News Flash: Obama Won’t Get the Racist Vote

Jonathan Martin of The Politico says that Republicans see the Rev. Jeremiah Wright as their weapon for beating Obama, if he becomes the nominee.

In their view, the inflammatory sermons by Obama’s pastor offer the party a pathway to victory if Obama emerges as the Democratic nominee. Not only will the video clips enable some elements of the party to define him as unpatriotic, they will also serve as a powerful motivating force for the conservative base.

Yep, nothin’ like a scary angry black man to remind white folks where their priorities lie.

In fact, the video trove has convinced some that, after months of praying for Hillary Clinton and the automatic enmity which she arouses, that they may actually have easier prey.

“For the first time, some Republicans are rethinking Hillary as their first choice,” said Alex Castellanos, a veteran media consultant who recently worked for Mitt Romney’s campaign.

But what about the speech?

“It was a speech written to mau-mau the New York Times editorial board, the network production people and the media into submission. Beautifully calibrated but deeply dishonest,” said GOP media consultant Rick Wilson, who crafted the 2002 ad tying then-Sen. Max Cleland to Osama bin Laden. “Not good enough.”

Mau-mau the New York Times editorial board. OK.

Essentially, the video clips of Wright are giving the Right a way to enflame racist voters while pretending they aren’t enflaming racist voters. And they aren’t going to let go of this, no matter what Obama says.

However, it’s hard to see whether this will really make a difference. The voters who care more about whether Obama wears a flag pin than about what he might do with domestic policy, or believe he’s a Muslim (with a Christian minister?), or who will vote against him because he’s black … would have voted Republican, anyway. The only difference is that more of ’em might get worked up enough to actually vote.

Update: Priceless reaction from Kevin Drum.

Update 2: Liza has another take on this post along with four words for the GOP — John Hagee, Ron Parsley

23 thoughts on “News Flash: Obama Won’t Get the Racist Vote

  1. The extremist right are latching on to this because it is all they have. As you say the people that are going to be influenced by the Rev. Wright and beat Obama over the head with it are going to vote Republican anyway.
    I would be interested to hear what Rick Wilson considers so dishonest about the speech. For a man who trashed Max Cleland as being unpatriotic it is bound to be a very distorted view.

  2. Every time one of these ads pops up or some right-wing nut makes a comment about Rev. Wright, we all collectively turn to the McCain campaign and demand that they denounce and reject the attack. Every damn time.

  3. Hannity has already said “this is the election.” The righties think they can push the racist buttons and scare white folks. I think they may be right (I have no faith in the average American, as untuned into politics as they everything except American Idol).

    You want to racist panderings? Go to any right wing blog site. I went to Protein Wisdom and was just disgusted (not uncommon), but their absolute vitriol and fear of African-Americans was there for all to see.

  4. I do have faith in the average American doing the right thing when s/he thinks about it – that’s what juries are for.

    We’ve all had enough of the bs, and Obama believes we’ll move forward together despite the evil influences.

    I have a dream too.

  5. Our media stars never cease to amaze me.

    Republicans didn’t think much of Obama’s speech? You’re kidding! Republicans are going to try to use this against Obama in the election campaign? You don’t say!

    Why do they get more than the perfunctory two-line reaction that Democrats always get whenever Bush says something? Never mind; I already know the answer. I just wonder how deeply stupid you have to be to make an entire story out of “People whose job it is to beat Obama in election don’t say nice things about Obama’s speech.”

  6. Is there anyone else on the planet, besides me, who didn’t find Wright’s speech offensive or frightening or unforgiveable? I happen to think there are a lot of us out here who WILL be offended by the Right’s unremitting use and over-use of the Wright clip should Obama be the nominee.

    And, if the same wonks from the Right who wrote yesterday’s comments on Obama’s speech are going to be producing the Wright ads to sink him, we haven’t got much to worry about.

  7. felicity — I can’t say I was offended, either. It was gross hyperbole, but I can appreciate where the anger was coming from.

  8. “To Mau Mau”? Cool. I haven’t heard Mau Mau as a verb since we read The Leopard in high school.

    felicity – nope, I didn’t find it offensive either.

  9. I think maha describes it best. Besides the absurd allegation that the US govt caused AIDS, I saw nothing “counter-factional” in Wright’s anger.

  10. Nice spin in the Washington Times headline today:

    “Obama Opens Up on Society’s Racism”

    Conjures up an image of Eldridge Cleaver or Huey Newton pointing an AK-47 at racist Amerika.

