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The Lack of Objectivity – Is It Racism?

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As did many of us, I had the opportunity to hear the President speak several times this past weekend, on the Sunday morning news and editorial network broadcasts. What I was watching for was response to the recent remarks by former President Jimmy Carter, in which he said that many of the President’s political and media adversaries were more than slightly motivated by racism. That has been my contention for some time.

As to the multiple interviews, I found one particularly interesting. On This Week, in an interview with George Stephanopoulous, the two men seemed to be more clashing than might have been predicted. One might conclude that Stephanopoulous was trying to avoid being viewed as consistently liberal. Recently on that program, George Will has moved to a considerably more conservative point of view than he had previously maintained. I enjoyed the President's final statement on the ACORN Issue, in which he said words to the effect that  that's not really one of the most pressing issues of the day. More accurately, “You know, if — frankly, it’s not really something I’ve followed closely.”

Getting back to the point of this article, former President Jimmy Carter had the courage recently to accuse the President’s critics of racism. Interviewed by NBC's Brian Williams on Tuesday, September 15, Carter said:

I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African American. I live in the South, and I've seen the South come a long way, and I've seen the rest of the country that shared the South's attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans. And that racism inclination still exists. And I think it's bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It's an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply.

I have suspected such motivation myself. Following an election which was defined by promises of reaching across the aisle, it seemed and still seems that the Republicans and many powerful persons in the media and business are defying reason with their utter lack of objectivity. It occurs to me that in this new era of transparency and accountability, some individuals and groups may be feeling a financial pinch. Such a pinch may be quite a motivator.

I have noticed too, a growing polarization of perspective in our 21st century American political parties. From the onset, the liberal Democrats favored the cause of the individual American citizens, working hard to enrich their lives and protect their freedoms.

The conservative Republican Party has favored the interests of big business, finance and industry. And in theory, these causes merge and overlap to make a "Great Society". But in recent years, there has been a movement to go beyond previous limits in favoring business and finance. The limits of self-serving legislation have expanded. The power of the special interest moguls has increased unnoticed beyond moral, or even legal, bounds.

Consider that in the past, profiteers have found some profit in illegal endeavors — drugs, weapons. And in places where sexual activities have been promoted, places such as the legal brothels in some regions, an affinity has emerged between the sordid operations and the politicians. Currently, we are hearing  in the news of such ties between government agencies, and debased, corrupt, immoral scheming. This again suggests a widening of boundaries, widening into and beyond simple "conflict of interest"; a blurring of morality. So it shouldn't surprise us when a well-intended politician promotes accountability and transparency, their should be some resistance.We can only hope that the current charges emerging in the media are untrue, or exaggerated.

Many weeks ago, shortly before the Iranian elections, I wrote:

Is it my imagination, or are the Republicans getting just a little overzealous in their antagonism toward the new President of the United States? The latest development it would seem is the "wink-wink" agreement among themselves to say or do this or that. Last week Republicans agreed that Obama's would be a one-term presidency. This week they have decided that President Obama's passion to reach out and communicate with world leaders is somehow irresponsible; somehow likely to increase the domestic potential for terrorism. We can only hope that this unproductive lack of objectivity will soon transit to some more forward thinking American viewpoint.

Since the new president took office, world tensions have eased. The economy has improved; jobs, the markets. The DOW and NASDAQ are nearly back to acceptable ranges. Unemployment and housing issues are rapidly improving. Transparency and accountability is being daily encouraged, and increased. The President is unexcelled in speaking to the media, and to the Congress, carefully explaining his thinking and his plans. The objective world will applaud his new modernized missile technology in the East and in Europe. As the Republicans search for an adversarial view, with accusations of supplicating to Russia, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in Saturday’s New York Times, wrote:

I believe this is a very pragmatic proposal. I have found since taking this post that when it comes to missile defense, some hold a view bordering on theology that regards any change of plans or any cancellation of a program as abandonment or even breaking faith. We are strengthening – not scrapping – missile defense in Europe.

Gates further pointed out that the Bush missile defense plan would not even have been operational until 2017. And many thinking people recognize that the new approaches to health care are innovative, and will be effective. A deeply troubled economy will only respond to deeply constructed reparation.

Jimmy Carter suspects racism; he may be right. At no time over the weekend did I hear the president say that he may be being stereotyped. I learned years ago that such stereotyping was unacceptable. The President says that some good Americans are merely concerned that the Government won't be able to rise to the level of protection and security that they need. This is a statement which indeed echoes President Carter's words.

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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • I don’t know what planet you are living on, John, but it does not appear to be earth. World tensions are easing? Iran moves towards a bomb, threatens the United States, acquires arms from the Russian Federation, builds an empire in West Asia and tensions are easing? President Obama cancels a missile defense plan in Eastern Europe out of fear of the Russians and tensions are easing?

    Either you have nerves of steel or you are living in Bizarro World where everything is the opposite of what it is here.

    And you find the words of a monomaniac Jew-hater and Arab ass-kisser like Jimmy Careter to be persuasive? Are you sure this isn’t a humor piece?

    If you were to label this article “satire”, it might be more persuasive.

    Oh, by the way, while the little Hitler from Iran was talking about how democratic the elections in his couintry were, the people in his country were screaming “down with the dictator!”. Obama didn’t mention that at the UN – no, he dicided to try to bully the Israeli government instead.

    Okay, Mr. Liberal, now I have a question for you. What kind of obscene hypocrisy is it for a black man from the United States to try to dictate to Jews that parts of their country should be judenrein. Who the hell is he to preach segregation to us?

