Friday, August 29, 2008

How to Shame Americans into Voting for Obama

Newsweek columnist Jacob Weisberg has written what I can only describe as a deluded article for Slate.com in which he essentially says that if Obama doesn't win it proves America is racist. This is the key passage...
If Obama loses, our children will grow up thinking of equal opportunity as a myth. His defeat would say that when handed a perfect opportunity to put the worst part of our history behind us, we chose not to. In this event, the world's judgment will be severe and inescapable: The United States had its day but, in the end, couldn't put its own self-interest ahead of its crazy irrationality over race.

So, there you are America, vote Obama if you don't want the world to think you're racist. Never mind what his qualities are, never mind his experience, vote for him coz he is black. Weisberg is himself displaying a kind of racism.

It's like saying if English people don't vote for Gordon Brown it proves they hate the Scots. Or, dare I say it, it's like saying that because the voters of North Norfolk chose not to vote for me, they're all a bunch of neanderthal homophobes. What utter rubbish.

What Weisberg is doing is trying to shame people into voting for Obama. It's negative politics at its worst and runs entirely counter to the spirit of optimism which Obama has exuded throughout his campaign. Weisberg is an idiot.

60 comments:

John M Ward said...

Negative campaigning over "toffs" didn't work here, so let's hope that the Americans are too sharp to fall for the same kind of technique in Leftpondia (as that place is known in some quarters).

Anonymous said...

Well said Mrs Dale.

Anonymous said...

Ian. This is History in the making. Obama could have/should have won it ON CHANGE.

McCain and Palin just blew that all away as their "change" promises more and is most credible.

Just be aware that Labour may do the same to call me Dave when the time is ripe.

Anonymous said...

The argument is idiotic.

However the prospect of such a meme gaining currency should Obama lose, is not.

And as a stage wing whispering strategy it may work in some quarters.

Then again should Obama lose the meme may become self-prophecising fact which would put the USA back decades - if not a century. A bit like how the demonisation of the Germans in WW1 led to them not caring when the real demons took over.

Anonymous said...

MEME

MEME

MEME

Is the new man made climate change.

john miller said...

Choose. Someone who disagrees with you openly and argues their case, or a friend who blackmails you into agreeing with them.

africanmum said...

Articles like this make me lose the will to live. Equality means, treat all as equals, regardless of superficial traits like skin colour, lifestyle, etc. Martin Luther King Jnr dreamt all will be judged by the content of their character and not skin colour. America is no more racist than other places. It's also a place that anyone can succeed with application. My siblings live in John McCain's home state and are running successful businesses. At no point did potential customers ask about the colour of their skin. If the bozo who wrote this article really respects African Americans, he'd appreciate they should be treated like everyone else.

Henry Mayhew said...

Hmm.. I suspect that, having known North Norfolk (Walsingham area) for forty years, 'homophophilia' might not have fully taken root there three years ago. Since the world did not end with 'gay marriage' and in fact everyone is now fully in favour of it and rather proud of its success, the situation has changed.

It is great that you have put the thought of 'bigotry' out of your mind! People, especially working-class, somewhat isolated country people, can need reassurance and time.

Martin said...

Notice how it's OK for black people to vote for the black candidate (no one calls them racist) but not for white people to vote for the white candidate?

Obama has a stench about him. His links to people like Bill Ayers and the Weathermen terrorists. His links to racists like the Reverand Wright.

The British media, in particular the BBC have given Obama a pass here. How pathetic of our media not to do their job.

The US media was shamed by the late night TV shows for being up Obama's backside and giving him an easy ride. The BBC, in particular Justin Webb and sneer boy Matt Frei seem so far up Obama it's embarassing.

Tony Sharp said...

"What Weisberg is doing is trying to shame people into voting for Obama. It's negative politics at its worst and runs entirely counter to the spirit of optimism which Obama has exuded throughout his campaign."

Iain, have you forgotten Obama's comments about not looking like other Presidents and the early claim that the Republicans would bring up race as an issue? The only campaign that has flagged race as an issue is the Obama campaign. Hardly a spirit of optimism if you ask me.

graham said...

martin.

Gavin Esler was getting a mite moist as well.

Martin said...

Graham: Please don't The thought of Esler getting moist is enough to put me off my beer :-)

kinglear said...

... and he's an idiot that might actually lose the election for Obama. Noone, especially Americans likes being told what they MUST do to appear something. My immediate reaction would be to vote against to prove I din't care one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

The homophobic neanderthals
of North Norfolk
thought Iain Dale’s candidature
a load of old cock !

