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Fear of a Black President
August 23, 2012 11:33 AM   Subscribe

Fear of a Black President. 'As a candidate, Barack Obama said we needed to reckon with race and with America’s original sin, slavery. But as our first black president, he has avoided mention of race almost entirely. In having to be “twice as good” and “half as black,” Obama reveals the false promise and double standard of integration.' An article by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
posted by Spinneret (134 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite

 
Newt Ging­rich pounced on Obama’s comments: “Is the president suggesting that if it had been a white who had been shot, that would be okay because it wouldn’t look like him?”

10 x 10 x 10 x ugh
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:44 AM on August 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Excellent article.

It really does look from time to time like the whole of America when violently insane and deeply racist in November 2008. Certainly rather than ushering in a "post racial age" it exposed some deeply horrible stuff that had been lightly buried. Things are probably better than they were and getting better all the time, but some of the stuff that would have been shameful per-Obama that is now mainstream politics here makes it hard to feel optimistic.
posted by Artw at 11:51 AM on August 23, 2012


It really does look from time to time like the whole of America when violently insane and deeply racist in November 2008.

Don't you maybe mean after that? He did win after all.
posted by valkyryn at 11:55 AM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't you maybe mean after that? He did win after all.

You should have seen the highly racist anti-Obama stuff making the rounds in the months before the election. I saw stuff stuck on the bumpers of cars that I never thought I'd see anyone publicly display, outside of a Klan newsletter.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:00 PM on August 23, 2012 [9 favorites]


Things are probably better than they were and getting better all the time, but some of the stuff that would have been shameful per-Obama that is now mainstream politics here makes it hard to feel optimistic.

Well, it wasn't getting legitimised as much as a way to stabilise the Republican vote before.

Sarah Palin gifted her party one innovation, and made the old new again.
posted by jaduncan at 12:01 PM on August 23, 2012


First, let me say that TNC may be America's finest living prose stylist. Everything he writes sparkles.

As for the article itself, it is alarming how much racial resentment has infected everything in national politics--even innocuous topics like the President's dog. But what are we to do, given that a sizable faction of the US grounds their very identity in white supremacy? As TNC shows, avoiding the issue isn't really working, but would open debate about the matter improve things any? It's like pointing out to a creepy misogynist guy that he's acting creepily and misogynistically--the hissy fit the holders of white supremacist attitudes would throw as a result would be a sight to behold. I'm beginning to think that racial progress will only be made like scientific progress: One funeral at a time.
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:01 PM on August 23, 2012 [20 favorites]


TL;DR version of the article, by the way.
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:03 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but we were coming off the worst Presidency in living memory, the Republicans had fielded an incredibly weak slate, and he still just barely won. Like I was saying in that other thread, it was no triumph of integration.

If the Republicans had put someone up with real charisma and enough savvy to pick a great running mate, I think it's extremely unlikely that Obama would be President today. Hell, McCain would probably have won if he hadn't picked Palin.
posted by Malor at 12:03 PM on August 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


There was plenty of lashing out afterwards, too. I don't want to repeat some of the appalling things I've seen.

So here's this instead: I've never had a car keyed before and yerdamnsure it wasn't because I'd parked incorrectly.
posted by cmyk at 12:04 PM on August 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


Meanwhile, in Lubbock...
posted by Burhanistan at 12:05 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Part of Obama’s genius is a remarkable ability to soothe race consciousness among whites. Any black person who’s worked in the professional world is well acquainted with this trick. But never has it been practiced at such a high level, and never have its limits been so obviously exposed. This need to talk in dulcet tones, to never be angry regardless of the offense, bespeaks a strange and compromised integration indeed, revealing a country so infantile that it can countenance white acceptance of blacks only when they meet an Al Roker standard.
That's some good and truthful writing.
posted by feckless at 12:06 PM on August 23, 2012 [13 favorites]


Cash4Lead: "First, let me say that TNC may be America's finest living prose stylist. Everything he writes sparkles."


Yes, no doubt... I'm only 1/2 way through the article, but let me go on record as saying when I mock journalism (like I did in the earlier Gawker thread) I always try to qualify it, but 95% of the reason is out of my love for Coates.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:06 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama's Anger Translator
posted by Burhanistan at 12:07 PM on August 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


cmyk: "So here's this instead: I've never had a car keyed before and yerdamnsure it wasn't because I'd parked incorrectly."

My Obama/Biden stickers were torn off my truck after the election, by my neighbor's son (the guy who drives an unmuffled, 8" body lift, 6" suspensionlift, flappin-flags on every window abomination). I replaced them within 8 hours, and slapped a couple extra spares on his truck with superglue.

My backup stickers remain.
posted by notsnot at 12:08 PM on August 23, 2012 [14 favorites]


So Ta-Nahesi is saying Obama is the Will Smith of black presidents?

I think Ta-Nahesi is great, and his writing on race and obesity should be posted at the top of every lolfattie thread.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:10 PM on August 23, 2012


Doh, Ta-Nehisi. If autocorrect cant fix it, I can't spell it.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:12 PM on August 23, 2012


95% of the reason is out of my love for Coates.

Oh, I'd give James Fallows more than 5%.
posted by feckless at 12:13 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Part of Obama’s genius is a remarkable ability to soothe race consciousness among whites. Any black person who’s worked in the professional world is well acquainted with this trick. But never has it been practiced at such a high level, and never have its limits been so obviously exposed. This need to talk in dulcet tones, to never be angry regardless of the offense, bespeaks a strange and compromised integration indeed, revealing a country so infantile that it can countenance white acceptance of blacks only when they meet an Al Roker standard.

Well, that was one long and incoherent essay to call Obama an Uncle Tom which would have been the decent thing to do instead of hiding the charge in dense, hardly readable prose. "dulcent tones, Al Roker standard" What rubbish. These code words aren't even clever. It must be tough on the man to be both too black and not black enough at the same time.
posted by three blind mice at 12:14 PM on August 23, 2012


The quote he uses from the young Robert Byrd blows my fucking mind:

I am a typical American, a southerner, and 27 years of age … I am loyal to my country and know but reverence to her flag, BUT I shall never submit to fight beneath that banner with a negro by my side. Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throw back to the blackest specimen from the wilds.

