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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

An Allergic Reaction To The Race Card

The increasingly hysterical use of the the race card by liberal columnists, bloggers and politicians reflects the last gasps of people who, being unable to win an argument on the merits, seek to end the argument.

While the false accusation of racism is not a new tactic, it has been refined by Obama supporters into a toxic powder which is causing damage to the social fabric of the country by artificially injecting race into every political issue.

During the campaign, Obama supporters successfully ended scrutiny of Obama's overstated opposition to the Iraq war by accusing Bill Clinton of racism for calling Obama's narrative a "fairy tale." False accusations of racism also were used against Hillary supporter Geraldine Ferraro and against John McCain in order to frame the political debate.

In the 2008 campaign cycle, the race card worked well because it could. The legitimate enthusiasm for an historic black presidential candidacy combined with media bias created an acceptance that there was no way to fight back against the tactic without making matters worse.

Over time, as Obama assumed the presidency and began implementing sweeping plans to restructure society and to run up the national debt to unthinkable levels, opposition to Obama's plans has grown. This opposition has little to do with race, and includes vast numbers of independents who voted for Obama.

The American people, while they still mostly like Obama on a personal level, increasingly oppose his policies and plans. Democrats know that the debate on the merits of initiatives such as health care and cap-and-trade has been won on the merits by the opposition.

Not surprisingly, the pace of racial accusations has picked up as opposition has grown. Just in the past few days the usual and not-so-usual suspects have been seeking to out-do each other in making accusations of racism including Eugene Robinson, Maureen Dowd, Jimmy Carter, Rep. Hank Johnson, Chris Matthews, a wide range of Democratic politicians, and of course, almost all of the mainstream media.

The effect of these accusations is poisonous. Race is the most sensitive and inflammatory subject in this country. By turning every issue, even a discussion of health care policy, into an argument about race, liberals have created a politically explosive mixture in which the harder they seek to suppress opposing voices, the harder those voices seek to be heard.

The stresses this situation has created were exposed at the town hall hearings this summer. The voices of ordinary Americans who never protested anything before in their lives resembled steam forcing its way through the lid of a tightly closed political lid.

But it will not work this time for the effete intellectual bullies for whom the race card traditionally has been the trump card.

Everyone understands that Obama was not subject to the same scrutiny as other candidates because of the fear of being called a racist. That lack of scrutiny gave us a president whose moderate campaign rhetoric belied an underlying agenda which, if revealed during the campaign, would have resulted in an electoral landslide for McCain-Palin. The vocal opposition we are witnessing has everything to do with a sense of being betrayed not just by a candidate, but by a process which was rigged by the use of the race card.

We are seeing for the first time a strong push-back against the race card players. And that reaction is visceral, much like an allergic reaction, from people who have been stung before.

UPDATE: Jules Crittenden also has a good take on the subject: Race Card. And, a Rasmussen survey finds that people are not buying into the race-card tactic:
Twelve percent (12%) of voters nationwide believe that most opponents of President Obama’s health care reform plan are racist. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 67% of voters disagree, and 21% are not sure.

Related Posts:
Health Care Race Card Played From Bottom of Deck
The Big Smear
"Race" As Political Weapon
Is "Gobbledygook" Racist?

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  1. I hope the push back continues. I want to discuss the issues that are facing this country not be sidetracked by liberal paranoid fantasies. I am tired of the liberal elite so taken aback by the rejction of their ideology that they cannot fathom that a person of good conscience would dare to disagree. It is tiresome, self-righteous, self-important and just plain boring.

  2. I'm missing something here? Exactly what "push back"?

  3. One reason that public figures and commentators are able to sling accusations of racism around is we all continue to assign the term 'mainstream media’ to the liberal media. As Bernard Goldberg recently pointed out, there is nothing mainstream about ANY media outlets in the United States anymore (was there ever?). So, please. Let's call the liberal media what they are.

    Now then, 'racism' is and always has been a term of endearment that only liberals have license to distribute freely. As the current administration races to inflate our money supply, let’s not hinder their concurrent inflation and devaluation of the formally noxious accusation.

