January 26th, 2013

Helping Obama

This recent comment by “Snackeater” (fine moniker, by the way) brought up an interesting angle on Obama and his supporters:

I’ve always thought that subconsciously, Liberals are racists. Not that they hate people of other races – quite the contrary – they truly love them. But they do think that people of other races are inferior and therefore unable to make it on their own. So they do whatever they can to help them (with other people’s money, of course). The War on Poverty is a perfect example. So is affirmative action. And 0bama is another.

So the T-P media falls all over themselves trying to help him. They cover for him, attack his enemies, whatever it takes. They project their racism onto their opponents. And the more inferior they think the person is, the more they try to compensate. Hence the completely in-the-tank attitude over 0bama.

Whether condescension and paternalism towards people of other races is “love,” exactly, I’ll leave for you to decide. And of course we already know that this “love” is limited to those minority members on the liberal or left side of the fence. Fortunately for liberals, that would include the vast, vast majority of minorities such as blacks.

Ever since Obama’s candidacy was first declared during the 2008 campaign, I’ve noticed that one of the most common types of article about him is what I’d call the advice column. There is no dearth of liberal and/or leftist pundits, or even ones who call themselves neutral as well as certain softies on the supposed right (David Brooks, Peggy Noonan), trying to tell Obama what he should do to be even more successful.

Maybe now that he’s triumphed by being elected to a second term they’ll stop and figure out what they should have figured out long ago, which is that, in the sense of political strategy, this man (or his advisers) knows exactly what he’s doing. And in the policy sense, Obama’s agenda is probably not quite what they think it is, unless they’re already in with the in-crowd.

Plus, Obama isn’t going to take their advice. He’s not scouring the papers for helpful hints on how to govern. If he wants any help on that score, he’s got Valerie Jarrett.

I’ve long wondered why all the helpful columns. Yes, I know the media is liberal and/or leftist, and they’re on his side. But still, I just don’t remember all this help offered another president on left or right (and of course the “help” offered those on the right is always of the “he should give in more to the other side” variety, which is nothing remotely like what’s suggested to Obama).

So why more than any other president does Obama draw out this advice mode in the blogosphere and MSM? Did he seem needier in some way? I assumed it was because he was young and inexperienced, but maybe “Snackeater” is onto something (besides Fritos). Is all that helpfulness due to an assumption that he’s racially challenged?

Well, probably some portion of it. When I really think about it, I believe that the impulse that motivates them was/is actually racial anxiety (can he play in the big leagues?) combined with an intense, a truly extreme, desire for him to do well because of his race and his status as the first black president. In a sense, he’s Too Big (and Too important) To Fail.

Their wish for him to succeed is multiply-determined. It’s not just his race; his liberalism or leftism (take your pick; I’ll take the leftism) taps into theirs, except for Noonan and (arguably) Brooks, who may not be conservatives but who could not be described as liberals or leftists. These latter two might be the purest example, therefore, of the need to have Obama do well because of his race.

It would have been fascinating, wouldn’t it, to have seen what pundits on the left would have said if the first black president had been a conservative or even just a garden-variety Republican. Would the left have been just as helpful with their hints with a President Condoleezza Rice, for example (who, after all, is not just black, but a black woman)? It takes no time at all to realize the answer is “no, no, a thousand times no.” Rice (like other black conservatives or Republicans) became an Honorary Old White Guy long long ago—or worse, a Traitor to Her Race, good only for ridicule of the vilest (and most racist) sort.

So, as with many things, it’s complicated. Obama is not just the white liberals’ perfect dream of a black president, he’s the white liberals’ perfect dream of a black liberal president. And as such, he must be defended no matter what he does.

And you can bet your life that Obama knows that, and acts accordingly.

[NOTE: The only time Obama ever ran up against a situation in a national election where he couldn’t take advantage of this was during his run for Congress against Bobby Rush in 2000, when he made the egregious error of running against another black liberal, a popular guy with far more impressive street creds, including a history in the civil rights movement, in a district made up mostly of working class blacks. Rush made the most of the contrast, saying about Obama:

He went to Harvard and became an educated fool…Barack is a person who read about the civil-rights protests and thinks he knows all about it.

Ouch! But could anyone else have said something similar about Obama and gotten away with it? Only people with the same profile as Rush—and Obama never ran into one again. As Rush later said about that 2000 race:

He [Obama] was blinded by his ambition. Obama has never suffered from a lack of believing that he can accomplish whatever it is he decides to try. Obama believes in Obama. And, frankly, that has its good side but it also has its negative side.

