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Majority Of Republicans Support Obama’s Impeachment

Impeach Obama Signs

The idea of impeaching President Obama, which has largely been a fringe issue on the right for the last several years, has gotten new prominence in the media thanks in no small part to Sarah Palin’s call last week that the President should be impeached over the way he has handled the issue of immigration reform and the allegedly porous southern border. While that call has been largely rejected by party insiders, some have wondered whether the party leadership would be able to resist the persistent call of the base to move on the issue, especially if Republicans gain control of the Senate and, as most legal analysts suspect it will, the lawsuit that the House of Representatives plans to file against the President ends up going nowhere. Under the right circumstances, as I’ve discussed before, Republican leadership could find themselves in the same trap they ended up in heading into the showdown last October; unable to resist the pressure of their own party’s base to do something they know is politically suicidal.  One possible clue as to how this issue could play out going forward can be seen in two new polls, both of which show a majority of Republicans supporting impeachment, even though a majority of Americans do not.

First up, there’s a poll from a new Rasmussen poll that puts support for impeachment among likely Republican voters at 58%:

Critics of President Obama have called for his impeachment and for lawsuits challenging his executive actions, but most voters nix both ideas. Better, they say, to elect an opposition Congress.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 32% of Likely U.S. Voters think President Obama should be impeached and removed from office. Nearly twice as many (58%) disagree and oppose his impeachment. Ten percent (10%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

By comparison, 39% of Americans favored impeaching Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, in July 2007, while 49% were opposed.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of voters believe it would be bad for the United States if some members of Congress seek to impeach Obama, and even more (56%) think it would be bad for the Republican Party if an impeachment effort is made.

Twenty-six percent (26%) say it would be good for the country if some in Congress try to impeach the president, while 13% say it would have no impact. Similarly, 24% feel it would be good for the GOP, but 12% think it would have no impact.

(…)

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Republicans think the president should be impeached and removed from office. Eighty-seven percent (87%) of Democrats and 52% of voters not affiliated with either major party disagree.

One-in-three Republicans (32%), however, believe it would be bad for their party if some members of Congress seek to impeach Obama, a view shared by 77% of Democrats and 55% of unaffiliated voters.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of GOP voters agree with 53% of Democrats and 60% of unaffiliateds that electing an opposition Congress is the better way to halt or change the president’s policies.

The results are similar results in a recently released YouGov poll:

Last week former Alaska governor and Vice Presidential hopeful Sarah Palin called for the impeachment of President Obama, saying he is a “lawless, imperial president“. Citing the use of military force in Libya, the IRS’s investigation of right-wing groups and the recent migrant crisis at the border she called upon Congress to begin investigating the President in preparation for impeachment. The call has been widely rejected, however, including by the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, who is currently launching a lawsuit against the President because of his allegedly excessive use of executive power.

The latest results from YouGov show that 49% of Americans do think that President Obama has exceeded the constitutional limits of Presidential authority. 89% of Republicans say that he has, along with 52% of Independents but only 16% of Democrats agree. 67% of Democrats, along with 25% of Independents and 6% of Republicans, say that he has not exceeded the constitutional limits on his authority.

Attitudes towards the potential impeachment of President Obama are, overall, similar to attitudes towards the potential impeachment of President Bush in 2007. In 2007, 36% of Americans said that Bush had not abused his powers, while 39% say that same about Obama. Similarly, 32% say that Obama should be impeached and removed from office, while 34% said the same about Bush in 2007

Perhaps predictably, these attitudes towards the impeachment of Bush and Obama differ significantly according to partisan affiliation. Most Democrats (54%) supported impeaching Bush in 2007, while 68% of Republicans today think that it would be justified to impeach Obama. Overall, 35% of Americans say that impeaching Obama would be justified, while 36% said the same in a 2007 USA Today/Gallup poll.

Obviously, much of what we see here is simply partisan opposition to a President of the opposing party manifesting itself in the idea that it would be a good idea, at least in theory, for Congress to take the extraordinary step of attempting to remove the President from office, even though its readily apparent that the effort would fail even if Republicans do gain control of the Senate in November. The fact that there were similar numbers of Democrats supporting the idea of President Bush eight years ago, an option that the Democratic leadership not only did not pursue but seemed to actively discourage when they gained control of Congress in 2006, would seem to confirm that. Given that, the fact that there is a large segment of likely GOP voters who favor the idea of impeaching the President probably doesn’t mean all that much and may not really influence the likelihood of impeachment over the next two years regardless of what else might happen to stir the partisan waters.

At the same time, though, there are admittedly some differences between the opposition to President Bush among Democrats and the opposition to President Obama on the right. While the anti-Bush “Bush Derangement Syndrome” crowd certainly did exist, it was never my perception that it was ever quite as vehement or widespread among Democrats as anti-Obama sentiment is on the right. To some degree, of course, opposition to President Bush was influenced to a large degree by the outcome of the 2000 election, but given the fact that it was the closet Presidential election in American history and ended in a manner that, at least for some people, never really resolved the matter, that’s probably understandable. For much of Bush’s Presidency, the nation was fairly united behind him in the wake of the September 11th attacks, though. Even the Iraq War was supported by a high number of Democrats, at least initially. The people who compared Bush to Hitler and other such things never seemed as though they represented a large part of the Democratic Party.

Things seems different on the right when it comes to President Obama. Opposition to his Presidency has been at a fever pitch pretty much from the day that he took office, and the rhetoric against him on the right has been caustic and vehement from the beginning. As the President’s term went on, the opposition only seemed to increase, giving birth to the Tea Party movement and a legislative strategy among House and Senate Republicans that seems largely based on gridlock and opposition than anything else. Finally, and this is just a personal observation of my own based on my interactions with people both online and offline, the vehemence of the rhetoric against the President from those who oppose him seems to be both more widespread and more vicious than much of what was heard during the Bush Administration. Rather than opposition, there seems to be real hatred there, of the President for sure but also of his family for reasons that don’t always seem to be entirely rational. Obviously, that’s not true of everyone on the right, but it’s certainly quite prevalent, in no small part because of the influence of the new media. What that means for how this whole impeachment debate may unfold between now and the time the President leaves office, though, is something we’ll just have to watch unfold.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Hmmmm, last I noticed all polls show that a majority of Republicans is still a minority of the country. I wonder if they will ever notice?

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  2. al-Ameda says:

    Well, I’d like to see a poll that asked the question:

    “Would you favor the forced secession of Republican states from the Union?”

    I’m guessing that at least 58% of Democratic voters would support that.

    This is what “modern” Republicans do – investigate and impeach Democratic presidents. They have the votes to impeach but not to convict, and they’re probably waiting on the 2014 midterms to see if they’ll take the Senate and come close to the supermajority they need to convict. Republicans are the antithesis of “government,” they are the political equivalent of an Agent Orange-Napalm Beach party.

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  3. Matt Bernius says:

    Most Democrats (54%) supported impeaching Bush in 2007, while 68% of Republicans today think that it would be justified to impeach Obama.

    A 14 point delta is seems pretty significant in this case and definitely goes to your point that there’s a bit more to the present Republican opposition than politics as usual.
    [Update: See Pinky's correction of me just a little further below. The article in question neglects to mention that a different poll had 69% of Democratic respondents favoring impeachment].

    That said, it’s worth noting that by 2007, the Democrats had regained control of Congress. I wonder what the numbers looked like in 2005 and/or 2006 prior to the midterms.

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  4. Matt Bernius says:

    BTW, also in the Rasmussen Report: The majority of Americans *still* think that opposition to Obama is primarily based in policy *not* racism.

    But 61% still agree that people who oppose the president’s policies do so primarily because they believe the policies are bad, not because of racism.

    Seems like that takes the air out of another right wing talking point.

    BTW – I say still because this has been the case when this was surveyed twice before. That said, there is an uptick in the percentage of the population who sees race as the issue. It started at 11% and now it’s up to 28%.

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  5. Pinky says:

    @Matt Bernius: From the other poll this article linked to:

    //
    Question:
    Do you favor or oppose the US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush?

    7/5/07 Favor Oppose Undecided

    All Adults 45% 46% 9%
    Voters 46% 44% 10%

    Democrats (38%) 69% 22% 9%
    Republicans (29%) 13% 86% 1%
    Independents (33%) 50% 30% 20%

    3/15/06 42% 49% 9%

    Based on 1,100 completed telephone interviews among a random sample of adults nationwide July 3-5, 2007. The theoretical margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points, 95% of the time. Of the total sample, 933 interviews were completed among registered voters.
    //

    69% versus 68%.

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  6. C. Clavin says:

    By comparison, 39% of Americans favored impeaching Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, in July 2007, while 49% were opposed.

    The difference being that Mssr’s Bush and Cheney took actions that actually warranted impeachment, if not outright imprisonment, e.g. lying to justify a war of choice, torture, outing a covert operative.
    Obama…not so much…Boehner’s lawsuit proves there is no there there.
    In addition Obama is faced with a right-wing entertainment complex that started screaming for impeachment :30 seconds after his first inauguration. Bush faced no such noise machine.

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  7. al-Ameda says:

    @Pinky:

    69% versus 68%.

    I can’t seem to recall, did the Democrats ever seriously contemplate impeachment of Bush, or did Speaker Pelosi derail such ideas?

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  8. Matt Bernius says:

    @Pinky:
    I’m lost. Which “other” poll are you referring to? The Rasmussen or the YouGov?

    Can you provide a direct link to those numbers?

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  9. Eric Florack says:

    What you all seem to forget it that most people don’t vote. The number of people not voting is going up year over year. Its to the point now where the vast majority of Americans simply do not vote at all. Polling data tell us that the majority of Americans come down to the right of anything that either party has puked up since Reagan. That situation has become more pronounced over the last 6 years or so.

