Obsessed-With-Race Watch, Vol. 1

The Republican strategist Democrats love to hate weighed in this morning on his impression of Barack Obama:

ABC News’ Christianne Klein reports that at a breakfast with Republican insiders at the Capitol Hill Club this morning, former White House senior aide Karl Rove referred to Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, as “coolly arrogant.”

“Even if you never met him, you know this guy,” Rove said, per Christianne Klein. “He’s the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by.”

Liberal mega-blogger Josh Marshall titled his post on the issue, where he quoted Rove verbatim, Uppity-Watch, vol. 1. This is, of course, a subtle implication that Rove’s comments were tinged with racist undertones. Time and time again when a conservative Republican criticizes a black liberal Democrat, many of us have seen liberals fire back that “so and so apparently doesn’t like it when [politician/politician’s spouse] starts acting ‘uppity‘” – as in this kind of ‘uppity’:

Informal Taking liberties or assuming airs beyond one’s station; presumptuous: “was getting a little uppity and needed to be slapped down.”

In other words, the underlying meaning behind the far left’s use of the word “uppity” is to suggest that a black man or woman is speaking above themselves, and that they should go sit in the back of the bus.

Thankfully, Marshall’s fellow liberal blogger Matt Yglesias doesn’t see the racial animosity Marshall hints around about, but instead sees this:

But what about the class cues? How many Americans have had the experience of being at a country club and watching some dude with a beautiful date hold a martini and smoke a cigarette? Certainly I haven’t. Rove assumes that “you know this guy” but unless “you” are a wealthy person from the past, you probably don’t know a guy like that.

I beg to differ. I’ve been to a swanky party or three and came across more than my fair share of upturned noses in the crowd, and my income isn’t remotely in the same universe as some of those people. But I take Yglesias point for what I think he meant to say, which is, “Hey Rove, you’re a country-clubber yourself; look in the mirror.”

But there’s no other meaning behind what Marshall wrote than exactly what he said with the title of his post, which goes a long way towards showing that when it comes to race, the people who are zeroed in on it all all times are Democrats, not Republicans. Every politico out there knows that Republicans have been characterizing Democrats as arrogant, elitist and out of touch for decades now (and in turn, of course, the left have tried to paint Republicans as rich fat cats who care nothing for the poor), whether they are black or white. Barack Obama opened himself up to this type of criticism with the remarks he made in front of m/billionaires while at a ritzy speaking engagement/campaign fundraiser at a posh San Francisco home back in April when he said the following about blue collar workers:

But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there’s not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Now, he’s said and done other things that have raised eyebrows along those same lines, but the above comments are the standard bearer for why Barack Obama is viewed in conservative circles as elite, arrogant, and out of touch with mainstream America. This has nothing to do with Barack Obama being a black man anymore than the criticism John Kerry routinely received from conservatives in 2004 about how he married into wealth twice had anything to do with his color (that is, unless there’s someone reading this who really does believe Teresa Heinz-Kerry is an “African-American.”).

As a matter of fact, how many times have we seen conservatives write about how sick they are of hearing both Michelle and Barack Obama’s sob stories about how they were “only recently” able to pay off their student loans from the uber-expensive Harvard Law School and Princeton, in multiple silly attempts at trying to paint themselves as average Americans, even though they are obviously very well off and not having a hard time feeding the kids at night? Quite a bit. (Other examples can be read here and here)

Yet Marshall, clearly another Democrat who sees a racist Republican around every corner, thinks because Barack Obama happens to be black, and Karl Rove said what he did about being able to see Obama drinking a martini in the corner and smoking while with a beautiful date at a country club looking down his nose at others, then that ‘obviously’ means Rove thinks that Obama’s an “uppity black man,” rather than simply being one in a long list of elitist Democrats black and white Rove and other Republicans have criticized for years as being elitist snobs who willingly cut themselves off from the common people.

If anyone out there needed proof that it’s the left who will make race an issue in this campaign, I’d say between Marshall’s post, and Barack Obama’s own injection of it last week, there’s more than enough evidence there for you to chew on.

Obama’s “presidential” seal bites the dust

The unofficial official seal for the Barack Obama campaign has been shown the door:

While we don’t have full details, someone at Obama’s press center, when asked if the seal would be used going forward said simply, “No.” There were still a number of vaguely presidential-seal screensavers available at the Obama website, though. (I’ll update this post if anyone from Team Obama calls me back with further details. …Marc Ambinder’s hearing the same thing, by the way.)