Rush didn’t have the handicap of idealizing Obama because of Obama’s race, nor did his voters. But although the next opponent Obama faced in a national election was also black, it was a very different proposition. Not only was this a statewide Illinois election for national office, and therefore had a much higher percentage of white voters than his 2000 campaign against Rush had featured, but his opponent in the 2004 Senate race—after Republican nominee Jack Ryan was suspiciously sidelined by a scandal late in the campaign—was the hastily-appointed Alan Keyes, who could be said to be at least as educated and intellectual as Obama, and a black conservative to boot (making him eligible for Honorary Old White Man status and worse), as well as an unpopular newcomer to Illinois. It was no contest; Obama won by tsunami margins.]

32 Responses to “Helping Obama”

  1. Occam's Beard Says:

    I believe that the impulse that motivates them was/is actually racial anxiety (can he play in the big leagues?)

    Because they know in their hearts that he’s not up to it.

    Observe people watching a physically and/or mentally disabled kid attempting to do something and failing miserably. Everyone – I include myself – gushes about what a good effort that was, how he’s almost got it, etc., and considers anything less than fulsome praise – and certainly any truthful assessment – as rude and ungentlemanly. Notice how the psychology closely resembles that of liberals toward Obama.

  2. Ray Says:

    The media adored Jack kennedy and would produce gushing adulatory articles about him. It was Kennedy worship. Today it’s Obama worship but it’s more cult like.

  3. tillurdizzy Says:

    I forget who coined the term… The subtle racism of low expectation.

  4. Gary Rosen Says:

    MLK’s memorable declaration, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” has been turned completely on its head by modern liberals and the Democrat party. Now *everything* for them is seen through the prism of race that they use cynically to gain political advantage. With a huge assist of course from the MSM as we have noted in other threads.

  5. Otiose Says:

    The harm that positive racism does to Obama and a great many like him is huge. Based on his behavior/words I suspect he (and many of his supporters) thinks very highly of himself i.e. that he’s another FDR or Lincoln. Reality and some time will destroy that perception.

    If you could track the personal lives and career achievements of many of the blacks that went to Harvard around the time of Obama you would likely find that many perhaps most have been seriously harmed by all the care provided over their time in schools and later at work to make sure that they don’t fail and to protect them from themselves.

    And this is done by conservatives too.

    Many years ago I was reviewing a tall stack of resumes for a modest temporary job opening. My standard practice was to put aside all the people who had majored in college in any ethnic/gender studies (e.g. women studies, black/asian/whatever). Someone I had double checking me noted that one resume of a person in black studies didn’t have any spelling or grammar mistakes, so after an impressive interview I ended up hiring them. I also ended up advising them over the next several years and watching them get screwed both by their own inability to turn down offered goodies (the 400 lb fat person refusing just one more Twinkie problem) and the corporate and educational system who need to fill quotas (if I may be a bit cynical here) and knowingly (IMO) hire them into inappropriate situations and then hold them to low standards.

    Before this person could finish a masters degree they got hired away into a prestigious NY firm. Before they could really accomplish anything at the first firm they got hired away by another.

    It did not end well and after 15-20 years what they were really good at was filling quotas.

    And I told this person at each step that they were being hired to fill a quota / that they should finish the degree etc, but how can a person avoid something like this. And I’m sure that the people in the system making the offers and decisions were trying in their minds to do good, but that law of unintended consequences hits hard.

    This mental disease – perhaps some holdover of white guilt or whatever – is pervasive in our culture. I’m hoping that eventually that Obama’s reign as president and his incompetence will finally become apparent to some critical mass of people that our culture can finally begin to put behind us the extremely counterproductive need felt by the establishment to hold certain groups to lower expectations.

    Broadly analogous — I think Lincoln said something to the effect that the Civil War was God’s punishment on the country for slavery. Well, to me it’s not too far off to see the harm we are suffering from Obama as some sort of divine punishment for traveling too far down the affirmative action road. He’s a loud and clear call to rethink how to atone for past racism.

  6. parker Says:

    In general those on the left do not view people as distinct individuals. From their POV individuals are defined according to race, gender, class, and so forth. When presented with someone who refuses to fit into the pigeon hole, like Clarence Thomas or Condi Rice, liberals have only one recourse which is to label them as traitors to their group identity as defined by leftist ideology.

