Liberal Blowhards, Race and Barack Obama
One of my favorite liberal blowhards, the aptly named Charles Blow, recently penned an article in the New York Times which seems to suggest that opposition to Barack Obama, particularly his signature legislation- Obamacare, is racially motivated. This is not surprising since Charles Blow is an example of the typical African-American liberal who sees a racial bogeyman wherever he looks. Just a perusal of his many articles indicates that he cannot help injecting some racial motivation into any topic. In this recent article, he quotes that great political observer and king-builder, Oprah Winfrey, herself a person who seems to find racial motivations even in the purchase of purses in Switzerland. According to Blow, her recent statements behind Republican opposition to Obamacare have reopened this racial animus towards the first half African-American president in history.
This line in particular from the Blow article, almost a stand alone paragraph, summarizes the feelings of those who see race behind everything: “Racism is a virus that is growing clever at avoiding detection.” Worded another way, it is a no-win situation unless you adhere to the Blow-Winfrey theorem that race is behind everything. Even if racism is in no way implicated in anything, it is still there just under the surface “avoiding detection.” Of course, Blow then trots out Rush Limbaugh’s response to Winfrey as an example of his expertise in this area by declaring of Limbaugh: “Alas, simpletons have a simple understanding of complex concepts.”
Naturally, this same statement directed at Limbaugh can be thrown back at the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Charles Blow. What can be a more simple-minded analysis and response than seeing a racial animus in opposition to Barack Obama and his policies? It is way to simple to invoke race as an explanation for that opposition. But, this view is ridiculous from the start. Why, for example, is there no racial animus against someone like Tim Scott, Allen West, or Ben Carson- all African-American leaders who espouse a conservative worldview and agenda? To the Charles Blows of the world, without saying so although sometimes actually doing just that, these conservative African Americans are not “truly” black, or they have been hoodwinked by white, conservative America. At their worst, they are “Oreos-” black on the outside, white on the inside. It is a racist view of fellow African-Americans who, if they disagree with the self-anointed spokespeople of blacks, are somehow “less black.”
There is only a tangential certain shred of truth to some of Blow’s assertions. But, that is the fault of Barack Obama himself. Obama has never been averse to playing the race card to his advantage. As a politician and campaigner, Obama excels. Whether it was his rise in Illinois politics or his defeat of Hillary Clinton in the 2008 race, Obama’s proxies have never shied away from dropping race into the conversation. Just ask Bill Clinton about South Carolina and 2008. Where Obama’s political acumen becomes apparent is the fact that while his proxies do the dirty work, Obama sits above the fray and enjoys the fruits of that dirty work.
Charles Blow then goes on to quote Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen. In his article, he addressed Tea Party opposition to Obama and seemed to suggest that the conversation has changed. What really amazes me, by the way, is how liberals are so adept at divining what the Tea Party is all about. If memory serves me right, it originally arose as a grassroots political movement against TARP and the Obama stimulus. It was Obamacare that broke the camel’s back and it was then that the Tea Party truly exploded on the scene. But Cohen, which Blow seems to agree with, then asserts, after listing what he believes the Tea Party stands for (if he had stopped there, it would have been fine), then says this is nothing more than a belief in the extension of “traditional values.” Those traditional values involve: fear over the expansion of the federal government, immigration, the rise of secularism, and the mainstreaming of what used to be avante-garde. If Cohen had left it at that, he would have gotten it mostly correct, although the Tea Party is more of a fiscally conservative movement rather than a socially conservative movement. Where the social issues enter the conversation is when that expansive federal government dictates to everyone what is correct politics- items like abortion on demand, removing religion from public life, contraception as a birthright, and gay marriage by judicial fiat. To Blow and most liberal African-Americans who have not evolved beyond using race as an excuse and motivation for opposition, traditional values equates with traditional bigotry. Us gun-toting and Bible-hugging rubes just cannot see through our racist veils to see that we are all racists.
But, perhaps Charles Blow and others should be open to an alternative view of Barack Obama- one that has greater gravitas in this whole discussion: Barack Obama is simply not a good leader. This has been seen before in history which is replete with people who rose to political power reliant solely upon their charisma. Like all those other people, Obama is now facing a stark reality- charisma does not mean leadership. You can get along with it for only so long, but eventually it fades. One need only ask people like Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler where charisma leads. As another columnist noted, Obama hails from Illinois, the same state that sent Abraham Lincoln to the White House. Obama supposedly represented the realization of the ideals for which a civil war was waged in this country. Like Franklin Roosevelt, he rode into office amid economic turmoil where “fearing nothing but fear itself” was transformed into “Yes we can.” Like John Kennedy, Obama was young, dynamic, and exuding charisma after a so-so Senate career with two young children. He was Lincoln, FDR and JFK rolled into one. To boot, he was African-American.
Valerie Jarrett, the real power behind Obama, once described Obama as “bored.” That boredom stems from an exalted view of himself. His entire agenda is predicated upon the belief that he had some unimpeded mandate to enact what he thought was best for the country. But, almost from the very beginning, Obama’s weaknesses became apparent. He proved himself a great orator (provided the Teleprompter was running), but a not so great leader and a horrible legislator. His arrogance led to an ugly disregard for the democratic process. This is evident in his refusal to negotiate with Republican leaders in Congress over a number of issues. The albatross around his neck- Obamacare- was delegated to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. It is surprising he has not hung HIS signature legislation around their necks. That would be typical of Obama.
Because people now see through this veneer of charisma and see the empty shell that he really is as evidenced through his plummeting job approval and personal popularity ratings, he is a president besieged through actions and inaction of his own making. All that is left is excuses and blame and fake apologies. The failure of Obamacare is not due to the law itself, but the fact he did not communicate well enough with the American people, according to Obama. Four years of explaining and countless speeches does not negate reality- a fact totally lost on Obama. His failures are due to the likes of Republican obstruction, being left with the negative legacy of George Bush, and that old bugaboo- racism. The American public- black, white and everything else- is finding out that Barack Obama is not and never was Lincoln, or FDR, or JFK.
Race will always be there just under the surface or even above the surface as long as people like Charles Blow and Oprah Winfrey see a racial animus behind anything or anyone opposed to Barack Obama. It is an unfortunate fact of life. We cannot erase these people from the face of the earth and because we live in this “at heart, racist” country, they are afforded a voice vis-a-vis the First Amendment. Although it is true that there will always be a truly racist segment of the population, racism works both ways. To deny there are racist African-Americans (they can’t exist by virtue of their skin color) is, in and of itself, a racist view. The best we can do is ignore these people, but as long as Oprah Winfrey has the platform of her media empire and Charles Blow the platform of the New York Times, these racist views will be out there. It is a strange and sad perversion of American society when aspiring towards a truly color-blind society- the very thing Martin Luther King supposedly “dreamed” about- is defined as racism.