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  10. Pinky says:

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Dn4gN4q2UNsJ:americanresearchgroup.com/impeach/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

    linked to in this paragraph:

    Attitudes towards the potential impeachment of President Obama are, overall, similar to attitudes towards the potential impeachment of President Bush in 2007. In 2007, 36% of Americans said that Bush had not abused his powers, while 39% say that same about Obama. Similarly, 32% say that Obama should be impeached and removed from office, while 34% said the same about Bush in 2007

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  11. Rob in CT says:

    I think (but I’m not sure) that the vehement anger vs. Bush didn’t show up until Iraq!, The Sequel. I’m sure highly partisan Dems were upset before that (Bush v. Gore, Tax Cuts round I), but the war was pretty important. And the torture, or at least I’d like to think. Elected Democrats certainly did not respond to him with lockstep opposition from day 1, so I rather doubt their constituents were cranked up to 11 on the outrageometer from day 1 (I wasn’t a Dem then and wasn’t hanging out on lefty blogs, so I don’t have a sense for the zeitgeist on the Left at the time).

    I’m curious as to what the Dem and Indy poll numbers look like pre-2004 (not necessarily on impeachment, as I doubt polling outfits were asking that question early on).

    There really isn’t a basis for impeaching Obama. I never thought there was a good case against Bush either, even though I became utterly furious with his Administration over the Iraq war and torture (I thought the tax cuts were bad policy, yes, but they did not infuriate me. I never pinned Katrina on Bush except to note that it’s probably best not to appoint a hack to run FEMA. Much of teh failure was at the local and state levels.).

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  12. Mu says:

    99% of lemmings support jumping of the cliff. Still doesn’t make it the sensible option.

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  13. What should be the criteria for determining when a president ought to be impeached?

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  14. Matt Bernius says:

    @Pinky:
    Thanks Pinky.

    Ok — got it — just found the link you were referring to in the body of the YouGov article. And, you are totally correct. In fact, I have no idea where the author pulled that 54% number, as the July 5, 2007 clearly sets the number of democrat respondents who favor impeachment at 69%.

    So no statistical difference there — not to mention a *huge* error in the data summary.

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  15. rudderpedals says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Speaker Pelosi derail such ideas?

    Pelosi more than once stated clearly, to the camera, on record, immediatey upon winning the speakership that she would not permit impeachment proceedings against Bush.

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  16. Pinky says:

    @Matt Bernius: The YouGov article also links to a USA Today survey, which has the 54% number. But yeah, they seemed to pick the number that helped their argument.

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  17. Matt Bernius says:

    @Pinky:

    But yeah, they seemed to pick the number that helped their argument.

    Agreed. Which is why I hate meta-statisics. If you start with one data set you need to finishing with it, or list the same data-points across all sets.

    The fact that there is such a variance in the response to that particular question (a 15 point swing between to surveys conducted at the same time) tells us a lot about *why* sampling methodologies matter.

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  18. Rob in CT says:

    @rudderpedals:

    I remember that, and there was some wailing and gnashing of teeth over it. Funny, but Nancy seemed more interested in governing…

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  19. Cletus says:

    “Rather than opposition, there seems to be real hatred there, of the President for sure but also of his family for reasons that don’t always seem to be entirely rational”

    I think a lot of the hate for Mrs Obama started with the comment that “For the First Time in My Adult Lifetime, I’m Really Proud of My Country. ” Her campaign for school nutrition also generated some of the hate as its been intrusive and just a complete failure. As for the kids, I don’t see any plausible reason for hating children.

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  20. Rob in CT says:

    @Eric Florack:

    I love how you think the uninvolved non-voters are really Conservative Republicans.

    Back in my misspent youth (aka “the 90s”) I remember the standard Conservative thinking was that uninvolved slacker youths were idiot liberals and it was good (for Conservatives) that they didn’t vote. Which has more empirical basis, last I checked, than your version. The smarter Conservative politicos still understand this, which is why they love vote supression and like low turnout.

    It’s funny. I’d think you’d manage to be accidently correct about something occasionally.

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  21. Janis Gore says:

    I wonder how many of the “pro” answers are from people who still see him as a Kenyan usurper. Not a behavioral matter at all.

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    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  22. grumpy realist says:

    @Stormy Dragon: If Congress is sufficiently nuts, they can impeach the POTUS for wearing the wrong coloured socks.

    What’s happened in this case is the conservative politico-entertainment complex has taken over the entire Republican party. Whether impeachment gets done is going to depend on whether it gets more people to listen to Rush Limbaugh.

    I swear, these guys would start a war if it got them more viewers. Remember “Wag the Dog”? This is how it plays out in real time.

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    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  23. Another Mike says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    What should be the criteria for determining when a president ought to be impeached?

    Excellent question. If the president is endangering constitutional government, then I think he should be impeached. That is rather vague, but if congress feels that the president is encroaching upon its rightful power, then it can impeach the president. Many republicans believe the president is doing that. I am not sure what the democrats think. Maybe they do not feel that he is encroaching upon their power, or maybe they do, but feel that it is okay, because he is one of them.

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  24. Pinky says:

    @Janis Gore: That’s why I don’t take any of these surveys seriously. Matt talked about methodology, but it’s more than that. These are “blowing off steam” questions. I think/hope that the impeachment D’s and the impeachment R’s, the Diebold conspiracy and birth certificate crowds, were just venting rather than saying what they believed. A lot of people will choose the most fanatical option the poll taker offers them. It’s as fictional as, well, as the people who choose the most seemingly thoughtful option. (In short, I have no faith in most polls.)

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  25. Stonetools says:

    What’s interesting here is that Doug is bending over backward not to state the REAL reason why opposition was so vehement toward Obama from day one , before he had a chance to advocate for any policy. I think it’s clear that such opposition was motivated by race. A black man got elected to the White House. That was enough for many opponents before Obama said word one.
    Now Obamas policies have been those of a centrist Democtrat, and that sealed the deal for many who think that center left policies amount to socialist tyranny, but race was there from day one.

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  26. Tillman says:

    Finally, and this is just a personal observation of my own based on my interactions with people both online and offline, the vehemence of the rhetoric against the President from those who oppose him seems to be both more widespread and more vicious than much of what was heard during the Bush Administration. Rather than opposition, there seems to be real hatred there, of the President for sure but also of his family for reasons that don’t always seem to be entirely rational. Obviously, that’s not true of everyone on the right, but it’s certainly quite prevalent, in no small part because of the influence of the new media.

    I’m not seeing anything that hits real hatred around here. Maybe a bit more fervency in the opposition to him, but honest-to-God hatred seems to be corralled online where hyperbole rules the day.

    I believe I supported impeachment of Bush in ’07, and it was entirely over Iraq. I think the line involved something about blowjobs and bombs.

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  27. @grumpy realist:

    I’m actually not talking about this specific case. I mean in the abstract, what should be the criteria for impeaching a president? If it’s just commiting a crime, then the reality is pretty much every president we’ve ever had probably should have been impeached. This doesn’t seem a useful criteria, so the question becomes, given that pretty much every president has a tendancy to push beyond the law in the name of political expediency, what should be the criteria for determining when the president has gone too far?

    Is there actually a good set of objective criteria? Or is it ultimately purely a matter of political will?

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  28. Janis Gore says:

    @Stonetools: But I also think al-Ameda has a point. It started with Clinton, and I expect to see it again when another Democrat is in the White House. It’s a strategy.

    Like puffing that silly Black Panther thing in Philly up to national proportions. The guy was off the street within two hours. He was out of line, but not a national threat.

    I can hear that man’s mama right now: “Shamir, put that stick down now. You just gonna get yourself arrested.”

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  29. Rick DeMent says:

    I think they need to ask another question, do you support the idea of Joe Biden finishing out the term of Obama. Stand back and watch the heads explode.

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  30. Janis Gore says:

    Actually, I think his name was “Leonard.”

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  31. Tillman says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Political will. I can imagine plenty of examples where impeaching had objective criteria, but they involve fanciful situations with honest tyrants.

    Man, when you think about it, America hasn’t had an honest tyrant since…FDR’s internment of Japanese citizens is the closest thing I can think of, or Lincoln abolishing habeus corpus for the Civil War. The tyranny of Franklin Pierce was simply incompetence, so it doesn’t count.

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  32. grumpy realist says:

    @Stormy Dragon: It’s political will. The Supreme Court will NOT get involved in this. Hence my “wearing the wrong colour socks” comment.

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  33. Another Mike says:

    @Stonetools:

    I think it’s clear that such opposition was motivated by race.

    You want to impute your racist theory to Doug? Let’s try a little thought experiment. Suppose that Alan West, a black conservative, was elected president. Would you attribute criticism of him — and there certainly would be criticism — to racism?

    I do not believe there would be any mention of racism. All criticism of him would be attributed to his hard conservative policies. He would be criticized by whites and blacks. Al Sharpton would probably say the same thing about a President West that he said about Justice Clarence Thomas. The man never did anything to further his race.

    Is there supposed to be something special about President Obama that makes him different than any other black politician, or different from any other far left liberal, so that any criticism of him can only be about race?

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  34. Matt Bernius says:

    @Stonetools:

    What’s interesting here is that Doug is bending over backward not to state the REAL reason why opposition was so vehement toward Obama from day one , before he had a chance to advocate for any policy. I think it’s clear that such opposition was motivated by race.

    I’m with @Janis Gore — one needs only look at how quickly the Republican base began to attack Clinton to see that this is first and foremost about party (before he was even inaugurated, he was already being accused of being an accomplice to murder).

    That isn’t to say that there’s no racial component to that “hatred.” But it’s a mistake to see that level of vitriol as being purely motivated by race.

