Not quite the same

I do think that the mainstreaming of birtherism represents a new low in American political discourse, and I do think birtherism is borne out of racism. I agree that the attacks on Clinton were just as bad in their own way, and probably more politically damaging:

As far as Clinton goes, in fact, calling him white trash who didn’t know his place was pretty mild, almost a compliment. Rightwing Republican operatives slimed him as a sleazy land speculator, a drug dealer, a drug addict, and even a murderer. His wife, of course, was a… lesbian (which to them is something to be ashamed of, as per Cheney’s behavior when Kerry noted Mary Cheney’s sexual orientation during a debate with Bush).

If you look at the crazy attacks on Clinton they always involved Clinton doing something sleazy — running drugs out of that airport in Arkansas, killing dozens of people in Arkansas (google “Clinton body count”), molesting staffers — whereas the crazy attacks on Obama usually involve Obama being a passive participant in something sleazy — the faking of his birth certificate by his family, the writing of his book by Bill Ayers.

Part of this is racial, no matter how well-spoken, a black man can probably never be a Clintonian evil genius in the eyes of Tea Party Nation. Part of it is that Obama just doesn’t come across as someone who does a lot of sleazy, underhanded things. I think that’s one of his political strengths,

292 replies
  1. 1
    forked tongue says:

    Rightwing Republican operatives slimed him as a sleazy land speculator, a drug dealer, a drug addict, and even a murderer.

    Let us not forget: rapist. That one’s still out there.

  2. 2
    WereBear says:

    Huh. Mind you, I haven’t parsed out these attacks, but it’s true how they differ.

    The whole “only a bubba like me can be an evil genius” is an interesting take.

  3. 3
    Caz says:

    You really have no idea how out of touch with reality you are, do you? So let me get this straight: whenever a white person criticizes anything Obama does, it’s borne out of racism, right? And racism is such a good, politically correct attack that is beyond reproach in our society, you can sling it around recklessly whenever you want, regardless of facts or evidence. It’s like a freebie. Don’t like what that white person said about Obama? Yell “Racist!”

    What is really pathetic is that you’d rather resort to “racist!” than argue the merits or substantive aspects of the issues. That strikes me as particularly shallow and cowardly. Yelling “racist!” is like the politically correct, easy way out when you really have no idea how to argue the merits of an issue.

    Grow some balls and aruge the merits instead of crying “racist” all the time.

    It would be like conservatives calling Obama racist every time he criticized a conservative. He doesn’t like Ryan’s budget plan? Well, that’s because he’s a racist.

  4. 4
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    I wish I could agree on them underestimating Obama as being a strength, but at the same time, it’s that same thing that seems to help convince Independents that Obama can’t do anything right on things like energy, national security, etc. They ascribe the power of the world to him on things like gas prices, then point at his apparent dimness and inability to change it as why he’s a failure. It’s more of that ‘Black People Don’t Work as Hard as Whites’ bullshit.

  5. 5
    Athenae says:

    The attacks on John Kerry in 2004 still strike me as somehow worse. Maybe it was the Purple Heart band-aids.

    A.

  6. 6
    Breezeblock says:

    Just wait till the first female Democratic President. These assholes lit into Hillary pretty hard, but if she actually became President…

    To be honest, I don’t think we’ll have a woman President in AT LEAST 50 years.

  7. 7
    lamh34 says:

    My problem (and it’s not one I am accusing you of DougJ) is people who use the “well Clinton was demonized too” reasoning to try to dismiss the inherent racist attacks that are heaped upon Obama as purely political. And I’ve seen that reasoning used by a lot of commenters here and elsewhere.

  8. 8
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @forked tongue:

    Let us not forget: rapist. That one’s still out there.

    Well, that just goes to the entire “First Black President” meme as applied to Clinton: he’s sexually insatiable, cannot control himself, goes after anything in a skirt, no matter how non-alluring that person might be. Say, for example, Candy Crowley…

  9. 9
    Napoleon says:

    Not to quibble, but I don’t think I would consider having someone write a book for you as passive, unless you maintain the story is that it was done without Obama’s knowledge and sanction (and I don’t think that is the way the story is told, it is implicit that Obama went to his good buddy Ayers and had him write it for him).

    Otherwise I agree.

  10. 10
    Nemesis says:

    @Caz: f u c k off

  11. 11
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    @Athenae:

    It was the explicit accusations of treason. Bill Clinton abused his seat of power. Kerry betrayed his country. Much more guttural accusation.

    And we have Obama who is not only an illegal alien, but a Communist, an usurper, a Muslim, and a traitor all at once. On, and effete elitist too, can’t forget that.

  12. 12
    homeruk says:

    I’m sorry, I loved Bill Clinton and thought he was a fantastic President who had to put up with a lot of shit; BUT he never, ever had the type of undermining of his legitimacy crap flung at him from day one that President Obama has had. Clinton got less than 50% of the vote when he was first voted in, mind you; whereas for President Obama it was almost one day after his inauguration that republicans and the media acted as though everyone would forget that Obama got 53% of the vote.

    also, the fact that goes unsaid; most of the rumours that caught the mainstream headlines about Clinton involved extra marital escapades and those were – by and large – true. It’s racism, pure and simple when it comes to President Obama. And by the way I don’t know how you can characterise the Ayers wrote Obama’s first book as Obama being a passive participant in something sleazy. I mean to really believe that you have to think (a) that he and Ayers were much closer than he has said they were AND (b) Obama was actively participating in a massive fraud to pass someone else’s work about his own personal upbringing as his own. Not much passive about that, methinks.

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Caz, I’m worried that you might actually be as stupid as you post, because you might forget to breathe.

    And it would be a shame if that happened.

    NOT.

  14. 14
    Fred says:

    You going to praise Jake Tapper again? Did you ever get your head out of your ass enough to see this sleazy article by your buddy Jake?
    http://blogs.abcnews.com/polit.....isers.html

    Or this one!
    http://blogs.abcnews.com/polit.....efing.html

    Just a sampling of the posts this sleaze merchant has posted in the last couple days. All critical of Obama and how the birther thing is somehow his fault.

    What say you Komrade Klink?

  15. 15
    lamh34 says:

    @Caz:

    wow, white people REALLY hate being called racist huh.

    Well Black people REALLY hate it when certain people assume that we all are Affirmative Action cases if we acquire a little more success than average.

    So cry me a river!

  16. 16
    wobblybits says:

    So let me get this straight, Clinton’s attacks were worse because they were based on the fact that he looked like he would do sleazy things whereas Obama’s are based on his race (you know basically stating that any and all accomplishments he has made couldn’t have been achieved by a black man/minority)?

    Ok I….wait, what?

    ETA: Also too, what lamh34 @7 said

  17. 17
    wobblybits says:

    Also too, what lamh34 @7 said

  18. 18
    different church-lady says:

    Now you’re just thinking about it way too hard.

  19. 19
    Brian R. says:

    @Caz:

    Don’t like what that white person said about Obama? Yell “Racist!”

    If a white person persists in believing that Obama was not born in America — despite the official birth certificate, the long-form birth certificate, the announcements in both Hawaii newspapers, the affadavits from the doctor’s family and others who remember the birth, and the judgment in 2008 of the state’s governor, secretary of state, and head of the department of health (all Republicans, mind you) that he was incontrovertibly born in Hawaii — then yes, that person is a racist. Plain and fucking simple.

    And if that white person, when given incontrovertible proof about Obama’s birth in Hawaii, then immediately shifts to say that even though Obama graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law, where exams are graded anonymously, and even though Obama was chosen to be editor of the Harvard Law Review, “he heard” Obama was actually a poor student and an affirmative action admit, then yes, that person is a fucking racist.

    I’m sorry if it hurts your feelings if racists are denounced as racist for doing racist things. Go cry in your Klan hood.

    I’m white, by the way. But I’m not an utter fucking moron like you.

  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Athenae:

    They were utterly despicable, especially considering that Kerry was running against a deserting sack of cowardly shit.

  21. 21
    JordanRules says:

    Uggg, I am so not in the mood for Caz’s line of argument today…

    RACIST RACIST RACIST RACIST RACIST RACIST RACIST

    Ouch that hurt! Geeez, nothing happens when you’re called a racist. Imus, Rush and a whole network still get to exist and make plenty of scrilla. So even if we were wrong every time we leveled the d@mn charge, WHICH WE AREN’T, part of the priviledge of being white is that nothing effing happens!

    So, here’s a few more for good measure, RACIST RACIST RACIST RACIST…and it will cover something the Teatards do today, I guarantee.

  22. 22
    Bullsmith says:

    How about swift-boating an honest-to-God war hero while protecting a guy who, in the same war, gave somewhat less than his all to his country, to the point that Dan Rather gets fired and “free speech zones” get tacit media approval. As low and crass as Birtherism has been, the rank double standard in the American media goes back at least as far as Reagan vs. Carter. For some reason Bush 1 got treated like a Democrat, but otherwise it’s Republican=American, all the time.

  23. 23
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @homeruk:

    Clinton was accused of murdering one of his staffers and leaving the body in a public park. Then came the watermelons.

    Yes, that was worse than delegitimizing racism.

  24. 24
    Chyron HR says:

    @Caz:

    Why is it every time I criticize the Halfrican Kenyan Muslim rapist welfare thug Hussein Obongo for being different from “real Americans” in an unspecified way, you call me RACIST?!

    You tell ’em, Gaz.

  25. 25
    JonF says:

    You can always tell who worries the GOP, they’re the subject of crazy attacks.

  26. 26
    kay says:

    @Brian R.:

    If a white person persists in believing that Obama was not born in America—despite the official birth certificate, the long-form birth certificate, the announcements in both Hawaii newspapers, the affadavits from the doctor’s family and others who remember the birth, and the judgment in 2008 of the state’s governor, secretary of state, and head of the department of health (all Republicans, mind you) that he was incontrovertibly born in Hawaii—then yes, that person is a racist. Plain and fucking simple.

    Beautiful. I’ve never seen the whole sorry history laid out in one paragraph before.

  27. 27
    different church-lady says:

    @Brian R.: Hey man, be fair. They’re probably a Xenophobe too.

  28. 28
    Poopyman says:

    @Breezeblock:

    To be honest, I don’t think we’ll have a woman President in AT LEAST 50 years.

    She will be Republican, and in the mold of Margaret Thatcher.

    And she will be adored.

  29. 29
    Sad_Dem says:

    The courtiers never liked Clinton precisely because he was (to use genteel terminology) of humble origins. It galled them that a mere H.O. could be smarter and more capable than them.

  30. 30
    homeruk says:

    Bob Loblaw – and which MSM outlet ran that story? Which White House correspondent asked his press secretary whether the President was a murderer? which Republican putative presidential candidate raised the issue on numerous prime time interviews? Which other putative Presidential candidates were asked by the mainstream media whether they thought Bill Clinton was a murderer? Which putative Republican candidate for President said on the supposedly highbrow Sunday news shows that they took Bill Clinton at his word when he said he hadn’t killed anyone? what’s that? oh yeah.

  31. 31
    MattF says:

    There’s an another aspect to the lies about Clinton– the Villagers despised the Clintons. IMO, Clinton-hatred was an early case of implicit cooperation between the establishment and the crazies. Where do you think Republicans got the idea? People like Krauthammer and Kelly openly called the Clintons psychopaths and doing that improved their reputations in the commentariat.

    Obama’s rigid self-control has spared him from that sort of bullshit, but, seriously… there’s nothing new under the sun.

  32. 32
    Napoleon says:

    @wobblybits:

    So let me get this straight, Clinton’s attacks were worse because they were based on the fact that he looked like he would do sleazy things whereas Obama’s are based on his race (you know basically stating that any and all accomplishments he has made couldn’t have been achieved by a black man/minority)?

    I think his point is the attacks against Clinton got more traction for that reason, not that they were “worse” in some moral sense.

  33. 33
    Sasha says:

    @Caz:

    You’re either being an idiot or a troll. Neither are suffered gladly here. I suggest you walk away now.

  34. 34
    Marmot says:

    @lamh34: That was never my reasoning, but the simple fact remains that the driving factor in attacks on Obama is that he’s a Dem president. The racism is just the icing on the cake, since it appeals to a good slice of the Right.

    Part of this is racial, no matter how well-spoken, a black man can probably never be a Clintonian evil genius in the eyes of Tea Party Nation.

    Totally, for the first half. But Tea Partiers also equate him with Hitler often enough that I think the evil genius bit is plenty applicable.

  35. 35
    Citizen_X says:

    the attacks on Clinton were…probably more politically damaging

    I think part of the impotency (yeah, I’m looking at you, Caz) of the attacks on Obama is due to the fact that we have seen all this shit before. Most Americans have had to listen to bullshit about drug planes landing in Arkansas and fake Purple Hearts and fake birf certificates (oh yeah, and hundreds of explosive charges placed in the WTC that nobody noticed) for 20 years. We’ve learned how to roll our eyes purty good.

  36. 36
    Nemesis says:

    @Brian R.: FTW!!

  37. 37
    El Cid says:

    Wasn’t Clinton accused of being born in Kenya too? You liberals are all rascists. It’s like you see a sign with Obama shown as an African witch doctor with a bone through his nose and suddenly you’re whining “rasist!”. I suppose calling him a Muslim is rakist too! People call him an affirmative action baby because the average white Southerner doesn’t understand why he’s supposed to be so damn smart when George W. Bush went to Yale and Harvard too!

  38. 38
    Culture of Truth says:

    Hillary was a lesbian who had an affair with Vince Foster.

    Also the Clintons hung crack pipes on the White House Christmas tree.

    good times

  39. 39
    Emma says:

    Brian: And let’s not forget the recently discovered INS files on Obama senior that record his son’s birth.

  40. 40
    aimai says:

    I think they’ve attacked Obama the way they attack everyone–by attacking his perceived strengths. One of Obama’s real strengths as a candidate was that he was so gosh darned likeable. He’s handsome, a family man, mild mannered, incredibly smart, hard to anger, well read, well written. The whole “he’s an alien, a muslim, a manchurian candidate” was developed specifically to imply that all of that was a false front. That Obama himself was a kind of false flag operation. And the goal of that was to prevent “weak minded” independents and even Republicans from allowing Obama to ever have a moment of political honeymoon.

