Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Race, Obama, and the Tea Party

As I've previously pointed out here, Obama is basically an Eisenhower Republican. From what I can tell from his core beliefs, he is to the right of Richard Nixon, and only barely leftward of Ronald Reagan. There is nothing about Obama's beliefs that are in any way out of the mainstream of traditional conservative thought, whether we're talking about the budget (he wants it balanced), about preserving American industrial capability (remember, it was Reagan who bailed out Harley-Davidson!), or welfare (he wants workfare, not welfare -- makes him pretty compatible with Reagan and to the right of Nixon, who wanted a guaranteed minimum income for all Americans).

So why do I keep having these awkward conversations with folks back home in Jesusland? The ones where, when the subject of Obama comes up, they say "I don't know why, I'm not a racist, but he scares me, I don't trust him"? Why the rabid Tea Party types who've made it their cause celebre' to not only paint Obama as an eeeevil soshalist Demon-crat (they did the same to Bill Clinton after all), but to paint Obama as somehow un-American, foreign, other? Why the incessant refrain of "I want my country back?"

I mean, some of the Clinton hatred got pretty bizarre, but I was around during the Clinton years too, and it never got *this* bizarre. I mean, folks bashed him as a horndog, as corrupt, all sorts of things, but they never claimed they were *scared* of him or that they wanted to re-claim their country from him. But then, Clinton is white. And Obama is black. And that makes all the difference, even though people in Jesusland don't want to know that because then that would imply they were racist and they don't *feel* racist, why, they even have a black friend at work and have even invited him over for dinner once or twice! I declayah!

What they're *really* scared of is what white oil field workers weren't shy about saying back in the days when the first blacks came on board due to affirmative action. "Them niggers, they're taking all our jobs." And now "they" have taken the Presidency. It's all about white privilege. Whites deserve those jobs, how dare some darky take our jobs! But of course today racism is not socially acceptable, so the Tea Baggers and their ilk talk in code, while ordinary folk in Jesusland don't know why because they don't want to know why, but the fact that there is a President Obama makes them very, very uncomfortable, and quite eager to embrace Tea Bagger notions. So it goes.

-- Badtux the Southern Penguin


  1. Losing one tiny iota of privilege feels exactly like oppression, apparently.

    Weep for poor King John after the Magna Carta.

  2. Yes it does go just like that!

  3. It's not just racism that motivates 'Bagger types. There are also confused feelings of patriotism and factionalism, especially among people who are willingly brainwashed by Faux Nooz.

    My mom is not prejudiced. She doesn't just have black friends, she has black GAY friends such as the kid from a poor inside-the-D.C.-Beltway neighbourhood she half-raised. He's now a "Two Snaps Up" kind of college professor in New York City. She's worked for charity much of her life, was management in a government-run hospital, done all sorts of things that good-hearted liberals do. But she's blindly suspicious of Obama. Not that she thinks he's Muslim or Kenyan or anything irrational; just that he's somehow a bad guy.

    I harangue her mercilessly about politics on the phone at times (shameful of me to do that, but my hatred for Rethuglicans knows no limits.) "Give me specifics of what Obama is doing that's bad for America" I'll demand. She's in her late 70s and getting senile, so she can't cite anything. I'm the one who rants facts and actions to her about what Hopey has done that's unAmerican, only from a Left perspective.

    But my mom decided a decade ago that being Right was right. Part of this was her reaction to my late dad. Although he was career Army and used to be right-wing (the only demonstration I went to during the Vietnam War was when my dad dragged my kid self to a PRO-war rally at the Washington Monument where Merle Haggard sang "Okie from Muskogee") he got liberal as he got older. My mom spent basically every minute since I was born hating my dad's neglectful, abusive guts. (I have a strong suspicion that my birth was the reason they were trapped in a loveless marriage.) So she got more rightist as a counter-reaction to his leftishness.

