February 28, 2008

Election 2008: Pick a race card, any race card [Karl]

After I noted Josh Marshall’s effort to impose a double-standard on the campaign under which John McCain must ritualistically repudiate any person or any comment about Barack Obama deemed to be inappropriately racial or ethnic, while Obama is excused from discussing his less savory associations, Allahpundit flagged a piece at TNR by Historian4Hillary Sean Wilentz, noting how Obama has played the race card against Hillary Clinton (though I agree with AP that Wilentz overdoes it a bit).  Allah writes:

If you want to see a politician remaining ostentatiously above the fray while winking at cretinous race-baiting by his supporters, look no further than the TNR piece about how deftly the “post-racial” candidate has leveraged ye olde racial playbook these past few months.

Obama’s positioning as the “post-racial” candidate is a key factor in the strategy.  As Ben Smith reports at the Politico:

In the course of the primary campaign, and perhaps in a preview of the fall election drama, Senator Barack Obama has accepted the apologies of three United States senators, a former senator, CNN and various lower-level supporters of Senator Hillary Clinton.

Most of them have apologized for saying something insensitive about Obama’s race, his name, or his heritage. And the dynamic of outrage and offense this campaign has proved race to be a much touchier subject than gender. At times, Obama’s campaign has sought to downplay burgeoning outrage. At others, he’s stoked it for political advantage.

But most of the flaps ended the same way: With Obama forgiving the alleged offender. Sometimes he’s accepted the apologies graciously, sometimes sternly, but always in line with his message. And that message of reconciliation – often explicitly racial reconciliation – is a central part of his campaign’s appeal. With a general election that appears likely to open him to more Republican attacks, and more line-crossing, the campaign ritual of offense and forgiveness appears likely to be repeated often this year.

Indeed, Clinton was busy repudiating again today, even though the Clinton supporter is largely unknown to political junkies, let alone the general public.  Should the incident be brought to Obama’s attention he will likely again play a variation of the “magic negro” and comfort all that the unpleasantness has been set aside.  Of course, that term will not be used, so as to avoid further manufatured outrage.

For that matter, Smith’s colleague at the Politico, Peter A. Brown, asks:

If Obama says his heritage makes him uniquely qualified to work well with leaders of non-Western nations, is it fair game for an opponent to show him in a picture that reminds American voters of his African roots and ties?

The answer is clearly “No.”  Brown better get in line to make his Obamapology for having the gall to even pose the question.

On the other hand, Obama served on the board of the Woods Fund with confessed domestic terrorist William C. Ayers (who helped launch Obama’s political career) during a period in which the fund reportedly gave a $40,000 grant to an Arab group co-founded by Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi – a director of the official PLO press agency during the time when the US State Department considered the PLO a terrorist organization and the PLO was involved with terrorist attacks.   Any question about those relationships will be met with the charge that Obama is being “Swift-Boated.”  To the extent that the term is defined as exposing hard truths about Democrats, it would be an apt description, though the Left likely means something else entirely.

Posted by Karl @ 2:32pm
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Comments (27)

  1. Alternate title: All Obamapologies.

  2. You could at least link to the Bambi photoshop when you mention magic negroes, Karl.

  3. I didn’t have it handy and was already behind when I mentioned I would have this up over at HotAir. Besides, Ehrenstein is a person of color and thus an extra-magical source.

  4. Facts are smears. Smears are smears. Shiny sparkly boy is going to skate through this entire election with the compliant fawning media having never asked him a tough question, or demanded an answer. Can you fucking imagine the outrage if the NY Times ran a front page story questioning his nationality like they did McCain’s today? Good Allah, it would make the fauxtrage over being called Hussein look inconsequential. I am waiting for the next layer of rules. Questioning his experience. Racist. Questioning his pastor. Racist. Questioning his wife’s bitterness. Racist and sexist. The list just keeps growing.

  5. Actually, there was that list of rules of how they were going to force the media to cover the Obama campaign floating around for a while. At the time, it was claimed to be tongue-in-cheek, yet it seems to be playing out exactly as it was outlined.

  6. Doncha all get it? Obama’s anger and coziness with left-wing bombers is a resume-enhancer, a validation that he’s authentic. Don’t expect the port side to recoil an inch here.

  7. Lost in all this is the notion that we have a potential Commander-In-Chief who is startlingly sensitive to some supposed name-calling. Do we really want such a sensitive soul as president? Look at all the shit that’s been flung at W for the last several years–even just from the press! Barack Hussein Obama wouldn’t have lasted through the first quarter of his term under the same circumstances.

  8. if i change my nic to obamotaku will u still let me comment, Karl?
    hehe
    and no, i think the clintonistas putting out that pic was totally fair.
    but also totally dumb.
    if cleverness is the criteria for the nomination, clinton has been blown out.
    shes an awful slow learner.

  9. the wolf,
    it will work exactly the same way when O is president.
    weapons will magically turn on their wielders.

  10. nishi, I totally agree w/#8.

  11. I have to go with John Cole’s take on this. As usual, he’s right on top of it.

    Republican condemnation of race/ethnicity baiting by radio talk show hosts or anybody else is just part of a filthy, scummy racist conservative Republican strategy to set up straw men and stage fake Sistah Souljah moments. Similarly, Republican failure to condemn race/ethnicity baiting by radio talk show host is proof of conservative Republicans filthy scummy racism.

