To the Pro-Obama Race-Baiters: “Have You No Sense of Decency at All?”

Ah, if only Joseph Welch and his well-aimed indignation were here today!

We knew, way back when President Obama was running for his first term, that the temptation to paint any opposition to his leadership or his policies as proof of racism would be irresistible  for the less ethical among his supporters in the Democratic Party and among the media. This came to pass, but we should prepare for much worse.  Now that the President has a thoroughly wretched record and is, to an extent I personally haven’t seen since the paranoid days of Richard Nixon, attempting to avoid accountability by blaming everyone in sight—a thoroughly unleaderly display—the race-baiters have served notice that they will be out in force this time as well, more shameless than ever.

None of them seem to realize or care how insulting this strategy is to legitimate critics, or how much harm it does to race relations, which the baiters supposedly care about deeply. Or, for that matter, that it is unfair and dishonest.

Last week, Nancy Pelosi proved, as I have long suspected, that she will stoop as low as it is possible to go in pursuit of her ideological objectives, and race-baiting has long been in her arsenal. Before a black audience, Pelosi repeated the absurd and outrageous claim of Texas Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (which earned her an “Incompetent Elected Official of the Week” here) that Republican opposition to raising the debt ceiling can only be explained as hostility to a black President.  Not the fact that a 14 trillion dollar debt, as the S&P credit downgrade shortly demonstrated, is too damn high; not the fact that  the Democrats showed no intention of addressing the deficit crisis until the House turned red; not the fact that a critical mass of freshman House members were elected with marching orders to reduce government spending…no, it’s all based on racial prejudice. Even the inconvenient truth that Sen. Barack Obama voted against raising the debt limit when Bush was president—doubtless because of his antipathy to whites, by Lee and Pelosi’s reasoning—couldn’t suppress Pelosi below-the-belt tactics.

She knows she and her fellow race-baiters will get full support in the media. Only Republican blogs and Fox found her bogus innuendo newsworthy. It is newsworthy. It reveals the character of anyone who would attempt to win support by courting hate.

Not to be outdone, media race-baiters are practicing their trade. Here is MSNBC’s Ed Schultz, showing a clip of Rick Perry speaking:

Perry: I’m a pro-business governor. I don’t make any apologies about it, and I will be a pro-business president. Getting America back to work is the most important issue that faces this country, being able to pay off $14.5 trillion or $16 trillion worth of debt–that big black cloud that hangs over America.

Schultz’s sneering response: “That black cloud Perry is talking about is President Barack Obama.”

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At this point, the late attorney Joseph Welch, whose plaintive expression of sorrow and outrage at the tactics of Sen. Joe McCarthy turned the nation against the Wisconsin bully, would exclaim, “Have you no sense of decency,sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

The answer for Schultz and Pelosi, as in it was McCarthy, is clearly “no.” It remains for the American public to decide if they will hold the race-baiters to account for simultaneously debasing the policy debate while fanning the smoldering embers of racial distrust.

 

 

29 thoughts on “To the Pro-Obama Race-Baiters: “Have You No Sense of Decency at All?”

  1. Agreed… except for that attempt to compare it to Joe Welch and Senator McCarthy! That aside, the race angle was, I’d say, played by Obama from the very beginning. Successfully, too. But now he must rely on it right to the breaking point. The results are already being seen as ever greater numbers of white independents who voted for him last time are breaking away. Except for hard core leftists, whites in this country, regardless of political affiliation, are sick to death of being castigated as “racist” and “biased” by nature. First attracted by Obama’s message of unity, they (along with a number of non-whites as well) see the increasingly vocal radical elements of the Left as this ugly, emerging face- often blatant in their own form of racism- as the true face of the Obama movement behind the tattered mask of “hope”.

    • Race-baiting is the new Red-baiting, and Welch’s indignation (which was carefully planned, as you know) provided instant sunlight. I repeat that someone with widespread credibility needs to make the public recognize Pelosi, Schultz, Lee, Matthews and many others for the vicious and unprincipled people they are..

      • I think Democrats shouldn’t call the Republican Racists and in return the Republicans won’t call the Democrats Socialists. Fair trade?

