I view this as tragic, in so many ways. Brent Staples himself is apparently the victim of the cultural poison he is peddling, that every failure, misfortune or criticism of an African American must be presumptively rooted in racial animus rather than the shortcomings or fault of the black citizen involved. Others who use this strategy of race-baiting as a political weapon are not as sincere as Staples—he writes this kind of thing in editorial columns all the time—but they have joined with him to do terrible damage to race relations, all in defense of a President whose incompetence is too painful for his supporters to accept.
I realized that this would be an unethical political weapon Democrats could not resist using back in 2008, when Obama was running against John McCain. I warned against it then. The Democrats were arguing that Obama was so clearly the only choice for voters that he could only be defeated by racism, for only racists would oppose him. I wrote..
This strategy would be unethical even if the Democrats weren’t the party nominating an eloquent abstraction with less governing experience than any Chief Executive within memory. It is insanely irresponsible when used to back a candidate about whom there are many legitimate doubts, mysteries and questions. Both parties deserve respect; both candidates deserve respect. And the democratic system deserves the most respect of all.
But is the Democratic message wrong if party decision-makers and faithful really believe it? Yes, because the belief is unsupported by hard, persuasive, un-slanted facts, and that makes it irresponsible and unfair…A belief alone is not enough to justify claiming victory for an untested leader with plenty of holes in his resume. Belief alone is not sufficient justification to lay the groundwork for race-baiting in the wake of an electoral loss in November.
I’m a rational, informed voter who does his research and knows the issues, and I may choose not to vote for Barack Obama for any number of legitimate reasons—including the offensive attitude of his party—that have nothing whatsoever to do with his race. How dare the Democratic Party, Obama, or anyone shout to the media that my vote is motivated by racism? This is playing with societal dynamite.
The Democratic message that the election is a slam dunk for Obama if America can only avoid bigotry and election fraud is a recipe for civil unrest, racial tension, and the unraveling of public faith in our institutions. It is reckless and offensive, and, take note, Democrats, idiotic.
Now we have had almost eight years of Democrats, the mainstream media and progressive activists throwing that “societal dynamite” in all directions, an activity made essential because Barack Obama has been a disappointing, divisive and incompetent President. Lo and behold, “civil unrest, racial tension, and the unraveling of public faith in our institutions” is the legacy of his Presidency, and yet the tactic continues still. Staples’ irresponsible and scurrilous tweet shows what a reflex crying racism has become for defenders any time things don’t go Barack Obama’s way, and this is a particularly unjustified example of it. In this political climate, with so many critical and controversial issues facing the Supreme Court, with it sharply and evenly divided as it now is with Scalia’s subtraction, either party would behave exactly as the Republicans are now, no matter what race or hue the President was. We know that, because the parties have proven it with their past behavior.
In 1960, the Democrats passed a resolution to keep that well-known African-American Dwight David Eisenhower from using a recess appointment to fill a Supreme Court vacancy as a national election loomed. in 2007, Senator Chuck Schumer told an audience that if any new Supreme Court vacancies opened up, Democrats should not allow Bush the chance to fill it “except in extraordinary circumstances.”
“We should reverse the presumption of confirmation,” Schumer said at the time. “The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance. We cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts, or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito.” Yet on the Sunday morning talk shows this week, Shumer condemned the same strategy being used now by Republicans in the aftermath of Scalia’s death.
Never mind. Staples has his mind made up, and the vast majority of blacks believe along with him. In an earlier tweet, he wrote,
“Historians will one day pronounce the GOP’s treatment of Obama as what it is: An example of blatant, unadulterated racism.”
He could not be more deluded. In the perspective of history, when it will be so clear that partisan opposition to Barack Obama was no less intense than what Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and other Presidents endured, the main significance of Staples’ vicious race-baiting will be that it will be seen as a clue to the ironic mystery of why racial trust and progress began going backwards during the administration of the first black President.
I see that Staples has taken down his tweet, probably at the behest of his employers. He needn’t have bothered. It was just a small drop in the flood of race-baiting that has been used to make excuses for Barack Obama.
Pointer: Instapundit. Prof Glenn Reynolds responded to Staples’ now pulled tweet, which Reynolds properly called “a disgrace, particularly for someone who purports to be a first-rank journalist,” by tweeting…
Once, this would have been an accurate assessment, but Staples and his familiars now have been conditioned to use the race-baiting tactic first, whether other, more legitimate arguments are available or not.