I knew Byrd was an asshole, especially when young, but wow.
posted by COBRA! at 12:15 PM on August 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's not easy being first.

Just ask Jackie Robinson.
posted by notyou at 12:16 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


One of my many takeaways from this article is that Shirley Sherrod is absolutely remarkable and should be celebrated as such rather than having to consider how to tell her grandchildren that she'd been fired by the first black president. What a contrast of bravery and cowardice that incident now appears.

TNC is a national treasure.
posted by sallybrown at 12:16 PM on August 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


I stayed up past my bedtime reading this last night, and then thinking about it kept me up for a while. TNC said on his blog that he spent the last 9 months working on it. I wonder how much time Niall Ferguson spent on his Newsweek cover hack job. And then I think about who got paid more and which piece will be read more and I die a little inside.
posted by ghharr at 12:16 PM on August 23, 2012 [15 favorites]


"Eighteen percent of Republicans believe Obama to be a Muslim."

Poll: GOP really dislikes Muslims. A new survey shows just how uncomfortable the Republican base is with Muslim and Arab people
posted by homunculus at 12:18 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm of the opinion that Byrd redeemed himself personally quite well in his later years, and was one of the few people who actually had a bit of power to do something with that.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:22 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Of the 13 religious or ethnic groups included in the survey, only Sikhs had anywhere close to the negative ratings of Muslims and Arabs.

What is this problem with Sikhs? They rock turbans and give out food. I mean, what exactly is there to object to?
posted by jaduncan at 12:22 PM on August 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


Well, that was one long and incoherent essay to call Obama an Uncle Tom which would have been the decent thing to do instead of hiding the charge in dense, hardly readable prose.

Were you reading a different essay from the rest of us? Because your reading seems so far off the mark it might as well be in a different galaxy.
posted by feckless at 12:22 PM on August 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


three blind mice: I don't think that's what TNC meant at all. Obama isn't ashamed of being black, nor does he actively belittle other blacks. But he is extremely boxed in as to what he can say and even what tone he uses to say it in. That the President of the United States has to act that way says more about the attitudes of white America than anything about Obama's character.
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:27 PM on August 23, 2012 [13 favorites]


What is this problem with Sikhs? They rock turbans and give out food. I mean, what exactly is there to object to?

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say skin color.
posted by dortmunder at 12:28 PM on August 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Obama isn't ashamed of being black, nor does he actively belittle other blacks. But he is extremely boxed in as to what he can say and even what tone he uses to say it in. That the President of the United States has to act that way says more about the attitudes of white America than anything about Obama's character.

"you can't be both a writer and a politician, at least not a good writer. A writer must always tell the truth as he sees it. And the politician must never give the game away." -- Gore Vidal

In other words, the job of a politician is to gain and stay in power and do the best he can to change things for the better once he has it. It is not necessarily to tell the truth as he sees it, and I think TNC realizes this.
posted by Golden Eternity at 12:32 PM on August 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


SCHMOOZE OR LOSE: Obama doesn’t like cozying up to billionaires. Could it cost him the election?
posted by Burhanistan at 12:33 PM on August 23, 2012


What is this problem with Sikhs? They rock turbans and give out food. I mean, what exactly is there to object to?

To the GOP, that just means they're SOCIALIST Muslims.
posted by happyroach at 12:34 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


What is this problem with Sikhs?

The people dumb enough to hate Muslims as a group are also too dumb to know that Sikhs aren't Muslim.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:36 PM on August 23, 2012 [17 favorites]


The people dumb enough to hate Muslims as a group are also too dumb to know that Sikhs aren't Muslim.

That's a *really* large percentage for that. How depressing.
posted by jaduncan at 12:40 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I like to think that these virulent racists that have seemingly come out of the woodwork in the last few years are just the painful last gasps of a mindset that is on its way out. But I'm just not sure if that's just wishful thinking.

It may be that over the years I've become more aware of the racist coded language, but it really, honestly feels like with the 2008 race and subsequent election, racist assholes started popping up everywhere. Not just old white southerners that I was related to, but normal people, my age or younger. For some reason after Obama was elected, racist acquantices felt it was okay to drop vaguely disguised racism and not so vaguely disguised shit in my company. Hell, I even had a fairly liberal and sensitive (I thought) friend say to me, "Well, you're from the South so you know how to deal with Them. It might even be time for you to go into federal work, Those People like you."

Hopefully this shit is the death rattle of the corpse of racism, but I'm not holding my breath. As Coates points out, white supremacy is so deeply ingrained in American society and culture that it's gonna be way harder to kill than we think. I worry that it's like gonorrhea. At first it's a brutal and persistant disease that harms almost everyone who comes in contact with it, then through the powers of antibiotics, it dwindles to almost nothing. But then, when we think we've beaten it and become complacent, a virulant antibiotic-resistant strain mutates and mutates again until there's no stopping it. And then, the whole damn country has the moral equivilent of crotch-rot.
posted by teleri025 at 1:03 PM on August 23, 2012 [18 favorites]


Certainly rather than ushering in a "post racial age" it exposed some deeply horrible stuff that had been lightly buried. Things are probably better than they were and getting better all the time, but some of the stuff that would have been shameful per-Obama that is now mainstream politics here makes it hard to feel optimistic.

Shortly after Christopher Hitchens died, one of his friends related a story of an encounter they had with an upper-class Englishman who was essentially swinging his privilege around the room like a dead cat by the tail. I remember he spoke of time frame as being very class-conscious precisely because the class system was in its final days.

That sentiment sticks with me because it gives me hope. Because it could mean that what we're hearing is the death rattle.
posted by middleclasstool at 1:04 PM on August 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Or, more or less what teleri025 said.
posted by middleclasstool at 1:05 PM on August 23, 2012


In having to be “twice as good” and “half as black,”

You know, Obama literally is 'half as black'.

