Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Birthers, Blogging, Politics — Rick Moran @ 10:20 am

This outrageous dishonesty from MSNBC should have produced an outpouring of criticism from responsible media. Instead, the deliberate cropping of a picture of a man carrying a rifle and pistol outside of an Obama town hall just so the anchor and guests could rail against “white racism” in opposing health care reform — even though the uncropped photo shows the gun carrier to be a Black man — got me to thinking about how it would be possible to quantify the level of hatred directed against President Obama because of his race.

Unlike many of my liberal friends, the Good Lord has not vouchsafed me the ability to peer into the souls of my fellow man to discern the truth or purity of his motives. And it is devilishly difficult to make assumptions in this matter based on polling, or other less politically motivated criteria because invariably, people are ashamed (as well they should be) of harboring racist attitudes toward our chief executive. They will lie to pollsters, to their friends, even to themselves, I suppose. It makes gleaning the truth that much more difficult.

Then there is the problem with separating real anger and fear about health care reform from the very real feelings of fear and anger that a black man is president. Can a racist sincerely be against health care reform because of their political or ideological beliefs? Does it matter? What legitimacy, if any, should be granted that individual’s views?

Obama supporters aren’t helping matters by tarring and feathering anyone who looks sideways at the president as a racist. And those who deliberately employ the word as a smear to score political points are as bereft of character and despicably dishonest as any real racist who opposes them. Casually dropping the word “racist” in critiques of Obama opponents is getting quite tiresome, and those who thoughtlessly do so are contributing to the dilution of the word’s impact - an unintended consequence of the word’s overuse.

All of this is lost on many, if not most purveyors of the “Obama opponents are really closet Kluxers” narrative. There appears to be as much mindless caricature of the president’s adversaries as there is of the president himself. But if many on the left are too willing to see the absolute down and dirty worst in their opponents, it is equally true that we on the right are at a loss about how to police our own ranks in order to rid ourselves of those who express outrageous opinions that specifically refer to Obama’s skin color or cultural heritage.

No penalty accrues to those who will correct me in the comments by stating that the president is “only half black” or that he’s looking out for his “home boys” or any one of a dozen other racially charged memes that can be found in the comments on many conservative blogs. Most bloggers try and police their comment sections and remove the most objectionable attitudes.

But deleting the comments doesn’t delete the problem, and aside from talking and writing about it, I am at a loss as to how to separate the scum from those who legitimately, and for reasons of party or ideology, oppose what the president is trying to do.

Sniffing out obvious racism is one thing. Discerning it otherwise is well nigh impossible. In the end, referring to one’s political opponents as being motivated by race hatred is being applied far too broadly, and in too many cases, is done knowing full well that it simply isn’t true. This too, breeds no consequences and is, in fact, cheered on by many liberals who delight in piously wrapping themselves in the mantle of authority on matters relating to who is and who is not a racist. Of course, they’d never let politics intrude in making such weighty decisions now, would they?

While there is no objective way to count racists, we might extrapolate that racist attitudes are held by many of those who, despite all evidence, logic, reason, and facts to the contrary, believe that Barack Obama is not the legitimate president of the United States.

There have been a few polls that have tried to measure the birther phenomenon, none with an eye toward discerning racial attitudes. The Pew Poll measured attitudes toward media coverage of the birther story. While 39% of Republicans say they had not heard enough about the birther issue, I fail to see how it necessarily follows that 39% of the GOP believes Obama is illegitimate for racist reasons - especially since 30% of independents say the same thing. There can’t be that many racists in America. If there were, Obama would never have been elected.

More to the point, this Daily-Kos-Research 2000 poll asks simply if Barack Obama was born in the United States. The fact that 58% of Republicans answered either “no” or “not sure” is more reflective of racist attitudes. And while it is impossible to be specific, I don’t see how one can escape concluding that a potentially large subset of that 58% refuse to acknowledge Obama as president because he is a black man.

How large is found in a regional breakdown of that number. Fully 53% of southerners doubt (23% “no”, 30% “not sure”) Obama’s citizenship. That includes both parties, by the way, although the number of Democrats who do not believe or are not sure Obama is a citizen nationally is only 7%. It is logical, considering the small level of doubt in other regions of the country (upwards of 90% of all respondents in the rest of the country believe Obama is a citizen), it’s a good bet that most of the Democratic doubters are found in the south too.