    We’re all racists now I guess. So what does that mean? See you at the polls.

  4. Excellent summary. One must remember these are Lefists: what else can they do? They have poor policies, little imagination, and no history of anything but calumny to achieve their ends. It will only get worse, as their efforts to repress debate in despicably insulting ways and their scorched earth campaign against critique continue. But this ACORN episode should serve as object lesson for the right in just how easy it really is to fight the Left, provided one keeps one’s nerve and cool. These two young Americans, more than any politician or public figures, have demonstrated this. Will the conservative movement figure it out as well?

  5. It was said (by the Romanian/Austrian novelist Gregor von Rezzori among others) that Hitler made it impossible to discuss the "Jewish Question" -- and it was largely true that for the better part of 50 years after the end of WWII the charge of 'anti-semitism' was effective to silence almost any criticism of Israel or the Jews. The point being that the excesses of the Nazis so thoroughly discredited those who questioned the role of Jews in European society that what had been a serious discussion among European intellectuals (including Jewish intellectuals) was simply no longer possible.

    What the left's, the media's and the Democrats' (not yet entirely synonomous) overusage of the charge of 'racism' is likely to do is have a similar effect. The race card is being so thoroughly discredited in the minds of the American people that the charge is loosing effectiveness and, if its overuse keeps up another year or so, it will no longer be taken seriously in America.

    If white voters (and voters of other ethnicities who have been successful in America without 'affirmative action') ever get to the point where charges of racism will not only fail to cow them, but will in fact make them hostile to those making the charge, you will see a political tsumani in this country.

    Blacks are not entirely wrong-headed to fear a return of serious racism in the US, but by crying 'race' at every turn, and by continuing to demand special privileges, and, yes, by blacks in power in the Obama administration looking more and more like Reconstruction-era Southern carpetbagger and scalawags, they are themselves making it more and more likely that what they fear will come to pass.

    The good will feeling of electing a black president -- without which he would not have been elected -- will turn to a sense of betrayal that will be terrible in its effects.

  6. Excellent post! The liberal media here in Detroit have injected race almost daily, especially after Joe Wilson told the truth in the joint session of Congress. Daily! Ugh...

  7. Again another misleading post. Does Obama personally play the race card? And please just look at the call protesters. They don't look like Obama (good-looking, of color), act like him, (cool, rational), think like him (smart) or built like him, (in shape). So why would Obama care what these folks think about him.

    Finally the poll cited "Twelve percent (12%) of voters nationwide believe that most opponents of President Obama’s health care reform plan are racist. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 67% of voters disagree, and 21% are not sure." is beyond silly. First they polled voters. What about those who don't participate in the voting process? Telephone polls? Not very reliable and tend to be bias. I don't know how any reasonable intelligent person would want to cite a telephone poll that restricts itself by definition to less than 1/2 of the population, then cite that poll as being representation of the national "mood".

    Perhaps a more accurate poll should have been taken in LA when all those people waited outside for days for free health care. Ask them what the feel the color of the public discourse of health care.

  8. The playing of the race card is (as we say in Texas Hold 'Em Poker) a "tell". It's a giveaway signal that the Liberals have lost the issue. And the rampant use of the race card as it is being played by just about every liberal though outlet shows you that these folks have their backs to the wall.

    They are losing. And they are going to lose. And they know it. The race card is all they have left.

    Remember. Political Dissent is not Racism. See the bumper stickers.

  9. To be falsely accused of racism over and over and over again does not make a person cower.

    Instead, it makes a person resentful.

    I am southern conservative/libertarian physician who has had African American friends in and out my house for years. And I am disgusted with the limousine liberals who call me a racist because Obama is destroying our country.

    We have not begun to see the fallout from this playing of the race card.

  10. I've gotten to the point where when called a racist because I oppose B Hussein Obama's policies, I wear the label like a badge of honor. Because as everyone knows, all us Conservatives are Racist....