The need to be concilatory and non-radical -- not that this has helped him -- has had a serious cost. I think a white president could have gotten away with breaking up the big banks or pushing for single payer. Obama? Not so much. This was really not a good time for a compromising president.
posted by zipadee at 1:10 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


The need to be concilatory and non-radical -- not that this has helped him -- has had a serious cost. I think a white president could have gotten away with breaking up the big banks or pushing for single payer. Obama? Not so much. This was really not a good time for a compromising president.

Have you ever noticed how different seasons of MTV's the Real World will always have the stock "angry young black man" character? If a black man can get himself kicked out of the Real World house for being angry, then a black president can get kicked out of the White House for doing the same. Not only is Obama someone with a penchant for compromising, he is the most un-angry man I have seen in the entire world, at a time when there are a crapload of things to be legitimately angry about.
posted by jonp72 at 1:31 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama's ability to not get (or seem) angry is pretty much a super power and I sometimes wonder if he's learned to control it because he's actually the Hulk.

Of course, keeping your emotional response in check is what they used to call "statesman-like."
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:41 PM on August 23, 2012 [15 favorites]


That the President of the United States has to act that way says more about the attitudes of white America than anything about Obama's character.

So true
posted by caddis at 1:49 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


MCMikeNamara, in the sense that the Hulk's secret is that "he's always angry", I'd say that's not too far from the truth.

I spent 45 minutes reading this article earlier today and was totally blown away by its even-handed and thought-provoking analysis. I've spent most of the day thinking about it in one context or another. It's the kind of essay that a self-styled blogger like me can only dream of even conceiving, and I'm glad it exists not only for its ideological impact, but also as a reminder of what kind of quality is possible, and that it's not always a race to the bottom.

I may have a crush on Coates' writing.
posted by Phire at 1:52 PM on August 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


To me, one of the saddest things about Obama's Presidency (whether it last four years or eight) is how much of his compromising was made necessary by his being black. This nation is in a downward spiral, caused at least partly by so many people holding so tightly onto old prejudices. Nothing may save it, and I fear that, if given a second term, "that black president" will be in a position to be blamed for its ultimate collapse (by the people who HAVE most caused it).
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:53 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, if everyone ignores every other race it's certainly not going to help.
posted by Artw at 1:57 PM on August 23, 2012


I don't want an angry president, regardless of ethnicity. I think the ability to keep emotions in check is one of the most important qualities a leader needs to possess. You only need to go back a few years to find bad legislation being quickly passed thanks, in very large part, to angry politicians. I think we have also seen senseless wars being waged thanks, in very large part, to angry politicians.

To fault a politician for their lack of public anger seems to encourage that they get publicly angry. I think bad things happen when politicians get angry. There are a couple targets in particular that could very easily ignite out first nuclear world war if politicians are encouraged to get particularly angry.

So let's not fault politicians for their emotions or lack thereof. Instead, let's encourage reasoned thinking and shame political hubris.
posted by ruthsarian at 2:06 PM on August 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Obama's ability to not get (or seem) angry is pretty much a super power and I sometimes wonder if he's learned to control it because he's actually the Hulk.

The Rock Obama.
posted by homunculus at 2:11 PM on August 23, 2012


What is this problem with Sikhs?

Not only do they commit the offense of by and large being from somewhere else, they don't even have the common courtesy not to dress like it.

In other words, they wear turbans and have beards.
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:13 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a measure of how much Mr. Obama must keep himself in check, I look at how he's had to respond to things that have been said about Mrs. Obama.

When William Safire called Hilary Clinton a liar, Mr. Clinton threatened to punch him in the nose. This was met with a kind of simpering amusement by the media.

Over the past 4 years, Republican talking heads and politicians have said some absolutely vile things about Michelle Obama -- far beyond the relatively harmless accusation of being a liar, crossing over into all kinds of fucked things about her appearance and her ancestry -- and yet we've seen no threat of punches from Mr. Obama.

I don't believe for a second that Mr. Obama is totally cool with the things that have been said about his wife. I do believe that he is fully aware that the media and moderates are ready to pounce with some "SCARY BLACK MAN/GIANT NEGRO" shit if he gets angry and threatens physical violence against anybody.

This is because black men get the "Why aren't you smiling?" thing that women get. Except that whereas the implication with women is that they should be smiling because they're there to be a pretty part of the scenery, when black men aren't smiling, some people worry that "ZOMG, if they're not smiling, it's because they're planning violence against us!"
posted by lord_wolf at 2:13 PM on August 23, 2012 [32 favorites]


I found this article in Esquire similarly poignant:

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/black-like-him-0912

(and it's brief)
posted by billypilgrim at 2:25 PM on August 23, 2012


Metafilter: The moral equivalent of crotch rot.


I apologize if it's supremely inappropriate to post something so flippant in the midst of such a fantastic comment thread but... I just couldn't resist!
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 2:30 PM on August 23, 2012


Ad hominem: So Ta-Nahesi is saying Obama is the Will Smith of black presidents?
No, the Jackie Robinson.

Will Smith isn't even the Will Smith of acting. Sidney Poitier was.

And Obama certainly is a consummate Jackie Robinson, and I mean that in the most admiring of senses. He is above all of the racial namecalling, dogwhistles, and Simon-Zeoletes-like baiting from leaders of the AA community. He stays focused on his unracial, country-leading objectives (without disdaining racial topics, but certainly disdaining to make it personal).

There's nothing he can do to stop the racists, nor those who would court their votes, from throwing stones. But he can move past it, and focus on his objectives, and thus have a chance at winning.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:32 PM on August 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


The Fourth of July and my American son
posted by Artw at 2:32 PM on August 23, 2012


Well written piece. TNC is solid. As a writer, I could only hope to stay focused that long. I wish him and Jay Smooth could found a network together.

Also, I appreciated the P.E. reverence.
posted by cashman at 2:35 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't want an angry president, regardless of ethnicity. I think the ability to keep emotions in check is one of the most important qualities a leader needs to possess. You only need to go back a few years to find bad legislation being quickly passed thanks, in very large part, to angry politicians.

