and rightfully demanded by Congress (in the execution of its Constitutional duty of oversight) and the President of the United States is aiding and abetting this avoidance of DoJ’s legal duties.

Reinstating the assault gun ban and tightening gun control are undeniable goals of the liberal left.  There’s no denying that.  But to summarily do it would be politically disastrous and they know that as well.  So there has to be a pretext, a reason for it.  What better pretext than the death of hundreds of Mexicans at the hands of guns smuggled in from the US coupled with the false 90% stat?  Convenient, no?

Obviously it wasn’t supposed to leak out that the Federal government ordered it or, I’d guess, see 2 Federal agents be murdered as a result of their operation.

What could be worse than turning over the documents requested by Congress?

Something like this coming to light.

Look for the Obama administration to do whatever is necessary to delay, deny and obfuscate for 4 months on this.

But if this is true, and if Obama is fortunate enough to be re-elected, it may end up being a very short second term.  There are scandals presidents can survive and then there are those they can’t survive.

This would be, or at least should be, one that isn’t survivable.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Quote of the Day: Political vernacular edition

Thomas Sowell, as he has so aptly and wonderfully done for decades, distills down some of the silliness that happens with the language of politics.  He pens a short political glossary  for those who need it.  You can’t tell what a politician is saying without it.

Fairness:

One of the most versatile terms in the political vocabulary is "fairness." It has been used over a vast range of issues, from "fair trade" laws to the Fair Labor Standards Act. And recently we have heard that the rich don’t pay their "fair share" of taxes.

Some of us may want to see a definition of what is "fair." But a concrete definition would destroy the versatility of the word, which is what makes it so useful politically.

If you said, for example, that 46.7 percent of their income — or any other number — is the "fair share" of their income that the rich should have to pay in taxes, then once they paid that amount, there would be no basis for politicians to come back to them for more — and "more" is what "fair share" means in practice.

Life in general has never been even close to fair, so the pretense that the government can make it fair is a valuable and inexhaustible asset to politicians who want to expand government.

Dead on right and yes it is indeed a word that has become an “inexhaustible asset” to politicians of a certain ilk.

Racism:

"Racism" is another term we can expect to hear a lot this election year, especially if the public opinion polls are going against President Barack Obama.

Former big-time TV journalist Sam Donaldson and current fledgling CNN host Don Lemon have already proclaimed racism to be the reason for criticisms of Obama, and we can expect more and more other talking heads to say the same thing as the election campaign goes on. The word "racism" is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything — and demanding evidence makes you a "racist."

On the positive side, sort of, “compassion”:

A more positive term that is likely to be heard a lot, during election years especially, is "compassion." But what does it mean concretely? More often than not, in practice it means a willingness to spend the taxpayers’ money in ways that will increase the spender’s chances of getting reelected.

If you are skeptical — or, worse yet, critical — of this practice, then you qualify for a different political label: "mean-spirited." A related political label is "greedy."

In the political language of today, people who want to keep what they have earned are said to be "greedy," while those who wish to take their earnings from them and give it to others (who will vote for them in return) show "compassion."

Make sure to read the rest.

Suffice it to say, Sowell nails it.  Of course there are many other words and phrases that can be included as well. Language is malleable as our politicians prove every day.  That’s why so many people listen and then point to Orwell’s “1984” after many political speeches today.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Economically, the whole world has become Japan

We’re talking Japan of “the lost decade” (now a couple of decades old).  We harp about markets and government intrusions here and explain why they’re almost always “a bad thing”.  Well, this is about market intrusion on a grand scale:

One of the consequences of all the stimulus and subsequent QE is that long time traders of our markets know they are screwed up. Consistent printing of money and 0% interest rates world wide have created their own economic imbalances. As the saying goes, there is no free lunch.

Economists such as Taylor, Cochrane, Zingales, Rajan and Murphy have said as much over the past four years. Turns out, they were right and the Keynesians are wrong.

