October 30th, 2012

The race card never gets old

Frank Bruni’s latest column is sort of interesting.

Bruni can’t stand Romney, and spends at least half of his piece making that fact crystal clear, just so his readers won’t get the wrong impression. But he’s also disappointed in Obama, and is starting to think it’s even within the realm of possibility that Obama might lose.

Bruni says that with huge regret. But he thinks the mean-spiritedness of Obama’s campaign—a truculence that Bruni believes Obama was forced to display in order to make up for his relative lack of energy in the first debate—has soured the moderate voter on the president:

The miracle ended at the first debate, in Denver, and the problem with that face-off went beyond Obama’s sleepwalking to the kinds of subsequent debates it forced on him. To shake off what happened, he had to turn truculent, and while that technically “won” him his second and third meetings with Romney, he lost something in the bargain. He undercut his high-minded, big-vision brand, whole stanzas of doggerel intruding on the poetry.

His “bayonets” line was clever all right, and plenty fair in its way, but it had a schoolyard nastiness to it, the same nastiness in one of his campaign’s most prominent ads, which showcases Romney’s off-key rendition of “America the Beautiful.” I wonder how that line, that ad and the overall atmospherics register with voters in the middle, some of whom are no doubt asking themselves where “hope and change” went and hid.

Bruni never pauses to recall that the “America the Beautiful” ad was put out way before the first debate ever happened. But never mind. Bruni’s point that something has soured in Obama’s presentation this go-round is well-taken.

But what interests me most about the column is its comments section, which I would imagine is loaded with NY Times regulars. Over and over and over quite a few of them state that, if worst comes to worst and Obama loses, it will be because of racism.

Are they really saying that a country that elected Obama by a large margin in 2008 has become too racist to re-elect him in the intervening four years? That there is no logic to their position—that the majority don’t even try to explain how or why such a thing could be—is a fact that seems to escape them. An Obama loss would equal racism, QED. To them, there is still no other explanation for not voting for Obama—certainly not any possible failings in Obama himself, either of policy or of character.

So if the voters of America decide to do to Obama what they did to Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George Herbert Walker Bush in 1992, it won’t be for the same reasons. Couldn’t be. It will be because we suddenly have become too racist to stomach the wonderful guy who deigned, out of the goodness of his heart, to be our president.

37 Responses to “The race card never gets old”

  1. expat Says:

    I think the race card is turning into a piece of wet TP.

  2. PCachu Says:

    Kind of weird that these people seem oblivious to Jon Stewart’s declaration that the Race Card is thoroughly maxed out. You know, what with him being the only other purveyor of “news” they’ll even watch.

  3. Mac Says:

    My weekly “column”, so to speak, at my blog is about this. (link on my name if you’re interested). The gist is that it’s almost tragic that our first black president has divided rather than united us racially, by the combination of his being too far to the left for many of us, and his supporters being so very eager to blame the resulting opposition on racism. The card is definitely maxed out for many of us, but that doesn’t seem to be slowing down its attempted use very much. I try not to be alarmist but this is going in a bad direction.

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Are they really saying that a country that elected Obama by a large margin in 2008 has become too racist to re-elect him in the intervening four years? That there is no logic to their position—that the majority don’t even try to explain how or why such a thing could be—is a fact that seems to escape them. “

    Yes, they are really saying that. They are positing that Americans voted for Obama out of white guilt (somewhat true) asserting that Americans are really racist, while discarding the alternative view that Americans voted for Obama regardless of race. That being necessary for their narrative and memes to continue.

    No it doesn’t escape them, at least not subconsciously. It’s just the best excuse they can come up with, for how do you disprove it?

    We can dispute it with unassailable logic but if logic were determinative in argumentation (80% base their purchases on emotion) the liberal left’s premises, assertions and conclusions would never have gained the acceptance that they have, would they?

