Jonathan Chait Hears A Dog Whistle

We’ve been told now for over four years that any criticism of Obama is not based on his ineptness, incompetence, corruption, or moral cowardice but rather on our own racism.


If you want to know why Obama’s “you didn’t build that” statement resonates, it has nothing to do with Obama’s dislike for America or his rejection of hard work and exceptionalism as American values. Rather it is because you are racist. Don’t trust me, Jonathan Chait at New York Magazine, offers this as proof:

Mitt Romney’s plan of blatantly lying about President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” speech is clearly drawing blood. But what makes the attack work so well is not so much the lie itself but the broader subtext of it. […]

The key thing is that Obama is angry, and he’s talking not in his normal voice but in a “black dialect.” This strikes at the core of Obama’s entire political identity: a soft-spoken, reasonable African-American with a Kansas accent. From the moment he stepped onto the national stage, Obama’s deepest political fear was being seen as a “traditional” black politician, one who was demanding redistribution from white America on behalf of his fellow African-Americans.

The entire key to the rise of the Republican Party from the mid-sixties through the nineties was that white Americans came to see the Democrats as taking money from the hard-working white middle class and giving it to a lazy black underclass. Reactivating that frame is still the most mortal threat to the Democrats and to Obama. That is why Obama is reacting so urgently to reestablish himself.


Got that. No one noticed Obama was in black in 2008 which allowed him to get elected. At some point this year people started saying to themselves, “hey, isn’t that a black guy in the White House?” And from that point on it has been down hill. Nothing to do with 15% actual unemployment, skyrocketing debt, rapacious government regulation, the administration of justice based on whim, billions given to Obama cronies, or key countries being handed over to islamic terrorists while representatives of those terrorist organization actually help make our security policy. Nope. Suddenly everyone discovered there was a black guy in the White House. And they only did it because Obama slipped up and sounded like an angry black guy.


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