(How reliable is a poll conducted by one of the most partisan liberal sites on the web? Research 2000 is a respected outfit and those professionals who have examined their methodology find little to complain about.)

Is it reasonable to apply historical attitudes toward race and logic to believe a good portion of those southerners harbor racist attitudes toward the president? I believe the very nature of the birther argument supports that theory.

No, not all birthers are racists. Probably not even a majority. But the level of fear and hatred directed against the president based on absolutely nothing except a wild conspiracy theory would have to point to some other element at work besides the belief that Obama was not born here or is not a “natural born citizen.” Again, reason would dictate that a sizable but unknown segment of these Obama opponents are indeed, motivated by their inability to accept a black man as president.

(To my southern friends, I would say that you cannot deny history - ancient or recent - and say it is a statistical fluke of some kind that so many of your fellow southerners disbelieve the president’s citizenship, while refusing to ascribe such thinking to racial reasons.)

Scattershot charges of racism against most, if not all Obama opponents is therefore demonstrably untrue. But there is also no denying that a significant portion of the southern GOP opposes the president based at least partly on his race.

Where does this leave us as far as my original question? Is there any way to determine what percentage of opposition to the president is based on the fact that he’s African American?

Broadly speaking, I think we can, although it will be to nobody’s satisfaction. Racism as a factor in opposing the president is certainly far less prevalent than Obama supporters would have us believe. And from what I’ve tried to show, it is more prevalent than what many in the Republican party are claiming or wish to believe.

Yes, I’ve made a hash of the issue. What do you expect when the subject is racism in America? Ultimately, those with the courage to examine their own motives in opposing or supporting the president, must come to their own conclusions. But being aware of the issue as it affects our politics, weighing the methods by which we fight for what we believe, and discerning our personal attitudes toward our first Black president, will at least make us conscious of the dynamite with which we play when injecting race into any argument we have with each other.


  1. It was worth wading through the hash for the last graf: It’s a keeper.

    About all I can add is that while Obama’s more vociferous opponents are certainly not all racists, I find it hard getting worked up over Republicans being unfairly labeled as such when the party continues its concerted effort to marginalize people of color as potential GOP voters in word and deed.

    Comment by Shaun — 8/20/2009 @ 10:44 am

  2. A courageous post, Rick.

    The question is, does a charge of racism allow someone’s opinion to be completely dismissed because it is unworthy?

    It’s a convenient strategy in an argument, to end the discussion by equating the other side’s opinion with Nazis or racists. In the case of racism I think that this should not end the discussion. As you say, it’s a part of the fabric of the country, and it needs to be assessed.

    But since racist attitudes can’t be acknowledged openly, it makes it hard for people to have an open discussion about it. People retreat into denial and use of code words.

    How should someone in Congress deal with constituents who are voicing an opinion on health care reform that is partially informed by racism? Can you tell a constituent that you’re only going to pay attention to 60% of what they say, because their position is based on 40% racism?

    Obviously not. I applaud your post as an attempt to face this ugly part of our society.

    Comment by Postagoras — 8/20/2009 @ 11:03 am

  3. You got big brass ones, Rick, unlike your party as a whole.

    Better strap yourself in.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 8/20/2009 @ 11:36 am

  4. Let’s get really brave. Would Obama have been nominated let alone elected but/for his racial background? If you want to show brass balls, Rick, make that your next blog post. I dare you, and don’t care what conclusions you draw. I will go on record now. But/for the novelty of the racial background, someone without that ethnic mix who had the same experiential background balanced out by eloquence and smart campaigning would not have been nominated let alone elected. From what has been hinted, even Obama and his handlers thought the same. Therefore, the racism argument is pure bullshit except at the margins (you wrote as much but didn’t really ring that bell).

    As for this post, I am certain a tiny sliver of Obama opponents are racists. I’m certain a sliver of his supporters are as well. This meme is just a way to detract from the mounting and substantive opposition to Obama and his policies.

    Comment by jackson1234 — 8/20/2009 @ 11:52 am

  5. Well done, Rick. I’ve been trying all week, non-stop (seems like), to say a lot of this to those leaning more leftward, with pretty limited success. Hope your effort is more productive.

    Comment by Polimom — 8/20/2009 @ 11:56 am

  6. Hi Rick,

    Should I say welcome back? Was anyone else unable to reach this blog for the past few months? I got nothing but 404 errors until today.