    For some of the afterbirthers and tea partiers the racism is its own reward, of course. But all this shit didn’t start from the bottom it came down from the top and it began with a classic whisper campaign that Obama wasn’t what his followers/voters thought he was. It was all of a piece with the general McCain campaign that he was a “celebrity” who “doesn’t care about you.” That argument was directed as much at Democrats and independents as it was at Republicans. So is the argument that he’s “half white” instead of black. That is often used to argue that he’s “tricking” the black community into voting for him. You can see that when you listen to Rush Limbaugh. The whole “halfrican” thing only makes sense when you see it as a kind of faux race populism since to Rush and his ilk a guy who is half white has always been seen as all black.

    aimai

  41. 41
    Stillwater says:

    @Sasha: You’re either being an idiot or a troll.

    An idiotroll!

  42. 42
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @homeruk:

    You’re right, nobody mainstream had anything to do with it.

    Except for the Whitewater independent counsel, the FBI, and two separate congressional investigations.

    Just admit you don’t know what you’re talking about and move on.

  43. 43
    Brachiator says:

    As far as Clinton goes, in fact, calling him white trash who didn’t know his place was pretty mild

    No, this isn’t quite right. With Clinton, it wasn’t that he was undeserving just because he was “white trash.” A great deal of the animosity was based on the idea that he scoundrel of low character, and that the voters had made a mistake in electing him, but there was never the notion that he was not legitimately the president of the United States. Andrew Jackson was probably the first president who was considered suspect by some purely because of his lower class origins.

    That said, all the stuff about his enemies doing everything they could to remove him from office is on the money.

    Part of it is that Obama just doesn’t come across as someone who does a lot of sleazy, underhanded things.

    Sadly, all the bullshit about Obama being a sleazy, typical, black Chicago politician, is an example of the wingnut hysterics making crap up about Obama no matter what his actual behavior.

    And this gets to the heart of the racist background to the birther nonsense and everything connected to it. These fools look at a black person and see nothing but their fantasies, anger and fears reflected back at them. They never see a real human being.

  44. 44
    El Cid says:

    @Citizen_X: Eisenhower being a Communist dupe and his brother being either a Communist operative or Fellow Traveler were not big topics for the major news media to cover as important debates.

    We’ve learned a lot since then about what’s important. Now we have people on TV who are willing to argue for such views and a big money media then interested in covering those who are arguing for such views.

    Back then everything was boring, and just accusing all these third world movements and protesters as Communist funded or inspired was considered good enough.

  45. 45
    wobblybits says:

    @Napoleon: Okay. I freely admit that I don’t get it. But then again, I don’t understand why the comparison in the first place.

  46. 46
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Caz: Sorry, but being born to a black father is not something Obama did. Criticizing him for that is racism.

  47. 47
    Marmot says:

    @Citizen_X:

    I think part of the impotency (yeah, I’m looking at you, Caz) of the attacks on Obama is due to the fact that we have seen all this shit before.

    I’d like to think that, but I’m recently getting the impression that Birtherness is catching on in the mainstream. Maybe I spend too much time hating the mainstream, though.

  48. 48
    Chris says:

    As far as Clinton goes, in fact, calling him white trash who didn’t know his place was pretty mild, almost a compliment.

    I’m too young to remember, but if they did that, that’s pretty freaking dumb. Doesn’t that just make their hardworking white base associate with Clinton more?

  49. 49
    cmorenc says:

    @Caz:

    You really have no idea how out of touch with reality you are, do you? So let me get this straight: whenever a white person criticizes anything Obama does, it’s borne out of racism, right? And racism is such a good, politically correct attack that is beyond reproach in our society, you can sling it around recklessly whenever you want, regardless of facts or evidence.

    Except that the “birther” crap IS at this point, beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt, rooted in racist bigotry. No one has EVER questioned the bona fides of the birth certificate of ANY President or even major presidential candidate before. This birther-ism crap persisted long after every state official affirmed Obama was born as specified in Honalulu, Hawaii and people personally familiar with his mother in Hawaii around the time of his birth had affirmed that he was born there, though of course they couldn’t know at the time he was a future President of the United States rather than simply the interracial child of a dysfunctional, broken relationship. No one, for example, ever considered seriously challenging the constitutional eligibility of John McCain to be President (he was born in Panama), which is based on statutory clarification of when a baby born outside the united states is born a “citizen”, and not in the constitutional text itself, whereas Obama’s qualification comes DIRECTLY from the constitutional language “natural-born citizen”, i.e. born within the United States. There’s also the wilful persistent misinterpretation of the native citizenship requisites for eligibility to be President, which are long well-established, but birthers work feverishly to conjure up novel theories radically departing from long-set principles and plain constitutional language.

    There are certainly broad legitimate NON-racist grounds to harbor strong disagreement with Obama’s policies or whatever anyone perceives to be his ideological framework or alliances, or leadership style. Nevertheless, the persistence of birtherism, contrary to mountainous irrefutable evidence, IS rooted in pure racism. No Caucasian President or serious candidate has EVER been subjected to this particular kind of bullshit. Yes, Clinton was hounded by a legion of baseless charges (excepting some of the ones relating to his sexual libido)…but there was no racial component to them.

  50. 50
    soonergrunt says:

    @Caz: Hey, dumb cracker racist hoodwearing inbred fuckwit–if you don’t like being called a dumb cracker racist hoodwearing inbred fuckwit, then instead of complaining about being called a dumb cracker racist hoodwearing inbred fuckwit, you should stop doing and saying the things that dumb cracker racist hoodwearing inbred fuckwits say and do.
    Of course, being a dumb cracker racist hoodwearing inbred fuckwit, you can neither figure this out for your dumb cracker racist hoodwearing inbred fuckwit self, nor actually stop saying and doing those very dumb cracker racist hoodwearing inbred fuckwit things.

    I know that gasoline is expensive, so you should know that you only need a couple of cups of it and not the whole gallon poured over your chest before you strike the match, you dumb cracker racist hoodwearing inbred fuckwit.

  51. 51
    Joel says:

    Two sides of the same coin. The republicans are vermin. Have been for some time now.

  52. 52
    Chris says:

    @Caz:

    Grow some balls and aruge the merits instead of crying “racist” all the time.

    I’m sorry, being told to argue “the merits” of a Birther controversy-that-isn’t is pretty hysterical.

  53. 53
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Let’s face it, the Birthers and their manipulators are the sort of people who would attack Jesus for being Jewish if they thought it would score political points for them.

  54. 54
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    @Caz: You dumb, cock-breath piece of shit fucking teabagger.

    There have been no fucking criticisms of Obama, just denunciations of him as being “Not American,” “Not Natural Born,” “Not Smart Enough,” “Not Qualified…”

    FUCK YOU, you lizard brained no-load monkey-fucking dog-sucking shit-for-brains spawn of a syphilitic whore.

  55. 55
    scav says:

    Our affirmative-action intellectual elitist president. A godless commie imposing sharia law, worse! a commie in the pockets of big business! I’m telling you, the man’s a doughnut, a multi-dimension doughnut.

  56. 56
    jrg says:

    @Caz:
    Wah, wah, I’m tired of being called a racist!

    Here’s an idea, genius. Stop making baseless accusations where people can only speculate as to what your motivations are, because taken at face value, those accusations are bullshit.

  57. 57
    Marmot says:

    @aimai: Damn. Your comments are always good.

    And I wish I could remember the first time I saw a late-50s-early-60s conservative intimate with wide eyes that “We don’t really know anything about him!” Like a presidential candidate can spookily hide his true identity. Please.

  58. 58
    Legalize says:

    @Caz:
    Oh, the merits. What are the merits of birtherism, and calling Obama an affirmative-action president / student? What are the merits of calling Obama a stealth Muslim/Nazi/fascist/Marxist/Stalinist thug?

    Merits please.

  59. 59
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: If Jesus returns, I hope he comes back as black. Then the baggers can complain about his father not being American as well.

  60. 60
    gene108 says:

    The backlash against Clinton was in a greater sense a backlash against the liberal movements of the 1960’s, from DFH’s (he protested the Vietnam war in England and smoked pot) to women’s rights (Hillary) to Civil Rights (black people identified with President Clinton).

    For conservative right-wingers President Clinton was the embodiment of those evils that ruined America. The attacks on him were part of a greater movement to de-legitimize the liberal movements of earlier decades, which were centered around the belief that government would be able to do something good for its citizens.

    As much as liberals want to bash Clinton for his relationship with business and the welfare reform bill that passed, he did try to expand government to fill in the gaps of the Social Safety net or at least to make sure it worked better.

    Welfare reform aside, he tried to push for universal health care and later got sCHIP passed. He made FEMA a functional agency, after more than a decade of mismanagement by two Republican Presidents, and he did start up civilian service programs for late teens and people in their early twenties to be more involved in their communities.

    In many ways, if Clinton wasn’t demonized, you’d have seen a rebirth* of a liberal movement in America, in the 1990’s. Americans really do support government working for middle-class interests, even though many don’t like to admit, until the government tries to take away their Medicare.

    The attacks on Obama are much the same, but maybe from a different source of motivation, i.e. race versus hippie punching. The right can’t afford a Democrat, who believes government is not the problem to connect with middle-class and working class voters, especially white males and white conservative females, because if that happened it’d be game over for the Republicans.

    *Keep in mind, in the 1980’s liberals derailed the nomination of Robert Bork, the SCOTUS, as well as pushed through the ADA and FMLA, in the early 1990’s, with a Republican President in the White House. Even if the liberal movement was in decline, in the 1980’s, it still had some punches left to throw, until the media wurlitzer around the Clinton White House alienated many middle-class white voters.

    On the flip side, the clusterf*ck that was Bush &Co.’s two terms in office has pushed those voters away from the Republican party. They just aren’t reliable Democratic votes.

  61. 61
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @homeruk:

    I’m not going to play Oppression Olympics here to see who has/had it worse, but do you know remember the Juanita Broaddrick interview on Dateline?

  62. 62
    Elie says:

    @aimai:

    An excellent comment, Aimai…

  63. 63
    agrippa says:

    @Caz:

    Caz, stupid troll

  64. 64
    TooManyJens says:

    @homeruk: Yes, exactly. Whether or not Barack Obama is a citizen has become an issue that actually gets discussed in mainstream media outlets. Republican politicians have actually had to consider whether or not to repudiate birther claims too strongly, lest they lose the support of their base. Birtherism has gotten traction in a way that the crazier attacks on Clinton (that he was a murderer or drug-runner), while certainly vile, never did.

    Another big difference between what’s happening to Obama and what happened to Clinton is that the attacks on Obama don’t affect just him. They serve as just one more bit of evidence to African-Americans that they aren’t really considered legitimate Americans, as capable of excelling and leading as any white person. There’s a long, sad history of this stuff — Obama being forced to prove that he’s an American didn’t happen in a vacuum.

  65. 65
    Hans Solo says:

    @Caz: Caz, you are totally correct. The proof is all listed at the link below:

    http://www.amishrakefight.org/gfy/

  66. 66
    aimai says:

    @Chris:

    Chris,
    I wasn’t too young so let me expand on the whole “bubba” thing–there were always two tiers of attacks on Clinton. At the top level Clinton and Hillary were both excoriated by the in crowd (specifically journalists and important washington people) as low class compared to Bush senior and his family who were seen as born to the purple and rightly so. There were endless complaints and attacks on Clinton as a rural hick poll, and on Hillary as being unable to handle the servants (she was the first working first lady).

    At the grassroots level where the anti clinton stuff percolated for years in churches Clinton’s bubba appeal was attacked by calling him an elitist hippie who had gone to Yale, who had smoked pot, who had not been drafted, who had clearly had his eye on a political career from early on, who might even have been a moscow stooge.

    There’s never just one track for an attack because attacks are targeted to appeal to different bases.

    aimai

  67. 67
    fhtagn says:

    @Caz:

    You know, you can stop being a sad little racist and start being a decent human being any time you like. It just takes some effort, a little character, and a moral code.

  68. 68
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @Caz:

    Caz sounds like one of those stupid, racist pukes who whine when you point out the things they do and say are obviously motivated by race. Caz seems to think that if he whines enough you’ll give up and stop correctly labeling him as a shitty bigot.

    Caz is a shitty bigot. It’s who he is, what he does.

  69. 69
    wonkie says:

    I know a birther. When she first stated to me that Obama was not born in the US I laughed and asked her why it was important for her to believe that when it is so obvioulsy a stupid thing to believe. I know that was a rude respose, but birthers are being deliberately stupid for malicious reasons by chosig to believe the birth lie. I don’t know if the malicious reason is racism or it it is just the godawful arrogant anti-democratic snobbery that is the essence of the Republican approach to politics. Republicans have a well established tendency to view themselves as inately better Americans than everyone else.. That’s why they are so susceptable to hatemongering messages ( iggers o welfare, bums on welfare, gays underminig marraige, union thugs). That’s why they like Faux, Limbaugh, O’Reilly –they need their five minutes hate very day. Repuiblican voters will not respect the legitimacy of any Democratic President, but one named Obama that does’t look like them…well of course he could not possibly be THEIR President.

  70. 70
    homeruk says:

    Bob Loblaw, as far I remember the park police investigated because he was found dead of a gunshot in a national park. The feds were also involved due to the guy’s position. The Whitewater circus was then started and because some documents were relating to that issue were found in Foster’s home, the independent counsel also reviewed the the investigation into his death. I have no doubt that there was a congressional investigation as well; what I have little memory of is mainstream media reports debating whether or not Bill Clinton was a murderer (yes there was a lot of shit about whitewater, travel agents and all that other crap); I have little memory of Clinton’s press secretary being asked about this in the daily briefing. Can you point me to references to show I’m wrong? were republican candidates asked about their views on whether Bill was a murderer?

  71. 71
    ppcli says:

    I lean to the “it was equally bad with Clinton” side. In this connection I might note that Rush Limbaugh and John McCain on television and on stage respectively made jaw-droppingly unfunny, cruel jokes about Chelsea. (In McCain’s case, Hilary and Janet Reno as well.) Happily, I haven’t heard anything comparable concerning the Obama children.

  72. 72
    agrippa says:

    I see that Caz is getting the attention that he craves.

    The twit cannot even write a competent insult.

  73. 73
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    So let me get this straight: whenever a white person criticizes anything Obama does, it’s borne out of racism, right?

    More proof that any belligerent rhetorical question beginning with “so” is a strawman argument.

  74. 74
    Chad N Freude says:

    Dear Caz,

    You really have no idea how out of touch with reality you are, do you?

    Your buddy, Chad

  75. 75
    Mandramas says:

    @Caz: Birtherism is a form of ethnic prejudice (aka “Racism”, but i hate this word). Critics about Libya, or economic activity, etc, are not racism. The point is, there are ethnic prejudice, and Republicans wants to channel this to attack Obama. Not all the Obama attacks are racist, but since it is a question of intention, it is always a perception issue.
    You can’t know if Trump attacks Obama due he is a racist, or because he have a specific benefit to pose a racist. But if someone says racist things, he should prepared to be accused of that.

