Barack Obama

White House Mocks GOP "Race Card"

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Obligatory Crue reference of the day

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs got a few oohs and aahs in today's press conference, when responding to embattled Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele's recent claim that both he (Steele) and President Barack Obama have a "slimmer margin" for error because of the color of their skin.

I think that it is a very silly comment to make. I think Michael Steele's problem isn't the race card, it's the credit card.

Doh!

Not to spoil a good one-liner, but:

1) What percentage of the people gleefully blogging and tweeting Gibbs' crack right now do you think have explained opposition to Obama and/or Tea Parties as a function of racism? Will they now disavow their previous comments as "very silly"? I kind of doubt it.

2) The slimmer-margin-for-error comment is considerably less grave and accusatory. I think Michael Steele (like every major party national chairman I can remember) is a jackass, but the notion that the first black executives in previously all-white positions have narrower wiggle-room is downright plausible, and certainly supported by the historical record in, say, sports (and, I'm guessing, boardrooms in general). Though we live in a much different country than even two decades ago on this stuff, the "first black" prefix can still, unfairly, be at least a mild factor in the way leaders are perceived.

3) I'm positive that the West Hollywood strip-club bombshell would have been a story under any circumstances, but as a matter of scale, a $1,946 credit card bill is slightly less scandalous to me than the $1.56 trillion credit-card charge in Obama's 2010 budget that my great-grand-offspring will likely be paying off.

4) All that said, Steele is doing himself no favors by bringing race into a discussion about corruption and strip clubs; and the White House continues to (both wisely and accurately, in my judgment) downplay the racial element in modern politics. I have no doubt that Obama's supporters will not, in this case, follow the president's lead.

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  1. I think Michael Steele is trying to play the touche card. I’m sure he’s saying to himself that it worked for Obama, why not?

    Problem is, you have to be a lib in order to play the race card.

    So, Michael, stop stealing from the libs. You’re an embarrassemnt enough already and not because of the several thousand dollar strip club, I actually couldn’t care less about that.

  2. the White House continues to (both wisely and accurately, in my judgment) downplay the racial element in modern politics.

    Eh, Obama certainly keeps quiet when other people in his circle make it about race. And in Obama’s case, it’s not about race, or politics. It’s about him. Always about him.

  3. …Michael Steele’s problem isn’t the race card, it’s the credit card.

    Wow, is that racist stereotyping.

  4. Enough about Steele and the Teabaggers. It’s Opening Day; what are thy predictions, young Matt?

    1. Halladay and Gallardo pitch well in getting wins (helping my fantasy team) and the Reds beat the Cards – which is a doubly good result.

    2. Smythe — later tonight. You’ll be shocked to learn that I’m picking the Angels to win it all.

    3. STEVE SMITH CHANGE NAME FOR CAMOUFLAGE! HIDE NOW! RAPE LATER! AND NOW!

    4. My prediction? By joining the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball crew, Steve Phillips will do the impossible: make watching a game featuring Joe Morgan’s commentary even MORE PAINFUL to endure.

    5. Oh, and am I the only one who thinks the Cardinals are horribly overrated this year? Sure, they play in a suckfest of a division, but if either Pujols, Carpenter or Wainwright misses any significant period of time this year, what are they left with?

      1. Yes, if the Cardinals lose one of their best players for the year they won’t be as good and might not win the division. Excellent analysis.

        1. Sorry I don’t have time to offer a five-paragraph in-depth analysis, but baseball is a sport in which (at least) nine different players take turn hitting the ball and each game one of five players takes a turn throwing the ball. Often times the elite teams have several players who excel at these positions such that if one should miss time due to injury it is does not derail their playoff hopes (see, e.g., Alex Rodriguez and last year’s New York Yankees). I am suggesting that the Cardinals do not have enough players who are good at hitting and/or throwing the ball to qualify as an elite team. If that’s still not clear I could draw a little diagram on a cocktail napkin for you.

          1. Five paragraph essay not needed. Don’t cry when someone points out the Peter King-esqe level of analysis in your post.

    6. I live in Pittsburgh and we have a triple-a club here, called the Pirates, that’s supposed to do good things this year.

