October 31, 2008
Has Obama Overplayed the Race Card?By Marc Sheppard
How ironic that the same Senator sponsoring the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2007 (S.453) would not only tacitly condone, but actually participate in racial intimidation to advance his presidential prospects. Obama keeps cautioning crowds that "the race is not over," all the while knowing his race most certainly is over: all over every facet of his ambitious strategy to make political history. And, while it began with restrained victim role-playing ("McCain will say 'he doesn't look like the other presidents on dollar bills'"), recent follow-through by his disciples has been about as subtle as a hand grenade -- and it may just be backfiring.
After all, they're now exploiting their candidate's color from virtually every angle imaginable, and many who may have previously felt inclined toward politically correct acceptance are now moving in the direction of downright indignation.
Take, for instance, this August entry from Slate's Jacob Weisberg, who suggested that even though we "may or may not agree with Obama's policy prescriptions," Americans should vote for him anyway. Why? Get a load of this:
While mind-blowingly incomprehensible to those not blinded by the fairy-dust, Weisberg put to words precisely the reckoning-based nonsense so many on the Left have been trying to sell. But hold on to your sanity, he was just warming up:
Beyond the contemptible suggestion that this contest represents an opportunity to "put the worst part of our history behind us," the sanctimonious declaration that an inexperienced super-liberal's failure to win the White House on his first attempt is "inescapable" proof of our "irrationality over race" simply doesn't stand to reason. The fact that this guy is still employed after using the decency of "our children" and the judgment of "the world" to shame us into PC submission, suggesting this as Obama's -- or any other black man's - only shot at the White House, is simply astounding.
Are any but the most committed multi-cultist fanatics daffy enough to allow such nonsense to accompany them into the voting booth?
Only Ignorant, Inbred, Redneck Racists Will Vote for McCain
Apparently, in their insatiable thirst for Democratic authoritarianism, the Left is taking no chances. So they're adding insult to their guilt-mongering.
Newsweek's Jonathan Alter's perchance prescient October 25th piece, Why McCain Won, blames a hypothetical Obama loss on the 60% of the electorate he calls LIVs ("low-information voters'), who not only don't vote in primaries:
As an example of the "many more" that voted against Obama's pigmentation Alter offered the "erosion in the critical I-4 corridor near Tampa and in the Panhandle, where the astonishing Republican margins among whites could be attributed only to race." Mr. Alter's apparent ignorance of or dishonest disregard for the comfortable victory these regions handed George Bush in both 2000 and 2004 leaves one wondering just who deserves to be branded "low-informed."
And speaking of ignoramuses, Alter's followed the rantings of one Jack Murtha -- who castigated his own constituents 10 days earlier when he claimed many would not vote for Obama because "western Pennsylvania is a racist area." The bloated Congressman quickly attempted to walk back the sting of the accusation by suddenly remembering he meant to say the area was "really redneck." Nice save. Hopefully, his dumb mouth will put both his House seat and Obama's lead in the state in jeopardy. After all, no one likes being called stupid.
A reality apparently lost on West Virginia State Democratic Party Chairman Nick Casey who took the name calling to an entirely new level. During an October 18th bus-tour road performance, the inimitable Obama cheerleader incited a Beckley, WV crowd by telling them "there's a lot of people out there think you're a bunch of inbred, redneck racists."
Yes he did.
Then, after eliciting loud cries of "No!" from the 300-strong union hat and jacket wearing horde by rhythmically screaming the questions "Are you ignorant? Are you inbred? Are you racist?" -- he delivered the haymaker:
So much for Liberal tolerance.
Of course, anyone on the receiving end of such abuse actually swayed by it likely deserves to be called ignorant. Hopefully, most were rightfully repulsed.
Don't call me Socialist, Whitey
Rather than dispensing their duties as public watchdogs by unraveling the mystery that is Barack Obama, the media at large have done their collective best to maintain his shroud of secrecy. As volunteers for the Obama election committee, they have joined with Left leaning politicians in general and certain black ones specifically to move all matters uncomfortable to their candidate out of bounds by unilaterally declaring them racially insensitive. And when I say all matters, I mean just that, regardless of relevance. For instance:
While the use of empty allegations of racism to end debate is nothing new, can anyone read the preceding bullet list and not be completely fed up with this tactic?
The White Fear Factor
This is where the racial intimidation rubber truly meets the road.
Reports are popping up claiming that urban police departments are preparing for "whatever may happen on Election Night." Some of the buzz is over "massive protests" should Obama lose.
But some plays directly to fear. Fear that protests may escalate to violence. Mysteriously, this angry black man stereotyping seems to suit the race-baiters just fine, thank you.
Granted, the concern didn't spring solely from the Liberal well. As far back as January, Jonah Goldberg predicted that if Obama's "rendezvous with destiny" were to be denied, "teeth shall be gnashed, clothes rent and prices paid." That same month, I myself asked "should Obama prevail in the primaries, just what might we expect were he to lose the general election, particularly in a squeaker?" Two months later, Fox Radio host Tom Sullivan proffered an answer when he projected there'd "be riots in the streets."
But once Obama's status changed from longshot wannabe to serious contender, concerns from the Right quickly gave way to threats from the Left.
In early September, Philadelphia Daily News writer Fatimah Ali stoked the fires by declaring:
Weeks later, a Newsweek article answered its evocative title What If Obama Loses?, partially with this quote from rapper Snoop Dogg:
But it's not just ticked off gang bangers and ex-cons they'd have us fear. In the same article, they quote California construction worker Daetwon Fisher:
Of course, it wasn't only blacks putting us on notice. On October 7th, Democratic strategist James Carville assured CNN's Anderson Cooper that "if Obama goes in and he has a consistent five point lead and loses the election, it would be very, very, very dramatic out there."
Truth be told, the most likely blood-letting brought on by an Obama loss will be that of MSNBC blowhards hitting the pavement after doing a Peter-Pan from their office windows. Nonetheless, while the candidate himself has never suggested there'd be violence, neither has he called for calm should he lose. Nor have we heard his denunciation of the epithets being slung at rural people he himself once accused of "clinging to guns and religion."
By overplaying their race-card hand, the campaign may very well have weakened the white guilt wind once at their backs. As a result, next Tuesday's voters will likely be more concerned with how Obama intends to reshuffle the wealth deck than the cards he has dealt from the race deck.
And with the RCP Poll Average gap trending narrower over the past 6 days, that's good news for John McCain.
Marc Sheppard is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and welcomes your comments.