Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Conservative Viewpoint
- Fall From Grace Not About Racism

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

During President Barack Obama’s recent health care address to a joint session of Congress, Rep. Joe Wilson, R-SC., stunned everyone when he yelled out, “You lie!

Wilson came unglued after Obama said that the health plan he was proposing would not cover illegal immigrants. One can nuance whether the congressman was technically correct in his assertion, but his remarks were inappropriate. Wilson personally apologized to the president and Obama graciously accepted. That should have been the end of it. It wasn’t.

House Democrats passed a House resolution citing Wilson for his breach of decorum and for his refusal to formally apologize on the House floor. The vote was largely along party lines with Democrats supporting and Republicans opposed. Wilson felt one apology was enough.

Some on the left concluded Wilson’s remarks were racially motivated. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote: “…fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: “You lie, boy!” Dowd justifies her interpretation by citing Wilson’s former membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and his support to keep the Confederate flag flying over the state capital in Columbia. “Wilson clearly did not like being lectured by the brainy black president presiding over the majestic chamber,” Dowd said.
According to Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post, “…. Obama’s race leads some of his critics to feel they have the permission to deny him the legitimacy, stature and common courtesy that are any president’s due.”

Last week former President Jimmy Carter added his two cents. Carter said Wilson’s remarks were rooted in fears of a black president. “I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward Barack Obama is based on the fact the he is a black man,” Carter said. He continued, “…many white people, not just in the south but around the country, feel that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country.”

Is Joe Wilson a racist? I don’t know the answer to that any more than if asked if Sen. Robert Byrd, D.-W.Va., a former member of the Ku Klux Klan is a racist. Does racism still exist? Of course it does. Is it the root cause of Obama’s recent slide in the polls? Michael Steele, the black Republican National Committee chairman, someone who should know a thing or two about racism said, “This isn’t about race, it’s about policy.”

A Rasmussen Poll conducted last week asked if racism is a factor in the immense public opposition to Obama’s health care initiative. Only 12 percent of voters nationwide believe race is an issue, while an overwhelming 67 percent say it’s not. Just one week after Obama’s speech, opposition to his health plan has reached a new high of 56 percent; support at 43 percent. This debate clearly has nothing to do with race.

When Obama was elected to the presidency, he received almost 70 million votes. While 96 percent of black voters (12 million) supported Obama, he couldn’t have won without the overwhelming support of white voters. Obama’s non-black votes roughly equaled the total number of votes (60 million) received by Sen. John McCain, R.-Ariz.

Racism is a tool often used by liberals as a weapon to silence the opposition. Anyone who disagrees with them is a target, most recently as it applies to any opposition to Obama. Dissent has suddenly become the lowest form of racism. Just like the boy who once too often cried wolf, folks are beginning to ignore it. Many are sick and tired of the left constantly pulling out the race card. People with legitimate concerns want to be heard, not silenced, ridiculed or mischaracterized. Continuing to level baseless charges of prejudice against any and all opposition to Obama can only further alienate voters.

Since Obama’s election, Democrats continue to hurt any chance of a post-racial America. Perpetrating white guilt upon the masses is the last thing our first black president wants or needs. Obama has said as much. Yet many Democrats continue to inject racism into the debate in spite of the fact it’s often stupid, offensive and without evidence.

Questioning this president or any president is a right. If we disagree we can publicly dissent. Most of those who attended tea parties, were at town hall meetings, or peacefully marched on Washington aren’t extremists or racists. But they are angry. Obama was elected because he sold himself as a centrist. We’ve seen little evidence of that.

Last week a Gallup poll showed Obama’s disapproval at 42 percent, indicating he has fallen further and faster than any president in recent memory. The fall from grace is from an overly ambitious liberal agenda, out of control spending and an often incoherent foreign policy. America has rejected liberalism time and again. Polls are merely reflecting that.

Liberals know Obama’s falling numbers have little to do with race, yet they’re hoping to advance their agenda by once again injecting racism into the debate. That might have worked in the past, but those days may be over. America elected its first black president by 10 million votes last November, which should have removed much of lingering white guilt.

The president understands his declining approval numbers aren’t because of race, but rather his liberal tonic for fixing America. Another Democratic president faced similar opposition to his agenda in the first two years of his administration. His name was Bill Clinton. Following the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994 Clinton effectively moved to the center, breathing new life into his faltering presidency. Will history repeat itself? For many that answer can’t come soon enough.

For many of us, the answer does not matter. Pretending to be governing from the center will not delude many of us or dissuade us from the reality that Barack Obama is a socialist. He is not a socialist because he is black. He is a socialist because he chose to be a socialist. Those who have opposed socialists for a couple of generations still oppose socialists. Bob is absolutely correct that opposition to Obama has nothing to do with his skin color. However I think Bob is delusional if he thinks that he can get Democrats to stop claiming all opposition to their policies is racist. It is their favorite insult and they will not give it up without a fight.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home