        • Not remotely. Be serious. Socialism is a definable concept that isn’t even a pejorative description to millions of Americans, not should it be. And the adjective socialistic describes many current US programs, My father-in-law was a socialist; I have many friends, especially in the arts community, whom I would call socialists, and so would they. My Dad regarded FDR as a socialist, and by 194’s standards. he was. Socialists have a long and distinguished history in America: Eugene Debs,among others, helped launch the union movement.

          No racists have a similarly positive legacy. Crying “racism” is pure invective and designed to bias the listener or reader unjustly.

          Substitute “Nazi” for “socialist,” and you have a deal. Except that Democrats call Republicans Nazis more often than the other way around.

        • Sure he was. But I don’t see what your beef with him was. He gave us the tipping point on McCarthy, who was a liar and a bully, and an enemy of free speech. Yes, he set McCarthy up with the side issue of his gay associate. Good.

          I think he’s pretty stiff in “Anatomy of a Murder”—his performance screams ‘non-professional” and is always distracting to me.

          • From what I’ve discerned, Jack, most of McCarthy’s “bullying” came about through impatience with witnesses who either lied, obfuscated or tried to get arrogant under questioning. McCarthy was a bulldog who did (on occasion) overstep the bounds. But he was also a tough ex-Marine and combat veteran who was motivated by patriotism and had little patience with those who weren’t.

            BTW: Welch’s set-up was not based on Roy Cohn, who was later revealed to be a closet homosexual. It was on the basis of one of his own entourage who was once an open member of a lawyer’s group exposed as a communist front. Welch prodded McCarthy with allegations about his own staff in order to get him to point this out while the cameras were running. Then he ambused him with his dramatic (and well-rehearsed) “At long last, sir….” and proceeded to heart-bleed all over the committee chamber.

            Good acting. Zero content and ethics. Welch has many counterparts today.

            • No, that’s not quite right. McCarthy was a bully, knowing that he could cast doubts on any elected official’s or reporter’s patriotism by accusing him of being a Communist merely for questioning McCarthy’s methods. It wasn’t that there was not a real problem with Communist sympathizers or worse in government positions, but the unconstitutional way McCarthy went about demonizing and convicting anyone he chose to suspect. He was a classic, bully, and a liar—the famous papers he waved as “proof’, knowing they were nothing of the kind, is an ethics classic. McCarthy’s response to Murrow alone categorizes him as a demogogue and a bully. Welch laid a trap for him, just like Bentsen’s trap that nailed Dan Quayle, and it helped drop the veil from the public’s eyes. Good for him. Nothing unethical about that at all.

              • Whether McCarthy’s documentation was, at the time, legitimate or circumstantial can be questioned. That he believed it, I don’t doubt. That it turned out to be true (and, in some cases, understated) can be verified by later documentation from federal sources (via Freedom of Information) and from the files of the former KGB. And Murrow, who was the founder of modern (unethical) American journalism should have had no cause for complaint. He just ran up against someone that HE couldn’t bully. You’re going to have to update me on this Bentsen vs. Quayle event you spoke of. If you’re referring to the late Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas, I’m already suspicious!

                • We know McCarthy’s documentation was intentionally overstated; we know he dealt in guilt by association; we know his sheaf of “letters’ was a prop. He was like a cop who manufactures evidence to convict a criminal, and that is always, always wrong. Murrow was no bully; he would be as nauseated by what telejournalism has become as I am.

                  You don’t recall, “I knew Jack Kennedy; Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine; and you’re no Jack Kennedy, Senator!”???? I KNEW it—you’re a time-traveler from the 50s!!!

                  It was a Welch-like squelch that Lloyd had ready for Quayle in the 1988 VP debates, should he be reckless enough to compare himself to JFK, perfectly delivered, as with Welch’s prepared bomb.

                  • We’re obviously not going to agree on our impressions of either McCarthy or Murrow, Jack! That’s okay. That debate will probably be ongoing for another century or two!

