Jonah Goldberg

The news media have been shamefully stoking the idea that the only way Barack Obama could possibly lose the presidential election is if American racists have their way. Indeed, the fact that Obama isn't leading in polls by a wide margin "doesn't make sense ... unless it's race," says CNN's Jack Cafferty.

Slate's Jacob Weisberg says Obama is losing among older white voters because of the "color of his skin."

Many journalists are so committed to the racism-explains-everything line they are labeling any effective anti-Obama ad as an attempt by John McCain to "viciously exacerbate" America's "race-fueled angst," in the words of one New York magazine writer.

For example, a McCain ad noted that Franklin Raines, the Clinton-appointed former head of Fannie Mae who helped bring about the current Wall Street meltdown, advised the Obama campaign. Time's Karen Tumulty gasped that because Raines is black, McCain is playing the race card.

Why, she wants to know, didn't McCain attack Obama's even stronger ties to the even more culpable former Fannie Mae chairman, Jim Johnson, who had to resign from Obama's vice presidential search team because of his sketchy dealings with mortgage giant Countrywide Financial? "One reason might be that Johnson is white; Raines is black," Tumulty suggests.

Or another reason might be that the McCain campaign was saving that attack for its next ad, which is what happened.

According to critics, McCain's "celebrity" ads featuring Paris Hilton and Britney Spears were nothing but tawdry race-baiting because they subliminally played on white America's fear of black men violating the delicate flowers of white American womanhood. You'd think a cognitive warning bell would have gone off the moment anyone started suggesting that Paris Hilton and Britney Spears are icons of chastity.

This spectacle is grotesque. It reveals how little the supposedly objective press corps thinks of the American people - and how highly they think of themselves ... and Obama. Obama's lack of experience, his doctrinaire liberalism, his record, his known associations with Weatherman radical William Ayers and the hate-mongering Rev. Jeremiah Wright: These cannot possibly be legitimate motivations to vote against Obama, in this view.

Similarly, McCain's experience, his record of bipartisanship, his heroism: These too count for nothing.

Racism is all there is. Obama wins, and America sheds its racial past. Obama loses, and we're a nation of "Bull" Connors.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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