Posted by: Puma1 | January 14, 2009

Washington Post Still in Denial About Obama and the Race Card

Last year this time, Obama was calling this woman racist.

Last year this time, Obama was calling this woman racist.

Nearly one year after the South Carolina primary in which Barack Obama and his campaign devised one of the most evil and cynical campaign strategies ever in falsely painting Hillary and Bill Clinton as card-carrying racists, the Washington Post is still claiming it never happened:

Here’s what hasn’t changed in America.

In the past week or so, we’ve seen a threatened Senate stand-off, hyperbolic historical references, an alleged case of stonewalling by the Illinois secretary of state, lawsuits and rumors of lawsuits, a wild-card nominee for the Senate first turned away from that body and then perhaps accepted by it, and that same nominee called upon to testify in the impeachment hearings of the man who nominated him — all tied together by the complicating factor of race.

Former Illinois attorney general Roland W. Burris may well be qualified to serve as the junior senator from Illinois, but his path to office demonstrates not only that cynicism is alive and well but that the politics of racial divisiveness remain with us too. With one stroke, public attention shifted away from a corrupt governor’s attempt to auction a public office and onto the reliably controversial terrain of race.

In pushing the case for Burris, Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.), who is black, made inflamed references to lynching — arguing that criticizing Burris was akin to lynching a black man — and to the “plantation politics” of the Senate. Rush illustrated perfectly the kind of cynical manipulation of race that President-elect Barack Obama rejected throughout his campaign, especially in his speech on race last March [italics mine]. But Gov. Rod Blagojevich‘s gambit worked. The Illinois House voted overwhelmingly to impeach him on Friday, but it does appear as though whatever else happens, on the point of Sen. Burris, he will prevail.

via In the Age of Obama, Still Playing the Race Card by William Jelani Cobb — Washington Post

The manipulation of race that Obama rejected throughout his campaign? Is that some kind of joke? We have detailed the Obama campaign’s rampant abuse of the race card before:

From Obama’s loudmouth, dad-bashing campaign co-chair Jesse Jackson, Jr. claiming Hillary was insensitive  to Katrina victims, to the now infamous ‘leaked’ memo claiming the Clintons and all around them were racist;

From the contrived overreaction to Bill Clinton’s observations that Obama’s Iraq war opposition was a “fairy tale” to similar fake outrage when Mr. Clinton compared Obama’s South Carolina primary win to Jesse Jackson’s;

From the Obama campaign’s pretending to be postracial in public while threatening black superdelegates in private to Obama waiting until black voters vaulted him to the nomination before bashing black fathers with lame stereotypes, the Obama campaign at every turn has sought to use racial politics as a bludgeon, beating the opposition into submission.

The modus operandi of the Obama campaign and his media buddies was transparent from the beginning was to exploit the racial loyalty of blacks and the racial guilt of whites. Hence, calling Obama arrogant was racist. Calling Obama elitist was racist. Calling Obama inexperienced was racist, as we learned when the Times helpfully informed us that Hillary’s ‘3 AM ad‘ was racist because it showed a litte white girl sleeping.

So much so that by the time the Obama himself transparently played the race card during the general election — claiming McCain’s attack ads were subliminally racist scare tactics meant to remind voters that Obama “doesn’t look like all those other Presidents on the dollar bills” (*wink, wink). The resulting firestorm once the McCain campaign followed the brave lead of ABC’s Jake Tapper and flatly called Obama out on these cynical race games (finally!) led the Obama campaign to eventually deny, retract, and walk away from Obama’s racist statements completely.

The question is where were William Jelani Cobb and the Washington Post during all this? Drunk on Kool-Aid, no doubt, like the rest of the fourth estate.

If this is what passes from truth in reporting, no wonder nobody is reading newspapers anymore. Good grief!



  1. And Jelani, check out Black Agenda Report’s, “Obama Insults Half A Race” post about the Father’s Day Speech. Then, check out the obscene right-wing support for his adopting their talking points in it.

  2. It all started way before that. In about May of 2007, the “first viable black candidate for president” (who to that point had been Jesse Jackson) suddenly needed Secret Service protection according to Harry Reid and Dick Durbin, who “expressed concern” about “racially motivated” info, though no credible threat had been issued, nor was ever offered. In October, Roland Martin wrote a “black wake up call,” outlining all the “black” things Obama needed to do to cut into Hillary’s lead with African Americans. (Wonder if Axelrod dropped a dime to his fellow Chicagoan.) In November, Michelle Obama went on Morning Joe and implored blacks to “wake up and get it.” There was speculation that Camp O released the Somali garb photo themselves and blamed Clinton. Before S.C., Camp O, again purposely, deliberately misinterpreted and blew Clinton’s MLK day factual statements out of proportion. Then, the Bill Clinton assault to neutralize him started, JJJr.’s shameful “how to you beat a white woman,” etc., “I never saw him dance” stuff came along. Obie/Axelrod learned race/class-baiting from the spanking he took from Bobby Rush in 2000. Anybody who doesn’t think Obie is the race manipulator doesn’t know anything about him at all.
    I have links to back up everything I said, but I don’t want to end up in spam.

  3. There are so many holes in this argument that I scarcely know where to begin. On the one hand you assume that black people somehow needed a choreographer to be outraged by Clinton’s SC comments about Jesse Jackson. (I notice you left out the “hard working white voters” comment which I suppose wasn’t racial either.)

    Believe it or not, we can think for ourselves and those words were clearly intended to diminish Obama’s accomplishment in the eyes of very many of us. Moreover it’s ridiculous to assert that Obama, who was abandoned by his father is somehow playing the race card when he talks about the negative impact this has on the black community. The best part of it is, that if we (outside of Jesse Jackson) thought that he was trafficking in stereotypes why was there no major outcry or impact upon his black support?

    I assure you there is no kool aid being consumed on this side but I’d advise you to stay off whatever it is that you’ve been drinking.

    • The facts speak for themselves. It is a fact that Jesse Jackson, Jr. accused Hillary of not caring about Katrina victims. It is a fact that the Obama campaign used race to threaten black superdelegates. It is a fact that they released a memo claiming the Clinton campaign was racist, knowing full well they weren’t. It is a fact that they had to retract the implication of racism against McCain.

      You still haven’t addressed these facts.

      Whether Bill Clinton’s Jesse Jackson comparison was racist or not (it wasn’t, since Jackson won the exact same vote percentage based on overwhelming black support), it still does not refute the FACT that Obama most certainly DID NOT reject cynical racial politics to win. He embraced the race card to win…over and over again.

      As to why there was no outcry from blacks about this, your own words from your own blog impeach you: “Among the more endearing traits of my people is our willingness to go to the mat for our own — even when we know they’re dead wrong or when we’re clearly over-reacting” ( You said it yourself: black people will excuse anything black people do, including Obama, even when he’s wrong. Thank you for making my point for me. Your claims off be on the Kool-aid wagon are belied by the contradictions in your own words.

      I used to think my people could think for themselves, but based on the nonsensical worship of any black superstar no matter how wrong or vile he may be, it appears more true that we let our race do our thinking for us. Which, besides tragic, is racist and wrong.

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