                    Yep, I drew a short mental blank on Quayle/Bentsen that I shouldn’t have. It DID resemble McCarthy/Welch… in that it was a deceptive piece of political chicanery by the latter in both cases. As I recall, Vice President Quayle- in the VP debate- was pointing out that JFK was what we’d today call a fiscal conservative. That obviously touched a nerve with Bentsen- because it was true! To this day, Democrats like to associate themselves with “Camelot” while, at the same time, working against many of those principles. When you point out the disparity, they tend to go ballistic! In the fiscal aspect, Quayle was far more in step with JFK’s legacy than Bentsen ever was. Bentsen may have been a “friend” of the late President, but they shared little in common beyond a party label. It was a cheap shot. But, as with Welch, he had a friendly press to play it up.

    • Right. Keep whistling in the dark, my friend. I thought you eschewed talking points. In my experience, I have never heard the “but it would have gotten even worse” argument for ineffective policies so flagrantly abused.

      • We were in a recession for months, the stimulus was passed, and then the we went from a concave curve to a convex curve as we spent the money. The evidence is in black and white. We went from getting worse to getting better.

        • Everything that goes up, must come down. Getting better was inevitable—the protracted slump was not. TARP worked; the “stimulus” was just a debt-busting Keynesian fiasco. The housing and mortgage fixes were frauds. You don’t find the “jobs created” double-talk deceitful? I can’t imagine why not.

          Well, I do know. So may people are so invested in Obama psycholigically that they won’t recognize abject incompetence when its staring them in the face. Luckily for me (not the country), I sniffed him out from the start an an arrogant tyro, and I couldn’t have been more spot on.

          • So, that the recovery has generally followed the path predicted by economists based on the stimulous means that the stimulous did nothing. Eesh.

            I find your alternative method of measurement even worse. The situation is bad, so therefore the person in charge has made it bad. It’s like judging pitchers on wins and losses and not on WHIP, SO% or even ERA.

            • Talk about cherry-picking economists.

              It’s called responsibility and accountability. There is no reasonable alternative. If things get bad while you are in charge, you are responsible, and accountable. Most Presidents have grasped the concept.

              In pitching, the non-W-L orientation can lead to distortions as well. a pitcher whose WHIP is terrific but whose team loses the majority of his games may be talented, but he isn’t effective, and he isn’t as valuable, in a setting that decides success based on wins, as a pitcher with worse stats but more wins. Success in life and sports are measured, ultimately, by what one does. A leaders who has great style points (not that Obama does) and fails has not been a great leader.

              In 50 years, when Obama languishes down at the bottom of the historians’ lists with Buchanan, Harding and Andrew Johnson, this discussion will look pretty funny, even to you.

              Now I’m through with this topic, returning to it only when Obama makes one of his constant leadership gaffes, like when he tries to influence trials from the White House. Even rational people aren’t rational discussing him, and never have been. Cognitive Dissonance squared.

              • I don’t believe I’m coming back to this thread after it died, but I missed this comment, and it’s horrid.

                Talk about cherry-picking economists.

                Counter examples?

                It’s called responsibility and accountability. There is no reasonable alternative. If things get bad while you are in charge, you are responsible, and accountable. Most Presidents have grasped the concept.

                Um… so if Hurricane Irene had ripped a hole in my roof, I would be responsible for the damage and accountable for it? Of course not. My taking care of the house has to be judged based on what I did in the face of the external factors that I do not control. If you don’t factor in the external factors, you end up with something useless.

                In pitching, the non-W-L orientation can lead to distortions as well. a pitcher whose WHIP is terrific but whose team loses the majority of his games may be talented, but he isn’t effective, and he isn’t as valuable, in a setting that decides success based on wins, as a pitcher with worse stats but more wins.

                Do you see the rhetorical game you had to play there? It was this phrase: “in a setting that decides success based on wins”. If you redefine the worth of a person to be based on external factors, then what you’re really judging is the external factors, not the person. You’re straight out begging the question. I say it’s uninformative to judge a pitcher on wins because of X and Y. You reply that in a setting where you judge a pitcher on wins, wins is the best way to judge a pitcher.

                Success in life and sports are measured, ultimately, by what one does. A leaders who has great style points (not that Obama does) and fails has not been a great leader.