  • John Lake

    Don’t think I don’t apprciate you comments – I do. Americans today must find it difficult or impossible to think clearly and objectivly, given the mass of propaganda pouring forth daily from media sources. I knew Rush Limbaugh when he still was almost sensible in his tirades.
    The fact is, the Muslim World has responded very favorably to our new President.
    I don’t understand how anyone can fail to appreciate the gains in our economy, much more quickly than even the most optimistic had anticipated.
    We are moving forward on healthcare, and with temporary government supervision the finance, auto, and insurance quarters are rapidly improving.
    Negros have been victims of injustice for many generations, and for the most part have been patient and believing in a fair and just Creator.
    Obama will sensibly approach the Israel/Palestine matters, and I think his lack of conficting intrests will be rewarded.

  • That’s the one thing I’m least convinced about, John, the gains in our economy. I really, really fail to see it.

  • Baronius

    This is a terrible article. Factually wrong, poorly written, failing even to address the question in its title.

  • Doug Hunter

    I think I know what you’re talking when it comes to this ‘objectivity’.

    Liberal Objective Learning Video

  • That’s unbelievable, Doug. No different from the kind of indoctrination that the Chinese kids were (or still are) subjected to in order to worship Mao.

    There is no educational value at all to such an exercise. Even in a kindergarten that’s inexcusable.

  • Jimmy Carter is correct and the President knows he’s correct, but he can’t say so (unfortunately), because it will be viewed by many as whining or playing the race card or some-such nonsense. As a nation, we seem to have a very hard time dealing with racism: admitting it exists, talking about it, actively trying to change it. The problem here is that, as Pres. Obama did say, some of the hysteria is based on genuine economic fear and philosophical & political differences. Any President trying to do what Obama’s trying to do would be getting major heat — but the intensity and ugliness of it is inescapably racist. We may have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.

  • John, when it comes to the reaction of muslims to Obama I think I’ll trust Ruvy’s first-hand experience over your “objectivity” which based on this article is anything but.

    Carter is an idiot, Obama came close to saying it in the Sunday morning interviews, and the fact that you couldn’t even listen to what Obama was saying on this subject points out how totally disconnectd from reality you are.


  • P.S. Speaking of intensity and ugliness, it seems to me that every time I read the comments on nearly any BC article, the remarks are over-the-top, insulting, and frequently drift waaaaay off-point. Is this really necessary? Can’t we have grown-up, polite conversations about issues and the opinions of others? We’re all (ostensibly) writers and thinking persons. Surely we can do better than this!

  • doug m

    While there may be critics of obama and his policies that are racist, I have yet to see any evidence that is their sole reasoning. Point to one instance where someone has gone on record and stated they are against the health care changes because obama is a black man.

    Are people more active or agitated because he’s black? Possible, but so what?

  • Doug Hunter

    “Can’t we have grown-up, polite conversations about issues and the opinions of others?”

    When the large percentage of the articles written lately seem to just be longwinded shouts of ‘racist!’ at the opposition, what do you expect? The comments are just more succinct versions of the same type of insults the articles themselves provide. Write an enlightened and thoughtful article and you’ll likely get higher quality comments, there are examples of this on the site (granted there are no guarantees)

  • Lumpy

    Well the title is right in a kind of ironic, myopic self-parody kind of way.

  • Baronius

    Jeanne, I’d normally try to say something polite, provocative, and/or insightful, but look at this article.

    The president told “journalist” George Stephanopoulous that it doesn’t interest him that one of the few organizations on his resume was exposed as an outfit where morons and wannabe criminals can get jobs? Reagan took grief for his B-movies for decades, but we’re not supposed to be interested in Obama’s community organizers arranging for underage slaves?

    Exhibit number two of gullibility: an abandonment of missile defense in Europe is labelled “strengthening”. What does that even mean? John goes on to say that a missile defense system would take 8 years to implement. Is that supposed to be an argument for putting it off?

    Next: the job market has improved under Obama. False. Not even close to true. Not even a pardonable misreading of the truth.

    Toss in the lack of political insight and a failure to actually answer the question “is it racism” in a coherent way, and you’ve got one terrible article.

  • Baronius — Frankly, I agree with you: I don’t think this is a particularly well-written piece and there are factual errors. And while I can’t be bothered with the whole ACORN thing (it’s not like Obama started this organization), I too was surprised by the author’s claim that the job market has improved; it clearly has not.

    But what John Lake and others have been asking, legitimately, is where does political protest end and racist feeling begin? I think Jimmy Carter spoke up because he’s a white, southern former president (who isn’t Bill Clinton) and as such has the necessary credibility to point to the elephant in the room. And indeed, if the protests against Pres. Obama were not so pointed, hateful and personal (the Birthers? need I say more?), the question of racism wouldn’t even come up.

    I think it’s fair to say that there are those who object to the president in large part because of his race, and it’s equally fair to say that some object to him without taking his race into consideration. But since this is our first black president and we are less than 150 years away from slavery (a blink in historical time), why should even raising the issue/question of racism evoke such an enraged response?

  • Doug Hunter

    “why should even raising the issue/question of racism evoke such an enraged response?”

    Why would raising the issue of whether your political positions were legitimate or the result of you being a ‘dumb whore’ enrage you? No need to gather a shred of evidence or add legitimacy to my claim I’ll just ask Rush Limbaugh, yep he agrees it’s because liberals are dumb whores. I noted that more women are whores and that more women voted for Obama. Also, I went out to Nevada and asked some admitted whores, and yes, they support the liberal agenda. Gee, I should write an article like this every day.

    Serously though, being racist is a serious insult which should require serious proof just like calling someone a whore. What would proving that racist were against Obama or whores were for Obama prove even if you could? What is the purpose of this line of reasoning other than to insult your opponent and generate fear and hatred among your own base?

    ***Why did I select dumb whore as my insult of choice? Being a racist will probably get you fired at more places than being a whore and is just as bad, if not worse of a stain on your reputation. They’re similiar in that way and neither of them have anything to do with politics (although I’m sure practitioners of each have political opinions)

  • Doug Hunter

    I can’t believe I just used versions of the word serious three times in one sentence.

    Anyway, I should add that it wouldn’t be just about reading an article about how liberals are dumb whores one time, it would be about reading slightly altered versions of the article every other day for months on end. It’s a pointless and absurd exercise in propaganda, anybody who isn’t a dumb whore should understand that.

