Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) announced his candidacy for president in Springfield, IL, where Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous “House Divided address. In his speech, Obama reiterated his call to redeploy U.S. forces out of Iraq by March 2008…. [O]n Fox News Sunday, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol attacked Obama’s Iraq policy, saying he wants to appease terrorists like pro-slavery politician Stephen Douglas tried to appease slave-owners. Kristol said, “Obama’s speech is a ‚Äö√Ñ√≤can’t we get along’ speech ‚Äö√Ñ√Æ sort of the opposite of Lincoln. He would have been with Stephen Douglas in 1858.
When Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) announced that he was running for President, my first thought was “I wonder how long it will take for the race-baiting to begin?” As it turns out, not even 24 hours passed before I was proved prescient. Of course, no good, God-fearing Republican, even a neoConservative like Bill Kristol, is going to be stupid enough to use the “n” word. They’ll couch their racist analysis in all manner of pseudo-intellectual analysis, and, like Kristol, they may even try to provide some sort of historical context to make their racism seem erudite and well-educated. No, it won’t be overt, and they’ll dance around it artfully, but the racism will be there, and it will be unmistakable.
In the same way that Donatella Versace can counsel Sen. Hillary Clinton to “ditch the trousers”, Obama will be subjected to all sorts of analysis on how he can become more “mainstream” (i.e.- White). It would be nice to be able to think that we as a nation could rise above this pointless, meaningless crap. Unfortunately, since Republicans recognize that they can’t compete on the issues, they’re left with race-baiting…and it’s only going to get worse. “Swiftboating” on racial issues will likely become a Right-wing art form in the 2008 campaign, particularly if Barack Obama is on the Democratic ticket.
We’ve come a lot way, baby. Or not.