    However, as I’ve mentioned in the past, regardless of the cause, a LOT of that animus has been expressed in explicitly racial ways. Obama as a “thug” (as opposed to a criminal), as an “affirmative action” or “food stamp” president, or as a “non-citizen” are all examples of this.

    BTW, this entire racial mode of attack is the key differentiator between attacks on Clinton and Obama — with Clinton there was a sense of a begrudging level of respect, with Obama, it’s either that he’s completely undeserving of the position (affirmative action) or he’s anti-american and trying to destroy the US (non-citizen/terrorist).

    In the end, it may appear a distinction without a difference, but I personally think its worth breaking the two apart.

    Additionally, its important to note the positioning of the observer. I’m white, so I come at it from one specific point of view. If I remember, you’re African American, so you’ve got a different perspective.

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  35. Janis Gore says:

    @Another Mike: Let’s not be naive. He was under fire even before he went to the White House, and a lot of it was the color of his skin.

    I’m sorry, but a lot of Republican support is in the South, and the South isn’t always kind to black men. It’s a truth, and there’s no gainsaying it. I live here, and see it everyday.

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  36. Matt Bernius says:

    @Another Mike:

    Would you attribute criticism of him — and there certainly would be criticism — to racism?

    Again, there are two parts of this equation:

    1. What is the substance of the criticism?
    2. What is the form of the attack?

    I’m of the opinion, as noted above, that you can attach policy without attacking the individual. And that often these policy disagreements come down to party affiliation before actual policy issue (hence the otherwise center/left Obama being the “radical left winger” — which, to be fair, was one common attack* on Clinton until he was *out* of office).

    But if the form of the attach is using racial tropes, then regardless of whether or not the person is attacking West (or Thomas) out of racial prejudice, the form of the attack can still be racist.

    And for the record, I think calling someone an “Oreo” or “Uncle Tom” is inescapably racist.

    * – Note that the other common attack was that Clinton triangulated everything. It’s another example that these types of attack often have contradicting internal logic.

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  37. C. Clavin says:

    @Another Mike:

    All criticism of him would be attributed to his hard conservative policies.

    Allen West has no Conservative policies. He’s a nut-job tea-bagger who is blithely un-tethered from reality.
    That you would compare him to Obama says something about how white people view race…but not what you think it does.

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  38. Rafer Janders says:

    @Cletus:

    Her campaign for school nutrition also generated some of the hate as its been intrusive and just a complete failure.

    Remember, it was with campaigns for good school nutrition that the Nazis got started…

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  39. al-Ameda says:

    @Another Mike:

    Is there supposed to be something special about President Obama that makes him different than any other black politician, or different from any other far left liberal, so that any criticism of him can only be about race?

    You mean besides the whole Birther Movement? The allegation that he is not a legitimately elected president. Do you really believe that Allen West would be subject to Birther-type attacks regarding his background? No, I didn’t think so.

    Also, “far left liberal”?

    LOL.

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  40. Cletus says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    That’s so funny but America has had enough of food Nazis.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/white-house-school-nutrition-association-108874.html

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  41. Janis Gore says:

    I have lived in two small cities now in Louisiana, and I haven’t seen a black man employed above a janitor in a bank. Black women can become tellers, but I haven’t seen a black woman or man loan officer yet.

    These are in areas that are 30-50% black. Blacks are not trusted in the south, though they will give you job of being grandma’s gardener or wiping her husband’s butt when he’s too ill to do it himself.

    Worse yet, my black yardman wouldn’t trust his excellent African doctor. He thought an American white doctor would be better. I’ve had dealings with this doctor myself, through my brother, and think he’s probably the best internist in the Miss-Lou area.

    And Godammit, he’s my yardman the same way Falkenheiner is my dentist.

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  42. Janis Gore says:

    I mean to say, black men are not trusted in the South.

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  43. Eric Florack says:

    @Rob in CT: I suspect your normal lean to the sarcastic is getting the best of you.

    How else but what Ivesaid, do you propose to explain polling data which shows a wildy unpopular Obama, getting re-elected?

    @Rick DeMent: Well, yeah… Ive said for years that Biden was a life insurance policy like no other that Obama could have gotten…. Ponder… Biden’s unique in his ability to do the job of making Obama look good. And even the crackpot left understands Biden would be an even larger disaster than Obama ever was.

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  44. beth says:

    @Janis Gore: I live in the South too and see the same things. Hell, my husband quit a professional social club because they wouldn’t let black men in (or women either, but that’s a whole other issue). These are professional businessmen who work with women and minorities every day of their lives but still didn’t want them “intruding” on their once a month dining/drinking outing. When people tell me racism is dead I can only just smile.

    While I think a lot of what we see against Obama is due to his being a Democrat, there are racial aspects to it. The whole “he’s not one of us, he doesn’t share American values, he vacations too much” all has a vibe to it that I don’t think we’d see with a white man.

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  45. al-Ameda says:

    @Cletus:

    That’s so funny but America has had enough of food Nazis.

    It’s terrible that the First Lady was advocating that nutrition be a priority for school meals. Why couldn’t she advocate for something relevant like “just say no”?

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  46. Matt Bernius says:

    @Eric Florack:

    How else but what Ivesaid, do you propose to explain polling data which shows a wildy unpopular Obama, getting re-elected?

    A few points here:
    1. If you actually look at aggregate polling data for 2012*, Obama wasn’t “wildly unpopular.”** In general his approval rating throughout that year shifted between 45 & 55% among the general populace with a higher approval rating among Democrats.

    2. You are discounting the fact that while people might not have been in love with Obama, they were even less in love with Romney. Which, is the way that elections work. Hell in your own model, the majority of “real” Americans decided to stay home.***

    Of course, this model also means that Real Americans absolutely suck at getting “real conservatives” on the Republican ticket.

    BTW, I’d also question your ability to analyze polls considering you’re the person who in the waning days of the 2012 race wrote “it’s not a matter of whether or not Romney wins, it’s only a question of how much he wins by.”

    * Here’s an aggregate chart that demonstrates that point:
    http://www.ropercenter.uconn.edu/CFIDE/roper/presidential/webroot/presidential_rating.cfm
    And as individual data points, here’s Gallup and Rasmussen:
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/116479/barack-obama-presidential-job-approval.aspx
    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

    ** – BTW, the current Real Clear Politics average puts Obama at a 40% approval rating — which is by no means great, but by no means “wildly unpopular” either. Its entirely possible that Obama will reach that level, which is probably closer to the low 30′s by the end of his term. But for the moment, he isn’t there yet.

    *** – which means that they get what they deserve. If they decide not to participate in the civic process (arguably their most important civic duty) then I have a hard time seeing why they are surprised that the folks who are getting the results they want.

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  47. Janis Gore says:

    For all GWB’s faults, he didn’t despise women or blacks or Hispanics. It’s the machine.

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  48. Janis Gore says:

    @Matt Bernius: When they’re done with impeachment, he might be.

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  49. gVOR08 says:

    @Another Mike: No one said criticism of Obama can only be about race. To claim that it has nothing to do with race is absurd on its face.

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  50. Cletus says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Excellent point as usual… I think she wanted to, but moved on Boku Haram. I’m still moved by her actions. What’s going on with that anyway?

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  51. C. Clavin says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    the current Real Clear Politics average puts Obama at a 40% approval rating

    Keep in mind that RCP leans hard-right.

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  52. Matt Bernius says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Keep in mind that RCP leans hard-right.

    Their editorial spin yes. As far as their meta-polling, not so much.

    RCP was in line with most of the meta-polls from 2012 – Obama fluctuated between 45 and 55%, end of story.

    BTW, Eric, if Obama was so wildly unpopular in 2012, why would there have been any need to de-skew polls throughout that summer?

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  53. C. Clavin says:
  54. Matt Bernius says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Breaking

    But off topic — please keep to the topic of this thread.

    Thanks.

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  55. C. Clavin says:

    @Matt Bernius:
    You have to look at who they include in their meta-polling….firms that Silver and Wang discount heavily.
    I don’t remember specifics…but I’m pretty sure they were off the mark in 2012.
    Not un-skewing off…but off.

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  56. Cletus says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Wow, actually linking to your own comments now on another thread?!! You really are starved for attention and some love. Be a good boy and listen to Bernius.

    btw, I’m still laughing my ass off at you labeling the RCP polling as hard right.

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  57. C. Clavin says:

    @Cletus:
    dude…you are seriously disconnected from reality

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  58. Matt Bernius says:

    @C. Clavin:

    You have to look at who they include in their meta-polling….firms that Silver and Wang discount heavily.
    I don’t remember specifics…but I’m pretty sure they were off the mark in 2012.

    Obviously I’m neither Silver or Wang, but I think you are getting the Presidential Campaign meta-polling side of RCP mistaken with the approval ratings meta-polls.

    Again, while RCP might have a right bias in it’s polling, if you look across meta polls on approval, RCP is definitely in line with the overall trends.

    BTW, approval ratings are only part of the story. It’s also worth noting where Favoriability also fits into the equation:
    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/12/why-obama-may-be-stronger-than-his-approval-ratings/

    Generally speaking throughout 2012 Silver used RCP as a reference for a number of arguments. Which suggests a level of (perhaps begrudging) validation.

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  59. Cletus says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Really?! You’re the person bashing an unbiased Poll. Do you have any idea just how stupid that is?

    btw, who cares at this point about the President’s approval rating anyway? He’s not running for a 3rd term and these polls are meaningless. I don’t think he cares and I wouldn’t expect him to.

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  60. Matt Bernius says:

    @Cletus:
    The only reason approval ratings came up is they are part of Eric F’s convoluted theory that the real American majority* is more conservative than Reagan, and that they only reason Democrats win elections is that the Real Americans have decided that they no longer want to participate in the political process because of RINOs — or something like this.

