Squirrels like the Discovery Channel show Mythbusters. It’s partly because one of the hosts has kinda squirrel-ish whiskers, and partly that so many myths fizzle out. (More)
The political world was all a’Twitter yesterday with rumors, teased by Matt Drudge, of a newly-discovered video of then-Senator Barack Obama delivering what The Daily Caller‘s Tucker Carlson called “a racially charged and at times angry speech” about the plight of black communities in New Orleans.
Ah yes. Angry Black Man. Just light that fuse and Kaaaaaa …
As it turns out, the speech was covered when it was delivered in 2007. A transcript of his prepared remarks was at the time. What’s more, Tucker Carlson – then at MSNBC – was among those who covered it. As The Daily Beast‘s Howard Kurtz writes:
There is a faction in the conservative movement that has long argued that Obama got off easy in 2008 over Wright’s racially charged rhetoric, and that the onetime community organizer harbors questionable views on race. The most extreme elements believe he is a secret Muslim and was born in Kenya, despite documented evidence that he is a Christian and his birthplace was Hawaii.
Put less delicately, there is a faction in the conservative movement that wants to make sure the 2012 election is about race. George Will wrote as much earlier this week in The Washington Post:
Obama’s administration is in shambles, yet he is prospering politically. This may not, however, entirely be evidence of the irrationality of the electorate. Something more benign may be at work.
A significant date in the nation’s civil rights progress involved an African American baseball player named Robinson, but not Jackie. The date was Oct. 3, 1974, when Frank Robinson, one the greatest players in history, was hired by the Cleveland Indians as the major leagues’ first black manager. But an even more important milestone of progress occurred June 19, 1977, when the Indians fired him. That was colorblind equality.
Managers get fired all the time. The fact that the Indians felt free to fire Robinson — who went on to have a distinguished career managing four other teams — showed that another racial barrier had fallen: Henceforth, African Americans, too, could enjoy the God-given right to be scapegoats for impatient team owners or incompetent team executives.
In the conservative worldview, it’s inconceivable that most Americans would recognize that President Obama inherited the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, one that wiped out almost $13 trillion in productivity since 2007, and that our still-weak economy is recovering better than in 1932 and better than other nations that suffered financial crises.
Nope, that can’t be it. Voters are just reluctant to fire the first black president … and America won’t have true racial equality until President Obama enjoys his “God-given right” to be a scapegoat.
And Will would probably agree that, in a properly color-blind society, a white guy can put up a sign reading “Put the white back in the White House” and everyone should believe him when he says “It’s not racist.” People who object to race-baiting are the real racists, don’t ya know.
Jim Lehrer will probably now have to ask a question about Carlson’s fizzle in tonight’s presidential debate. If he doesn’t, conservatives will howl about liberal media bias. And that’s precisely why Carlson and Drudge spent all day yesterday pumping the story. With Mitt Romney losing support among white voters after his 47% comments, and losing support among seniors, conservatives need this election to be about the blacking blackness of the blackety black man in the White House.
Otherwise they’ll … fizzle.
Good day and good nuts.