  76. 76
    aimai says:

    @aimai:

    Shorter: Clinton was attacked as both a race and a class traitor from the lower white class into which he was born (the Bubba class) while to the upper class into which he rose through his education, public service, rhodes scholarship, he was attacked as a race and class traitor for failing to completely abandon non whites and the lower classes and identify totally as ruling class.

    These two different strands came together very oddly in attacks on Clinton that feminized and sexualized him (endless fun was made of his fat, his gargantuan apetites, his lesbian wife, the democrats as the mommy party) at the same time that they attacked him for a typically masculine virtue like pursuing infidelity and having a non monogamous sex life. Interestingly enough both he and Hillary were attacked thematically as traitors to their gender: Clinton for sticking with such a tough woman as Hillary and not dumping her for a trophy wife, Hillary for sticking with an unfaithful husband and not acting out right wing fantasies of the secular feminist scorned.

    aimai

  77. 77
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik:

    It was the explicit accusations of treason. Bill Clinton abused his seat of power. Kerry betrayed his country. Much more guttural accusation.
    __
    And we have Obama who is not only an illegal alien, but a Communist, an usurper, a Muslim, and a traitor all at once. On, and effete elitist too, can’t forget that.

    You can’t betray a country in that manner if people refuse to accept that you are even from that country.

  78. 78

    @lamh34: Yup.
    __
    The sad thing is, many of us saw this coming, and warned about it. I got hounded at the GOS for even bringing it up, then again for reminding them that they had been forewarned. Left there for here just before things REALLY went to hell there.
    __
    So yeah, lots of Egyptian river traversing, and all that.

  79. 79
    scav says:

    They’re delegitimizing Americans as a first down tactic anymore: African-(non)Americans, Muslim-(non)Americans, Atheist-(non)Americans, Union-member-(non)Americans, Hispano-(non)Americans, Gay(non)-Americans . . . (Non)Americans have simply got to be the most rapidly expanding (non)Majority in America!

  80. 80
    homeruk says:

    Tonybrown 74 – i know what you’re getting at but listen: that lady filed a fucking affidavit – on oath – making her accusation. yes it was probably bullshit but it’s a completely different thing to keep harping on and on about the birther thing when it has been conclusively, I mean conclusively proven many years ago.

  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    As I see it, questions about Obama’s citizenship and eligibility among sentient beings would have gone this way:

    1st Dude: There a guy running for president named Obama. He seems pretty cool.

    2nd Dude: Tell me about him.

    1st Dude: Columbia, Harvard Law, community organizer, etc.

    2nd Dude: That sounds impressive. Odd name though…

    1st Dude: Yeah, his dad is Kenyan.

    2nd Dude: Kenyan, huh? Is this Obama guy eligible to be president?

    1st Dude: He was born in Hawaii.

    2nd Dude: Oh, cool. What is his position on gun control?

    The End.

  82. 82
    Chris says:

    @gene108:

    Even if the liberal movement was in decline, in the 1980’s, it still had some punches left to throw

    That’s true enough.

    It still boggles my mind that Congress was able to pass a ban on arms sales to Nicaraguan terrorists when the Sandinistas had pretty much been proclaimed an enemy regime. And the embargo on South Africa (overriding Reagan’s veto) passed during this same time.

    Foreign policy’s my thing so I don’t know if there was any domestic equivalent, but damn.

  83. 83
    Midnight Marauder says:

    Part of this is racial, no matter how well-spoken, a black man can probably never be a Clintonian evil genius in the eyes of Tea Party Nation. Part of it is that Obama just doesn’t come across as someone who does a lot of sleazy, underhanded things. I think that’s one of his political strengths,

    How can it be partly racial when the very existence of the thing is born out of racism? What is this post even about really?

    You really need to stop reading so much fucking Slate. It is obviously beginning to affect your critical thinking skills.

  84. 84
    Legalize says:

    @soonergrunt:
    As a lefty in good standing, I suggest that Caz save gasoline and merely set his house ablaze with the assistance of common household cleaners and other chemicals. With him in it. As a good lefty, I encourage the authorities to remove any children and pets from the house beforehand.

    Just trying to do my part to save gas.

  85. 85
    WereBear says:

    @aimai: As always, a stunning summing up.

  86. 86
    Bill H. says:

    I’m inclined to agree that the attacks on Obama are more of the “who he is” while those on Clinton were of the “what he did” nature. There were some slurs that he was an “Arkansas redneck” or “hillbilly,” but they never got any traction.

    Still, my sense is that the attacks are sstill more partisan in nature than they are racial. The racism is merely opportunism, since opponents of liberalism will use any handle that is available, and that racism is secondary to anti-liberalism. That doesn’t make it any less despicable…

  87. 87
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @TooManyJens:

    This too. The racial aspect affects not only Barack Obama as a person, but as part of a larger race and segment of the population that finds its very legitimacy in society under question constantly. As was pointed out several threads below, it gives the impression to most non-white Americans that ‘If the president of the United States of America can’t even be accepted as a legitimate American, what does that say for us silly brown proles on the bottom rungs?’

  88. 88
    Chris says:

    @aimai:

    There’s never just one track for an attack because attacks are targeted to appeal to different bases.

    That’s true enough. I’d just never heard about the former track of attack. Obviously the latter didn’t work too well either, he had pretty strong populist appeal throughout.

    @Midnight Marauder:

    You can’t betray a country in that manner if people refuse to accept that you are even from that country.

    Yep, and that’s the difference.

    Carter and Clinton were accused of being traitors, but never of actually being foreigners: they were accused of being Muslim-lovers, but never of actually being Muslim: etc, etc. It just wouldn’t have stuck, they were too white and too Southern. It could only stick to someone like Obama, with his non-WASPy name, immigrant father and unpopular choice of skin tone.

  89. 89
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @homeruk:

    Um … nope … she filed an affidavit claiming it WASN’T true, and then contradicted herself on Dateline.

    Look, I’m not going to get into who had it worse, since I don’t believe I am in a position to judge. However, I used to follow politics almost as religiously as I do now, and I do recall a LOT of the shit that went down during the 90s. I even remembering commenting to someone about the country seeming to lose it’s damned mind when Clinton was elected.

    I see the same thing now, particularly since the racist shit is so easy for them to use.

  90. 90
    JordanRules says:

    @homeruk: Yesterday, some people I previously considered bright were getting their birther on. Everyone I know comments on people they know who comment on it.

    I was in IT in the 90’s during the Clinton era so I knew all of the icky, conspiratorial goodness that was going on, but nobody else I know did. Nobody. The impeachment thing came and everybody knew about that, but still they didn’t know about the ‘body count’ until I told them about it and we’d look it up and have a good chuckle.

    Just some anecdotal fuel to throw into the fire…

  91. 91
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @homeruk:

    http://www.newsweek.com/1994/0.....hurns.html
    http://www.newsweek.com/1994/0.....urns.html#

    Still, legitimate questions about Foster’s death remain unanswered. Assuming he did kill himself, why did he do it? It wasn’t clear that the note he left behind was meant to be an explanation. If his suicide was an act of private despair, why did the White House urgently remove documents from his office-and then accept the scrutiny of an independent counsel, rather than make the papers public? Exactly what personal business was Vince Foster doing for the Clintons at the time of his death? Why weren’t police and medical reports on his death made public long ago? The administration isn’t answering any of those questions in public. And as long as it hunkers down behind its stone wall, the rumormongers are free to exercise and exploit their lurid imaginations.

    That was in a 1994 Newsweek article. Purportedly written to debunk right-wing accusations. Isn’t it interesting? They were just asking questions.

    But you know what? We’re done. It doesn’t matter. You’ve convinced yourself that Barack Obama is the only President in history to ever have his humanity degraded by his political opponents for sport and profit, and nothing would convince you otherwise.

  92. 92
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Ten to one, the historical Jesus would have been on the tan side with dark hair and eyes and bearded. I doubt that he was blond-haired (even light brown) or had blue eyes.

  93. 93
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @ppcli:

    I lean to the “it was equally bad with Clinton” side. In this connection I might note that Rush Limbaugh and John McCain on television and on stage respectively made jaw-droppingly unfunny, cruel jokes about Chelsea. (In McCain’s case, Hilary and Janet Reno as well.) Happily, I haven’t heard anything comparable concerning the Obama children.

    Right. Because he mainly directs that filth at Michelle Obama:

    Radio host Rush Limbaugh poked fun at Michelle Obama’s waistline Monday; the latest entry in a string of conservative attacks on the First Lady’s anti-obesity campaign.
    __
    During his show yesterday, Limbaugh pounced on a report that the Obama family (minus the president) had dined on ribs while vacationing in Vail, Colo.:
    __
    The problem is — and dare I say this — it doesn’t look like Michelle Obama follows her own nutritionary, dietary advice. And then we hear that she’s out eating ribs at 1,500 calories a serving with 141 grams of fat per serving, yeah it does — what do you mean, what do I mean?
    __
    What is it – no, I’m trying to say that our First Lady does not project the image of women that you might see on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, or of a woman [professional baseball player] Alex Rodriguez might date every six months or what have you. I mean, women are under constant pressure to look lithe, and Michelle My Belle is out there saying if you eat the roots and tree bark and the berries and all this cardboard stuff you will live longer, be healthier and you won’t be obese. Okay, fine, show us.

    Once again, Rush Limbaugh can’t stop talking about the First Lady’s body.
    __
    Now he’s got his radio audience weighing in about her style choices and what colors she should and shouldn’t be wearing.
    __
    “Every time I see her and they start talking about how fashionable she is and the colors she wears, I think about that old story, ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes,'” A caller, who identified herself as Laura from Bremerton, Wash., told Limbaugh, per Mediaite. “Every time [Michelle] dresses in yellow, I keep expecting some little kid to pop up and say, ‘She looks like a bowl of mustard.'”
    __
    Limbaugh mugged at the camera in a video recording of his broadcast to mock the caller before egging on her critique of the First Lady’s fashion sense.
    __
    “She never seems to look classy,” the husky-voiced caller continued. “She never seems to wear her clothes with any finesse or flair. She just seems to march around like a lumberjack.”
    __
    Limbaugh assured the caller that her opinion that Mrs. Obama as a poor dresser is “a foregone conclusion,” then he asked why she thought that the media continued portray her as a fashion trendsetter.

    I mean, what the fuck are we even talking about here?

  94. 94
    homeruk says:

    Bill H. See here’s my trouble with saying that “The racism is merely opportunism”. I am Indian. I have a fiery temper and have been known to say very rude things about people when I get angry. I have never, ever, used a racial epithet or anything close. I just would never do that no matter how angry I got. It would cause me physical revulsion. Those people who use racism as opportunism? They would not do that if they weren’t racist, in their core, if they didn’t feel that calling someone a n**ger was no worse than calling someone a dick. It’s not a ‘handle’; it’s not the use of a bad swear word; it’s racism. full stop, end of story.

  95. 95
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Of course they are trying to deligitimize a Democratic president. It is what they do. The fact, however, that the line of attack that they took was racial is telling as hell.

  96. 96
    jaleh says:

    @Brian R.: Loved reading your comment.

  97. 97
    handy says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    I mean, what the fuck are we even talking about here?

    Repukes go full metal retard whenever there’s a Democrat in the White House.

  98. 98
    Marmot says:

    The backlash against Clinton was in a greater sense a backlash against the liberal movements of the 1960’s, from DFH’s (he protested the Vietnam war in England and smoked pot) to women’s rights (Hillary) to Civil Rights (black people identified with President Clinton). …
    __
    The attacks on Obama are much the same, but maybe from a different source of motivation, i.e. race versus hippie punching.

    This is more of my quibbling, but the motivation is exactly the same. Authoritarians hate having liberals in power, and they grab the nearest, most effective weapon–anti-60s in Clinton’s case and Birtherism in Obama’s.

  99. 99
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Bill H.:

    The racism is merely opportunism

    This is just kind of a weird thing to say. Does this somehow mitigate the fact that they are basing a large part of their opposition to the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency on outright racism? Like, just because he is also a Democrat, let’s just overlook the fact that white people are going FUCKING INSANE with racism? Because the opportunity to just go all in on racism presented itself, that somehow makes the racism less potent?

    Please. Explain this to me, because it leaves me absolutely flabbergasted.

  100. 100
    gene108 says:

    @Bob Loblaw: That quote from Newsweek is creepy. A guy commits suicide and his employer doesn’t make every damn detail of his life public. What are they hiding?

    What was the record label Nirvana signed with hiding in 1994, when Kurt Kobaine snuffed himself out?

    You could go on and on with high profile and not so high profile suicides.

    That’s so damn creepy for wondering why private matters stay private, when someone experiences a personal tragedy.

    Part wishes these news rags would just up end die for printing this sort of shit and ruin every journalist, editor and publisher, who would think to print that sort of crap.

  101. 101
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @handy:

    Repukes go full metal retard whenever there’s a Democrat in the White House.

    Or a nigger.

    You know. Tomato, tomatoe. You say “Democrat”, I say “negro.”

    Same difference.

  102. 102
    jl says:

    I think there are two parts to the issue of what dog whistle is being blown for Obama, Clintons, and others (for example, Kerry).

    There are professional political operatives who are regularly running stuff up the flagpole to see how well it rallies their troops. These people would prefer to work in some dog whistle on race, dirty hippies, or whatever, but the bottom line is what works.

    Obama has gone through a nicely spread out and balanced rotation of possible angles: race, social economic and educational class, dirty hippy/community organizer. I think the range of issues tried out on Obama shows a nice professionalism and discipline among these operatives.

    The second issue is what rallies the GOP troops, and easily swayed independents and low info voters. By now, I think there is a collection of themes that seem to work that revolve around race.

    How reasonable is the view that racial issues are at the core of many GOPers’ and Tea Peoples”concerns’ ? Well jiminy crickets and gosh darnit, I heard Very Serious, civil and courtly ol’ fart Bob Schiefer say he thought race had something to do with the continued popularity birther nonsense on a news interview earlier today.

    If Bob Schiefer says something that is ever so slightly out of publicly sayable Very Serious Person conventional wisdom, I think that means it is so obvious that he will get laughed at if he pretends otherwise. That is the type of game Schiefer plays, being super Very Serious Person, but once in a while, very thoughtfully and with furrowed brow, venture something previously unsaid in his circles publicly, but that has been utterly and laughably obvious to sane people for some time.

    There are always some nasty subtexts to what works in these attacks, and the trick for the political pros is to keep trying until they hit pay dirt. With Obama, much of it is race. Were Hillary Clinton president it would be gender. With Kerry it was class (too high). With Clinton much of it was class (too low, he was smooth talking on the outside but underneath was just plain bad to bone outlaw white trash).