Anger and the inability to keep one's emotions in check are two conceptually different things. There are some things in this world that are so heinous that an angry response is the only emotionally appropriate response. The problem is that the George W. Bush Administration seriously damaged this country, but Obama's election couldn't have happened with Obama being a sunny, Reaganesque optimist who vastly underestimates how much worse it can get.
posted by jonp72 at 2:37 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


When William Safire called Hilary Clinton a liar, Mr. Clinton threatened to punch him in the nose. This was met with a kind of simpering amusement by the media.

I even remember guys like James Carville and Mudcat Saunders arguing that Bill Clinton would actually improve his reputation with the Bubba vote if he thumped his chest more. Somehow, I don't see Carville and Saunders making the same request of Obama.
posted by jonp72 at 2:40 PM on August 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


I wonder how important race really was in the bringing up of Barack Obama. I tend to think that the African-american commentators that used to say "he's not black enough" before the election was actually right - he isn't. Because the American "black" is a construct that wouldn't have been imparted to a son of an African immigrant raised by white people in Hawaii. I don't know where this article is coming from. Was there an expectation that Obama would be "blacker"? That he would "address race"? I don't think he knows much that about it. That's why he avoids the subject.
posted by gertzedek at 2:44 PM on August 23, 2012


> I wonder how important race really was in the bringing up of Barack Obama. I

Pretty inescapable. He speaks extensively about his childhood, racial issues among others, in Dreams of my Father.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:45 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pretty inescapable.

Yes, of course, after all he looked "different" in the context he lived. Of course he noticed it, and it was a thing.

But it doesn't seem like there was a shared experience with other African-Americans, because the particularities of his story are so different.
posted by gertzedek at 2:50 PM on August 23, 2012


Yeah, again, he talks about that in his autobiography, including how it influenced his interactions with African-American people in the south of Chicago.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:52 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think he knows much that about it. That's why he avoids the subject.

You really gotta read more of the article.
posted by cashman at 2:52 PM on August 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Obama's ability to not get (or seem) angry is pretty much a super power and I sometimes wonder if he's learned to control it because he's actually the Hulk.

I heard this comes from being brought up in Malaysia. Apparently one "wins" street confontations by being the one who is least reactive in response to an attacker's taunts.
posted by sandking at 2:57 PM on August 23, 2012


Indonesia.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:00 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


They act like they don’t love their country
No
what it is
is they found out
their country don’t love them.

posted by galvanized unicorn at 3:03 PM on August 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Anyway, Dreams from my Father is a really interesting book that pretty much every US citizen should be familiar with, even if some of the details and people are combined for brevity. Bonus swearing and comical voices by Obama in the audiobook!
posted by Burhanistan at 3:11 PM on August 23, 2012


The Party of No: New Details on the GOP Plot to Obstruct Obama
posted by Artw at 3:14 PM on August 23, 2012


But it doesn't seem like there was a shared experience with other African-Americans, because the particularities of his story are so different.

Have you read the book he wrote that specifically talks about these things?
posted by shakespeherian at 3:20 PM on August 23, 2012


I read Obama's Dreams from my Father and Coates's The Beautiful Struggle (his memoir, about growing up in Baltimore in a complicated family situation) around the same time, purely by coincidence. If I was an English teacher, I might assign them together. While (obviously) their lives were very different, there are some interesting congruences.

Coates is the better writer, though he's even better now than he was when he wrote his memoir, but Obama is surprisingly good. Best writer / president since Grant, probably. (And let's not even compare it to Clinton's godawful autobiography. Unreadable.)
posted by feckless at 3:52 PM on August 23, 2012


I should say their lives as young men were very different. Don't want to past tense either of them.
posted by feckless at 3:53 PM on August 23, 2012


I am soooooo looking forward to going to gun shows before and after the general election. I'm thinking of getting a table for literature and stuff for our anti-corruption campaign.

I live in Bellingham, WA. It has a totally undeserved reputation as a "nice liberal town." It had a sundown law until 1957. The third black guy to live here (after Tommy The Tailor and Ted Pratt, now Dean of Students at Western Washington University) was my friend Lloyd.

Tommy the Tailor got here in the 1970's and was continually hassled by the cops until he started offering to custom fit their uniforms for free.

Ted had a job at the university and lives in a faculty neighborhood, so he only got hassled for driving while black. Even so, he is always dressed in a suit and tie.

Lloyd worked as an installer for Quest. Now he is retired. I think he got here around 1992 or so. He was continually eyeballed by the cops. Driving while black is still an offense here. That gives some idea of how racist and corrupt things are around here. "Nice liberal town." Phhhtt!

We've been getting robocalls about "that Muslim socialist in the White House." It was so off the wall, I now have a recorder on the phone line to catch the next one. Totally tinfoil-hat birther batshit insane.

The gun show right after Obama was elected was a hoot and a half. It was a feeding frenzy. Because the scariest 7-10 words in the English language (to racist assholes and gun nuts) are: "The niggers are coming to get us [and our guns...]"

Whereas I've always thought the happiest five words in the English language are "Bring on the dancing girls." I plan to be saying that a lot on election night - in a bar. I may even have buttons made up with that slogan.

The second happiest four words in the English language are "Drinks are on me" but I plan on only listening intently for that on election night.
posted by warbaby at 3:59 PM on August 23, 2012 [10 favorites]


TNC said on his blog that he spent the last 9 months working on it. I wonder how much time Niall Ferguson spent on his Newsweek cover hack job.

TNC on Niall Ferguson: Lifestyles Of The Rich And Loquacious
posted by homunculus at 4:18 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, I'd give James Fallows more than 5%.

Fallows has a new piece in the magazine too: Slugfest: This year’s presidential debates could have as decisive an effect on the election outcome as any since 1980, if not 1960. Mitt Romney brings formidable advantages to the contests—but he has one big weakness that President Obama can exploit.
posted by homunculus at 4:53 PM on August 23, 2012


The second happiest four words in the English language are "Drinks are on me"

I was fortunate enough to receive that drink from you, once upon a time. Thanks again for that, and the ride.

