Whenever possible (and even when not), racism is the answer.
At least that what the Presstitutes and avid supporters of the President (but I repeat myself) have decided to tell us in the wake of the very serious President’s release of his long form birth certificate, before he tackled the very serious issue of flying to Chicago for a taping of Oprah and an arduous day of serious fund-raising.
Before we go further, I have to disclose something. I’ve followed a few of the birth certificate lawsuits with great interest. The Berg case caught my interest and I read the pleadings as they were posted with greater interest. I wanted to know how the court was going to rule, even if I wasn’t sure exactly why the FEC was named in the suit, since as near as I could tell, their purpose is not to vet the candidates bona fides, but is instead to watch the money trail and blow the whistle on campaign finance violations. As time wore on, I tried to figure out why it was that someone who wanted the job, and would require the confidence of the people he sought to lead would work so hard and spend so much money to keep something private if there was no “there” there. The well-heeled counsel from Perkins Coie do not come cheap. And since other “facts” of his past, reported in his own memoirs, appeared to raise questions…niggling little things like trips to Pokeestaan and being adopted by an Indonesian national, and trivialities like that. And as long as his academic record seems to be the new standard for some to rally round, I was somewhat fascinated to find that despite being on law review during his time at Harvard Law School, he apparently never authored a law review article. As a graduate of two law schools myself, I wondered (and STILL wonder) how it is that he accomplished that particular feat.
But as the weeks stretched into years, and the dismissals in the various venues piled up, I found it difficult to care. Unlike some of my friends, I didn’t believe that it was an issue that truly mattered any more. I never believed that this was some sort of conspiracy dating back to his birth wherever that event took place. It didn’t have to be. After we had passed a certain threshold, even if it was proven that he was intelligible, I had no reason to believe that every act and executive order he affixed his signature to would be suddenly null and void, thus freeing us from the disasters he had set loose upon the country. You can’t unring a bell, unscramble eggs, or unspend billions of dollars. This doesn’t mean that my curiosity about spending the money fighting the requests in venue after venue, or his academic career was put to rest. As lawyer, I’d never counsel someone to fight the lawsuits the way that he did, at the cost it ran up when the whole thing could be made to go away with simply presenting the long form to the Court…at least not without a letter to the client stating very plainly “While I love taking your money to do this, you could defeat this and all future claims by just presenting the damn thing, right?” sitting in my file with their signature acknowledging that they received it from me. No, while my curiosity remains, I came to regard this entire episode as one more example of the contempt he has for the American people. And now that the inevitable post-mortems have commenced, the consensus of the hand-wringing concerned members of the press and his adoring supporters have returned to the tired, predictable, and baseless conclusion that just happens to coincide with yet another election in which he plans to participate. Yes, these big brains have once again settled on their favorite conclusion: this was an issue because the people who cared were racists!!!11!!!
Let’s start first with the adoring fans. From my friend Rutherford Lawson, the only sort-of-sane, and occasionally honest lefty I know:
But there is a sad downside to this capitulation. The most powerful man in the world today was reduced to saying essentially, “Yes Massa, I really is an American. I gots the papers to prove it.” Not since the dark days of the 19th century where blacks had to identify themselves as free or slave has a man’s identity been so disgustingly challenged. There is no doubt that our incredibly sheltered citizenry who can’t identify other countries on a map had an adjustment to make with a President with such an exotic background. And let’s be honest. Obama, at least from one side of his family, is a first generation American. That is NEW for our country. However, his background makes him a black American.
Of course the Press, not to be done in its role as the President’s biggest supporter, rushed to make sure that we all knew that the question only existed to begin with because those asking it were racists:
So what’s fueling the dogged questioning of Obama’s origins? Many critics of the birther movement say its core tenets–and its stubborn resistance to evidence disproving those beliefs–can be traced to racial hostilities. The fundamental birtherist conviction, these critics say, is that an African-American can’t have legitimately won the presidency–and that his elevation to power therefore has to be the result of an elaborate subterfuge.