    7. Fuck baseball.

      Here in MN it has been a month straight about how great our new publicly financed stadium is.

      No one is talking about the shenanigans that went into cramming a bill through that only makes one county in the state pay for the entire stadium (after avoiding the referendum that was required by law).

      People act like it is a giant surprise that a billionaire given other people’s money would actually spend a lot on a stadium for himself.

    8. Jason Hayward just gave us Braves fans some hope for the season.

  5. I think the real scandal is that Steele didn’t run up charges for an all-male strip club.

    1. I would imagine those charges would be paid with cash. They’re idiots, but they’re not COMPLETE idiots.

  6. sorry, Matt, but I don’t buy point #3.

    Is it really that hard to admit that dropping nearly $2000 at a strip club is an impressive accomplishment?

    1. If you ever partied with me, you’d see that spending 2k at a strip club just on myself isn’t an impressive accomplishment.

      2K on a group is just a normal weekday night out.

      2K at a nice club still wouldn’t get Matt more than a little through the jeans rub-a-dub 🙂

      1. You know I really didn’t vary up your species to the extent there is enough difference between members of it to justify a twenty dollar blow job from one woman and a two thousand dollar jean rub down from another to make the later anything but a stupid fleecing.

        1. Where do you get $20 blow jobs? No hooker in Hawaii would price like that.

          1. What do you look like that you have never got a twenty buck solicitation? It is not an everyday occurrence for God, and he isn’t necessarily looking for some cheap strange, but he does recall the evening back last fall just making a run for a case of beer when he was solicited outside the mart out of the blue. It certainly wasn’t the first time, either.

            1. Just a slob like one of us, just a stranger on the bus, trying to make his way home, getting solicited for sex while carrying his case of beer

            2. Geez, it sure looks like you haven’t learned any lessons in the last 2000 years.

              Look at the trouble that you caused when you hooked up with that skank in Bethlehem when you went out on a late night run for a case of muir. Shit people are still riled up about that.

            3. Geez, it sure looks like you haven’t learned any lessons in the last 2000 years.

              Look at the trouble that you caused when you hooked up with that skank in Bethlehem when you went out on a late night run for a case of muir. Shit people are still riled up about that.

              1. Pope Jimbo, I’m not a skank. I’m a virgin;-)

      2. And take it from the big guy who has been a pauper and a prince, and knows the scenes from the inside. Partying at that little trashy club in the industrial zone just outside of town is a lot more fun than the downtown sucker bins. You might even have an actual adventure and get stabbed a time or two instead of a pretend fantasy with a few women who actually work in both places.

      3. I just think of the waste. Always keep a wad of cash tightly bound until it is really needed. That is good money that could be spent disposing of a dead hooker.

    2. $1,946 is about 29 minutes and 10 seconds with Eliot Spitzer’s hooker.

      And loook how the press is trying to rehabilitate Spitzer. 🙁

  7. If this has proved anything useful, it has established that the WH and the Democrats are in fact aware that there is such a thing as “the race card.” They simply play dumb when they throw it.

    This is not a defense of Steele’s incompetence, but it does serve a useful purpose.

  8. the White House continues to (both wisely and accurately, in my judgment) downplay the racial element in modern politics.

    I believe the White House

    (1) refrains from directly playing the race card,

    (2) refrains from rebuking its allies and supporters who do, and

    (3) has no qualms at all about benefiting when the race card is played, with plausible deniability, on its behalf.

    Given that, I would hesitate to make any claim that the White House downplays race.

    1. I’m with RC Dean on the “White House race card” issue. I don’t think that it is any accident that the race card is widely being employed, often in coordinated fashion by Democratic politicians and their supporters in defense of Obama’s objectives. I also think that it is very smart politics on the part of the White House to publicly steer clear of such things.

      This is typical Obama strategy – he often speaks conservatively while his operatives are doing the opposite. How often has he spoken about fiscal responsibility using folksy homilies? Did that stop them from spending at a rate that makes George Bush look like a spendthrift? Not for a second. The same strategy applies in the race-baiting discussion when Obama says he tries “not to get involved in these discussions. I just don’t listen to them.”

