In their haste to find a racial angle to the increasingly commonplace assertion that Senator Barack Obama is becoming a rather arrogant jackass, the New York Times gives the whole thing away in one fell – and funny – swoop:
But Rick Davis, Mr. McCain’s campaign manager, had a snappy answer. “Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck,” he said. “It’s divisive, negative, shameful and wrong.’’
The retort was, we must say, not only contemptible, but shrewd. It puts the sin for the racial attack not on those who made it, but on the victim of the attack.
It also — and we wish this were coincidence, but we doubt it — conjurs up another loaded racial image.
The phrase dealing the race card “from the bottom of the deck” entered the national lexicon during the O.J. Simpson saga. Robert Shapiro, one of Mr. Simpson’s lawyers, famously declared of himself, Johnny Cochran and the rest of the Simpson defense team, “Not only did we play the race card, we dealt it from the bottom of the deck.”
And here we all thought that Mr. Davis was merely calling Senator Obama a duplicitous, race-baiting suckweasel – which is pretty much the message that anyone whose IQ is higher than the ambient temperature of his or her surroundings would take away from that comment. Note that you don’t have to agree with that message: you can, in fact, object to it wholeheartedly. But for Heaven’s sakes, let’s not pretend that the first thing that popped into anyone’s mind when they heard that statement was “Gee. He just compared the Obama campaign to a notorious double murderer!” 4:28 PM is a rather long time for that sort of instinctual realization.
Unless you’re the New York Times, of course. Apparently, they all do look alike to them.
PS: Note the lack of names attached to that statement. Can’t say I blame the dirty little racists.