  • Clavos

    why should even raising the issue/question of racism evoke such an enraged response?

    Because if you paint those opposed to Obama as racists, you throw into question the legitimacy of the opposition while at the same time giving Mr. Obama carte blanche to move ahead with whatever hare-brained scheme occurs to him, because there’s no viable opposition, they’re all racists.

    On a personal level it enrages me to be thought of as a racist under any circumstances, because I am not one. There is, moreover, no way to defend against that charge, and it has a tendency to stick, even if there is no corroborating evidence.

  • why should even raising the issue/question of racism evoke such an enraged response?

    I don’t know. I mean, why would you object if I asked if you were still beating your wife and stealing from the poor box at your church?


  • Doug, Clavos, Dave: Gentlemen — and I use the term loosely — One more time, with feeling:

    Not everyone who dislikes Pres. Obama or opposes his policies, not even everybody who is foaming at the mouth about them, is a racist — and no responsible or fair-minded pundit or citizen-observer would say so. It is most certainly possible to disagree with a black man because you object to his ideas, not the color of his skin.

    However, AMONG those who dislike the president and/or oppose his policies there ARE racists; their presence is clear and disturbing and in no small number. And ironically, they are undermining the legitimacy of reasonable opposition.

    Racism is a real thing; it is not a paranoid fantasy on the part of black people or a part of the distant past. Racism is still a very real dynamic and a very serious problem, because it involves one group of people feeling superior to and hostile towards another group of people because of their different RACE. And it has in the past and continues in the present to result in appalling inequities, as well as instances of violence.

    If we are to evolve as a culture, make positive change as a society, and become truer to our stated values as a nation, it will be necessary to confront the reality of racism, just as it continues to be necessary to confront the reality of sexism. (I’d add homophobia, but I recognize that this is a more complex issue.)

    As an intelligent tart (as opposed to a dumb whore), it continues to be beyond me why you guys have to be consistently apoplectic, to the point of rudeness and downright ugliness, in the expression of your opinions.

    I also don’t understand why your views of everything are in polar opposite terms of (you should excuse the apt expression…) black and white: you are all right, and everyone who disagrees with you is all wrong. There appear to be no shades of gray in your political views, no room for any measure of common ground, as well as no capacity to grasp several, sometimes disparate, truths at the same time.

    Your stridency and boorishness are exhausting and boring and do nothing to further dialog or understanding. Grow up. Get a grip.

  • Arch Conservative

    This article is a steaming pile of dung. No really…it’s stupid on steroids.

    Jimmy Carter? No on takes him seriously. Hell no one even took him seriously back when they were taking him seriously.

    The author of this article wouldn’t know objectivity if it bit him in the ass.

    Anyone who doesn’t agree with Obama and realize his genius is a non-thinking racist?

    You’re a little late to the party Mr. Lake. You’re like the Jehovah Witness who sleeps in late on Sunday morning and shows up at the door last. You’re still selling crazy but people have grown so tired of it that outright hostility is all they can manage to greet you with.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

    If I never have the misfortune of stumbling across another John Lake article it will be too soon.

  • Doug Hunter

    “racists; their presence is clear and disturbing and in no small number.”

    That’s the core lie you’re basing your attack on. Prove it or shut your mouth. You have zero evidence of this yet you parrot it nonstop. As long as the very basis of your argument is a lie there is no room for dialog or middle ground.

    “I also don’t understand why your views of everything are in polar opposite terms of (you should excuse the apt expression…) black and white: you are all right, and everyone who disagrees with you is all wrong.”

    Were you looking in the mirror when you wrote this? This is the oft repeated call for reason and bipartisanship (translation: you give up your principles and agree with me) I would only ask the same of you.

    “Your stridency and boorishness are exhausting and boring and do nothing to further dialog or understanding. Grow up. Get a grip.”


  • Jeanne,

    Let’s not sell Jimmy Carter short altogether. As president, he did attempt to do something to boost alternative energy (however flawed his efforts might have been in the eyes of other commenters here). He had the nerve to get on the radio and TV and tell Americans the truth: that they suffered from a terrible malaise. Very few men have had the cojones to tell Americans of their faults. He was right, and the casino culture of greed and piggishness that has brought the States to the sad shape they are in today is part and parcel of that malaise he so rightly described many years ago. Finally, as a Georgia white man of some privilege, he has an understanding of American racism, and can smell the ugly odors that others refuse to acknowledge. There is no gainsaying that there is an element of racism in some of the opposition to Obama. To say otherwise is dishonest.

    Obama, who is not really an American black, but a true Afican American (let’s be generous and say that he is a “first generation American”, like me) has picked up a lot of his sensitivity to racism “second-hand” so to speak. His emotional roots are in Africa and in Hawaii – both places where whites do not rule. The fact that his sensitivity to racism may be something in his head rather than his gut may well explain his statements distancing himself from Carter’s comments.

    That does not take away from the faults of this article, one that is seemingly based in a fantasy smoked up on some really good ganja. Just a few short miles away from Chicago, in Michigan, in Joanne Huspek’s articles, one can see the prosperity of the United States first hand. Articles talking of the emotional pain of foreclosure also tell of the wonderful economic conditions in the United States. Then there is the utter ignorance of foreign affairs shown above.

    When Dave Nalle, a man whose sympathies lie not with Israel, but the Arabs in Jordan and Lebanon, says he’ll trust my reactions to Moslems over John Lake’s that should tell you something.

    “Big Bad Johnny” should stick to humor. This article is devastatingly bad.

  • Jeanne,

    One last point. Jimmy Carter may have overcome his racism with respect to black people. That is not for me to judge. But his dislike of Jews and Israel is terribly obvious, and has only increased over the years. For all the good he attempted to do in the States, in my scales, his anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiment outweighs it, and makes what he says worthless. Even if in some incidences that do not have to do with issues in this part of the world, he is right.

