That's unpleasant for Obama supporters, but is it unfair? Is it racist? From the SF Chronicle:
While Obama's campaign has fended off racially rooted attacks since its inception, analysts say the ones surfacing in the past few days have been more overt, arriving as many undecided voters are making their final decision. They are part of a recent stream of attacks on his background, including his religion and his connections to a former '60s radical.Why is it racial to stir up doubt about whether Obama is a mainstream Democrat? Most of the argument seems to be that because he is black, any doubts about him have a synergistic effect with any racism that happens to be out there.
"It is the Willie Hortonization of Obama," said University of San Francisco associate professor of political science James Taylor....
Instead of using a grainy photo of a grizzled convict [like the Willie Horton ad used against Dukakis], the current attacks, analysts say, are embedded in "coded" language. They cite as examples Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin portraying Obama as a cultural outsider and friend to terrorists and the dismissive way his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, referred to Obama at their Tuesday night debate as "that one."...
Regardless, some attending McCain-Palin rallies are responding to this kind of incitement. The Secret Service is investigating press reports that someone might have said "kill him" after Palin tried to connect Obama to former Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers. Some attending McCain's rally Wednesday in Pennsylvania interrupted him with shouts of "socialist," "terrorist" and "liar."
Earlier this week, Palin told a group of donors in Colorado that "this is not a man who sees America like you and I see America." Obama, Palin said, "is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country," a reference to Obama's connection with Ayers... Conservative talk radio show host Rush Limbaugh echoed this attack by referring to Obama's "mentorship" by Ayers....
By the way, there is a new Gallup poll in which the vast majority of voters say race has no effect on their decisions. Yes, of course, people often won't admit it or don't realize it. But the few who do say it will affect them report positive and negative effects that are close to balanced, and yet the positive effect in favor of Obama seems to have the edge. That said, the unadmitted effects are probably much more likely to be negatives against Obama.
Pushing back, we've got James Carville trying to guilt-trip or scare white people into voting for Obama:
Now let me be clear here, if Obama goes in this race with a 5- point lead and losing this election, the consequences are -- bull, man. I mean I don't think that's going to happen, but I think David it's a point to bring up.Some -- e.g., Rush Limbaugh -- think Carville was envisioning riots. Limbaugh observes:
But you stop and contemplate this country if Obama goes in and he has a consistent five point lead and loses the election, it would be very, very, very dramatic out there.
Now, I want you to imagine if, say, I said something like this or some other conservative anywhere, said, "Yeah, if Obama, if he loses, you know, there's going to be riots out there. The blacks are going to riot." This is what James Carville said. You tell me where the racism is in this country. It is on the left. Here's Carville trying to scare America. He's doing two things. He didn't accidentally come up with that 5% figure. These guys are worried to death about the Wilder Effect. They are worried about the Bradley Effect, meaning they are worried that people are lying to the pollsters, saying they will vote for Obama.
But because they are really racists and don't want to admit that to a pollster, that they get to the voting booth in private, will vote for the white guy, Yosemite Sam instead of The Messiah. So that selection of five points, that's key. I've told you if Obama is not up by ten or so, it's going to be a much closer race than everybody thinks. But for James Carville to suggest that the political immaturity of the majority of the black population of this country is such that they will take to the streets and riot, I hope all of you African-Americans listening to this program understand how that means the Democrat Party sees you.
In fact, I might go so far as to say -- not about Carville, I don't know -- but there might be some of the Democrats that wouldn't mind seeing some riots if Obama loses. Nevertheless that's what they think of you. You are going to take to the streets, going to be Rodney King and South Central Los Angeles all over the country. So there's a fright factor here. There is a bigotry factor here, and of course there is racism on parade all over the place. And once again the racism originates and comes from the Democrat Party.