The Race Card Is Not Accepted At This ATM

21 Jan

(Credit to Mike McDowell for the title.)

There are real racists out there. There really are people stupid enough to believe that the colour of a man’s skin means more than his character, general level of intelligence and the colour of his blood. Those people, however, do not include the vast majority of the population of America, who elected a Obama – a black man – to the highest position in the entire world. If every black person in America had voted for Obama – if they had been the ONLY people in America who had voted for Obama – Obama would have lost the election in 2008. No, Obama was elected by white voters as well as black voters.

He did have some advantages. When facing Hilary Clinton, who had a long history with the Democratic Party, he had the considerable advantage of … not being Hilary Clinton. The Clintons put a LOT of noses out of joint in Washington. Add in the fact that Obama was genuinely personable, reasonably handsome at the time (like all Presidents, he seems to have aged rapidly since taking office) and simply had much less apparent baggage than his opponents. When facing the Republicans, he was able to capitalise on Bush’s failures and problems (including the economic crash) that were blamed on the incumbent.

The gloss wore off quickly after Obama took office. As I see it, Obama simply never grasped the fact that he’d made it. To all intents and purposes, he kept campaigning for office despite having already won. The result was a series of major problems that rapidly alienated America’s allies, encouraged America’s enemies and caused considerable damage to the American society. Obama was (is) pretty much the political reincarnation of Tony Blair, who preferred to spin matters to make himself look good rather than actually try to fix them. The fact he was doing long-term damage to America’s society was immaterial compared to trying to take advantage of each and every crisis coming his way.

Eventually, things started to catch up with him. The IRS deliberately targeted conservative organisations – and Obama dismissed the colossal abuse of power this represented. American diplomats were murdered in Libya – and Obama let the matter slide. The NSA spied on American civilians and world leaders (I doubt anyone was surprised by this) and Obama blamed the messenger. American people are feeling the pinch – and Obama goes on expensive holidays that cost the taxpayer millions of dollars.

But these aren’t the only problems. The Affordable Care Act may or may not be a good idea, at least in the abstract. It is becoming clear, however, that the implementation of the ACA has run into more than a few problems. That isn’t too surprising – I have yet to hear of any program, government or corporate, that didn’t run into problems. Obama, however, promised much and delivered … well, almost nothing. More and more of his promises, in fact, are falling apart as people watch. People are losing their insurance (despite being promised they could keep it) and they’re being hurt. It should have surprised no one that Obama’s rating in the polls started to slump rather badly.

Obama’s response to this? “There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black President. Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black President.”  Link here.

In other words – “some of my opponents are only my opponents because they’re racists.”

One cannot prove a negative. No one can prove that they are not a racist. After all, open racism is so unfashionable these days. So we are rewarded, as we normally are when the race card is played, with genuflections towards the ideal of racial harmony. Obama wants to exploit the current tendency to bend over backwards to escape charges of racism.

The problem is not that Obama is black. The problem is that Obama has proved to be a failure as a President.

No one really expects perfection, even from the President of America. What they expect is honesty, a willingness to admit when things have gone wrong and a determined effort to fix the problem. Bush, for all his faults, did that when he ordered the Surge into Iraq. Obama, instead, is whining that some people dislike him because he’s black.

And, frankly, I think people are tired of it.

20 Responses to “The Race Card Is Not Accepted At This ATM”

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard January 21, 2014 at 11:32 pm #

    Chris, any bets that we’ll hear from people who believe Obama is correct? [Sad Smile]

    • chrishanger January 22, 2014 at 12:26 am #

      I wish I thought you were wrong.


      Sent from my iPad


      • Mike McDaniel January 22, 2014 at 1:54 am #

        Dear chrishanger:

        Thanks! Just a niggling little matter: my name is actually “McDaniel.”

      • chrishanger January 22, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

        DOH! Thank you for your wonderful blog. I don’t always agree with you, but you are always insightful. Chris > Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2014 01:54:07 +0000 > To: >

  2. Terry January 21, 2014 at 11:51 pm #

    Right on the button Chris….race has very little to do with it…he’s a failure and that’s the bottom line. Affordable health care is simply not now affordable for many…many more than they expected to pick up from the ranks of those that didn’t have health care. I truly fear that America is following the Roman Empire into the mists of history.

