Reason Writers Around Town: Michael C. Moynihan on Reading Racial Tea Leaves

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Over at Politico, Michael C. Moynihan wonders if comparing Sen. Barack Obama to Paris Hilton, or calling him "too skinny," are examples of racist dog-whistle politics.

Read all about it here.

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  1. Isn’t it bad enough that they’re completely retarded?

  2. Allow me to be the first to leak the ad that John McCain is going to be using in the last two weeks of October:

    Voiceover: How many Ethiopians fit into a phone booth? All of them.

    McCain: I’m John McCain and I approve this message.

  3. I like the ad generator for this article. Attempting to get me to buy Paris Hilton’s videos.

  4. There’s no way to prove that the juxtaposition of Obama with white chicks was intended to to feed on racial fears, and there’s no way to prove it wasn’t.

    Gee, I love this debate!

  5. I just love that the people who are saying we need to keep the black guy separated from the white women are supposed to be the progressives.

  6. FTA: “Indeed, the Obama campaign has deliberately minimized discussion of divisive racial issues.”

    That’s pretty funny. First, I read – but have not confirmed – that some of the cries of racism about the ParisHilton ad were planted in blogs by the BHO campaign. They supposedly sent emails to blogs telling them to call it racist. Once again, I haven’t confirmed that, but Moynihan should check it out.

    Second, Moynihan appears to have missed

  7. Here’s the remainder:

    Second, Moynihan appears to have missed these BHO comments or these.

  8. Has anyone bothered to count the ‘k’s in Moynihan’s article and add them to the number used in the two McCain spots? There are exactly 141, which when divided by 3 (i.e. ‘kkk’), is 47, which is the number of electoral college delegates who are both freemasons and knights templar. This is the exact number McCain will need to … wait, a second, I have to take off my tinfoil hat to answer my banana phone.

  9. Mentioned this in an earlier post.

    I wonder what is next? Mention of his eyes will be “racist” in the future? Because, of course, they are not all white.

  10. I like the ad generator for this article. Attempting to get me to buy Paris Hilton’s videos.

    I am getting the ringtones version.

    Does she have a lesbian sex video yet? Perhaps we will find out when google catches this comment 🙂

  11. Can someone explain to me what the point of dog-whistle racism would be? Aren’t racist voters already aware that Obama is black? What exactly is it that McCain is meant to be secretly communicating to them?

  12. I just love that the people who are saying we need to keep the black guy separated from the white women are supposed to be the progressives.

    They wrote the script/check list a couple of years ago in TN during the Harold Ford, Jr. campaign for the US Senate.

    Somehow, it was racist for a blonde woman of Mexican heritage to be in an ad from Mr. Ford’s challenger.

  13. Personally, I thought the “The One” ad was more of an “Obama is the antichrist” dog-whistle than a “uppity black” dog-whistle.

  14. John Derbyshire in commenting on the rediculous Timothy Noah article claiming that calling BO skinny was racist (it is funny even Noah’s black friends didn’t find it racist but that didn’t deter Noah) came up with a great term; Uncle Tim, a white person who is excessively senstive and deferential to black people.

    What sad about this is that Obama claims to be a post racial candidate. If he is a post racial candidate that ought to mean that people can criticize him like they do every other candidate without regards to race. If people can say Bush looks like a chimp or that Kerry looks like Lurch, they sure as hell ought to be able to call the chosen one skinny.

  15. … wait, a second, I have to take off my tinfoil hat to answer my banana phone.

    Excellent.

  16. At a campaign stop last week, he squashed the idea that, as president, he would support financial reparations for the decedents of slaves.

    Don’t you guys have editors? A decedent is a “dead person” and will really not benefit much with reparations. Better to support the decendents.

  17. Don’t you guys have editors? A decedent is a “dead person” and will really not benefit much with reparations. Better to support the decendents.

    Don’t you guys have editors? A decendent doesn’t exist. Better to support the descendants.

  18. Maybe it was a deliberate typical politician equivocation by Obama. Like in 2 years when he issues an executive order giving all descendents of slaves $1000 checks, and the press tries to call him on it, he can say “I said I didn’t support giving reparations to DECEDENTS of slaves. You must have mis-heard me.”

  19. Maybe Hertz should make some car rental commercials along these lines.

  20. Oops! Wrong thread.

  21. I’d be able to find anti-Irish bigotry in the soon to come Obama attack ads if I looked this hard and streched logic that much. If the ad had featured vacuous black celebs (Janet Jackson and Lil Kim) instead of ditzy white celebs would that be racist?

    He criticized our hero. It must be racist.

    Sheesh squared!

  22. Joez law gets me again! Will I never learn?

  23. I would love to have someone explain to me why the Chosen One felt the need to speak at the Victory Collumn. The Victory Collumn was built to celbrate Prussia’s vicotries over Denmark, Austria and France in various wars. Basically it celebrates Prussian domination over the all of its neighbors and the smaller German states. Granted, the Prussians weren’t the Nazis but they were not particularly nice people either. It is a really fucked up place for the prospective leader of a democratic nation to give a speech.

    Is Obama really so historically ignorant that he can walk around Berlin and see the Victory Collumn and think “what a great statue I should speak there if I can’t do the Brandenburg Gate.”? It is not like there are not a lot of nice open public spaces in Berlin to give a speech.