                Style points? Style points are how pretty the pitcher’s delivery is. The arm motion, his fluidity, how many different pitches he throws. I agree that’s completely pointless. Kind of like your “leader” style points. You say Obama’s dragged his feet…but if he ends up throwing strikes, who cares? While he may have failed to win as often as you would like, and he ain’t pretty, he has pitched a good game. Judge the team (President, both houses of congress, including the Republicans and Democrats) on wins. Judge the pitcher on what he can control.

                (The real issue is that you are saying that WHIP is the same as style points, with wins the only thing that matters for a pitcher. I, meanwhile, am saying that WHIP is what matters, and wins are based on external noncontrollable factors. It’s not like the President has any authority over the House or Senate.)

                In 50 years, when Obama languishes down at the bottom of the historians’ lists with Buchanan, Harding and Andrew Johnson, this discussion will look pretty funny, even to you.

                So, this is just the part where you use tactics that are convincing, but meaningless. For your sake, I’m just going to pretend this paragraph isn’t here.

                • I don’t believe I’m coming back to this thread after it died, but I missed this comment, and it’s horrid.

                  It’s good you don’t believe that, because I have to reconstruct what I was trying to say and what I was responding to in order to respond.

                  “Talk about cherry-picking economists.”

                  Counter examples?

                  You don’t recognize that there are hundreds of economists that are not Keynsians, and who think this theory is nonsense and fiction? I’m not going to name them for you; I don’t believe them either. Economics is like ethics: the absolutists are always tripped up by reality.

                  “It’s called responsibility and accountability. There is no reasonable alternative. If things get bad while you are in charge, you are responsible, and accountable. Most Presidents have grasped the concept.”

                  Um… so if Hurricane Irene had ripped a hole in my roof, I would be responsible for the damage and accountable for it? Of course not. My taking care of the house has to be judged based on what I did in the face of the external factors that I do not control. If you don’t factor in the external factors, you end up with something useless.

                  I assume you can do better than THAT. Presidents are not responsible for disasters outside their control, but they are responsible for dealing with the consequences, no mattrer how much control they have. 9-11 kicked a hold in the US economy and threw everything out of whack—he’s still responsible for fixing it, and can’t keep saying (and he did not ) “this wasn’t my fault.” Blaco and Nagin botched the preparation and aftermath of Katrina, but the Bush Administration took the heat…that’s “unfair.” but part of leadership.

                  In pitching, the non-W-L orientation can lead to distortions as well. a pitcher whose WHIP is terrific but whose team loses the majority of his games may be talented, but he isn’t effective, and he isn’t as valuable, in a setting that decides success based on wins, as a pitcher with worse stats but more wins.

                  “Do you see the rhetorical game you had to play there? It was this phrase: “in a setting that decides success based on wins”. If you redefine the worth of a person to be based on external factors, then what you’re really judging is the external factors, not the person. You’re straight out begging the question. I say it’s uninformative to judge a pitcher on wins because of X and Y. You reply that in a setting where you judge a pitcher on wins, wins is the best way to judge a pitcher.:

                  Do you understand that in baseball, wins determine success, and is how success is measured? That IS the context. The basic stat-head argument is true: the fact that Felix Hernandez didn’t win many games despite great performance statistics shouldn’t stop him from being the Cy Young winner, but there is a point where this purity makes no sense. A pitcher who is 0-10 (let’s add that his team is, say, 6-15 in games he starts) is just not very valuable that year no matter how good his other stats are.

                  I shouldn’t have let you steer this into pitching stats anyway—a pitcher isn’t a leader. A manager who loses will be, correctly, judged a loser regardless of his brilliant strategems and his team’s individual stats.Gene Mauch never won anything, and was supposedly brilliant. Sparky Anderson had the IQ of a housepainter, but could motivate and lead. I’ll take Sparky.

                  Success in life and sports are measured, ultimately, by what one does. A leaders who has great style points (not that Obama does) and fails has not been a great leader.

                  “Style points? Style points are how pretty the pitcher’s delivery is. The arm motion, his fluidity, how many different pitches he throws. I agree that’s completely pointless. Kind of like your “leader” style points.”

                  Style points was a lousy term, another bi-product of getting diverted into pitching. But when I talk about leadership styles, I don’t mean superficial stuff, though that matters too. (Jimmy Carter never got that leaders don’t look like leaders in work shirts and jeans.

