Campaigns/Elections

"Black Guy Versus White Guy"

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In The Wall Street Journal, Juan Williams of Fox News and NPR writes about how race may factor into the election: 

In a Wall Street Journal poll last month, 8% of white voters said outright that race is the most important factor when it comes to looking at these two candidates—a three percentage point increase since Mr. Obama claimed the Democratic nomination. An added 15% of white voters admit the candidates' race is a factor for them. Race is even more important to black voters: 20% say it is the top factor influencing their view of the candidates, and another 14% admit it is among the key factors that will determine their vote. All this contributes to the idea that the presidential contest will boil down to black guy versus white guy.

Consider also a recent Washington Post poll. Thirty percent of all voters admitted to racial prejudice, and more than a half of white voters categorized Mr. Obama as "risky" (two-thirds judged Mr. McCain the "safe" choice). Yet about 90% of whites said they would be "comfortable" with a black president. And about a third of white voters acknowledged they would not be "entirely comfortable" with an African-American president. Why the contradictory responses? My guess is that some whites are not telling the truth about their racial attitudes.

Williams concludes, "Mr. Obama needs to hammer home…conservative social values to capture undecided white voters. He might lose [Jesse] Jackson's vote. But he won't lose many black votes, and he will win the undecided white votes he needs to become America's first African-American president."

Whole thing here.

reason's Dave Weigel has done the dubious math on the idea that whites overplay their willingness to vote for black candidates to pollsters (variously called "the Bradley Effect" and "the Wilder effect"). Read about it here, here, and here.

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  1. And only 34% of blacks say race is a top or key factor in their vote? Oh, Juan, methinks a far larger percentage of blacks are outright lying in this poll….

  2. “Mr. Obama needs to hammer home…conservative social values to capture undecided white voters.

    Oh yeah, that would complete the race to the bottom in this campaign. Have Obama rail against gambling, popular culture,drugs, and other voluntary evils. After backsliding on FISA and telecom immunity, why not?

    Then again, I’m a “decided” white voter – and it’s not for McBain or Obama.

  3. jp – to be fair, if Obama had never been in this campaign, how many blacks would you expect to vote for McCain? In 2004, the split was 88% Kerry to 11% Bush. Given that, it’s hard to separate if they’re voting “just for the black guy”. Had Keyes won the Republican nomination, and had Clinton stolen the Democratic nomination (from Obama), it would be very easy to see if black voters were voting on race alone.

  4. Baked – well said!

    Are you still writing in Troy McClure?

    jp – jeez. it’s too early for that stuff, man. jeez. “look. they’re lying more”.

    or did I miss a larger point in a sleep-induced coma this thundery Monday morning?

  5. Moose – you may remember me from such posts as “The Wackiest Tour Bus on Campaign” and “Gladys, The Groovy Mule – Gets Busted in a No-Knock Raid”.

  6. Mr. Obama needs to hammer home…conservative social values to capture undecided white voters.

    Wouldn’t that alienate all his white liberal supporters? This seems like it would be a dumb move to me.

  7. Don’t forget “The President’s Neck is Missing,” and “Designated Drivers: Live-Saving Nerds.”

  8. “An added 15% of white voters admit the candidates’ race is a factor for them.”

    Well, this may be capturing the thought processes of people like my father–who I don’t believe has a bigoted bone in his body–but is nonetheless apprehensive about Obama because he correlates governmental decline of where he lives with when black politicians started getting elected. His perception is that black politicians seem too beholden to the interests of the “black political machines” (his words, not mine.)

    While I don’t share his reasoning and conclusions (especially in the case of Obama, who won’t get elected without a hell of a lot of white people voting for him) he is empirically correct about the local politics in many cities. And I can’t imagine that he is alone in making these generalizations.

