Oh, Barry - That's so 1970 of you
William Faulkner wrote in "Intruders in the Dust" that for many southern boys of his era, it will always be 1:00 PM on July 3, 1863, standing in a grove of trees at Gettysburg, facing Cemetery Ridge, waiting for Pickett's Charge to step off. This is the illusion of hope and possibility - that the south could have won the civil war if only, if only...
For some of today's liberals, a similar flight of fancy might take them back to May 4, 1970, standing on the campus green of Kent State, waiting for the shots to start a revolution that never was and never could be. Or perhaps it might be March 7, 1965, standing on the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, awaiting the attack by police that initiated a call to conscience for the entire nation.
The time, the place, the event really doesn't matter. The important thing, as Faulkner pointed out, was to move on and let go of the past else one would become trapped by memory.
For Obama and many African American liberals, this simply isn't possible. Hence, the constant use of the race card - not only for supposed political gain but to hang on to memory; of days gone by, battles won, and the possibilities for glory not limited by the constraints of the present.
Ed Lasky points us to this subtle, but telling use of the race card by President Obama as reported by Ed Morrissey:
Good news - Barack Obama is at least consistent. One of the OOTY candidates from last year was Obama's contention that opposition to his policies had a "subterranean agenda" based on race. Thankfully, after careful consideration, Obama has decided ... to continue to allege that opposition to his policies is based on race:
"Everything we fought for during the last election is at stake in this election. The very core of what this country stands for is on the line -- the basic promise that no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, this is a place where you could make it if you try. The notion that we're all in this together, that we look out for one another -- that's at stake in this election. Don't take my word for it. Watch some of these debates that have been going on up in New Hampshire."
Yeah, I'm sure that must be it -- because anyone else who tripled the deficit while keeping the jobless rate above 8% and economic growth mired in the 2% range while taking the civilian participation rate in the work force to its lowest level in 30 years would be so beloved by now.
Here we go-again. The man who pledged to bring us all together-the man who said there was no white America; no black America. He appointed the most race-obsessed Attorney General in history who said that race plays a part in opposition to Obama; calls us a nation of cowards when it comes to discussions of race; says "as a black man" he is offended by opposition to Obama, refuses to pursue the case of voter intimidation against the New Black Panthers Party, etc.
But Obama indulges in playing the race card himself - at times, subtly.
What makes Obama's words so antiquated and jarringly anachronistic is the idea that there are no successful people of color - that white people are deliberately holding black people down, that Republicans/conservatives oppose "the promise" of America being realized by anyone who isn't a white Christian.
At bottom, that's what the president is saying. "Elect me or the GOP will turn the clock back to 1965 and have you standing on the Pettis Bridge." There was a time 50 years ago when Obama's words rang true. But the only "truth" in them today is the deliberate manipulation of emotions by racialists like Holder and Obama who could care less about racial equality and who care more about evoking memory in order to engender fear that serves their political interests today.
Politics is politics and good politicians use the material at hand to fashion a winning campaign. But before the 2012 contest gets started in earnest, it would be a great leap forward if we could leave the race card in the deck and put the past in a proper context, not drag it out and parade it around, waving the bloody shirt in order to evoke fear and loathing of the opposition.