I believe Obama rejects Carter's charge – UPDATED

In a post below, I noted a tweet from CBS’ Mark Knoller:

Rejecting Jimmy Carter analysis, WH spksmn Gibbs says Pres. Obama does not blv that criticism of him comes based on the color of his skin.

I twittered back: I believe this constant cry of racism is probably disheartening and distasteful to Obama. Perhaps he should say something.

To which Knoller replied: i’m sure he would if asked since a former US pres made the comment.

Whether a president who sees his country coming to a full rolling boil
over charges of racism needs to be asked before he says something about it is another story, but I meant what I twittered to Knoller, and I forwarded his tweet to a newsgroup I belong to.

They seemed underwhelmed by Gibbs’ representation and wondered if Obama “meant it.” And others have expressed to me their distrust in the sincerity of the WH on this.

But I believe Obama does disagree with Jimmy Carter when Carter (for whom I voted in 1976, before he became bitter) when Carter claims that opposition to Obama’s healthcare and other policies has a racist foundation; I believe it just as I am absolutely convinced that Obama thinks Kanye West is “a jackass.” I have no reason not to believe it. I know many of you will call me stupid or naive for this, particularly when, in terms of policy Obama really has lost my trust and has contributed to my nurturing of a garden of cynicism I would rather not grow.

I do believe that Obama cannot be anything but appalled to see this very destructive back-and-forth between the congresspeople, pundits and mediafolk who have responded to an inappropriate outburst from a member of congress, a peaceful protest march, and grass roots opposition to policies with cries of “racism,” and an increasingly angry and frustrated populace who objects to their legitimate concerns being so disdainfully dismissed. No president could like to see this going on under his watch, because it is sheer poison to the society, a destroyer of trust and a silencer of thoughtful debate. Moreover, if the “racism” narrative -which some seem determined to construct- really inserts itself into into Obama’s presidency, all of his accomplishments may be forever asterisked in the manner of a steroid-using ballplayer’s stats; the notation will read, “voted into office on a theme of hope, and promising to bring a post-partisan, post-racial era to the United States, which he did not deliver.”

Obama’s post-partisan presidency has thus far been an epic fail, and for that he must shoulder some of the blame, for the fail began at his own inaugural, where he could have won the goodwill of those who voted against him by extending a traditional measure of graciousness to his predecessor, but chose instead to play to his base; he left no one in doubt that he was disrespecting the man who -even Bushhaters admitted- had bent over backwards to make Obama’s transition into office the smoothest in memory.

When Republican senators and congressmen wanted their ideas to be considered, he sniped, “I won.” When Nancy Pelosi shut the Republicans out of the stimulus-bill process, Obama -as leader of his party- could have insisted that the Congress work together, but he did not. When the GOP submitted their own ideas on healthcare, the president used the “their idea of change is the status quo” strawman, and (figuratively) shut them out, too.

So, the post-partisan thing, that’s not happening.

But Obama can still turn the post-racial presidency around, and achieve something worthy of Mt. Rushmore, if he can take the leadership position and guide his country through what is becoming a searing, divisive and unhealthy stench of a stall.

In her most recent rambling discourse Maureen Dowd writes that President Obama is “at the center of a period of racial turbulence sparked by his ascension.”

Is that true? Have we had 9 months of “racial turbulence” or have we had about six weeks of it, spurred on in great measure by a press/punditry corps has been wondering “is this opposition actually racism?” since the springtime Tea Parties, but really starting panting the question once the August townhall meetings got hot and it became clear that the Democrats were not effectively selling their bill.

In the commentary over at my piece on the main page, a commenter mentioned one of Rod Dreher’s recent posts and wrote:

Please tell me what’s wrong with this claim by Rod Dreher. I think it’s spot on and it’s why I commented on today’s “On the Square” post:

“To say that it is always unjust to accuse Obama critics of racism is a form of political correctness that is in its own way as hostile to the truth as people who say that criticism of Obama can only be motivated by race hatred.”

If Elizabeth Scalia were to affirm Dreher’s point, we could perhaps clear up any misunderstanding on my part.

Well, Rod is correct and I do affirm his point, a point so obvious I am surprised it needed stating or affirming, but I guess one can never cross too many t’s or dot too many i’s.

I believe that Obama rejects Jimmy Carter’s misbegotten characterization; it may be that I believe it because I choose to believe it, but sometimes one does have to make that choice, and see how a thing plays out. At some point, there has to be a measure of good faith between people. I would prefer to hear it from Obama’s own lips, and not Gibbs,’ but I believe Obama would prefer that these race cards not be played in such out-of-control fashion.

