someone left a pile on the WSJ op-ed pages
I don’t usually fisk articles– especially from major newspapers– because they are generally all about frame/narrative rather than truth or fact. An article today on the WSJ Op-ed page is begging for it, though. The article, titled “Our Divisive President” is a continuation of the Right-wing/FNC model of “othering” this POTUS, and stoking white fear of the black man in the White House.
The article starts out with a bunch of feel-good bullshit that’s intended to make you think the two columnists are liberal Democrats, and were behind the POTUS rather than what is more likely, they are PUMAs:
President Obama’s Inaugural was a hopeful day, with an estimated 1.8 million people on the National Mall celebrating the election of America’s first African-American president. The level of enthusiasm, the anticipation and the promise of something better could not have been more palpable.
Then the bullshit starts:
And yet, it has not been realized. Not at all.
Rather than being a unifier, Mr. Obama has divided America on the basis of race, class and partisanship. Moreover, his cynical approach to governance has encouraged his allies to pursue a similar strategy of racially divisive politics on his behalf.
Then we get the obligatory “both sides do it”;
We have seen the divisive approach under Republican presidents as well—particularly the administrations of Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. It was wrong then, and it is wrong now. By dividing America, Mr. Obama has brought our government to the brink of a crisis of legitimacy, compromising our ability to address our most important policy issues
Yes it was wrong when Republicans devised the Southern Strategy and used it in every election since, by more than just Tricky Dick and W. Reagan used the shit out of the Southern Strategy.
How, though, is this President dividing America;
The first hint that as president Mr. Obama would be willing to interject race into the political dialogue came last July, when he jumped to conclusions about the confrontation between Harvard Prof. Henry Louis “Skip” Gates and the Cambridge police.
During a press conference, the president said that the “Cambridge police acted stupidly,” and he went on to link the arrest with the “long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately
Well, they did act stupidly, and law enforcement entities DO stop minorities disproportionately. Pointing out facts that the other side doesn’t like is not being divisive.
Okay so that point can be trashed, what else has he done to divide America:
Sen. Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.) has said the president told him in a closed-door meeting that he would not move to secure the border with Mexico unless and until Congress reached a breakthrough on comprehensive immigration reform. That’s another indication Mr. Obama is willing to continue to play politics with hot-button issues.
This, is a lie. The POTUS never said any such thing, and even Sen Kyl admitted as such, saying his comments were taken out of context, and he was referring to POTUS’ base not the Administration.
So, another point in this ridiculous article can be dismissed. Do they have anything else;
Add in the lawsuit against the Arizona immigration law and it’s clear the Obama administration is willing to run the risk of dividing the American people along racial and ethnic lines to mobilize its supporters—particularly Hispanic voters, whose backing it needs in the fall midterm elections and beyond.
How about the fact that Arizona passed the law? When people fight against a racist law, they aren’t racist, they are the OPPOSITE of racist. No, in the minds of the two morons who wrote this article, the division comes not from lawmakers making racist laws, but from an Administration fighting those laws. The authors may call themselves Democrats, but that is some Republican thinking right there.
Lets’s see, what else?
On an issue that has gotten much less attention, but is potentially just as divisive, the Justice Department has pointedly refused to prosecute three members of the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation at the polls on Election Day 2008.
Ah, Fox News “truths.” I’ll let Oliver Willis handle this one.
Department Of Justice closed The New Black Panther case because nobody came forward to indicate a pattern of intimidation. The law requires that witnesses come forth to indicate that there was a pattern of voter intimidation. No witnesses did so from this polling place. None. Nada. Zip. The Department of Justice can’t just go ahead with a prosecution because they feel like it if they lack the required evidence. It would in fact be an abuse of legal power to do so. —via
Since these two “democrats” think refusing to prosecute this case is so terribly divisive, one wonders whether they were equally concerned when W dropped a case of a white man with a gun at an AZ polling place;
Bush administration didn’t prosecute an anti-immigration activist who went to the polls with a gun. The Bush administration in 2006 declined to file charges of voter intimidation against an anti-immigration activist who brought a gun to the polling place in Arizona and said he planned to photograph latino voters.– via
Probably not. The fact is that the Bush DOJ dropped criminal charges in the NBPP case, and the Obama DOJ sanctioned the one member with a night stick. Without any actual voters claiming actual voter intimidation, this NBPP bullshit is just more dogwhistle politics.
The next few paragraphs are basically complaints that no ponies have arrived yet, and then we get this;
Finally, President Obama also exacerbated partisan division, and he has made it clear that he intends to demonize the Republicans and former President George W. Bush in the fall campaign. In April, the Democratic National Committee released a video in which the president directly addressed his divide-and-conquer campaign strategy, with an appeal to: “young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women who powered our victory in 2008 [to] stand together once again.”
The reason the Administration, as well as myriad democratic candidates are running against W is because the republicans are campaigning on a RETURN TO BUSH POLICIES. Policies that are responsible for the current clusterfuck we find ourselves in. When republicans want to return to said policies, they SHOULD be demonized. Also, asking young people, African-Americans and Latinos to vote isn’t divisive. Inclusion of everyone in the national dialogue/political process is a GOOD thing. Unless you’re a republican. Or a democrat writing trash for the WSJ.
Its articles like this, a pack of lies and half-truths twisted to meet a Fox “news” view of the world of race relations, that damage race relations in this country. This article is lacking the most important element in addressing race issues, and fighting racism; Honesty. That it was posted on the WSJ is not surprising. That it was written by people calling themselves Democrats is a fucking disgrace.