    I’m so thankful I can reach you again for some sanity on the right. Sorry, my friend, but there are so few places I can find well reasoned and thoughtful posts from the right these days. I had hoped and maybe even expected the rhetoric and vitriol to die down somewhat after the election but I’ve experienced just the opposite. After the first couple months post swearing in, the muck started to bubble up again. it’s made it difficult for me to take anything anyone has said from the opposition seriously.

    So, whether I was suffering a localized rightwingnuthouse blackout or there really was some kind of problem with the blog, I’m happy to see you again.

    And thanks for another thoughtful post as you wrestle with the nuthouse in your back yard. And trust me, those of us on the left wrestle with our own nuts as well. There’s no monolith on either side.

    Comment by Eric — 8/20/2009 @ 11:57 am

  7. Excellent thought provoking piece, Rick. Good stuff.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 8/20/2009 @ 12:19 pm

  8. As usual…very well done. Thanks.

    Comment by Charlotte — 8/20/2009 @ 12:36 pm

  9. The problem with prejudice and racism always is that it’s not always pretty to honestly look at yourself in the mirror. I’m speaking of myself here and that goes all ways black, brown and white. However, every country has their unique history and that has to enter any reasonable consideration. Pointing fingers never changed anyone’s heart (just my observation) but it is a lot easier and happily practiced by both left and right.

    Comment by funny man — 8/20/2009 @ 12:45 pm

  10. “got me to thinking about how it would be possible to quantify the level of hatred directed against President Obama because of his race.”

    Simple: Determine those who oppose Obama but would support a white liberal President in the same situation.

    All you have to do is compare Obama’s support level across racial categories with support for white Democrats as a whole across racial categories.

    The only detectable difference that I am aware of is that Obama gets higher minority support.

    Comment by Freedoms Truth — 8/20/2009 @ 12:54 pm

  11. “Casually dropping the word “racist” in critiques of Obama opponents is getting quite tiresome”

    Pot, meet kettle.

    Comment by Communist — 8/20/2009 @ 1:00 pm

  12. I don’t think racisim is much a factor at all. It is perhaps .0000000000000000000001% of the opposition. In fact, I see very little hatred of Obama at all. Sure some are opposed to his policies because they don’t think they will work but hatred of the President at least from Conservatives is virtually non existent.

    Comment by B.Poster — 8/20/2009 @ 1:08 pm

  13. I don’t know that race is that much of a factor to a lot of Republicans. I would be interested to see a socio-economic breakdown of those who agree with the birthers. My guess is that most are lower-income and lack higher education. The birthers attract a following by playing on the fears the far-right pundits have created. I constantly hear statements from the right that the President is “destroying our country”, and “turning us into Russia”. Once people start to believe that Mr. Obama has malicious intent, it does not take much to convince them that he is a foreigner that has illegally seized office.
    If both sides could stick to an objective set of facts and focus more on solutions than “winning”, we’d all be better off.

    Comment by Geoff — 8/20/2009 @ 1:12 pm

  14. I see that the Pollster site has some information by state. I wish that they had more.

    Comment by David R. Block — 8/20/2009 @ 1:18 pm

  15. Further digestion of this piece is somewhat difficult. My known ancestry (that my mother was able to trace before she died) goes back to Europe (Prussia (Germany) specifically) in 1876, 1882, and 1885 except for one branch that she was not able to follow pre-1900. She had no family tree for her father.

    That being said, I’m probably suffering from white guilt deficiency because my ancestors were not around to be part of the problem. And back in those days, it was the Democratic Party that was trying to keep the brothers down, while German descendants were busy voting for Republican candidates who weren’t doing that.

    Comment by David R. Block — 8/20/2009 @ 1:35 pm

  16. David Block,
    I don’t want to attack you (so don’t get mad). It’s just that I see this kind of reasoning a lot on the right. However, consider this: I’m German but was born way after the Third Reich. So am I guilty? Personally not, but as a people we are guilty and responsible of the holocaust. Is you family guilty of racism? Probably not but they migrated to a country where the economic system was based on slavery in a large portion of the country. You can’t just disown that part of your history. That has nothing to do with ‘white guilt’ and other popular strawmen thrown out by talk radio.

    Comment by funny man — 8/20/2009 @ 1:56 pm

  17. On a similar vein, was race an issue among southerners during the presidential election?

    What percentage of whites voted for Obama, and what percent of blacks voted for Obama?

    Isn’t it racist in itself to devide people by race to count them?