    Some would refer to this as “damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” but I’d refer to it as conservative Republicans’ filthy scummy racism. Because conservative Republicans filthy scummy racism and furthermore conservative Republicans filthy scummy racism, yet conservative Republicans filthy scummy racism and conservative Republicans filthy scummy racism. As usual, Josh Marshall and John Cole nail it. I’m just waiting for Gleenseseses brilliant takedown of conservative Republicans filthy scummy racism. I’m sure it will be packed with lots of conservative Republicans filthy scummy racism. And sadly, conservative Republicans filthy scummy racism just isn’t the same since Bill Buckley and his conservative Republicans filthy scummy racism died yesterday. Now that man knew how to do some conservative Republicans filthy scummy racism, and the conservative Republicans filthy scummy racist whores of today just don’t measure up to his example.

    BTW, anybody know if the Townhouse email bang list is still operating? You almost get the sense it is, with the crafting of memes like “if you condemn racism it proves you’re a racist.”

  12. Well said, Al, you filthy scummy racist.

    I really want to have the media, or how about Barry O, explain how it is appropriate to question his positions.

  13. All’s fair in love and war. Politics doubly so.

  14. It is his white half that upsets me. After all, whites were/are the scourge of the Western Universe, slave keepers, capitalist tools, running dog imperalists, rapists, wife beaters, and the ones with loafers… NYT reporters.

  15. The person who should be really, royally pissed off is Shirley Chisolm. If sparkly gets a pass what the hell happened to poor Shirley?

  16. Every time I see that guy’s name, I think “Damn, what if his parents had a sense of humor and named him ‘Four’ instead of ‘Joshua.’”

  17. I would just like to take credit for calling PW a Republican advocacy blog considering the treatment of Obama coinciding with his status as presumptive dem nominee. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – but the denials were all comical, especially as some came from the hand of God himself (said Jeff).

    Beyond the pattern, this post has several problems:
    1. Why is Obama responsible for every person he’s ever met or served on a board with? (BONUS: why doesn’t the ‘liberal media’ scrutinize guilt by association with Pat Robertson this way?)
    2. Analyzing where Obama has seemingly benefited from race (or where it’s been used strategically, whcih certainly it has) in the absence of cost isn’t analysis at all – it’s advocacy. E.G., I’m surprised that Russert didn’t repeat quotes from random black guys on the subway to ask for Obama’s comment. Maybe he could have asked him to sing Day-O? At least that would have been entertaining. He gets called a terrorist, refered to by his middle name, has his religion questioned – etc. All racially motivated, and all hurtful to him campaign.
    3. To say that Ayers helped launch his political career is flirting with passing a falsehood, Karl, if that link is all you’ve got.

  18. oh well…we all know that Jeff is an equal opportunity bullying attack penis.
    it isnt special for O.

    anyhows….O is like Achilles, hes been dipped in the pool of invulnerabilty….except for where the goddess held him by the heel.
    u guyz have to find the sweet spot is all.

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  20. steve,

    If you weren’t a drive-by troll, you would know that I have knocked virtually every candidate in the campaign (except Duncan Hunter, who was neither popular enough or newsworthy enough). For that matter, you would know that David Brooks indirectly singled out Jeff as one of the nation’s great McCain-haters.

    As for Ayers, let’s quote:

    Dr. Young and another guest, Maria Warren, described it similarly: as an introduction to Hyde Park liberals of the handpicked successor to Palmer, a well-regarded figure on the left.

    “When I first met Barack Obama, he was giving a standard, innocuous little talk in the living room of those two legends-in-their-own-minds, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn,” Warren wrote on her blog in 2005. “They were launching him — introducing him to the Hyde Park community as the best thing since sliced bread.”

    Warren regrets writing that now, but does not deny it, either.
    And what Obama is responsible for is whatever association he continued to have with Ayers on and off the board, as well as their decision to give 40 grand to an outfit founded by Rashid Khalidi.

    As for the bonus question, I note for example that Pres. Bush never had a paricularly good relationship with Robertson, and his administration has publicly blasted him.

  21. Al,

    I must disagree regarding WFB. I’m betting the MSM will have think-pieces this weekend telling us how great he was, as compared to the filthy scummy racist Republicans still living. It’s their “the only good conservative is a dead conservative” gambit.

  22. 1. Why is Obama responsible for every person he’s ever met or served on a board with?

    There’s a crap question if ever I’ve read one. I’m compelled to suggest that you blow it out your ass, steve, but then I realize that it isn’t worth the effort.

  23. I’m compelled to suggest that you blow it out your ass, steve

    huh, I thought that’s where his question had come from. anyhoo, funny how someone keeps missing the McCain scrutiny.

  24. He gets called a terrorist, refered to by his middle name, has his religion questioned – etc. All racially motivated, and all hurtful to him campaign.

    He associated with terrorists… that’s why he was called on that association. Nothing to do with his race.

    The middle name crap is stupid, but, again, not racist.

    The question of whether he’s a Muslim or not, again, is stupid, but not racist.

    (If you’re referring to looking at the tenets of the church he attends as “questioning his religion”, that’s *NOT* stupid. How much does he agree with the Afro-centric views of the church?)

  25. Cole? I can’t stand to read him, anymore. He used to be so happy-go-lucky, but now he’s just a former staunch filthy scummy racist Republican. It’s really almost all there is to him anymore, except for occasional glimpses of ohmigodhowwasisodumb.

  26. Rob – They just like calling people racists. That is what they do. It need not matter than nobody but them is discussing race, or that religion and race are not interchangeable, or that Hussein signifies no particular race, etc … They just enjoy calling us racist, you filthy scummy racist Rethuglican.

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