The article is fantastic. Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of the finest working writers in America today.
posted by rocketman at 4:59 PM on August 23, 2012


Obama is black?
posted by telstar at 5:02 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is something about having a black woman as First Lady that angers certain groups more than having a black President. Something about seeing her in the White House, having guests for tea, strolling about as though she owned the joint that makes people apoplectic. And she doesn't dress sweet and mousey like she should-- often she goes sleeveless and shows off her great upper arms. I don't know what it is exactly that is so awful about her, but I'm glad I don't have to listen to any private conversations about her "unsuitability." I imagine it would drive me to tears of rage.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:31 PM on August 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


What is this problem with Sikhs?

Actually, conservatives love Sikhs, and view them as fellow cobelligerents against Muslims, and probably have all sorts of admiration for their service as sepoys during the Raj times. It's interesting on right-wing forums when they praise Sikhs for their martial tradition, then come to MeFi and see the same sort of praises here.
posted by Apocryphon at 6:53 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, and the unstated subtext about Muslims... "How could anyone hate the Sikhs, after all, it's not like they're Muslim."
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:16 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is something about having a black woman as First Lady that angers certain groups more than having a black President.

As a non-American, I generally think of the First Lady as just...a nobody. Laureen Harper does Humane Society stuff, I know, but she's not in the spotlight and it's not something that I expect. All of which is to say that yeah, I completely agree - the amount of craziness that Michelle Obama raises is just, well, crazy. It's not as if she's the first First Lady to tackle a "cause", or the first one to be successful in a career separate from her husband. I can't but see it as the intersection of sexism and racism because, yeah, what the hell else is there?
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:39 PM on August 23, 2012


[Comment deleted; just say what you have to say, please, instead of being coy with a *cough* link.]
posted by taz at 10:35 PM on August 23, 2012


Yes, of course, after all he looked "different" in the context he lived. Of course he noticed it, and it was a thing.

But it doesn't seem like there was a shared experience with other African-Americans, because the particularities of his story are so different.


No offence dude (well, maybe a little), but I think I'll take what Obama has to say about Obama's experience of racism and blackness over what a random dude on the internet thinks.
posted by smoke at 11:39 PM on August 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


There should be a 'splain-o-meter under comments because that one was some pretty hard core splainin'.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:43 PM on August 23, 2012


[Comment deleted; just say what you have to say, please, instead of being coy with a *cough* link.]

We can't cough? What if we have seasonal allergies?

posted by homunculus at 11:43 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Isn't our original sin the genocide of the humans that used to live here?
posted by anarch at 12:13 AM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Will Smith isn't even the Will Smith of acting. Sidney Poitier was..

Even better. I know what you mean about Poitier. Poitier blazed a trail in films like Guess who's Coming to Dinner and To Sir With Love. I'm a huge Poitier fan and an even bigger fan of Obama. Back in the early 90s I spent a few weeks at Occidental, high as shit. I like to think me and Obama paced the same floors.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:25 AM on August 24, 2012


I don't think I saw this linked above:
TNC discusses the article (that he wanted to call 'Myth of a Black President') with Atlantic editor, Scott Stossel.
posted by peacay at 9:45 AM on August 24, 2012


Romney just turned birther.
posted by Artw at 9:57 AM on August 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wow. He didn't go full birther and he obviously doesn't really believe that shit. But, he knows that his rallies are full of dipshits that do believe it, so it's pretty clearly some pandering.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:00 AM on August 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd like to see him try that shit in front of a crowd that would ask to see his tax returns.
posted by Artw at 10:03 AM on August 24, 2012


Also remember that the campaign will only get more overtly racist from here on out.
posted by Artw at 10:04 AM on August 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


The governor has always said, and has repeatedly said, he believes the president was born here in the United States," said adviser Kevin Madden. "He was only referencing that Michigan, where he is campaigning today, is the state where he himself was born and raised."

A campaign aide told BuzzFeed, on condition of anonymity, that Romney did not plan the birth certificate joke in advance, and that it was an "off-the-cuff reference to him being a homegrown guy of Michigan" that was wrongly interpreted by the press.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:49 AM on August 24, 2012


Adam Serwer and Jamelle Bouie are killing it (in both the sad and funny senses) with #futuremittjokes:
“Waiters assume that I’ll tip.” #futuremittjokes

“No one has ever praised my “natural athleticism.” #futuremittjokes

“No one’s ever asked me to dance at a party because, you know.” #futuremittjokes

“My father never told me to show absolute obedience to the police, lest I get killed.” #futuremittjokes

“The police don’t stop and arrest me when I walk into my nice home.” #futuremittjokes

“No one complained that I ‘took their spot’ when I got into college.” #futuremittjokes

“I can get angry and no one will say a word.” #futuremittjokes

“My face isn’t synonymous with ‘criminal’ to many Americans.” #futuremittjokes

“Presidential candidates don’t run massive campaigns exploiting fear of people who look like me.” #futuremittjokes

“My name won’t keep me from getting hired.” #futuremittjokes

“No one ever told me to stay away from their daughter, or else.” #futuremittjokes

“No one ever tried to snooker me into a shitty loan!” #futuremittjokes

"No one's ever called me "one of the good ones." #futuremittjokes

“No one crosses the street when I walk by them.” #futuremittjokes

“No one calls me an affirmative action hire.” #futuremittjokes

“No one tells me to ‘get over’ the oppression of my parents and grandparents!” #futuremittjokes

“No one tells me that I’m not ‘really’ white because I’m ‘different.’” #futuremittjokes

“No one ever tells me how articulate I am.” #futuremittjokes

“No one has ever left a noose on my door!” #futuremittjokes

I never get selected for extra screening at the airport. #futuremittjokes

I don't have to worry about whether the police will mistake me for a suspect if I call them to respond to a crime. #futuremittjokes

No one's ever accused me of opposing colonialism and meant something bad by it. #futuremittjokes

I can walk through any neighborhood with a hoodie holding some candy and iced tea without someone thinking I'm a burglar. #futuremittjokes

No one ever compliments me on my ability to speak English and asks where I'm "really from." #futuremittjokes

When talking to a woman friend in public at night, the cops never stop, look at me darkly and ask "ma'am, are you ok?" #futuremittjokes

I've never been stopped by police despite having a different height, weight, and haircut than they guy they're looking for. #futuremittjokes

When I'm in a restaurant or a store, no one ever just assumes I work there. #futuremittjokes

"I never get stopped and frisked in New York City either." #futuremittjokes
posted by zombieflanders at 11:05 AM on August 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


From the who accepted endorsments by Trump and Arpaio.
posted by Artw at 11:06 AM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also:

@JoshuaGreen: Todd Akin should issue statement condemning birther joke, just to be a dick
posted by zombieflanders at 11:07 AM on August 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Posted 8 minutes ago, probably by Ben LaBolt:

@BarackObama Song of the day: Born in the U.S.A. http://OFA.BO/irL3ZV
posted by zombieflanders at 11:20 AM on August 24, 2012


That sentiment sticks with me because it gives me hope. Because it could mean that what we're hearing is the death rattle.

