Is The Google Broken at Washington Post HQ?


Here is Eugene Robinson, writing in today's Washington Post, attempting to best Frank Rich, Colbert King, and all of America's Tea Party obsessed columnists (did it surprise you that, according to Pew, Christine O'Donnell sucked up more media oxygen than any other candidate this cycle?) with this instant classic, accusing everyone on Earth of being racist.

One thing that struck me from the beginning about the tea party rhetoric is the idea of reclaiming something that has been taken away. At a recent campaign rally in Paducah, Ky., Senate candidate Rand Paul, a darling of the tea party movement, drew thunderous applause when he said that if Republicans win, "we get to go to Washington and take back our government."

Take it back from whom? Maybe he thinks it goes without saying, because he didn't say.

Well, of course it goes without saying that a Republican candidate opposed to the agenda of the Democratic House, Senate, and presidency needn't specify who controls the levers of government. But Eugene Robinson, racial codebreaker, sees something deeply sinister in this type of rhetoric and, I suspect, voter's predicted repudiation of the Democratic Party. 

On Sunday, in a last-minute fundraising appeal, Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee implored his supporters to help "return American government to the American people." Again, who's in possession of the government right now, if not the American people? The non-American people? The un-American people?

Here it comes…

You know who. A black president.

Bush was vilified by critics while he was in office, but not with the suggestion that somehow the government had been seized or usurped—that it had fallen into hands that were not those of "the American people.

Whoa, whoa. Doubtless Robinson would detect racial animus in my saying so—do I say such things about other columnists?—but to suggest that there is something unique about this type of language is either deeply dishonest or just plain dumb.

Is the Google broken at Washington Post headquarters? Because if Robinson wanted to test his theory that the silly, populist phrase "take back the government" (or, alternately, "take back America") is some secret racist handshake, he could have poked around the Reason website and found this post, in which I attacked the Post's Richard Cohen for making the same stupid argument. An excerpt:

Like actor and political scientist Jon Hamm, Cohen bemoans "all this talk about 'taking back America' (from whom?)" we hear from conservatives and Tea Party activists. But it's an entirely appropriate sentiment, one that fails to exercise Richard Cohen, when Howard Dean writes a book called Winning Back America. Or when liberal radio host Thom Hartmann issued his 2004 call to arms, We the People: A Call to Take Back America. Give me a minute to find Cohen's column lamenting The Nation editor Katrina Vanden Heuvel's 2004 book Taking Back America: and Taking Down the Radical Right. Or this straight-to-the-remainder-table book from James Carville and Paul Begala. Or maybe Cohen's cable was on the fritz when, just this weekend, MSNBC blowhard Ed Schultz gathered on the mall to tell people that "This is a defining moment in America. Are you American? This is no time to back down. This is time to fight for America." Why do we have to fight for America? Who is attacking America?

Exit question for Robinson: Is President Obama a racist for speaking at the Take Back America conference in 2006, 2007, and 2008?

NEXT: Some Encouraging News from the Field for Prop 19

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  1. There is an endless supply of stupid at the Washington Post newsroom. At some point you have to conclude they are not writing this stuff to have any effect beyond making their readers feel better. If you are trying to make a serious argument or advance the debate, why would you make the same tired, stupid points over and over?

    1. Never attribute to incompetence, to what can easily be explained by malice.

    2. Just wait. After today, they’ll have to ratchet it up for 2012. That’s unless there’s a rash of sense and some people start to realize that perhaps there’s disenfranchisement with the policies and actions, not the race of the president.

      Don’t think that will happen though.

      1. At the rate they’re going, I’m fully expecting the Democratic party to instigate a race war if Obama loses in ’12.

        Helter Skelter!

  2. So, when the Democrats get slaughtered today, that’s 100% due to the fact that most of us are racists? I have a feeling that’s not going to work so well as a strategy.

    1. It is the brand Pro. If the Dem brand represents free thinking, fairness, and all that is cool, why would you want to be a racist and not embrace it?