  9. Mayorships, and the spoils that go along with them, have been the Democrats strategy to keep ambitious black politicians off the national stage. Times just have’nt changed enough to trust blue collar voters to set aside their prejudices and vote for the black guy. The current smooth talker slipped through to get the nomination, but Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan are going to prove that we’re not past the threshold where race doesn’t matter.

  10. An added 15% of white voters admit the candidates’ race is a factor for them.

    If there isn’t a good reason to vote for any candidate (all equally good or bad), this white guy WILL let race be a factor. I will vote Obama. Having a black president does provide some long term benefits.

  11. Having a black president does provide some long term benefits.

    Really? Perhaps you’d care to elaborate on that? Personally I can’t see what the hell difference it makes what his race is – a leftist is a leftist.

  12. so is this article saying blacks are more racist than whites?

  13. adrian,

    That was my take on it. Either that, or whites are more likely to lie.

  14. so is this article saying blacks are more racist than whites?

    Only if you consider the desire to have the presidency cease to be an all-white insitution to be the moral equivalent of the desire to have the presidency continue to be an all-white institution.

  15. In other words, somebody who consider’s Barack Obama’s race to be a plus could be thinking “I don’t like/trust white people,” which is bad, or “I don’t want one race to have a monopoly on the presidency,” which is not bad.

    Somebody who considers Barack Obama’s race to be a negative could be thinking, “I don’t like/trust black people,” which is bad, or they could be thinking “I want white people to have a monopoly on the presidency,” which is not only just as bad, but is the same thing.

  16. I don’t suppose they bothered to ask the white voters who said race was a factor whether it was a positive or negative? I would expect some percentage to be guilty white liberals voting for the black guy because he is a black guy.

  17. joe,

    “I don’t want one race to have a monopoly on the presidency”

    This is like quotas or set asides, a different, kinder form of racism. Color blind voting is the only non-racist position.

    Now, to be fair, we need to distinguish between:

    a. I dont want one race to have a monopoly, but I still wont consider race as a factor
    and
    b. I dont want one race to have a monopoly so I will consider race as a factor.

    The first isnt racist, the second is. The second fits with the poll responders position.

  18. God, I haven’t been played this much since Katrina! < 3

  19. Episiarch,

    Obama’s liberal white supporters are given to cheering his sneezes and fainting whenever he graces them with his presence. He can talk guns, god, and gay bash his hearts content without risk of losing their vote.

    I think some of this “racism” talk is a bit over the top. With two candidates this god awful, with so little separating them in terms of actual substance, is it really that wrong for voters to choose based on which candidate has a skin tone closer to their own? What would bother me is if the voters were rejecting a candidate they align with from an ideological standpoint but who doesn’t share their color in favor of one who doesn’t align but does share a skin tone. When that happens, we can start considering the issue of racism as a serious problem. But that hypothetical will not be tested this election cycle. All this election is going to prove is that whites favor generic white over generic black and blacks favor generic half black over generic white. That’s a basic human impulse that has colored human social interaction since the beginning of time and is nothing to be concerned about.

  20. “I don’t want one race to have a monopoly on the presidency,”

    So then, we can presume that all those blacks that feel this way would be more than happy to vote for an Orien…, er, Asian candidate? 😉

  21. Locker Room Towelfight: The Blinding of Larry Driscoll

    From my point of view America will get worse in the exact same proportions under them both, but just in different areas. Therefore, it comes down to entertainment value. The gaping liberal-conservative media divide wrestling with race for 4 years will be funnier than a McCain death clock.

  22. will be funnier than a McCain death clock.

    That depends on who he picks as VP. It could be very fun to watch.

  23. I find the opinion polls on this issue laughable. Somewhat germane to the discussion –

    Americans misreport how often they vote, how much they give to charity, and how frequently they use illegal drugs. People are not entirely accurate in their self-reports about other areas as well. Males exaggerate their number of sexual partners, university workers are not very honest about reporting how many photocopies they make. Actual attendance at museums, symphonies and operas does not match survey results. We should not expect religious behavior to be immune to such misreporting.