    “.. I believe that the impulse that motivates them was/is actually racial anxiety (can he play in the big leagues?) combined with an intense, a truly extreme, desire for him to do well because of his race…” I think this is in the bullseye. He is in their eyes TBTF.

  7. Jan of MN Says:

    Otiose says:

    “[Obama] is a loud and clear call to rethink how to atone for past racism.” I don’t think there’s any need to atone for past racism, unless you find that you yourself have been guilty of it. Even if your ancestors were slave owners, that’s not *you*. I could condone programs (not necessarily government sponsored) that taught job-hunting skills such as interviewing, understanding employer on-the-job expectations, and generally preparing oneself for action in the workplace, AS LONG AS they are programs offered to anyone who needs them, with no concern for race, ethnic background, gender, etc., and certainly no quotas.

    I think that people who fall all over themselves demonstrating their approval for all things minority or ethnic are mainly trying to display their moral superiority for the edification of those less enlightened.

    Oh, and to tillurdizzy: George W. Bush used the phrase “the soft bigotry of low expectations”, although I don’t know whether it was original with him.

  8. Otiose Says:

    I agree with you Jan of MN. But I don’t feel any need to atone for anything at all. But the fact is a lot of people do. What I hope for is that Obama’s incompetence will eventually shock a critical mass of people away from the current delusional guilt path that has resulted in pervasive affirmative action. I doubt it will be a complete shift to our shared view of the situation, but all we need is a modest shift to a realization of the harm done by the current attitudes supporting affirmative action.

  9. Promethea Says:

    I still can’t believe, even after 5 years, that so many American voters voted for this incompetent sociopathic narcissist.

    Most regular neo-neocon readers probably already agree that Obama is severely defective as a leader, and, in fact, hates the United States and wants to destroy it.

    How sad it is, then, that the so-called intellectuals and Harvard elitists who presume to know better than us “masses” still believe in Magic Negro Obama’s competence and goodwill. Such fools. So sad.

    What difference does it make? We’ll find out.

  10. Occam's Beard Says:

    Even if your ancestors were slave owners, that’s not *you*.

    Ellis Island official: “Welcome to America, you have a lot of atoning to do for slavery.”

    Immigrant: “Que?”

    And the conceit of blacks is that they were the only people on whom slavery was ever inflicted. They might profitably look up the etymology of the word “Slav.”

  11. SGT Caz Says:

    “In a sense, (Obama)’s Too Big (and Too important) To Fail.”

    Also: He’s Too Black to Fail.

    Couldn’t help it, sorry. But I wouldn’t put too much stock in this idea of the closet racist liberals. Racial minorities have the same thing going on for them that every other sort of minority has, along with everyone who doesn’t have much in the way of money or education or intelligence: they’re weak, in the social-economic-political sense. In a society with a severe underdog fetish and Christian moral tradition, that’s enough to promote the kind of ideas we’re getting at this point. You don’t need to add any more fundamental level of discrimination.

  12. MollyNH Says:

    The local NE conservative radio guy, Howie Carr has a great description of the Dems/Kennedy’s
    “They ll give you the shirt off someone else’s back !”

  13. Don Carlos Says:

    IMHO, Otiose and Promethea both make a grave mistake when they deem Obama “incompetent”.
    That he is not. He is many things, none of them praiseworthy by standards normally held for Presidents, but he is not incompetent. I wish he were.

  14. Otiose Says:

    Don Carlos, I stand corrected.

  15. M J R Says:

    tillurdizzy, 4:31 pm — “I forget who coined the term… The subtle racism of low expectation.”

    “We are challenging the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

    — George W. Bush, January 2004

  16. bilejones Says:

    I think old Barry was selected back in the the days when he first met Brzezinski at Columbia . The rest, the books, the speeches, the vanishing or clownish opponents were inevitable.

  17. Occam's Beard Says:

    I think old Barry was selected back in the the days when he first met Brzezinski at Columbia

    Make that Occidental, or perhaps even earlier, and I’m with you.

  18. Promethea Says:

    Valerie Jarrett and George Soros seem to be the masterminds behind Obama’s policies.

    Maybe I give too much credit to George Soros. What would happen if Valerie Jarrett got a fatal illness? How would things change?