    Comment by Noel — 8/20/2009 @ 2:04 pm

  18. “I see very little hatred of Obama at all.”

    I agree. Obama is a mediocrity and he is in over his head, but he is not hated (he’s not unlikeable).

    The emotion of opponents is not directed at the man but at an agenda of out-of-control power-grabs and money-spending sprees that would harm our prosperity and our freedom. Cap & tax, ObamaCare, trillion dollar deficits, tax-and-spend-and-regulate and arrogantly dismiss anyone who questions authority on this.

    That’s what is ginning up the emotion at the Tea parties and the townhalls. Not Obama the man.

    Comment by Freedoms Truth — 8/20/2009 @ 2:15 pm

  19. “I’m German but was born way after the Third Reich. So am I guilty? Personally not, but as a people we are guilty and responsible of the holocaust”

    Collectivist thinking.

    It’s time you started believing in individual responsibility. The people responsible are the ones who did the thing themselves, not children, neighbors or people who happen to share the same ethnic background. Ironically, that is the root logical fallacy that makes racism wrong. If we realized that racism/racial prejudice is a logical fallacy, it might tone down the emotions and reduce (over)using allegations of it.

    Comment by Freedoms Truth — 8/20/2009 @ 2:18 pm

  20. I have to agree that racism is still alive in this country, but making the assumption that everyone who opposes him is racist is as much a sin as the racism itself.
    It does nothing for the argument against racism for anyone to jump to such conclusions. The solution to racism is to judge each person by their individual motives and actions. And it works both ways. Don’t assume racism as an automatic motivation.
    Conservatives will automatically balk at being accused of group think of any kind. We tend to be for small government because we want to be free to live our lives our own way. As individuals.

    Comment by Jennifer — 8/20/2009 @ 2:48 pm

  21. Freedoms Truth,
    after the war you saw that all of a sudden nobody in Germany was guilty anymore. So are you saying that Germany should not have supported Israel after the war? Too much collectivist thinking? Should not have reimbursed Jewish, Gypsy and other people? I’m sorry, but as a Nation you are not just a bunch of individuals and that applies for Conservatives too.

    Comment by funny man — 8/20/2009 @ 3:41 pm

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    Pingback by Americans for Limited Government to MSNBC: Fire Brewer, Ratigan, Toure | Political Byline — 8/20/2009 @ 3:45 pm

  23. of course not every one who opposes this government is rascist but some very prominent rightwing voices are and are benefitting from gathering fellow travellers. Just a few off the top of my head: A certain conservative lesbian admiringly published a post calling Obama’s mother disgusting things because “any white woman who went out with a black man in that period was a whore”, the young republicans just elected a woman leader who thinks that making jokes about running blacks out of town at sundown is just dandy,almost all of the mouth breathing radio thugs like Beck have made comments about Obamas wife that they would never have made about Bush’s wife (no I wont repeat them). etc Leaving aside the morality of being seen to profit from these retrograde attitudes the republicans can NOT get elected if they remain the party of white rage in the rest of the populations mind.

    Comment by yoyo — 8/20/2009 @ 5:19 pm

  24. Republicans on this thread claiming there’s little or no Obama hatred are either:

    1) Imbeciles
    2) Liars
    3) Insane
    4) Insane lying imbeciles.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 8/20/2009 @ 8:30 pm

  25. The single most powerful voice in the GOP — Rush Limbaugh — is an out-and-out race-baiter. Period.

    There is no difference between Limbaugh and the Rev. Wright in terms of racist rhetoric. But the Rev. Wright is a non-player, a pastor at a Chicago church. I condemned Wright without reservation. Liberal politicians condemned him. Obama condemned him.

    Rush Limbaugh by contrast is the Man Who May Not Be Criticized in the GOP.

    When the GOP is no longer led by race-baiters like Limbaugh I’ll believe racism is irrelevant.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 8/20/2009 @ 8:36 pm

  26. That goes to show to all your lemmings whose primary source of news stem from MSNBC, Fox, and any other cable or network and radio in that matter. Has anyone lived without TV for several months? Try it, I’m TV-free for over 2 years and every day is a blessing.

    Turn off your TV and radio and keep them off.

    And what’s with this incessant rant about racism and Nazism? In one hand, some people are race baiting while the other side fishes for ad Hitlerum. Does anyone really wish to have a sensible reform in health care or not?

