Jumping the racism shark with Obama
Finally, somebody who's not an unperson or an enemy of the people noticed how the Obama campaign is manipulating the toxic charge of racism. Kudos to Kevin Drum for speaking out:
[T]he current attempts to tar Hillary as a racist have gone way, way over the top. They're revolting. Back before the South Carolina primary, the Clinton campaign and its surrogates really did seem to be making a few too many racially charged comments for it to be just a coincidence (though even then some of the accusations were bogus), but after South Carolina it pretty much stopped. I can't say whether it stopped for reasons of politics or reasons of principle, but it stopped.
But the accusations of racism haven't. They've just gotten more ridiculous. Last week a commenter at Daily Kos claimed that the Clinton campaign had concocted an ad that deliberately darkened Obama's face (to make him scarier) and changed the image's aspect ratio (to make his nose broader). They hadn't. After a 60 Minutes appearance, Hillary got slammed for supposedly implying the Obama might be a Muslim. As Eric Boehlert points out, this is patently absurd. Then, a couple of days ago, a legion of bloggers started locking onto the inane meme that talk of Obama as Hillary's VP was like asking him to "ride in the back of the bus." Finally, today, Orlando Patterson, in an apparent attempt to make parody obsolete, writes that when he saw Hillary's "3 am" ad, "I couldn't help but think of D. W. Griffith's 'Birth of a Nation,' the racist movie epic that helped revive the Ku Klux Klan, with its portrayal of black men lurking in the bushes around white society." Hell, even I fell for the racism meme a couple of weeks ago, getting suckered into passing along a Drudge slander about Hillary's campaign supposedly circulating a photo of Obama in "Muslim" garb.
Hey, look at that. An honorable retraction, and I mean that completely without irony. Few and far between these days, as the Obama 527 that used to be Daily Kos circles the bowl on its way toward freeperdom.*
Of course, now that the ______ ers have spread the racist toxin far and wide, it's going to be hard to clean it all up, if indeed it's even possible. Or that they want to.
Because, as Davidon points out, Obama's now pushing the ____ er smear that the Clintons are racist all by his eloquent self:
[OBAMA] When in the midst of a campaign you decide to throw the kitchen sink at your opponent because you’re behind,” he said, “and your campaign starts leaking photographs of me when I’m traveling overseas wearing the native clothes of those folks to make people afraid...
Four hard questions for you, Kevin:
You say that the story about Hillary's campaign circulating a photo of Obama in "Muslim" garb is a "Drudge slander" that you got "suckered" into.
But Obama says it's true on the stump in MS.
1. Who's right? You, or Obama?
2. If Obama is repeating a Drudge smear, what does that say about his judgement?
3. Now that we've talked about racism, when can we talk about misogyny?
4. What will it take to make you rethink your support for Obama?
NOTE * Hey, I wish Kos would straighten out the issues he's got with his brand (assuming he thinks his brand even has issues). But being silent about such things isn't the way to move him forward to a solution, unfortunately. The process is called feedback.