January 17, 2012

"Too Black to Fail:" Juan Williams and the Race Card Played Two Ways


Last night, because he's infected, Juan Willliams indulged himself in, as Morgan puts it, GoodPerson Fever;

["an obsessive-compulsive disorder involving the demonstration of certain positive attributes to strangers, for purposes of self-validation. It becomes a self-perpetuating cycle if these positive attributes don’t really exist, or if there is a great need to achieve this validation for purposes of acquiring social status, contrasted with a much lower level of confidence that these attributes really exist."].
Williams did this by whipping out the extra-large race card he carries in and trying to lay it on Newt Gingrich. Morgan notes:
"We’ve got all these ninnies just like Juan Williams, running around everywhere, and even worse still they are disproportionately represented in the hallways of power. Every decision made has to be absolutely non-offensive, and that includes the decisions of others, about matters well outside of their purview, and so they end up excoriating strangers for violating the Could Be Construed As standard. In other words, they get offended on behalf of other people, people who exist only in theory and might very well not exist at all in reality."

Unlike previous uses of the race card, last night didn't work out for Williams in the manner he's used to. Here's Williams being used like a hand puppet by Newt last night:

Elements of both sides will note this is "the playing of the race card" by Williams followed by the playing of it "right-back-at-cha" by Gingrich. Those elements and others will, from time to time, bemoan the fact that race is playing a role in the election. This ritual "bemoanment" is, to my mind, nothing more than the standard beclownment that both sides indulge in these days.

I suppose that the politically correct stance, one that you will see the president and his critics take at every moment they are not busy playing the race card, is that race has nothing to do with the election of 2012. This is, as everyone knows in their secret lives, utter nonsense. Besides the fact that race seeps into every substantive political issue in America (Hey, that's just how we roll.), it is going to be honed especially keen in the 2012 presidential run. Whether it will be used as a rapier or a machete has yet to be determined.

In the baldest possible terms you are going to be seeing a contest that will pit black against white. Since one hue is already decided the only remaining question is "how white?" Both sides will, officially, be doing all they can to insist that this is not an issue and both will not mind terribly if it is.

On the Obama side, he needs to cling, bitterly it may be, to a phalanx of voters who are not African-American in order to win. He can do this with love, with agreement, with fanaticism, and/or with guilt. Of these, the largest segment he can call on would be that powered by guilt. Knowing this the Obama machine can be counted on never to really let up on the "they hate him not because of the content of his character but because of the color of his skin." This will only get them so far, but combined with other factions, it may get them just far enough for Obama 2.0.

The reason white guilt may still be enough to drag Obama over the goal line is because the Obama Administration for these last few years has not been just about Obama and Progressivism. It has been about the entire African-American Affirmative Equality Project [AAAEP].The AAAEP has been a looming part of the American landscape for over 50 years and is a multi-billion dollar industry.

Put simply, as the leader of the AAAEP brand Obama -- no matter how much his ideas and policies fail and fail utterly -- is, himself, too black to fail. A failure on Obama's part implies, irrevocably, a failure on the part of AAAEP even though that would not be, by any stretch of the imagination, true. In a very real sense, since this is politics, the truth is irrelevant to the impression. The impression would be all that matters. Needless to say, a lot of white people -- as well as nearly all African Americans -- would be quite upset by such a verdict from history. Upset enough to be willing to say and do almost anything to keep it from happening.

A very small sign that this is the case is present above in the behavior of Juan Williams, an African-American with a Hispanic name, who --regardless of how shabbily the progressives have treated him in the last few years -- seems compelled to use the racial ugly stick upside Newt Gingrich's albino head. Poor Juan can do nothing other. He's a captive of his race and his time. As are the rest of the elements of the 2012 Presidential Race.

When it comes to Mitt Romney we already have seen the beginning of the coming tsunami of articles and opinions about his overwhelming whiteness. The opening salvo came a few days ago in an extended New York Times meditation on the whiteness of the Mitt. In a very real sense, Romney's the Moby Dick of Republican candidates and the whiteness of the Mitt will launch a thousand whaleboats with ten thousand tattooed Maori harpooners in the bows.

At the end of the day it's going to be Moby Mitt vs. Too-Black-To-Fail. Any way you look at it, it's going to be a wild ride and civility is going to have nothing to do with it. The only civil thing about the whole uncivil process will be how closely the principles stay to the first principle about the 2012 election: No matter how much it may be about race, you aren't allowed to say it has anything at all to do with race.

Got that. Good. On with the show.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at January 17, 2012 5:54 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

You've written a lot of smart stuff on this website, GVDL. This is the smartest stuff yet.

Slowly, we in America feel our way towards the doorknob... slowly, we gather our courage to fling the door wide and face at last the unthinkable truth we have kept locked out of sight for so long.

Posted by: B Lewis at January 17, 2012 3:24 PM

Look for Obama to put in another request to raise the debt limit on the race card.

Posted by: Gagdad Bob at January 17, 2012 4:19 PM

Williams is sitting in for Bob Beckel on The Five tonight and they had a good discussion of this exchange. It's definitely worth watching if you can.

Posted by: Don McEwan at January 17, 2012 4:21 PM

There was a time when even the Daily Show got tired of the race card being played and decided it was "maxed out".
I bet the race limit will be raised for special occasions like the 2012 presidential elections.

Posted by: Harry at January 17, 2012 5:06 PM

Romney is the candidate that can and will appeal to moderates, to elites, to all those who believe themselves too cool for Sarah Palin and perhaps even to some blacks who understand he is their best hope for improving the black community's horrible unemployment rate. Hell, I even believe Occupiers will sneak in a few Romney votes here and there, assuming Ron Paul's ego doesn't decide to run on a third party ticket.

Posted by: RedCarolina at January 17, 2012 8:11 PM

America is currently enduring "Triumphalism of the Aggrieved." Blacks, Gays, Wimminz, Hispanics, but mostly the first two categories. They are laying it on thick with a vengeance. It is "their time," and they are trying to make the most of it.

One result of this stupid, arrogant behavior on their part is likely to be a resurgence of at least soft bigotry among Americans in general.

Too. Frikkin'. Bad.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at January 18, 2012 9:38 AM

If voters truly believe that America is on its path to a complete downfall, then African-American voters should be encouraged to vote for the Republican candidate so that the historic failure of the strongest and richest country in the world does not permanently and eternally get written up in the history books as the failure of an African-American President.

Posted by: Gloria at January 18, 2012 11:49 AM

See, there's the disconnect: assuming the conclusions drawn by people who do not share your world view.

If, or when, our idea of America falls, it will redound to the glory of the First Black President by all who love him and agree with him that America is evil and must be punished for its past sins no matter how much money, blood, or tears are offered up. They thirst for this very outcome.

I've never wanted America to be so delineated;to be Yours or Mine. But others will continually insist that we are unworthy of it and so must yield our sovereign rights to their endless aggrievements.

So be it. Sow into that wind and reap what comes of it.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh at January 19, 2012 4:11 AM