September 29, 2011

A "more insidious form of racism" — replacing the old "naked, egregious and aggressive" racism — is now undermining Barack Obama.

As perceived in The Nation by polisci prof Melissa Harris-Perry:
Not only did white Democratic voters prove willing to support a black candidate [in 2004]; they overperformed in their repudiation of naked electoral racism, electing Obama with a higher percentage of white votes than either Kerry or Gore earned. 
Overperformed in their repudiation... a fascinating phrase. Harris-Perry, applying some standard political science tests and failing to detect racism, says "electoral racism cannot be reduced solely to its most egregious, explicit form. It has proved more enduring and baffling than these results can capture." So, she posits another form of racism: "the tendency of white liberals to hold African-American leaders to a higher standard than their white counterparts."

What is her measure of this form of racism? The fact that Democrats kept supporting Bill Clinton, even though he "failed to pass any kind of meaningful healthcare reform whatsoever, signed onto "don’t ask, don’t tell,” and supported "welfare 'reform.'" But a lot of Democrats, myself included, like the moderate approach, the "triangulation." And, of course, the economy was good back then. Moreover, Obama hasn't gone up for reelection yet. You can't compare the final vote for Clinton in 1996 to the pre-election grousing about Obama.
I believe much of [the decline in support for Obama] can be attributed to [white Americans'] disappointment that choosing a black man for president did not prove to be salvific for them or the nation.
Salvific... a great word. Let's put it together with that fascinating phrase overperformed in their repudiation. Now, tell me what that says about racial politics in America. There is something about race there, whether you want to deploy the powerful word racism or not. The points seems to be, even in the left-wing Nation, that people loaded race into their positive feelings for Obama, and now they have a special race-based disappointment.

But how do we disentangle this insidious new form of racism from American politics? Obama himself stoked delusions of salvation. What would it look like to just stop overperforming the repudiation of racism?

203 comments:

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Bruce Hayden said...

I'm talking about the parties as a whole and their general ideological perspectives. It is the right wing at large that ceaselessly brays about the "regulatory burdens" on business, and who proselytize tirelessly for removal of those supposed burdens. Those championing the retention or renewal or creation of new regulations to reign in corporate behavior tend to be, I would bet you, more often Democrats than not.

Except that those regulations primarily hurt small and medium sized businesses - which is why big businesses actually like them, because they can help write them (through crony capitalism and regulatory capture), and they give the biggest companies an even more unfair advantage over their small and medium sized competitors.

All you have to do to see this is to look at the legislative triumphs of the 111th Congress and the Obama Administration. In particular, look at Dodd-Frank, which effectively exempts the biggest financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, and creates a huge new regulatory burden (and thus higher costs) for their competitors. Of course, those too-big-to-fail companies were at the bargaining table when the bill was written, and their smaller competitors were not.

Fascist style socialists have always gotten along better with the biggest businesses than the small and medium sized ones, partially because they are much easier to mange. And, as a result of getting along with their socialist masters, and doing what they are told, they are given special considerations and advantages. The biggest companies in Nazi Germany got low or no cost slave or concentration camp labor in trade for doing what their government told them to. Similarly, GE got TARP funds, as did AIG, in order to protect Goldman Sachs, whose alums were running the bailout. But, then apparently did the auto companies, which then went through bankruptcies, shed their senior creditors in favor of their labor unions, and have now given those same union employees $5,0000 signing bonuses.

Crony "capitalism" was one of the ways that fascist socialism differed from Marxist socialism. So, we now we find that a company run by Nancy Pelosi's brother just got a $3/4 billion dollar "green energy" loan guarantee, and the partnership (including Kaiser) that controlled Solyndra just got another $1/4 billion dollar loan guarantee for another of their companies. And there is more to come, since the time to issue these loan guarantees runs out at the end of this month (i.e. tomorrow). BTW, this is the same Nancy Pelosi whose Congressional district got so many ObamaCare waivers, and, who also, coincidentally rammed the legislation through.

If the Republican party was ever the party of big business, it hasn't been for most of my life time (and I was born under Truman). Rather, they have long been the party of main street (and not Wall Street - firms like Goldman Sachs have been Democratic supporters apparently since the time of FDR). But what has become ever more obvious, as the Democrats have let their radicals drive their party over the cliff, is that they have become the party of big business, big labor, and big government, all working happily together, to their own benefit, and our significant loss.

JAL said...

If the part of him that is black was white he'd still be a lousy president, ill-prepared for the job, and committed to taking America down a couple pegs.

Leftys are incredible racists who cannot judge a black man by his character, but only by his skin, and blacks fare poorly in their world.

Make their heads explode. Nominate and elect Cain / West 2012.

JAL said...

Of course as Obama fades away, and the black vote fades away, it will be becuse he wasn't really black at all.

(Which is actually somewhat true. He is not an American black.)

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