If we cannot believe anything that anyone says, ever, and I say this understanding just how polarized the nation is, and add my own culpability to the huge number of people on the air, on the internets and in just about every elected office who have contributed to it. The division of our country has been a truly “bipartisan” affair. But if we cannot argue in good faith, and occasionally give each other the benefit of a doubt, then we are all wasting our time in trying to effect any sort of reasonable dialogue, and there is no hope for us as a nation.

And that would be a tragic asterisk beside the name of Barack Obama, who has it in his power to take control of the issue of race in America and lead us out of the blistering heat of shouting and finger-waving acrimony, and into that place we hoped for, back when Martin Luther King had a dream.

See, I believe that we are on our way there, and have been for quite a while now, but that we have hit a swamp -partly because no path is ever fully clear, no journey is without its difficulties- and partly because many voices are shouting many directions, from many maps.

All the voices are necessary, and the maps, too; to silence them, or take away the maps would be a violation of everything America stands for. But when you’re traveling en mass, and a wrong-turn has you stranded, someone has to show enough leadership to tell everyone else to pipe down and start working together, or the swamp will become their home.

Mr. President, sir, this is your cue. Get your country out of this swamp -with everyone’s dignity and rights intact- and you’ll have a much easier time guiding the rest of the journey.

UPDATE: Sadly, it appears the president has decided to vote present and let the country rip and tear.

“He could probably give a very powerful speech on race, just as he did in the course of the campaign,” said Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Mr. Obama. “But right now his top domestic priority is health care reform. It’s difficult, challenging and complicated. And if he leads by example, our country will be far better off.”

The president’s focus is on “health care reform” (not, as some tell me, “health insurance reform”). Not on creating jobs, not on leading a country that is on simmer and wants to boil. His whole priority is the very policy that is igniting so much anger and distrust, and that a majority of Americans say they don’t want. His priorities are skewed.

But I will continue to hope that he will finally show some genuine leadership, rather than simply “moving forward” in his quest to ram a very divisive bill down our gullets. Doing so might actually be a teachable moment for him, and it might change everything.

Related:
Crittenden
tongue in cheek, if anyone is still able to laugh.

About Elizabeth Scalia
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  • Gerry

    “Rod Dreher” and “correct” somehow remind me of a stopped clock.

  • Roz Smith

    I find your faith touching, if lacking any basis in the evidence. Obama has always tended to vote present when confronted with a choice that pits his black nationalist base against the white majority he has aspired to lead. Until he speaks for himself instead of letting Gibbs speak for him, I remain unconvinced. More than most politicians, Obama must always be judged on what he does, not on what he says.

  • Donal

    I agree that Obama doesn’t like the charge of racism leveled at those who oppose his plans. But I don’t expect to see him show any leadership on this issue because he has failed to show leadership on any of the issues facing this country. At this point I’m still unsure whether that failure is because he is unable to show leadership or unwilling to risk failure as a leader. But I’m leaning to the former.Time will tell but if I’m correct I expect nothing but silence from Obama.

  • MJ

    I think we were all taught “actions speak louder than words.” It’s about time that Obama steps up to the plate and speaks for himself rather than letting Robert Gibbs or Bill Burton do the speaking. He is, after all, the leader of this great country. It’s time for him to act like that leader.

  • SjB

    I wish I had as much optimism as you do, Anchoress.

    After all of Obama’s speeches apologizing for how awful America is, and watching his cronies gross distaste of Americans, and his own disdain for average Americans (eg: guns and religion, accused the Cambridge police of acting stupidly, etc.) – I think the writing is on the wall – we are in this swamp of accusations because Obama DOES think ALL white people are racist bigots most of the time, if not all of the time.

    He seems to be the aggrieved black man even though he has experienced privileges most white people never experience. I bear him no grudge for him having these things, but why must I be disparaged and slurred as a white person? I do not think most white people are racist – at least it does not seem common in the Western US.

    I see an elitist, liberal, far-left president and administration that seems indifferent to the great discord and animosity that is being created where previously there was none. I have been slammed so many times by their attitudes that I no longer expect courtesy or respect from them. They are on a mission to change American into their own image.

    I do not think Obama gives a rip for the average American and has no conscience about the obvious and latent effects of his policies. If he did, he would not be trying to cram his ideology and it’s crippling costs down our throats. My hope is in the Lord to protect us through this president’s term and hopefully minimize the damage of his presidency.

  • JessM

    Hi Anchoress – I am a new poster, a traveler from Seablogger’s site who just went into the hospital and needs many prayers for his recovery…

    I am 55 years old and the race issue has been a backdrop for most of my life, since the 60s I s’pose. We live in a small town in Texas and are fully integrated. I have black friends and white friends and even (!) gay friends. Every time that the race card gets played everyone I know just says “wha??” Seems to me that the “powers that be” including government and media, have absolutely NO IDEA what goes on in everyday America. Very odd…

    Love you site / writing and now visit every day, so thanks to you for that! JessM

  • Bobfan

    “I do not think Obama gives a rip for the average American and has no conscience about the obvious and latent effects of his policies. If he did, he would not be trying to cram his ideology and it’s crippling costs down our throats.”