    Comment by zish — 8/20/2009 @ 9:03 pm

  27. Hey Michael Reynolds…how do you REALLY feel. I’m not sure. It sounds like you are angry and pissed off at Republicans. Or are you angry and pissed off at Rush Limbaugh. Last time I heard, Rush is not the spokesman for the GOP, Michael Steele is. At least that’s what the RNC says. Sounds to me like you are using extremely faulty logic.

    Comment by JustIce — 8/20/2009 @ 9:30 pm

  28. Who constantly invokes race? Obama
    Who cannot be judged by the content of his well hidden past and character? Obama
    I agree the only reason Obama was elected was because of the color of his skin, so are we a racist country? I would never have voted for as unqualified individual no matter what colour his skin happened to be. We(as a country)gave him the benefit of the doubt, and we will pay for that for a long long time. I would love to vote for a conservative black man if one was on the ticket, does that make me a racist, or if I think Obama is destroying our country, one policy action at a time?
    There is a reason he has hidden his past so well, I think the birther argument is a farce, but why hide all his past?? All his career is a mystery wrapped inside an enigma…
    Because the media dropped the ball or is hiding the ball we are all left to wonder.

    Comment by JohnTaylor — 8/20/2009 @ 9:45 pm

  29. Geez, Michael. This from a man whose party’s official spokesman is Keith Olbermann? Hell, I’ll take Rush and he grates on my nerves but he isn’t a fatuous liar.

    Comment by obamathered — 8/20/2009 @ 10:14 pm

  30. I think people use at least two definitions of “racism”: 1) One’s personal attitudes towards individuals of another race. 2) Collective economic inequality between races. I think conservatives tend to favor definition #1, while many liberals favor definition #2.

    I don’t like #2 because it classifies everyone by race and goes against MLK’s dream of judging individuals by the content of their character. As used by some liberals, #2 makes me, a white male, guilty by birth of most the world’s problems, no matter what my attitude. Punish me enough times for things I did not do, and I will eventually start acting like the villain you think I am.

    There’s no question in my mind that many supporters and detractors of the President have racist (#1) motives, but I hope the numbers are relatively small. I also hope the culture war will not succeed in dividing us into tribes. Fortunately, I have the positive vision of MLK’s dream, my own personal (non-white) friends, and numerous examples of non-white people I admire (e.g., Thomas Sowell).

    To equate opposition to nationalized healthcare with racism is to use definition #2. It’s as if “free” healthcare is supposed to atone for past slavery and oppression. If this is what the Democrats intend, they should be honest and come out and say it.

    funny man mentioned the wrongs of Germany in WW II without mentioning how the extreme reparations levied on Germany after WW I led to those wrongs. Compulsory reparations — however “just” — do not necessarily lead to healing or peace.

    Comment by Doug King — 8/20/2009 @ 10:14 pm

  31. Doug King,
    always like your insightful posts. We could talk at length about what lead to the rise of Hitler including the treaty of Versailles. However, I just wanted to point out that we don’t live in a history-free vacuum. Agreed there are many times when professional race-baiters like Sharpton charge racism and that does nothing to alleviate it (might put them out of business). However, it is just a historic fact that slavery was an economic system that made some people very rich and helped create a mindset that still haunts people today. IMHO, I don’t feel ‘guilty’ but acknowledge history.

    Comment by funny man — 8/20/2009 @ 10:43 pm

  32. @ B.Pastor

    Fun with numbers! Thank you for nailing down racism to only 10^-21.

    Assume the US population is about 3×10^8.

    Generously assume half the people are against Obama. The “Opposition” becomes 1.5×10^6

    Multiply the two numbers together…
    10^-21 * 1.5×10^6

    …and you will find the racial quotient.

    The point of this post is to help my son with his homework. Scientific Notation!

    Just ask the man in the street if “scientific notation” is for him!

    I may have made errors above.
    Just wait til I get to work…

    Comment by bobwire — 8/20/2009 @ 10:46 pm

  33. Bobwire,
    don’t get me started (smile). I remember the most important thing is that you correctly define your parameters for any equation or mathematical operation. If you define racist narrowly as in ‘needs a swastika tattooed to his forehead and attend regular hooded events’ his number might start to make sense. Hm if however…Well, I’ll let you get to work.

