This is the latest in a series on the use of the race card for political gain:

If you have followed this series, you have seen the absurd depths to which liberal pundits and political operatives will go to inject race into non-racial situations, and to explain almost all opposition to Obama as implicitly if not explicitly racist.

This stereotyped view of opposition to Obama derives not only from liberal dogma, but from Obama himself.

Obama’s view was evidenced in April 2008, before it was even clear he would defeat Hillary Clinton, and long before substantial anti-Obama sentiment grew in the country. 

At a private fundraiser which Obama did not know was being taped, Obama expressed his disdain for Democratic primary voters who opposed him with the now famous “bitter clinger” comments:

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Remember, Obama made his bitter clinger comments before there was a Tea Party movement, before there was opposition to what would become Obamacare, before Sarah Palin was a national figure, and before Obama had even won the nomination. 

In fact, in April 2008 there was support among Republicans for Obama as a means of stopping Hillary, as reflected in Rush Limbaugh’s Operation Chaos and other efforts to make the Democratic primary more competitive for Obama.  To the extent there were any questions being raised at that time regarding Obama’s birthplace and citizenship, such questions were being raised by other Democrats

The theme that racism was the source of opposition to Obama was prevalent throughout the primary season and general election.  It was a theme used to Obama’s great advantage against Hillary and McCain:

Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama said on Friday he expects Republicans to highlight the fact that he is black as part of an effort to make voters afraid of him.

“It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy,” Obama told a fundraiser in Jacksonville, Florida. “We know what kind of campaign they’re going to run. They’re going to try to make you afraid.

“They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?”

Fast forward to May 2010, and Obama asserted a view of the Tea Party movement which was very similar to the bitter clinger view Obama took in April 2008 toward Democratic primary voters.

As reported in U.S. News, at a private dinner Obama asserted that racism was a primary motivation for the Tea Party movement and for opposition to Obama’s policies:

In May 2010, he told guests at a private White House dinner that race was probably a key component in the rising opposition to his presidency from conservatives, especially right-wing activists in the anti-incumbent “Tea Party” movement that was then surging across the country. Many middle-class and working-class whites felt aggrieved and resentful that the federal government was helping other groups, including bankers, automakers, irresponsible people who had defaulted on their mortgages, and the poor, but wasn’t helping them nearly enough, he said.

A guest suggested that when Tea Party activists said they wanted to “take back” their country, their real motivation was to stir up anger and anxiety at having a black president, and Obama didn’t dispute the idea. He agreed that there was a “subterranean agenda” in the anti-Obama movement—a racially biased one—that was unfortunate. But he sadly conceded that there was little he could do about it.

While Obama says he wants a post-racial American, in fact Obama bitterly clings to bitter clinger stereotypes.

It seems unfathomable to Obama that people actually oppose his policies on the merits, and he seems not to care that each play of the race card is insulting and infuriating and tears the country a little bit further apart.

We do not cling — bitterly or otherwise.  And we don’t like being accused of being something we are not.

[Note:  I made a correction as to Operation Chaos because, as a commenter pointed out, the goal was not to help Obama but to keep the Democratic primary competitive, although it defintely was true that for a long time Republicans were focused on stopping Hillary, not Obama.]

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Related Posts:
“Race” As Political Weapon
An Allergic Reaction To The Race Card

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