    Kirk Hadaway, a sociologists at the United Church of Christ, (1993)

    … despite the rhetoric, active religious participation remains a minority interest in American life.

    Tom Flynn, writer for Free Inquiry magazine, (1998).

    From here.
    Bottom line is that people tend to present themseklves in the best posssible light when responding to polls. Anonymity doesn’t change that fact.

  24. That depends on who he picks as VP. It could be very fun to watch.

    As someone pointed out on this site a while back, if McCain picks a more conservative running mate, it could be seen as him running the “Im old and going to die soon, vote for me and you will get this guy (or chick) as president” strategy.

  25. That depends on who he picks as VP.

    4 years of people beating each up over race > worrying Romney might be President

    Especially, when all they really worry about is that he’s a Mormon and won’t admit it. Besides, how much worse or better could he be? If Destiny’s Pretzel had taken out Bush, would his remaining first term have really been different under Cheney? Considering he was calling all the shots anyway?

    Yes, no Cheney 2nd term, but the GOP probably could have run a candidate squishy on the war (but constantly winking to the base) and still held the White House 2004-8.

  26. I would expect some percentage to be guilty white liberals voting for the black guy because he is a black guy.

    Similar to the point I made above – since you’d expect modern liberals to vote Democratic in any event, the only way to test this would be if a white Democrat was running against a black Republican or Libertarian.

  27. As someone pointed out on this site a while back, if McCain picks a more conservative running mate, it could be seen as him running the “Im old and going to die soon, vote for me and you will get this guy (or chick) as president” strategy.

    Assuming what robc wrote above is true, what if McCain picks Condoleeza Rice as a VP candidate?

  28. Americans misreport how often they vote, how much they give to charity, and how frequently they use illegal drugs. People are not entirely accurate in their self-reports about other areas as well. Males exaggerate their number of sexual partners, university workers are not very honest about reporting how many photocopies they make. Actual attendance at museums, symphonies and operas does not match survey results. We should not expect religious behavior to be immune to such misreporting.

    Something I wonder about is whether you’d get a different answer if you phrased the race questions in terms of ‘black’ or ‘African-American’. Obama’s ‘black’, but in terms of cultural background he grew up in Hawaii and went to Punahou, which makes him rich, white/Japanese and middle to upper class. Don’t give me ‘he’s of African background and an American’–that doesn’t give him the cultural orientation of Jesse Jackson or IceT. Or Kwame Kilpatrick. Thank goodness.

  29. The ‘thank goodness’ referred only to our ‘beloved’ mayor, who perfectly exemplifies the comment about mayors somewhere above. Bright guy who was actually starting to understand that Detroit needed private investment to recapture itself, and then he did something stupid.

  30. I had a solidly lefty friend admit to me that she was unsure whether to support Clinton because she’s a woman, or Obama because he’s black. She wasn’t sure which category of people needed more social justice.

    Also, BakedPenguin, Condoleeza Rice is not black, she’s conservative.

  31. Obama’s true color is pink, as evidenced by his endorsement of another windfall profits tax on Big Oil. His approach to energy production is akin to taking the worst movie ever filmed, then making a sequel. Saint Obama then cravenly attempts to bribe the electorate with a $1000 check. Evidently the Democrat party truly believes that one may rob Peter to pay Paul, and suffer no consequences.

  32. Dave Weigel has done the dubious math on the idea that whites overplay their willingness to vote for black candidates to pollsters (variously called “the Bradley Effect” and “the Wilder effect”). Read about it here, here, and here.

    If you look at the math involved in the Bradley/Wilder effect, you’ll find the extent of its existence dependent on how big of a poo is the candidate in question.

    If it turns out to be less than 3%, than Obama is just a minor case of the runs, any more than that and we are talking about a real turd sandwich.

    In other words, pre Bush bitch Powell would not have had much of a problem with the Bradley effect, whereas, many people perceived Wilder as a flake but they were too ‘nice’ to state negative criticism to a polster/stranger.