    See @here and @here. I’m pretty sure he’s got a newsletter you can subscribe to for more of his excellent analysis. I’m told it’s almost as good as Superdestroyers.

    * – Note that most of these theories involve polling data that seems to exist only in Eric’s head. See his accusation that Obama was “wildly unpopular” in 2012.

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  61. Cletus says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    I don’t know why you would even respond to Eric’s theories. I don’t pay much attention to the presidents approval or favorability rating. I even try to avoid most polling data, but i confess to occasionally checking out Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire which is a pretty unbiased indicator of polls.

    There is also no doubt that under Reagan that this was a right of center electorate. That obviously has changed quite a bit with demographics and the country becoming more liberal when it comes to social issues. I’m a realist and know that it will be difficult for any Republican to win a presidential election in the near future.

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  62. Matt Bernius says:

    @Cletus:

    I don’t know why you would even respond to Eric’s theories.

    Once more: http://xkcd.com/386/

    Beyond that, its not so much to hope Eric see the error of his thinking, but as a guide for other readers to remember why his opinions need to be accompanied by a hefty dosage of NaCL.

    BTW, I’m sure Eric will soon be responding with an articulate explanation for why my “facts” are the results of a rabid liberal mind with no connection to reality. Chances are you’re going to get caught up in that too. Enjoy the forth coming ride.

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  63. Cletus says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    What we’ve got here is…failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it… well, he gets it. I don’t like it any more than you men.

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  64. C. Clavin says:

    @Cletus:
    First – if you could read you would know that I was referring to the election (hence un-skewing) and not meaningless approval ratings.
    Second – If a Meta-Poll includes polling firms with a known bias and does not account for that…as Sam Wang and Nate Silver do…then the Meta-Poll is by definition biased.
    Why don’t you and Jenos go off and play with each other?

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  65. Cletus says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I’ll do that as soon as you pass your GED. btw, are you getting enough likes today?? I know that’s the most important thing for you. That and linking your own Comments all over the board. Now, be a good lad and listen to Bernius or go check out more “hard right” polls at RCP.

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  66. Janis Gore says:

    And what can I tell you moderators? It always comes up to dick-slashing.

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  67. michael reynolds says:

    It was never just about race. That verbal formulation was an evasion. But it was definitely about race.

    The single thing most often cited by those who hate, hate, hate Obama’s “policies” is RomneyCare ObamaCare. Obama passed Mr. Romney’s Massachusetts health care reform and the people who voted for Mr. Romney hate, hate, hate Obama for doing just what their candidate did.

    Yeah, that’s not about policy, folks. That’s racism.

    For six years I’ve been saying it, and over the course of those six years more and more people have come to agree. I like that people are too optimistic to see bad things in their fellow man, it’s sweet, but it’s naive and foolish, too.

    People’s politics has a great deal more to do with emotion – in this case white panic – than it does with “policy.”

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  68. grumpy realist says:

    You also have to do the “take with a grain of salt” calculation. People may answer to a survey that they’d like to see the POTUS impeached, but when it gets to real life and realize that would mean Joe Biden as POTUS, they will probably back off.

    (I’m still chuckling about the comments people made when Dan Quayle came on as Bush’s running mate. The snark was that nominating Quayle was Bush’s anti-getting-bumped-off strategy.)

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  69. C. Clavin says:

    [This is an inappropriate response and against the TOS. Its time to cease these two word responses].

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  70. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:
    But Romneycare is different…because, Benghazi.

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  71. Tillman says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The single thing most often cited by those who hate, hate, hate Obama’s “policies” is RomneyCare ObamaCare. Obama passed Mr. Romney’s Massachusetts health care reform and the people who voted for Mr. Romney hate, hate, hate Obama for doing just what their candidate did.

    The people who object most to Obamacare don’t even know what’s in it. They hate it because they’ve been told to hate it, not because it bears the name of a black guy. It’s a team sports mentality more than it’s racism.

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  72. stonetools says:

    I did a search for “racist images of Obama. ” Six million results later…This article gives 35 of the worst, but there’s plenty out there.I used to be one who didn’t think the opposition to Obama wasn’t largely racist, but reality has ground down my optimism.
    Obama, who has studiously avoided saying that the opposition to him isn’t largely racist, has started to hint it and Holder has been even more open about it. It has to be what is fuelling the Republican base’s desire for impeachment. That desire isn’t based on policy at all, but on animus-racial animus. The latest outrage? This gun-welding woman who posted a picture of Obama on Facebook,saying , “where is an assassin when you need one.”
    Now even in the worst of the anti-Clinton frenzy, I don’t remember anyone wishing Clinton dead. The sad thing is, these people aren’t the fringe anymore: they are the base

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  73. Pinky says:

    @stonetools:

    Obama, who has studiously avoided saying that the opposition to him isn’t largely racist, has started to hint it and Holder has been even more open about it.

    He studiously avoided it by implying it constantly. He studiously avoided it like a lawyer or a politician, always making sure that everyone knew exactly what it was that he was studiously avoiding saying. At least most of the time. Sometimes he’d take a break from talking about how he was the only person above it all and that his opponents were evil and heartless and petty, and make sure we knew he really thought they were racist too. I guess you’re right that Holder has been more open about it, though.

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  74. george says:

    @Eric Florack:

    What you all seem to forget it that most people don’t vote. The number of people not voting is going up year over year. Its to the point now where the vast majority of Americans simply do not vote at all. Polling data tell us that the majority of Americans come down to the right of anything that either party has puked up since Reagan. That situation has become more pronounced over the last 6 years or so.

    You’re looking at very odd polls. Most polls show that those who don’t vote are all over the board, typically simultaneously holding both left and right wing positions (often radically so). And holding none of those views very strongly – by far the majority of them think who wins the Superbowl is much more important than who wins presidential or congressional elections.

    They don’t bother voting because they don’t care. Its the apathy party against the lethargy party.

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  75. Matt Bernius says:

    @stonetools:

    It has to be what is fuelling the Republican base’s desire for impeachment.

    Then what’s the excuse for Clinton’s *actual* impeachment?

    Seriously, this is missing the fact that the Republicans were out to get Clinton right from the start as well.

    @michael reynolds:

    The single thing most often cited by those who hate, hate, hate Obama’s “policies” is RomneyCare ObamaCare. Obama passed Mr. Romney’s Massachusetts health care reform and the people who voted for Mr. Romney hate, hate, hate Obama for doing just what their candidate did.

    Yeah, that’s not about policy, folks. That’s racism.

    I need to push back here, Michael. You’re one of the folks who constantly remind us of how much of our political landscape (if not our entire cultural landscape) is based on tribalism. To that degree people are partisans before they are ideologs. So looking at it that way it makes sense that they would completely reverse position if it’s a position that they perceive the enemy tribe as holding.

    Again, not suggesting that race doesn’t play a part. But I think it’s getting overemphasized and reduced into the crucial reason for things happening that are based on hyper-partisanship as much as anything else.

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  76. Tillman says:

    @Pinky:

    He studiously avoided it like a lawyer or a politician, always making sure that everyone knew exactly what it was that he was studiously avoiding saying.

    …now I know I’m going to come off dumb here, but isn’t he both of those things?

    I forget, do we accept the existence of code words and signalers for stuff? Wasn’t that a point of contention some weeks back?

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  77. stonetools says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Maybe you should click that link and look at those pictures. I recommend that for Pinky, too, who apparently thinks the opposition to Obama is all about lower taxes and Hayek’s Constitution of Liberty.

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  78. Matt Bernius says:

    @stonetools:
    Where have I not said that *some* portion of the attacks on Obama are based on race? Please. Point that out. Because I guarantee you that wasn’t what I said.

    I simply said that the *majority* of attacks are not, in my opinion, primarily about race.

    I also said, for the record, that may to may people are prepared to use casual racism to make attacks on the man. In fact, since at least 2008 or so, I’ve been pointing out, here on OTB, the semiotics and coding of racial attacks of many populist attacks on Obama the man.

    I do think it’s possible to use racially charged images and words to attack someone without necessarily having race as your primary reason for attacking that person. In some respects I find that even worse.

    But pretending that the reasons the Republicans in Congress opposed Obama boils down to racism completely ignores all 8 of Clinton’s years in office and the fact that he was impeached for *lying about receiving ORAL SEX.*

    Frankly, and while I’m not calling for Obama’s impeachment in any way, there’s arguably better grounds for impeaching Obama (based on the entire War Powers things) than Clinton.

    And I’m not attempting to say what Obama did was “worse” because of his or Clinton’s *race.* *

    And again, if *race* is fueling the Republican base’s desire to impeach Obama, what was fueling their desire to impeach Clinton? Or was that solely the Congressional Republicans conducting witch-hunt after witch-hunt for *purely political reasons*?

    * – Or that WHAT Obama did reaches the level of impeachable offense (again, for the record, I’m frankly unsure what happened under GWB reached the Founder’s or a previous generation’s understanding of impeachable offense — but if GWB doesn’t clear that hurdle, neither does Obama).

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  79. michael reynolds says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Race and gender are the first two things people notice about a stranger. Sexism and racism are two of the most persistent social ills, from primitive societies to modern times. Men oppress women, people oppress those unlike themselves. These things go deep in humans. Clannishness and tribalism also go deep, but it is not coincidence that one of the tribes – the GOP – is almost entirely white.

    If you have a white tribe that expresses immediate and rabid contempt for a black leader, contempt that precedes any policy move, contempt that ignores the actual facts, contempt that finds as the focus of its rage a policy identical to one their own leader endorses, Occam’s suggests we are looking at an emotional response that is not about policy, but something that goes deeper than politics and deeper than partisanship.