Anonymous said...

"Or, dare I say it, it's like saying that because the voters of North Norfolk chose not to vote for me, they're all a bunch of neanderthal homophobes."

How very dare you !!!

Anonymous said...

If we don't for Brown it's because he's a closet-gay psyco not because he's a Scot - although that's hardly going to help ...

Gallimaufry said...

If Americans don't vote McCain/Palin won't they be ageist and sexist instead?

ChrisD said...

Iain, there are going to be people on both sides who write negative drivel like this.
This election campaign will have to go a long way to match the depths that were reached in the Bush/Kerry contest. I hope that doesn't happen, nor do I want to see weeks of incessant political ping pong on the blogs as each sides supporters tries to take the moral high ground or victim crown with endless debate.

Speaking of pathetic articles, someone over at Labourhome has taken a pot shot at you today. I did not bother to read further than the title of the article, it just reminded why the left are so bereft of idea's or wit.

judith said...

Anon@8.04 - have you heard that the Chancellor has admitted 'people are pissed(sic) off with the Government'? That he has also said, in an interview in tomorrow's Guardian, that this is the worst economic situation here in 60yrs?

Me, I won't be betting on another Labour win in 2010!

Daniel said...

are there are any Tories, other than simon Burns MP, who have publicly declared their support for obama?

Cameron has faced facilated but has finally come out in favour of the Republicans (at least according to The Telegraph)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1576478/David-Cameron-backs-John-McCain-in-US-race.html

I am assuming that the vast majority of Conservatives support Mccain - and this blog's comments seem to support that.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure this sort of sentiment will meet with favour from the likes of Harriet Harman and the Tower Hamlets Council.
So much for meritocracy!
I doubt, frankly whether Obama himself would look favourably on this sort of article.
Does this mean if McCain/Palin lose the US is ageist and sexist?

tally said...

no one in England did vote for gordon brown,he imposed himself on us.

An American said...

Thank-you Iain!

arightindividual said...

Completely agree - well said.

Arthur said...

Good to see you highlighting this ridiculous form of inverse racism.

But here is something else to think about: why do we call someone with a white mother and a black father, black? Why not white if we have to pick just one colour, or better still mixed-race if, indeed, we have to highlight his racial makeup at all.

And Weisberg's quote on "crazy irrationality over race" is in fact nothing of the sort. We, white and black, cannot get over the race issue and I am not sure we ever will; and certainly not while people like Weisberg come up with such rubbish.

anonaLon said...

If Barack Obama was voted in as President of Kenya, would the media say he was Kenya's first White President?

(By the way Iain, your penultimate sentence, ho ho ha ha, RAOTFPML, That's a fairly accurate description of Norfolker's isn't it?)

Anonymous said...

Jacob Weisberg is the editor of Slate.com

Anonymous said...

Obama will be seriously cheesed of with whoever wrote this.
If this presidential election degenerates into a racial vote
-which I very much hope it won't but am beginning to think it might-
then on mathematics alone Obama will lose and McCain will win ,
there being more whites than blacks.

Actually, Americans are pretty sophisticated voters and they won't be intimidated by this cheap sort of balckmail, so its still wide open.

rob's uncle said...

We have 60+ days of campaigning to come before we know the outcome of this enthralling race. Absolutely anything may happen. The outcome may well depend on the last unexpected thing that happens.

So may I suggest that you try and keep calm and keep your comment to a minimum and let us form our own opinions of what you bring to our attention. 'Less is more' should be your motto.

That way you will crate a better blog!

Anonymous said...

Darling Shouted at while filling up his own car, on another occasion by a wine waiter who also warned him from ordering a second bottle of wine during a restaurant meal.

Darling also critised amung others the Alexander axis, calling former Scottish leader Wendy Alexander “not likeable at all” and Cherie Blair’s memoirs “awful.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2008/08/30/cncrisis130.xml

andrew kirkham said...

Palin has a mixed race marriage so where does that leave those hung up on race ?

Paul said...

McCain will win. The USA will not elect a pro-choice president and thats that. Until the democratic party get that in to their heads, we will continue to have republican presidents.

BTW - every time I see Obama at the moment it reminds me of Blair between John Smiths death and the 1997 election.

simon said...

