Tuesday, August 16, 2011


by Libby Sternberg

So, apparently President Obama didn't show any righteous indignation at those who wanted to vote against raising the debt ceiling because he was trying to avoid the "angry black man trope."

Yes, I know. It's laughable. Are you done snickering?

If so, here's where this pearl came from -- Andrew Sullivan's column over at The Daily Beast. He writes:

"He just knows that the one thing the far right wants - and needs - to do is get into a fight with him, elevating them, diminishing him, and alienating the middle of the American electorate. His approach is the classic civil rights movement approach with a black leader addressing a largely white electorate: non-violence, reasoned argument..."

I'll let that sink in, too.

Okay, ready? Let's analyze this. Sullivan is suggesting that middle America's nascent racism will rear its ugly head should the president of the United States, who happens to be African-American, gets angry.

He's also suggesting that the president also thinks this and therefore tempers his reactions accordingly.

Words fail me. (And trust me, I'm rarely speechless.) Do we really have to go down this road again, Mr. Sullivan?

First, this argument is an insult to the president. Mr. Sullivan is essentially saying the president thinks a large swath of American populace is racist at heart. Now, Mr. Sullivan might think that. But does he really want to attribute that kind of stinkin' thinkin' to the president?

Second, the argument is an obvious insult to the many Americans who disagreed with raising the debt ceiling, a bunch of whom are in the president's own party. Uh, in case you need a refresher, 95 Democrats in the House voted against the bill raising the debt celing. Yeah, I know they didn't like various things in the bill, but the fact remains. They voted against raising the debt ceiling.

The final vote in the House was:  269-161

174 Republicans and 95 Democrats for
66 Republicans and 95 Democrats against

Let me summarize: more Democrats than Republicans opposed the debt ceiling bill in the House.

Maybe, just maybe, Mr. Sullivan, the president didn't open a can of "whup-ass," as you put it, criticizing those who voted in opposition to raising the debt ceiling, because a large number of them were in his own party. Give him some credit for political strategy.You might disagree with his politics and his policies (I do), but don't suggest he was motivated by racial considerations.

The fact that you do tells me who the real racist is.

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