Obama’s “presidential” seal: Gone but not forgotten ;)

Update: ST reader Anthony quips in the comments:

I understand it’s going to be replaced by the stone tablets Charlton Heston carried in “Ten Commandments.” :d

Heheh …

Barack Obama betrays his own words once again

The NYT, of all places, reports on Barack Obama’s ties to ethanol special interests:

When VeraSun Energy inaugurated a new ethanol processing plant last summer in Charles City, Iowa, some of that industry’s most prominent boosters showed up. Leaders of the National Corn Growers Association and the Renewable Fuels Association, for instance, came to help cut the ribbon — and so did Senator Barack Obama.

Then running far behind Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in name recognition and in the polls, Mr. Obama was in the midst of a campaign swing through the state where he would eventually register his first caucus victory. And as befits a senator from Illinois, the country’s second largest corn-producing state, he delivered a ringing endorsement of ethanol as an alternative fuel.

Mr. Obama is running as a reformer who is seeking to reduce the influence of special interests. But like any other politician, he has powerful constituencies that help shape his views. And when it comes to domestic ethanol, almost all of which is made from corn, he also has advisers and prominent supporters with close ties to the industry at a time when energy policy is a point of sharp contrast between the parties and their presidential candidates.

In the heart of the Corn Belt that August day, Mr. Obama argued that embracing ethanol “ultimately helps our national security, because right now we’re sending billions of dollars to some of the most hostile nations on earth.” America’s oil dependence, he added, “makes it more difficult for us to shape a foreign policy that is intelligent and is creating security for the long term.”

Nowadays, when Mr. Obama travels in farm country, he is sometimes accompanied by his friend Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader from South Dakota. Mr. Daschle now serves on the boards of three ethanol companies and works at a Washington law firm where, according to his online job description, “he spends a substantial amount of time providing strategic and policy advice to clients in renewable energy.”

Mr. Obama’s lead advisor on energy and environmental issues, Jason Grumet, came to the campaign from the National Commission on Energy Policy, a bipartisan initiative associated with Mr. Daschle and Bob Dole, the Kansas Republican who is also a former Senate majority leader and a big ethanol backer who had close ties to the agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland.

Karl at Protein Wisdom points out that Daschle’s ties with ethanol special interests are even more extensive than the NYT reports, and so, for that matter, are Barack Obama’s.

Of course, this isn’t a surprise to those of us who have payed close attention to Barack Obama’s double-speak throughout the primaries and caucuses, as well as his general election flip flops, but it is refereshing nevertheless to see the NYT writing about it, even if they don’t go as in depth as they should have.

In other Barry Oh! news, legal eagle Scott Johnson from the Power Line blog writes in today’s NYPost just how wrong-headed and ill-informed Barack Obama’s opinion (scroll) is on making fighting terrorism primarily a legal matter (via Don Surber).

Plus, via AP: Barack Obama inspires Milan men’s runway styles.

Ugh …

George Carlin, dead at 71

Via Reuters:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Comedian George Carlin, a counter-culture hero famed for his routines about drugs, dirty words and the demise of humanity, died of heart failure at a Los Angeles-area hospital on Sunday. He was 71.

Carlin, who had a history of heart and drug-dependency problems, died at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica about 6 p.m. PDT (9 p.m. EDT) after being admitted earlier in the afternoon for chest pains, spokesman Jeff Abraham told Reuters.

Known for his edgy, provocative material developed over 50 years, the bald, bearded Carlin achieved status as an anti-Establishment icon in the 1970s with stand-up bits full of drug references and a routine called “Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television.” A regulatory battle over a radio broadcast of the routine ultimately reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the 1978 case, Federal Communications Commission vs. Pacifica Foundation, the top U.S. court ruled that the words cited in Carlin’s routine were indecent, and that the government’s broadcast regulator could ban them from being aired at times when children might be listening.

The Grammy-winning Carlin remained an active presence on the comedy circuit. Carlin was scheduled to receive the John F. Kennedy Center’s prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in November and his publicist said Carlin performed in Las Vegas this month.

His comedic sensibility revolved around a central theme: humanity is a cursed, doomed species.

“I don’t have any beliefs or allegiances. I don’t believe in this country, I don’t believe in religion, or a god, and I don’t believe in all these man-made institutional ideas,” he told Reuters in a 2001 interview.

I heard about this this morning as I was getting ready for work, and was saddened, as I’m sure a lot of people are. George Carlin was indeed famed (or infamous) for his comedic social commentary, most of it (unfortunately) aimed at conservatives. I started to listen to his comedy routines before I became a conservative and didn’t stop once I crossed over to the “dark side.” My favorite comedy act of his was his “What Am I Doing in New Jersey” routine – which I watched on HBO in the late 80s, and got the audio tape when it was released a couple of years later. To this day it remains one of the funniest comedy routines I’ve ever watched/heard.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. He was an incredibly gifted comedian and entertainer who will be missed.