Yep, Obama's sunk- FANTASTIC! If people require shaming into voting for 'the nearest thing like Martin Luther King, Moses, Jesus Christ,etc.' then the game is up. I was NEVER convinced by America's Blair clone and once McCain won the Republican nomination things looked up for Obamasceptics. Now that McCain has chosen 'that wifey from Alaska' the republican ticket is the most appealing. Whoever in the Democratic party who thought of 'marketing' Obama as cool requires a major thank you from the Republicans.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Your anti Democrar bias is coming over in every posting on this subject Iain.

Anonymous said...

Your criticism is fair enough but it you are hypocritical for not pointing out McCain and surrogates constant references to service and his POW status. Just as Obama shouldn't be president because he is black neither should McCain be president because he was a POW.

Anonymous said...

"The USA will not elect a pro-choice president and thats that." - utter nonsense. All the polling shows that the majority of Americans are pro-choice.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

World events will dictate the outcome of the Presidential election. At the moment, McCain's biggest global asset is smiley Vladimir Putin and that Aminanabdab bloke from Iran.

Obama has no provenance. McCain is a war hero - even if you disagreed with the war. It's a no brainer really and getting all "moist" about a fluffy liberal bedtime story won't hack it in the voting booth.

Anonymous said...

Having seen Palin's performance in Dayton yesterday and her blatant "playin up" to the Clinton supporters, her "connections" to unions,her patriotism with her elder son in the "services" plus her record in Alaska - it's gonna be "no contest" between her and Biden as VP candidates and finally I'd say given the situation in the "Caucasus" and the aversion of a significant section of the American electorate to Vote Obama that it's McCain without a doubt !

Culture Vulture said...

I never thought I'd say this but: Iain Dale I agree with you.

Not a sheep said...

The BBC have been plying the same line for months now. "Are Americans too racist to vote for a black man?" is a common question. This makes the assumption that Americans not living in the enlightened Democrat strongholds on the coasts are prone to racism. Of course the BBC never ask if American blacks, who will be voting for the first time in this election as Obama is standing, are too racist to vote for a white candidate.

Martin said...

Sarah Palin is the Holy Grail of American Politics. She is their version of Margaret Thatcher.

I bet she'd take no crap from the likes of Putin and I'm a Dinner Jacket. Unlike Obama who is a coward.

Oh and when will the BBC report on his links to convicted terrorists?

Dave H. said...

Pretty commonplace thinking over here too. Not dancing round like a TV evangelist 'celebrating diversity' is prima facie evidence for closet Nazism.

Re. Neanderthals/Marsh Wiggles of North Norfolk, which presumably includes Kings Lynn. The most famous thing about Lynn town square is the heart-shaped brick in the wall, marking the spot where a witch's heart struck it after she exploded in mid burn. It didn't happen that long ago either.

Think Dueling Banjos. You were lucky to get out alive.

norman said...

I knew Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Thatcher was our Prime Minister, Sarah Palin, you are no Margaret Thatcher!

tobias said...

Something in the region of 98% of African-American voters will vote for Obama. This is staggering in the sense that if the position was reversed and whites similarly backed a candidate of their own skin colour there would be a meltdown in the media.

norman said...

"I bet she'd take no crap from the likes of Putin and I'm a Dinner Jacket. Unlike Obama who is a coward"

What will the ex-pageant girl will do to bring Putin around? Threaten to nuke Russia? Putin will say Russia has nukes too!!

If she is in a position to sit with Putin, American soldiers will still be in Iraq( McCain does not want to bring them home) and Afghanistan dodging suicide bombers. That is not a strong position from which to talk to Putin. Study history. I was in America during Nixon's presidency. His neocons were jumping up and down asking him to nuke China which was supporting North Vietnam while American soldiers were caught up in snake-infested jungle in Vietnam. Some one in China replied that China was prepared to take nuke hit in Shanghai but will the Americans be comfortable to see Chicago disappearing? Very good question and the neocons kept silent for a long time! Nixon with Kissinger had to visit Mao secretly, and the result was that America abandoned Vietnam and American soldiers came back achieving nothing. Thousands of them died in vain. America let down its stauch ally Taiwan when China became the permanent member of the UN. That was the deal between Nixon and Mao.

Forget tough talking and the rhetoric. The West has to deal with Russia. I am not sure America is in a position to talk tough to any country. Those who say it are ignorant of the reality.

I Albion said...

It's Mrs,Obama that worry's me she is one scary lady.

Chris Paul said...

We'll have to wait and see Iain.

Palin is incredibly weak CV-wise. How could she take charge of the USA. And McCain will probably get done over for his age, health and his "heroics" at some point too.

But I do worry when registered Democrats - after the DNC speech - were still saying OHB is Muslim and that they're not ready to vote for a black guy, a non-believer and the like.