  11. In a history of the US that contains the Tuskeegee syphilus experiments, and in a US population where 9/11 ‘controlled demolitions’ conspiracy theories are so popular, I can understand where the AIDS conspiracy theory came from. If the US government would do THAT, might it not also do THIS?

    Not agree with, mind you, but understand. It’s ridiculous, in my view, to say that this AIDS belief is unforgivable, when the US has indeed done stuff that is, while not THAT bad, still pretty horrible.


  12. Obama has served this country just by being who he is and running for president.
    What other candidate has followed [and so well articulated] a perspective that provides the whole nation with a choice to reach beyond divisiveness…… the very divisiveness which is usually fomented for political gain in election cycles and kept unchanged between election cycles in order to maintain status quo power structures?

    Hats off to you, Barack. You really are one in a million.

  13. My 2:30 p.m. coffee break today was a revelation. My companions were two center-right(ish) Republican women. One of them asked what I knew about Rev. Wright’s comments. I said, “I’ve only heard snippets. But I did hear a lot of Obama’s speech yesterday, and read the whole text over my lunch hour.”

    “Oh, wasn’t it good?” that first woman said.

    After catching my breath, I replied, “Yes, about halfway through reading it, I was in tears. Probably because I’ve never seen a politician be so clear, and forthright, and reasonable in any speech, never mind such a difficult topic.” I went on to point out that Obama wrote the entire speech himself, which is almost unimaginable, especially considering the present occupant of the White House.

    “Obama would make a great president,” the first woman said. “We really need someone like that right now.”

    I popped my lower jaw back on, and proceeded to sound them out about John McCain. “Whacko… out of it… loser,” they agreed, “and did you hear that stupid thing he said about Iran?”

    So the pundits may snuffle and snort, and make all their usual phlegmy noises, but here in a very Red State, Obama just won over two more.

    And here’s the kicker: in their cheery way, both women made it clear they expect Obama to beat McCain in November. They are looking forward to it.

  14. Our media stars never cease to amaze me.

    Yes, amazing the media won’t play straight with a feelgood Democratic candidacy (either). Evidently no one on the campaign staff could have predicted it!

  15. Not long ago, there was a lot of discussion about whether Obama was ‘black enough’. The comments from the Rev. Wright, and Obama’s identification with a hell-raising black-with-a capital-B minister will put that to rest for the duration of the campaign.

    Obama has denounced the extreme comments of Rev. Wright, and Obama has made it clear he will not throw the pastor under the bus to satisfy a mob of Republicans. Good. But this whole thing points up an issue voters will have to resolve for themsleves.

    Obama is black. He’s not an Uncle Tom. He’s not a nice tan on the outside, but white inside. When he selected a place of worship, he was most comfortable in a black church. Voters are wrapping their heads around that idea now. I want to put that in perspective.

    For a couple of centuries, we have asked minorities to accept that a ‘good’ president would rise above his white protestent background and represent ALL Americans. The best candidate for president is black inside and out, and he’s asking me to TRUST that he will represent the interests of ALL Americans.

    The ‘other’ issues will be debated, but the campaign will be about the voters being willing to TRUST the best candidate, when the best candidate – is really-and-truly black.

  16. Regarding the American Government, they did practice germ warfare when giving blankets infected with smallpox to the American Indians. They are eavesdropping on our phone calls, emails, etc. They torture. While I don’t believe the AIDS conspiracy theory, I believe the gubmint is very capable of these kinds of things.

    In the end, Americans will vote their pocketbooks and the Republicans have done nothing but steal what’s in Americans’ pocketbooks.

  17. Bravo Doug Hughes, the same thought has occurred to me today. I trust him, but I’m not exactly a hard sale.

    felicity – I’m with you – the folks who still prance around thinking we (at least our government) are completely blame less for the sad day of 9/11/01 should be institutionalized. No, that is hyperbole, but the point is we reap what we sow, and we had it coming.

  18. For those of you who have your hopes up…

    Sorry Charlie…

    Obama is gonna get punked “Big-Time”…

    You can either lay back and enjoy it…Or get pissed off enough to take to the streets…

    Those are all the choices you’re gonna get…

  19. No, proving Maha’s point, a Protein Wisdom “reader” can’t find Waldo. Go home, daley, to the Echo Chanber. You’ll be happier. And, stop talking about me, clown.

Comments are closed.