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Were Obama's AR, KY Rebuffs "Racism"?--Or Do We Need A New Word?
There's some MSM huffing and puffing about President Obama's embarrassing performance in the Arkansas and Kentucky primaries last night, following the absurd spectacle of a jailed felon giving him a surprising race in West Virginia a couple of weeks ago. Here's an attempt to explain it away, which ignores the fact that these were Democratic primaries i.e. most conservatives have already selected themselves out.
Given the bedeviled nature of MSM political discourse, this inevitably raises The All-Important Question: Kentucky, Arkansas primaries: Is it racism?, by Chris Cillizza, Washington Post, May 23, 2011.
Cillizza's answer: a judicious maybe. But he does report:
Those headlines have drawn a collective eyeroll from Democrats — and many others who closely follow national politics — who ascribe the underperformance by the incumbent to a very simple thing: racism.
No, none of these Democrats are willing to put their name to that allegation — either generally or for this story. But, it is, without question the prevalent viewpoint they hold privately.
Nice to know what DC Democrats think of their own grass roots!
This is exactly the issue that I discussed at length nearly three years ago when the same people (and some fellow travelers in Conservatism Inc.) were saying the newly emerged Tea Party movement was "racist": Yes, It Is About Race. Quite Right Too. No-one calls Jews voting for Jews, for example, or blacks voting for blacks "racist"—because it is understood and accepted that people identify with candidates who appear to share their values and interests. Race and ethnicity serve as a sort of shorthand for this.
The Obama Administration's problem: it simply has very shallow roots in the historic American nation a.k.a. whites—even before various MSM Bigfeet began reporting that Obama's 2012 election strategy is to abandon the white working class. (See also Obama To Joe Six-Pack: Get Lost, by Mickey Kaus, Daily Caller, May 19, 2012).
These votes are not "racist" in the sense of blind prejudice. But they are racial, in the sense that they express a legitimate calculation of self-interest that breaks down, quite honestly, on racial grounds. For example, white voters and their children objectively do indeed suffer because of Affirmative Action.
That bedeviled MSM discourse needs a new word. Suggestions?