That's Democrats ...

Race is a factor, will be a factor, cannot be removed from US life. It is more of a factor there than in many places. Be honest.

The question is how does this factor balance with everything else the 2 tickets have to offer.

Yak40 said...

chris paul
But I do worry when registered Democrats ... were still saying OHB is Muslim and that they're not ready to vote for a black guy,

Just business as usual. The Democrats ruled the old south, ran the KKK and so on, look it up.

Since the 60s the Democrats have pandered to them and in return for their bloc support have pretty much taken them for granted.

The Republicans liberated the slaves and played a pivotal part in passage of the civil rights reforms of the 60s.

Which party has promoted qualified blacks to the supreme court, to secretary of state (twice) and so on ? Hint, it wasn't the Democrats.

Palin's addition to the GOP ticket is a stroke of genius and a breath of fresh air, which is why the Democrats are already in attack mode, not to mention the utter filth already being posted on Kos and similar loony sites.

The other good news is that "big media" is finally waking up, the Wall St Journal today has a piece on Obama, Rezko, Auchi and the campaign's wriggling about info on Obama's work history. Hopefully the first of many, long overdue.

Jack of Kent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jack of Kent said...

"I knew Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Thatcher was our Prime Minister, Sarah Palin, you are no Margaret Thatcher!"

Governor Palin has already routed the Good Ole Boys, defeated an incumbent (cf Heath and Whitelaw in 1975), stopped the Bridge to Nowhere, etc.

All this by the age where Thatcher was still yet to be a second-rate Education Secretary (which, I am afraid, she really was).

She may not be going on to do the great things Thatcher did - who knows - but she has done better than Thatcher so far.

norman said...

"She may not be going on to do the great things Thatcher did - who knows - but she has done better than Thatcher so far".

Some confidence in an ex-pageant girl who did her second rate degree in a second rate university. I will take any day Margaret Thatcher, Oxford-educated, student of Chemistry in the lab of the great woman Nobel Laureate Dorothy Hodgkins.

McCain did not select her do 'greater things', but to deliver the votes of Relegious Right, Bible bashers, pro-lifers, pro-gunners,white supremacists, KKK and any odd balls who do like gays and minorities.
For her, women are the only minority and not gays and blacks. If he wanted women votes there are very good Republican women candidates with intelligence and gravitas.

I hear that the Rove gang warns Obama and Biden to treat her as woman, gently gently, while she goes around hurling epithets. That is not Margaret Thatcher.

As for 'Barracuda' Palin, the world should pray that she does not get the chance to lay her hands on the presidential nuclear code suitcase.

norman said...

Correction: it should read who do not like gays and minorities.

Martin said...

Norman: Obama is a coward. He's never voted against his party and he never wants to say anything that would upset anyone.

That's not the sign of a politician with guts.

The Americans will see through the 'coward' No one likes a Chicken and Obama is a full on organic sunday lunch special.

norman said...

Martin: I get the feeling that people keeping in mind Obama's race, give all kinds of reasons for not voting Obama. They say'they cannot relate to him', the euphemism for him being black. Now, they have Palin
'who they can relate to'. That will be the story.

Jack of Kent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jack of Kent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Carr said...

Just as Obama shouldn't be president because he is black neither should McCain be president because he was a POW

Garbage.
Obama bin Biden's skin colour (color?) means nothing.
Having been a a PoW means plenty.

Anonymous said...

"Having been a a PoW means plenty."

It means you got caught and that, to most grownups, is indicative of a generalised propensity for failure. Perhaps it explains why McCain's judgement is So Appalling.

Anonymous said...

I think it more likely that if the people of north Norfolk don't vote for you Iain, it's not because of your sexuality, it's probably because their webbed feet can't walk that far to the polling station.


Or they think you're a tit-head.

One of the two.


Carl Eve

Arkrube said...

I feel that Obama/Democrats are counting on the "White Shame" factor to generate votes for their party.

On another note, if the McCain/Palin ticket wins this will derail any hopes of Obama or Mrs. Clinton running again attempting to play the minority angle in future elections.

Palin was a crafty choice, everyone likes a capable individual and one with a sense of adventure...she lives in Alaska, mother of five, takes wild game, and a formal leader of the Last Frontier that did make changes; plus, she is physically attractive.

I look for Obama's numbers to dwindle and for women to change their minds through the modification of "shame" into pride by voting for a woman, that if elected as #2, could very easily be the Number One in the near and present future.