                  “You say Obama’s dragged his feet…but if he ends up throwing strikes, who cares?”

                  Except that he hit three batters, balked, and gave up a bunch of triples.

                  “While he may have failed to win as often as you would like, and he ain’t pretty, he has pitched a good game.”

                  I’m just amazed that any intelligent person could think this. He’s pitched an objectively awful game. Sure, he came in to pitch with the bases loaded, but he let everyone score, and still is giving up runs….because it is clear that he is a softball pitcher at best. ARGGH! You got me back to pitching!

                  “Judge the team (President, both houses of congress, including the Republicans and Democrats) on wins. Judge the pitcher on what he can control.”

                  A good leaders does control. He doesn’t whine about what he can’t.

                  In 50 years, when Obama languishes down at the bottom of the historians’ lists with Buchanan, Harding and Andrew Johnson, this discussion will look pretty funny, even to you.

                  “So, this is just the part where you use tactics that are convincing, but meaningless. For your sake, I’m just going to pretend this paragraph isn’t here.”

                  “I have to say, this is even more remarkable for you to write now, when left, right and center are essentially agreeing with what I wrote and have been writing for three years: Obama doesn’t know how to lead. That’s another tell-tale sign. Even Ronald Reagan’s most committed political enemies conceded that he was an effective leader. Same with Clinton (though I maintain that effective leader’s, by definition, don’t get themselves impeached.) It take a lot of something—confirmation bias? loyalty? optimism? stubborness?—to argue that Obama is anything more than a school-smart, well-meaning guy perfectly suited for the Senate but victimized by the Peter Principle.

                  By the way, I blame Bush and the GOP for creating the environment where we could elect such an amateur. THAT is fair.”

                  • 1) Economists. No, not all economists are Keynsian. But the major complaints with the stimulous that were based on facts were that it was not specific enough. Like all rational people, I ignore attacks of efficacy based on philosophy.

                    2) Hurricane example. The hurricane in this example is the precursor recession along with 2 and a half years of straight obstructionism. The point was that you have to take into account all factors. You took it as a standalone event, when it was supposed to symbolize the entire situation. Your arguments went against a strawman.

                    3) W/L pitcher and Felix Hernandez. Felix could still be extremely valuable during that 0-10 season if the uncontrollable circumstances were insurmountable. Failing to destroy an army single handedly does not mean you are a bad fighter. If you take out more of them then anyone else could have, then you’re valuable. Yes, this is extremely difficult to measure, but the easy measurements are worthless.

                    4) Manager/leader talk. As noted, the president does not control congress. The manager example is worse than the pitcher one. Maybe we can use a Football WR example. A QB could be the best ever, but if he has a porous OL, he’s going to look horrible. Not only does Obama have a bad OL, some of them are trying to tackle him as well. Clearly, wins is not a good way to measure how good a QB he is.

                    5) Style points. You directly compared style points to WHIP. If you want to weasel out of that now, you have to admit that your first argument was baloney.

                    6) Obama as pitcher. Obama came in down 5-0 in the 9th with 3 men on, no outs, and a 3-0 count on pujols. So far, he’s given up 1 more run, and you’re calling him the loser. He goes 3 balls on alot of batters, but he eventually gets most of them out, though he does sometimes fail on the ones on steroids using corked bats.

                    7) Leaders control. Leaders control what they can and realistically work in the situation they have. They don’t just say “I don’t care where we are. We’re gonna do X.” I can’t believe you’re that naive.

                    8) Did I misinterpret you originally, or did you jump from worst presidents to worst leaders. Polk was a horrible leader, but an excellent president. In 50 years, I hope we’re going to judge Obama by what he accomplished in the situation he was in. Not whether or not he was a “leader.” Does he deserve an A++? I don’t think so, but he’s got a B- so far, and if he continues getting things done on his timetable, A- is distinctly possible, After Bush’s F, Clinton’s B-/C+, Bush’s C-, and Reagan’s D, I’ll take it.

                    9) So we judge the electorate on the situation, but not the president. I don’t understand you.

