Friday, August 1, 2008

The Race Card?

I was a little too distracted by "Wah! Wah! Wha! He's soooo popular Wah!" angle yesterday to give Outrage Number 2... "Did Obama play the race card?" much attention. Now, normally I find the "playing the race card" angle to be fairly offensive... it's predicated on the idea that we eradicated racism sometime in 1968 and the only real problem is that African Americans are just big whiners, if they would just shut up about this "racism" thing already we (white) people would be much more comfortable. However, despite that, Obama's statement is not super deft:
Since they don't have any new ideas the only strategy they've got in this election is to try to scare you about me. They're going to try to say that I'm a risky guy, they're going to try to say, 'Well, you know, he's got a funny name and he doesn't look like all the presidents on the dollar bills and the five dollar bills and, and they're going to send out nasty emails.
I think it's pretty obvious what he's talking about here, and any normal person would find this non-controversial... there are some fringe groups supporting McCain that want you to be afraid of the black man. 15% of people are still saying they won't vote for Obama because of his skin color (36% say their family, friends and co-workers won't - why does everyone think their friends are racists? Probably the "real" percentage is somewhere in between) so it's not like he pulled this out of nowhere. However, McCain could construe the "they" as being him specifically... and nobody likes being called a racist, and this is how politics is played... so Obama apologized:
Barack Obama in no way believes that the McCain campaign is using race as an issue, but he does believe they’re using the same old low-road politics to distract voters from the real issues in this campaign, and those are the issues he’ll continue to talk about.

You would think that would be it, and we could move on... maybe we will, but if it keeps up we will know who's playing the race card here.

Guess what? Still 95 days to go! Huzzah? Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that the Olympics are coming up... that should give me a nice break.

UPDATE: I should note that I don't mean that the Brittney/Paris ad had a racial subtext... I think my fellow liberals are being a little too sensitive on that one. I'll grant you that the McCain campaign seems to be run by idiots, but I don't even think they're stupid enough to try to imply that if we elect Barack Obama he will steal all our women. They clearly just trying to go with the "empty suit/famous for being famous" deal. I merely mean that when you accuse someone of "playing the race card" on a flimsy pretext and keep repeating it despite apologies, then you are in fact "playing the race card".