31 July 2008

Obama's No-Limit Racial Hold 'Em

Yesterday Obama, Guitar Hero* said this:
What they're going to do is make you scared -- of me, He's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. He doesn't look like all the presidents on the dollar bills
He was clever to apply it to future, as yet unsaid comments by "the others." By doing so, no one can make a link between Obama's accusation and what someone--anyone--said.

Today, responding to the McCain camp's rightful accusations that Obama had played "the race card," Robert Gibbs (Obama Spokesman) said this:
What Barack Obama was talking about was that he didn't get here after spending decades in Washington. There is nothing more to this than the fact that he was describing that he was new to the political scene. He was referring to the fact that he didn't come into the race with the history of others. It is not about race.
How is anyone supposed to get any of that from looking at the dollar bills in their pocket and comparing them to the picture Barack Obama on the cover of all the celebrity gossip mags (like Time, Newsweek, The New York Times)?

We don't have any big bills in our wallet (Benjamin Franklin was never president anyway), but looking at the ones we do have, the only thing we can gather from an in depth, pictoral analysis is that Lincoln and Washington were old and white (well, green-tinged white, actually. owing to the color of the paper on which money is printed). We can draw no other conclusions. Do Obama and Gibbs actually expect people to believe that his comment wasn't about race?

Washington ($1) didn't "spend decades in Washington." It wasn't even the capital of these United States when he was President. Hamilton ($10), like Franklin, was also never President, and spent little time in Washington before being shot by Aaron Burr. Lincoln, meanwhile, spent the vast majority of his life in Illinois state politics. So, in fact, Obama does have something in common with the man on the $5 bill. Andrew Jackson ($20) actually did spend a number of years in Washington, but he was a Democrat, so there's that. Ulysses Grant ($50) was a war hero who had never spent any significant amount of time in Washington.

The implications of what Obama said (again, see quoted text above) are clear: they were white, he is black and the Republican/Conservative/McCain others--"they"--are going to try and scare people by pointing this out.

This is the lowest form of racial grievance politics--playing the race card like this takes a page out of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton's book. Heck, we don't know why Reverend Jackson is so upset with Obama, the two of them are one and the same.

*Over-the-top performance, no real skill or experience.

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Kelly said...

An excellent rebuttal to the Obama spokesman. The Obama campaign wants to have it both ways. As you've said -- they blatantly and continually play the race card, all the while claiming that Obama is a "post-racial" candidate, and then, when called on it, offer up a ludicrous denial. We must brace ourselves for four years of this baloney.

Letterpress said...

It's my understanding that Obama's comment was parodying what McCain's camp had been saying.

Can you verify? I mean, beyond what Limbaugh might say?