Jonah Goldberg

A more sophisticated version comes from Princeton professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell, who finds racism in complaints that socialized medicine would result in fewer Americans "taking responsibility" for their own health care. "What we know over the past 25 years," she told NPR, "is that language of personal responsibility is often a code language used against poor and minority communities." In an ABC News story about how racist white militias are somehow connected to town hall protests, Mark Potok of the dismayingly left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center insists Obama has "triggered fears among fairly large numbers of white people in this country that they are somehow losing their country."

Two weeks ago, town hallers were supposed to be members of the Brooks Brothers brigade, AstroTurf division. Now they're well-armed anti-government militias. At this rate, they'll soon be android ninjas with laser vision. Wait, strike that. They'll be really racist android ninjas with laser vision.

Suddenly, if conservatives want to transcend race, we have to agree to massive increases in the size of government and socialized medicine.

That's not transcending race, it's using Obama's race to bully the opposition into acquiescence. Actually transcending race would require treating Obama like any other president. Which is pretty much exactly what conservatives have been doing. Seriously, if Hillary Clinton were president, would conservatives really be rolling over for the same health-care plan because she's white?

Sure, racists don't like Obama (in less shocking news, bears continue to use our national forests as toilets). But that doesn't mean everyone who dislikes Obama is therefore a racist.

What's dismaying is how the press and Democrats are so desperate to obscure this point. The only notable political violence at a town hall was against a black man, roughed up by pro-Obama toughs. The assault weapon carried to a lawful demonstration was carried by a black man. That supposedly racist poster depicting Obama as the Joker? (An LA Weekly writer fumed, "The only thing missing is a noose.") That was created by a Palestinian-American supporter of left-wing garden gnome Dennis Kucinich. Whoops!

Never mind. They'll keep trying until they find a scapegoat that works, because that is what they do.


Jonah Goldberg

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