    Psychologically, claiming racism as the reason for Obama’s loss is necessary, otherwise denial collapses and examination of their beliefs, attitudes and the premises that give rise to those positions is inescapable.

    dialog from the great movie, The Wild Bunch;
    Pike Bishop: A hell of a lot of people, Dutch, just can’t stand to be wrong.
    Dutch Engstrom: Pride.
    Pike Bishop: And they can’t forget it… that pride… being wrong. Or learn by it

  5. NeoConScum Says:

    Dear Frank: FOCUS. Thank you. Now, go back and visit the Obama ads all summer. Nuthin’–that’s NUTHIN’–regarding the Boy King’s triumphal record with Obamacare or his Vast GOOOOD for Mankind. Nope, Bro’, just piles & piles of Horses**t about the alleged Evils of Mitt.

    The Anointed Prince has NUTHIN’.

  6. nohype Says:

    People who see everything in terms of race tend to believe that everyone else sees everything in terms of race. They may not be able to comprehend any other way of thinking.

  7. Lizzy Says:

    Obama aside, Americans have embraced African-Americans that excel at a wide variety of industries, including business, entertainment, news, sports, music, education, and on and on. This idea that dislike of one particular African-American’s politics somehow sets race relations back 50+ years as a country is laughable.

  8. Lurking Observer Says:

    The good people (i.e., non-racists) turned out to vote Obama in, in 2008. Thus, minorities, the young, first-time voters, etc., turned out in huge numbers and put Obama over the top.

    Conversely, the racists voted–for McCain. Which is why Obama didn’t score the overwhelming popular victory that a truly non-racist society would have given him.

    Four years later, due to a crashed economy (that of course is not Obama’s fault), Americans are disappointed in the situation, and are taking it out on Obama, when they would have given a white president more of a chance. (No, these folks don’t remember Jimmy Carter.)

    If Obama’s not winning, it’s b/c the rich are running the airwaves (it’s all about Citizens United) and misleading the good people about all the good things that Obama did.

    Many of which are no different than what Republicans supported anyway. (Trot out inevitable observation that Obamacare bares some resemblance to what the Heritage Foundation once proposed.) So, opposition to it must be b/c of racism.

    Doublethink lives on.

  9. Tesh Says:

    They cannot imagine that anyone would disagree with them on policy, so they fall back on their “safe” accusations. They are mental midgets, wholly unworthy of serious consideration or conversation.

    …it’s truly terrifying that they are trusted with voting. There’s no way around it, and I’d not deny anyone who fits the legal qualifications from voting… it’s just scary that our country is populated by such troubled people.

  10. Occam's Beard Says:

    Are they really saying that a country that elected Obama by a large margin in 2008 has become too racist to re-elect him in the intervening four years? That there is no logic to their position—that the majority don’t even try to explain how or why such a thing could be—is a fact that seems to escape them.

    Accusations of racism is not a logically held viewpoint, it’s a liberal talisman, a charm to ward off evil spirits (i.e., reality), a way to cope with the stresses thrown up at them by an uncertain world. It’s their binky in a frightening world.

    Baseball players, who are uniquely superstitious because of the capriciousness of the game, exemplify this phenomenon. On a winning streak? Some players will try to preserve the ju-ju by wearing the same (now funky) hat, socks, or whatever (we draw a discreet veil at this point), or doing whatever they did when the streak started (a practice sent up hilariously in Major League).

  11. Sam L. Says:

    Prejudice is when one makes assumptions made without knowing facts (he’s black, so not good)–that would be racist.

    Having experience of 4 years means we’re not assuming, we know what’s been done, what “it” is, so we’re making judgments on a record (black is a mostly meaningless data point, except for Eric Holder).

  12. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    Chase called. The Race Card is maxed out, and they won’t extend additional credit.

  13. southpaw Says:

    Neo – Ironic how the open minded, enlightened, Ivy League educated Left uniformly stereotype half the voting population. Whatever the category that they assign to Romney voters, it fits with an earlier post of yours describing a guy who was once a liberal and was studying the way conservatives and liberals process information, where conservatives used a broader spectrum to evaluate a candidate or idea.
    Only a simple mind could assign a single word to be a rational explanation for something so complex as the motivation of millions of diverse people.
    In the end, it boils down to political name-calling, like kids.
    It’s quite amazing that people who consider themselves tolerant, smart, educated, and compassionate cannot see themselves as the very thing they claim to stand against. Their blindness to their own intolerance is stunning.
    If Herman Cain had won the nomination, we would all be voting for him, and we’d still be racists. Racism has come to mean a failure to recognize that minorities have special needs or can’t succeed without special programs and attention. If you actually believe they are able to do anything they want, and you support anybody, even minorities who the same, you’re a racist.
    As a non-minority, you must accept the position that you are automatically a racist because of your race, and voting for anything but a Democrat is defacto proof of your racism. And a lot of people just accept this narrative about themselves.