      1. Yeah, I agree as RC as well. I don’t think Obama ever specifically uses the race card as justification or an excuse for something. But to say that the White House has attempted to “downplay” the racial element in politics is a little insane. I don’t really blame him for playing it up as it is remarkable that he’s the first black president, and he should be proud of the fact that he made it to highest job in the politics, but to say that he downplayed race either now or then is simply ludicrous.

      2. Did that stop them from spending at a rate that makes George Bush look like a spendthrift?

        I think you need to look up the meaning of the word “spendthrift”.

    2. But… but… electing Obama put an end to the odious national discourse on race.

      https://reason.com/blog/2008/11…..d-a-cheery

  9. So their LA fund-raiser targeted at younger donors took some to an “edgy” nightclub and dropped a couple of grand on bottle service etc. I would say “big fucking deal”, buts that what you get for projecting the bullshit “family values”, tell everyone how to live stuff.

  10. Jesus even we’re not defending Steele anymore. Thanks for picking up the slack, reason!

    1. That’s because you’re racists.

  11. All that said, Steele is doing himself no favors by bringing race into a discussion about corruption and strip clubs;

    Exactly. Won’t somebody think of the lesbians?

    Actually, I think I got that covered.

  12. I think the GOP needs to think long and hard. Or maybe that’s the problem….

  13. Objection… Extreeeemely racist!

  14. An open question to the spam filter:

    How does posting “Objection… extreeeemeley racist!” under the name Charlie Kelly (as in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) get flagged for spam?

    1. Ha ha ha ha

      (spam filter…please…don’t)

  15. Over under on the amount of time the GOP is accused of “racism” if they remove Steele and replace him with somebody of a different skin pigmentation?

    Heads – I win. Tails – you lose. Welcome to the Obama Administration.

    1. Only Asian, Hispanic, etc. will be acceptable.

  16. Conservative blacks are not really blacks to morons like Gibbs. The Democrats had a fundraiser at the Playboy mansion 10 years ago and none of these hypocrites said one thing about it.

  17. I would just like to say:

    I DON’T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT TIGER WOODS.

    1. You are not kidding. He managed to screw up the first weekend of the NCAA tournement by anouncing his come back. Now, he is fucking up opening day. And shortly he will be fucking up the Masters. I really don’t care who he sleeps with. I don’t care that his crazy Norse wive took a golf club and went Viking on his skinny ass. And I really don’t care about whatever groveling excuses he is giving to get back into the good graces of the Oprah crowd. If there is one story I wish would go away, it is that one.

      1. Generally speaking I just don’t get what I call the “Deadspin-ization” of sports, where athletes are covered in the media the same way that TMZ covers Lindsay Lohan. I think I’m a pretty big sports fan but I really don’t have more than a passing interest in athletes’ personal lives. I mean, I found the Tiger Woods story interesting for a few days, but that’s about it. If it doesn’t have any on-the-field implications I really don’t care.

        1. It is a terrible trend. Tiger’s character and trustworthiness is only relevent to me as a fan insofar as it relates to his sport. If he were say taking payoffs from gamblers that made his performances a fraud that would matter. What he is doing in bed only matters to his wife.

          1. John, a man who cheats on his wife will fuck his business partners.

            1. I hate to do it but …

              [citation needed]

              1. db,the man I’m in love with and that’s good enough of a reference for me.

            2. Those women weren’t my business partners, buddy! Those skanks knew I was married with children! Do you really think I would become business partners with a low-life like that?

          2. Hey! His conduct concerns me too! I gotta book this hyper-sexed club swinging dildo into the most lucrative endorsement deals. If the companies don’t want him to a be pitchman, I don’t paid!

            Why do you hate sports agents?

          3. Hey! His conduct concerns me too! I gotta book this hyper-sexed club swinging dildo into the most lucrative endorsement deals. If the companies don’t want him to a be pitchman, I don’t paid!

            Why do you hate sports agents?

            1. I can’t believe you aren’t going to book him on space tourism flight. He’d the perfect guy to go on a mission to outer space with a white chick, an asian chick and a black chick.

              With that story, I’d be happy to let him screw up the entire NCAA tourney.