    SjB, what do you think motivates Obama? Why does he support the policies he does?

  • Bobfan

    Remember the Jeremiah Wright affair? Obama has already spoken for himself, and very wisely and eloquently. You want action? That was a pretty dramatic move, and yet how much good will on the subject did it earn him from conservatives? He has repeatedly disavowed racism from both whites and blacks, and when he falsely presumed racism himself, a very understandable thing for a black man to do, he admitted his mistake and sought (and achieved) reconciliation. The problem here is that you haven’t been willing to believe him when he has spoken. Why then should he speak again?

    [Tiresome. Utterly tiresome. Utterly dishonest. Utterly kneejerk. If you were coming from a place of good faith, you'd perhaps look at my archives and see what I said about Obama's speech on Wright before assuming you know what I said about it. Now, I write a piece saying just how willing I am to believe Obama and you -because you are in auto-mode- complain that I am "not willing to believe him." And why should he speak again? BECAUSE HE'S THE FREAKING PRESIDENT AND HE NEEDS TO SHOW LEADERSHIP ON THIS ISSUE AND NOT VOTE PRESENT WHILE HIS COUNTRY TEARS ITSELF APART! He spoke up re Wright in defense of himself. Now he needs to talk to the nation about this. Again and again if necessary. That's part of what leadership is. Why should he speak again? Why should you post again, since you say the same damn thing, every day with your kneejerk responses? -admin]

  • DaveW

    One of the really charming and attractive things about you Anchoress is your desire to see the best in people. I really admire that and wish I were better at it myself.

    I have run out of patience with Obama on the race issue. He – or his surrogates – used it in the campaign repeatedly, both in the primaries against the Clintons then in the general against McCain. Since he took office he has personally used race as a weapon, see the Gates fiasco as an example. And his surrogates – the media, Dem politicos, staff – are using it now almost daily it seems. I see no evidence that Obama rejects the practice simply because he has allowed it and continues to allow it. I think the political staff at the White House see it as a useful tool and they have no qualms about using it.

    It is very sad. Obama was elected president by a substantial majority of the voters. That in itself is powerful evidence the country has moved past race. Many of us thought that, even if we disagreed with Obama politically, at least his election would help put the issue of race in the rear-view mirror. Instead his election appears to have turned up the volume on phony racism charges by several orders of magnitude.

    Now I cannot even argue against national health care, or the ridiculous carbon tax scheme, without being called a racist. People like Althouse who actually voted for Obama are smeared as racists daily.

    I wanted to believe the best about Obama but I wasn’t born yesterday. This has gotten so out of hand that I doubt he could stop it if he wanted to – and it is perfectly clear to me he doesn’t want to stop it.

    [Obama has a ready-made Sister Souljah moment here, where he can smack back the excesses in the press and his own party, and take it out of Pelosi's hands, and he can regain some credibility with indy and conservative voters who -like you- have lost faith. Whether he will use it, remains to be seen -admin]

  • Amy P.

    Bobfan:

    Obama has a duty, if he really finds these charges of racism abhorrent and distasteful, to defend those of us who shoulder the criticism for objecting to the policies and plans of his administration for logical, non-racist reasons. The Jeremiah Wright affair only indicated that Obama can defend himself, not conservatives.

    The thing is, since Obama really has turned over so much of the leadership to Congress – specifically Pelosi and Reid – for him to speak out now and condemn the charges of racism will be a great way for HIM to get thrown under the bus. Even though he’s the president, I do not underestimate the willingness of Pelosi, Reid, and the more liberal out there to turn on Obama if he dares does something of which they disapprove.

    Of course, I’ve also heard from quite a few people they are no longer bothered by being called “racist” because it’s a card that’s been overplayed so many times it’s all but lost it’s sting and meaning.

  • Charles

    I’m not so sure that Obama does not agree with Jimmy Carter on this. After all, he started his campaign with the race card, saying that people will object to him because he doesn’t look like all the other faces on the dollar bills. He called his own grandmother a “typical white person”, which is about as racially stereotyping as one can get. He went to a black liberation theology church for twenty years and listened to the racial hatred spewed by Rev. Wright without the slightest denunciation of the same until it became politically inconvenient. And if you and Rod Dreher want to base your accusations on the posters of a few crazies at some rallies, where were you and all the ever so enlightened liberals when the left wing rallies against Bush would display the most blood curdling and offensive posters about him?