    The lines are blurry, because any racial attack on African Americans for Hispanics will trigger lots of class based bigotry.

  103. 103
    aimai says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    I’m agreeing with you but I want to add something else to bring it full circle. The recent article about Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, was followed by hundreds of comments many of which basically accused her of being both a race traitor and a real traitor (marxist, soviet etc…) because she choose to have sex with two non white men and choose to live abroad. The accusation that her sexual partners were non white took precedence over the accusation that they were foreigners, but was so intertwined with it that you could hardly tell the difference. And this was explicitly contrasted with the “normal” thing that a white american girl should do which was to stay home and have sex with one and only one white guy. Excercising choice towards these two men was by definition a rejection of “normalcy” and of white and american identity which were perceived as the same thing. To be white is to be american, to be american is to be white and to reject all that is non american is also to reject those who are non white.

    This, it seems to me, is also what Baratunde was arguing in his video.

    I guess what I’m saying is that I think the anti Obama faction can really have it both ways–under no circumstances do they recognize the right of Obama or any non white person to be President, regardless of any “xenophobia” (the preferred right wing term for racism). The “born on foreign soil” thing or “adopted by Soetero” or “is a muslim by birth” doesn’t make any sense to those of us who see Obama’s as a quintessentially American story. But they always make sense to those who see his blackness, and his mother’s deviation from loyalty to whiteness, as alien.

    aimai

  104. 104
    Brachiator says:

    @Bill H.:

    Still, my sense is that the attacks are sstill more partisan in nature than they are racial.

    There are multiple things at play here. For birthers, it’s not about attacking Obama, it is about their inability to accept him as president of the United States. Whenever I come across posts of the most virulent birthers, there is always the rote nonsense that he is not a US citizen, and so ineligible to be president, followed by the shrill rant that he doesn’t know what he is doing and is ruining the the country.

    Elements of the Tea Party People seem to imagine themselves as existing in a pre 1850s America, sometimes even a pre 1750s America where someone like Obama could never have a place at the table.

    Later, the GOP milked this for all it was worth, since it got them an unbudging core of voters whose anger and fear can be manipulated forever.

  105. 105
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    The point is the Democrat is always an illegitimate president. Let’s not get lost in whose personal martyrdom is the most unfair.

    I wish Obama would have tied this birther nonsense into the larger narrative of the delegitimization of Democrats. The only way to stop it from happening next time is to make the pattern perfectly clear to those who can report on the pattern when it rears its ugly head again.

  106. 106
  107. 107
    kay says:

    I’d rather look at the people making the unsubstantiated accusations rather than look at two very different men who were accused, because the people making the accusations are (mostly, literally, even, sometimes) the same people. Conservative leaders and conservative voters.
    Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof, unless you’re a conservative, in which case you feel free launch any and all accusations with no duty, at all, ever, to back it up.
    WTF? Who does this? Is this how they behave in their daily lives?
    “I think Hillary Clinton murdered Vince Foster”. “I think Sarah Palin’s baby is not hers”. Not a shred of proof, just repeat the smear, for years.
    I’m convinced this is a way of thinking, and the commonality, the shared “value” on display here is that of the accusers, not the accused.

  108. 108
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    How can it be partly racial when the very existence of the thing is born out of racism? What is this post even about really?

    There are multiple parties involved in stoking and sustaining Birtherism, with a range of methods and motives.
    The non-racial part comes in because the right-wing noise machine will try out every possible sort of accusation against a Dem president (ditto for other Dem leaders, e.g. Pelosi). They don’t care what it is, so long as they find something, anything with which to damage a Dem leader. Their method is to fling everything they can find against the wall and see what sticks. Then when they find something that sticks, they fling more of that.

    And in Obama’s case, they’ve flung everything including the kitchen sink, just like they did with Clinton. But unlike in Clinton’s case, with Obama hardly any of it is getting traction. His approval ratings are astonishingly high considering the state of the economy and gas prices, because he is the closest thing we’ve had to a squeaky clean and just plain likeable middle class striver of a President, somebody that most people can identify with, since Eisenhower. Every other President we’ve had since then (with the exception of Reagan) looks just plain strange and pyschologically twisted compared with Obama, although Reagan did a fanastic job of concealing the weirdness within.

    The racial part comes in with what little in the way of Wurlitzer attacks seems to be sticking regarding Obama. That is why Birtherism is on the verge of going mainstream and Telepromterism isn’t.

  109. 109
    homeruk says:

    Bob Loblaw, no, I’ll grant you that that Newsweek thing was pretty despicable. Reading that Newsweek article it was interesting to see the usual suspects, a la Limbaugh, Ailes, Buchanan et al in play. I guess for me it’s just a matter of quality and quantity. I was a pretty obssessive Clinton supporter and I must say I don’t/didn’t remember this particular allegation getting much play in the MSM – yet there’s that Newsweek article….anyway let’s just agree to disagree on who has/had it worse and just agree that they both have/had it absolutely awful; and that it’s really shameful for a country that is supposed to be beacon of light for the others out there.

  110. 110
    Turgidson says:

    @aimai:

    Hillary as being unable to handle the servants (she was the first working first lady).

    Wait what? Eleanor Roosevelt, for one, might disagree with that statement. She may not have had “a job” in some modern sense, but she worked tirelessly and used her high profile as FLOTUS to do things she otherwise might not have been able to.

  111. 111
    handy says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    So Obama being a Democrat is completely irrelevant? Really? Because that’s what you’re saying.

  112. 112
    rickstersherpa says:

    @Caz: Ah, a Troll. And another lesson in logical fallacies in arguement and hence we can use our Troll to illustrate the distinction between bad arguement and good arguement.

    A troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community.

    The point of Dougj’s post is how the wacko claims about President Obama and the political attack on his legitimacy as President are different (in that they play with racial narratives) from the wacko claims and political attack on President Clinton’s legitimacy. So that is the topic argument being discussed, pro and con this proposition, not “all criticism of Obama is racist (and since on this blog and other liberal blogs (Firedoglake, Glenn Greenwald, et. al, there is some pretty blistering criticism of Obama). So what we have here in Caz the Troll is a combination of ad hominem, strawman, and non sequiter. By the way, I am not engaging in ad hominem by naming Caz a Troll, since by common interned definition, as stated above, the evidence in his own posting convicts him of being a Troll beyond all reasonable doubt. The strawman argument Caz made is that Dougj and (by inference all Democrats and liberals) are saying that all conservative criticism of Obama, on his character, style, temperment, and policies is racist. Which of course is not what Dougj has said, hence the “strawman.” The non sequiter in Caz’s arguement is his claim that A: Liberals critcize conservatives, B: some conservatives are whites, (let’s jump to the anti-anit-racist card) therefore any criticism of any arguement or claim that a white Consevative comes from a place of either racist beliefs or racial resentments is playing the “race card.”

    I appreciate the Trolls now. I have learned to really tighten up my own arguements. So thanks Caz, and I hope you take in the best spirit my suggestion that you just go sit on a broom and rotate.

  113. 113
    Chris says:

    @aimai:

    The recent article about Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, was followed by hundreds of comments many of which basically accused her of being both a race traitor and a real traitor (marxist, soviet etc…) because she choose to have sex with two non white men and choose to live abroad.

    Yeah, the basic “logic” is that a “normal” American woman wouldn’t have gotten with a black guy unless she was a pinko-commie-Marxist.

    Which of course raises the question, what does that say about “normal” American values back then?

  114. 114
    Nutella says:

    @homeruk:

    The “Clintons murdered Vince Foster” story was indeed mainstream. Rep. Dan Burton did a congressional investigation of Foster’s death which included Burton’s own forensic experiments. (He shot a pumpkin.)

    What this all boils down to is that Republicans get hysterical about any Democrat as President and use whatever vicious tactics they can find in their attempts to denigrate the Democrats. So it’s not a question of whether it’s only racism that motivates them now. Its BOTH racism AND hatred of Democrats.

  115. 115
    Blue Neponset says:

    I am a lot more pissed about this birth certificate thing than I expected. The first black President is being asked to live up to a double standard by a bunch of racist xenophobes and the press is totally okay with reporting both sides of the “controversy”. We should all be ashamed of our country. This just isn’t right.

  116. 116
    kd bart says:

    There have always been sleazy attacks on Presidents and Presidential candidates throughout American history. The reason they seem so prevalent nowadays is the nature of the modern news business. We live in a world of 24/7 cable news channels that have plenty of time to fill and needs cheap content to fill it.

  117. 117
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @aimai:

    I guess what I’m saying is that I think the anti Obama faction can really have it both ways—under no circumstances do they recognize the right of Obama or any non white person to be President, regardless of any “xenophobia” (the preferred right wing term for racism). The “born on foreign soil” thing or “adopted by Soetero” or “is a muslim by birth” doesn’t make any sense to those of us who see Obama’s as a quintessentially American story. But they always make sense to those who see his blackness, and his mother’s deviation from loyalty to whiteness, as alien.

    I think you get it exactly right when you say that all the threads are so “intertwined with it that you could hardly tell the difference.” From their perspective, the very existence of Barack Obama is a abomination and an affront to American ideals. He should not even exist, as far as they are concern, let alone be the fucking President of the United States of America.

    Because his mother made a fundamentally traitorous choice, there is nothing he can do to ever redeem himself in their eyes. It goes back to the Confederate mentality we talk about so much here. These are the people who are the direct descendants of Alexander Stephens’ “Cornerstone Speech,” the people who still believe things like this:

    Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

    I just find it really weird to even attempt to compare this situation to what Clinton endured. Why do they even need to be compared? The are two wholly distinct tragedies. Let them exist as respective entities.

  118. 118
    kay says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    I actually (naive fool that I am) think your feelings will predominate. I share them, so I’m biased, but I don’t (yet!) think we’re in the minority.
    I think most people recognize unfairness when they witness it, on a gut level. This was brutally unfair. Whatever else it was. He didn’t do anything wrong.

  119. 119
    Chris says:

    @Nutella:

    What this all boils down to is that Republicans get hysterical about any Democrat as President and use whatever vicious tactics they can find in their attempts to denigrate the Democrats. So it’s not a question of whether it’s only racism that motivates them now. Its BOTH racism AND hatred of Democrats.

    That, and a lot of the hatred for white Democratic politicians comes from the perception that they’re race traitors and n/gg/r-lovers who prefer “those people” to their own kind. So I’d say there’s a massive portion of the conservative base for whom racism and hatred of Democrats are sides of the same coin, both now and in the 1990s.

  120. 120
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @handy:

    So Obama being a Democrat is completely irrelevant? Really? Because that’s what you’re saying.

    I am saying it’s a dumb fucking argument to make because there’s nothing really there to analyze. We all know they attack Democrats. That’s not a fucking groundbreaking discovery.

    I am saying what is worthy of note is they nature of how they decided to attack this particular Democrat.

    You know, the one who happens to be the first non-white President of the United States.

  121. 121
    4tehlulz says:

    Caz = Scott Adams

  122. 122
    handy says:

    Let’s not forget that Fox News was born in the Clinton presidency, a month before his re-election. Limbaugh built his brand during this same era. This noise machine showed us what it was capable of 8 years before Obama got elected when they went after Gore the Liar who invented the Internet. Swiftboating was unleashed 4 years later upon John Kerry.

    The fact that Obama is black just amps up the insanity, but make no mistake. No Democrat gets a break from these assholes. That’s how they roll.

  123. 123
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Midnight Marauder: I’m sure it will be completely different with the next Democratic president.

  124. 124
    different church-lady says:

    Look, I ain’t trying to shut down a good examination of what motivates birthers/racists/xenophobes/etc. But I feel the need to note: if you’re looking for logic or consistency in their behavior, just don’t bother. There is none. It’s like electricity: it always takes the path of least resistance.

    Trying to compare stupid shit said about Obama to stupid shit said about Clinton is just futile. The source of stupid shit is their ass, and talking out of your ass never adds up. There’s no logic that will ever explain it because it is fundamentally illogical. It’s just a toxic sludge, not a burned-out circuit board.

  125. 125
    Marmot says:

    @Midnight Marauder: I see handy at 110 already, uh, handled it. S/he’s right — based on what you’re saying, you’d expect a white Dem in Obama’s exact position to get zero delegitimizing flak from Repubs. Repubs view all of us as un-American because they are insane authoritarians who deserve only our scorn.

  126. 126
    ppcli says:

    @Midnight Marauder: Rush is a loathsome human being who says despicable things. No argument there. But he said similar things about Hilary, concerning her choice of pantsuits, concerning her hips,… And nobody is suggesting that Michele Obama has had affairs with any of her husband’s associates. (That is, no one has suggested it yet – I’m sure people are looking for an opportunity.)These accusations were common against Hilary.

  127. 127
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    The racial part comes in with what little in the way of Wurlitzer attacks seems to be sticking regarding Obama. That is why Birtherism is on the verge of going mainstream and Telepromterism isn’t.

    Now, maybe this is just because I happen to be a black male, but I don’t really separate “Teleprompterism” from Birtherism, in the sense that they both originate from the same racist origins.

    “That nigger has to be a foreigner! No way he can be the president of my country!”
    __
    “Of course that nigger has to read everything off a teleprompter! There’s no way he could be that smart!”

    We’re just identifying segments of the same type of behavior.

  128. 128
    jl says:

    A little off topic and personal note. The Tea Peoples are not a homogeneous group. Not all of them are racists, but I think it is obvious that many or them are. The racist Tea People overlap with racists of all sorts, some Democrats and less insane GOPers.

    The most obnoxious Teabaggers in my family happen to not be the racist sort, and the birtherism is turning them off the Teabaggery a little bit. Their opinions are still insane. But now the seeds of doubt have been sown, and they deem it possible that every single Teabagger issue might not be totally obviously the most important and true thing ever. Which makes them easier to talk with about politics. They don’t immediately go apeshit if you disagree with them anymore.

    My fond foolish hope more humankind springs eternal, I guess.

  129. 129
    Marmot says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I wish Obama would have tied this birther nonsense into the larger narrative of the delegitimization of Democrats. The only way to stop it from happening next time is to make the pattern perfectly clear to those who can report on the pattern when it rears its ugly head again.

    Well said.

  130. 130
    Mark S. says:

    The Fonzi of Freedom finds Ron Paul’s life begins at conception position to be “nuanced.”

  131. 131
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I’m sure it will be completely different with the next Democratic president.