    Correlative to this is the fact most Southerners will tell you what you want to hear out of politeness, and thus the case you’ll find no one here actually voted for Jesse Helms if you take their word on it.

  33. B, sorry to break it to you, but your dad is a bigot. Maybe not a sheet wearing n***** hating bigot, but a bigot nonetheless. My dad’s the same way.

  34. “That’s a basic human impulse that has colored human social interaction since the beginning of time…”

    Heh. “Colored.”

  35. robc,

    This is like quotas or set asides, a different, kinder form of racism. Color blind voting is the only non-racist position.

    The hell it is. Are there “quotas or setasides” for black quarterbacks? No? And yet, people got all excited when the first black quarterback played in a Superbowl.

    Go ahead, try to make me feel guilty that I’m excited about racism declining. Give it your best shot.

    *,

    So then, we can presume that all those blacks that feel this way would be more than happy to vote for an Orien…, er, Asian candidate? 😉

    Black voters have voted for white candidates by about 99%-1% in every presidential race so far. So, yeah, I imagine black voters would turn out in pretty high numbers for an Asian candidate who shared their political philosophy.

  36. I would expect some percentage to be guilty white liberals voting for the black guy because he is a black guy.

    In my case (assuming all else is equal) it would be to eliminate excuses. If Obama gets elected, the whole justification for racial quotas and minority set asides goes out the window.

    I had a solidly lefty friend admit to me that she was unsure whether to support Clinton because she’s a woman, or Obama because he’s black. She wasn’t sure which category of people needed more social justice.

    Maureen Dowd wrote this in one of her columns, but it has been airbrushed out of the on-line version.

  37. Whoops, I was wrong, the Dowd article can be found here.

  38. In my case (assuming all else is equal) it would be to eliminate excuses. If Obama gets elected, the whole justification for racial quotas and minority set asides goes out the window.

    I see this “guilty white conservative” excuse a lot more than the “guilty white liberal” justification.

    Which is to be expected. It is conservatives, not liberals, who believe that affirmative action is about tokenism at the highest levels. Liberals believe that affirmative action is about desegregation. Obviously, having a president with a black face can accomplish a tokenist goal, but it amount to very little in terms of creating social and professional networks that cross racial and georgraphic and economic boundaries.

  39. So, voting for Obama because he’s black is racist.

    Does that mean that desiring someone because of their sex is sexist.

    This is “Reason?” There’s two things I smell here; 1) fear that a non-white person might become President and 2) fear of admitting that fear. The latter produces pathetic contortions of “thinking” and “writing” that display the producer as a rank idiot, or a coward. Try some actual thinking, based in knowledge rather than unsupported assumptions about “people” or “things,” or have the courage of your own convictions and admit that you’re going to vote for the white guy because he’s white, and you’re afraid of the black guy because he’s black. Because, my friend, THAT is racism.

  40. Obviously, having a president with a black face can accomplish a tokenist goal, but it amount to very little in terms of creating social and professional networks that cross racial and georgraphic and economic boundaries.

    Gentleman, I present you the “have your cake and eat it too” argument for the next four years.

  41. There are a lot of different things going on, Third Policeman, and lumping them all under the heading “racism” and then declaring that they’re all the same is very misleading.

    I think robc is wrong that the desire to see a president who isn’t white is, by definition, racist (in fact, I think he’s making the same error as you, lumping a lot of unlike things together to create a simplistic dualism), but it isn’t racist for him to think that. Nor does it indicate a Fear of The Black Man.

  42. Gentleman, I present you the “have your cake and eat it too” argument for the next four years.

    Aw, come on General Powell, we let you into the country club. How can you still say kids in the South Bronx don’t have the same opportunities as kids in Westchester? C’mon, WE LET YOU INTO THE COUNTRY CLUB!