      1. Maybe they should rebrand.

        1. I’m pretty sure it’s racist to say that a Pulitzer Prize-winning? black man is himself a racist. Because he won a prize and shit.

          1. It’s metaracism.

    2. Funny how in 24 months so many enlightened Americans turned into racists. Wonder how that happened?

      1. Must be Citizen United. Corporate money making us all racist.

        1. That and all the deregulation under Bush. Must just be kicking in.

    3. It doesn’t even pass the sniff test. Two years ago, you know, when they elected him, the voting public was not racist, but now that they’re poised to send his party back to the bleachers, the voting public consists of card carrying KKK members?


  3. Bush was vilified by critics while he was in office, but not with the suggestion that somehow the government had been seized or usurped

    So, all that “Hail to the Thief” and “Not My President” stuff I saw around campus…that was just all in my Republican-tinged fever dreams?

    Eugene Robinson is the Dumbest thing since Dumb came to Dumbtown.

    1. Don’t forget “Selected not Elected” and “Regime Change Begins at Home”. Must have been Republicans who had those stickers.

    2. Left-wing columnists don’t say these things because they are dumb; they say them because they believe their readers are dumb and can be persuaded by bald lies.

  4. So who’s going to be the Hopey McChange of the republican party?

    1. Bristol Palin?

  5. Again, who’s in possession of the government right now, if not the American people? The non-American people? The un-American people?

    The D.C.-American people.

  6. This dude probably has a hard time remembering to breathe. Cut him some slack, bless his heart.

  7. I’ve said this several times, I don’t know why it isn’t obvious to everyone. If Hillary or Joe Biden were President, and they had the same dumbass policies as Obama, do his supporters believe there would be no Republican / Tea Party / Libertarian criticism of them because those pols are white?

    1. When I see Eugene Robinson on Morning Joe I can see it in his eyes that he hates white people (and if there’s one thing that Morning Joe has it’s lots and lots of white people). And cats. He’s clearly a dog person.

      1. The safety? Who got busted for soliciting an undercover cop for oral “discussions?”

        1. The “Bart Starr Award”-winning safety, no less. Sadly, no, this is another idiot Eugene Robinson.

          1. It would be better if it were the safety, I deem.

  8. the idea of reclaiming something that has been taken away

    I share that objection.

    But I also have a dim and distant memory of a Rally to Re-______ Something or other. Anyone remember that? You know the white-nationalist thing where the Jew-hating dude led the crowd in a “get on the train!” song?

    Shit was Nazi as fuck.

  9. Never fails. When all else is lost, the Democrats always fall back on racism. It keeps 90% of African-Americans voting for them though, so if it works…

    1. But if African Amercians don’t come out en masse and vote in the midterms… that sort of implies that they are lazy.

      Which would be… RACIST!!11!eleventy!

  10. “Ky., Senate candidate Rand Paul, a darling of the tea party movement, drew thunderous applause when he said that if Republicans win, “we get to go to Washington and take back our government.”

    Take it back from whom?”

    From the basdards who are passing laws that the MAJORITY OF AMERICANS do not want you fucking racist, race-baiting nagger.

    1. Theat’s the British spelling of bastard, by the way (but I could be wrong).

      1. .. bast-turds..

    2. I see what you did there.

  11. This post is racist for suggesting that a black man can’t tell what is and isn’t racist. Racism is like pornography to black people; they know it when they see it. How dare you question this?

    1. That’s pretty good.

  12. Everyone vote, and give Gene something real to complain about.

  13. I’ll bet Gene wears Grey Flannel cologne. I know it when I smell it.

  14. What has been one of the more bizzarre aspects of the reaction to the Tea Parties is that the left has had complete amnesia about the way they acted when Bush was in office. It’s as if they were on vacation for 8 years and when they came back some crazy racists were mad at the black guy who got elected.

    1. True. While the left’s race-bating is their default mode, it’s truly bizarre that they find something sinister with claims to “take America back.” When they spent eight years using exactly the same rhetoric.

