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Thread: The New Republic 'Sean Wilentz' alleges Barack Obama played the race card..

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    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    Default The New Republic 'Sean Wilentz' alleges Barack Obama played the race card..

    The New Republic
    Race Man by Sean Wilentz
    How Barack Obama played the race card and blamed Hillary Clinton.

    After several weeks of swooning, news reports are finally being filed about the gap between Senator Barack Obama's promises of a pure, soul-cleansing "new" politics and the calculated, deeply dishonest conduct of his actually-existing campaign. But it remains to be seen whether the latest ploy by the Obama camp--over allegations about the circulation of a photograph of Obama in ceremonial Somali dress--will be exposed by the press as the manipulative illusion that it is.
    Most of the recent correctives have concerned outrageously deceptive advertisements approved and released by Obama's campaign. First, in Iowa, the Obama camp aired radio ads patterned on the notorious "Harry and Louise" Republican propaganda from 1993, charging falsely that Senator Hillary Clinton's health care proposal would "force those who cannot afford health insurance to buy it, punishing those who won't fall in line." In subsequent primary and caucus campaigns, the Obama campaign sent out millions of mailers, also featuring the "Harry and Louise" motif, falsely claiming that Clinton favored "punishing families who can't afford health care in the first place." A few bloggers and columnists, notably Paul Krugman in The New York Times, described the ads as distorting, but the national press corps mainly ignored them--until Clinton herself, seeing the fraudulent mailers reappear in Ohio over the past weekend, publicly denounced them.
    The Obama mass mailings also attempt to appeal to Ohio's labor vote by claiming that Clinton believed that the North American Free Trade Agreement, signed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, was a "'boon' to our economy." More falsehood: In fact, Clinton had not said that; Newsday originally applied the word "boon" and has now noted the Obama campaign's distortion. In this campaign, Clinton has called for a moratorium on all trade agreements until they are made consistent with labor and environmental standards--and account for the effect on jobs in the United States. Obama makes a big deal about how Bill Clinton signed NAFTA. But he fails to mention that, within the councils of her husband's administration, Hillary Clinton was a skeptic of free trade agreements, and as a senator and candidate she has said that NAFTA contained flaws that need to be rectified. Ignoring all that, the Obama flyer features an alarming photograph of closed plant gates, having no connection to any action of Senator Clinton's, as well as the dubious quotation about her from Newsday in 2006. Newsday has criticized "Obama's use of the quotation" as "misleading ... an example of the kind of slim reeds campaigns use to try and win an office." Obama, without retracting the mailing (and while playing to protectionist sentiment in the party) said only that he would have his staff look into the matter--long after the ad has done its dirty work.
    Misleading propaganda is hardly new in American politics --although the adoption of techniques reminiscent of past Republican and special-interest hit jobs, right down to a retread of the fictional couple, seems strangely at odds with a campaign that proclaims it will redeem the country from precisely these sorts of divisive and manipulative tactics. As insidious as these tactics are, though, the Obama campaign's most effective gambits have been far more egregious and dangerous than the hypocritical deployment of deceptive and disingenuous attack ads. To a large degree, the campaign's strategists turned the primary and caucus race to their advantage when they deliberately, falsely, and successfully portrayed Clinton and her campaign as unscrupulous race-baiters--a campaign-within-the-campaign in which the worked-up flap over the Somali costume photograph is but the latest episode. While promoting Obama as a "post-racial" figure, his campaign has purposefully polluted the contest with a new strain of what historically has been the most toxic poison in American politics.
    More than any other maneuver, this one has brought Clinton into disrepute with important portions of the Democratic Party. A review of what actually happened shows that the charges that the Clintons played the "race card" were not simply false; they were deliberately manufactured by the Obama camp and trumpeted by a credulous and/or compliant press corps in order to strip away her once formidable majority among black voters and to outrage affluent, college-educated white liberals as well as college students. The Clinton campaign, in fact, has not racialized the campaign, and never had any reason to do so. Rather the Obama campaign and its supporters, well-prepared to play the "race-baiter card" before the primaries began, launched it with a vengeance when Obama ran into dire straits after his losses in New Hampshire and Nevada--and thereby created a campaign myth that has turned into an incontrovertible truth among political pundits, reporters, and various Obama supporters. This development is the latest sad commentary on the malign power of the press, hyping its own favorites and tearing down those it dislikes, to create pseudo-scandals of the sort that hounded Al Gore during the 2000 campaign. It is also a commentary on how race can make American politics go haywire. Above all, it is a commentary on the cutthroat, fraudulent politics that lie at the foundation of Obama's supposedly uplifting campaign.
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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Yeah, Obama was the one that played the race card first by saying that when he won South Carolina it was because 'Jesse Jackson had done the same thing.' Oh wait, that was Bill Clinton. And Obama was the one that said he won Louisiana because of 'it's proud African-American electorate.' Oh wait, that was Hillary Clinton. And it was Obama's supporters that were calling his 'blackness' into question. Oh wait, that was Jesse Jackson and Robert Johnson from BET, Hillary supporters. Yup, Obama played the race card and blamed Hillary.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    It sounds like Barack is well schooled in the ways of dirty politics and isn't a saint after all. Big surprise. I won't even touch the race card issue because that would be giving it credibility.

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    Silver Member LastLook's Avatar
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    ^Actually, I think that's exactly what's been happening---people are hesitant to say certain things about Obama lest they be called racist, even if those things might be perfectly valid. The spin machine is so strong that no matter what your intentions are, hell, no matter what the facts are, it is turned into whatever the media wants it to become. It's like a christmas present to the republican strategists. They know this! They depend on it no doubt.

    I call BS on the whole thing, because if you have a valid point then make it, race be damned. Look at the individual. It's impossible that he is as pure as he's been made out to be, or for that matter that Clinton is as bad as she's been painted to be. Typically those who threaten the ways of the establishment most have more people out to get them--I bet the insurance companies are beside themselves over her healthcare plan.
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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LastLook View Post
    ^Actually, I think that's exactly what's been happening---people are hesitant to say certain things about Obama lest they be called racist, even if those things might be perfectly valid. The spin machine is so strong that no matter what your intentions are, hell, no matter what the facts are, it is turned into whatever the media wants it to become. It's like a christmas present to the republican strategists. They know this! They depend on it no doubt.

    I call BS on the whole thing, because if you have a valid point then make it, race be damned. Look at the individual. It's impossible that he is as pure as he's been made out to be, or for that matter that Clinton is as bad as she's been painted to be. Typically those who threaten the ways of the establishment most have more people out to get them--I bet the insurance companies are beside themselves over her healthcare plan.
    You're absolutely right. Obama is not a saint and shouldn't be on a pedestal, and neither should Hillary. And neither of them are the devil incarnate, either. And you're also right that both Obama and Hillary are going to take an extra amount of heat since the election of either one of them to the presidency would be like driving a stake through the heart of the old-boy establishment.

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    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    Gosh no politician should ever be on any pedestal. I don't think many of the people who are voting for him have. A lot of them want someone different, that is inclusive not an elitist.
    The thing is that everyone know he is black. Playing the race card doesn't make him come off great with non black voters.
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    Wow, I find that shocking. I never would have guessed that.
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