The mind continues to reel at the mental gymnastics of the left when confronted with the right’s support for Herman Cain. The latest exemplar is Karen Phinney, who said:
Let’s review the logic here. If Finney starts with what she considers a truism, that the right is racially bigoted, she is faced with a conundrum: how to reconcile this with their support for a black man. Rather than abandon the sacred meme “the right is racist,” Finney must instead reason that support for Cain is just a cover for racism, and that he’s either (a) not a “real” black man; or (b) a certain kind of black man who is acceptable to racists. Finney chooses (b), and rather than call him an “uncle Tom” (the preferred nomenclature for black people on the right) she calls him a black man who “knows his place.”
Finney herself is bi-racial, so perhaps she feels she is inoculated against the charge of racism herself. But she, like much of the left, seems to see almost everything through the prism of race. The fact that a certain not insignificant percentage of the left may have supported and voted for Obama in part because he, as a black man, made them feel good about themselves in the racial sense, is ignored. The fact that many people on the right choose candidates to like or dislike because of their politics rather than their race is also ignored; neither process conforms to the approved narrative.
But the strangest thing about Finney’s observation is that it fits the case of Herman Cain so poorly. This is a man the right supports because he “knows his place”—a phrase which, in the traditional racist sense when used about black people, has always meant their not rising very high in the world? But Cain is an extremely successful man and is in fact running for president of the United States. If that’s his “place,” according to the right, then how can the right be racist?
The mind boggles.
[ADDENDUM: And then there’s Joy Behar, who notes that “the Republican Party hasn’t been black friendly over the many centuries in this country.” It would be hard to find a more Orwellian comment anywhere, and if Behar isn’t even aware of the actual history of the Republican Party and its noble fight against slavery and racism, than we can add abysmal ignorance to her resume.
For those of you who, like Behar, may have slept through the entire American history curriculum, here’s a teeny introduction:
Founded in Northern States in 1854 by anti-slavery activists, modernizers, ex-Whigs and ex-Free Soilers, the Republican Party quickly became the principal opposition to the dominant Democratic Party and the briefly popular Know Nothing Party. The main cause was opposition to the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise by which slavery was kept out of Kansas. The Republicans saw the expansion of slavery as a great evil.
But perhaps Behar knows all that, to give her the benefit of a doubt she doesn’t probably deserve. And perhaps this is her reasoning, somewhat akin to Finney’s twistings: the Democrats in the South who were actually the racists for lo nigh those “many centuries” were really closet Republicans, and the Republicans were really closet Democrats.]