Jonah Goldberg

This is not to say there aren't racists -- even in the GOP -- who don't like the president and his agenda. It's just that you don't need to leap to racism to understand the criticisms of Obama and his agenda. If the man were white, the argument about Obamacare wouldn't change one iota, at least not for conservatives.

For liberals, it's not so clear. Since Democrats steamrolled the Affordable Care Act into law, its defenders have acted as if any opposition to the law is irrational, extremist, absurd and, of course, racist. They gave themselves license to dismiss all inconvenient facts simply by impugning the motives of those who point them out.

Just days before HealthCare.gov crashed on takeoff, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who has often suggested that the president's opponents are bigots, railed on the Senate floor: "Obamacare has been the law for four years. Why don't they get a life and talk about something else?"

"We are going to accept nothing that relates to Obamacare," he added. "Let them find something else to be weird about."

In recent polls, 58 percent of Americans have a negative view of the health-care law, 54 percent disapprove of Obama and 50 percent think he isn't honest or trustworthy. Are they all racists and weirdos?

Winfrey, a billionaire twice over thanks in no small part to her popularity among whites, told the BBC that the older generation of bigots may "just have to die" before America can get past racism. In 2012, 60 percent of voters under 30 voted for Obama. Now more than half view him negatively. I hope Winfrey doesn't think they need to die too.


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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