  11. Great post. On my own blog, I suggested that these endless accusations of racism are going to become like soggy cereal.

  12. It has long since passed the point where the easiest way to spot the racist in any situation is to identify the people pointing their fingers at others and exclaiming, "Racist!"

  13. When it comes to race, Conservatives (and by an irrational extension, Republicans) are presumed guilty even if proven innocent.

    Therefore, leftists have no qualms about making the charge on no evidence because they figure that, even if it doesn't apply to the current discussion, it must be true on some level anyway.

    Ironically, the charge of racism is a manifestation of the bigotry against Conservatives.

  14. I think kayne west's idiotic stunt the other day was racially motivated.

    How do you like that, race card players?

  15. "And please just look at the call protesters. They don't look like Obama (good-looking, of color), act like him, (cool, rational), think like him (smart) or built like him, (in shape). So why would Obama care what these folks think about him."

    Oh, my God. The funny part is, you don't even realize what a self-parody you are.

  16. Question: when will we start having that honest discussion about race?

    Rep. Cohen was discouraged from seeking a place in the Congressional Black Caucus. He had wanted to, IIRC, in order to better represent his constituents. Now his opponent says that he can't represent Blacks properly. Maybe if he hadn't been excluded from the CBC on account of his skin color, he'd be a good representativ of African Americans.

  17. For whites in America, racism has become an original sin - something that we're born with. The only way to overcome is to atone for our sin by joining the "progressive" cause.

  18. Well, that old saying, "Antisemitism is the socialism of fools", has just been reworked by Dhimmi Carter and his ilk into "The Race Card is the foolishness of socialists".

  19. The Toxic Card of Racism Trumps All http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2009/09/the-toxic-card-of-racism-trumps-hearts

  20. I am a fairly moderate white fellow who engages my friends on the right and left in respectful conversation. And I am am better for it. But I do see racism in the comments some of my correspondents on the right. Some are direct: Joke emails about black people. Other are more subtle -- as in those who question Obama's citizenship (no one has questioned a white President's citizenship), and those who cry out for a return of "their country." To my liberal friends, Obama is fairly (or to much so) moderate. To my conservative friends, he is to liberal. But all respect him as a dignified, honorable fellow. It is those who demonize him who I suspect of being racial biased.

  21. The Race card has been played over and over and over and over again against Conservatives. And last year it was played against Clinton supporters.

    President Obama won because he promised, in a speech early on his campaign in Philidelphia, that he was "post-racial,"

    Calling your opposition to your policies (who do not even have enough votes to stop a filibuster in the Senate and any bills in the House) shows a point that the opposition knew all along:

    President Obama cannot governn. Race cards nothwithstanding.

    Personally, I'm of the theory he is an evil Time Lord from the future and the media just heard the Sound of drums. /semi-sarc

  22. Have any of you noticed two things?

    1) Quite often now, the discussion of what's racist and what isn't takes place between two persons of the same color (often white) accusing each other of racism? It would seem that the *target* of racism should have some say in the matter. I think throwing around the term racist is a the way white people fight a new civil war (this time liberal/conservative instead of North/South). I don't believe either is primarily concerned about the welfare of nonwhites.

    2) Our mass media (left or right) rarely seeks to verify what is or is not a violation of rights. All the yelling back and forth about Gates a couple of months back could have easily been solved: What do the Cambridge statutes say constitutes disorderly conduct? Do they say a man can or cannot be arrested in his own home?

    I wish we could talk about professionalism and honesty instead of getting sucked into a screaming match about racism that has just been turned into a spectacle for ratings. There is racism, but you won't hear about it on any network that sells advertising.

  23. no one has questioned a white President's citizenship

    McCain's citizenship was questioned. Was that racist?

    To my conservative friends, he is to [sic] liberal. But all respect him as a dignified, honorable fellow. It is those who demonize him who I suspect of being racial biased.

    What if the demonization is based solely on his actions and hypocrisies over the course of his career? What about those people of color that also think he is bad news - how can they be racially biased?