    [Good heavens, what accusation did I make, anywhere, who did I accuse, and what of? Where did I ever say anything about the handful of loony posters at the march? I hate when people acribe words or sentiments to me that I did not express. If you took the time to actually read my archives instead of just shooting from the hip, you'd know I routinely go after the left for the insane way they went after Bush, and I have already talked about the posters showing a decapitated Bush or the "entertainment" talk of assassinating him, all of which appalled and angered me, and yes, folks have a right to be angry at the excesses of the right, too. Sometimes I do think the kneejerkers on the left and the kneejerkers on the right deserve each other. -admin]

  • athelia

    ” But when you’re traveling en mass, and a wrong-turn has you stranded, someone has to show enough leadership to tell everyone else to pipe down and start working together, or the swamp will become their home. ”

    Kinda like John Bradford whippin’ those Pilgrims into shape by switching them from communal land ownership and agriculture to a free enterprise and private property system so they didn’t continue to starve to death … eh? I just wish.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Obama really needs to speak out, and take command here.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Amy, the race card really has been overplayed to the point where it’s losing all meaning. It’s become something of a joke.

    Racism is an attack on individuals, fellow human beings. It’s a charge that should never be used to deflect criticism of government programs—”Oh, if you don’t support this or that bill, it’s because you’re racist!” That’s no way to run the country.

  • Dagwood

    Carter, imo, is just a lapdog, and may well be part of an orchestrated plot. Pretty convenient that he made such an ass of himself in the midst of the ACORN debacle (which the lamestream media, naturally, ignores), and less than a week before Obama prepares to appear on five – count’em, five – different Sunday a.m. news programs.

    What does Obama have to gain by going on and preaching his health care vision for the 635th time? Either he’ll get the votes on Capitol Hill or he won’t. But despite the stated reason for his next scheduled media overexposure, he’ll certainly be asked by one and all about Carter’s comments. What a ripe opportunity for yet another “teachable moment.”

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  • http://www.erud-awakening.blogspot.com Gina

    You exercise more faith than I can, Anchoress. Not when I’ve heard Obama himself, then a candidate, warn “they’re going to try to scare you about a candidate who looks like me…” That, before the campaign had even begun.

    He may not be actively spinning the race card, but if he isn’t, then that’s the departure rather than the norm. I think it more likely that this is coming from the Axelturf level but he’s allowing it to go on and trying to profit politically from it by seeming above the fray.

    [Gina, I agree that Obama, during the campaign, played the race card himself a few times. But that was CANDIDATE Obama, whose job, as with any other pol, was to get himself elected. Now we're dealing with President Obama, and his job has expanded hugely. He has a responsibility to lead on this issue, not just his base, but the whole nation, and in fact this is a very good test to determine whether or not the man really does have the wherewithall to lead. It's one thing to inspire with rhetoric, it's quite another to move boldly. Clinton was smart enough to take his Sister Souljah moment when it arrived. If Obama does, it may well broaden his own outlook. Look, I believe God is not done with any of us, including Barack Obama. We're all always evolving, and we all always have the opportunity to grow and evolve some more. I've written often that the Office of the Presidency has the ability to draw out of each president things he did not know he had inside of him, things the nation did not see when it elected him. It certainly puts a microscope to a man's strengths and weaknesses, but if someone is serious about the job, it cannot help but expand their vision and their outreach, which is exactly why no president ends his time in office with the same high approval ratings he brought in, even Reagan didn't. Even Clinton didn't. A president who makes a genuine effort to lead will always make enemies within his own party, and will always disappoint. A president who wants to sit on the sidelines and let everything swirl around him...well...we'll have to see what that does. I am determined to hope for the best and not forget that Obama is a human being, flawed like the rest of us, but changable-admin]

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Considering Jimmy Carter’s past fondness for terrorists, I wish he’d just retire quietly, and stop preaching to the rest of us.

    I’m hoping Obama will see questions about Carter as teachable moments, but I’m not optimistic.

    Yes, Obama needs to stop pushing his healthcare plan, and focus on other problems facing the nation, such as jobs, the economy and foreign policy.

  • http://Anchoress Bill Phelps

    Maybe I have been to close to Washington politics for to may years, but I suggest the entire “You lie,” and racist charges are engineered to delegitimize Obama’s opponents.
    Pelosi, Axelrod, Emanual and, indeed, Obama took the Wilson affair as an opportulnity to delegitimize their opposition. When the initial effort is not work as hoped, race was thrown into the mix. Obama supporters in the MSM implemented this PR effort.

    [Obama accepted Wilson's apology with good grace. That actually should have been the end of the thing. The Democrats and the press, on the other hand, have overplayed their hand because they HAD to "extract their pound of flesh" from the incident. I'm more cynical than I'd like to be, but I really don't think this was anything more than Wilson shouting inappropriately, and the dems and rabid press doing what they always do when they think they smell blood in the water - opening too wide. admin]

  • JuliB

    If everyone is a racist, then no one is…. it becomes meaningless and it loses its sting. The bad thing is that there ARE racists out there (in varying degrees) and this merely emboldens them and makes them think that what they think is ok.

