Althouse, Dowd & the Toxic Card of Racism – UPDATED

Legal Insurrection:

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.. . . .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.

I’ve got a long piece being featured on the main page of First Things, picking up from where Ann Althouse left off on Maureen Dowd’s bigoted NY Times column. An excerpt:

Whether subconsciously racist or not, Maureen Dowd does, in fact, betray a glaring bigotry in her piece, when she immediately declares that she heard a “You lie, boy,” beneath Joe Wilson’s inappropriate shout. She betrays a mind prejudiced against white Southerners, content to know nothing about them beyond the stereotypes we have all explored with distaste for the last forty or so years, aided in our imaginings by the condescending white racist sheriff of In the Heat of the Night and countless other films. Dowd does love her movies and pop culture, after all. The popular culture is the wellspring from which all of her deathless prose is watered.

We have moved, as neoneocon says, from “truthers” to “birthers” to “racers”.

Also, since I’m talking Althouse, she has quick thoughts on the New York Times reportage on ACORN. What jumps out at me is the sneering headline and the way the paper managed to minimize almost-out-of-existence the president’s long association with that organization. What jumps out to Duane Patterson is everything left out or distorted.

Jimmy Carter, who cannot avoid a toxic fray, puts his presidential seal on the One may only disagree with Obama if one is a racist meme. He adds: “”The president is not only the head of government, he is the head of state,” he said. “And no matter who he is or how much we disagree with his policies, the president should be treated with respect.”

Well, I happen to agree with that, but I just find it remarkable coming from Jimmy Carter’s lips, since he spent the last 8 years dissing the American President, even when overseas. This was the man, recall, who gladly (pathetically) accepted a Nobel Peace Prize even after folks in Oslo said they were basically giving it to Carter as a “kick in the legs to George Bush.”

Ed Morrissey wonders:

If Jimmy Carter believes that the “overwhelming” portion of criticism towards Barack Obama is due to racism, does he also believe that the overwhelming portion of criticism towards Israel is anti-Semitic? Wouldn’t that apply to a man who hangs out with people who target Israeli citizens for terrorist attacks? After all, Hamas regularly issues anti-Semitic harangues and smears, and yet Carter has no problem cozying up to them and claiming that their criticism of Israel is legitimate.

Althouse again:

Racism is revolting, but so is the notion that we aren’t allowed to criticize a President! Jimmy Carter’s supremely sleazy accusation requires a solid, sound rebuke. It is an effort to place the President of the United States beyond criticism.

Academia joins in on the refrain. You can’t reasonably disagree with Obama without being a racist. Period. And no, it doesn’t matter that Pete Stark called Bush a liar, twice, from the floor of the House. That was different. Why? Because it just is.

A while back I wrote about racism and psychic duality. I think we’re seeing another sort of psychic duality, now, and it’s being played out mostly (not exclusively, but mostly) from the side of the liberal white elites; they cannot bring themselves to criticize a president who is the head of their party (and follows a most-hated president from the opposition side, so he must be loved with equal disproportion), but they also cannot honestly discuss the weaknesses in his policies because they’ve decided to paint any and all dissatisfaction with those policies as “pure racism, straight up”. They fear being slapped with the very brush they’ve loaded up for all these years.

Here and there, a note of sanity:

What Wilson did was boorish and offensive, but it wasn’t racist. You don’t do anything to highlight genuine bigotry, which is still aloose in the land, when you accuse everyone who offends you of racist sentiment.

Funny, I said something like that a week or so ago and someone demanded that I provide evidence that the overplaying of the “racist” cry was in any way negatively impacting those who are dealing with genuine racism. Because common sense was not, apparently, convincing enough.

Victor Davis Hanson:

Obama himself wisely called West a “jackass” and accepted Wilson’s necessary apologies, but the larger question is why the Left is now nearly unhinged about criticism of a black liberal president, when it was silent . . . about the racial implications of the constant and vicious anger directed at Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, not to mention the rather personal, condescending attacks on Alberto Gonzales. For that matter, the ubiquitous Pete Stark once said some particularly unkind and racist things about former health and human services secretary Louis Sullivan (who is black).

Also don’t miss Krauthammer on Wilson/Obama

Public Secrets wonders: The “racism corollary” to Godwin’s Law?

Brutally Honest:

It is not only time for black Americans to stand up and throw off the shackles of self serving and hustled racism, but it is also the time for white Americans to stand up and let it be known that the old dog eared brand of racism has no place in the present discussion and they refuse to be saddled with it.

Glenn Reynolds: How does the attractive female factor play into all this?

Disenchantment grows, like mighty oaks from ACORNS.

Now THIS is interesting, from the WaPo: As Right Jabs Continue, White House Debates a Counterpunching Strategy:

The White House officials are eager to avoid the perception that the president is directly engaging critics who appear to speak only for a vocal minority, and part of their strategy involves pushing material to liberal and progressive media outlets to steer the coverage in their direction, senior advisers said.

When critics lashed out at President Obama for scheduling a speech to public school students this month, accusing him of wanting to indoctrinate children to his politics, his advisers quickly scrubbed his planned comments for potentially problematic wording. They then reached out to progressive Web sites such as the Huffington Post, liberal bloggers and Democratic pundits to make their case to a friendly audience.

That’s one thing that struck me about Obama’s speech to the school children: how nothing he said seemed to bear any direct relation to the problematic teaching materials which had been released in anticipation of the event. I suspected, then, that the speech had been re-written into utter banality in order to make the conservatives who objected to the speech seem like paranoid nutters. This seems to confirm that. And it’s a brilliant tactic; were I in the WH, I’d have done the same thing. Ah, and it seems Ace has come to the same conclusion.

James Pethokoukis: Obama risks trade war to help union allies

Frank Fleming wonders
Why are the Liberals still so angry?:

But now we can see the problem. After Barack Obama was elected, he started doing specific things. Liberal things. No one voted for that, so Obama’s approval ratings have dropped faster than those of any president before him. And you can see why liberals are so frustrated. They had a charismatic liberal overwhelmingly elected with Democratic majorities, and even he is utterly failing to sell liberalism to the American people.

Obamacare: Here come the “big, big tax increases.

Obamacare: Here come the doctor shortages

While Democrats are in Power:
The Press will not report on these 20 things

She didn’t kill her husband: they just have matching restraining orders

Save the Planet by getting rid of the people also, Embryos are just a handful of cells. How ’70′s.

We’re for religious liberty,
we just can’t admit it in public

Oh, by the way, Sarkozy says Iran has nukes

UPDATE: Twitter is aflutter with people quoting Rush Limbaugh, who says this “raaaaacism” meme could be ended in a heartbeat by the president, if he would only speak up. Yes, well, I wrote a long time ago that the odious “Obama is Messiah” narrative could have been quickly ended, if Obama -a professed Christian- would simply have said, “hey, guys, love you too, but I’m not the messiah.” I personally do not think Obama likes all of this race-playing. But I do wonder if he tolerates it because it serves a purpose. Jules Crittenden says, time to work on that post-racial legacy, Mr. President!

James Taranto has an extensive look at the long relationship between ACORN and President Obama

WELCOME: Instapundit readers! – thanks, Glenn, for the link!

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