  43. Whatever, joe. The only people who think that a black president doesn’t represent progress on racism in America are the ones addicted to screaming “RACIST.” Maybe you can hold Obama down while Jackson cuts his nuts off.

  44. SugarFree,

    “Progress on” is not the same thing as “Comphrehensive solution to.”

    The only people who think that a black president doesn’t represent progress on racism in America are the ones addicted to screaming “RACIST.”

    Yes, the people who scream “racist!” whenever the issue of racial disparities and possible solutions to them are discussed do seem eager to deny that having a black president would represent progress.

  45. I’m going to have a FUN four years!

  46. Obviously, having a president with a black face can accomplish a tokenist goal, but it amount to very little in terms of creating social and professional networks that cross racial and georgraphic and economic boundaries.

    Ah, I see. “Very little” is still “progress.” I missed your weasel clause.

    Yes, the people who scream “racist!” whenever the issue of racial disparities and possible solutions to them are discussed do seem eager to deny that having a black president would represent progress.

    Well, at least you agree with me on that.

  47. The Race Card | August 4, 2008, 1:04pm | #
    I’m going to have a FUN four years!

    I believe I pointed this out earlier.

  48. Also, BakedPenguin, Condoleeza Rice is not black, she’s conservative.

    When did Condoleeza cease to be black? I hadn’t heard.

  49. Whatever, joe. The only people who think that a black president doesn’t represent progress on racism in America are the ones addicted to screaming “RACIST.” Maybe you can hold Obama down while Jackson cuts his nuts off.

    Good one, SugarFree! LMAO! 😉

  50. I see this “guilty white conservative” excuse a lot more than the “guilty white liberal” justification.

    What about the not feeling any guilt libertarians? Or have I now become a conservative? Will somebody teach me the handshake?

    joe, it sounds to me like you believe it is okay for a liberal to vote for Obama because of the color of his skin, but not for a conservative. Is being against racial quotas and racial set asides racist and/or conservative?

    Obviously, having a president with a black face can accomplish a tokenist goal, but it amount to very little in terms of creating social and professional networks that cross racial and georgraphic and economic boundaries.

    So having a black president will amount to very little? What happened to all of those arguments we used to hear about providing poor ghetto kids with role models that are not criminals?

    Seriously joe, what profession do you work in where racism is still a factor?

  51. So then, we can presume that all those blacks that feel this way would be more than happy to vote for an Orien…, er, Asian candidate? 😉

    Black voters have voted for white candidates by about 99%-1% in every presidential race so far. So, yeah, I imagine black voters would turn out in pretty high numbers for an Asian candidate who shared their political philosophy.

    Oh please. The reason that black voters have voted for white candidates by about 99 to 1 in every presidential race is because they have almost never had any candidate other than white to vote for – certainly not one who had any chance of getting a major party nomination, let alone winning.

    And if you think that black voters would choose an Asian candidate over a African-American candidate given that both equally shared the particular voters’ political philosophies – well you’re just kidding youself, dude.

  52. “Males exaggerate their number of sexual partners, university workers are not very honest about reporting how many photocopies they make. Actual attendance at museums, symphonies and operas does not match survey results.”
    NOT ME!!! They call me “Redwood” because really are talking some big wood. I tell the pollsters this, but they never REPORT IT. damn selective media.

  53. SugarFree,

    I missed your weasel clause.

    Well, when you subscribe to an ideology that considers nuance, complexity, and grey areas to be “weaselly,” you tend to miss things like that.

    Other things you missed – the difference between “represent” and “accomplish,” and the difference between the mushy, general term “progress on race relations” and the concrete, specific concept “creating social and professional networks that cross racial and georgraphic and economic boundaries.”

  54. joe

    I think robc is wrong that the desire to see a president who isn’t white is, by definition, racist

    Its only racist IF you use that desire as voting criteria. If you just want to see it happen, I get that, I dont think its racist. Like the QB example. Seeing a black QB win the Super Bowl was good, because it showed up the racist idiots. Wanting to see it happen is okay. Deciding to start a black QB instead of a better white QB because you wanted to make it happen is racist.

