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Joe Klein Plays the Race Card…Again

John on September 17, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Klein’s post is titled Yes, It’s Racism…but it’s Complicated. He does a rehash of Sharon Begley’s pseudo-psychoanalysis of town hall protesters (which I responded to here). One line is enough to give you the gist:

Barack Obama is the apotheosis of all they fear.

Of course this is hardly the first time Joe has trotted out the conservatives-are-all-racists theory. He did it for a feature in Time magazine just prior to the election last year. I pointed out what a miserable excuse for an argument that was here. Looking back, I notice that his arguments haven’t changed much since last September. Here’s yesterday:

He is a child of what used to be called miscegenation–a mixed marriage.

Here’s last September:

He’s the product of what used to be called miscegenation, a scenario that may still be more terrifying than a teen daughter’s pregnancy in many American households.


[H]e’s a completely urban sort. There is nothing resembling a log cabin in his background.

Last September:

Obama is the precise opposite of Mountain Man Todd Palin: an entirely urban creature.


[M]ost of all, they are freaked by an amorphous feeling that they America they imagined they were living in–Sarah Palin’s fantasy America–is a different place now…

Last September:

The blinding whiteness and fervent religiosity of the party he [Reagan] created are an enduring testament to the power of the myth of an America that existed before we had all these problems. The power of Sarah Palin is that she is the latest, freshest iteration of that myth.

Eventually Joe tires of quoting himself and moves on to the “complicated” part of his thesis.

Turns out what’s complicated isn’t labeling anyone who differs with the President a wingnut, a teabagger or a racist. That all comes easy to him. What’s complicated for Joe is that telling this awful truth could come back to haunt Obama and the Democrats down the road. In short, there’s no doubt conservatives are racists, but it may be in our interest to leave it unsaid:

If everything he does is seen through the prism of race, if he becomes a “black” President, he loses–the furriners may be overrunning the country, but we’re still majority white. He does not want to be perceived as a minority President either racially or numerically.

Joe is actually right about this in one sense. If this trend of Democratic race-baiting continues, Obama will pay a steep price for it. But that’s not because it’s true. It’s because it’s a lie and most decent Americans know it.

Calling someone a racist is about the worst insult one can throw in American politics. If you think you’ve seen anger before — at the Town Halls, etc. — wait until this sets in. Them’s fighting words. Keep it up and punches will get thrown.

If the President wants to prove his post-racial bona fides, now is the time. The Sgt. Crowley episode got things off to a poor start, but it’s not too late to turn things around. Tell Joe Klein and the rest of the race-baiters to pound sand. The President made a start at this with his response to Carter’s statement the other day, but it wasn’t enough.

The one bright spot (at least as far as Joe Klein goes) is that people are handing him his ass in the comments. A few samples:

A silly, unserious column. Perhaps we can call it the “Know Nothing Column”?…

You libs are pathetic, the country elected a bi-racial person and you choose to still dwell on the race card…

As a Harvard educated (yes, I read my Keynes and my Samuelson and a lot else besides) from urban southern Connecticut displaced to the midwest, with my stint in the New Left long over and done with, I have to laugh heartily. The real joke is that Klein pretends to himself that this sociological b.s. actually proves him to be more sensitive and nuanced, as opposed to the MSNBC maniacs who like to rave about knuckle-dragging rightwing neanderthals as if they think they actually do exist…

Joe, you are a condescending and ignorant elitist. Your sense of the “teabaggers”, as you so snidely refer to “us”, is a sign of your complete ignorance as to what this is all about…

It’s amazing to me that your arguments always come back to race and then name calling and insults. You think that your so intellectual when you’re just a bunch of narrow minded, intellectually incurious members of a groupthink mentality and really have no idea what you’re talking about…

And on it goes.

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