  19. Jan of MN Says:

    Don Carlos and others:
    About Obama’s incompetence: He’s not incompetent when it comes to campaigning. He has a gift for knowing what the crowds want to hear and how to say it; put that together with his Alinsky skills and it’s a pretty effective package.

    But as for public policy, domestic and foreign, so far I haven’t seen competence. The hugely expensive stimulus efforts have expanded the already vast debt for very little gain. He could have stimulated job growth if he’d departed from his ideology for once. He’s made bad business decisions with his investments (with our money) in “green” companies. Obamacare is not only not going to save on the cost of health care, we’ll see ballooning expenses along with the inevitable bungling, waste and corruption that comes with such a huge expansion of bureaucracy.

    Not to mention the decline in quality of health care itself, with decision-making relegated to anonymous bureaucrats with one-size fits all policies. It’s already detrimentally affecting employers’ hiring decisions, and when Obamacare is fully rolled out I think the consequences of his incompetence will be on full display. And once in place, trying to change the massive health care system will be like trying to maneuver the Titanic.

    How sad that we couldn’t have tweaked the system we had to make it more cost-effective, accessible, and responsive to patients, and kept the decision-making local, between doctor and patient, where it belongs.

  20. SteveH Says:

    Political correctness (cultural marxism) is the tool used by academia to create liberals like the lock step conformist in media. Basically it ties social acceptance to the correct political thoughts and ensnares everyone with a fear of being ridiculed for not fitting in.

    We know this to be the case by the uncanny number of people who despised GWB but knew practically nothing about governance or politics. He was simply made unfashionable.

  21. Oblio Says:

    Jesse Jackson memorable said–before the Hope and Change Apotheosis–that Mr. Obama had “never run anything but his mouth.” As far as I can tell, that is still largely accurate. If competence were a crime, I cannot see anything in his policy record–Iraq? Afghanistan? Leading from Behind? shovel-ready stimulus? Obamacare? Deep Horizon? response to Sandy recovery? congressional relations? Budgeting?–that could be used to convict him.

    It is true that he managed to win re-election by 2 or 3 points. With the JournoListas acting as a personal bodyguard to frame the campaign narrative for his benefit (the War on Women, huh?) and suppress the irruptions of Reality (e.g., Benghazi), what would you expect? To put put it another way, how incompetent would he (and his handlers) need to be NOT to win under these circumstances?

    Even his vaunted speeches are, upon examination, poorly reasoned and content free, more the IDEA of a great speech (as Aaron Sorkin would imagine it) than a real speech. Not argument, not persuasion: mere affirmations or faith, which only the faithful find compelling. Mr. Obama is more High Priest than republican statesman.

    I would like to give Mr. Obama credit for realism in understanding that the Fix is in and simply allowing his surrogates to play to his strengths. On the other hand, maybe he thinks that things ARE simply AS THEY OUGHT TO BE based on his time marinating in academic Leftism, and I’m not sure that can be called evidence of realism.

    To give credit where it is due, I would like to meet his tailor.

    After 5 years, Mr. Obama is still an empty suit from the Faculty Lounge. Or maybe “a mannequin from the Faculty Lounge” is more apt.

  22. lacune Says:

    I think of these points every time some random white celebrity, upon having their first meet and greet with the president, comes away (to a man!) saying how “intelligent” the president is. Since every single one of them makes this generic proclamation without ever providing anything to back that up (like “he talked about this…”, “he knew all about this…”, or “he cited this…”), it comes off as fishy. Politics aside, when celebrities, etc. talked about meeting other empirically intelligent presidents like Clinton, they would provide anecdotal evidence.

    The fact that this anecdotal evidence never accompanies the “he’s so smart!” proclamations concerning Obama seems to be another manifestation of liberals “covering” for him. Personally, they might not have been impressed with his supposed overwhelming brilliance, so they feel the need more than ever to proclaim that it exists.

  23. Michael Adams Says:

    Jan of MN, yes, he may be personally incompetent, but his handlers are not. The failing programs were simply supposed to fail, toward a higher purpose, the coming of the Revolution.

    See also, Cloward Piven.

  24. House of Eratosthenes Says:

    […] Update: On the racial angle: Neo-neocon reprints a perceptive comment… […]

  25. Occam's Beard Says:

    I think of these points every time some random white celebrity, upon having their first meet and greet with the president, comes away (to a man!) saying how “intelligent” the president is.

    The funny part is that they think that we’d accept the their judgment for intelligent someone else was. It’s like accepting the assessment of a Taco Bell employee that someone is a great chef.