    Comment by funny man — 8/20/2009 @ 11:03 pm

  34. Very good observations Rick.
    There is a tendency for blacks and whites critical of the other group to enlist the opinion or tacit approval of their view from Hispanics and Asians. There are things said around my wife (who is asian0 about blacks that leave her stunned. She will get the birther emails periodically as well. Silence is better because to openly disagree means to be shunned. To agree with something she finds offensive is dishonest.
    As to your points I absolutely agree.

    Comment by Brad — 8/21/2009 @ 4:47 am

  35. 1) Imbeciles
    2) Liars
    3) Insane
    4) Insane lying imbeciles.

    This is actually a pretty good description of Obama. Which, by the way, is the reason for the hatred of Obama. You have wrapped him in a cloak of invincibility by stating that all hatred of him is because of race. I don’t think that makes you a liar, or insane, but I’m pretty sure it makes you an imbecile.

    Comment by lionheart — 8/21/2009 @ 6:18 am

  36. (To my southern friends, I would say that you cannot deny history - ancient or recent - and say it is a statistical fluke of some kind that so many of your fellow southerners disbelieve the president’s citizenship, while refusing to ascribe such thinking to racial reasons.)

    I am a southerner, though not Black (as can be seen by my screen moniker). I would suggest that southerners are not necessarily more racist than others as a whole, and the perpetuation of that idea is destructive to our national life, but that more southerners might be found to be racist, if you can see the difference.

    The suspicion about the president’s citizenship being higher in the south is much less attributable to his race. After all there are many more Blacks in the south than in any other part of the country and why would southerners suspect that a Black man wouldn’t be born in the US? I suspect that it is due rather to a higher level of suspicion generally towards the federal government, liberals, and elites that stems from a quite understandable history of experiencing the heavy hand of federal intervention over and over again.

    Southern Whites, unlike other Whites in this country, have the only history of being under military occupation by the federal government and then subsequently historically demonized for something that was legal at the time. Even now, southern Whites, unlike other Whites, are readily assumed to be ignorant and racist for no other reason than their place of birth. So it makes sense that they would develop a high degree of defensiveness and suspicion… a level of defensiveness and suspicion that is found among Black Americans as well and for the same reasons of experiencing prejudicial treatment - if not personally, then certainly in media and entertainment.

    Comment by theblackcommenter — 8/21/2009 @ 9:16 am

  37. I mean I am Black… hahaha. I will add though that none of us can deny history. Can we let midwesterners off the hook for the race riots of the sixties, or Californians for the more recent riots (1990’s)? The whole point of your post is in some ways trying to isolate race as a variable, which you then muddle by touting the southerner = racist meme.

    Comment by theblackcommenter — 8/21/2009 @ 9:52 am

  38. So the Curious George dolls during the campaign, “Barack the Magic Negro”, the jigaboo photoshops, Michelle’s relatives are gorillas . . . those are simply policy critiques?

    These wern’t from Klansmen. They were from “regular” citizens and elected politicians. And they betray racism.

    Maybe not the “Damn I hate darkies” school of racism. But the “see a young black man and worry you’re about to get mugged” school of racism.

    B. Poster pegged the number of racist influenced opponents at “.0000000000000000000001″. If my math is correct, that’s less than 1 person (assuming 300,000,000 Americans, and assuming every single person in America is opposed to Obama). Impressive. Even Klansmen aren’t racially opposed to Obama.

    To say that ALL opposition to Obama is racially motivated is nonsense. But it is equally nonsense to say “Is he black? I hadn’t noticed”. The examples above can’t be explained any other way.

    Comment by busboy33 — 8/21/2009 @ 3:52 pm

  39. funny man - “as a Nation you are not just a bunch of individuals and that applies for Conservatives too.” Fair enough and it’s good that you keep reminding us. The challenge is understanding the scope and limits of our current national responsibilities with respect to other nations and to the past. It’s a very complex question.

    Comment by Doug King — 8/21/2009 @ 3:58 pm

  40. The question is not ‘Are you against Barak Obama?’ which could be seen as racist. The question is ‘Are you against the policies of the leadership in the House, Senate, and White House?’. The color, gender, religion, or even sexual orientation of any given politician is pretty much immaterial. It is their views (as demonstrated by their voting record) that matter. Right now the Democrats have the House, Senate, and White House. All of these controversial bills passed or being considered are the work of a lot of folks, not just the president. He is the cheerleader, but he DID NOT write them. I’m not against him, I’m against a lot of the stuff he is cheering for.

