Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The race card

Former President Carter did no favors for President Obama by injecting the spectre of racism in the incumbent's declining poll numbers and resistance to his policies.

Racism in this country? Of course. Racism partly responsible for dislike for Obama and distaste for his policies? Some.

But today's America is filled with angry, scared people who have seen their retirement funds dwindle, their jobs disappear, their cherished institutions crumble and the prospects for their children living more comfortable lives diminish.

Not all of that can be laid at Obama's doorstep, but he is the president and it comes with the job. And it has nothing to do with Obama being a black man (although a case can be made that extremist voices are ginning up their anti-Obama positions with not-so-subtle racial images and words).

It wasn't all that many months ago when Americans were saying they felt good about themselves and the nation for electing a black man. Many are now represented in the president's increased disapproval ratings. His policies, not his color, have for the time being made them jump ship.

And let's not forget, more than 60 million Americans voted for the other guy. They already were disinclined to think favorably of the new president's point of view.

It says here Obama doesn't want his race to be an issue, favorably or negatively. It's a distraction.

America has come a long way on race. It has a long way to go. But to say a white Obama would have an easier time pursuing his agenda is to misunderstand the mood of much of the country.
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