Hopefully, in its death throes, racism doesn't take the rest of us down with it. Those folks tend to also be the heaviest armed people in the neighborhood.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:35 AM on August 24, 2012


Four Laughable Explanations for Mitt Romney's Birther Joke
posted by zombieflanders at 11:49 AM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Turns out racism is tax deductible.
posted by Artw at 1:56 PM on August 24, 2012


I'm wondering how it is that so many American white people are utterly terrified that we'll murder them all in their sleep or something, and take all their things, to the point that we're "not allowed" to express our anger over the terrible history of Africans in this country and the awful things that continue to happen to us in this country. I count this "tolerance" business as a terrible thing as well. President Obama is tolerated.

I don't need white people's tolerance. My existence as a mixed-race woman of African ancestry is a fact and I don't need to justify it to anybody, including white people.

We're only 12% of the population these days, right? When did we get so much power that if we did express all our rage, it would destroy the 72%?

How would that work, exactly? If black people have to keep anger stuffed down in order not to upset the white folks, isn't that a form of terror? Fuck that shit. Maybe white people need to grow up and accept the fact that sometimes, people are angry at them for justifiable reasons, and they need to deal with this shit and make it right instead of freaking out and going all Newt Gingrich. This "LALALALALALALA, not listening to you!I've done nothing wrong!LALALALAALA!" strategy WILL blow up in their faces. And from how it looks to me, it's certain white people who would love nothing more than a plausible excuse to get rid of us all. Don't you love projection?

I can only conclude that many, many white people are actually mentally ill. Bless Obama, in that sense. I'd get my head blown off for sure, because damned if I wouldn't say this exact same thing on the mic in the Rose Garden if I were President just to start actually pulling up the weeds of racism, slavery and genocide, and the accompanying economic exploitation of many of its citizens.
posted by droplet at 2:08 PM on August 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


#futuremittjokes aside, Adam Serwer and get Jamelle Bouie get serious:

What to Make of Mitt Romney's Birther Joke?
I suspect many Republicans who continue to subscribe to the birther lunacy do so because it bothers liberals and because it's an act of symbolic defiance of a president they dislike. The problem with birtherism, however, is that the underlying assumptions driving it have always been broader than the president. Birtherism is more than just a conspiracy theory about the president's birth. Its underlying principle is a rejection of American racial pluralism. The refusal to believe—in the face of all evidence to the contrary—that Obama is an American reads to many as saying black people don't really count as American unless they talk like Herman Cain or Allen West.

That's the problem with Romney's "joke," too. It falls into a long list of remarks that suggest an emotional myopia based on an extremely sheltered life experience. It comes across as gloating about the fact that, as a rich white man born into a wealthy and powerful family, Romney has rarely been subject to the kind of racist or sexist assumptions that clog the daily lives of millions of Americans. Romney might as well joke that he's never been mistaken for a waiter in a restaurant or a clerk in a retail store, or that he's never been selected for extra screening at an airport or randomly told to empty his pockets by the NYPD. The reason Romney doesn't have to show the country his papers isn't because everyone knows he was born in Michigan. It's because whiteness remains unquestionably "American" for some people in a way blackness does not. That should not be a point of pride for Romney; it should be a matter of anger and disappointment.
Romney's Birther "Joke" Wasn't a Joke.
The birther joke is further evidence that Romney is uncertain of his standing with the Republican base. It’s clear from the video that this was an intentional move to establish a shared tribal identity, and—judging from their laughter and obvious approval—that’s how it was understood by the largely white audience.

A plausible objection to this view is that Romney wasn’t trying to make a dogwhistle—that it was a harmless joke which went awry because of a bad delivery. Indeed, to push back against the emerging outrage, some journalists noted occasions when President Obama made birther jokes, while others set this as the other side of Obama’s snarky comments about Romney’s infamous incident with the family dog.

A few thoughts.

First, the video strongly suggests that this wasn’t a joke. Romney assumes a certain demeanor when he is joking in public—"ingratiating" is the word that comes to mind—and this had more in common with the Romney of debates and speeches: cool, controlled and confident.

But even if it was a joke, it’s important to understand the context. For the last month, Romney has devoted his campaign to falsely accuse Obama of gutting welfare's work requirements (“You wouldn’t have to work, and wouldn’t have to train for a job”) This claim has been debunked by independent fact checkers, pundits, and major news organizations.

In each instance, analysts have noted the extent to which this attack is meant to play on racial fears and resentments. Romney’s welfare ads are meant to conjure images of “young bucks” and “welfare queens,” and are a callback to Newt Gingrich’s declaration of Obama as a “food stamp president.” Romney’s line on welfare is a mainstay of his stump speeches, and has been deployed whenever he’s addressing a crowd of working-class whites. Romney’s victory depends on winning a huge share of the white vote, to do so, he’s decided to play the politics of white resentment in the most explicit way possible.

If this were a stray remark, I would be willing to give Romney the benefit of the doubt. But given the background and context, I simply can’t believe that Romney made a mistake with his birther joke. It fits too well with everything else he’s done.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:36 PM on August 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


BTW, Bouie is on a tear in his Twitter feed. Enough for another article, actually.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:40 PM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney Defends Birther Line: ‘The Crowd Loved It’

Well, that makes it OK then!
posted by zombieflanders at 2:55 PM on August 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Birthers Plan Their Own Convention Next Month In Arizona, Nick R. Martin, Talking Points Memo Muckraker, 24 August 2012
While the Republican Party gears up for its biggest event of the year next week in Florida, the conspiracy theorists among them are already looking forward to another convention of sorts next month in Arizona.