  24. I would love to have someone explain to me why the Chosen One felt the need to speak at the Victory Collumn.

    Because some of his apologists confuse it with the “phallic” Leaning Tower of Pisa?

  25. I can’t watch the linked video at work, but anyone who has seen the Founding Father’s white faces replaced with Obama’s on currency, Mt Rushmore etc in a recent McCain campaign ad would have to willfully ignorant to deny the racial subtext.

    Especially after the McCain group got called on it and got “outraged”- “He’s playing the Race Card!!!!”

  26. I would love to have someone explain to me why the Chosen One felt the need to speak at the Victory Collumn.

    I don’t know why he was there in Germany at all. He isn’t the President yet, they don’t get a vote in our election (no matter how much they might wish they did), and he’s wasting precious jet fuel at the same time he’s hectoring us to check our tire pressure every day.

  27. Kendra (Uncle Tim), the founding fathers’ faces on our currency are not white. Ignoring that, and using your “logic”, Obama’s likeness cannot appear in place of or next to any non-(half)black person.

  28. I wonder what is next? Mention of his eyes will be “racist” in the future? Because, of course, they are not all white.

    Actually, they’re all blue, for he is the Kwisatz Haderach…

    In the article: why not use Denzel Washington or Bono?
    Um, maybe because those people actually appeal to voters. Denzel and Bono both have tons of fans in the demographic that might swing the swing states; Hilton and (probably to a lesser extent) Spears offend their sensibilities. Quite frankly, those guys have both said stuff that seemed more sensible than what Obama says.

  29. SuperMike-

    Actually, they’re all blue, for he is the Kwisatz Haderach…

    I’m pretty sure that’s racist on it’s own… after all, “Kwisatz Haderach” means “Short’nin’ of the Way”.

    Or, something like that… :o)

  30. Uncle Tim???

  31. McCain isn’t going to try to use race against Obama. I mean, it’s not like Obama’s a gook or something.

  32. Crap. I meant to link this in my last post.

  33. There is absolutely subtext! Obama is being juxtaposed against 2 young women! The subtext isn’t racial, it’s age. McCain looks around 80 – he looks like some of our older presidents. Obama looks 40 or so – McCain is implying that he’s too young.

  34. Obama isn’t going to use race against McCain. I mean its not if McCain is a gook or something.

    Ah the progressive mind is a wonderful thing to waste.

  35. Nice try, guy, but the post I linked to shows an actual racist comment by McCain.

    I think both candidates will be very scrupulous in this campaign to avoid racism – because doing otherwise could cost them the presidency.

    PS – if you think anyone who dislikes McCain is a “progressive” you must be new around here.

  36. The McCain Ad was worth it just to have the response from Paris Hilton. Her energy policy, limited off shore drilling coupled with tax incentives for new energy sources is certainly no worse than Cain and Oby. I think she’s under the Constitutional age limit.

  37. Is McCain irish or is he actually human?

  38. I love the agonizing stretches to call the people who oppose racist appeals (and maybe get carried away) “the real racists.”

    As if noticing that someone is (maybe) playing on discomfort some people have with mixed-race relationships is, itself, racist. This, btw, is a big part of the answer to the question Can someone explain to me what the point of dog-whistle racism would be? It allows the people doing it, and their reliable mouthpieces, to declare their innocence.

  39. Maybe Hertz should make some car rental commercials along these lines.

    Oops! Wrong thread.

    How so?

  40. Anyone that doesn’t see Obama as a racist hasn’t been paying attention or is too busy drinking the democratic kool-aid

  41. why do talking heads look at polls that say some whites won’t vote for Obama and claim it is racism, yet not mention that Obama is polling at 80-90% of blacks and say the the same thing?

  42. @Bob: talking about reverse racism is extremely racist. Gonna go shave your head, peckerwood?

    Seriously though, Obama’s message is more MLK than Malcom X, and it’s more honest than pretending that the race problem has gone away to avoid offending the large majority of the population that /isn’t/ racist.

    Any attempt by McCain, subliminal or otherwise, to appeal to racism is going to be dismissed by rational people and not going to change anyone else’s vote. Any attempt by Obama to paint McCain as racist is going to be dismissed by rational people and not change anyone else’s vote. There’s no motivation on either side. For example, I know several elderly people who are racists who will not vote for a black man; if Obama wasn’t black, they wouldn’t vote for him because he’s too young; if he was older, they wouldn’t vote for him because he’s a Democrat. If you could make them feel guilty about being racist, you still wouldn’t sell them on Obama; if they weren’t racist, they’d still be voting McCain. They have a plethora of reasons for not liking Obama that have nothing to do with race, and certainly not a thing to do with policy.

    Now, if Obama was a republican or McCain was black, the discussion would actually have some merit. Would a racist vote for a God-hating liberal communist hippie democrat to avoid voting black? Good question, which kind of stupid is more powerful?

  43. One used to be able to observe that there was nothing to Obama, other than that he was not the hated Hillary, except his symbolic value as an African American.

    Because after all his resume was no better than John Edwards and others: poor boy goes to Ivy League school and becomes lawyer, politician, Senator. (Except Edwards didn’t benefit from affirmative action quotas.) So the only reason Obama attracted attention and Edwards did not in the primaries was………..?

    Of course now that at least some of Edward’s pecadillios have been forced into the open past the gatekeepers and censors at MSNBC there is now a known difference. But there wasn’t back in the spring primaries.

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