    What is the definition of this hostile tribe? What are its identifying attributes? It is southern, rural, older, less educated and white. In the American context that means race.

    Liberals don’t want this to be the answer because liberals are optimists who believe that man can evolve and mature. Liberals don’t like the concept of evil. Liberals are great believers that all problems spring from a lack of education. As I’ve said before, I like this about liberals, it’s why I live in liberal places like Marin County and not in Plano, Texas.

    But evil exists. And all problems are not simply functions of lack of education.

    History is 10,000 years of humans behaving like swine and a hundred years of humans thinking maybe they should, you know, care a little bit about other people. Aristotle and Plato never so much as questioned the morality of slavery, or of the subjugation of women. They never doubted their society’s prejudices against all outsiders. Small ‘l’ liberalism is a very recent phenomenon. Much older, much more deeply-ingrained, is human hatred of the “other.”

    Obama is not the “other” in any meaningful way aside from race. He is educated, a good father, a patriot, a good-looking fellow, not in any way aggressive or hostile, not a sexual predator, not a guy who borrows your lawn tools and refuses to return them. He is purely American. He is in synch with modern American culture. So how did he become the “other?” By having black skin.

    It is not coincidence that on the one side we have the least integrated, most homogenous white political organization, and that the object of their unhinged hatred is a black man.

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  80. Pinky says:

    @Tillman:

    isn’t he both of those things?

    It’s noteworthy that he acted like a lawyer / politician inasmuch as (a) he marketed himself as a post-partisan lightworker, and (b) it takes the luster off the claim that he “studiously avoided” bringing up his opponents’ alleged racist motivations.

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  81. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds: It’s frustrating. I have two thumbs and I’m pointing them downward in front of my screen, but I can only hit the downthumb once.

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  82. Matt Bernius says:

    @michael reynolds:
    I appreciate what you’re saying, but it seems to me a just-so story that ignores what happened from 1991-2000.

    I still don’t think you’re model adequately accounts for what happened to Clinton. Again, if the Republicans are going after Obama based on race first and foremost, what’s their rational for the vehemence with which they went after Clinton?*

    Or, to put a different way, if Obama was white, do you think that most of this partisanship would gone away and Republicans would have supported the ACA?

    If not, how do we account for the continued existence of hyper-partisanship?

    BTW, I’m not arguing that this is a “lack of education” issue. I think partisanship trumps logic 9 times out of 10.

    * – Again, I think there is strong evidence that attacks on Obama have been nastier than on the Clintons. And without a doubt, there’s a lot of racial coding in the attacks that have been directed at Obama the man. But again that’s positions race as having a multiplying effect without being the base reason.

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  83. wr says:

    @Another Mike: “Suppose that Alan West, a black conservative, was elected president”

    Call me when Alan West is elected president. Until then, it’s a ludicrous assumption.

    You might as well say there was no racial component to slavery. “Now suppose that all the slave owners treated their slaves as highly compensated employees, not as property, and respected them as human beings.”

    Yeah, imagine. It’s called fantasy… just like yours about how to define complaints about a black Republican president.

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  84. Stonetools says:

    @Matt Bernius:
    Well Matt you believe that I overestimate the extent to which race is behind the opposition to Obama, and Mike and I believe you underestimate it . Let’s agree to disagree. Where we agree is that those who believe the opposition to Obama has no racial component are delusional. Again, Pinky, look at the pictures I referenced. Or heck, just google Eric’s website.

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  85. wr says:

    @Eric Florack: “How else but what Ivesaid, do you propose to explain polling data which shows a wildy unpopular Obama, getting re-elected?”

    An election isn’t a referendum on the incumbent. It’s a choice between two candidates. So your fantasy is, as alwasy, nonsensical.

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  86. C. Clavin says:

    I just don’t see how you can deny racism when you are talking about a party for which xenophobia is a feature and not a bug.
    Do you really think all those southerners flying confederate flags have legitimate policy disagreements.
    Do you think that Florack…who has a website littered with the N word…can examine policy without prejudice?
    How do you claim it’s about policy when so many of the claims about policy are pure BS?
    There are comparisons to Clinton…but Republicans actually worked with Clinton…so that kinda falls flat.
    I’ll say team sports modified by a far heavier than appropriate dose of racism.
    Not either/or…both/and.
    But it’s rather disgusting how big a role race still plays in the 21st century.

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  87. george says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Then what’s the excuse for Clinton’s *actual* impeachment?

    He’s a Democrat. I think that is both a necessary and a sufficient condition for the GOP to call for an impeachment. Things like racism can be present (for example against Obama), but its just icing on the cake.

    At this point, for the GOP its mainly about team sports. If you’re not on their team, then you’re evil and have to be removed. Everything thing else (race, ideology, philosophy etc) is secondary.

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  88. beth says:

    @george: I think you’re right about the team sport part. The Republicans attacked Clinton and Obama primarily because they’re Democrats, using the weaknesses that would garner the most public support; womanizing for Clinton, race for Obama. Should Hillary Clinton become president, I suspect we’ll be hearing a lot along the lines of “she’s too weak, or she’s too emotional” using arguments to gin up sexist feelings.

    But here’s the thing for me – even if they’re using racism or sexism as a tool because they don’t like someone’s politics, does it really matter? At the end of the day it’s still racism or sexism.

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  89. michael reynolds says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    I don’t at all deny that partisanship plays a role. I don’t deny that actual policy differences play a role. But the spine of this, the essential skeletal structure is racial.

    The difference between Clinton and Obama is that Clinton was actually allowed to do something before he was hated. Obama was hated from Day #1. Obama was preemptively hated.

    And the specific characterizations are different. Look at the links Stonetools supplied. Was Clinton’s actual eligibility to hold office questioned? His citizenship? His religious affiliation? And don’t forget that Clinton was hated in part because he was seen as a friend to African-Americans.

    Look at the code words used about Obama. Look at the appearance of Confederate iconography with Obama. Look at the simian references. Look at the freighted adjectives used. Look at the photoshops. Look at the regional aspects of the most heated opposition. Listen to the language, not just the explicit but the implicit, not just the letters on the page but the white space between the lines. Read the energy levels. Look at the faces.

    Why is the opposition old, white and southern? Because old people don’t like government health care programs? There’s a disconnect between the policies and the people who hate same. It doesn’t make sense if it’s about policy. It makes sense if it’s race.

    Yes, of course policy and partisanship play a role, but the underlying emotion is rejection of the other and a fear of loss of status. Listen to the language, not just what’s said (which is bad enough) but how and when.

    I think people want the answer to be something rational. But do superdestroyer or Florack or GA Phillips seem rational to you? Do Bachmann or Steve King? I could go on listing crazies all day, as you know.

    Americans do not get this rabid over policy differences. They get this rabid when they feel threatened. And who is feeling thus threatened? Who comprises the Tea Party? How would you describe that demographic? Notice how they shifted effortlessly from taxes to social issues with the unifying thread being virulent hatred of Obama?

    This is white panic. That panic is justified: the country is changing, the old, rural southerners really are losing status. Frightened people look for a scapegoat, and southern and rural whites have been very thoroughly brainwashed to know the complexion of the threat.

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  90. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Obama is not the “other” in any meaningful way aside from race. He is educated, a good father, a patriot, a good-looking fellow, not in any way aggressive or hostile, not a sexual predator, not a guy who borrows your lawn tools and refuses to return them. He is purely American.

    He was raised by Kansas farmers, for god’s sake — you know, like Superman. Tough to get more American than that.

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  91. Janis Gore says:

    Taking a phrase from someone here the other day, one do wonder what the Republicans will do again when they catch that car.

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  92. Rob in CT says:

    How else but what Ivesaid, do you propose to explain polling data which shows a wildy unpopular Obama, getting re-elected?

    Simple, Eric. Two things:

    1) He’s not as popular as he was in ’08, but “wildly unpopular” is a massive overstatement.
    2) The opposition was seen as worse. The GOP and Romney were not popular. At all.

    In the, that resulted in a 51-47 election. What’s so puzzling about that? It was a pretty typical US Presidential election. People vote LOTE. Obama was the LOTE of choice. The end.

    You are a member of a small minority (which itself resides in a much, much larger minority), Eric, and this skews your perspective.

    I understand and accept that my views align with roughly 20% of the US population. This helps me avoid deluding myself.

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  93. Matt Bernius says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The difference between Clinton and Obama is that Clinton was actually allowed to do something before he was hated.

    Again, I sort remember things different. In particular when it came to Clinton’s signature initiatives like Health Care reform (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton_health_care_plan_of_1993).

    Again, I think the level of bitter partisanship has also only increased since that time. And given the Republicans were hurting from the end of the GWB administration and the stinging midterm losses of 2006 and related losses in 2008, I don’t think their position was that surprising (disappointing, yet… surprising, not really).

    Anyway, as Stoney put it, I see things one way, you two see it differently. And that’s cool. Thanks for addressing the Clinton thing.

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  94. Moosebreath says:

    @michael reynolds:

    “The difference between Clinton and Obama is that Clinton was actually allowed to do something before he was hated. Obama was hated from Day #1. Obama was preemptively hated.”

    Not really. He was looked on as a draft-dodging liar and sexual predator long before he was nominated. Gennifer Flowers, Whitewater and “I did not inhale” were all strikes against him by that time. His time as an exchange student in Russia (with overtones of The Manchurian Candidate) made headlines during the campaign.

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  95. Rob in CT says:

    Re: race vs. partisanship, I think Matt is right.

    They hated Clinton too. Passionately. I remember – my father listend to Rush back then. Oh boy. The form of the attacks differ, it’s true. Also, specific regions of the country have perhaps been more or less frothy in their hatred. Race involved? Absolutely! Contributing factor, though, not the driving force. IMO, obviously. And yeah, obviously I’m a white guy so apply your salt as needed if you wish.