    Comment by Chris Kelley — 8/21/2009 @ 4:51 pm

  41. Busboy33, Having grown up in the south and seen racial bigotry first hand, I can attest to the fact that it is real. I will also say that I don’t think the south is more or less racist than the north. If anything, the west is more accepting of a black person than either the north or the south.

    Objecting to large government, higher taxes, and more socialism, is not racist as much Republican.

    Comment by JustIce — 8/21/2009 @ 5:29 pm

  42. Busboy:

    Yes. There is no racism in the GOP. The fact that the GOP went from zero to batshit crazy paranoid lunatic ranting insane birther/deather idiocy in roughly a millisecond, that’s normal. Can’t you see that? Completely normal. The whole “Obama is a Nazi because he wants poor people to see a doctor” thing? That’s in no way, shape or form evidence that Republicans are racist nuts.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 8/21/2009 @ 10:11 pm

  43. @Justice:

    Agree 100% racism (I prefer xenophobia . . . “racism” is loaded) is not a Southern thing. Its a human thing. ALL people have some strain of xenophobia, to some extent. I also agree that “[o]bjecting to large government, higher taxes, and more socialism” are tenets of the Republican party. We may disagree with how genuinely the party follows those tenets, but they are tenets of the party.

    If the xenophobia exists, then I don’t think saying that the disagreements with Obama (NOT with the Democratic Party . . . with HIM) are based on policy differences is covering up the xenophobia. Obama is Hitler (for pushing for health care reform, a staple of the Democratic party for half a century), Obama is Stalin, “I want my country back!!”, “I don’t trust him, he’s an Arab”, showing up to a town hall with the President of the United States armed with a loaded AR-15 and carrying a sign reading “time to refresh the Tree of Liberty”. . . that’s not a policy dispute.

    Several weeks ago, someone here mentioned the difference between opposition to Bush and opposition to Obama (I was, and am, vehemently opposed to the Bush Administration). Anti-Bush people demanded impeachment. The demanded prosecution. They DIDN’T advocate assassination, revolution, armed insurrection, etc. Those aren’t tenets of the Republican Party.

    “Don’t socialize my Medicare!” may be phrased as a simple policy debate, but it is difficult not to see something more at play.

    Mike Reynolds may phrase it strongly in comment #42, but the point he makes is valid. Republicans were/are opposed to the Clinton Administration. Many thought he was tacitly involved in a murder (if you believed Vince Foster was murdered). But the disagreement didn’t go to hysterical levels like it has with Obama . . . and Obama hasn’t been in power for even a year. Maybe the difference is truly that Obama’s agenda is so radically different from other Democratic Administrations . . . but if it is I don’t see the massive difference. If the current administration is simply a Democratic one, and the dispute is really policy based, then why the over-the-top behavior? I agree with the label “hysteria”, and hysteria isn’t a policy difference.

    **off-topic: to SJ — You deserved a fair and respectful response to your post to me several threads ago. By the time I got a break from work to get back here, I couldn’t find the thread to reply. That was not my intent, and I apologize for leaving the questions you posed unanswered.

    Comment by busboy33 — 8/22/2009 @ 12:59 pm

  44. This site sounds like it is trying to be so PC sometimes. Political correctness has it’s place, but truth has it’s place as well. I’m going to be as honest about my thoughts as I possibly can.

    From what I read on lots of internet sites, and from most of the people I meet who live in my neighborhood which is filled with many middle class people, and a lot of retirees, I feel that what I’m about to say represents what a lot of those people think as well. I’m hearing a groundswell against Obama’s policies and what he is doing or attempting to do to our country.

    I’m not getting this racist thing at all. I think that’s an excuse that’s being used. It’s his policies that people talk about, not his race. It’s a neat excuse for some like Janine Garafalo who claimed racism of the ‘tea partyists’, but it’s all about policies–not race. Tea partiers are not racists, they’re Americans who are expressing their opinions about the direction our country is taking under Obama. Those who speak up at town halls are not racists, nor are they ‘mobs’, they are people who are concerned about the direction we’re being taken by Obama. They’re Americans exercising their right of free speech.

    America was founded on the concepts of freedoms of religion, speech, assembly, the press, and freedoms of private enterprise, as well as the continuation of those rights through elected representatives who promise to uphold the Constitution of those rights. But we are moving away from some of those freedoms faster than ever could have been imagined. Not only with certain government take overs, and potential take overs (like ‘government’ health care), but with rumors of potentially trying to limit free expression in media on radio and internet, and even via the UN–the taking away of free speech in the guise of so-called ‘hate speech’. Perhaps that will be next in this out of control congress as well, the stopping of our free speech to speak out via the internet or radio.