The government stimulus had a multiplier effect of 0. It did nothing for job growth or GDP growth in the US. Combine the inefficiency of US fiscal policy with the continued implosion of Europe, and you have a world wide malaise. In China, because of macro economic effects, wages are rising, costs to produce are increasing. Companies are also wary of both the poor property rights system and the lengthened supply chain. China is slowing down.

Remember all the talk about the multiplier effect of the stimulus?  Yeah, disregard.

Meanwhile in the rest of the world the effects of all these market intrusions/manipulations are having their effect.

As the title says, we’re all Japan now.

Thanks, government(s).

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Economic Statistics for 26 Jun 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

Consumer confidence fell 2.4 points in June to 62.0, the lowest reading of the year. Consumers are pessimistic about business conditions over the next 6 months, as well as about job availability and their incomes.

The S&P Case-Shiller home price index rose by 0.7% for June, on a seasonally adjusted basis. On a year-over-year basis, prices are still down -1.9%.

The State Street Investor Confidence Index rose 7.0 points to 93.5. Readings below 100 indicate a demand for safety.

The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index fell to -3 in June from readings of 4 in May and 14 in April, indicating a steady decline in manufacturing.

In retail sales, Redbook’s same-store sales index shows only 2.3% year-on-year growth in the June 23 week. Meanwhile, ICSC-Goldman Store Sales rose by a sharp 2.0% for the week, but year-on-year growth fell to 2.7%, the lowest rate in 3 months.

~
Dale Franks
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No progress in the War on Poverty and none expected

A new study from CATO has found that despite trillions in spending, the poverty rate hasn’t moved much:

“[S]ince President Obama took office [in January 2009], federal welfare spending has increased by 41 percent, more than $193 billion per year,” the study says.

Federal welfare spending in fiscal year 2011 totaled $668 billion, spread out over 126 programs, while the poverty rate that remains high at 15.1 percent, roughly where it was in 1965, when President Johnson declared a federal War on Poverty.

In 1966, the first year after Johnson declared war on poverty, the national poverty rate was 14.7 percent, according to Census Bureau figures. Over time, the poverty rate has fluctuated in a narrow range between 11 and 15 percent, only falling into the 11 percent range for a few years in the late 1970’s.

The federal poverty rate is the percentage of the population below the federal poverty threshold, which varies based on family size.

A point that needs to be raised here is the poverty rate isn’t going to change no matter how much we spend because revisions to the threshold will always be such that about 15% of the population will be considered poor.

And, in a relative terms, they are indeed “poorer” than the other 85%.

The question is, are they really “poor” in real terms?

It depends on how you measure poverty, doesn’t it?  You can’t spend taxpayer money on poverty unless “poverty” exists, right?  But how many of our “poor” are truly poor?

Well, I’m not sure and neither is anyone else.  That’s because of the way poverty is measured in the US.  Essentially it is based solely on income.

The official poverty measure counts only monetary income. It considers antipoverty programs such as food stamps, housing assistance, the Earned Income Tax Credit, Medicaid and school lunches, among others, “in-kind benefits” — and hence not income. So, despite everything these programs do to relieve poverty, they aren’t counted as income when Washington measures the poverty rate.

So guess what remains the same?  The poverty rate.  If “in-kind benefits” were included in income calculations for those receiving them, a lot fewer of them would be considered “poor”.   And since it’s only based on income, many elderly who receive retirement incomes below the “poverty” threshold are considered to be poor despite the fact that they own paid off assets like houses and cars and live comfortably on that retirement income.  But they pad the stats and help to continue to justify the programs and expenditures.

Do any of us have a problem with giving those who are down a hand up? 

I don’t.  But, I want a fair and reasonable determination of who really needs it before I extend that hand.

That’s something we’ve never, ever gotten since the beginning of the War on Poverty.

Are there real poor in this country.  Yes, there probably are – but not 15%.

I know CATO’s study emphasized a lack of progress.  It has nothing to do with “progress” against poverty – as noted, there will never be any progress made given the constant upward revision of the poverty level and the absurd way poverty is calculated in this country. 

As with most programs the government runs, this is one in dire need of a complete and total overhaul.

And CATO’s study is useful in pointing that out – again.