  • John Lake

    Coming from Chicago, and having grown up in a multi-ethnic culture, espousing as I do, “racial blindness” I can see in Presidents eyes and in his demeanor that he is in fact sensitive to the lack of objective evaluation of his governing.
    Many are stung when an honest President, like Carter, or Obama, comes into office. those who object have little interest in “doing the right thing”. And Obama is stung by the fact that many in high places find it impossible to believe that a black man could not possess the qualities that they feel ALL Black men possess.
    When you listen to a brilliant speaker, saying words that he himself wrote (far different from the previous administration) and when that speaker listens to and answers each and every question clearly, logically, thoroughly, not only for those listening, but also for the individual speaker – and some of you know that – he has to be seen as a very brilliant man. So, when critics appear not to have even heard a word the black man has said, it has to hurt.
    Politicians in some quarters might feel that they can oppose the President, politically speaking, on his views, or they can take the more effective route, and remind the voters of the speakers race.
    The job market is becoming worse at a slower rate than had been anticipated: the markets as I said are already back into what to my thinking is a Psychological acceptable level.

  • Clavos

    When you listen to a brilliant speaker, saying words that he himself wrote…

    Pardon me, John, but like all presidents before him, Mr. Obama has a number of speech writers on his payroll, headed by one Jon Favreau, who has been with him since his senatorial days and who is credited with having penned his boss’s most “brilliant” orations.

    Mr. Obama does NOT write his own speeches.

  • Coming from Chicago, and having grown up in a multi-ethnic culture….

    Please, John, don’t try to snow us. I’m from Brooklyn originally, and grew up in a multi-cultural environment. I’m speaking for myself, but a good proportion of the writers commenting on this article come from multi-cultural environments as well.

    I know that when I was a kid in Brooklyn, I saw newspapers in English, Spanish, French, Yiddish, German, Russian, Swedish, Polish, Romanian, Chinese, Albanian and Italian. And not just in one newspaper store in Manhattan but in all the neighborhood shops in Brooklyn and the Bronx. The multitude of cultures I saw and experienced in New York is one of the strongest memories I have of my childhood. I can’t and won’t pretend to racial “blindness” – I suggest you not make those pretensions either – but I did not grow up filled with racial hatred, or with an attitude that non-whites had only an inferior place in society. When I saw only blacks working as waiters in several of the “higher” class restaurants in Brooklyn, it bothered me as being wrong – this as a child who had not been taught about integration or segregation, or the liberal party line.

    Obama can be an excellent orator – he knows how to deliver a speech – and I have no doubt that he can write a good one as well. But he doesn’t have time to write speeches. So, like almost every other president for the last 8 decades or so, he has speech-writers.

    When you stop worshiping the tin pot would-be dictator from Illinois, you will realize that he is nothing more than a sleaze-bucket in the good old Chicago tradition of sleaze-buckets, and if he accomplishes anything good for America, it will be by accident – in spite of his efforts – rather than because of them.

    I bid you a good Sabbath from the mountains of liberated Samaria, in ISRAEL.


  • Doug Hunter

    It’s brilliant when a liberal president speaks liberal words and you’re a liberal. If you’re not, not so much.

    I’m starting to see the problem here. You’re asking the wrong question. This:

    The Lack of Objectivity – Is It Racism?

    Should read like this

    The Lack of Objectivity – Is It because Others aren’t as Liberal as I am?

    Or in light of your last post speaking of the president as honest, brilliant, sensitive, etc. I suggest a new direction completely, perhaps:

    My Lack of Objectivity – Is It Liberalism?

  • Baronius

    First it was:

    “The economy has improved; jobs, the markets….Unemployment and housing issues are rapidly improving.”

    Now it’s:

    “The job market is becoming worse at a slower rate than had been anticipated”

    and I wouldn’t even agree with that.

  • Baronius

    Jeanne –

    “Not everyone who dislikes Pres. Obama or opposes his policies, not even everybody who is foaming at the mouth about them, is a racist — and no responsible or fair-minded pundit or citizen-observer would say so.”

    What about “overwhelming”? Would a fair-minded pundit say that an overwhelming portion of the animosity against the President is racist?

  • John Lake

    “Mr” Obama has more involvment in his speech preparation than many recent presidents.
    Bush sometimes spent (my belief) six figures for a single speech. But man, he could read a speech better than just about anyone!

  • Baronius

    John – “Mr.” is not an insult when Clavos talks about Barack Obama’s years as both Senator and President. I do agree that we can all be too informal in the way we refer to office-holders.

  • As far as I’m concerned, this article has been unjustly criticized as being poorly written, untrue to facts, and overly ideological. For all of that, it doesn’t strike me, however, as being any more “guilty” in the mentioned respects as most of what issues from our esteemed colleagues on the right.

    Yes, the author was overly optimistic in assessing the state of the nation in terms of the economy or the international situation. I admit I have a difficult seeing things his way. Poorly written, that is debatable. So we come to the gist of the criticism – Carter’s speech and accusations of racisms. It’s on that count, I’m certain, that the article is deemed as “hopelessly ideological.”

    I grant that throwing the race charges and playing the race card doesn’t do much to advance rational discussion and, in the long run, it’s anything but counterproductive. If anything, it only tends to alienate the opposition (or, I should say, some of the opposition). But let’s consider.

    There’s no question that the level of animosity against this president comes close to unprecedented. (Granted, Bush was also severely criticized, if not demonized, by many on the left, but the Iraqi war was the issue; and it goes without saying that the opposition to war is a legacy with the Left since Vietnam; so the reason here is more or less understandable).

    And so here we are: first the tea parties; then the birter issue; and most recently, the town-hall meetings – all of which among charges of socialism, or communism, almost resurrecting the McCarthy era, except the charges are leveled this time against the president himself. Yes, that’s almost unprecedented.