Some of the best known birthers in the nation are scheduled to take the stage at a star-studded event in Phoenix, where they plan to call for Congress to investigate whether President Obama’s birth certificate is real.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:21 PM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


This sort of pandering certainly works for Romney's core voters. 2009 polls indicated that a majority of Republican likely voters doubt Obama's US citizenship.

And the "joke" had its desired impact on the listeners.

the crowd roared when Romney made the quip, and many supporters afterwards said they remained skeptical about where Obama was born.

"I thought it was great because why should we have to worry about whether the president has a birth certificate or not," Guy Myers of Clarkston, Michigan, said.

Another supporter, Lauri Pierce of Midland, said it drew a contrast for her between Romney and Obama.

"Well Mitt's from Michigan. There's no question about where he's from," Pierce said. "And you hear a lot of questions about Obama. You don't know, but you hear questions."

posted by bearwife at 3:38 PM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ezra Klein guest hosted for Chris Matthews on Hardball tonight. The first segment focused on the racialization of politics and Coates' column in The Atlantic. Very much worth the 13 minutes.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:58 PM on August 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ta-Nehisi Coates joined J-Smooth, W. Kamau Bell, and Melissa Harris-Perry on Up with Chris Hayes this morning for a 45 minute discussion about race, politics, and their intersection in the person of President Obama. It's worth it.

cf. Fear of a Misreading of History, Blair L. M. Kelley, 25 August, 2012
At the bottom of all of this is that Obama is not Washington or Al Roker (or W.E.B. DuBois or Frederick Douglass or anyone else ever) he is a fundamentally new thing. We shouldn’t use sloppy black history facts to understand what he is. He is this new possibility so amazing that he scares every white supremacist still breathing. And he’s bigger than himself, he makes space for young folks, women, people of color, not to be just like him, but to be heard. Would Coates have a column, would MSNBC have so many black voices? Would people be listening to what black bloggers have to say from small video cameras in their living rooms? Would you be reading my tumblr? People want to hear from the young and people of color because he blew something open. Is he the realization of our dreams? Hell no, but is that his responsibility too? At this moment, when folks are trying to whitecap black voters at the polls, why is Coates’ implicit response, “Mr. President, you are so insufficient.” Really?
posted by ob1quixote at 2:23 PM on August 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


TNC is doing a Reddit AmA right now. The top questions, at least, seem to be well thought-out and coherent.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:12 AM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


The dogwhistling birtherist *joke* ties in well with the race data out there in the ad weeds: Race and the 2012 election
posted by peacay at 9:14 AM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


That Wacky Dinesh D’Souza Obamapocalypse Documentary: All The Rage in Cinema!
posted by homunculus at 1:31 PM on August 27, 2012


We're only 12% of the population these days, right? When did we get so much power that if we did express all our rage, it would destroy the 72%?

A significant number of white people are not aware that they are still part of a supermajority in the US, and have bought into a declinist narrative wherein they are slowly being overwhelmed by some sort of vaguely-defined urban horde. You rarely see it spelled out that bluntly, but I think the underlying motif is that of a siege -- despite that having no basis in fact (in fact sort of the opposite really, if you imagine urban minorities besieged by the rest of the country).

Mostly this is accomplished by certain members of the political class, who have managed to take what would otherwise be the white majority's reasonable fears of economic decline --stagnant incomes, slipping standards of living and health, etc. -- and shifted the blame via social issues (e.g. moral declinism) from the underlying economic system onto minorities and other groups. Not just blacks but also basically any non-English-speaking immigrants, college-educated "elites," non-Christians, etc.

And the elegant, dangerous part of this is that by Othering all of those groups, the number of people left on your "side" (if you are a white, conservative, English-speaking, rural / exurban, Evangelical Christian, 'family values' voter) is much smaller than you might wish it was or imagine that it was in the rose-colored past. So it reinforces the alleged decline, and is thus self-supporting within its adherents. It's a feedback loop of sorts.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:39 PM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


With a tip o' the hat to reenum: If It Walks Like a Duck and Talks Like a Duck: Racism, Bigotry and the Death of Respectable Conservatism, Tim Wise, 25 August, 2012
Although conservatives accuse those of us on the left of thinking that all critiques of President Obama are rooted in racism, this has certainly never been my argument. Indeed, I’ve written two books highly critical of Obama’s positions on a number of issues (from a place well to his left), and am fully aware that decent, honest people can disagree with Barack Obama from the right, too, without their disagreements serving as proof of some latent, let alone blatant, bigotry or anti-black bias.

That said, what I have also long maintained — and what seems increasingly evident as we move into the heart of the 2012 campaign — is that the style of opposition, its specific form, and its particular content are too often embedded in a narrative of white racial resentment, white racial anxiety, and a desire to “other” the president in ways that go well beyond the politically partisan. It is not that criticisms of Obama are quantitatively racist, per se, but rather that they are qualitatively so in too many instances; a distinction, yes, but one that does not alter the underlying reality.
What follows is an encyclopedic recounting of the bigoted things people have said about Barack Obama and a thoughtful examination of the competitive nature of race relations in America.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:59 PM on August 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


That Wacky Dinesh D’Souza Obamapocalypse Documentary: All The Rage in Cinema!

How the heck is this lunacy getting into mainstream theatres right before the election? WTF?
posted by Golden Eternity at 1:44 PM on August 28, 2012


Golden Eternity: That Wacky Dinesh D’Souza Obamapocalypse Documentary: All The Rage in Cinema!

How the heck is this lunacy getting into mainstream theatres right before the election? WTF?
That's what the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commision case was about. They had a movie called Hillary: The Movie that they wanted to show just before the Democratic primaries in 2008 but it was against the rules imposed by McCain–Feingold to show "electioneering communications" that close to primary. They won their case, and now we've got this 2016: Obama's America nonsense.