    @Marmot:

    I see handy at 110 already, uh, handled it. S/he’s right—based on what you’re saying, you’d expect a white Dem in Obama’s exact position to get zero delegitimizing flak from Repubs. Repubs view all of us as un-American because they are insane authoritarians who deserve only our scorn.

    For fucks sake, I already acknowledged that Republicans will go all in against any Democratic president. Did you just decide to overlook when I said this?

    We all know they attack Democrats. That’s not a fucking groundbreaking discovery.

    This is the entire point I was trying to make, which Omnes Omnibus said rather well much earlier:

    Of course they are trying to deligitimize a Democratic president. It is what they do. The fact, however, that the line of attack that they took was racial is telling as hell.

    This is really not that hard to understand.

  132. 132
    Neo says:

    Exactly where and when did the term “Magic Negro” enter the 2008 race ??
    Oh, it was the racist LA Times.

  133. 133
    jibeaux says:

    @4tehlulz:

    To be fair, it could also be the Whole Foods guy, right?

  134. 134
    jl says:

    @Midnight Marauder: That is correct, I agree with you. Same with The Donalds new ‘concerns’ about Obama’s grades at Occidental. There is a whole constellation of issues involved in racist dog whistles.

    But I think the point is that the source of the attacks are political operatives, and they leave the subtext a bit ambiguous, since the most important thing is to find something that works.

    So we also had try outs of elitist baiting for Obama. He likes the wrong kind of hotdog relish, eats fancy Frenchy baby lettuces, etc.

    I think it is pretty clear that with the Teabaggers and GOP core primary voters, the issues that really work and have broad appeal all revolve around race.

    Edit: BTW, I have to wonder what kind of person will buy into Trumps ‘Obamagradegate’? I mean, who the heck is Trump to question anyone’s intellectual ability. He rates even below Palin on that score, IMHO.

  135. 135
    Nutella says:

    To bring in another controversy:

    Seeing Obama forced into the indignity of displaying his birth certificate makes me sad. Seeing Palin forced into the indignity of displaying her pregnant belly makes me sad, too.

  136. 136
    map106 says:

    Well, I agree that much of the Obama “stuff” has origins in racism, but I’m not sure of the comparison with Clinton and how to determine which is worse.

    I’m not sure I really have a point, but the day after Clinton was inaugurated, the NYTimes (if I remember correctly) ran a political cartoon depicting Clinton, seated at his desk in the Oval Office, hands behind his head, feet on the desk. And the speech bubble from (oddly) his mouth read “Suckers!”

    No love for Clinton from Day 1.

  137. 137
    Marmot says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    For fucks sake, I already acknowledged that Republicans will go all in against any Democratic president. Did you just decide to overlook when I said this?
    __
    We all know they attack Democrats. That’s not a fucking groundbreaking discovery.

    Yeah, I was typing when you wrote that. Otherwise I’d have acknowledged it. And yeah, it is important, because it’d be nice if the press and the public at large finally realized what’s been going on all this time with those goddamned lunatics.

  138. 138
    grandpajohn says:

    @Blue Neponset: even more we should be embarrassed, ashamed of and disgusted with our so-called media, with out them this would not be a story

  139. 139
    Brachiator says:

    @aimai:
    @Chris:

    The recent article about Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, was followed by hundreds of comments many of which basically accused her of being both a race traitor and a real traitor (marxist, soviet etc…)

    This was exactly the smear that the National Review rehearsed back in February, 2008, by Lisa Schiffren.

    And yet, all of my mixed race, black/white classmates throughout my youth, some of whom I am still in contact with, were the product of very culturally specific unions. They were always the offspring of a white mother, (in my circles, she was usually Jewish, but elsewhere not necessarily) and usually a highly educated black father. And how had these two come together at a time when it was neither natural nor easy for such relationships to flourish? Always through politics. No, not the young Republicans. Usually the Communist Youth League. Or maybe a different arm of the CPUSA. But, for a white woman to marry a black man in 1958, or 60, there was almost inevitably a connection to explicit Communist politics.

    NRO hastily tried to semi-apologize for the smear once the shit hit the fan. Even they couldn’t get away with their appeal to the “good old days” when it was obviously unnatural for a white woman to marry a black man unless it was a prelude to Commie inspired revolution.

    Fortunately, teh google, like rock and roll, never forgets.

  140. 140
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    I think where we differ is that I’m focusing on the different roles being played by the buyers and sellers of Birtherism and the other attacks on Obama. The sellers are the right-wing political strategists and operatives and their stooges in the news media who may or may not be motivated by racism to varying degrees but whose basic method is going to be the same for any Dem president: attack! attack! attack with everything and anything you can think of, no matter how ridiculous or contradictory or just plain low-down dirty and evil the smears may be. In that sense their motivation is quite simple: to find as many buyers and move as much product (in the form of political damage) as possible. To them, the rest is just details, dictated by the marketplace for smears and the varying tastes of the buyers who make it up.

    The tell in this case is what the buyers are buying, in which there is a pretty clear corelation between the overt racism of the content and the degree to which it sells well, or does not.

  141. 141
    Martin says:

    Someone alert the Trike Force. This CA public worker is getting new countertops installed today. Should be ready for inspection tomorrow so they can determine if I’m overpaid or not, though I’m quite certain I know their conclusion already.

  142. 142
    Legalize says:

    @Neo:
    From the mind of a Teabilly: because the LA Times said something arguably racist, it’s ok for the Teabillies and their handlers to basically make their livings peddling racist paranoia.

  143. 143
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Turgidson:

    Wait what? Eleanor Roosevelt, for one, might disagree with that statement. She may not have had “a job” in some modern sense, but she worked tirelessly and used her high profile as FLOTUS to do things she otherwise might not have been able to.

    Wait, wasn’t she a lesbian?

  144. 144
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Republicans will delegitimize any Democratic president. This is true. It’s just, for those of us not white, talking about the racism THIS president faces as tangential or just another tactic or part of the same-old same-old does not sit well. As I explained to a friend last night, it’s personal. The most accomplished black man in this fucking country had to show his fucking papers. A thoroughly mediocre, stupid, and loathsome white man who would have been slinging burgers and asking if you want fries with that were it not for his good fortune of being born to an incredibly rich man is PROUD to question this president about his (Obama’s) heritage, grades, and whatever. And, the fucking media are only too happy to lap it up without calling it for what it really is.

    Yesterday was heartbreaking and infuriating at the same time for many people of color. I think that is what is being overlooked in this thread.

  145. 145
    soonergrunt says:

    @JPL: I was going for that certain je ne sais quoi.

  146. 146
    cckids says:

    @Tonybrown74:

    I used to follow politics almost as religiously as I do now, and I do recall a LOT of the shit that went down during the 90s. I even remembering commenting to someone about the country seeming to lose it’s damned mind when Clinton was elected.

    Ain’t it the truth? That actually played a role in my choice of Obama/Hillary in 2008; that the right wing of this country HATED the Clintons with the fire of a thousand suns, and we needed to get away from that.

    How naive I was.

  147. 147

    This photo explains a lot:

    Donald Trump and David Koch at a party in the Hamptons.

  148. 148
    soonergrunt says:

    @asiangrrlMN: quite a few of us aren’t overlooking that aspect of it.
    Being a white male, I’m far from perfect. But I’m trying.

  149. 149
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Yesterday was heartbreaking and infuriating at the same time for many people of color. I think that is what is being overlooked in this thread.

    I don’t think anyone is overlooking it. Some of us – Tristero first – are simply pointing out that it’s going to continue and it’s going to get worse and worse with each successive Democratic president if we don’t tie it into a larger narrative. Too many seem happy to flush The Past down the memory hole and act like something bad is happening for the first time ever to the first Democrat ever.

    Great comment, BTW.

  150. 150
    Elie says:

    I believe that one of the most insidious impacts of the whole “he is not one of us” approach is that it also deligitimizes and marginalizes all Americans who are not so called “mainstream”. It also sowes distrust and places wedges among all of us. We shout and call names to the proponents of this approach and they shout back and the net effect keeps us all apart, suspicious and wounded. In effect, Obama is not ultimately the one wounded. I believe that WE are the victims and the target…those of us who believe in liberalism, not in a partisan, Democrat/Republican construct, but the belief in tolerance and acceptance of difference — the ability to coexist with those who may not be like you. The proponents of the birther slurs want us to be shouting at them, hating them because it makes us paranoid and suspicious and helps further their true aim – which is to keep us all divided and at each other’s throats.

    Please see this. It is very important to let this stuff go at some point. What we seek for this country is not being harmed just by these sly operators, but by our own blindness to what they are actually doing and accomplishing.
    I am not a Christian in any formal way, but you can see why there was so much power in Martin Luther King’s (and Gandhi’s) peaceful approaches to civil disobedience. All that energy is turned towards what they wanted to accomplish, not to the hatred and vengeance of those who opposed the justice that they advocated.

    Hey, I like commenting and reading some of this stuff. It is funny and entertaining. But don’t get lost in what is actually being done here and don’t — please — let it take us too far. Remember who and what the target actually is and what we want to accomplish, above all.

  151. 151
    Tsulagi says:

    @soonergrunt:

    I know that gasoline is expensive, so you should know that you only need a couple of cups of it and not the whole gallon poured over your chest before you strike the match

    Your conservation ethic is laudable, but you’re still being a spendthrift and not very Earth friendly in your advice to Caz. Drinking a couple of cups of antifreeze would have the same desired effect while being less expensive and far more environmentally friendly than burning gas. Some lefty you are.

  152. 152
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @soonergrunt: I know. I liked your response to Caz upthread. It made me smile.

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Agreed. See my addendum below. I am so glad I get to edit my comments.

    ETA: OK. Not overlooked, but, I will just say that for me, right now, I can’t focus on how this is just one in a long line of delegitimized Democratic presidents because it’s too raw right now. I don’t take comfort in the fact that the next Democratic president will face a similar barrage on a different level.

    It just fucking hurts and enrages on a gut level.

    So, saying that, I will quietly (ha!) bow out of the rest of the thread.

  153. 153
    BTD says:

    @homeruk:

    A Special Prosecutor investigated it.

  154. 154
    Elie says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I think that the answer is not to dwell on the past and the many injustices, but on what we affirm — what we want. As you rightly point out, there will be many many examples of past insults and injuries. It does no good to keep refreshing those at the expense of the positive energy we want to build, in my opinion.

  155. 155
    soonergrunt says:

    @Tsulagi: As I noted at 147, I’m not perfect. Jeez, give a guy a break, huh?
    I was thinking more of the visual effect of the dumb cracker racist hoodwearing inbred fuckwit burning up, in keeping with the Balloon-Juice DIAF theme.

  156. 156
    bemused says:

    I haven’t met a racist yet that knew or admitted to knowing he/she was a racist.

  157. 157
    Marmot says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Seconded. And I’m spitting mad about this whole Birther fake controversy in my way because I identify with Obama as a liberal.

  158. 158
    stuckinred says:

    @asiangrrlMN: The night Obama was elected I thought a great deal about 2 African American NCO’s I served under in the Army. They both had served in Korea during the Korean War. They had stayed in the Army as a career despite the stupid-ass rednecks that surrounded them. They were both great soldiers and tough as they could be. The Army was about the best they could do in those days and they did it very well. I thought about what it meant for an African American to be elected president and how they would have felt. Something churned in the back of my mind about this schizophrenic country and how we can be the worst and the best at the same time. I’m white so I know I can’t feel the way people who are not white do about this but I do know what it is like to be sick to my stomach and want to rip someone’s fucking head off.

  159. 159
    jl says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Good comment. What you say is true.

    I think the success of the race based attacks does more damage than hurt. The racist attacks smooths the way for discriminatory voter suppression efforts targeting minorities that Kay talked about in the previous post.

    The tolerance of obvious nonsense smooths the way for outrageously flimsy rationales for violence and discrimination against minority individuals who are far more vulnerable than Obama.

  160. 160
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @stuckinred: Thanks, stuck. That’s beautiful.

  161. 161
    maus says:

    @Caz: As with most things in life, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. You’re included in this mess, no matter how many “black friends” you may see at work.

  162. 162
    Chris says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I don’t think anyone is overlooking it. Some of us – Tristero first – are simply pointing out that it’s going to continue and it’s going to get worse and worse with each successive Democratic president if we don’t tie it into a larger narrative.

    Yep.

    And I’d like to point out is that a massive, MASSIVE part of the anti-Democratic sentiment on the right comes from the fact that Democrats are considered the party of minorities and minority-lovers. So Obama Derangement Syndrome does tie in with all the previous mass freakouts to quite an extent, but in my eyes that doesn’t minimize the impact of racism on politics. If anything, it reinforces it.

  163. 163
    Mandramas says:

    @jl: Racism is a way to convenient color-code social warfare.

  164. 164
  165. 165
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Neo: Well you do know that David Ehrenstein is black, right? And that

    His father was a secular Jew with Polish ancestors, and his mother was of African American and Irish descent . . . [and] raised him in her religion, Roman Catholicism.

    And that the LA Times piece you linked to is a snark about the idealized “Negro” who will assuage white guilt, sacrifice himself for the Greater Good (of whites), and “like a comic book superhero . . . is there to help”. You did know that, right?

    The intent of your linking to Ehrenstein’s article isn’t clear to me. I apologize if you didn’t mean it as an attack on the LA Times and Ehrensetein.

  166. 166
    stuckinred says:

    @Mandramas: “Is a way to convenient” great fucking point moron.

  167. 167
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Marmot: The only traction I’ve gotten with the wingnuts in my circle is when I tied the Obama nonsense into the larger narrative of the delegitimization of all Democrat candidates. When you point out it’s the same shit flavored differently, they realize you realize they have nothing new and they shut up.

  168. 168
    Citizen Alan says:

    Possibly off-topic, but has anyone compiled a list of advertisers for “The Apprentice” yet? I don’t even watch the filthy pig’s show, but I’d be happy to call up advertisers and send in letters saying I’ll never use their products again so long as they advertise on the Racist Donald Trump’s shitty reality show.

  169. 169
    goblue72 says:

    @Legalize: And it wasn’t even the LA Times that said that as it wasn’t an opinion page piece – rather an op-ed by David Ehrenstein, a film & culture critic who, like the President, is bi-racial. (He’s also openly gay and has tended to take a John Aravosis level sensitivity to anything that Obama does in connection with LGBT issues)

    And Ehrenstein’s point in that infamous op-ed wasn’t to create some modern day jigaboo character of Obama (as Limbaugh did and does), but to make a cultural criticism that whites were projecting onto Obama in order to assuage their own white guilt, a situation with Ehrenstein felt Obama actively exploited. Its a legitimate critique with some merit – although not one I personally wholly agree with.