  14. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “As a non-minority, you must accept the position that you are automatically a racist because of your race”

    Rhetorical question; what happens to the narrative once whites are no longer a demographic majority?

    Oops! There I go confusing the issue with facts again! ;-)

  15. LisaM Says:

    A friend at work, who is bluer than blue, played the race card on me once in regards to Obama. (Conveniently ignoring the fact that I’ve been conservative the entire 15 or so years that he’s known me.) In a rare case of having the right thing to say at the right time, I responded, “You hate Sarah Palin and think she’s a moron. You must hate women! You must be gay!” Long pause… “Sounds stupid, doesn’t it? It sounds stupid when you do it, too.”

  16. Mr. Frank Says:

    The people who voted for Obama last time to show they are not racists need to vote against him now to show they are not idiots.

  17. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    And if Teh Won does indeed go down to defeat, then the Left must blame it on something other than his policies.

    If his defeat is due to the policies, to his leftism, then that is a rejection of the Left. This they do not believe, will not believe, can not believe.

    It was the man, not his policies that failed us.


    [...] The race card never gets old – Neo-Neocon [...]

  19. Occam's Beard Says:

    Rhetorical question; what happens to the narrative once whites are no longer a demographic majority?

    No problem. Continue to demonize them as though they’re a majority. Minority status has nothing to do with demographics. See: white men, and Asians generally.

  20. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    There you go again. Confusing the issue with facts and reason.

  21. neo-neocon Says:

    Occam’s Beard: Jews are an excellent example of an extreme minority that’s not afforded any special coddled status. Au contraire.

  22. Occam's Beard Says:

    The people I feel sorriest for are the Asians, who get the worst of both worlds. They’re hard-working, law-abiding, studious, family-oriented (sorry), and generally just want to make something of themselves and do well for their families. They’ve never received a single break at any juncture, but now get hosed by affirmative action taking places from Asians who by right should get them and giving them to other minorities who haven’t earned them.

    Nevertheless, despite all the impediments thrown in their way, they now constitute ca. 40% of the undergrads at Berkeley, IIRC.

  23. southpaw Says:

    “Nevertheless, despite all the impediments thrown in their way, they now constitute ca. 40% of the undergrads at Berkeley, IIRC”
    after a few generations at Berkeley, and they will cease to exhibit all the traits that got them there.

  24. Occam's Beard Says:

    Maybe, but not so sure. They seem pretty impervious to leftist twaddle in my experience.

  25. southpaw Says:

    Hope springs eternal. Maybe it has something to do with parents who lived through it.

  26. Occam's Beard Says:

    I think it has more to do with the strong family ties; disgracing the family is infamia. That, and there’s probably no people on earth who are more fundamentally, quintessentially capitalist than the Chinese.

  27. Occam's Beard Says:

    I just happened to look up “infamia” to make sure I was using the term correctly, and came across this on Wiki:

    Infamia was an “inescapable consequence” for certain professionals, including prostitutes and pimps, entertainers such as actors and dancers, and gladiators.

    No comment.

  28. T Says:

    Mac @ 11:03,

    You mention that the race card is maxed out. I think that’s true–once again overuse by the left, but here’s a thought. The use of race has a certain logic to it, even if not conscious. For example, you elect an “acceptable” black president, Obama. He is hard left of center and begins to pursue leftist policies. Half of the nation complains but they’re shot down as racists. The leftist policies take hold and transform our republic.

