Race card in play

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It's crumpled, tattered and smudged from overuse, but it's the only card Democrats and liberal journalists have left to play, so expect them to play the race card even more.

The economy is sick, and they hate his health care plan. But that isn't why Americans have soured on President Barack Obama, said the executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus. Opposition is racially motivated, Angela Rye declared. Her evidence? Crossroads GPS, the Karl Rove SuperPAC, used the word "cool" in an ad.

"Persistent racial animosity" undergirds opposition to the president, agreed New York Magazine columnist John Heilemann, who felt no need to produce evidence to back up that accusation.

The facts say otherwise. In 2008, there was a great deal Americans didn't know about Barack Obama. But all Americans knew then that he was (half) black. Yet he won by the largest popular vote margin of any Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

Mr. Obama's personal approval ratings are higher than his job approval, polls indicate. This couldn't be so if it were racism that fuels opposition to his policies. The race card is played to obscure the facts, whenever the facts are uncongenial to Democrats:

• Barack Obama has spent far more than any previous president. He's run deficits of more than $1 trillion each year -- doubling the national debt in less than four years.

Alarmed, citizens across the country banded together to protest reckless spending. But that wasn't what really bothered the Tea Partiers, said Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson. Their criticism of the president's spending was so vociferous because "he's different from other presidents, and that the difference is his race."

The Tea Party is "seriously racist," said NPR executive Ron Schiller.

How then to explain why the winner by big margins in the presidential straw polls Tea Party groups held last year was radio talk show host and former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain, who is (all) black?

• Laws requiring voters to show photo identification are motivated by racism, said the chair of the Democratic National Committee. Republicans, said Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla, "want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws."

To get a ticket for the president's big speech on the economy, you had to show photo ID. Those who attend her book signings must have photo ID, the first lady insists. To hear Attorney General Holder's speech to the NAACP this week denouncing photo ID laws as "racist," journalists had to produce photo ID.

• In Democratic primaries in West Virginia, Arkansas and Kentucky, more than 40 percent of voters chose nobodies over President Obama.

Until those primaries, liberals claimed racists left the Democrats long ago for the GOP. So when did they return to their old home in the party of slavery and segregation?

• The Romney campaign slogan "Obama Isn't Working" is racist because it evokes "the stereotype of the 'lazy,' 'shiftless' black man," said Tommy Christopher of Mediaite.

• The House of Representatives didn't vote to find Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress because he's stonewalling their efforts to find out why the Justice Department permitted more than 2,000 guns to "walk" across the border to Mexican drug cartels, said MSNBC talk show host Chris Matthews. The House Oversight Committee's inquiry has "an ethnic feel," he said.

• The reporter who interrupted President Obama to ask about his immigration policy was motivated by racism, claimed a panel on Joy Behar's show on Current TV. Dan Rather's famous confrontations with President Richard Nixon propelled him into the anchor job at CBS News. No one linked his frequent interruptions of the president to racism.

Liberals play the race card to intimidate, not to amuse, conservatives. By playing it so often, and so hypocritically, they've turned their trump into a joker, themselves into laughingstocks.

jackkelly

Jack Kelly: jkelly@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1476. This story originally appeared in The Pittsburgh Press. To log in or subscribe, go to: http://press.post-gazette.com/


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