So we've got that going for us…
posted by ob1quixote at 2:05 PM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


2016: Not As Scary As You Might Think
D'Souza travels to Indonesia, Hawaii, and Kenya, but doesn't have much luck getting damning quotes from his handful of interview subjects. There's footage of D'Souza on a bus; there's footage of D'Souza on a plane; there's footage of D'Souza on a motorcycle; and there's footage of D'Souza on a boat. And there's lots and lots of footage of Obama's father's grave in Kenya. But there's not much footage that tells us anything about Obama. There's an interview with a professor who worked with Obama's mother, but D'Souza only manages to get her to agree with a leading question about how maybe Obama was taught that his father was a great man. There's an interview with George Obama, who stubbornly refuses to blame Obama for not helping him out. There's an attempted interview with Obama's grandmother, but D'Souza gets kicked out before the interview goes anywhere. There's an interview with a random guy who once knew Obama's father and thinks President Obama is a lot like him. There's an interview with a psychologist who says that a child would normally rebel against the worldview of an absent father, but then kinda sorta agrees that maybe it could happen the other way around too. I can only imagine D'Souza and his co-director banging their heads against the wall in frustration when they got home, wondering how they were going to splice all these dry wells into a gusher of anti-Obama fearmongering.

The only interviews that go well are the ones with committed conservatives who are obviously willing to go along with D'Souza's fantasies in the first place. These include Paul Kengor, who confirms that one of Obama's childhood mentors was a committed communist, and Daniel Pipes, who thinks Obama hangs out with Israel-haters and would show his true anti-Zionist colors if he were reelected.

Beyond that, it's just the usual conspiracy theory melange of Bill Ayers/Edward Said/Jeremiah Wright/etc., paired up with a scary-looking map in which all the Muslim countries are painted green and (somehow) become the United States of Islam. This is Glenn Beck's "caliphate" obsession rewritten for the big screen, but with the added fillip that Obama will make us defenseless against this threat by getting rid of all our nuclear weapons. (Seriously.)
Sounds like Oscar material to me!
posted by tonycpsu at 2:13 PM on August 28, 2012


The Last White Hope?
posted by homunculus at 6:52 PM on August 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


2016: Not As Scary As You Might Think

I dunno, those angry Monopoly players in the trailer are pretty scary.
posted by homunculus at 8:43 PM on August 28, 2012


False-Equivalence Watch: A Positive Sign
posted by homunculus at 10:55 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Myth of an Affirmative-Action President
posted by homunculus at 10:57 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I dunno, those angry Monopoly players in the trailer are pretty scary.

The most useful part of that trailer is the part where I learned to never ever play Monopoly with black people. What the hell, black people. You can be the shoe if it's that important to you.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:47 AM on August 30, 2012


Bill Maher Takes Apart Dinesh D’Souza Over His Fearmongering Film
posted by homunculus at 10:53 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


You can be the shoe if it's that important to you.

But Ron Swanson is the thimble.
posted by homunculus at 10:55 AM on September 1, 2012


The Lonely Power of Michelle and the Idea of Barack
posted by homunculus at 10:17 AM on September 5, 2012


GOP Rep. Appears on White Nationalist Radio Show
posted by zombieflanders at 2:32 PM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


"White Riot" by The Clash came on as I was reading the Salon article.

Weird.
posted by black8 at 2:57 PM on September 10, 2012


Bullies at the Ballot Box: Protecting The Freedom To Vote Against Wrongful Challenges and Intimidation, Liz Kennedy, et al., Demos, 10 September, 2012
As we approach the 2012 elections, every indication is that we will see an unprecedented use of voter challenges. Organizers of True the Vote claim their goal is to train one million poll watchers to challenge and confront other Americans as they go to the polls in November. They say they want to make the experience of voting “like driving and seeing the police following you.” There is a real danger that voters will face overzealous volunteers who take the law into their own hands to target voters they deem suspect. But there is no place for bullies at the ballot box.

cf. A Warning for Our Mess at the Polls in November, Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, 10 September, 2012
It's all about what Josh Marshall calls "bitch-slap politics" and scaring people. The Demos report includes a passage from a reporter who got into a True The Vote confab and who heard an official of the organization tell the group:
"...they should enjoy bullying liberals because they were doing God's work. ‘Your opposition are cartoon characters. They are. They are fun to beat up. They are fun to humiliate,' he intoned. 'You are on the side of the angels. And these people are just frauds, charlatans and liars.'"
posted by ob1quixote at 5:05 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Another "are we the baddies?" moment missed, no doubt.
posted by Artw at 5:08 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


That Mitchell and Webb Look - "Are We the Baddies?", for those that aren't familiar with the reference.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:58 PM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


"We're actually FOR voter disenfranchisement, because we think it will help us win, are we the baddies? We dehumanise those that don't agree with us in a manner that, not to Godwin, is very pre-war Germany, are we the baddies?" - questions unasked.
posted by Artw at 6:04 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Arizona’s Birtherpalooza Canceled Over Low Ticket Sales, Nick R. Martin, TPM Muckraker, 10 September, 2012
posted by ob1quixote at 2:34 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Decision Upholding Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Relied On 1869 Case Warning Of ‘Rogues,’ ‘Strumpets,’ and ‘Wandering Arabs’
posted by homunculus at 3:13 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Florida Essentially Gives Up on Voter Purge Efforts
posted by zombieflanders at 11:26 AM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


GOP-backed military coalition drops veil: Obama seeks to 'undermine the rights of military voters'
posted by zombieflanders at 12:09 PM on September 12, 2012


Some more slightly good news, this time about Pennsylvania's voter ID law.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:15 PM on September 18, 2012


Republican Lynches Empty Chair in Racist Presidential Effigy in Northwest Austin
posted by zombieflanders at 6:59 PM on September 19, 2012


GOP-backed military coalition drops veil: Obama seeks to 'undermine the rights of military voters'

In other news: Senate Republicans Kill Veterans’ Jobs Bill
posted by homunculus at 8:05 PM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Like they'd do anything else.
posted by Artw at 8:07 PM on September 19, 2012


Some more slightly good news, this time about Pennsylvania's voter ID law.

Tea Party Threatens Revenge Against Pennsylvania Justices For Not Upholding Voter ID Law
posted by homunculus at 2:23 PM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


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