    Now hatred of Democrats is, in part, about race. Democrats are the people who take away YOUR [white people's] money and give it to THEM [undeserving black people]. So in a sense at least some of the “not about race ’cause they Democrats in general” hate circles back to race. But it’s also about team sports. Red team/Blue team. Most people are not political junkies like us. They don’t get into the weeds about policy. It’s much more meta than that for them. And one of the most potent meta messages about Dems is that they pander to Those People for votes. The 19th century version of this was the “Black Republican Party” (things were a tad more overt then, you see) charge by Democrats (then the party of White Supremacy, or rather the party more dedicated to it, as even the abolitionist-curious Republicans were still in favor of W.S.) So it’s not about race, except it kinda is, even though that’s not the whole story.

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  96. Rob in CT says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Also, he was illegitimate because he won with ~40% of the vote (b/c of Perot) and partisans really wanted to believe that if it wasn’t for Perot, Bush the Elder would’ve won another term. This appears to be false, as everything I’ve seen indicates Perot peeled off support from both sides.

    But that was part of the line against him. From day 1, IIRC.

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  97. Matt Bernius says:

    There is one section with Obama, where, right from the start it seems pretty clear race was involved. Unfortunately, this one is on the Democrat side — the loss of sections of the Clinton Republicans/Clinton South. In fact, these are areas — throughout Appalachia — that Kerry won as well (meaning that this isn’t just a North/South) thing:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/02/why-do-appalachians-love-clinton-and-hate-obama.html

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  98. Rob in CT says:

    Going down to personal anecdote for a moment.

    I have neighbors. The husband is pretty clearly motivated at least in part by racial animus (give him a little encouragement, or none at all, and there will be commentary about “the blacks”), but he’s also highly anti-gun control. He works as a security guard/marshall and loathes the “animals” he deals with every day. I’m not in his head, so I don’t know if he views the “animals” in harsher light if they’re non-white or if he’s more generally misanthropic. He likes to joke about assassinating the President.

    His wife is a healthcare worker. She doesn’t like Obamacare. Why? Well, in part (this is from a short conversation, so I’m going off of what she said) she doesn’t really like Medicaid. Why? Because apparently recently (well, hell, this conversation was in 2012 if not 2011) Medicaid patients were given the opportunity to provide feedback on the level of care they got. Basically, they get to grade her and those she works with and if the grades are poor, there can be consequences (funding or something, I forget). The NERVE! Charity cases shouldn’t be able to do that. Beggars can’t be choosers, basically. The ACA, of course, expands Medicaid coverage. So more of Those People will be coming to her work, and may have the nerve to expect – no, demand, good care.

    Different anecdote:

    In 2008, I had a political argument with a guy from work over beers. We disagree on basically everything, so this isn’t surprising. But his (admittedly beer-addled) argument against Obama in ’08 was, I shit you not “he’s going to give everything to the blacks.” This is not a paraphrase. That’s the exact wording. I remember this clear as day, because it was so overt, honest, and screwed up. Most people talk in better code. In Vino Veritas.

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  99. jukeboxgrad says:

    Matt:

    the loss of sections of the Clinton Republicans/Clinton South

    I think this is an important point that is generally overlooked. You also mentioned this a couple of years ago. Below is a prior comment of mine, on this subject. I include a link to a prior comment of yours.

    —————————–

    Southern whites tend to be racists. True for both R and D.

    There is some interesting graphical data relevant to this. Strong racial patterns appear if you look at the map for 2008 voting. Take a look at the interactive map referenced here and here. It shows “areas of the country where Obama got significantly fewer votes than Kerry.”

    There are two different versions of the map. To see the more detailed version, use this link and then click the button “Voting shifts.” Then point to any state to see details, and then click to see even more details, by county. You can discover that McCain won Arkansas by 20 points even though GWB (2004) won it by only 10 points. You can further discover certain counties with a voting shift of 30 points or more. For example, in Poinsett County Kerry won by 7 points, and then McCain won by 27 points. Pretty stunning. How do you explain a place that rejected Bush and then strongly supported McCain? Even though the rest of the country did the opposite? What kind of voters would do that?

    By the way, here are some stats for white population:

    US – 78%
    Arkansas – 80%
    Poinsett County – 91%

    Aside from being whiter, Poinsett County is also poorer, older and less educated than the rest of the state. If you want to understand the role of racism in the GOP, you need to understand places like Poinsett County.

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  100. Tillman says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Liberals don’t want [racism] to be the answer because liberals are optimists who believe that man can evolve and mature. Liberals don’t like the concept of evil. Liberals are great believers that all problems spring from a lack of education. As I’ve said before, I like this about liberals, it’s why I live in liberal places like Marin County and not in Plano, Texas.

    But evil exists. And all problems are not simply functions of lack of education.

    Education doesn’t fix racism; experience does. And even then it’s a crapshoot.

    I don’t think my avoidance to viewing the opposition to Obama as based on racism is founded in optimism; I’m a fairly cynical, pessimistic person. I want to think it comes from trying to avoid simple answers: the racism is evident in the attacks and attitudes of some Republicans, but it leaves too many questions unanswered. It seems like a crutch answer to rely on, and while there are racists that are simple enough that racism explains their entire worldview, I maintain that people are too complex to have their political thought dictated by one instinct like that.

    I mean, if that’s an optimistic take on people, then forget everything else I said.

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  101. Rob in CT says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Note, too, that my work friend is from Western MA, and my neighbors obviously are in CT, not “the South.” Southerners take a lot of sh*t about racism, and a lot of it is deserved, but in fairness there is plenty here in True Blue Connecticut and the Commonwealth of Taxachusetts.

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  102. Rob in CT says:

    Growing up on the “Gold Coast” of CT, there was plenty of it there too. It wasn’t about saying nasty things. It was just about keeping Those People out. The old line about “they don’t care how big you get but how close” comes to mind. Low income housing in our Town? UNTHINKABLE! TO ARMS!

    Now is that racist? Well, who was going to live in that low-income housing? Poor people, obviously. But from where? Connecticut’s cities. And of course Connecticut is one of the most starkly segregated places in the country…

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  103. grumpy realist says:

    @Rob in CT: Here in Chicago as well. Although a lot of it I suspect is class differences rather than race differences.

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  104. Janis Gore says:

    @Rob in CT: Now who in the fwck is downvoting your recollections? That’s just weird.

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  105. Tillman says:

    @Janis Gore: People accrue loyal downvoters around here. Poor john personna was destroyed by them.

    Honestly starting to think we should color the green upvote button blue and let the up/down votes turn into D or R votes instead.

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  106. al-Ameda says:

    @Janis Gore:

    @Rob in CT: Now who in the fwck is downvoting your recollections? That’s just weird.

    Well, after all, weren’t those partisan recollections?

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  107. PAUL HOOSON says:

    Not very good or largely inept doesn’t arise to the level of impeachment, only disappointment from voters….

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  108. C. Clavin says:

    @Janis Gore:
    Be very careful…any mention at all of nonsensical down-votes will lead some trolls lurking hereabouts to believe you are really only interested in up or down-votes. Most likely just projection.

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  109. C. Clavin says:

    A moment of silence please…Johnny Winter is dead.

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  110. jukeboxgrad says:

    Michael:

    contempt that finds as the focus of its rage a policy identical to one their own leader endorses

    Yup. In 2007 Jim DeMint described Romneycare as “something that I think we should do for the whole country.” At that time, he was thinking Mitt would be president on 1/20/09.

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  111. michael reynolds says:

    So, summarizing:

    1) We all agree that some portion of the GOP electorate is motivated by racial animus.

    2) We all agree there have been numerous, blatant racist statements and acts coming from the right, directed at Obama.

    3) We all agree that geographically the most rabid opposition is in areas of the country with deeply entrenched racial issues.

    4) We all agree that the demographic group most virulently opposed to Obama is older, rural and white.

    5) We all agree that motives are not monochromatic.

    Most of you see the above points and conclude “It’s not about race.”

    You seem to me to misunderstand where on the salami Occam’s razor should cut. You believe that loyalty to the GOP tribe is more fundamental, less excisable, than racial identity. You want to cut the racism away in order to expose the simpler explanation of partisanship. As though folks first identify with the red team and only later discover that they are of a different race from the object of their hatred.

    I think that’s obviously nonsense and amounts to well-meaning liberals striving as ever to seem “reasonable.”

    These are not people with a generations long loyalty to the red team, in fact for the most part their grandparents and parents would have been democrats. They moved to the GOP in the 1960′s and 70′s. Why?

    Why did the solid south go from solidly Democrat to solidly Republican? If partisanship and team loyalty are the essential part of the salami, what motivated these folks to switch teams?

    Anyone?

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  112. Janis Gore says:

    @michael reynolds: But there is something else, Michael.

    Again, I was at Brookshire’s behind a WIC family. There was an, I’d say, four year old boy in the cart ahead of me. He pointed to what was really a pretty neat space-age water gun.

    “I want that.”

    “I think it’s pretty neat, too, but I can’t afford it.”

    “I want it. Will you get that for me?”

    “Sorry, son, I’m not your grandmother. When you grow up a little more, you can earn some money and buy one for yourself.”

    It took ages for them to go through the line, and the pretty black grocery checker said “I’m sorry, but that’s WIC.”

    “Never mind, they helped me find canned tuna.”

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  113. Janis Gore says:

    Poverty sucks, and ill-mannered poverty sucks even more.