  55. Weasel clauses are what separate us from the animals. Except the weasel.

  56. stuartl,

    Or have I now become a conservative? “Conservative excuse” vs. “conservative.” I didn’t call you a conservative, I characterized your argument as “conservative,” in parallel to how another commenter characterized another argument as “liberal.”

    joe, it sounds to me like you believe it is okay for a liberal to vote for Obama because of the color of his skin, but not for a conservative. I’m sure it does. It’s pretty common for people to get an inaccurate impression of my comments like that. You have no idea how many times I’ve had to explain the difference between “Clinton’s economic plan didn’t cause a recession” and “Clinton’s economic plan caused an economic expansion.

    I didn’t actually write anything about “ok.” I made some observations. You can comment on those if you’d like.

    So having a black president will amount to very little? What happened to all of those arguments we used to hear about providing poor ghetto kids with role models that are not criminals?

    Is there some sort of browser problem going on? This is the third person in a row who doesn’t seem to see the words in terms of creating social and professional networks that cross racial and georgraphic and economic boundaries in my comment.

    Seriously joe, what profession do you work in where racism is still a factor? Every single profession I have ever worked in is still operating in a system where black and white people tend to have professional and social networks that are largely confined to people of the same race and economic circumstances.

  57. What happened to all of those arguments we used to hear about providing poor ghetto kids with role models that are not criminals?

    Nothing. They’re fine as far as they go, but they don’t address the gap in opportunity, which is a much larger problem than the gap in aspirations.

    Which is why the people insisting that having a black president would disprove the existence of racial injustice are so wrongheaded.

  58. Well, when you subscribe to an ideology that considers nuance, complexity, and grey areas to be “weaselly,” you tend to miss things like that.

    Aren’t you the one that always wants to make everything BLACK and WHITE?

    I don’t disagree with you much on race, you just insist on being a superior dick about it all the fucking time, smug in the thought that you are here to enlighten us ignorant racists.

    You’re the Ayn Rand of race relations.

  59. *,

    The reason that black voters have voted for white candidates by about 99 to 1 in every presidential race is because they have almost never had any candidate other than white to vote for – certainly not one who had any chance of getting a major party nomination, let alone winning.

    So, did they sit those elections out? Er, no.

    And if you think that black voters would choose an Asian candidate over a African-American candidate given that both equally shared the particular voters’ political philosophies – well you’re just kidding youself, dude. That wasn’t the question you asked.

  60. robc,

    Its only racist IF you use that desire as voting criteria.

    What if you believe, as some people do, that having a black president, just the sight of a black man being able to win the presidency and give eight SOTU addresses and whatnot, will reduce racism among white people and lead to a meaningful decline in racial prejudice?

  61. Aren’t you the one that always wants to make everything BLACK and WHITE? Huh? I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of that before.

    you just insist on being a superior dick about it all the fucking time, smug in the thought that you are here to enlighten us ignorant racists. Now that sounds more familiar.

  62. just the sight of a black man being able to win the presidency and give eight SOTU addresses and whatnot, will reduce racism among white people and lead to a meaningful decline in racial prejudice?

    It must be tiring to talk out of the both sides of your mouth all the time.

    How does this:

    will reduce racism among white people and lead to a meaningful decline in racial prejudice

    not lead to this?

    Obviously, having a president with a black face can accomplish a tokenist goal, but it amount to very little in terms of creating social and professional networks that cross racial and georgraphic and economic boundaries.

    How’s the cake, joe? Going to eat it too?

    You’re the king of bad faith arguments. But I can’t quit you.

  63. Obama is black?

    The first racists attitude that needs to be discarded is this calculation:

    White man, white woman = white baby
    Black man, white woman = black baby
    White man, black woman = black baby

    Any of those black babies have a baby = black baby. Rinse, repeat until you have to do genetic testing to figure out someone’s “real” race.