    Now, there is no question that not all those voices against the president are racially motivated. Carter didn’t say that, nor did the author of the article. No question that many objections to this president are policy-driven – against big government and presumed losses of individual freedoms – and in accord with “sound” Republican/conservative principles. One would have to be a fool not to aware of that. And yet . . .

    It’s precisely because some of the issues (like the birther question) are non-issues, the nature of the opposition, it’s mob-like quality and lack of articulation – all this suggests that the opposition and resistance (on the part of great many) is not only unreasonable, fear-directed, provoked, but also springing from some deep and unexpressed impulses and instincts. And it is in order to understand the roots of this (in some) that “racism” resurfaces as a possible explanation.

    Are we now going to deny that it could be a hidden motivation in some? Are we in the position to say so in the affirmative of everyone and anyone, whether we know them or not? Of course not. The honest thing to do here would be to speak only for oneself. We cannot speak for anyone else. And yet, the strength of the reaction against the possibility that racism may be a factor is more perturbing to me than suggesting such a possibility. The former suggests guilty conscience; the latter is but trying to arrive at some kind of understanding.

    Again, the honest thing to do would be to entertain the possibility and admit that there can be doubt. After all, if you’re not a racist, it’s no reflection on you that somebody else might be.

    Does it necessarily detract from your position – i.e., objecting to Obama on policy grounds – that some in your camp are racists? Why should it unless we’re talking about guilt by association?

    So lets be clear where we stand, as individual persons, and worry not about other Americans.

  • 5 (gag)

  • Meaning?

  • who me? the video of the kids is sickening to me.

  • Doug’s post #5

  • Baronius

    Roger – What you’re doing is sometimes called the Fallacy of the Golden Mean. Not everyone is racist; not no one is racist; therefore the criticism of the President is somewhat driven by race. There are quite a few hidden assumptions in that argument.

    Let’s look at this notion that the demonization of President Obama is nearly unprecedented, and that the demonization of Bush was only about the Iraq War. That’s historically wrong. Bush was mocked as a stupid execution-loving drunk before the 2000 election; accused of stealing the 2000 election; torn apart when the Iraq War was popular, then unpopular, then when the surge proved effective. He was accused of engineering 9/11 – easily as unreasonable an accusation as any made against Obama. He was accused of stealing the 2004 election, and accused of planning to void the 2008 election. He was badmouthed when he was enacting moderate policies of health-care and education reform, and reaching across the aisle for a unionized Department of Homeland Security. He is still blamed today for his deficits, even as the current White House resident quadruples them.

    And that’s high esteem compared to the treatment of Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Ashcroft. So no one can pretend that politics has suddenly turned nasty. And that’s one of the assumptions behind the “sudden anger = racism” argument.

  • This wasn’t offered as any kind of deductive argument. (And let’s forget about Bush, because it’s irrelevant and I don’t condone demonizaton). I’m simply proposing (as a hypothesis) that some of the irrationalism that characterizes the opposition to Obama may be racially motivated (or “inspired”), that’s all. And I’m proposing it only in the spirit of offering a possible explanation.

    As such, we can’t really speak for others, all others, to put it more accurately in the present case – because we don’t really know. (We can only speak for ourselves and our own motivation.) So whether there is any truth to this “explanation,” I can’t really prove it. But it’s also the case that you can’t disprove it.

    Let’s just say, I suspect there may be some truth to it.

  • Yes, Cindy. #5 is funny.

  • Well, so much for the prospect of mutual respect — and silly me for even suggesting it. From now on, I’ll just say my piece in BC comments about the article at hand and not address those who choose to express themselves belligerently. By the way, I’m starting a new BC Feature column in TV/Video today called NewsWire. I look forward to ignoring you there, as well. You may also wish to visit my blog, where I do a fair amount of ranting and raving myself. Stop by and insult me there, too; fortunately, despite your best efforts, it’s still a relatively free country. People never cease to dismay me — but then, I don’t listen to talk-radio, so I’m clearly naive about the real truth. And of course, being a stupid-ass Liberal, it’s no wonder that wisdom like yours (you know who you are) would go right over my pointed head. Gotta run now; I’m late for the weekly flag-burning at my local Communist Party meeting. Have a nice day!

  • Jeannie,

    I hope you didn’t take offense at my post(s).

  • No, Roger, no offense taken at all!

  • Baronius

    Roger, if neither of us can prove it or disprove it, don’t we owe it to William of Ockham to not talk about it?

  • I don’t have any stake at proving it, and I have nothing more to say about the subject. However, I still think my post was well taken in light of the vehement objections to the contrary.

    I was responding to “the outrage.”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    John –

    Jimmy Carter was spot-on accurate. Much of the rage against Obama by the right (like the 400% increase in death threats (never mind that he’s nearly twice as popular as Bush was)) comes from a great many conservatives (NOT all, probably not even most, but certainly many) who are racist, who don’t like liberals and hate the fact that a Democrat’s in the White House…and the fact that it’s a black man in the White House gives them all the more incentive to vent their rage.

    I really don’t care about the protestations by the BC conservatives against what I just said (and remember, Dave says BC has a ‘liberal’ repuration). The racism is still there, mostly in the South…and as a former racist having been raised in the very deepest of the Deep South, at ground zero for racism in America, I know it when I see it.

    It just bites that a lot of conservatives KNOW all this…and refuse to acknowledge it because they want to see someone – ANYone – else in the White House.

    (and stand by because now I’m probably going to be accused of making personal attacks).

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Jeanne –

    it continues to be beyond me why you guys have to be consistently apoplectic, to the point of rudeness and downright ugliness, in the expression of your opinions.

    In my opinion, Jeanne, they really don’t think they are being rude and ugly. They don’t recognize the tone of their statements, their arguments.

    Why? For the same reason that smokers don’t realize that they stink. For the same reason that children grow up cussing and think it’s no big deal. For the same reason that Southerners I’ve known will say n-word this, n-word that, and then claim in all seriousness that he’s not racist.