    There's also nationalism and religion. The Teabagger types think they're being pro-American and holy when they oppose Obama. That's how successfully the fascists have wrapped themselves in the flag and the cross. Watching Fux reinforces that. (She also watches CNN and local D.C/Baltimore news channels, but Fux monopolizes her mind.) Befuddled people like my mom -- who got a 4-year college degree as a teacher in the 1950s, is well-read and traveled the world -- believe that 'Baggishness is GOOD. It's a feeling they have, emotion over facts. I'm not disputing that a lot of 'Baggers are that way from racism, but plenty are also good-hearted yet wrong-headed in other ways.

  4. I'm with you but only part of the way. I am convinced that the rightist crazies grab whatever handle is available. Obama's part-blackness and African father is a convenient handle but Hillary Clinton (and Prez Clinton) were treated no better - just different handles. Remember that Hillary was accused of murdering Vince Foster and there are people around who believe that. Remember also how she was reviled for being a lawyer, being political, having opinions, and participating in government. Different handles to grab, that's all.

  5. Just the other day a guy I know started ranting about how persecuted Christians are in this country. Same deal.

    Someone once described the situation to me like this: You have two children. You have two cookies sitting in on the kitchen counter. You send them into the kitchen to get the cookies but the bigger and stronger one takes both cookies. You notice this and intervene by taking one cookie away from the bigger kid and giving it to the smaller kid. The bigger kid is likely to cry about how unfair it is because all they see is that they once had two cookies and now they have just one.

  6. My (white) brother-in-law, who is not particularly racist, has a cabal of (white) Obama-haters he hangs out with on Facebook. They blame the President personally for everything that goes wrong in their lives, and work to outdo one another at constructing new insults to throw at him. I don't understand the mind-set, and I don't have the patience to wade through the insults trying to find substance.

    But your explanation for what's going on seems perfectly reasonable.

  7. I may not like bama and the fact of the matter is that he is very bush like. bama has gotten a couple thumbs up from me but the killer chimp - - never.

    I do not hate Barrack Obama but I sure as hell hated bush and his killer butt buddies and will till I croak.

    Of course bama does not deserve a lot of what he gets but some of it he brings on himself.

    This country hates black people and other colors as well and it's never going to change.

    The white man mentality thrives.

  8. Bukko, the problem with your theory is that Obama isn't even in the slightest bit liberal. He's an Eisenhower/Mitt Romney Republican if you look at his actual beliefs and policies.

    Someone of your mother's generation grew up in an era of white privilege. She doesn't have to be explicitly racist in order to feel uncomfortable about the fact that being white no longer controls the privilege of being President. I'm sure she doesn't know exactly why she feels uncomfortable about Obama, because that would require admitting things to herself that she doesn't want to admit to herself and denial is the normal state of the American people, but so it goes.

    Will chew through the rest as I get time...

    - Badtux the Hard-working Penguin

  9. The new holograph is one in which racist Pat Buchanan called the Rev. Sharpton 'Boy' on MSNBC last night, but refrained from calling Obama an 'oreo.'

  10. I'm convinced that for 99% of the population, political views have nothing to do with anything even remotely resembling rational thought.

    People don't vote their philosophy or even their pocketbook. They vote their comfort zone: The zero-growth, thought-free area.

    Which fits conservatism perfectly, alas.


  11. I think, overall, Obama's a bit left-of-center. Certainly not a progressive by any stretch, but these days, in my book, that's a plus -- I can't tell which is worse anymore, the so-called progressives or the damn teabaggers. He seems more conservative than I'd rate him probably because of the assholes in Congress -- in both parties -- that he has to put up with every day. It's a wonder anything gets done in DC. It's ridiculous.

    Obama doesn't scare me at all. I lived through eight years of Bush. More Obama, please...

  12. jesus, to hear anyone say anything "Left" about Obama is, right out of zombie land.

    Godzilla was more left of Center than Obama ever could be.

    but that is just my biased opinion of the Manchurian Candidate aka Obama.

    Left of center? that means we have gone so far to the right that Richard Nixon is "Not a Crook" and a liberal progressive we "misunderstood!"

    packaging does seem to work more than the insides.
    take a class in marketing to understand how well "We -Idiot America" has been "sold."

    lol. such is the vagaries of living the Fall of the American Empire. not with a bang, but with a whimper. Hitler was just ahead of his time, that's all.


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