    Another thing brought up in this article I don’t understand is blaming so-called ‘birthers’ for their belief that it is necessary for a man who is called upon to do so, to actually provide a long form birth certificate. Instead Obama chooses to spend millions of dollars with a team of lawyers in order to NOT have to show his long form original birth certificate. What is that about? Anyone could have gotten the type of ‘Certificate of Live Birth’ shown on the internet for him, even if they were born out of the country, just by someone showing up and registering there was a birth. But the real long form BC showing the hospital, the time of birth, the doctor, the weight of the baby, and a lot of other details is only gotten by actual birth in said hospital–so WHY does he refuse to show that long form birth certificate? Can anyone explain that?

    We who demand this of him–show the real long form birth certificate, may not like him, that’s very true. But it’s not because we are racists, southerners, low income, gun toters, Republican Christians, or anything else. I’m not any of those. It’s because we believe in the Constitution, and because we are a country of laws, and that there are reasons for laws, and those laws should be followed for good reason. This man is not above the law. And a precedent should not be set, nor an exception be made for him.

    The internet is the only free press we have. And so far, we can still stand up for the right to tell what is, whether it’s about his birth certificate, or his background, or his anti-Constitutional policies.


    Comment by Greer — 8/22/2009 @ 4:04 pm

  45. The liberals don’t know how to defend obama, because it’s hard to defend a guy who wants to spend a trillion dollars while we already have a 2 trillion dollar deficit.

    Comment by charles — 8/23/2009 @ 5:53 pm

  46. Racism

    There are a few unpleasant facts we need to face:

    1. Racists vote, right along with non-racists.

    2. Southerners vote, right along with Eastern, Northern and Western voters.

    3. Few screeds have changed racists into non-racists. Attempts to shame racists out of their attitudes have not succeeded.

    4. Laws and public opinion have muted racism and driven it underground. No one wants to be tagged as a racist, even if they are one.

    5. Racism still exists–heavily in social situations.

    6. We often confuse racism with other forms of social acceptability or unacceptability, such as manners, presentation, language, hygiene, integrity, common sense, and good citizenship that are applied to everyone.

    7. It is often the case, though not spoken of, that many blacks do not present themselves well in public, and are thus tagged with criminal intent, because that is an odds-on probability on the streets, especially late at night in black-dominated cities. Crime statistics back this up (This is not to say that whites present themselves well all the time.).

    8. More and more blacks are indeed gaining social acceptance, because they try to do so, are reasonably educated, and present themselves properly.

    9. Racism does play a part in attacking Obama, but from my admittedly-limited observations, it is a minor influence among the many whites that I have talked with here in Virginia. I would give it one part in ten at the most. The main complaint whites speak of is the seemingly anti-white ideas they believe that Obama and his wife espouse or hold close!

    10. No one I know understands why we must run a projected deficit of 9 Trillion dollars over the next ten years; a projection that will undoubtedly grow by leaps and bounds as the Obama years go by.
    The nation is broke right now.

    Comment by mannning — 8/24/2009 @ 11:19 am

  47. Rick,
    Again, racism has nothing to do with the fact that Obama does NOT qualify as a Natural Born Citizen. His father was not a US Citizen at the the time Obama 2 was born. The definition of NBC as set forth by Vattel and Minor v. Happersett (1974) is One born in the US to 2 Citizen Parents. For that matter, McCain, being born in Colon, Panama, was not a Natural Born Citizen either. That is the situation that our corrupt rats nest of Politicians have presented us with.

    Comment by Mick — 8/24/2009 @ 2:11 pm

  48. Mick,
    according to your definition a couple of presidents in the past would have been illegal. He was born here, end of story.

    Comment by funny man — 8/24/2009 @ 3:36 pm

  49. Correction:The Congressional Budget Office announced this week that the deficit is estimated to reach 17.1 Trillion dollars by 2019. Spend, spend, spend, spend, and don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow never comes!

    Comment by mannning — 8/25/2009 @ 11:03 am

  50. Another correction: The 17.5 trillion dollars is the national debt projection for 2019, not the deficit.

    Comment by mannning — 8/25/2009 @ 7:46 pm

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