              1. It worked wonders for my love life!

                SPOCK!

        2. “Now, he is fucking up opening day” Hell, no. It will be interesting to watch…He just said the reception blew him away.

          1. (Rimshot)

            1. It’s almost the end of the news conference, It’s getting close to the climax.

              1. (Ba Dum Dum)(Splash Cymbal)

                1. cum out of the conference. I thought he looked relieved…..stop me;-)

                  1. Did he get a golf “clap”?

                    1. He is playing in a three-way game today and you know he hasn’t had a chance to practice swinging, let alone driving….you’re encouraging me…stop!

                    2. I’d hate to put a wedge between him and his game, and wooey whatta game!

                    3. It could be worse. Just don’t have a blue dress between you and your game. Groucho, can I borrow your cigar? I seem to have misplaced mine.

    2. Ernie Els has won back to back tournaments going into the masters. Has to be worth a punt.

      1. Ernie Els is a rare example of a celebrity whose name I immediately recognize but who could nevertheless have a long conversation with me without me realizing who I’m talking to.

        1. He’s been out of form and off the media radar for some time, so the H&R golf fans officially forgive you. 😉

        2. I agree. He has an autistic child and has always seemed grounded.

  18. “What percentage of the people gleefully blogging and tweeting Gibbs’ crack right now do you think have explained opposition to Obama and/or Tea Parties as a function of racism? Will they now disavow their previous comments as “very silly”? I kind of doubt it.”

    Actually, dude, I checked, and every single one of the gleeful bloggers and tweeters admitted that their prior comments had been “very silly.” Even more surprisingly — to me, at least — every single one also said “it was Matt Welch who led me to see the error of my ways.”

    Still, just to be on the safe side, I’ve checked with Gibbs and he’s assured me that in the future he’ll run every proposed witticism past Matt prior to utterance. So I think we’re cool.

    1. Groupthink is not individualism. We have an air to clear sir.

    2. Matt, every time Nick praises this guy in his post, could you punch him on the arm for us?

      1. I agree. Before I squash him like a bug, I would also like to have discourse with Mr Vanneman.

  19. I, and a seemingly large number of republicans, supported Michael Steele as an up and coming, fairly dynamic politician. He seemed like someone that was going to be able to break through some stereotypes, and energize and legitimize non-white republicans. However, since taking his current position, he seems to have done little at all bold or even right. I said long ago that I was wrong about him, and he seems to be trying to make sure that everyone one of us that supported him initially, regrets it thoroughly.

    Also, his comment here, while likely true, is still exceptionally stupid.

  20. …than the $1.56 trillion credit-card charge in Obama’s 2010 budget that my great-grand-offspring will likely be paying off.

    One quibble: that shit ain’t ever getting paid off.

    I think dbcooper’s right — no one gives a fuck if the Dems get they freak on, because Dems are a bunch of liberal hedonists, right? But the GOP is all Focus on the Family and shit, so of course they’re gonna take damage when Steele gets caught making it rain in some club.

    1. of course they’re gonna take damage when Steele gets caught making it rain in some club.

      You know he wasn’t the one at the club, right? But otherwise, yeah.

    2. What about the Republican Party Reptiles that P. J. O’Rourke writes about?

  21. This is just a perfect example of why he is so ill suited for his job. He should be focused on trouncing the Democrats while there is still time to limit the damage they have done, but no – it always has to be all about Michael Steele.

  22. Steele was hired to head the Republicans (1) BECAUSE he was black, to battle Obama for 4 years, OR (2) and it is just a coincidence he is black? MMMMM… If you pick (1), then the Republicans drew the race card from the beginning and Steele is just using this card as has been planned all along and he will keep using it. Racism is alive and well in the USA, and will always be as long as we keep categorizing citizens by skin color in the Census, job applications, medical history forms, etc, etc, etc.

  23. Where the hell were these Republicans when I was dancing my way through college, dammit?

    1. Jenn,

      I am not a Republican, but if you still have educational aspirations then I have a $20 bill I am willing to tuck into your G-string.

  24. You know he wasn’t the one at the club, right?

    Yeah, i know that… this time.

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