    Because they’ve been writing this way, talking this way, listening to pundits who speak this way…this is THEIR language, and when they write such things, it sounds perfectly reasonable and polite to their own way of thinking. They cannot see the rudeness, the ugliness.

    Unfortunately, I think that’s part of what’s polarizing America. Eloi and Morlocks indeed.

  • I don’t see why you should be so accused. You didn’t point your finger at anyone in particular. So if anyone chooses to accuse you so because you believe that some conservatives may be racists, it’s their problem.

  • Some liberals are, too.

  • That’s the thicket, Glenn. Many don’t know what they’re doing because it’s the only way they know. With few minor exceptions, though, I wouldn’t say that of the BC regulars.


  • ticket . . .

  • Glenn Contrarian

    When it comes to the longtime BC regulars, you’re right, Rog….

  • Zedd


    When the big broohaha welled up when Hillary attempted this health care thing during Bill Clinton’s presidency, it became clear rather quickly to me that the issue was that she had gotten to big for her britches. A female trying to be so smart and actually thinking she had a right to be innovative and determined without giving us a little bit of coyness. Te attacks were venomous. People were afraid of her. It was as if she was trying to change their perception of reality. As if she was evil for not pretending to only have as her ambition her husband’s aspirations.

    I think we may be dealing with the same thing. The same fears are cropping up.
    Having this guy up there who is not acting like we want Blacks to act; who is disturbing our view of the world and order in the universe, is wrong.

    Because many especially the sentimental lot on the Right view Americanness as being more about an image of what we are (or should be) – typically 1950’s America.

  • I’ll give you my lowdown on Doug. He comes across as provocative. I think it’s his style, not just to get a rise out of someone but to force a radical statement of the position. Whether he realizes it or now, I can’t be certain, but I discern a certain strategy. I sort of brings the issues to a head, and when that happens, both parties to the argument have a clearer idea as to what it is about. And at that point, he starts reasoning with you.

    Anyways, that’s my experience with him.

  • It sort of . . .

  • Right. Too big for his breaches and not acting like a black is supposed to act (even though he’s the president).

    Because how would some whites face up to the reality that a black fixed a major problem that until now had evaded everybody’s good will and efforts? It would be something else to live with.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Zedd –

    There’s a good friend of mine who’s a neo-con – and yes, he’s a friend I can trust – who told me in all seriousness back in the 90’s that Hillary was the antiChrist.

    He also told me another time that the War on Terror is worse than WWII.

    But he is a good, trustworthy friend…except for when it comes to news, politics, or history.

  • britches (my spelling is atrocious, better watch it)

  • Baronius

    Zedd, I tell you what. If Obama fails to pass universal health care, then a future white male president tries and conservatives roll out the red carpet, track me down and I’ll buy you a soda.

  • Zedd


    “That’s the core lie you’re basing your attack on. Prove it or shut your mouth.”

    You got it wrong. You need to disprove it or shut your mouth. Everything in Americas history points to the fact that America is infested with racists. You are in a malaise of denial and so, I assume, your reasoning ability is warped. If we have a strong and irrefutable history of racism, with strong and even violent protests against the elimination of it; consistent denial at every stage of dismantling. We have racists.

    Now disprove it…. GO!

  • Zedd

    #52 was posted when I was on the run and distracted by the kids (you know what cute guy looked at me and what outfit I looked cutest in…). I didn’t even finish the last sentence. But I get a free pass since I’ve already admitted to being lazy to edit. Even Clavos has given up on pointing out my goofs. My cursor however has been behaving 70% of the time lately ever since I down loaded a program which prevents it from jumping around as much, so I cant use that excuse for the error ridden posts. That cursor thing was REALLY annoying but I’m gonna really miss the excuse.

  • Zedd


    You are missing it.

    It’s not the policy or decent against the proposed that is the issue, it is the tone of the “protesters”. The venomous, tenor is what is startling to everyone. The fervor is way too pronounced, as if something other than what has been proposed is being responded to. There is an anger and a frenzy that doesn’t fit. Looking at what has been proposed as potential solutions, how it’s been proposed (“lets work together to come up with the best solution”), what the medical community is saying (its much more cumbersome to deal with private insurance), what Americans are saying (their challenges with the current state of health care), the fear, rage and do or die response of the “protesters” just doesn’t match.

    Why are they not into the “lets sit down and find a solution together” thing? Why would they believe that this President wants their grandparents killed? Who in their right minds would imagine that that would be plausible if they didn’t believe the worst of someone already. What first term POLITICIAN -mind you- in their right mind, in this country, would make that a part of their plan, knowing how challenging the health care debate would be???

    I would imagine that even you would say “there are racists out there”. Where do you think they are? Why wouldn’t they act a fool when a Black guy becomes President. Why would they jump out of their coves and woodworks with their sheets on and declare that they cant have a jungle bunny for President. They can’t and wont.

  • And they’re enraged by the fact that a black man is smarter than they.

    The whitey can’t stand it.

  • That’s the ticket.

    None of our friends on the right are willing to entertain the possibility that some of the protesters are racist.

    Well, perhaps racism in reverse will work. So lets call a whitey a whitey.

  • Baronius

    The reaction seems unreasonable to you, because you support the man and his policies. The reaction to Bush seemed unreasonable to me because of my support. Look, if you go to war, some innocent people are going to die. That’s a fact. If you ration health care, some people are also going to die. Let’s not play games here; presidents make life-and-death decisions.

    You listen to a speech by President Obama and remember the part about everyone working together. I remember the part about his opponents lying for the sole purpose of opposing change. You remember him offering to listen to better ideas from all sides; I remember the ideas that he hasn’t listened to. I’m guessing that if we took your grade for Bush and my grade for Obama, we could accurately put a label on a fast forward button.

    Where you see disproportionate rage, I’m trying to figure out why people aren’t more upset at Obama.

  • Quite an analogy there, Baronius: war and healthcare.