    While I would like to trust the President, I can see no reason to. He has surrounded himself with people who are not fit to clean my cats’ litterboxes. I don’t trust them (moany of his czars), I don’t trust the nasty congressional ‘leadership’, etc.

    But I do believe that the President is doing what he thinks is right, so I will give him some credit for goodwill. But, I don’t agree with his goals, nor do I care for the left’s ‘ends justify the means’ perspective. I think that perspective is what we are seeing here. If crying racism gets people to shut up, then they do it. Of course, it’s starting to backfire on them, but….

    I would LOVE for Obama to come out and make some statements about race, but he’s already ticked off his base so it would be too much of a risk.

  • http://www.aol.com exhelodrvr

    Obama doesn’t think the opposition is racist. He didn’t think that the Clinton campaign was being racist. But he doesn’t mind if others think that, as long as it works to his advantage. When it stops working to his advantage, he’ll speak up.

  • http://www.erud-awakening.blogspot.com Gina

    Anchoress, have we in fact seen a change between candidate Obama and President Obama? I don’t see it. In fact, as opposition to his proposals mount, he seems to be doubling down on candidate Obama. I certainly do not hear him speaking to me when he’s revving up the union crowd, or last week the Congressional Democratic crowd. He’s rallying his base to campaign against the rest of us. Why would he not use the race card, as he did in the campaign?

    I agree in principle that people tend to rise to the mantle you lay on them. I’m just not seeing it. Obama is floundering, and in doing so is running home to mama. “Mama” being the vicious, myopic, utterly predictable stream of the far left. In that stream, race baiting is just what you do.

    [Gina, I did not say we've seen it yet. I'm saying we may. I'm hoping we may! :-) -admin

  • Momma K

    Dear Anchoress,
    You are a better person than I, who see this as being right out of the Chicago playbook—Obama pretending to be above the fray, while directing his minions to do his dirty work. As head of the Democrat party a few phone calls from Obama would stop this in its tracks. Obama could call Jimmy Carter and say “Hey, Jimmy, thanks for your support, but this is not helpful to our country”. But Obama will not do this. Therefore the only conclusion I can draw is that he will not because he wants it to continue. Obama has spent his life surrounded by Rev. Wright, ACORN, Van Johnson, etc. –all of them obsessed by race.

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  • Brian English

    “SjB, what do you think motivates Obama? Why does he support the policies he does?”

    If SjB doesn’t mind, I would like to offer my opinion on this one.

    Obama is primarily motivated by the idea of his Legacy. He sees himself as a transformational figure, like FDR, who will change the structure of America.

    That is why, with a crippled economy, he pushed cap and trade. Economic reality was not going to stop him from being the one responsible for healing the planet and causing the oceans to start receding.

    That desire to be written up in the history books is also pushing his version of healthcare reform. Reform on the edges will not do. He needs to overhaul the entire system so that 50 years from now people will know he created the system they live under. According to Obama, he is going to be the last president who has to deal with healthcare.

    I do not agree with SjB that Obama doesn’t “give a rip” about average Americans. I think he believes that average Americans are not smart enough to know what is really good for them. Those bitterly clinging to their guns and religion have to be shown by the more enlightened what is really good for them.

  • Bobfan

    Anchoress, if you had linked to what you’d written about Omaba’s speech on Wright, I’d have read it. You have indeed given him the benefit of the doubt in this thread, and I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. I had initially written something like “do you folks remember,” to indicate that I was speaking to Roz as well, but the software swallowed my comment and when I tried again told me I was double-posting. So I dropped a few words in order to get the comment through. My apologies for not being clear.

    I’m not unsympathetic to your argument that he needs to speak to the subject again in order to show leadership. It would be refreshing to hear him criticize people on his own side. But I stand by what I said. He has tried to be post-racial and for all his efforts he has people like Beck and Limbaugh calling him a racist, for pete’s sake. A few minutes ago Limbaugh said that if Carter’s race critique were working, Obama would be using it himself. What would Limbaugh say if Obama spoke up? He’d accuse him of political calculation, nothing less. Obama is damned if does, damned if he doesn’t. What his best chance of being able to lead as a post-racial president, to try speaking again, or to try to be above it all? I think that’s anyone’s guess.

  • Bobfan

    “The thing is, since Obama really has turned over so much of the leadership to Congress – specifically Pelosi and Reid – for him to speak out now and condemn the charges of racism will be a great way for HIM to get thrown under the bus. Even though he’s the president, I do not underestimate the willingness of Pelosi, Reid, and the more liberal out there to turn on Obama if he dares does something of which they disapprove.”

    Amy, if they turned on him, what chances would they have of getting anything passed? They’d be dooming themselves as they doomed his presidency.

