Like the rising of the sun in the east and its setting in the west, one can always count on some element of the Left to resort to the 'R-word' to shield President Obama from the consequences of his own words and actions. Today, the inevitable officially occurred. Take it away, Jonathan Chait:
Mitt Romney’s plan of blatantly lying about President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” speech is clearly drawing blood. But what makes the attack work so well is not so much the lie itself but the broader subtext of it. Watch Obama’s delivery in the snippet put together by this Republican ad: The key thing is that Obama is angry, and he’s talking not in his normal voice but in a “black dialect.” This strikes at the core of Obama’s entire political identity: a soft-spoken, reasonable African-American with a Kansas accent. From the moment he stepped onto the national stage, Obama’s deepest political fear was being seen as a “traditional” black politician, one who was demanding redistribution from white America on behalf of his fellow African-Americans.
Wow! Obama was speaking in his "black dialect" when he made those remarks? Does Chait have access to a special decoder ring that allows him to divine such dialectical interpretations? There's a whiff of racism here, alright, but it isn't emanating from where Chait thinks it is. As disgusting and obnoxious as it is, Chait's sub-moronic column is unalloyed good news. Liberals have moved from largely ignoring "you didn't build that," hoping it would magically go away, to shouting "out of context!" in unison, to flagrant, idiotic race-baiting. (MSNBC actually beat Chait to this punch, albeit from a slightly different perspective). Put bluntly, this is panic mode. The Wall Street Journal's Kimberly Strassel has an inkling of why the desperation is setting in:
The Obama campaign has elevated poll-testing and focus-grouping to near-clinical heights, and the results drive the president's every action: his policies, his campaign venues, his targeted demographics, his messaging. That Mr. Obama felt required—teeth-gritted—to address the "you didn't build that" meme means his vaunted focus groups are sounding alarms. The obsession with tested messages is precisely why the president's rare moments of candor—on free enterprise, on those who "cling to their guns and religion," on the need to "spread the wealth around"—are so revealing. They are a look at the real man.
Even the irredeemably liberal "fact-checker," Politifact, awards this spot a "pants on fire" rating. Why? Because like the majority of Americans, Romney is pro-life -- but he does not support outright bans, even in (extremely rare) cases of rape and incest. It's a desperate and false claim. But while we're on the subject of abortion policy extremism, do you know who voted three times against banning post-birth infanticide of babies who survived botched abortions, then lied about it? Take a wild guess. I'll leave you with two polling data points, one heartening, the other not so much:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows Mitt Romney attracting 49% of the vote, while President Obama earns support from 44%. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and four percent (4%) are undecided. The numbers are similar to the 49% to 43% advantage Romney enjoys on the question of who is trusted more to handle the economy.
An interesting -- although not necessarily meaningful -- catch by Business Insider: Four years ago today, the Rasmussen tracker had Obama leading McCain by the exact same margin, 49-44. Meanwhile, We Ask America has a poll out showing Obama ahead of Romney in must-win Ohio by eight points. In this survey, Romney actually leads with independents, but loses nearly 20 percent (!) of the Republican vote to Obama. Color me intensely skeptical. Obama didn't even come close to that sort of crossover appeal in 2008, when he was at his zenith of popularity.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography