Tuesday, September 22, 2009

George Will: What we’re hearing is the liberals’ McCarthyism, which is, when in doubt, blame people for racism.

George Wills continues to argue that Liberals are indulging in "McCarthyism" when they imagine that they can see racism being directed towards Obama:

STEPHANOPOULOS: And, George, as we -- as we get to this, let me show two magazine covers from this week. First, Time magazine, Glenn Beck, mad man, and the angry style of American politics. And then in the New York magazine coming out tomorrow, there’s the tattooed face of Barack Obama , big headline, “Hate.”

We -- we heard President Obama say he thinks that a lot of anti- government feeling, the idea that the government can’t do anything right, is behind all this. What’s your theory?

WILL: The president’s right about that. What we’re hearing is the liberals’ McCarthyism, which is, when in doubt, blame people for racism. Litigators have an old argument: When the law’s on your side, argue the law. When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When neither’s on your side, pound the table. This amounts to pounding the table.

I have yet to see evidence, is there -- does evidence even intrude in this conversation? Is there any evidence that these people are racists? I think not.
He needs evidence? Happy to supply it.

Limbaugh wants to bring back segregation on the buses:
LIMBAUGH: I think the guy’s wrong. I think not only it was racism, it was justifiable racism. I mean, that’s the lesson we’re being taught here today. Kid shouldn’t have been on the bus anyway. We need segregated buses — it was invading space and stuff. This is Obama’s America.
Limbaugh also thinks that "Obama's America" is run to favour the black population:
"In Obama's America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering, 'Yay, right on, right on, right on, right on," Limbaugh said.
Mark Williams went as far as to call Obama "an Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug and a racist in chief". When questioned on this:
GERGEN: You think he's a racist in chief? Racist in chief? Is that what you called him? That's unbelievable. It's unbelievable....

WILLIAMS: Until he embraces the whole country -- what else can I conclude?
Again, note the theme, this president favours one section of the country more than the rest. And, of course, Glenn Beck famously took this further:
The group was discussing the recent Gates controversy, and Beck exclaimed that Obama has "over and over again" exposed himself as "a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. I don't know what it is..."

When Fox's Brian Kilmeadeon pointed out that many people in Obama's administration are white, so "you can't say he doesn't like white people," Beck pressed on. "I'm not saying he doesn't like white people, I'm saying he has a problem," Beck said. "This guy is, I believe, a racist."
The theme of Obama as something "other" was highlighted throughout the McCain campaign. It was the reason why Palin kept referring to "real Americans". There was this continued inference that Obama, somehow, wasn't a "real American". And, this has since been taken to insane extremes by the birthers, who now insist that Obama was born in Kenya.

But, since his election, many right wing commentators have started making out that Obama is actually a racist who only looks after one section of the country.

So, for Will's to make out that President Carter is suddenly engaging in McCarthyism for detecting racism in some of the animosity shown towards Obama, ignores the fact that some on the right have been talking about NOTHING BUT race for months on end.

This subject didn't come racing to the fore because Carter mentioned it. Limbaugh, Beck and others have been talking about it for an awful long time, and they have - bizarrely - been accusing the black president of the very crime which Carter detects in them.

Carter is right. His mistake was to allow this subject to appear to be about Joe Wilson. No-one can authoritatively tell what motivated Wilson to shout out the way he did, but there are far more blatant examples of racism all over the place than Wilson shouting, "You lie!"

I'm simply astonished that George Wills hasn't come across any of them. Indeed, I'm baffled that he didn't notice - during the very panel on which he expressed his suspicions of Liberal McCarthyism - Peggy Noonan referring to Obama as "boorish".

It's much more subtle, I'll grant you, than the kind of comments uttered by Limbaugh, Beck and Williams; but let's remember what boorish actually means:

boor definition boor (bo̵or)


  1. Archaic a peasant or farm worker
  1. a rude, awkward, or ill-mannered person
She's calling him "uppity". A peasant. She's saying that he's ill-mannered and doesn't know his place.

But if Wills can't pick up on the blatant racism being indulged in by Beck, Limbaugh, Williams and others, I am not remotely surprised that Noonan's much more subtle form of put down went way over his head.

Here, Chris Mathews did well to link Carter's comments to Beck and Limbaugh as opposed to Wilson.

Astonishingly, even David Brooks - whilst trying to deny that racism was involved in all of this - kept giving admissions of it's existence.

David Brooks: What Rush and Glenn Beck are doing is race-baiting. 100 percent. That's race-baiting.

And then he spelled out the problem for the Republican party.
The one danger -- the main danger of all this, the Glenn and the Rush and all that -- they're not going to take over the country. But they are taking over the Republican Party.

And so if the Republican Party is sane, they will say no to these people. But every single elected leader in the Republican Party is afraid to take on Rush and Glenn Beck.
So, whilst insisting that race has no part in all of this, Brooks admits that Rush and Beck are "race baiting" and that they are taking over the Republican party because the leadership is too afraid to take them on.

Tell me again how detecting race in all of this amounts to McCarthyism? Even David Brooks can't properly deny it's existence.

Hat tip to Crooks and Liars.

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