    You have a good point, though, when you say that criticizing Wright was a way of defending himself. Criticizing Carter would really be standing on principle.

  • http://www.reflectionsbykris.squarespace.com Kris, in New England

    I do believe that Obama cannot be anything but appalled to see this very destructive back-and-forth between the congresspeople, pundits and mediafolk…

    Sorry I can’t agree here. I think he probably secretly is enjoying it in some sick, twisted way. It keeps the subject of race out front and center; which contrary to his words, his deeds showed during the campaign it’s what he wants. To wit:

    —Saying his own white grandmother was a “typical white person”, afraid of a group of black men;
    —Claims that Reverend Wright was not the pastor he knew, when he sat in those sermons for 20 years;
    —Saying in speeches that “people will try to make you not like me because my name is different and I don’t look the presidents on the money”.
    —And as president, automatically assuming a white cop had to be at fault.

    Obama has too much vested interest in an ongoing debate about race and what is or isn’t racism. I don’t think he’ll ever comment on it – he’ll let it run its course, all the while believing that by not commenting it somehow makes it look like he rises above it.

    I’m reminded of Caesar and Rome…

  • Bobfan

    Momma K, we don’t know that Obama hasn’t called Carter by now, although I’ll guess not. But we know Carter can tell from what Robert Gibbs has said that Obama does not appreciate his comments.

    “Obama has spent his life surrounded by Rev. Wright, ACORN, Van Johnson, etc. –all of them obsessed by race.”

    What black person in this country has not faced discrimination, or had, given this country’s history, reason to think he faced discrimination? We forget how recent even the civil rights movement is. I get disgusted with black leaders like Sharpton too, but if black people have been obsessed by race, they’ve had good reason to be.

  • SjB

    I thought you might like to see this tweet from Major Garrett (Fox News). He’s usually spot on in his quotes:

    @MajoratWH Gibbs on Carter: “It adds to our dialogue, but I don’t think that the President agrees with it.” 9/16 3:20 P.M. -

    Well,,,,,,,,,,, it does not look like much more than Gibbs expressing an opinion.

    I can’t help but think that Team Obama love using the race card. It distracts and deflects attention away from them and their bad policies and thwarts debate over the real issues – the policies.

    Again… thanks for letting me put my 2 cents in.

  • Arrgy

    I believe Obama knows better that to inject himself into this obvious problem. Leave him to the health care/corporate power battle.

  • joan

    They, the culture of death, are all racists.If you know the story of Margaret Sanger.
    Blackgenocide.org or Maafa21.com
    Obama is very Pro abortion.

  • http://lowlytuber.blogspot.com tim maguire

    To the extent that anything about the Obama presidency has surprised me, it is that Obama has revealed himself to be a coward. Prior to taking office, he did not seem like one to shy away from a fight, with his background in activism, his aggressive politics and expansive vision to remake American society.

    And yet that is what he has been as president. He expects others to fight for him, stays silent when he should speak. Where he needs to step to the plate himself, he is absent or (as with Henry Gates) is so off guard and unprepared that he throws gas on the fire instead of water.

    The longer this goes on, the more I think he cannot rescue his presidency because what ails it resides far too deep within him to be cured by a new policy advisor.

    As for Rod Dreher, his point is so obvious it doesn’t need addressing. Let’s follow the logic: Obama’s critics, tired of being called racist at every turn, demand that Democrats stop dismissing every criticism as racist. Dreher responds “you can’t possibly mean that no critic of Obama is racist.”

    Of course that’s not what they meant, and it’s also not what they said. He’s trying to change the subject just subtly enough that maybe we won’t notice.

  • Jack B. Nimble

    It is not in Obama’s political best interest to permit the escalating accusations of racism pervade debates over the direction of his administration’s public policy. These accusations seem to come mostly from residents of the far left and do not find much favor with thinking liberals (to say nothing of unthinking conservatives). While it is debatable at this point as to whether he is a pragmatist, I do not think that he is dumb enough to permit the highly charged issue of race to been seen as a dominant reason for legitimate opposition to his policies. He simply cannot… the risks of something worse than intense political conflict are too great. Look for one or more of his many television appearances this weekend to address this issue. I will be totally surprised (and dismayed) if he does not.

  • Bobfan

    “Let’s follow the logic: Obama’s critics, tired of being called racist at every turn, demand that Democrats stop dismissing every criticism as racist.”

    Fair enough. And how about if on your part you start calling out your actual racists, and also start condemning your leading media lights who insist Obama himself is racist?

  • skeeter

    A,

    I pray for an open mind on this topic, but with Obama and the Democrats, it is essential that we watch what they do, and largely ignore what they say.

    And this racism canard is a central weapon in the Left’s arsenal. The benefit may be that they burn this particular weapon out through it’s overuse.