    Of course you’re going to argue that the reason why we’re in Iraq is that we’re fighting for our lives. I know, the good old line that if we don’t terrorists at home, we must fight them abroad.

  • Zedd


    “Jimmy Carter? No on takes him seriously”

    Actually it’s only people like you – who admire and take Sara Palin seriously – that don’t. A large percent of the world’s population think well of him. He is smart and proactive. He has displayed the virtues of a real humanitarian. He predicted the fall out from the lending issues way before it was on the news. No one listen because he was focusing on the predatory lending angle and not as much on the poor banks and investors.

    A fool despises wisdom Arch. You keep missing it over and over again. Perhaps in your old age, it’s time to finally get it right. Forget about living up to your label as a conservative and start judging every situation based on all of the elements around it. Perhaps it’s time for you to think for yourself and not to support some contrived ideology. Maybe then you’ll stop being such a lightweight, parrot of vague ideas that have no consequence other than to give some power hungry silver tongued men (that you don’t know) more power over you. The market consists of men, small government consists of men, none of whom you can personally vouch for. Forget all that. Just look at each individual situation and see if it serves YOU and what you value the best

  • It’s nothing new. Dave calls him an idiot.

  • Zedd


    I’ve posted and peeked into BC for perhaps 4 or 5 years and Arch is consistent. Just lost. It makes me sad. How does one live their one and only life crouched in the shadows like he is. He is a passionate guy and he could be lavishly engaged in something inspiring which makes us all better. But because of the information that he has gotten, his misguided and is championing non issues, pure inventions to preoccupy zealots like himself; people who could make us all much better people if only their minds were free.

  • I wasn’t referring to Archie, zedd. The “idiot” epithet I spoke of refers to Jimmy Carter.

  • I remember the Carter administration, ladies and gentlemen, and for all the good points he had (all four of them), he was an idiot. He messed up the Middle East, he messed up handling funding for New York City, he messed up handling Iran (the US should have nuked Teheran in 1979 when the revolutionaries seized the US Embassy and held its employees hostage. Legates, by their nature, are hostages to hostile governments.). He messed up. Period.

    Now that he has left office, he has stained his reputation even further by evincing his Jew-hatred and Israel-hatred in his actions and comments. I voted for the bastard in 1976; in 1980, I voted for John Anderson. I’m waiting for the super-annuated asshole to go to his eternal reward – whatever that might be. The sooner, the better. Then he can lecture Edward Kennedy on the morality of leaving girls to drown in cars while swimming away. That Catholic boy needs a good finger-wagging lecture from a self-righteous Baptist – with G-d watching on and laughing.

  • You may as well throw Billy Graham into the mix. And Pat Robertson.

  • Zedd

    Still not sure why Carter was considered a failure. He actually resolved the hostage crisis before he left but Regan got the credit. Unfortunately the public took it that the fake tough talk is what did it. Hence the ridiculous posturing that took place in the previous administration. Rep fell in love with that tough talk and thought it actually works. So Bush (Rove) knowing how crazed people were about Reagan’s performances, re-instituted it and it backfired. The world got sick of us really fast and we ended up with two wars.

  • Zedd

    Dave doesn’t mean anything he says. He says whatever is expedient. He has been accused of being disingenuous so much that no one even bothers to say it anymore. I think he sees himself as being on some sort of propaganda mission. The only problem is that he really doesn’t stand for anything. Most of his pet stances have been proven ridiculous (greed is good, deregulation, etc.) so he just creates something to believe in and claims that there is some deeper reason for his support of it. The truth is, he just likes stating stuff no matter what it is. I think he’s afraid to say or fully assess what he REALLY thinks because he is a joiner.

  • I, too, happened to think that the release was timed just prior to the election and held it against him. Probably, I was wrong.

  • Zedd

    I want the end to the Arab Israeli “crisis” if only to simply shut Ruvy up. I think he’d shrivel up into a tiny raisin and poof into a small puff of smoke if everyone all at once declared they true and genuine love for the Jews. I bet he scourers the internet sweating and shaking, looking for Jew hate just to feed his habit. “Com’aaan baby give it to me. Hit me with some hate. Com’aaan. I love ya Al Jazeera baby”. ewwww.

  • But to be like you describe in #73 just doesn’t make sense. It must be a parody. Same with #75.

  • Clavos

    There’s probably as much hatred of Jews around the world as there is of anyone else, judging from the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Muammar Gaddafi and most Amerikan southerners. Temples in Miami are constantly defaced with anti-Semitic grafitti, and often are the targets of arson.

  • This was a helluva spiel. Would qualify for a Richard Pryor or Redd Foxx monologue.

  • Do they ever catch ’em, Clav? And who’s doing it?

  • So it looks like Zedd ain’t gonna get her wish.

  • Baronius

    Zedd, you have got to be kidding me! You accuse Ruvy of seeing hatred where it doesn’t exist? You can’t spot the difference between a policy disagreement and racism! People make videos saying that they’re blowing up Jews because they’re Jews, then blow up Jews – and you think Ruvy’s exaggerating claims of racism. People disagree over government involvement in health care, taking the exact same positions they’ve always taken – and you sense discrimination. Madness.

  • “People disagree over government involvement in health care.”

    What people, Baronius? I certainly hope you’re not referring to thoughtless crows.

    Most people neither have the time nor the inclination to think, never mind taking or having positions. It is you who seems to have unrealistic opinion of “people.” For the life of me, I have no idea what you’re talking about, who’s the object of your reference.

  • I want the end to the Arab Israeli “crisis” if only to simply shut Ruvy up….

    No dice, my Zulu warrior princess.

    Ruvy’s FIRST principle. It doesn ‘t matter what the goyim think, it matters what the Jews DO.

    Ruvy will shut up with contentment when Jews who run Israel do what is right, and follow that principle as well…. ;o))

  • I like that, “my Zulu warrior princess.”

    Now, if that doesn’t disarm her, nothing will.

