Sunday, September 27, 2009
J.C. WATTS: Put away the race card. Polls and voting data don't support Carter's remarks.
That comment comes from former President Jimmy Carter, which is fascinating considering Carter once ran for governor of Georgia proclaiming himself to be a "Lester Maddox Democrat." (Maddox, a former Georgia governor, was an avowed segregationist who opposed integration under the Civil Rights Act.)
In fairness to President Carter, I do believe in redemption, and that people can change. But more and more people are inclined to say anyone who disagrees with Barack Obama must be racist.
It hurts me when the left and the right use race for political gain, and it depresses me further that it's so awkward for us to talk about honestly and objectively about race. However, the implication that disagreeing with the president is racist also saddens and perplexes me.
Donna Brazile, campaign manager for Al Gore in 2000 and now a CNN analyst, nailed it when she said, "No one wins in touching race in such a shallow way. It raises defenses and creates backlash."
The race issue blew up two weeks ago when Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., called Obama a liar on the floor of the House during the president's address to a joint session of Congress. Although Democrats booed President Bush in that same chamber during a State of the Union a few years ago, it was still wrong for Wilson to do this.
He called the president's chief of staff and apologized. I would have preferred he do it on the floor of the House, which is where the incident occurred.
There has always been a certain decorum in the people's House. Boos and yelling "You lie!" are not part of that decorum.
Some try to defend one yelling "You lie!" because others boo, but two wrongs don't make a right. Of course, we see this logic in politics from Democrats and Republicans both.
Be that as it may, was Wilson's outburst racist? The congressman said it was not, so I take him at his word, and the opposition we've seen to the president's agenda would not equate to racism based on the data released in the last year.
-- President Obama did not get the majority of the white vote in 2008. Is that evidence of racism? No. This has been the case with Democrat candidates for years, including President Carter. (continues here)