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  114. Rob in CT says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Sure. But in this country (perhaps in any country, but especially here), you can’t neatly divide race and class. Our forefathers spent ~350 years creating and maintaining an underclass class denoted by skin color. So “it’s a class thing” necessarily involves race to an extent.

    Think about the term “white trash.” I didn’t for a long time. Think of it, that is. But think of it. White Trash. Why mention “white?” Why not just trash? Seems to me that it’s b/c trash is presumptively non-white. I could be wrong, but that’s my read of it.

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  115. Rob in CT says:

    @Janis Gore:

    A lot of downvoting here is nonsensical. Including downvotes thrown at our few remaining right wingers, sometimes. A lot of times, people who have reputations make more reasonable comments and get downvoted anyway – basically b/c people don’t like them.

    I don’t worry about it. Hardly anyone uses the system as it’s labeled (helpful/unhelpful). It’s “I like/I don’t like” – and often about the poster not the content of the specific post). Rather a lot like polls about impeachment, actually…

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  116. Matt Bernius says:

    @jbg:

    In 2007 Jim DeMint described Romneycare as “something that I think we should do for the whole country.” At that time, he was thinking Mitt would be president on 1/20/09

    This is a killer example for two reasons:

    1. It again get to the point that if *any* democrat had won that election — let’s say Hillary Clinton — and then suggested Romneycare it would have been immediately dismissed as a radical liberal idea. Or do you think Mr DeMint would have been behind her?

    2. Let’s not forget that Romney was the *Conservatives* choice in 2007. McCain was the liberal, establishment choice. By 2012, when Romney had become the establishment choice, the *conservative* wing of the party suddenly rejected much of what he stood for as well.

    Did Romney change all that much during those 4 years? Heck he was trying to be even more *severely Conservative* and yet he wasn’t recieved all that warmly.

    Again, we see how partisan identity trumps actual policy beliefs.

    Now, for some people race will trump partisanship — see the Democrats who voted for the Northern Liberal Kerry but refused to vote for Obama. And likewise, if a African American was the Republican nomination, then I’m sure the same thing would happen with Republicans. After all, there were still people who wouldn’t vote for Romney based on the entire Mormon thing.

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  117. Rob in CT says:

    @al-Ameda:

    In fairness, my interpretations of those recollections are not neutral. I am arguing that a generic “I don’t want poor people near me” is, in part, often driven by some portion of racial animus, for a variety of reasons (some of which go back past the founding). I even think some of it is subconcious. Poor + urban and black have a lot of overlap… it’s hard to disentangle things and I don’t think most people sit around pondering why they think certain things. First, because it’s hard, and second because it’s usually uncomfortable.

    It’s funny. Most people are fine with admitting they don’t like poor people and don’t want them around. But they will freak the f*ck out if you say they don’t like black people and want them around. And I can split that hair too, if I must: you can concoct a belief system that says it’s not ok to judge people on skin color but it’s fine to judge them by the contents (or lack thereof) of their wallet, since the former is an unavoidable consequence of birth and the latter is (according to some) at the least heavily influenced by your own choices.

    Anyway, long story short, I’m sure that damn near everybody in my hometown would have denied a desire to avoid living near black people, full stop. And indeed, while I was growing up in that town the first black family (ever!) moved in. I didn’t ask her flat out about how much sh*t she caught over the years, but by and large my friend Cheryl seemed to do ok in town. I do recall at least one instance of somebody throwing “nigger” at her, and being shocked. Not just at the sentiment, but at how declasse it was. ;) She lives in South Carolina now. It might be interesting (but I’m not gonna ask) to hear a comparison of the two places from her PoV.

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  118. Rob in CT says:

    Oh dear, I have another recollection in moderation. My fault, I spelled out the n-word.

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  119. jukeboxgrad says:

    al-Ameda:

    the whole Birther Movement

    Any discussion of Obama and racism needs to take a look at birtherism. Many Republicans remained birthers even after Obama released his ‘long form’ birth certificate. In a poll done 1/12, only 27% of Republicans said this statement is true: “Obama was born in the United States” (link). Here’s some more proof of the importance of birtherism in the GOP: birther-in-chief Trump was a frontrunner for the nomination, at one time.

    A lot of people don’t understand that this many presidents pre-Obama released a birth certificate: zero.

    The story with college transcripts is similar. No president has released them (Bush’s were leaked), but it’s common to hear demands that Obama release his transcripts. A lot of conservatives are confused about this because people like Victor Davis Hanson have been lying about this (link).

    Birtherism is racism.

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  120. Pinky says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Let’s not forget that Romney was the *Conservatives* choice in 2007. McCain was the liberal, establishment choice.

    That’s not accurate. McCain had the support of foreign policy conservatives, Romney of fiscal policy conservatives, and Huckabee of social policy conservatives. (There was also a regional element.) None of them were particularly happy about their choice or any of the other choices. To depict McCain as the liberal choice, you’ve got to erase the whole controversy about the surge in Iraq. Especially if you’re looking at 2007 rather than Election Day 2008 during the economic crisis.

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  121. Janis Gore says:

    And just for kicks, here’s a completely different story for you.

    I’ve been running down to the Natchez area because my brother is ill not for away. Yenchh, I needed my teeth cleaned and set up an appointment with my dentist. There was a white woman there with a very young black boy. Nice looking kid, but he was getting antsy.

    So I started showing him pictures of my parrot, and we talked about what she ate and other things, until this other handsome black boy comes out. I asked him to show me his toothbrush, (I have overt permission for all this), and complained that his was a lot more fun than the one I would get.

    “Well, you’re an adult.”

    “But we like fun things, too.”

    The second boy was accompanied by the other half of the lesbian couple. Whether it’s fostering or adoption, there you are. That’s in Vidalia, LA — has about 5000 people.

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  122. Matt Bernius says:

    @Pinky:
    I’d quibble a bit about McCain being the choice of Foreign Policy cons — I think there were a lot supporting Romney as well. But you’re entirely right about Huck and the rift with the social cons.

    It definitely was a more complex picture than I initially laid out.

    To depict McCain as the liberal choice, you’ve got to erase the whole controversy about the surge in Iraq.

    By liberal, I meant liberal/moderate Republicans. Not liberals as in Democrats. Though he was definitely seen at the best out of the three by many Democrats.

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  123. Pinky says:

    @Matt Bernius: Sure. And even my depiction was too generalized. You’ll very rarely find a pure “foreign policy”, “fiscal policy”, or “social policy” conservative. There’s also the element of strategic voting. But however you work it, it’d be wrong to imply that Romney nearly won the nomination in 2008 on the basis of Romneycare.

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  124. Matt Bernius says:

    @Pinky:

    But however you work it, it’d be wrong to imply that Romney nearly won the nomination in 2008 on the basis of Romneycare.

    That wasn’t either BJG or my point. Or a claim that I would make.

    JBG’s point is that in 2007, *Conservative* Jim DeMint endorsed Romneycare as “something that I think we should do for the whole country.” The same conservative in 2009 turned viamently against the concept of a health care program based in part on Romneycare when it was presented by a Democrat.

    The broader point is how partisanship can often trump policy positions.

    I haven’t seen anything that DeMint has said about Romneycare since leaving office to go to Heritage(?).

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  125. Pinky says:

    @Matt Bernius: But that kinda was the point you were making.

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  126. Matt Bernius says:

    @Pinky:
    HUH? Please connect the dots on that one…

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  127. Rob in CT says:

    @Pinky:

    There are other examples of policies that, pre-2008, were acceptable within the GOP (if not loved) and are now socialistic plots to destroy America. One that springs to mind is efforts to mitigate climate change – McCain in 2008 was open to a cap & trade system.

    So you have Romney accepting a (liberal-driven, as it was MA) healthcare reform effort that shares key similarities with the PPACA, McCain campaigning with a cap & trade plan… but shortly thereafter those ideas are horrible, horrible things that will screw up everything.

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  128. Ben Johannson says:

    @michael reynolds: There’s no way to get around the reality of appealing to southern racial resentment as a Republican strategy. That’s a matter of historical fact; Nixon and the leadership deliberately embraced a policy of drawing in the racist vote and the Republicans are still in denial about it. That’s not going to change until the party stands in front of the African-American community and admits the truth.

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  129. michael reynolds says:

    @Ben Johannson:

    Exactly. We have in the GOP a party that owes its success in electoral politics to its absorption of Dixiecrats. Subtract Dixiecrats and the GOP carries nothing but the mountain states – 45 or 50 electoral votes. Add the Dixiecrats back in and they have 190 electoral votes.

    50 electoral votes without the Dixiecrats and their more recent spawn, 190 with.

    But we’re not supposed to see race in that.

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  130. Janis Gore says:

    @michael reynolds: He’s an easy target because he is black, but don’t think the Republicans will let up when another Democrat is elected.

    They’re refining the art.

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  131. stonetools says:

    A couple more things about the poll:
    It seems clear that the problem is not “partisanship” in Washington: rather, it is the feelings in the “base” back home that driving the polarization in DC.
    The discussion in the Comments has made clear that what is driving the desire for impeachment is not policy differences, nor anything Obama has done, but some unholy mixture of partisanship and racism.
    I think too that the Republican establishment, which intially whipped up this unholy brew and branded the resulting movement the Tea Party, have largely lost control of it. The Republican Party bosses may not be able to resist the base’s thirst for an impeachment effort, which is why we might see an attempt if the Republicans get a Senate majority. Fortunately, I don’t think they’ll get there.

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  132. Pinky says:

    @stonetools:

    …the Republican establishment, which intially whipped up this unholy brew and branded the resulting movement the Tea Party…

    Huh?

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  133. Grewgills says:

    @michael reynolds:
    What happens when black (or at least dark skinned) republicans run against white democrats?
    In solidly southern Louisiana they vote for the hard right, but darker skinned, republican. There are other examples, but that one jumped out at me. That speaks to partisanship trumping racism, because I assure you that plenty of racists held their noses and voted for the pro-gun, anti-abortion brown man. Race matters, but it’s not the only thing that matters even for racists. People have competing priorities and not every person with some racial animus wants Jim Crowe back. Votes are won at the margins and social change is won by (often too slowly) rolling back opinions at the margins. Trying to pin everything or most everything on race doesn’t help much of anything and hardens opinions at the margins. That is rather the opposite of what we want to do.

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  134. Grewgills says:

    @Janis Gore:
    Why was that ill mannered? The conversation with the child seems an entirely reasonable. Paying for part of the groceries with a WIC check and the rest with cash or debit is a bit more time consuming, but doesn’t seem rude either. Are old people who still pay with checks being rude?

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  135. Grewgills says:

    @stonetools:

    I think too that the Republican establishment, which intially whipped up this unholy brew and branded the resulting movement the Tea Party

    To be fair, the establishment weren’t the ones who whipped this up, they embraced it for political gain, but it was whipped up outside of the DC establishment.

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  136. Grewgills says:

    @Tillman:

    Poor john personna was destroyed by them.

    I felt kinda bad for my part in that, but the SIWOTI is (too?) strong in me.

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  137. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    They are frightened because living in a good neighborhood with good schools is very expensive because such places are becoming rare. Also, those Tea Party types are do not believe they are clever enough to take advantage of all of those demographic changes while avoiding all of the costs.
    Of course, people who feel that there is not place of them in the U.S. will feel threatened. Also, when they are the one group that is specifically told not to organized along ethnic/religous/economic interest lines, they will feel threatened.

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  138. michael reynolds says:

    @Grewgills:

    What happens when black (or at least dark skinned) republicans run against white democrats?

    I never said race was all that matters, see my first comment in this thread.

    What I’ve maintained is that politics comes out of primal emotions – greed, fear, occasionally even love (!) the usual human cocktail.

    If one example of southern conservatives crossing the line to vote for a black man proves conservatives aren’t motivated by race, then it would follow that an example of inter-party co-operation would invalidate the partisanship theory, right? I bet I can find more examples of cooperation than you can find examples of conservative whites crossing the color line. In fact, I’ll bet I can find them at a ratio of a hundred to one.

    To find the root, look for the order in which the phenomena occurred. Matt and Tillman (both people I respect) argue in effect that partisanship preceded racial animus. I think that’s not how humans work. I think political parties are tools used to rationalize and justify and express underlying emotions and needs, and that if you want to understand motivation you work from complex back to simple.

    At the most basic level humans are afraid of dying, afraid of isolation, afraid of losing status within their society, etc…. They crave sex and food and status. Power.

    In primitive man – which is to say for 99.9% of human history – we were animals that moved in small bands. Where circumstances allowed we formed tribes. The purpose of these social networks was what? To supply food, sex, security, status. The competition to locate food and the rest put human tribe A into conflict with various competitors, including human tribe B.

    Humans A looked for ways to easily differentiate between themselves and the competing humans. Early on it was easy – everyone knew all the members of their own group. Later it became necessary to create devices and categories for differentiation. Symbols, tattoos, hair styles, clothing styles, and of course, race.

    Correct so far?

    So the ability to differentiate “us” from “them” is very basic to humans. Now, if you’re a member of a tribe you’d spot a person and immediately attempt to classify them. You’d think, “That’s not how we dress, that’s not the kind of spear we carry.” But an easier marker, one that instantly alerts you, is a major difference in skin color.

    And what are the first two things a human notices about another human? Height? No. Weight? No. It’s gender and race. These are the two most basic tools we use to categorize other humans.

    So this goes very deep. The ability to spot the “other” preceded politics and parties by many millennia. All of that, the stuff we here at OTB obsess over, is like veneer glued over an oak desk. It’s thin. It’s recent. It’s not the heart of things. The heart of things is “us” and “them.”

    Now, let’s look at the tribe of Republicans. What do we see? What’s the first thing we notice if we line up the tribe of Republicans alongside the tribe of Democrats? Unless we are sight impaired, we see that Republicans are all white, while Democrats come in various colors.

    Then let’s walk these tribes back a bit in history. It used to be that the tribe of Republicans was almost all white, and so was the tribe of Democrats. Then the Democratic tribe absorbed some non-whites. And what happened? A bunch of white Democrats promptly changed tribes. A bunch of white Democrats became Republicans. In the blink of an eye in historical terms.

    The clear and unmistakable cause of a large number of white Dems switching tribes was: race. They switched tribes because Democrats had absorbed black and brown people.

    Now, in the present day, separated from that time of sudden division by very few years, we are meant to believe that it is merely coincidental that one tribe is integrated and the other is not. Do you believe it’s coincidence? Or do you think that an all-white party which grew substantially because of its rejection of the “other” has now set aside that suspicion and hostility? When exactly did that happen? When did the rejectionist white tribe stop being the rejectionist white tribe? And how would such a thing square with the thousands of cases of overt racial hostility from the white tribe toward black and brown people?

    This reminds me of the wise folks who assured us again and again and again that the Sunni/Shia split was not really a big deal. I called b.s. on that, too.)

    People fear, and then they identify threats, and they hate that threat, and take action against that threat. Politics is what the smart folks come up with to rationalize those more primal realities of human life. Politics is a late stage development. Politics is not the root. Fear of the “other” is the root.

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  139. jukeboxgrad says:

    Anyone still in doubt about the importance of racism in the GOP should notice how easy it is to find an avalanche of vividly racist comments at an ‘establishment’ institution such as National Review. Link.

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  140. Janis Gore says:

    @Grewgills: I didn’t get into it, Grewgills, in the story, but the child was insistent, and the mother barely paid attention to the child in the buggy. He was standing up, and I told him to sit down, because he was reaching and likely to fall.

    I deal with a lot of Southern black women, and none of them would put up with that crap.

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  141. Grewgills says:

    @michael reynolds:

    If one example of southern conservatives crossing the line to vote for a black man proves conservatives aren’t motivated by race, then it would follow that an example of inter-party co-operation would invalidate the partisanship theory, right? I bet I can find more examples of cooperation than you can find examples of conservative whites crossing the color line. In fact, I’ll bet I can find them at a ratio of a hundred to one.

    I’ll take that bet and post some examples when I have time, but I don’t envy you the time it will take to come up with even the 1st hundred examples.

    Our disagreement is one of degree I think. You appear to think that race is the dominant factor that is at the core of the vast majority of Republican opposition to Obama. I think it is considerably more complex than that. Certainly most of those that voted for Kerry then McCain and Romney probably did so because of race, particularly through Appalachia and the South. On the other hand if Obama ran against an muslim or god forbid an atheist those same people would either hold their noses and vote for him or stay home. There are a fair number of them that would vote for a black man before a gay man, or a pro-choice, or pro-gun control candidate, or pick a conservative fetish issue. So, yes race is A factor and for some it is THE primary factor, but I think you overstate that by quite a bit.

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  142. jukeboxgrad says:

    Michael:

    political parties are tools used to rationalize and justify and express underlying emotions and needs … Politics is what the smart folks come up with to rationalize those more primal realities of human life

    I think you’re making an important point that few people understand. And it’s not just that emotion precedes reason in politics. I think emotion precedes reason in human behavior, generally. You mentioned the word “rationalize,” and this is what that word is about.

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  143. Pinky says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Actually, that’s a foolish point. It’s one that can’t help but make a person feel superior at his best moments, enthusiastically depraved at his worst. I guess it really is a foolish point, because it enthrones the foolish side of human nature.

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  144. jukeboxgrad says:

    make a person feel superior at his best moments, enthusiastically depraved at his worst

    How?

    it enthrones the foolish side of human nature

    Describing something is not “enthrones,” and emotions are not necessarily “foolish.”

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  145. jukeboxgrad says:

    Stonetools:

    Obamas policies have been those of a centrist Democtrat

    Link: “Obama revealed: A moderate Republican … President Obama, if you look closely at his positions, is a moderate Republican of the early 1990s.”

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  146. Rob in CT says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    There are plenty of lefties out there (by which I mean probably a few percentage points of the voting population – in the end, a small minority) who think he’s a terrible sellout Republican ahole.

    No progressive purity pony! Boo! Bastard!

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  147. Tillman says:

    @Rob in CT: Exhibit A: edmondo.

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  148. grumpy realist says:

    @Rob in CT: Yeah, there is an overlap between class and race here in Chicago, but out where I live it seems the geographical segregation makes more sense if you think of it as a class thing. (I live in Oak Park, which is about as mixed-race as you can get, down to the interracial families) But we’re all middle or upper-middle class. Go east a short distance and it suddenly turns into pure lower-class minority. Get closer to downtown and we’re back to yuppies.

    On the other hand, you go south of me and you get mainly Hispanic. So it’s an interesting mix of ethnic and class distinctions.

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  149. grumpy realist says:

    @michael reynolds: Heck, we can quote examples galore from history where people have managed to even hold wars against each other although being of the same race….

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  150. Grewgills says:

    @grumpy realist:
    Even multiracial armies fighting other armies made up of one or more of those same ethnicities.

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  151. Grewgills says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I bet I can find more examples of cooperation than you can find examples of conservative whites crossing the color line. In fact, I’ll bet I can find them at a ratio of a hundred to one.

    Here’s another 4 from the past 10 years to get you started:
    Allen West of Florida
    Jennifer Carroll of Florida
    Elbert Guillory of Louisiana
    JC Watts of Oklahoma
    I eagerly await your 500 examples of Republican cooperation in the past 10 years. What are the stakes of our bet? I’ll settle for pride or a public admission that the other party was right ;-)

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