  26. holmes Says:

    I would add to Snackeater’s observation that northern whites impute qualities to minorities that they often do not possess, and I think often because of their lack of interaction/familiarity with real, actual minorities. It was, I think, why Althouse had a conniption about the Youtube video depicting the ignorant black woman going on about her Obamaphone (or whatever handout program it was); it disillusioned her about who many minorities are. Many are abysmally ignorant and base. Are there abysmally ignorant and base white people? Of course! But the numbers are higher in the minority populations, trapped by the welfare state and a decrepit public school system. But, she could not handle the discrepancy between her image of black people in general with this woman, and thus, it was racist to display the video because it supposedly appealed to stereotypes. What it did was ruin her stereotype.

    I have had male friends who did the same thing with women. They have a type and impute fine qualities based solely on her appearance, only to discover some pernicious character defect later. We do the same thing with tall people- we think they’re leaders naturally. I’ve seen people taken in by a certain type of authoritative male voice, even when they were talking nonsense (Obama has such a voice, by the way.)

    Anyway, liberals do that with race, and often with blacks because that is the group they would like to see succeed more than any other. I would like to see everyone succeed, but I have no illusions about people’s nature, and I don’t judge people until I know who they actually are. The Right knows who Obama is. Liberals then assumes opposition to Obama is racist because they can’t bring themselves to think that he does not hold all of the upstanding and fine qualities they think he has.

  27. blert Says:


    You’re witnessing the imputations welling up from the mythic Magical Negro of Hollywood synthesis.

    Outside of Eddie Murphy’s brutally funny portrayals in “Bowfinger” — Hollywood abjectly refuses to permit ANY fictive Black characters that aren’t Beatified.

    Which is passing strange — since Hollywood disrespects religion — particularly Catholicism.

    It’s a rare when even “Huckleberry Finn”, the film, can be tolerated.

    Instead, Black Americans are chronically portrayed as anti-reality — as tech wizards. That’s the absolute L A S T thing that young Black males would want to happen to themselves.

    [“Hogan’s Heroes” and “Mission Impossible” wanted tokens to cinematically fight WWII and the Spy War. Yet, Blacks were wildly underrepresented in PW cages in WWII. And, how could any Black pass as an Eastern European/ South American junta member?

    The solution was to make their roles complete anti-realities: techs.

    Even “Cops” is ethnically cleansed. They’ve got w a y, w a y too much footage of Blacks acting badly. So, the hunt was a l w a y s to find White footage. Understandably, that meant plenty of trailer park footage.]

    This chronic image distortion is carried on in spades for Barry.


    The Nazis infamously cranked out defamatory agitprop against Jews. The result was a completely screwball society. Truth was polluted by lies. The consequent politics and history weighs heavily upon us even now.


    I maintain that the super elevation of the Magical Negro requires the comparative suppression of all others.

    I fear the consequences that must ensue from such a pervasive truth distortion.

    A foretaste is provided by Michelle Obama. Her college thesis is a screed against Affirmative Action — by indirection.


    See also “The Bell Curve.”

    The Procrusteans in Charge just don’t have enough human metal to work with. So, they just keep pounding away at us.

  28. Charles Says:

    “I forget who coined the term… The subtle racism of low expectation.”

    tillurdizzy , I believe that can be credited to Bush (or at least one of his speechwriters).

  29. Gary Rosen Says:

    I think the exact phrase was “soft bigotry of low expectations”. The speechwriter, at least according to Wikipedia FWIW, was Michael Gerson.

  30. Eric Says:

    Media relentlessly vilifying Bush for the Fed’s Katrina response versus giving a pass, or praising, Obama for the Fed’s Sandy response. Any media criticism for the Fed response to Sandy is directed to Congress, not Obama. As far as I can tell, the Fed response has been the same in both cases.

  31. Artfldgr Says:


    confusing people in the ranks being used by people who lead is stupid..

    john cleese explained it best..

    you can hurt or irritate and do things to people as long as they think your helping.

    as long as the premise is help, everything bad is an accident… and ok

  32. Maggie's Farm Says:

    Tuesday morning links…

    Food cranks update: From Sundance to Dunkin’ Donuts, the gluten-free craze shows no signs of abating Why Fruit Juice Is the Real Health Killer Liberal racism Many libs believe, deep down, that blacks and hispanics cannot make it in the world Q…

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