    This nation is never going to overcome racism until ALL sides give it up, including you, Dick.

  24. I don't see how anyone can disgree that racism is behind the opposition to Obama. It is all in the definition. After all Racism has increased 67% since January.

  25. Racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist. Did you have enough? Are you ready to give in to our agenda? We got more and we’re not afraid to use them.

  26. "For whites in America, racism has become an original sin - something that we're born with."

    Hmmm... I believe there's a name for a statement of the form "{Members of ethnic group} are born {with some characteristic}".

    What was it again?

  27. Indians (from India) can be racist. They have a caste system....people from the Middle East can be racist since they insist that their children only marry people from their own race. Greeks tend to be extremely racist.... no son or daughter better bring home a potential marriage partner from another race.... It happens anywhere and everywhere....

    However, this playing of the race card where Obama policies are concerned is getting ridiculous. People have the right to speak up against Obama policies. He is not GOD!!! From the beginning it was very obvious that he knows very little about history, economics and foreign policy.

    At the moment it is a toss up between Carter and Obama as to who is faring the worst when it comes to weakening the USA as a result of bad or poor foreign policy initiative.

    The loony left seem to have a blinkered idea that their Utopian high minded and elitist ideals were going to impact the world to the point that those foreign leaders were going to fall over themselves just because Obama won. As a result we had such spectacles as the RESET button which did nothing to change any relationship between the Soviets and the USA. If the relationship did change it is for the worse, not the better. Iran has given the USA the finger, as has North Korea.... you can expect more of this kind of thing as these nations realize that Obama is as knackered as Carter.... who can forget that Carter dripping over himself thought that having Khomenei returning to Iran and the mullahocracy taking over in Iran was a good thing.... then contrast that to how Obama turned his back on the people of Iran when Ahmanutjob staged a coup with the cooperation of Khamenei to retain control of the Presidency. His words were "we cannot interfere"... and then weeks later he interfered in the legitimate removal of Zelaya in the Honduras, and has interfered further in the affairs of the Honduras.

    Now to deal with the idiot Buck Johnson who wrote a whole lot of blather about nothing and used false comparisons. If people voted for this man based upon the colour of his skin then that was racist.... it was a deliberate choice.... On top of that it is a lie to state that Obama has never pulled the race card.... ask the Cambridge cops about the race card.... and then look at the errors of the Obama administration and the number of times that they have referenced race, as well as preferential treatment given to ACORN.....now that is racist.

  28. If you really want to see who is racist Google any Leftist Blog and see what was written between 2001 -2008 about Condi Rice, Colin Powell (well, until 2008) and as always look at how the left treated Justice Thomas.

    If the race card was real, our friends on the left would have stood up to disparging images/etc about them.

    And they would stop yelling "Uncle Tom,"

    But they can't. They HATE Conservatives and Republicans more then they hate racism. Again, when a major Lefty (Senator, Congressional leader, president, Major Blogger) says something nice about a Consrvative or Republican African American, then they can talk of calling us racist.

    And if that doesn't work, remember Democrats have run Compton, Detroit, Oakland, and Baltimore.

    How's that working out for everybody?

  29. The folks seeing racism under every rock and behind every tree are the racists themselves, hiding behind their shield of diversity demagoguery. But I do believe they are trying to rile the country into MORE racism - everything the race-baiting industry has been directed towards is more, not less racism. That is their raison d'etre.

    Rush was right. This is exactly what he predicted probably 18 months ago. The amazing thing is how many voted for Obama expecting exactly the opposite. Fools and knaves.

  30. Liberalism tends to desire illogical responses to their illogical rants.

    I'm afraid they won't like this blog. At all.

    Sucks to be them. (at least as much as it sucks to have them running our country)

  31. In an ironic way, Obama's election stole what was the best card that could be played. Now when someone says "racist" all we have to do is point to 1600 Penn. Ave and respond, "Not any more."

    It is driving them crazy. Now what? Argue on the facts? That's a bad idea.