    The Democrat contention is that I would be in favor of cap in trade, of nationalization of health care, of bailouts, of Czars out our ears, and so on if only Obama were a white man!!!

    The contention is ridiculous on its face. It obscures the issues at hand, but to watch the administration’s actions, that blurring is exactly what they want, keeping Obama’s hands as clean as possible as the crap is stirred up.

    Having grown up on the south side of Chicago, I do not share your optimism, although I pray you are right. This country has elected a small, small man, and the media has abdicated its sacred responsibility in order to support this man,unfit for the job he holds.

    And Rod? Poor Rod. He gets his information from the media that has betrayed its trust, and then is regularly castigated for his commentary, as he is half/ill informed, working without a net, and without the facts.

    You, however, have seen the alternative information available. I admire your ability to look for the upside. I’d love to see this president grow into the job. But based upon watching him consistently (starting in Chicago) take credit for things that he did not do, while throwing anyone handy under the bus, I hold out little hope.

    I struggle mightily to pray for this man, but I do so, daily. I pray also for our country and world, as I fear that he is doing damage that may be difficult to repair. But God’s will be done, whatever that is.

  • Joe DeVet

    The most likely scenario is that the ‘racist’ charge is coming from the White House itself. Here’s the logic.

    Obama will do anything to win. He’s losing on health care. If the opposition can be tarred with a racist brush then the opposition can be discredited without a debate on the issues, which the Obama side is losing.

    Obama and the White House are praising with faint damns. In other words, a tepid rather than a full-voiced denial that racism is a factor lets Obama pretend to stand above the fray, but lets the fray continue, to his own perceived benefit.

    Obama has consistently lied about the health care proposals–about their costs, their consequences (eg, “death panels”), their benefits, and his ultimate intent (a fully socialized medical system.) He’s lying now, or at least being coy, about the racist charge.

    Anchoress, you’re being too credulous by half.

  • http://lowlytuber.blogspot.com tim maguire

    Bobfan, you, like Dreher, are disingenuously trying to change the subject.

    You want to talk about racism within the conservative movement? Fine. If it is set up as the subject of discussion rather than used to dance around the actual subject of discussion.

    One more thing–it will have to include discussion of the rampant racism of liberals–not just the anti-white racism that you don’t care about, but the anti-black racism as well.

    Are you up for it?

  • Pingback: Obama’s Budget and Finance Plans FULLY EXPLAINED!!! « Temple of Mut

  • Bobfan

    Tim, I generally have a pretty thick skin, but I do get tired of being called disengenuous so often. Then again, Rod Dreher, who is nobody’s liberal, is pretty good company, and since so many people here seem to find Obama completely disengenuous as well, I don’t feel so bad.

    That. said, I’d be happy to have that discussion with you. I think Carter was way off the mark in his remarks. Read David Brooks this morning — I agree with every word.

    I don’t know why you think I don’t care about anti-white racism. My wife has had to endure that a couple of times herself, and so did her sister when she taught music at a black school.

    As for anti-black racism within the liberal community, I’m not sure what you refer to. Do you mean the argument that legalized abortion keeps down the population of inner-city African-Americans. That can be construed as racist, and it can be construed as classist. But how many people have actually made that comment? (Note to Joan: Margaret Sanger has been dead 43 years).

    Having said all that, I think you guys protest too much. do you agree with Anchoress that some opposition to Obama is at least in part racial? Do you agree with me that Limbaugh and Beck fan the flames of racism when they accuse Obama of being racist? I come from the evangelical community, and a lot of those people love those shows. Are you Catholic? Does your community embrace these guys? I would love to see conservative Christians disassociate themselves from guys like these.

    [Appreciate your trying to create the link, keep trying; it's easy. If I can do it anyone can.-admin]

  • JuliB

    Bobfan, I believe that Obama is at least partly racist himself. Sorry, I agree with Beck. I actually watched the show where he (Beck) said that (specifically in reference to the ‘stupidly acting’ police).

    I think a problem is this country is that many people refuse to acknowledge black racism. Of they make excuses for it. Count me as a follower of Booker T. Washington, who was attacked by the Sharptons of his day.

    Racism within the liberal community – the soft bigotry of lowered expectations. I’m not sure who coined that phrase off the top of my head, but it’s something that many of us on the right subscribe to. We tend to believe that liberals harm the black community by not holding them to the same standards as anyone else. As individuals, we needs goals and high expectations. So, no, it has nothing to do with abortion. Not that I really want to debate it, but I was just trying to point you in the right direction.

  • Bobfan

    JuliB, thanks for your thoughts. I do agree that there is such a thing as the soft bigotry of low expectations; believing that is one way I’m a social conservative. But really, is there any connection with that attitude and race hatred? If that’s what Tim is referring to, I think it’s entirely mistaken to call that racism.