Not that anything is likely to actually happen to address the problem or anything.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Supreme Court strikes down most of AZ immigration law, Homeland Security strikes down the rest

I won’t belabor you with a full detailing of how the court ruled yesterday on Arizona’s immigration laws except to say most of it was struck down with the Court supporting the “supremacy clause” as its basis for doing so.

However, it did find for AZ in one part of the law – the requirement to produce identification, if asked, proving citizenship if law enforcement is has a reasonable suspicion the person is in the country illegally.

Note the last word.

Illegally”.

You see, that’s the word that is often left off when discussing immigration, as in “the right is anti-immigration”.  Of course that’s a totally inaccurate assertion.  The vast majority of the right is against illegal immigration.  Legal immigrants are both wanted and welcome.

That said, we all know that our immigration system is flat out broken.  It sucks.  It is terrible.   And in this day and time, given advances in the speed and efficiency of communications, there is absolutely no reason that should be the case.  Upgrading and speeding up the system should be a priority.

But that doesn’t change the fact that people who go around that antiquated system and take it upon themselves to enter the US illegally are lawbreakers.

So, to yesterday’s ruling:  Arizona’s law was a result of the federal government’s refusal to enforce existing immigration law.  It was a law born of frustration.  Arizona is a border state.  Non-enforcement was causing strains on the state that for the most part, non-border states didn’t have to deal with.   And, after numerous appeals to the federal government to enforce the laws of the land, the state took the drastic step of passing its own laws that mirrored the federal statutes.

Yesterday the Supreme Court struck most of them down.  I understand and don’t necessarily disagree with the basis of the ruling. I understand the importance of the “supremacy clause”.  But I also understand when it is improperly used – in this case to not enforce existing law.  That is not a choice made by an administration dedicated to the rule of law.   That’s the choice made by one which is driven by an ideological agenda.

To make the point, yesterday after the ruling, Homeland Security, the executive agency that ICE falls under, made it clear that it would not cooperate on section 2 (b) of the AZ law, the section the Supreme Court upheld, effectively nullifying it:

The Obama administration said Monday it is suspending existing agreements with Arizona police over enforcement of federal immigration laws, and said it has issued a directive telling federal authorities to decline many of the calls reporting illegal immigrants that the Homeland Security Department may get from Arizona police.

Administration officials, speaking on condition they not be named, told reporters they expect to see an increase in the number of calls they get from Arizona police — but that won’t change President Obama’s decision to limit whom the government actually tries to detain and deport…

Federal officials said they’ll still perform the checks as required by law but will respond only when someone has a felony conviction on his or her record. Absent that, ICE will tell the local police to release the person

On Monday the administration officials also said they are ending the seven 287(g) task force agreements with Arizona law enforcement officials, which proactively had granted some local police the powers to enforce immigration laws.

Or, more simply, the President has directed his agencies not to enforce the law of the land, a clear violation of his oath of office, but in full compliance with his recent enactment of the “DREAM act” by fiat.

By the way, that raging righty, Mickey Kaus updates us on what the real results of Obama’s decision concerning a certain type of illegal really means:

The maddening details of Obama’s DREAM Decree are becoming clearer. As this CIS report notes, 1) The decree doesn’t just apply to illegal immigrants who were “brought to this country by their parents.” It also would give work permits to those who snuck across the border by themselves as teenagers. “Through no fault of their own” is a talking point for DREAM proselytizers, not an actual legal requirement. 2) The same goes for the phrase “and know only this country as home.” That’s a highly imaginative riff on the decree’s actual requirement, which is for 5 years “continuous residence.”  It turns out “continuous residence” doesn’t mean what you think it means. “Immigration attorneys have been successful in getting immigration courts to whittle this down to a point where it is almost meaningless,” says CIS’s Jon Feere. As an illegal immigrant you can go back home abroad for multiple 6-month stints during those five years–but, if precedent holds, in Janet Napolitano’s eyes you will still “know only this country as home.” …

He has a couple of updates that are worth the read as well that show this for the broad attempt at amnesty it really is.

