More Fun With Race!

Jonah Goldberg* wrote a delightfully ridiculous column about how Barack Obama is getting off easy because he’s black.  That’s right, folks, if Obama were white, the GOP would be attacking him more (and presumably, more effectively):

According to the liberal history books, in 1988 the GOP cast Michael Dukakis as too elitist, cosmopolitan and not American enough. In 1992, it ran a similar attack against Bill Clinton — remember the hullabaloo about draft dodging and that trip to Russia? In 2000, ditto with Al Gore, though the emphasis was less on foreignness and more on extraterrestrialness. And in 2004, there was John Kerry’s “global test” for U.S. national security. Lack of originality notwithstanding, why is it suddenly racist to treat Obama just like the four white guys who preceded him? Talk about racial double standards.

Obama holds mega-campaign rallies in Berlin, touts his global appeal and says a top foreign policy goal is to get other countries to like us. But it’s racist to call him cosmopolitan?

He has nontrivial ties to an unrepentant (and white) former leader of the Weather Underground, a radical leftist organization that sought to kill American soldiers, policemen and politicians. But it’s “racist” to bring that up? (If anything, by not attacking Obama’s ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and other politically unsavory nonwhite associates, McCain is self-censoring for fear of seeming racist.)

If Obama were a white Democratic nominee named Barry O’Malley, the GOP would be going after him twice as hard. But many liberals would still caterwaul about fomenting hatred and racism, because that’s what they always do.

What I like about this column is the fact that he has managed to sneak in every Republican talking point and fit of pique, like, ever.  The outrage and frustration is palpable.  Goldberg appears to genuinely think that the Obama campaign has introduced race into the discussion, and that attacks on Obama which suggest he’s “not like us” aren’t about race, they’re about Obama’s … cosmopolitan flair.

The problem with this column (well, one of the problems) is that the last line tells us Goldberg is speaking to those who reflexively hate liberals.  He’s not serious about engaging in a conversation about substantiated and unsubstantiated claims of racism.  But, hey, that’s what we’re here for!

*A little research on dude tells me that he thinks Africa is a problem that can be fixed by American colonialism.  And that colonialism wasn’t that bad in the first place.  There are no words.

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One thought on “More Fun With Race!

  1. Big Word October 14, 2008 at 10:41 pm Reply

    You’re right, none of the pundits who jumped at Rep Lewis’ remarks are interested in a discussion about race. They’re just trying to spin themselves out of perhaps the most damaging tack McCain’s campaign has taken so far. Crying foul over race is the surest way to get people to ignore a situtaion.

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