    Except it didn’t work that way. Overuse of the race card, i.e., no permissible criticism of a black president, diluted the racist charge to the point that enough people no longer care. Such is a tipping point and now, it’s perfectly acceptable to criticize the president again, minority or not (H/T Instapundit):


    I have said here before that we owe Obama a debt of gratitude for accelerating the progressive agenda to the point that it’s high “moral” mask has disappeared. Perhaps we owe him thanks for doing the same thing with race baiting.

  29. gcotharn Says:

    southpaw said:
    “If Herman Cain had won the nomination, we would all be voting for him, and we’d still be racists.”

    I don’t know if you were serious, or teasing, but he statement is true. Leftists would assert that conservatives are so racist as to concoct an evil genius strategy to elect a black man in order to hide our true racism.

    These are leftists who believe it true that truth does not exist. So, reason does not apply. PC principles: cognitive discrimination is offensive; reason is an evil trick. No joke. PC is not funny. Humor is suspicious. Happiness is a tell of an evil conservative.

  30. M J R Says:

    LisaM, 12:36 pm –

    YES! YES! YES!

    Bravo — and good thinking. (May I be so alert when/if an opportunity like that arises.)

  31. parker Says:

    “Are they really saying that a country that elected Obama by a large margin in 2008 has become too racist to re-elect him in the intervening four years? That there is no logic to their position…”

    Perhaps they are illogical, driven by emotion, and saturated with dogma?

  32. southpaw Says:

    Gcotharn – no I wasn’t kidding. I’m sure there would be some twisted logic to explain we weren’t voting for a black American, instead something else- a black American who’s been brainwashed and misled to believe he’s able to be president on terms other than those prescribed by the democrat party. The underlying message is of course a minority American with the attitude he is not at some inherent disadvantage isn’t really a minority, and doesn’t represent the majority of minorities. Which is only true if they accept that premise.
    On the flip side, if you’re white, and admit you’ve had the game rigged in your favor since your birth, that’s a plus for you. To admit less is to insult the intelligence of the minorities Never mind the vast majority of whites or whatever constitutes a The Majority don’t live a privileged life.
    If the MSM truly believe conservatives have a monopoly on racism- I would challenge them to go to a Paul Mooney act. That’s a fun evening for any open minded liberal.

    In the spirit of racism, Go Mia Love. I hope she kicks ass

  33. waltj Says:

    Occam, Asians get where they are by working harder than anyone else around them. I’ve worked in several Asian countries over the years, and I’ve seen it personally, as you probably have in academia. That’s especially true of ethnic Chinese in non-Chinese societies, and Japanese and Koreans generally. This pressure to achieve exacts its toll, to be sure, but it also has its rewards.

    If 0bama goes down to defeat, an outcome that appears increasingly likely, it will be in large part because those who got a kick out of voting for the first black president have had the scales fall away from their eyes, and have seen him for the knave/fool that he is. Add to this that Romney offers a credible alternative, and things are looking up for the country. But that’s not how the race hustlers like Mr. Bruni see it.

  34. Jim Says:

    When I’m arguing with someone that implies that the people who voted against, or will vote against Obama are racists, I always ask them one question: “Do you really expect Obama to get 100% OF THE VOTE?” I have YET to receive an answer to that question.

  35. SteveH Says:

    Ok, I’m just tired of this obsession with 12% of Americans. WTF? This has reached a bizzare fixation in liberal minds. Why don’t they give a damn about left handed midgets for a change? Jeeeezzz. Grow the f*** up.

  36. southpaw Says:

    Hey! dissing lefthanders is uncool. Especially lefties on the right.
    We’re the most oppressed group in America. Everything is designed for righties.everyone has “rights”. Driving has a right of way. Nobody is either Left or Wrong. Its so unfair. We even have shorter lives.
    Righty has it all going for them. You just dont get it until youve lived in my shoes. Had to cut paper with the wrong hand. Put your right hand on your heart to say the pledge. This country has kept us down for too long.
    Southpaws everywhere, i call on you to stand up and say “we demand our..er..um..rights!”

  37. Rob Crawford Says:

    Ok, I’m just tired of this obsession with 12% of Americans.

    Don’t worry — they’re abandoning for an even stronger obsession over 5%!

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