Look … this may indeed be how it all ends up, but this isn’t how it should be done.  There’s a clear, legal and Constitutional path for changing laws we don’t like or think need to be changed … that is if we are a nation of laws. 

Barack Obama seemed to think that was important once:

I believe that we can be a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.

Now?  Not so much.

So here we have the nation’s chief law enforcement officer refusing to enforce the law.

His excuse is he’s frustrated with the lack of movement in Congress (of course he’s exerted no leadership or effort to resolve the issue)?

Hey, wait, wasn’t that the same sort frustration Arizona expressed about the administration’s refusal to enforce the law of the land?

So why is Obama’s refusal to enforce the law rewarded while Arizona’s attempt to enforce it isn’t?

Because George Orwell is alive and well and renaming his book “2012”.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Climate change: About that massive ice melt … yeah, never mind

While “the science is settled” and name calling are about all the climate alarmists have in their mostly empty rebuttal quiver, real science continues to destroy their ‘settled science’.

I’m sure you remember all the doom and gloom emanating from the claims that massive amounts of ice was melting and would raise sea levels to catastrophic heights, don’t you? 

Yeah, well, it appears – shock of shocks – that those making those claims didn’t use science at all.  They apparently just kind of made it up if the American Geophysical Union’s latest research is to be believed:

"Previous ocean models … have predicted temperatures and melt rates that are too high, suggesting a significant mass loss in this region that is actually not taking place," says Tore Hattermann of the Norwegian Polar Institute, member of a team which has obtained two years’ worth of direct measurements below the massive Fimbul Ice Shelf in eastern Antarctica – the first ever to be taken.

[…]

It turns out that past studies, which were based on computer models without any direct data for comparison or guidance, overestimate the water temperatures and extent of melting beneath the Fimbul Ice Shelf. This has led to the misconception, Hattermann said, that the ice shelf is losing mass at a faster rate than it is gaining mass, leading to an overall loss of mass.

The team’s results show that water temperatures are far lower than computer models predicted …

In fact:

Overall, according to the team, their field data shows "steady state mass balance" on the eastern Antarctic coasts – ie, that no ice is being lost from the massive shelves there. The research is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

You don’t say?  But, but “climate deniers are the same as Holocaust deniers”, “the sciences is settled”, “consensus”, the “vast majority of the world’s scientists agree”,  “IPCC”,  yatta, yatta, yatta.

Again we see the so-called science wasn’t based on science at all – it was based on computer models “without any direct data for comparison or guidance” which then naturally got the results the “scientists” were looking for.

I’d love to say I’m stunned, but I’m not.

We’ve known this was happening for how long now?   It’s just that the evidence just keeps coming out, doesn’t it.

If you’re still an alarmist that believes in the “science” that was put out in the IPCC report and an “Inconvenient Truth”, then it isn’t science we’re talking about anymore –  it’s religion.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


There is no US national security interest in a Syrian intervention

I just wanted to make that clear as we look at the Turkish jet shoot down and the fact that Turkey has invoked chapter 4 of the NATO treaty:

That is the provision that calls on NATO member countries to “consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the parties is threatened.” Turkey’s Islamist foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has announced that Turkey is calling for an emergency consultation of NATO members under Article 4 to consider a response to what it deems Syrian aggression.

Now the backstory, so you at least understand why this presents a possibility of NATO, and thus the US, being pulled into such an intervention (possibly willingly, I’ll get to that later).  It comes from Andrew McCarty at PJ Media:

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a Sunni Islamic supremacist with longstanding ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s most influential Sunni supremacist organization. The Brotherhood is leading the mujahideen (called the “opposition” or the “rebels” by the mainstream media) that seeks to oust the Assad regime in Syria — dominated by the Alawites, a minority Shiite sect. Unsurprisingly, then, Turkey’s government has taken a very active role in abetting the Brotherhood’s operations against the Syrian regime, which have also been joined by al-Qaeda and other Sunni militants.