    That Republicans completely misunderstood it and in their racism just latched onto the “magical negro” bit was absolutely typcial of them. A point which Ehrenstein brought up several times in follow-up posts to that op-ed.

  170. 170
    soonergrunt says:

    @stuckinred:Absolutely. Some of the best Soldiers, some of the best people I ever knew were the African Americans I met and served under and with in the Army.
    I can remember so many of them dealing with petty slights and cruelties and disrespects that would’ve been a lot more blatant in the civilian world, but there, they had power and pride and they were damned if anybody was going to take that away from them.

  171. 171
    Marmot says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: That’s got to work better than my tactic of screaming insults!

    Kidding. I’ve found that sometimes you can shame them in front of their peers, since they crave group acceptance so much: “You believed that line?” It’s tricky to pull off, though.

  172. 172
    handy says:

    @Marmot:

    It’s tricky because one might pull the “Take your sheeple blinders off” gambit. I’ve gotten that push back a couple of times. Retorting with “Who’s the bigger sheep? Me, or you the person who believes Satan buried all the dinosaur fossils to trick people?” didn’t quite help. But it sure as hell was good times.

  173. 173
    stuckinred says:

    @soonergrunt: This was my DI when he was the head of the USEUR Drill Team. Can you believe I found this on the Stars and Stripes site by googling his name!

    And Sgt Branch who jumped at Munsani with the 187th RCT

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com.....3bb2_o.jpg

  174. 174
    Triassic Sands says:

    …the attacks on Clinton were just as bad in their own way…

    I still remember when Hillary Clinton brutally murdered Vince Foster.

    The job of the media is to debunk these lies, not cover them as though they were real news.

    @Caz:

    So let me get this straight: whenever a white person criticizes anything Obama does, it’s borne out of racism, right?

    No doubt about it, Caz, you’ve earned the “Idiot of the Day Award” here at BJ. And deservedly so. Sorry, if this is just piling onto your stinking corpse, but when a racist says racist things inspired by racism then that is “borne out of racism.”

    I’ve criticized Obama on any number of occasions and none of it sounds like what we’re hearing from Trump. First, I couldn’t criticize Obama for being an Affirmative Action admittee (if that were the case, and I have no reason to believe it is — certainly Trump’s saying it makes me instantly doubt it) because I favor Affirmative Action — it can help remedy some of the obviously racist behavior and policies in this country. I have no idea what kind of grades Obama got (if he graduated magna cum laude, and I have no reason to doubt that he did, then his grades were very good), since that is actually what graduating magna cum laude is), but it’s easy to imagine him getting excellent grades because to anyone but an idiot or a racist, Obama comes across as quite intelligent. Contrast that with George W. Bush, whose “gentleman’s Cs” at Yale are inconsistent with his public persona of incompetent, inarticulate, moronic dumb ass. Anything above an F- seems utterly out of character for someone who constantly fell short of “the low expectations of soft bigotry,” which in his case means excusing an idiot for being an idiot.

    British cartoonist Steve Bell (white) always portrayed Bush as a chimp — that wasn’t racist, because it was based on Bush’s apparent sub-human intelligence, something he demonstrated every time he opened his mouth. When racists depict Obama as a chimp, it is clearly not aimed at his intelligence, but rather at his supposed closeness on the evolutionary tree to an ape. One is racism, the other is not.

    As for your intelligence, I wouldn’t compare it to that of any primate; I’d lean toward describing you as dumb as a rock. Is that racist? (Granted, it may be an insult to rocks.)

    Ordinarily, I steer clear of this kind of comment, i.e., one that attacks the messenger as well as the message. But, damn Caz, you deserve it.

  175. 175
    Joe Lisboa says:

    I know it has been said before, but man oh man, Lawrence O Donnell was on fire last night. His opening monologue was spot-on, pitch-perfect and quite moving, to boot.

  176. 176
    Chris says:

    @soonergrunt:

    Absolutely. Some of the best Soldiers, some of the best people I ever knew were the African Americans I met and served under and with in the Army.

    The level of patriotism among the people dismissively considered “un-American” on the right has always been considerable. I don’t just mean black people, but immigrants, union members, religious minorities, etc…

    I don’t find it surprising, but I do find it noteworthy given how hard the people who run the country work to deny them their due. Especially when you compare it to the assholes at the top who whine about “going Galt” the second they feel they’re not getting enough hugs.

  177. 177
    JordanRules says:

    @asiangrrlMN: deep exhale

    I couldn’t articulate it, probably because I’m still sad and angry.

    Word x 10,000,000!

  178. 178
    pk says:

    @Legalize:

    Seriously! Set the house on fire! Cause environmental damage, not to mention the hazard to firefighters and money from taxpayers going towards fighting the fire.
    I suggest tying heavy stones to his feet and jumping into the nearest river. Environmentally friendly(the carcass will be decomposed by the river fish), saves money and best of all no one will miss him/her.

  179. 179
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    I still remember when Hillary Clinton brutally murdered Vince Foster.

    Don’t forget about Kerry betraying his country over in ‘Nam.

  180. 180
    catclub says:

    @ppcli: “Happily, I haven’t heard anything comparable concerning the Obama children.”

    Whether or not Obama is popular, Michelle is VERY popular.
    Deep in their lizard minds, I think the other guys know it.

  181. 181
    JordanRules says:

    @jl:

    The tolerance of obvious nonsense smooths the way for outrageously flimsy rationales for violence and discrimination against minority individuals who are far more vulnerable than Obama.

    This.

  182. 182
    Mark S. says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    How about when Kerry shot himself to get a purple heart?

  183. 183
    Shoemaker-Levy 9 says:

    The racial angle on Obama always struck me as a sort of Plan B for the right. For sure it’s always been there, but the greater emphasis, at least from my perch, has been on the Obama-as-far-leftist narrative. Well, Plan A has fallen on hard times since it’s become abundantly clear to all functioning adults that Obama is no leftist. Hence, the shift to Plan B in recent months.

    Plan B is now suffering problems of its own and I’m not sure if there’s a Plan C. If I had to guess it will be Obama-as-Jimmy-Carter. And yes, that one’s always been out there too, I’m talking about which narrative gets emphasized at any point in time.

  184. 184
    Mako says:

    (google “Clinton body count”)

    Usually I think your posts are useless. But thanks for this. That’s gonna keep me entertained for awhile. Who could forget Admiral Jeremy Boorda.

  185. 185
    Wolfdaughter says:

    @aimai:

    Just to expand a little upon Aimai’s well-thought-out post, with a specific anecdote:

    I will never forget reading Morton Kondracke’s column the day after Clinton’s inaugural ball in 1993 (which was claimed to be excessively expensive, BTW). Morton was all exercised because Clinton had the unutterable nerve to play the sax with the band at his own inaugural. This was unpresidential. This was lowclass. My jaw dropped on the floor. Talk about focusing on an absolute irrelevancy.

    And thus the attacks began…

  186. 186
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Mark S.:

    How about when Kerry shot himself to get a purple heart?

    They wrote a bestseller about it so it must be true.

    I had a particularly good time with that particular smear. I asked my wingnut Republican father if that’s how he got his two purple hearts, by scratching himself. Then I looked at him dubiously when he told me the stories.

  187. 187
    Tone in DC says:

    asiangrrlMN – April 28, 2011 | 2:05 pm · Link

    Republicans will delegitimize any Democratic president. This is true. It’s just, for those of us not white, talking about the racism THIS president faces as tangential or just another tactic or part of the same-old same-old does not sit well. As I explained to a friend last night, it’s personal. The most accomplished black man in this fucking country had to show his fucking papers. A thoroughly mediocre, stupid, and loathsome white man who would have been slinging burgers and asking if you want fries with that were it not for his good fortune of being born to an incredibly rich man is PROUD to question this president about his (Obama’s) heritage, grades, and whatever. And, the fucking media are only too happy to lap it up without calling it for what it really is.

    Yesterday was heartbreaking and infuriating at the same time for many people of color. I think that is what is being overlooked in this thread.

    ______________________________________

    You rock.

  188. 188
    stuckinred says:

    @Mako: What’s Boodra got to do with anything?

  189. 189
    Cassidy says:

    Grow some balls and aruge the merits instead of crying “racist” all the time.

    One day people like you will die. Personally, I hope it’s painful and in front of anyone unfortunate enough to be your family so that they are scarred for life, but learn a valuable lesson in what happens to pathetic piles of shit.

  190. 190
    Mako says:

    Grow some balls and aruge the merits instead of crying “racist” all the time.

    I haven’t read the comments but surely someone has corrected this?
    “Grow some balls and arugula the merits instead of crying “racist” all the time.”

  191. 191
    rickstersherpa says:

    @homeruk: Hear, hear. Comparing who has had it worse from the right wing noise machine and their mainstream media enablers is like comparing which Christian martyr suffered a more hideous death. I guess we all have our favorites, but ultimately is a subjective judgement. I do have to remark about the NY Times with their comment about the sad state of our media and political culture. If you go back to see how the Times treated the Clintons and Gore in the 1990s up to and through the 2000 election, you can see how they gave this culture its initial legitimacy.

  192. 192
    Munira says:

    As a white person who participated in the civil rights movement, I can totally appreciate and sympathize with the feelings of non-white people concerning the attacks on our president. I think we need to remember though that it was inevitable that there would be a backlash from the crazies when we elected a biracial president. In addition, he is handling this with grace and dignity as he handles everything. That is not lost on anyone who has any sense whether they agree with his policies or not. Jackie Robinson had to go through a bunch of crap, too, but now no one questions the presence, even the preponderance, of non-whites in professional sports. Every time the human race makes progress, there is a reaction from those who fear change. This too will pass, and the next non-white president will have an easier time of it. In 30 years, the US will no longer be majority white and I say, bring it on.

  193. 193
    soonergrunt says:

    @stuckinred: In my first unit, the First Sergeant was First Sergeant M. He was a monster of a man. 6’5″, hard muscles, bald, and had a tattoo of a bowie knife cutting off a pecker. He was the scariest mother fucker I’ve ever met. He was also quite the disciplinarian. God help the guy who bounced a check in town and Top got a phone call.
    The night the guy across the hall’s roommate was killed in a DUI accident, he came to our quarters and told us what had happened, and he held him like his own child as he cried his eyes out for what seemed like forever. When I got in trouble and had to go see the Colonel for an Article 15, he stood with me, and talked at length about how he was certain that I could be rehabilitated and that the Colonel shouldn’t process me out of the Army along with the Article 15.

  194. 194
    Bender says:

    I do think that the mainstreaming of birtherism represents a new low in American political discourse, and I do think birtherism is borne out of racism.

    Of course, you do. That’s because think like a child, rather than like an adult.

    Proof that none of this has nothing to do with race: Every single Republican I know would vote for Allen West over John Kerry for President in half a heartbeat. Every single one. 100% to 0%.

    So, discuss how people who would vote for a black man for President over a white man are racist against blacks. Or (more likely for Ball-Juicers) ignore simple logic and go on pretending that your political opponents are all just big meanies! Whatever makes you feel better about your life.

  195. 195
    Mandramas says:

    @stuckinred: ??? I beg your pardon? What?

  196. 196
    stuckinred says:

    @soonergrunt: Whew.

  197. 197
    Mako says:

    @stuckinred:

    What’s Boodra got to do with anything?

    Fun name.

  198. 198
    Captain Howdy says:

    Shouldn’t it be ‘born out of racism’? If what you mean is that racism gave birth (ahem) to birtherism.

    ‘Borne out’ means proven.

  199. 199
    Tom says:

    I can only think of 3 previous cases where “eligibility” to be president has ever come up. All of them relating to Republicans

    We’ve already discussed John McCain

    Barry Goldwater was born in Arizona before it became a state.

    The closest thing to Birtherism in history was the whisper campaign that Chester Arthur was born in Canada.

    From Wikipedia

    Most official references list Arthur as having been born in Fairfield in Franklin County, Vermont on October 5, 1829. However, some time in the 1870s Arthur changed it to 1830 to make himself seem a year younger. His father had initially migrated to Dunham, Lower Canada [now Quebec], where he and his wife at one point owned a farm about 15 miles (24 km) north of the U.S. border. There has long been speculation that the future president was actually born in Canada and that the family moved to Fairfield later. If Arthur had been born in Canada, some believe that he would not have been a natural-born citizen (interpreting the law to mean that to be a natural-born citizen one must be born on U.S. territory) and would thus have been constitutionally ineligible to serve as vice president or president. During the 1880 U.S. presidential election a New York attorney, Arthur P. Hinman, was hired to explore rumors of Arthur’s foreign birth. Hinman alleged that Arthur was born in Ireland and did not come to the United States until he was fourteen years old. When that story failed to take root Hinman came forth with a new story that Arthur was born in Canada. This claim also fell on deaf ears

    even back then, IOKIYAR

  200. 200
    JordanRules says:

    @Bender: And if that did happen…say hello to a legitimate 3rd party.

    It is a huge part of what made the modern day D’s and the modern day R’s what they are. That’s why the D doesn’t hold as much power in this equation for me as it does for others, but I do see their points.

    I also don’t think there are as many of you and your friends as you think there are.

  201. 201
    stuckinred says:

    @Mako: Pretty sad end for someone who rose from an enlisted sailor to CNO.

  202. 202
    Marmot says:

    @Bender: You didn’t actually read the thread, did you?

  203. 203
    Fuzz says:

    There was also the rumor that Clinton had worked for the KGB or the Soviets in some other capacity because he went to Russia once when he was a student in Europe.

  204. 204
  205. 205
    Mako says:

    @soonergrunt:
    heh. DADT worked?

  206. 206
    Mako says:

    @Marmot:

    You didn’t actually read the thread, did you?

    That is required?

  207. 207
    stuckinred says:

    @Mako: Fuck off you low life asshole.

  208. 208
    Marmot says:

    @Mako: Fuckin’ generalizations about Balloon Juicers: How do they work?

  209. 209
    Mako says:

    @stuckinred:
    hey, I love your stories of manly military men holding each other ala 300. It warms my blood.

  210. 210
    Stooleo says:

    Conversation with a birther (or there’s no fixing stupid). Michelanglo Signorile tries to reason with Winston from Alabama.

  211. 211
    Mako says:

    @Marmot:

    Fuckin’ generalizations about Balloon Juicers: How do they work?

    I don’t know. It’s your strawman. Knock it down.
    Seriously, you actually read comments?

  212. 212
    Chyron HR says:

    @Bender:

    You remind me of that Seinfeld episode where George wanted to prove he wasn’t racist, so he got a random black guy to be RNC chairman.

  213. 213
    Malron says:

    I wonder if I’m the only black person who finds this constant need to compare everything that Obama goes through to the Clintons insulting because it reinforces the idea that this shit happens all the time and us black folk just need to stop whining so much. When shit was hitting Bill and Hill in the 90’s I can’t remember any efforts to downplay it or claim it was just like when so-and-so was in office. But then, it was the 90’s and I was almost 20 years younger and I paid less attention to politics than I do now, so naturally I could be wrong.

  214. 214
    Brachiator says:

    @Bender: RE: I do think that the mainstreaming of birtherism represents a new low in American political discourse, and I do think birtherism is borne out of racism.

    Of course, you do. That’s because think like a child, rather than like an adult.

    So, then, birtherism was born out of absolute and total stupidity by people too dumb to put 2 and 2 together to come up with 4, abetted by cynical Republicans eager to manipulate a core of idiots for their political benefit.

    Is this better for you?

  215. 215
    Marmot says:

    @Stooleo: Whoa. That was interesting. The guy Winston just keeps trying to insist on a point that he’s already conceded.

  216. 216
    Stooleo says:

    @Marmot:
    Yeah, its like watching a psyche experiment.

    Cognitive dissonance how’s that work?

  217. 217
    Woodrow "asim" Jarvis Hill says:

    @Bender:

    Proof that none of this has nothing to do with race: Every single Republican I know would vote for Allen West

    That’s more like proof you’ve got no clue about racism in America.

    It’s Not Just About Race. DougJ said that, even said the Clinton examples are worse in some ways. But all you wankers can see is the “R word”, and you’re off to the races.

    Of course they’d vote for West, just like some of them think bunches of awesome Negros fought in the Confederacy. They welcome us with open arms so long as we agree. Bonus points if we’re willing to undermine the very forces that brought us to a point where we could run, and win, in the process — and West has shown a propensity towards.

    It’s when we disagree that they find themselves willing to express racially-charged pejoratives, to demean us with stereotypes, to use a base already wound up on violent fantasies about immigration to hit Obama where it riles up their base the worst.

    Racism in America isn’t about just how “blacks” are locked out of anything and everything. It’s about how systemic racism locks us in to proscribed roles — and how, when we step out of those roles, we’re punished. It’s the same damned play they run on everyone else, in fact, it’s the core of the weird authoritarian streak in their politics. That it’s also racist isn’t precluding that it’s not internally consistent — racism is irrational, and thus it takes more than some surface gaze and guess work to understand it.

  218. 218
    Mako says:

    @stuckinred:

    Pretty sad end for someone who rose from an enlisted sailor to CNO.

    Okay, I think we’ve taken the “military guys are gay” thing far enough. Soonergrunt is no longer talking to me.

  219. 219
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Malron: I think it’s because you’re oversimplifying it for maximum offense. I think we can both recognize it’s hideous and indefensible and part and parcel of an ongoing pattern to delegitimize Democratic presidents. If we’re having the same argument about the next Democratic president’s alleged pedophilia being nothing like what Obama went through then we’re just spinning our wheels futilely.

  220. 220
    Chris says:

    @Bender:

    Proof that none of this has nothing to do with race: Every single Republican I know would vote for Allen West over John Kerry for President in half a heartbeat. Every single one. 100% to 0%.

    Good for you, son.

    Now cite the number of your friends who asked to see John Kerry’s birth certificate. Cite the number of your friends who believe he’s a citizen of a foreign country. And cite the number of your friends who believe he follows a non-Christian (and in conservaspeak evil, hostile and unAmerican) religion.

    When you’re done with that, you can also cite the number of your friends who accused him of being a white nationalist motivate by a hatred of other races. And the number of allusions they’ve made to laziness, basketball, “street thugs,” or any other number of the racial codewords I can’t open a Gooper thread without stumbling into.

  221. 221
    jl says:

    @Malron:

    I do not agree with the following:

    “it reinforces the idea that this shit happens all the time and us black folk just need to stop whining so much.”

    so I for one will explicitly reject reinforcing that idea.

    There is still far more than enough racism in the US to make any PR effort that encourages racist sentiment very dangerous and very immoral. In a comment above, I gave two reasons why it could make a very practical and damaging difference to many people in the US right now.

    Edit: I did say that I thought this stuff originates in GOP PR political operatives, and that whether something works is more important that putting out a specific kind of dog whistle. But even, so these people knew they were playing with fire, and any fool, even a vicious and clever fool (like a GOP PR operative) would know that racism would rear its head with an Obama presidency. So what they did was immoral, even if trying to sound a racial dog whistle was not their primary goal. But it was a tool they were prepared to use, and they jumped on it when it worked. The project was vile and immoral.

  222. 222
    GregB says:

    Let’s see the GOP nominate Allan West or Herman Cain. We’ll be waiting for a long fucking time. Why isn’t Herman Cain rocketing up in the polls?

  223. 223
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Hey look, the assholes have arrived.

  224. 224
    Suffern ACE says:

    Wow, 220 comments on something that was over and done with in 2008 and again as of yesterday. Anyone left with thoughts and analysis on Birtherism, please speak up soon, because at some point ya just got to move on.

  225. 225
    Chris says:

    @Brachiator:

    Addendum to above: this

    So, then, birtherism was born out of absolute and total stupidity by people too dumb to put 2 and 2 together to come up with 4, abetted by cynical Republicans eager to manipulate a core of idiots for their political benefit.

    Heh. If it really desperately means so much to you to be labeled “ignorant fuckwits who wouldn’t know how to pour piss out of a boot with instructions written on the heel” instead of “racists,” hell, that’s okay too.

  226. 226
    David in NY says:

    At our daily luncheon in the office, the head of our group decreed that we would not be allowed to discuss Obama’s birth certificate. How about that as a rule for this place?

  227. 227
    Ash Can says:

    @Chyron HR: And now that nice white fellow who succeeded him has vowed to clean up the mess he made. Can’t trust those folks to act right, don’tcha know. How conveeeenient.

  228. 228

    Thank the FSM we can now get back to more substantive issues like Flag Lapel pins!

  229. 229
    freelancer says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I would say that’s because this has been the newest thread for going on almost 4 hours now…

  230. 230
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @David in NY:

    At our daily luncheon in the office, the head of our group decreed that we would not be allowed to discuss Obama’s birth certificate. How about that as a rule for this place?

    We could dwell on what we want and affirm it! I want to dwell on the ongoing efforts to delegitimize each Democratic president.

  231. 231
    MattR says:

    @freelancer: I know. WTF? I have been waiting patiently for somewhere to point out that St John’s University landed basketball recruit God’s Gift Achiuwa.

  232. 232
    Chris says:

    @Ash Can:

    And now that nice white fellow who succeeded him has vowed to clean up the mess he made. Can’t trust those folks to act right, don’tcha know. How conveeeenient.

    Yep.

    The Michael Steele thing was a case in point of black people and the GOP. Nominate a black man to run the party because that’s literally the only thing they could see Obama as. Then don’t let him actually run anything, blame him for everything that’s going wrong, and eventually run him out of town on a rail.

    Great demonstration. Yes, I’m sure they’ll be crying into the next century over how unfair it is that 90% of black people will never vote for them.

  233. 233
    Stillwater says:

    Here’s a story: Conservatives hate liberals. Notice how I introduced the plot line and characters, filled in the middle with action and titillation leading to dramatic denouement.

  234. 234
    Ash Can says:

    @Woodrow “asim” Jarvis Hill #217: Bender and/or Caz back here sputtering that you don’t speak for all people of color in 3…2…1…

    (And FYWP; the reply button has decided to stop working, in Firefox at least.)

  235. 235
    Brachiator says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Wow, 220 comments on something that was over and done with in 2008 and again as of yesterday.

    It’s more 220 comments on something that never should have been an issue in the first place.

    And given some of the nonsense I’ve read by unrepentant birthers since Obama’s press conference yesterday, the issue still ain’t going away.

    On the positive side, I’ve seen that some people have clearly moved away from the most rabid birthers, as they see how pathetic some of these people are, and how desperately stupid they look. This applies double for Donald Trump, who doesn’t yet realize what a dope he has become.

    On the other hand, Charlie Sheen is upset that he is no longer the center of attention.

    Also, this stuff has to be all aired out so we can turn to more important things, like the upcoming wedding of William and his Kate.

  236. 236
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Chris:

    Great demonstration.

    Yeah, but some of the credit has to go to Michael Steele for being such an amazingly ignorant douchebag. Sometimes it’s hard to know who to shoot in the fog of war.

  237. 237
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Bill H.:

    The racism is merely opportunism

    Isn’t all racism by definition?

  238. 238
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Bender is just a hit and run artist. He doesn’t stick around for give and take because he might end up abandoning his arch conservativism for moderate Republicanism like the rest of the folks here.

  239. 239
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Chris: Michael Steele pointed out a number of problems the Republicans have in dealing with race, including not being able to fire him properly for being incompetent.

  240. 240
    Marmot says:

    @Stillwater: What? There’s no denouement!

  241. 241
    hhex65 says:

    @Caz: A 4 star parody of the tea party/birther mentality, well done!

  242. 242
    Mark S. says:

    Have all the FPers gone Galt? Will Balloon Juice Parts 2 and 3 not be made now?

  243. 243
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Marmot: He is intentionally playing with the traditional textual framework. It’s fucking genius. If you can’t see that, it is simply because your thoughts are mired in a bourgeois frame of reference. Free your mind from its shackles.

  244. 244
    hhex65 says:

    @hhex65: oh, scratch that, it’s real

  245. 245
    Martin says:

    @David in NY: You should have accused him of being in on the coverup.

  246. 246
    Mark S. says:

    @hhex65:

    Sometimes Caz will throw in something so over the top stupid that I wonder if he isn’t a parody. But I’m pretty sure he’s the real deal.

  247. 247
    RareSanity says:

    Part of this is racial, no matter how well-spoken, a black man can probably never be a Clintonian evil genius in the eyes of Tea Party Nation.

    You underestimate the power of the Dark Side.

    (and by Dark Side, I’m not referring to the black guy…)

    Never underestimate, someone with irrational beliefs, expressing irrational beliefs. They would attach any adjective to Obama they could if, they thought, it would make people hate him as much as they do.

    The sad thing is that there are people that have convinced themselves that their irrational beliefs are not based on race.

  248. 248
    Marmot says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Damn these shackles!

  249. 249
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @David in NY: I would say, judging from the reactions of many regular commenters, that the topic has not be exhausted. Christ, we beat McMegan to death over kitchen implements in multiple posts. A little discussion of the fact that a significant minority in this country basically cannot accept that a person of color could be qualified to be president might just be allowable, don’t you think?

  250. 250
    Chris says:

    @RareSanity:

    The sad thing is that there are people that have convinced themselves that their irrational beliefs are not based on race.

    Been that way for a long time. Back in the 1960s, people fed the Dixiecrats a bullshit story about how “the Civil Rights Act will enslave white people,” and they ate it up. Of course we’re not racist. We’re just trying to protect ourselves from slavery. That’s not racist, is it?

  251. 251
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @goblue72:

    That Republicans completely misunderstood it and in their racism just latched onto the “magical negro” bit was absolutely typcial of them. A point which Ehrenstein brought up several times in follow-up posts to that op-ed.

    Limbaugh latched on to the “Magic Negro” meme the instant he saw it, without the slightest attempt at comprehending what Ehrenstein was getting at. He just liked being able to use the word “negro” over and over again as a substitute for the word he is simply dieing to say.

  252. 252
    dmbeaster says:

    Shorter Bender re Allen West:

    IOKIYAR!

    His wrong skin color is forgiven so long as he toes the line.

    And by the way, how you and your friends can vote for that lying torture freak is beyond the pale.

  253. 253
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bender:

    Proof that none of this has nothing to do with race …

    Ah, Freudian slips, how I do love you.

  254. 254
    RareSanity says:

    @Chris:

    This is true.

    It’s just all the more bemusing (thank you for the word, Mr. President), that after all of the past struggles never ended with the doomsday scenario presented, still today, there are enough people so full of hate, to believe it once again.

  255. 255
    dmbeaster says:

    David in NY

    This is not a discussion so much about the birth certificate, which itself has always been a non-issue. Its about the right wing puke funnel that has been at work for decades de-legitimizing any Democrat based on lies and crap, but which in Obama’s case has gone way into racist territory.

    If he was white, and his parentage was a Kansas white woman and a white French Algerian, there would never have been any birther controversy.

  256. 256
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Because the birfers CANNOT move on Ace.

    They cannot.

    He’s black, blackity black black black blaque!

    They cannot get past the fact that he totally kicked the ass of John “gimme another chance to crash a Navy jet!” McCain. That he’s in the WHITE House. That his wife is a VERY black, fantastically in shape, intelligent, gorgeous woman who fills out an evening gown in the manner of Audrey Hepburn.

    They cannot get past it. Ever. The rest of us want to talk about Guantanmo policy, or stringing up banksters, or getting the fuck out of Afghanistan, but the birfers cannot get past his blackity-black-black-blaque NEARness.

    They cannot.

  257. 257
    Woodrow "asim" Jarvis Hill says:

    @Ash Can: Dude, what it’s given me is a list of folks who, as my man Mal says, “days of me not takin’ them seriously have certainly come to a middle.”

    (And I’m using Firefox (4/Win), and it’s working for me, even w/NoScript. I think it’s just broke from all you’re truth-tellin’, man. :)

  258. 258
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Wow, 220 comments on something that was over and done with in 2008 and again as of yesterday.

    If it was over and done with in 2008, why has Donald Trump been on my teevee talking the “controversy” up?

    If it was “over and done with,” no one in the media would have bothered to put Trump on TV to talk about it.

  259. 259
    goblue72 says:

    If there is any justice in the world, at every event before a Latino group or organization that the President is at between now and Nov 2012, he’ll continually make sly, Obama-esque references to having to show his papers to the Republicans.

    As much short term pyschic pain as this may be causing people of color, I hope the GOP keeps freebasing off this stuff. Brown is clearly coming to town and they will reap what they sow.

  260. 260
    dave says:

    @homeruk: Actually, Chris Matthews had Gennifer Flowers on for a full hour while she accused the Clinton’s of being serial murders and rapists. Then she went on Hannity & Colmes for two hours. No liberals objected. Clinton had it worse, especially because at least now some liberals actually have Obama’s back.

    No one had Clinton’s back. They still don’t, as evidenced by the fact that (1) someone up-thread actually thinks that the accusations made against Clinton were “largely true” and (2) Chris Mathews still has a “liebral” show. Can’t anyone even remember how screamingly insane political discourse was in the 1990s?