    Arbitrarily chopping up a smooth continuum is part of human nature, but the concept of race is so fuzzy as to make the exercise beyond silly.

    Wanting to see it happen is okay. Deciding to start a black QB instead of a better white QB because you wanted to make it happen is racist.

    What if there is no meaningful difference in their ability? Is it racist then?

  64. What if there is no meaningful difference in their ability? Is it racist then?

    If starting one guy because of his race, not ability, is racist, then I can’t see how starting the other guy because of his race, not ability, isn’t also racist.

  65. In order to make his point that I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth, SugarFree has to crop my quote, to change its meaning.

    What I wrote What if you believe, as some people do, that having a black president, just the sight of a black man being able to win the presidency and give eight SOTU addresses and whatnot, will reduce racism among white people and lead to a meaningful decline in racial prejudice?

    What SugarFree had to crop that to, in order to allow him to shriek “hypocrite” in order to save face just the sight of a black man being able to win the presidency and give eight SOTU addresses and whatnot, will reduce racism among white people and lead to a meaningful decline in racial prejudice?

    This is the type of thing a person descends to when is being pwned.

  66. One Drop,

    What if there is no meaningful difference in their ability?

    Flip a coin? Stick with whoever played the conference final? Start whoever has the higher salaried contract so the team President can justify the contract to the owner? Or maybe the opposite, to justify cutting the expensive guy after the season?

    Plenty of reasons to decide without bringing race into it.

  67. joe,

    If you arent one of the people that believes it, why bring it up?

  68. You know, I get a lot shit for daring to be less than worshipful to people who act like assholes.

    Well, now you know why. If SugarFree could have respectfully pointed out that he thought I was being inconsistent, I would have happily cleared up his confusion in respectful manner.

    But no, he decides he has to do a little touchdown dance and insult me personally.

    Such a good idea, it always works out so well.

  69. robc,

    If you arent one of the people that believes it, why bring it up?

    To refute your assertion about such people’s motivation being racist, because this is a thread about people’s motivations.

  70. Seriously, this is what happens when you decide I fit neatly into some tight little partisan category; I make a point about an idea, and nobody is capable of considering it on its merits.

    I mean, I explicitely argue against – or at least minimize the signifcance of – that idea, I refer to it by a demeaning name, yet when I make a specific point about that idea, it gets read as an endorsement of it, not a description of it.

  71. joe,

    To refute your assertion about such people’s motivation being racist

    Until I can question them, I dont accept that they arent racist. I think that hypothetical motivation has tinges of racism to it. I think forced desegregation, which that is sorta an example of, is racist*. However, nonexistent people are usually not racist, you have me on that.

    *Technically, it may not be racism. I dont have the word for what it is, but it assumes a lot of bad things about other people. Elitist is close, but not quite right. Whatever it is, I think it is probably worse than racism.

  72. I wonder if Obama’s race will increase black turnout. It can’t really impact the % of blacks who vote Dem.

    And it’s easy to imagine lots of people who are willing to vote for a man with black skin. Just not a man who hates white people, or at least consorts with those who do.

    More moderately, I can fully respect Obama’s opinions, and his efforts to represent black people. However, I’m not black.

  73. It was crop-able because that is position you support (although, really, I just didn’t grab the whole quote.)

    What if you believe, as some people do, that having a black president, just the sight of a black man being able to win the presidency and give eight SOTU addresses and whatnot, will reduce racism among white people and lead to a meaningful decline in racial prejudice?

    Do you not believe this? Really? An Obama presidency would not accomplish this, or at least work toward this?

    If not, then what’s the point of being so desperate for a black (or mixed race if you prefer) president? If it won’t make any difference at all, sorry “very little” difference, then what’s the point? You guys could have nominated a white guy with the exact same resume and side-stepped the issue of race. (Or are you going to argue that, implausibly, Obama didn’t get the nomination because his race and the Oppression Olympics between him and HRC was just a figment of my imagination.)