On Friday, a Turkish air force jet entered Syrian air space, and Assad regime forces shot it down. Turkey claims the jet “mistakenly” cruised over Syria, and that, by the time it was taken down, it was in international air space over the Mediterranean. One need carry no brief for Assad to conclude that, given the interventionist drum-beat for no-fly zones and direct military and logistical aid to the “opposition,” Syria rationally took the presence of a Turkish military aircraft in its air space as a provocation. Turkey insists it was not “spying” — that this was just an accident to which Syria overreacted. That would be a good argument if the regime were not under siege and if the Syrian and Turkish governments had not been exchanging hostile words (mostly, threats from Erdogan) for months. That, of course, is not the case.

Confused?  Well don’t be.  This is just another chapter in the eternal war between the Sunnis and Shiites and between the religious and secular.  Turkey happens to be an Islamic Sunni enclave (some want you to believe the country is “secular” but it isn’t thanks to Erdogan) and Syria is ruled by a “secular” Shiite government which, by the way, is ideologically identical to Saddam’s Iraq.  You know, the Syrian government headed by a man this US administration labeled as “a reformer” not so long ago?  Well, it’s “under the bus” time for him.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia – that would be Wahhabist Saudi Arabia (Sunni) – have been arming the Syrian rebels along with who, oh yeah, the Muslim Brotherhood.  And that has ended up seeing good old Al Qaeda show up on the rebel side, which apparently is fine with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Brotherhood.

More:

The Obama administration, from its first days, has cozied up to the Muslim Brotherhood — both Brotherhood branches in the Middle East, and Brotherhood satellite organizations in the U.S., such as CAIR and the Islamic Society of North America. Obama has also been quietly supporting the Syrian mujahideen: coordinating with repressive Islamist governments in Turkey and Saudi Arabia to arm and train them, and reportedly dispatching the CIA to facilitate this effort. But it has thus far resisted calls for more overt participation — calls by pro-Brotherhood progressives in both parties for something along the lines of what Obama did in Libya, meaning: without congressional approval and toward the end of empowering virulently anti-Western Islamists.

There was no US interest in intervening in Libya but we did (we used R2P as the excuse and NATO as the tool).  Syria, of course, would present orders of magnitudes more difficulty militarily.  It is a much more sophisticated military power than was Libya.

The problem?  Well while Obama may be reluctant to intervene alone, NATO might provide a perfect excuse/vehicle.  And the benefits would be fairly obvious electorally.  It would “change the subject” again.  It would make him a “war time” president (yes, technically he is now, but A’stan isn’t “his” war so he doesn’t quite get the benefit public support for his continuation in office).  And he could cite “treaty obligations” as a reason without having to go to Congress.

He also has the “good experience” of Libya as a sort of enticement to try the same thing again.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia make out rather well too.  They  get the crusaders to fight and die in their battle all so the Islamists can eventually take the prize.  The US and NATO would end up fighting to help put Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in charge in Syria.

Ironic?  Uh, slightly.

Point: This is not a NATO or US fight.  This is something that we should stay as far from as we can.

Politics, however, will be integral to any decision made at this point, at least in the US. Domestic electoral politics.  What scares me is the possibility the Obama administration may conclude it is a good idea politically to use NATO to “change the subject” and make Obama a “war time President” hoping the advantages of that situation will make the difference in November.  And it wouldn’t be a unilateral decision, but instead receive bi-partisan support as Sen. McCain and other GOP members have been outspoken in their desire to intervene.

Call me paranoid but I find nothing in my analysis that’s at all infeasible or improbable.  In fact, having watched this administration at work, I consider it to be a completely possible scenario.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Economics Statistics for 25 Jun 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

New home sales came in at an annual rate of 369,000 in May, the best rate in more than 2 years, and well above analysts’ expectations.

The Chicago Fed national activity index fell to -0.45 in May from a revised 0.08 in April. Most production-related components declined, as did housing.

The Dallas Fed general business activity index rebounded to 5.8 in June from -5.1 in May, showing some rebound in manufacturing.

~
Dale Franks
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As Obama’s political troubles multiply, the “racism” excuse begins to emerge

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.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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