Playing the race card has worked for the Democrat party for 50 years, but can it work to protect Obama from an impeachment investigation?
We are all familiar with the use of race by the Obama campaign team to get him the Democratic Party nomination in 2008. The Obama campaign used it first against Hillary Clinton, and she had no defense against it.
The argument for which Hillary and Bill Clinton had no convincing answer was that “the time has come for an African-American president.” The Clinton argument in rebuttal – “Yes, but he’s not the one because he’s not qualified” – could only be uttered in muted tones.
To liberals in 2008, it was indeed time for a particular black president, and while Obama might not be the most qualified man to ever run for the office, he was qualified because of his agenda. “He’s one of us. He’s a progressive.”
Many Americans were not only open to the idea, they were enthusiastic about it. Polling data showed that Obama’s race was a huge positive, not a negative.
Obama’s lack of executive experience and lack of substantive accomplishments was also turned into a positive factor. He was blank slate, and Americans were invited to project their own hopes and dreams onto that blank slate.
Obama’s election in 2008 thus served to confirm what liberals already knew, that white guilt over America’s involvement in slavery and mistreatment of blacks in the Jim Crow South could be used to deflect concerns over his lack of qualifications to hold the highest office in the land. As it turned out, he did not get a majority of white votes in the election, but combined with the 97 percent support among black voters, it was enough to win.
We should not be surprised that 18 months later, Americans are still being asked to ignore his record and his lack of accomplishments. Playing the race card worked so well in the campaign, the White House and its allies are now trying to use it to silence criticism of his policies and performance.
Republicans were not the first to object to this tactic. It was 1984 Democratic vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro who said early in the 2008 primary contest, “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position.” But once Democrats saw how well the race card worked, it became standard practice to use it any time Obama got into trouble.
The problem now for Obama and the Democratic Party is that the tactic is wearing thin. The problem for the country is, we must endure two years and six months more of it.
In 2010 the use of the race card to defend Obama has become predictable and nauseating. Americans who object to the government’s takeover of 16 percent of our economy through Obamacare? They’re racists, of course. Citizens who say Obama has reneged on his promise of transparency in government? They’re racists. You object to adding $10 trillion to the debt our children and grandchildren must pay off? Well, you wouldn’t feel that way if Obama were white, right?
Since playing the race card obviously has been so successful for Obama, that message and theme has been adopted by others as well. If you do not like 1 million persons slipping across our open borders each year, you must be a bigot who dislikes “brown people.” The entire population of Arizona is labeled racist by the American left and targeted for a crippling boycott for wanting to enforce federal immigration laws.
The net effect of race-card politics is not only to cheapen political debate in general, it also exacerbates race relations. Obama’s misuse of the race card has taken us down a long detour way from the “post-racial politics” he promised. Americans naturally resent a double standard that exempts some pubic officials from criticism based on race or gender or any factor other than actual performance.
Are there black Americans who are qualified to be president of the United States? Yes, obviously, there are many. Colin Powell had an enviable record of achievement and was well-qualified to run for the office. While I do not agree with him on many issues, he nonetheless displayed great competence, integrity and stellar achievements in his career. Those qualities have been conspicuously lacking in the career of Barack Hussein Obama.
Will Obama be the first black president to be impeached? It is possible, if the White House job offer to Mr. Sestak is traced to the Oval Office. Will that case be investigated and pursued on the facts, or will it be swept under the rug to protect the first black president? That a possible impeachment inquiry will be evaluated and debated as a “racial issue” shows how far down this dark road we have come.