    And as I think I’ve said, I also agree that black racism exists, and guys like Sharpton fan its flames. Still, the older an African-American is, the less I can blame them if they dislike or just generally think poorly of white people. Forgiveness is hard, and trusting after you’ve been wronged is even harder, wouldn’t you agree?

    Anyhow, you didn’t say how you think Obama is partly racist. He sure hangs out with a lot of white people. :-)

  • Roz Smith

    My favorite example of liberal racism is from the Chicago Reader. A woman from Obama’s neighborhood of Hyde Park waxed ecstatically over how her son was out tagging graffiti with gangbangers. She was so proud he was exhibiting racial tolerance while helping his new friends exercise self expression! I doubt the businesses forced to clean up the graffitti on their stores or go broke for lack of business felt the same thrill at being the unwilling owners of such “art”. Mayor Daley’s reaction to this attitude? The city council banned the sale of spray paint inside the city limits. Good luck being a law biding citizen who needs to paint a wicker chair if you live in Chicago.

    My favorite retort to liberal racism came at a meeting of a civics organization on proposed changes to qualifications to live in public housing in Chicago. When one of the white people present started to fret about where those turned away might sleep, the tenant representative,a middle aged black woman, asked as question. Had this white person ever put her children to bed inside the cast iron bathtub because of gunfire in the hallways? She then launched into a wonderful riff on people who live behind security gates and doormen denying black people the same peace of mind so they could feel good about being for civil liberty.

    Those who say that we can’t legislate morality, please note this. One project finally did adopt the rule that only those family members whose name was on the lease were allowed to stay overnight. Not only did crime go down, but several long time boyfriends popped the question. It seems that mariage was preferable to sleeping in the car.

  • Bobfan

    Those are great examples of liberal naivete and cheap sentimentality, Roz, and how well I remember the Chicago Reader. I also remember gritting my teeth 20 years ago hearing my brother and his girlfriend defend defacement of the buildings as justifiable political speech.

    Still, racism is most commonly identfied with hatred and feelings of race-based superiority. The archtetypal images of American racism are those of Bull Connor and the KKK, and of Elijah Mohammed and Louis Farrakhan.

    What is the connection between the mindset exhibited there, and the mindset that sympathizes with poor African-Americans but doesn’t understand their circumstances, or even the far more culpable mindset that relates to them culturally in part as a form of adolescent (actual age notwithstanding) protest?

    Let me turn that question around: if ignorant and naive but well-intentioned people (the first example) are racist in this context, what do we call people who actually kill?

    “Racist” is a word with a very ugly past. In the interest of clarity — which is in the interest of communicating and hopefully learning form each other and making as much peace as is possible — can we find a softer word?

  • J

    Obama has made a living from being a black victim, his empty rhetoric saying it is not about race when his whole life has been focused on race is nonsense. I expected better of you.

  • Bobfan

    “Obama has made a living from being a black victim, his empty rhetoric saying it is not about race when his whole life has been focused on race is nonsense.”

    There is a kind of white racism that exaggerates and takes offense at any degree of political concern by African-Americans for less fortunate African-Americans. There is a kind of racism that resents African-Americans for remembering and resenting white racism, and for insisting it hasn’t all disappeared, and for thinking that people born into inter-generational poverty and psychological disfunction rooted in the violence done to the back family by slavery and segregation nonetheless have equal opportunity with whites and bear the entire responsibility for their failings. This is a mindset without empathy for African-Americans.

    Anchoress, you probably won’t let this post through, and may ban me for writing it. So be it. I’m saddened to read this kind of garbage, and it needs to be exposed for what it is.

    [You know, it's tiresome, but I realize after reading this comment that you don't get me at all, that you have no idea about me or really about the blog, because you came in here riding the shining white horse of "defend Obama always" nobility and you haven't really taken the time to read the blog or get to know it well...which means you've brought a lot of preconceived notions into all this, and that's sort of like prejudice, too, isn't it? Perhaps if you would broaden your reading to include more than the Obama pieces on which you expend so much energy you might realize that you don't have to challenge me to keep a post up when it is correct, that I actually have more on the ball than you seem to think. It's insulting and tiresome and I also don't like being manipulated. And I'm out all day today and have been busy all weekend. This is my first peek in at the blog, and it will likely be my last until midnight, so if you could manage to spare me one of your lectures, I'd appreciate it. Also, your maudlin last graph sounds like your channeling Jimmy Carter at high drama. ;-) -admin]

  • Brian English

    Slavery and segregation did not destroy the black family. That institution survived those traumas, but beginning in the 1960s the percentage of black children born out of wedlock began rapidly rising, and now stands at an appalling 70%.

    Statist legislation and moral decline broke what past evils could not break. Until people realize the real cause of the problem, they will not be able to solve it.


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