  • Still not sure why Carter was considered a failure.

    It is remarkable how some folks refuse to see failure for failure. Carter resolved nothing. His régime humiliated America world-wide; Carter he kissed the mullah’s feet and got sand kicked in his face. His refusal to do what was right, instead of what was easy, both with respect to Israel and Iran (not to mention Lebanon), cost him and cost the United States. That is what you get when elect white trash to the executive mansion. I learned a painful lesson in voting for the wrong man in 1976.

  • Zedd


    Make sense.

  • Zedd

    He always calls me that Roger.

  • Then he must like you.

  • Baronius

    Zedd, I’m going to assume that you meant that sincerely, so I’ll restate my earlier comment.

    In the Middle East, there are regular acts of violence against Jews. Those attacks are conducted for the stated purpose of killing Jews because they are Jews. By any reasonable standard, that is racism. Yet you seem to dismiss Ruvy’s comments about anti-Semitism as false. (Granted, some of what Ruvy says is over-the-top. But it’s safe to say that racism, more than land, is at the heart of Middle East tensions.)

    On another subject, in the United States, there is a debate about health care reform. Both sides are heated. Both sides have been heated on this subject before a black president endorsed it. There is no good reason that a person would look at the tension in the debate and blame it on racism. (Certainly, there are racists on either side. Some anti-Obama protestors are racist.)

    What I find vexing is that you detect racism where it is not signficant, and fail to detect it where it is.

  • I think it’s significant whenever it happens. And I don’t believe Zedd was minimizing Ruvy’s feelings. She was joshing with him.

  • Baronius

    Roger, do you think that the few racist signs among the thousands of protestors are significant enough to sidetrack the health care debate? I know they’re undesirable, but why should they distract us from an honest appraisal of the proposed health care reforms?

    I don’t think that Zedd was kidding. If she was, she can clear up my misunderstanding with a reply.

  • No, we should not be distracted from honest discussion of the issues. But I do disagree on the extent of what you perceive as a minimal problem. I happen to think that the numbers are far greater than we’d like to believe, and that the possibility of an honest debate has been contaminated thereby.

    And yes, Zedd should answer for herself, as she no doubt will.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    It’s not the few racist signs at the conservative rallies that bother me – there’s idiots everywhere. What DOES bother me is that NOTHING is done by the other not-so-racist conservatives at those rallies to discourage it.

    The other rally-goers don’t do anything, and neither do the rally organizers or the conservative politicians who headline the events.

    THAT, sir, is what should bother you.

  • Yep, they’re riding that pony.

  • Baronius

    Glenn, did the anti-Bush peace organizers take the time to denounce the miscellaneous anti-Semites and communists walking in their ranks? Of course not. It muddles the message and calls more attention to the cranks. There’s no reason that the anti-Obama leaders should lecture the attendees about possible racists in their midst.

    I am far more troubled by the anti-Semites and communists finding common cause with the left than with the racists who march in the current protests due to an accident of color.

  • “Communists?” Don’t you think it’s an outdated term, Baronius?

    The last time I checked, the Cold War was over a quarter century ago but you’re still seeing spooks and bogeymen.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    did the anti-Bush peace organizers take the time to denounce the miscellaneous anti-Semites and communists walking in their ranks? Of course not.

    So, um, dude – I don’t remember seeing any anti-semite signs at Democratic candidate rallies. Can you link me to any proof of such?

    And when it comes to communists…even if there ARE ‘pro-communist’ signs at Democratic rallies (again, show proof!), ‘communism’ is a POLITICAL belief…and last I recall, it IS legal and politically-acceptable to support parties other than the Democrats and Republicans.

    So please stop channeling Joe McCarthy and let’s talk about the racism – got proof of your ‘anti-Semite’ claims? Or will you continue the BC conservative tradition of not backing up claims with PROOF?

  • Baronius

    examples of communists and anti-Semitism at anti-war rallies

    Glenn and Roger, this stuff is so common that I didn’t think I had to provide proof of it. And frankly, it’s just impolite to name-call and scream about lack of proof at the beginning of a discussion.

  • You’re misdirecting your response, Baronius.

    You should know by now that I don’t care much for “factual arguments” unless they really matter. I’m always about ideas, and I haven’t asked for any proof. Nor have I called you any names (lately).

    So I’ll still say that your fear of communism is an outdated concept. At the very least, it had lost all its teeth.

  • Baronius,

    I tend to agree that “communism” is not an issue. The “leftists” at the head of the American “democracy” are deepening the fascism introduced by Bush in 2008, and are simultaneously making American foreign policy subservient to the United Nations and the scum there.

    What I’m really getting at is that the “ism” is no longer important anymore. The world is drifting in the direction of authoritarian regimes, and this is obvious all over the world. It doesn’t matter whther they call themselves Democrats, Socialists, Nationalists or whatever. In the end, the basic signs are the same – real restrictions on freedom in various ways, and Bush, Obama, Putin and Netanyahu are all guilty of this, each in his own way.

  • Ruvy is right. We have more to fear from this trend towards authoritarianism then anything else.

    And it doesn’t matter how nicely packaged it is or under what guises it is presented to us – whether as “liberal democracies” or any other form.

  • Baronius

    Fair enough, Roger. I lumped your comment with Glenn’s because they similarly pooh-poohed my reference to communists.

    I am personally not afraid of communists (and note that I’m not afraid of racists either). I brought up the communists and anti-Semites as illustrations of how different sides respond to malcontents who attend their protests. My position stands, that one does not organize a rally around the denouncement of a small number of its attendees.

  • No problem, Baronius. And I’ll grant you the strategic point.

    But it might serve the true opponents of the present health care proposal – i.e., those who oppose it on principle – to dissociate themselves from the hotheads.

  • Baronius

    Well, if Glenn doesn’t reply to my specific evidence, it’s going to be hard to stomach his next “I always admit I’m wrong” / “conservatives never offer proof” speech.