Racism? No, Obama’s prob­lem is re­al­ity

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Jef­frey T. Kuh­ner

Is op­pos­ing Pres­i­dent Obama a form of racism? Ac­cord­ing to many lib­er­als, es­pe­cially the Con­gres­sional Black Cau­cus, it is. The Demo­cratic left has now in­vented a new kind of big­otry: Obama­pho­bia. For pro­gres­sives, dis­agree­ing with Mr. Obama’s poli­cies is the moral equiv­a­lent of sup­port­ing the Ku Klux Klan; it is white supremacy mas­querad­ing as con­ser­va­tive pol­i­tics.

Mr. Obama’s re-elec­tion is in­creas­ingly in jeop­ardy. Hence, lib­er­als are be­com­ing des­per­ate. They are re­sort­ing to the most in­cen­di­ary and de­spi­ca­ble tac­tic: playing the race card. Re­cently, An­gela Rye, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Con­gres­sional Black Cau­cus, charged that Mr. Obama’s woes in of­fice were pri­mar­ily due to racist op­po­si­tion from con­ser­va­tives, who de­spise the pres­i­dent be­cause of his skin color.

“This is prob­a­bly the tough­est pres­i­den­tial term in my life­time,” Ms. Rye said in an in­ter­view on CS­PAN. “I think that a lot of what the pres­i­dent has ex­pe­ri­enced is be­cause he’s black. You know, whether it’s ques­tion­ing his in­tel­lect or whether or not he’s Ivy League. It’s al­ways ei­ther he’s not ed­u­cated enough or he’s too ed­u­cated; or he’s too black or he’s not black enough; he’s too Christian or not Christian enough. There are all th­ese things where he has to walk this very fine line to even be suc­cess­ful.”

More­over, ac­cord­ing to Ms. Rye, “a lot” of con­ser­va­tive crit­i­cism of Mr. Obama is mo­ti­vated by race. Her ex­am­ple: An anti-Obama ad by Cross­roads GPS, a Repub­li­can su­per PAC run by Karl Rove, former se­nior ad­viser to Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush. The ad’s racism — I am not mak­ing this up — sup­pos­edly stems from the use of the word “cool.”

“There’s an ad, talk­ing about [how] the pres­i­dent is too cool, [ask­ing] is he too cool? And there’s this mu­sic that re­minds me of, you know, some of the blax­ploita­tion films from the ‘70s playing in the back­ground, him with his sun­glasses,” she said. “And to me, it was just very racially charged. They weren’t ask­ing if Bush was too cool, but yet peo­ple say that that’s the No. 1 per­son they’d love to have a beer with. So if that’s not cool, I don’t know what is.”

First of all, Mr. Bush is not — nor ever was — por­trayed as “cool.” In fact, he was rou­tinely com­pared to Nazi dic­ta­tor Adolf Hitler and lib­er­als den­i­grated him as a war crim­i­nal. More im­por­tantly, it was Mr. Obama, the main­stream me­dia and the Democrats who el­e­vated Barack to a lib­eral mes­siah — a black Franklin D. Roo­sevelt. Pro­gres­sives have por­trayed him as the most bril­liant, chic and com­pelling leader in mod­ern memory. Hence, the “cool” la­bel is theirs, not that of the right.

The stim­u­lus, Oba­macare, record deficits, soar­ing debt, high un­em­ploy­ment and the ane­mic re­cov­ery — all are a re­sult of Mr. Obama’s failed statist poli­cies. In­stead of con­fronting this, lib­er­als are search­ing for scape­goats. They refuse to ac­knowl­edge it is their ideas that don’t work; rather, Mr. Obama’s un­pop­u­lar­ity must be due to some hid­den racism lurk­ing across Amer­ica. This is the nar­ra­tive be­ing ped­dled by left­ists, such as those at MSNBC, the New York Times and now the Con­gres­sional Black Cau­cus. Their ar­gu­ment is pro­foundly con­de­scend­ing and anti-demo­cratic: Mr. Obama didn’t fail, the coun­try did.

Since the emer­gence of the Tea Party, lib­er­als have sought to paint the move­ment as big­oted. In other words, they ar­gue that op­po­si­tion to gov­ern­men­trun health care and out-of-con­trol spend­ing is code for “racism.” It isn’t. It is the con­ser­va­tive call for lim­ited govern­ment, cap­i­tal­ism and per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity — prin­ci­ples the right has em­braced for decades.

The is­sue with Mr. Obama is not — and never has been — the color of his skin. It is the color of his pol­i­tics: so­cial­ist red. He is seek­ing to trans­form Amer­ica into a Euro­pean-style nanny state marked by a bloated pub­lic sec­tor, bur­den­some reg­u­la­tions, high taxes, un­sus­tain­able en­ti­tle­ments and weak eco­nomic growth.

The tragic irony is that Mr. Obama is im­pos­ing the so­cial demo­cratic model as Europe crum­bles un­der the crush­ing weight of wel­fare lib­er­al­ism. Mr. Obama is not plagued by race but re­al­ity.

“Obama­pho­bia,” how­ever, is an­other smear lev­eled against crit­ics of the lib­eral rev­o­lu­tion. It is the lat­est evo­lu­tion in po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness, seek­ing to marginal­ize and dele­git­imize con­ser­va­tive views. It’s an old trick that sec­u­lar pro­gres­sives have ef­fec­tively used — like charg­ing “Is­lam­o­pho­bia” and “ho­mo­pho­bia” — to si­lence dis­sent. Lib­er­als are lit­tle more than wa­tered-down Marx­ists. They cham­pion a soft to­tal­i­tar­i­an­ism where op­po­nents are not just wrong but evil and de­mented, suf­fer­ing from a clin­i­cal psy­chosis. It is sim­i­lar to the Soviet regime dur­ing the 1970s when anti-com­mu­nist dis­si­dents were in­sti­tu­tion­al­ized on the grounds that only “men­tal ill­ness” could ex­plain their crit­i­cism of the work­ers’ par­adise.

For years, lib­er­als have used the charge of racism as a club to beat con­ser­va­tives with. “Obama­pho­bia” is the ex­pres­sion of im­po­tent rage and po­lit­i­cal des­per­a­tion. It will not in­tim­i­date the elec­torate nor save Mr. Obama. And like him, it de­serves to be swept into the dust­bin of his­tory.

Jef­frey T. Kuh­ner is a colum­nist at The Wash­ing­ton Times and pres­i­dent of the Edmund Burke In­sti­tute.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.