“There is a real deep-seated and vicious racism at work here in terms of trying to de-legitimate the president,” Peniel Joseph, a professor of history at Tufts University, told The Ticket.
“This is more than just a conspiracy,” Peniel added. “I think this is fundamentally connected to white supremacism in this country.”
Of course. And as a white male who has ancestry in this country dating back to well before it was a country, I cannot tell you how put out I am to learn that white supremacism is so incredibly powerful, and yet I was never given an invitation to join this mighty cabal that is so powerful that it could ask questions that were asked of other Presidents in the past, but somehow glossed over by a criminally uncurious press corps in the last Presidential election cycle, and have it considered, even momentarily, as anything other than racism.
And of course, the Press wants us to believe that racism drove this issue because “the experts” have told us that this is so.
Meanwhile, an eye-opening recent study from the University of Delaware appears to confirm that race-minded detractors of Obama view him as “less American”–as Dan Vergano writes for USA Today.
The study, which surveyed blacks and whites on their opinions of Obama compared to Vice President Joe Biden, found that whites classified as “higher prejudice-predicted Whites” viewed Obama as “less American”–a view that, in turn, resulted in lower evaluations of the president’s performance.
“Finally, many in the media have speculated that current criticisms of Obama are a result of his race, rather than his agenda. We believe that the current results are an empirical demonstration that this is sadly the case,” the study concluded in its analysis. “As the United States approaches important decisions regarding issues such as economic reform, health care, and overseas military interventions, the intrusion of racial attitudes in the evaluation of political leaders’ performance is ironically inconsistent with what many believe to be ‘American.’ “
I really can’t think of any other way to put it. Obama is not a polarizing figure because he’s black. Before Colin Powell frittered away a fair amount of respect among the American people by supporting Obama, he was someone who some well-connected figures in the GOP had occasionally brought up in discussions about possible Presidential candidates. Hell, some conservatives considered to be “out there” by more mainstream conservative perspectives supported a bid by Alan Keyes for the Oval Office. The Rev. Jesse Jackson has run for the Democratic nomination more than once. It isn’t the color of skin that matters. A black president was a statistical inevitability.
No, Obama is a polarizing figure because he supports radical points of view, and has on several occasions shown a fair amount of contempt for some of the American people. From his support for Unions, or the philosophy that Americans don’t pay enough for gasoline, or the belief that the Constitution is a fundamentally flawed document, or his promises to destroy the coal industry, or his openly derisive remarks about the voters in Pennsylvania bitterly clinging to their guns and their religion, he is the anthesis of the “uniter” that he claimed he wanted to be.
I don’t need to be a racist to be critical of the President. And my curiosity about all the things we don’t know about him doesn’t have to be motivated by racism either. We used to know a whole lot more about the people who sought the office. It was part of the “getting to know you” dance that candidates used to have with the voters. Yet, in comparison to other candidates, we knew so little about this one. A young man with what appeared to be an unremarkable career, punctuated by leaps up the ladder of elective office, and a record that demonstrated little other than an unwaivering commitment to abortion. A man who a slobbering press made out to be “smarter than Spock” and “like a God”, and yet had no record to support it shy of his attendance at a prestigious law school and little else. A man who appeared articulate, as long as a machine told him what to say, and a blithering idiot when it wasn’t available. No, if there are questions that people still harbor about this President, the fault lies with him, and with the press, who decided that it was more important to sell his hope for change than it was to sell his resume and history. For him to chastise the American people for still caring about this instead of being “serious”, rather than actually working to gain their trust and their confidence reveals more about him and his character than I think he really wanted to.
It really isn’t us, Barry. Its you, and this ridiculous pose of entitlement that you adopt. It was offensive in the last election cycle, when you acted as if you really didn’t want us to know any more than what you wanted to tell us about you, and it has only gotten more grating in the years since. The good news is that now you have a record that you have to run on. The shibboleth of racism isn’t going to have the same degree of shutuppery that it carried in times past. And quit lecturing us about the seriousness of things. We don’t get to hop on Air Force One whenever we want to go on a friend’s television show before a grueling day pressing the flesh with campaign donors; we work for a living.