  261. 261
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chris:

    Just wanted to bring this back up:

    And I’d like to point out is that a massive, MASSIVE part of the anti-Democratic sentiment on the right comes from the fact that Democrats are considered the party of minorities and minority-lovers.

    That is 100 percent right. I knew the right was going to lose its goddamned mind and start spouting this stuff openly because they would no longer be able to conceal it with Atwater’s pretty language about “busing” and “school choice” that let Republicans pretend that their plans to cut welfare and close urban schools weren’t race-based, no sirree!

    You can call Clinton a n-lover and a race traitor (and quite a few people did) but it makes no sense to launch that accusation against a black man. You have to come right out and say he’s a (favorite racial slur here). So they have.

    So, yes, all of the shit being thrown at Obama is a continuation of how Democrats have been treated since Johnson, but that treatment has always been at least partially based in race. That’s why what he’s getting is so much more blatant — the code words that you can use against white politicians like Bill Clinton don’t work against black politicians, so you have to be more obvious.

  262. 262
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @dave:

    No one had Clinton’s back.

    We are doomed to repeat history..

  263. 263
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dave:

    someone up-thread actually thinks that the accusations made against Clinton were “largely true”

    No, that person said that the accusations that Clinton cheated on his wife were largely true, not that the weird murder stuff and other right-wing bullshit was largely true.

  264. 264
    Paula says:

    @Malron:

    You don’t have to be black. You just have to be not-white.

    “You brown people are clearly being OVERSENSITIVE, Obama isn’t in any way affected by RACISM. He got ELECTED, didn’t he?”

    Christ on a pogo stick, from fucking “liberals”.

  265. 265
    DaBomb says:

    Everyone saying that it’s all about being a democrat and not the President ethnic make-up need to see this…

    http://www.bobcesca.com/blog-a.....se_1.html- also read her article.

  266. 266

    @dave:

    No one had Clinton’s back.

    Oh for cripes sake, what an utter and complete line of horseshit. You do have some memory of him being re-elected? Do you have any memory of the attacks on Ken Starr by the very people you’re denying existed?

    What a convenient memory you have. You do remember that the DLC was excorciated by the left who turned right around and backed its leading man in the face of Starr?

  267. 267
    El Cid says:

    Well, maybe we should repeal the 14th Amendment and take away also all those parts about letting the treasonous Southern states in rebellion and their leaders back in the Union.

  268. 268
    Citizen Alan says:

    @dmbeaster:

    If he was white, and his parentage was a Kansas white woman and a white French Algerian, there would never have been any birther controversy.

    Well not that’s not true. If his father was, say, a white Irish student radical, and after that marriage ended, his mother remarried to a French Marxist and raised Barack (or Seamus, as the case may be) in a commune in the south of France, the birfers would still be here questioning his citizenship. It’s the fact that soon after his birth he went to live abroad that allows them to question his “American-ness.” Granted, the subtext would be different — more “he’s a pointy-headed Marxist intellectual, just like his Red father” than “he couldn’t possibly have gotten into an elite school, just look at him” — but birferism as a concept would still have existed.
    Racism just takes the reflexive and irrational hatred of anyone outside the GOP tribe and raises it to the next level.

    Honestly, this was actually a big selling point for Obama over Hillary during the 2008 race. If Hillary had won, the pig people would have reacted just the same (just replace all the coded racism with coded sexism), but everyone would have put it down as more Clinton Derangement Syndrome instead of recognizing the larger problem: that the pig people will simply never accept the legitimacy of a Democratic President. Just like they didn’t accept Bill’s legitimacy and they don’t accept the legitimacy of Supreme Court opinions handed down by a liberal majority.

  269. 269
    El Cid says:

    @Chuck Butcher: It’s funny that the liberal-left actually can keep two thoughts in their heads at once: opposition to the DLC philosophy that only a turn to explicitly more Republican policies and, also, Southern candidates and the legislation and leadership it pushed, which indeed harmed us via many policies; while opposing a lunatic far right crusade against elected leadership itself in pursuit of a complete hack & slash agenda.

  270. 270
    El Cid says:

    @Citizen Alan: Well, to be fair, Hillary was conspiring with Russia & the UN for a land invasion to occupy the USA and ban Christianity and impose martial law in order to destroy our economic system and replace it with soshullism. It’s not like our far right shortwave broadcaster and survivalist and militia movements just made that up, right?

  271. 271
    soonergrunt says:

    @stuckinred: I don’t know if you remember ADM Boorda, the Chief of Naval Operations, shot himself when he was about to be outed by David Hackworth for wearing a couple of medals to which he was technically not entitled from the Viet Nam war. Of course, the wingers found a way to blame that on Clinton, basically claiming, among other things, that Boorda was planning to arrest Clinton for treason, and that Clinton had something on Boorda to prevent this. Cue the dark mumblings about Clinton having forged documents that showed Boorda to be a child molester…
    Turns out later, in the part not widely reported, that the Navy had different requirements than the Army requirements, with which Hackworth was familiar, and upon which he based his accusation. Hackworth later, under a LOT of rhetorical fire in the veteran community admitted that he might have been wrong.

  272. 272
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @El Cid:

    Actually, if Jesus were to come back tomorrow, he’d probably immediately take up the leadership of a movement to ban “Christianity” as it exists in this country right now. A lot of driving moneychangers from temple action would ensue, and guys like Robertson, Wildmon, Graham, and Dobson would be out on their asses in the streets.

  273. 273

    @El Cid:
    Well shit. It seems a lot of people can’t understand trying to oppose a rightward drift nation-wide by criticizing such policies and trying to push the dialogue in the other direction doesn’t equate to sabotage or some form of kill the Party.

    Which isn’t to say such sabotage doesn’t exist in a few quarters.

  274. 274
    Mako says:

    @soonergrunt:
    Dude. We get it. You feel conflicted by your military service. You are a liberal and hate the military, but you had a lot of fun running with the guys and shooting guns. You like hanging out in comments and telling stories. Used to be a guy over at “Jesus General” did the same thing with stories about “Charlie in the wire”.
    Love those stories.
    But the military is evil. Look at what it did to Jeremy Boorda.

  275. 275

    I recently rode a motorcycle across the very rural Southwest and deep South. I was astonished at the amount of entirely gratuitously offered racism I got to hear. Maybe being white, tatooed and riding a Harley seemed an invitation. My accent is quite obviously not southern and my plates did read Oregon.

    It needs to be noted that neither race nor politics were a part of my agenda or conversation gambits. I do exactly mean “gratuitous.”

    That trip involved Interstates only to the extent of short congruences with State Routes or US Highways. The object was to be in the places I was traveling, not get a look at 75mph across medians.

  276. 276
    Mako says:

    @Chuck Butcher:
    Chuck, no offense, but your website sucks. Call me.

  277. 277
    someguy says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Yeah, you can’t talk to a white person in the Southern or Western part of the U.S. for more than 10 seconds without them dropping a couple dozen n words into the conversation
    or slurs against gays or hispanics. I wouldn’t sweat it though, they probably mistook you for an Aryan Nations member or a libertarian or something. Most white folk from outside the West Coast and the Northeast are members you know. Um, of either the Aryan Nations or the Libertarian Party. At least the ones who have time for white supremacy and going Galt when they’re not plotting violence against abortion providers. True story. Srsly.

  278. 278
    Brachiator says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Well not that’s not true. If his father was, say, a white Irish student radical, and after that marriage ended, his mother remarried to a French Marxist and raised Barack (or Seamus, as the case may be) in a commune in the south of France, the birfers would still be here questioning his citizenship.

    Stop with the Idiot Hypotheticals. There is no way to test this. (and note that I am not calling you personally an idiot).

    The closest we can come in the real world to this situation may be this: Representative Peter King (and others) have no problems with being proud of their connection to Irish nationalist movements. King can even bash Muslims. No one claims that they are less American because of their personal or political associations.

    On the other hand, even though he was not raised by his Kenyan father and had zero connection to African liberation movements, Newt and other goons have accused Obama of somehow magically absorbing anti-colonialist, and hence anti-American and worse, anti-white sentiments.

    It’s the fact that soon after his birth he went to live abroad that allows them to question his “American-ness.”

    Shit, white political figures go to live abroad all the freakin time and they never lose their “Americanness” even if they were raised in a foreign country. Nor does it cause people to go nuts over their birth certificates.

  279. 279
    Mako says:

    @someguy:

    Yeah, you can’t talk to a white person in the Southern or Western part of the U.S. for more than 10 seconds without them dropping a couple dozen n words into the conversation

    You know, just suggesting, don’t want to step on any fingers here, but that does sound like racism .
    Also sounds like bullshit.

  280. 280
    soonergrunt says:

    @Mako: You are sadly dumb. Most of the rest of the world (excluding you, it seems) is able to see and use sarcasm and humor. Since you keep trying to do things that you think are funny, and failing utterly, one can easily conclude that you are one of the dumbest motherfuckers ever to ‘grace’ the internet, and that’s saying a lot. As you have served your purpose, that of being an example to others of how not to be, you should now kill yourself. Quietly.

  281. 281
    Mako says:

    @Malron:
    Suggestion- change your nym to Angry Black Malron.
    Guarantee you will get more attention.

  282. 282

    @map106:

    “No love for Clinton from Day 1.”

    Yep…Sad, but very true.

    The same also for Obama.

    But at the end of the day, it’s a simple fact–over the past 30 years, two Presidents who were Democrats were subjected to blistering, hateful left-rights while the Presidents who were Republicans were essentially fellated by the MSM.

    And people still scream that there’s no difference between the two parties. Bull$&@!.

  283. 283
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Ugh. Yeah, nothing more fun than when someone starts with that, “Just between us …” stuff. Because of course I must buy into their racist bullshit since we have the same color skin.

    And for all of the indignant Southerners, you don’t seem to realize the difference: there are just as many racist people in the North, but they aren’t nearly as comfortable about spouting it in public where anyone can hear. They wait until it’s just you and them before it spills out. Southerners don’t seem to have the same filter.

  284. 284
    Comrade DougJ says:

    @Malron:

    I hear what you’re saying and I don’t think the attacks on Obama are different than those on Clinton….but it’s not just racism here, it’s also the loudness of the right-wing message machine.

  285. 285
    AxelFoley says:

    @Caz:

    If the shoe fits, muthafucka.

  286. 286
    Mako says:

    @soonergrunt:

    You are sadly dumb. Most of the rest of the world (excluding you, it seems) is able to see and use sarcasm and humor. Since you keep trying to do things that you think are funny, and failing utterly, one can easily conclude that you are one of the dumbest motherfuckers ever to ‘grace’ the internet, and that’s saying a lot. As you have served your purpose, that of being an example to others of how not to be, you should now kill yourself. Quietly.

    Thanks, not often one gets such kudos. I’m saving this. You rule.

  287. 287
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Brachiator:

    Shit, white political figures go to live abroad all the freakin time and they never lose their “Americanness” even if they were raised in a foreign country.

    Hell, Mitt Romney lived and died in France.

  288. 288
    Jesse says:

    @Bender: *bzzt* Thanks for playing.

    You conflate “is a racist” with “said a racist thing.” It doesn’t matter how many of your friends would (hypothetically) vote for A Black Guy. What matters is that the actual President of the United States has been subjected to baseless criticism of his citizenship and intellectual capability because his father was a Kenyan and because, dammit, there’s no way he made it through Harvard without some help- I heard he was a bad student, you know.

    That line of “argument” is deeply racist.

    Everybody’s a little bit racist. I heard that in a musical.
    So I won’t call you a racist idiot. I’ll call you an idiot who posted here defending another idiot who said some vile, racist things.

    See the difference?

  289. 289
    nepat says:

    What an awful post. The false equivalencies between Clinton and Obama do nothing more than make the point that Obama is held to a different standard than every other (white) politician. WTF does this birth certificate have to do w/ Bill Clinton? Zero. Why bring this up? Clintonistas like Tristero and the execrable Digby – where he posts – are bottom-feeding revisionists. Digby – Sister Mary of the Aggrieved – is particularly noxious, in her holier than though above-it-all-ness. Pest.

    Gobama!

  290. 290
    Jeffro says:

    @Midnight Marauder: You know, that’s a great point to make (I’m sure it’s already been brought up on BJ in other threads) – Obama’s presidency and his obvious intelligence, presence, and ability point out to many that their race will no longer trump actual, y’know, hard work and talent by others. Maybe even resulting in a president who doesn’t look, y’know, old and white like them.

    I’m sure it was quite a shock.
    Perhaps even enough to cause them to request something as silly as a birth certificate…

  291. 291
    Triassic Sands says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Thanks for the reminder. That effin’ traitor!!!

    @Mark S.:

    And that too!!! Jeebus, I’m getting steamed. Life in the electric chair is too good for such a despicable person. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kerry helped Hillary murder Vince Foster.

  292. 292
    Triassic Sands says:

    @cckids:

    …that the right wing of this country HATED the Clintons with the fire of a thousand suns, and we needed to get away from that.

    How naive I was.

    Funny you should mention that. I felt the same way. I think we were right about the craziness that would have followed Hillary into the White House. And right that we needed to get away from it. But wrong if we thought that electing Obama would avoid the only kind of craziness the Republican Party has to offer anymore. Modern Republicans are, quite simply, horrible people. They’re selfish, dishonest, racist, greedy, and insane. They continually resurrect failed policies that no sane person would support after their demonstrated failure.

    I’m so used to the ugly and insane Republican that it’s easy to forget that in 2008 I really might have entertained the idea that the craziness would be ratcheted down if Obama won instead of Hillary. Surveying the last two years, I can see that Obama has faced and will continue to face the same brand of mind-numbing insanity that Hillary would have faced. I never thought it was Hillary’s fault, I just felt it was something inevitable and to be avoided. Unfortunately, the key ingredient wasn’t the presidential candidate, but rather the Republican Party.

    Today, when Donald Trump speaks, with his insufferable brand of smug arrogance and vapid superiority, all I can think is “This is the perfect person to carry the modern Republican banner in the next election.” None of the other potential candidates, not even Newt, comes close to Trump in embodying all that is wrong and bad and ugly and deplorable about the Republican Party in the twenty-first century.

    If the Republicans don’t nominate Trump in 2012, they will be missing the same historic opportunity they missed in 1968 when they failed to nominate George Wallace as their presidential candidate. The difference is that Wallace was actually worse than the Republicans were in 1968 (Southern Strategy and all). Trump and the 2012 Republicans are a perfect match. Stupid? Check. Ignorant? Check. Racist? Check. Delusional? Check. Selfish? Check. Greedy? Check. Insane? Check. Utterly despicable? Check. An existential threat to anything left that’s good about this country? Check!!!

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