    • chrishanger January 22, 2014 at 12:27 am #

      The whole thing just looks insane. A system that expects people to voluntarily make life worse for themselves?


      Sent from my iPad


  3. Tim January 23, 2014 at 3:55 am #

    Careful, Chris. You’re going to have Obamazombies after you crying, “Racist! Racist!” for daring to criticize their darling.

  4. david smith January 23, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

    What about the fact that he was repeatedly accused of not being an american giving rise to the whole birther conspiracy theory. , a majority of republicans don’t believe he is one and he was also repeatedly accused of being a muslim as thought this was bad thing. The fact that tea party was only born after he came to power is just a coincidence, a republican movement designed solely to prevent any republicans actually co operating with colleagues.

    The IRS scandal which never was, the scandal over Benghazi which never was.

    There was also the fact that he had to deal with the world economic crisis caused by by predecessor as well as dealing with 2 wars started by the same predecessor.

    Congress wouldn’t let him close guantanamo. He also continued with the same policies towards al qaeda, except reducing torture of course, and killing bin laden, something george bush never quite managed, and more correctly he continued to spy on the american people.

    As for the affordable care act, he spent years trying to get any republicans to co operate, non did and then he picked a system very similar to the one created by in mass by romney.

    The problem with obama is that he is right of centre, a lot more people both democrat and republican wanted him to be a radical left winger.

    As for the being tony blair? the key difference is he didn’t start a war based on lies, which seems like a big difference.

    I always believe that a lot of americans don’t like him because he is black and his father was a muslim kenyan and because his mother married an indonesian man.

    Most of all they don’t like that fact that he is President.

    • George Dixon January 26, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

      I could take exception to your ‘points’ and their explanations… but I only have a single lifetime available.

      However, as a contrast to one slice of what your wrote, which is indicative of what a reply to each ‘point’ would look like, Guantanamo:

      2007: If elected Obama states: “We’re going to close Guantanamo.”

      2008: Elections: Obama promised to close Guantanamo “within days of taking office”

      2009: Within days of taking office Obama Promises to close Guantanamo by the years end.

      2011: Obama Promises to close Guantanamo AND “re-institutes military tribunals for detainees” at Guantanamo.

      2012: Obama approves the plan that Khalid Sheik Mohammed would be returned to Guantánamo Bay for trial.

      2013 (January): Obama approves State Department shutting down the office of the envoy for closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

      2013 (April): Obama states: “We’re going to close Guantanamo.” (see: 2007)

      Find a “Congress” in that time line.

      • Barb Caffrey February 2, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

        Chris, you’re right on in what you said for the most part. I take issue with Benghazi to a certain degree, which I’ll get to in a moment — but seeing Barack Obama as analogous to Tony Blair is, in its way, brilliant. There certainly are a lot of parallels, and I appreciate reading your analysis because it made me think of what’s going on in an entirely new way — kudos!

        George, I’m really frustrated that Guantanamo Bay has not been closed. I view this as a badly broken promise. I believe there has been a great deal of obstruction by other branches of government (most particularly the House of Reps., which I’ll get to later on), but most certainly this is going to go down as a failure of either Presidential leadership or possibly a misreading of what the President can actually *do*. (I’d pick the former, but a case can probably be made for the latter.)

        As I believe Chris knows, I’m a Hillary Clinton Democrat — otherwise known as an independent voter who mostly sides with the Ds because of social issues. I believe Mrs. Clinton is a strong person, would be an excellent President, and I voted for her in 2008 even though before she ran for President I hadn’t really thought about her as a Presidential choice (other than the phrase “imperial Presidency” because of her husband Bill Clinton being a former President). I had backed John Edwards because I liked Edwards’ health plan (in some ways it was more radical, but in other ways it was more sensible); I backed Clinton afterward because she was and is a political realist who knew full well that refusing to work with the Republicans would only lead to massive obstruction down the line — and that’s exactly what happened, too.

        As for Benghazi . . . I believe she, personally, did all she could to rectify mistakes made at Benghazi. I think she was hamstrung by some of the long-term politics and policies made by people above her (and as there aren’t too many people above the Secretary of State, your guess is as good as mine as to who that person or those people were). She was a personal friend of the ambassador who died and immediately called for action — I used to get Sec. State e-mails and can probably get you one as a reference if really needed, providing I still have ’em — and fired at least four people who were involved in not getting the right people to Benghazi before the ambassador was killed (along with four Marines, IIRC, and two aides).

