Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Smearing the GOP: The Obama "White House" Button Controversy

It turns out that a lone vendor was hawking a racist political button at this week's Texas GOP convention, which caused fits of apoplexy across the leftosphere yesterday:

Obama White House

A prototypical attack on virtually all Republicans as racist was offered by John Aravosis at Americablog:

Expect the Republican party to do absolutely nothing about the racists in its own midst. The national Republican party in Washington has contacts all the time with its state parties. I'm sure there's money involved, and you'd better believe that when John McCain visits the states, he meets with local party officials. At what point do we hold John McCain responsible for fraternizing with racists? You don't see John McCain ever saying that he's no longer going to meet with, fundraise with, any state parties that promote or tolerate racism (like the folks in NC and TN). All McCain and that national party does is say "gosh, that's so bad, stop that now." McCain and the GOP have the power to punish the racists in their midst. So when will they? Oh, and for all of you in the media who will of course say that this has nothing to do with the GOP: What would you say if racist pins were being handed out at the Democratic National Convention?
In truth, most genuine Republicans would be appalled if racist buttons were being distributed at ANY convention, because there's no room for any of this in either party. No one, least of all members of the Party of Lincoln, should be attacking Barack Obama or anyone else with vile bigotry.

Notice, though, how this one vendor, for Aravosis, becomes emblematic of the alleged embedded racism of the GOP.

As I've said many times (see
here, for example), most Americans are not racist. But note what James Joyner has to say, with reference to the Texas GOP:

Is there still racism in America? You betcha. Is it going to play some role in an election featuring the first black man with a legitimate chance to be president? No doubt.

But let’s not pretend that one yahoo selling some buttons is emblematic of much of anything.
Exactly! One "yahoo" does not impugn the integrity of true conservatives, despite the most aggressive efforts of the left to smear us as such.

Sure, there are a few of these
bigots around, along with their defenders:


Unfortunately, as I've discussed, these types give radical leftists like Dave Neiwart fodder for their unhinged, universal smears against the GOP as the party of contemporary fascism (see Neiwart's post today, "Talking Down Violent Rhetoric").

As evidenced by early indicators, campaign '08 will be marked by heightened allegations of racism, even at the highest levels. Some discussion of race will be good - that is, there may be benefit in having a meaningful national conversation on racial progress in the post-civil rights era.

But keep in mind a key distinction: While racism is frequently exposed among extremist fringe elements on the right of the spectrum, in contrast the mainstream of the Democratic Party base today is populated by some of the most vicious race-baiters imaginable, at Daily Kos, Firedoglake, and TRex, for example (see Noel Sheppard, "
More Racism at a Prominent Liberal Blog").

True conservatives need to keep these points in mind, especially as we maintain the high ground this election in our fight against
Barack Obama's radical hordes.

Related: See Michael Williams, Chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas, and his address to the Texas GOP convention. Williams is a black American, and he offers words of (tempered) praise for Barack Obama - precisely the message of racial unity the GOP's poised to offer this year (Hat Tip: Panhandle's Perspective).


Anonymous said...

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