      1. What’s even more annoying is that whilst the Tea Party certainly has its own crazies, the leftist protests during the Bush years were light years more radical than anything at a Tea Party rally. You had people calling for total revolution, movies glorifying the assassination of Bush, protestors cheering on Islamic terrorists to kill US troops, and various other kinds of idiocy, but all of this is apparently a figment of our imagination.

        It’s like it never even happened.

        1. What happened to those people? Aren’t we still fighting two wars of choice, etc…

          1. They got their unemployment handouts extended, so their kosher.

  15. I just wish this site would hurry up and post tonight’s inevitable Salty Ham Tears thread.

    1. It will never top the original.

  16. Hell, if the GOP does win big what do you think the Dems will be talking about? Taking the country back, of course. It’s standard political rhetoric.

    1. Ah, but then it will be a noble cause.

    2. I thought I read that “take back America” was John Q. Adams’ campaign slogan.

      I swear I remember it since at least Reagan. and Carter ran on that type of theme if not the exact words.

  17. Shelby Steele saw this coming years ago and wrote an excellent WSJ column on it. It’s essentially a melding of the hard left agenda with the “black” agenda so opposition to the hard left becomes, by definition, racist.

  18. When I hear somebody say we’re going to “take back America”, I tend to assume they’re talking about taking it back from the politicians.

    ….which always leaves me scratching my head. Why would I vote for a politician if I wanted to take America back from the politicians?

    I think that’s why “take back America” is such a useful phrase. Because whoever hears it can imagine they’re taking American back from whomever they think is the problem.

    Some of the people in that Rand Paul crowd probably imagine they’re “taking America back” from each other–without realizing it!

    Person A wants to “take America back” from those who would drain our treasury with entitlement programs; Person B wants to “take American back” from those who would threaten their social security and medicare programs with discretionary spending…

    In Kentucky, I suspect both of those people only have Rand Paul to vote for.

    1. I always had more of a December 26 interpretation, like taking back that green and purple tie your cousin got you for Christmas. “This whole freedom thing is not what we really wanted; it would be better if we went back to doing what Europe does.” Plus, like Europhile lefties, there’s the awkward task of pretending you actually like the tie/America to avoid looking like scum.

      1. And just like December 26th, it’s exchanges only, no refunds.

  19. “It’s not racist to criticize President Obama, it’s not racist to have conservative views, and it’s not racist to join the Tea Party.”

    “Bush was vilified by critics while he was in office…”

    “Underlying all the Tea Party’s issues and complaints, it appears to me, is the entirely legitimate issue of the relationship between the individual and the federal government.”

    So he knows he’s full of shit, but he just can’t help himself. When you have to include this many caveats, maybe it’s a sign you shouldn’t be writing the column.

  20. Pointing out the fact that Eugene Robinson is stupid….IS RACISM!

  21. Don’t you get it?

    Republicans + Dishonesty = Evil

    Democrats + Dishonesty = Common Good

  22. What’s Google?

  23. When Democrats crusaded to take back America, they were unambigously referring to a regime that was not composed of historically oppressed minorities. Was anyone questioning whether Bush was a Christian or whether he was American at that time? NO.

    When Teaburgers do it now, there are undertones, multiple levels to what they’re saying. It takes a special kind of stupid, willful ignorance to miss those undertones.

    1. Hey, Hobie, are you okay with this?

      1. You Have the Power: How to Take Back Our Country and Restore Democracy in America [Hardcover]
        Howard Dean
        Howard Dean (Author), Judith Warner (Contributor)

        1. SLURP! SLURP!

    2. Chirp…

    3. His smug intolerance dripping from every word, Hobie’s smarmy arrogance reveals him to be among the worst kind of bigoted cunts.

  24. Shortly, the racist, reprehensible Rand Paul will rip the Senate out of the hands of the one unelected black senator who was not running for reelection anyway and reclaim it for himself and his white racist brethren. De-fucking-spicable.

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