        Some of the problem there was because the funding needed to make sure ambassadors are safe in the Middle East has been hamstrung by petty political brinksmanship in the House of Reps, which is Republican-controlled. The House has been the weakest, most flatulent bunch of do-nothings in the history of the U.S., in my considered opinion, and in this case they failed. (It’s the House that allocates money; the President can ask and can do a little bit via executive order, while the Senate cannot allocate money but can either go along with the House or try to force the House to do something, depending on your point of view.) They have never taken responsibility for that failure, either, and that truly upsets me.

        The Sec. of State, whether it’s Colin Powell, Condi Rice, Mrs. Clinton or John Kerry, cannot allocate money he or she does not have. This is why I blame the House much more than I blame the office of Sec. State, especially as Mrs. Clinton was personally extremely upset (and right away, too) and went after the bureaucrats whom she felt did the worst job allocating what money they *did* have, which led to this complete failure and the loss of the ambassador, the Marines and at least two of his aides.

        As for the President’s role in this — he could’ve and IMO should’ve kept pressing the House to get more money to the diplomatic branches to avoid this from happening. But there are many, many demands on the President’s time. This may have snuck through the cracks, or maybe (to be charitable) the President really did yell at the House of Reps. leadership (led by Speaker John Boehner and his second, Rep. Eric Cantor) to get more money there, but the House just did not listen. It’s impossible to know.

        As President, Barack Obama gets to take the blame for any failure on his watch, just as Mrs. Clinton also must take the blame due to being Sec. of State. But the House should not be forgotten, and someone should be screaming at them to get more money allocated to guard the ambassadors, most particularly in unstable areas, even now . . . whether you are a R, a D, an Indy or something totally different, the fact remains that these men and women *must be protected*.

      • chrishanger February 9, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

        Thank you!

        Blair and Obama, I think, both find it harder to come to grips with the actual hard work of governing than they do making fancy speeches. This tends to appear as either indecisiveness, micromanagement or pigheaded stubbornness. To be fair (even though I dont want to be), failure is always seen as their fault, even if it happened because of factors outside their control.

        Guantanamo Bay, I think, represents yet another attempt to adapt to an unprecedented situation. Bush didn’t make the best choice, he made the least bad choice; terrorists couldn’t be treated as either standard POWs or simple criminals. (There was, and still is, a question mark over just how far the Taliban is covered by the Geneva Conventions, but AQs terrorists are definitely outside its protections.) Obama, I think, started out planning to close it for political reasons, then realised that he didnt have any better option.

        I dont know Hilary personally, but Im not impressed with her record of tactical voting and I REALLY dont think political families should be allowed to develop (any further than they already have.) However, the muck over Benghazi looks very bad on her record, even if she wasnt the one making the decisions. The claim that the whole attack occurred because of a stupid movie was a) inaccurate and b) a step towards accepting the enemys view of the world as legitimate. Even if it were true (and the attack was launched too quickly for it to be likely) the movie did not constitute an excuse for doing anything, certainly not rioting, looting, murder and terrorism. To attempt to appease people who throw temper tantrums that get innocent people hurt or killed is nothing more than a display of shameful weakness.

        But all of that is beside the point. At the risk of sounding cold and heartless, disasters happen and political programs, no matter how well-planned, run into unanticipated snags and hiccups that look very embarrassing. That happens … and its the job of the President to stand up, admit there are problems, and ask for time and patience. Instead, Obama played the Race Card.

        Thing is … what sort of society that hates blacks puts a black man in the White House?


        > Date: Sun, 2 Feb 2014 22:09:03 +0000 > To: >

      • Barb Caffrey February 10, 2014 at 4:11 am #

        I can’t answer your last question, Chris. But I can answer some of the rest.

        Mrs. Clinton fired a number of people who didn’t allocate money properly in the State Department. I think that’s all she could do after this terrible tragedy occurred.

        This stuff about a movie — this has not come up at all in most accounts except for the extreme right-wing in the US. I don’t know much about it . . . I don’t think that’s what caused this.

        What caused the ambassador to be killed were three things:

        1) Extreme unrest in the region.
        2) Anti-American sentiment in the region
        3) Not having nearly enough protection under the circumstances due to a lack of funding from the U.S. Congress (particularly the House of Reps., which allocates money) and then compounding that problem by the bean counters at the State Department, who didn’t give the Libyan Ambassador more help from discretionary funds. (That’s the main reason HRC fired those folks.)