        • Oh, and don’t forget the repeal of DODT, the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, improving benefits for veterans, ending the policy of Medicare not being able to negotiate drug prices, new consumer protections from predatory credit card companies, expanding the SCHIP program, restarting nuclear nonproliferation talks, rescuing the auto industry, removing restrictions on stem cell research, ending stop-loss, ending the media blackout at Dover Air Force base, instituting the enforcement of equal pay for women, phasing out obsolete weapons systems not being used, instituting a new policy allowing Cuban Americans to visit loved ones in Cuba, holding the first seder in the White House, and returning the money to refurbish his private living quarters and paying for it himself. You may not agree with these things, but they are all why we voted for him and will vote for him again. He has been a disappointment in many areas and his race is brought up much too often–keep pointing it out, please–but wretched? I don’t think so.

          • All off topic, but at least 2/3s of those are spin. He dragged his feet on DADT. he’s still dragging his feet on gay marriage. Gitmo wasn’t closed; airplane passengers are now molested before every flight because of his incompetent Homeland Security Secretary. The troops aren’t out of Iraq, and it remains to be seen what will happen when and it they go. Etc, etc, ad nauseum. When a supporter of a politician has to stoop to “holding the first seder in the White House,’ I think the term “grasping at straws” is applicable. The US is losing its power abroad, unemployment is at 9%, and the debt, much of it owed to our most dangerous enemy, is out of control. The Gulf Spill response made Bush’s Katrina handling look competent. And the big accomplishment, health care, 1) won’t work, and 2) is going to be declared unconstitutional—all while whining and blaming bad luck and Bush for every failure.

            The only remaining question is whether he is a weaker President than Jimmy Carter.

            None of which justifies his supporters from resorting to race-baiting to support him. If his record was defensible, they wouldn’t be doing it.

            I’m not debating with Obama bitter-enders any more. I will send them a list of the psychological reasons they can’t process reality in his regard, however.

            • I will defer to Ethics Bob on this one and recommend that you take some time off at Martha’s Vineyard. I’m not a bitter-ender; I see many things about Obama that I don’t like, some even impeachable. If someone better comes along, I’ll vote for them. But if John McCain had won, we would probably be at war with Iran and there would be no pullout in Iraq. DODT would still be in effect and gay marriage wouldn’t have a prayer. Health care wouldn’t even have been brought up, and you may wish it hadn’t been, but the majority of Americans like what’s in it, they just don’t like the way it was passed. Some even wish it had gone further. The people who worked for and supported Obama are a lot more realistic than the people inside the Beltway and give him full credit and blame without bringing up race. I concede your point on that issue when it comes to political motivations, but down here in the trenches we don’t talk about it.

              • The standard is not whether Obama is better or worse than McCain would have been—I have no doubt that McCain would have been a wretched President too, though not so wretched a leader….not by a longshot.

                McCain has leadership experience and ability. He would have had the government out in force to clean up the Gulf and not waited for BP. He would not have put in place an excessive and unnecessary ban on off-shore drilling as a politically drive over-reaction to one accident. He would not have dithered regarding the Afghanistan troop increases or the Libyan intervention, saving lives and time. He would not be sucking up to Iran while throwing Israel to the wolves.

                He certainly would not have interfered with Arizona’s efforts to deal with the governments unconscionable refusal to enforce the immigration laws, or attempted to try terrorists in New York City. He would not have “Truthers” working as “Czars” at the White House, or inject himself on behalf of friends into police matters in Cambridge, Mass. He would fire any cabinet officers as persistently as incompetent as Holder and Janet (“the system worked!”) Napolitano have been. He would not have appointed a polarizing hatchet man like Rahm Emmanuel as Chief of staff. He would not have stated that his administration would tolerate no conflict of interest or sign of corruption, and then appoint a tax evader as Secretary of the Treasury.

                I am also fairly certain that he would have insisted that the government pass a budget, like every other president before Obama.

  2. Even the inconvenient truth that Sen. Barack Obama voted against raising the debt limit when Bush was president

    This is a very good point. He did this while John Boehner supported raising the debt limit.

    However, since A (the proposed debt ceiling back then) is less than B (the proposed debt ceiling this year), it is inconsistent to have opposed raising the ceiling to A while supporting raising the ceiling to B, while it is consistent to support raising the ceiling to A while opposing raising the ceiling to B.

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