Crying 'R'

Home is where the heart is. The saying proves true for liberals, who rather than facing the fact that their health care proposal is too leftist for the American people, and that the Obama administration made a huge tactical blunder by introducing a proposal that would be blocked not by conservatives, but by centrist members of its own party, instead seek to blame the implosion on racism. Frustrated and aghast that the vote for Obama in November might have been as naive and non-ideological as it was, Liberals are left with nothing, in their Woodstock-style self indulgence, but to bang the drum of racism. Crying 'R' brings them home to the 60's and the era of civil rights where they cut their teeth. It's like they're pissing in the mud with 500,000 other adolescents singing "Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz" all over again.
To drive the point home of how obsessive and evidence-free the cry of racism is, I thought I'd share a recent email exchange with a listener. Here's how the series started, with a note from "Ray."
Todd - The Rs are going off the cliff.  Why do you think that they are using such imagery like a swatzika when they have policy disagreements?  I believe many Rs to be a fearful bunch, subtely or not so subtely racist and believe that a black man in the White House is more than they can take.  8 more years of this, and they're going to riot.
I respond.
Ya, it's got to be racism.
And Ray writes...
Todd: Let me know your address and I'll send you ten bucks if you can deliver a well reasoned reason that it's not racism.  There is probably not another issue in recent times that conservatives have been this upset about. wtf do you think it means when they say - we want America back? In the last 8 years nothing upset those folks except this one issue and suddenly they fear America is coming apart because Insurance companies will have to compete w/a public option and you really think that's what's behind this? You seem either oblivious, dense or unwilling to believe that there are racists running around who haven't gotten over the fact that a black man is President.
Liberals always insist on civilized discourse, as you can see in the above paragraph. Here's my answer to this silliness.
Ray - you're asking me to prove the unprovable, which is why the race card is played by liberals everytime a conservative has an opinion on anything. The burden would fall on you to offer some proof that Americans are upset with politicians like nancy pelosi, arlen specter, kathleen sebelius, ben cardin, niki tsongas - and all the other officials who they are raking over the coals - because of their race. Americans are 80% happy with a system that politicians, who they are only marginally supportive of, want to turn over, willy nilly, to a bureaucracy which they have no faith in. It is lazy and ignorant to inject race when there is no evidence of it being a factor. This is a radical plan that there is no support for.
Ray then sends me a link to a column by a guy named, ironically, Wise, on the Daily Kos, who tries desperately to prove that some people in the anti-socialism movement must be racists, without making any argument about why it matters if some are. Some folks do hate blacks, I suppose, just as there's prejudice against tall people, folks with big ears, going to the doctor, and overcooked peas. Focusing on any of these fringe motivations is a deliberate effort to deflect from the real issue - a health care proposal that over-reaches, leaving the President unable to hold members of his own party - a failure that occurred before the recess protests of the past couple of weeks! Writes Wise,
In the end, although there are many people, with many different reasons for opposing the President or his health care proposal, the role that race and racism is playing cannot be ignored. With major conservative spokespersons stoking the fires of racial resentment daily, and with most whites having long ago come to the conclusion that social program spending is something done on behalf of racial "minorities" at their own white expense, it is not too much to insist that race is operating, for some quite overtly and for others more subtly.
As patient and dedicated as I am to my listeners, I read the entire "Wise" piece, and even sent Ray a follow-up.
I tried, but couldn't learn anything. The main theme of the piece is that some people opposed to Obama proposals could possibly be motivated, in part, by racist feelings, along with the many other things that could be motivating them. I agree. Is there any evidence that racism plays a role significant enough to make it worth discussing? He provides no evidence that I can see - but I would ask you to point it out. Does he provide any evidence that equivalent numbers of Americans would not be equally irate if Howard Dean, or some other socialist, were pushing the same proposal? None that I can see, but I would ask you to list the evidence. Does he make any argument that if, indeed, some of the folks amongst the majority of Americans who are opposed to the president on health care more than any other policy area polled are against him because of racial bigotry, that it is a large enough group to make it worthy of discussion? None that I can see, but I look forward to you highlighting where he points that out.
Sadly, Ray falls back on the "no one has been this upset about a policy proposal for a long time so it must be racism" storyline.
Todd, It would be difficult to ascertain whether or not the same sort of protests or disruptions would be occuring if Dr. Dean was President or some other left-leaning President were pushing the same health care agenda.  I would bet not. At no time in the recent past, have Rs or Ds on the ground been so animated. Not the leadup or administration of the Iraq war, not the fact that the war was not payed for and not the fact that over 50% of the GW's tax reductions went to the top 1% wage earners.  Not a peep. Hillary Clinton during the primaries was proposing the the exact same healthcare agenda minus a few minor distinctions - yet it was Obama alone that a number of Rs were accusing of being a socialist. As I stated to you before, healthcare is by and large a policy difference with the staus quo.  One way or the other - we are paying for it.  It's too difficult or near impossible to imagine that if Hillary or Dean were president that we would see such hysteria and over the top non sense being spewed.  The fact is, most if not all are the "protesters" are white, middle aged, probably of a blue collar background and I would suppose many of them have never in their life protested publicly a single thing. Something has changed and it has nothing to w/a public option.
In my book, there are very clear and concrete reasons why Americans are upset with the direction their government has taken over the past several months - not just a radical health care proposal that Obama can't get past his own party (a fact ignored by the race baiters) - there's also the bailout of Wall Street (opposed by a majority of Americans), the bailout of the auto makers (opposed by a majority of Americans), and a stimulus package that was more pork than stim. Combine that with a tough economy, spending run out of control and major proposals like Cap & Trade and Health Reform that will run us deeper in debt, and the angst is palpable. Let liberals continue to fixate on the boogeyman of racism - they do so at their own peril. If they insist on singing oldies from the sixties, they're going to miss the melodies that are driving the market right now. By praying to the God of Race, they're not likely to end up with that Mercedes Benz, after all.