        HRC is a pragmatist who worked with the other party. Had she been elected in 2008, we’d have a better and more prosperous economy and we’d have far less gridlock. Instead, we got a President who honestly believed, after serving slightly less than four full years in the U.S. Senate, that “hope and change” along with postmodernism and postracialism were possible in the U.S., and that with the waves of good feeling the country was bathing in after Barack Obama was elected President that he would have unlimited political capital to change everything to the way he wanted.

        (Mrs. Clinton sarcastically said on the stump in early 2008, “He believes that celestial choirs will come down…” — that line I remember, though it’s my best paraphrase — “…the skies will open…” (can’t remember the rest, but it was to the effect that you cannot change a broken system overnight, particularly not with a wave of the Presidential hand, or people would’ve done it long since).

        HRC voters, like myself, mostly went for her because she had some common sense. She knew what the limitations of Presidential power were all about, and could work within that power.

        Unfortunately, we were drowned out by the Democratic Party establishment, who at this late date seem to have thought that Barack Obama might be a little more malleable, might be a bit easier to lead, and they’d all get their own way a whole lot easier with him than they would with HRC.

        You see the result: A country where our labor force is underappreciated, many people are out of work, health care was badly mismanaged, and any number of other big problems that aren’t going away any time too soon.

        I, personally, feel that HRC would’ve made a much better President. I hope she’ll still get a chance, because I view her as akin to Diocletian — she can fix what’s wrong, she can bring some peace, she knows everyone in power around the world, she hates poverty, she will do what she can to bring common sense back to the White House and perhaps by putting the focus squarely on the economy from the start, we’ll get something done.

        However, she may not get in there, and if she doesn’t, whoever might get elected next (as a D) would be much less potentially helpful toward righting the economic ship. Many Ds want to believe that if they institute old policies, they’ll work — but we need new policies, not just new politics (the whole “postpartisan” nonsense, which just caused a huge backlash).

        Anyway, that’s what I believe. I don’t know if it’ll make much difference even if HRC does get in there in 2016 (she may not even *want* the job as she was savaged unmercifully by the press, who seemed to be extreme misogynists during most of the 2008 campaign). But the only other person currently on the scene I think could make a decent-to-better President is Jeb Bush . . . and then you have the whole “imperial Presidency” argument coming up, much worse than Mrs. Clinton (who’s only married to a former President, rather than the son of a former President and the brother of a former President, too).

  5. Ben Hartley January 23, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

    Quite truthfully, I don’t really care if Barack H. Obama is a green Hindu from Mars. The man is so woefully out of his depth that all he can do is whine about it being someone else’s fault, or the color of his skin. The man’s a totally incompetent; it’s as simple as that.

  6. david smith January 23, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

    when exactly did he whine about it being someone else’s fault. He inherited the job in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, whilst fighting 2 wars in the middle east.

    • Terry January 24, 2014 at 12:11 am #

      he did and continues to blame everything on Bush…5 years later. Like others I don’t care if he’s martian…I do care that he’s incompetent…

  7. davidsmith January 25, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

    And any criticism that starts with “the race crrd is not accepted at this atm”, is guaranteed to be based on race. And it was.

    Why even add this kind of criticism to a site about alternative history.

    • chrishanger January 25, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

      I do beg your pardon? I don’t think that challenging the President’s decision to play the race card is, in itself, racist. How can it be? Chris > Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2014 19:15:05 +0000 > To: >

  8. davidsmith January 26, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    I always find that when white people accuse black people of playing the race card, what they actually want to do is dismiss their opinions and experiences. Given the amount of rubbish to have come from the right, republicans and the tea party, I think he has gone out of his way to not mention the reasons for their enmity

    As for the mike mcdowell article – linking to an extreme right winger’s website, tells your readers quite a lot about your own personal politics.

  9. George Dixon January 26, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

    Race has nothing to do with issues in Obama’s America today.
    However, the trajectory of President Obama’s Party absolutely does…

    JFK: “Ask not what your country can do for you…”

    Obama: “ObamaCare”

    From the highest call to the lowest common denominator, one Party’s decline has pulled America along behind it.

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