    Say you have no interest whatsoever in having a black president and I’ll consider myself pwned. Until then, enjoy your cake, Two-Face.

  74. You know, I get a lot shit for daring to be less than worshipful to people who act like assholes.

    No, you get a lot of shit for being an asshole and not owning up to it. It’s one of those gray areas you’re so fond of. You want to be a sarcastic cunt? Go right ahead, but don’t whine when someone calls you out on it.

    Also, you get put in a partisan box because you’d vote for Vlad The Impaler if he ran as a Democrat.

  75. robc,

    How is people voting for the candidate they choose “forced” anything?

    SugarFree just won’t quit.

    It was crop-able because that is position you support Yes, you can tell by how I argued against it several times.

    I love this argument:

    joe believes X

    No, I believe not-X.

    Hypocrite! Hypocrite! He’s arguing out of both sides of his mouth!

    Do you not believe this? Really? An Obama presidency would not accomplish this, or at least work toward this? I believe it would have a very slight effect, because the ability to envision the presidency, or other high positions, as being held by a black person is very widespread.

    If not, then what’s the point of being so desperate for a black (or mixed race if you prefer) president? If it won’t make any difference at all, sorry “very little” difference, then what’s the point?

    Obama was my fifth choice, after Kerry, Gore, Richardson, and Dodd. I think it would be nice to finally break the white Christian monopoly on the presidency, but mainly as the cherry on the racial-equality sundae that has been so central to the liberal project for the past 150 or so years.

  76. I’m hoping McCain loses, because I think him winning with his idiot policies and a major, major, recession on the horizon would doom the GOP for decades. I would never vote for a candidate based on race, like Joe. But shouldn’t that analysis be part of his racialist motivation for supporting Obama? Obama doesn’t have any more of a clue about the economy than McCain does, so there is zero chance of him successfully making it out of the next four years looking like anything other than one of the biggest failures in Presidential history. Won’t that increase racism in the long term?

  77. I believe it would have a very slight effect, because the ability to envision the presidency, or other high positions, as being held by a black person is very widespread.

    In other words, I believe than an overwhelming majority of Americans already believe that a “clean, articulate,” fill in your own Bidenisms here, college educated, upper-middle-class black man can make a fine president, or CEO, or judge.

    Fatdrunkandstupid, you’re never going to learn anything about people if you decide you already know everything about them. I’ve spent the entire thread arguing against the motivation to vote for somebody because of his race, yet you manage to JUST KNOW that I actually supported Obama ahead of all of the white candidates I favored over him, and did so because of his race.

  78. joe,

    How is people voting for the candidate they choose “forced” anything?

    Come on joe, this one is too easy. Did you not notice the weasel word “sorta”? You cant complain if you are going to make the same mistakes (well, you can, but it doesnt look good).

    It is “sorta” like forced desegregation in its goal – “If only people (went to school with/lived with/worked with/had a president who was) black, then they would stop being racist.”

  79. Yes, you can tell by how I argued against it several times.

    No, you argued that a Obama presidency will not magically make racial prejudice disappear (as racists will argue.) That’s correct and we agree.

    Wanting Obama to have no change on race relations or social networks is just the desire to keep having a club to beat white people with.

    This is what I accused you of.

    I don’t believe you want Obama to change almost nothing, but you’re willing to argue that to further your anti-racism campaign. At best you are facetiously playing devil’s advocate, at worse you are frightened about not being able to be a race hustler any longer if things get better.

    But yeah, I’m just pounding surf. (Although people I don’t like, I ignore, so points on you.)

  80. i guess racial prejudice should not be a problem again at present.someone can not choose their born,but it does not influence the future.we can change other’s bad attitude by own efforts.though,race discrimination is a history issue can not eliminate shortly.

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