Matthew Rothschild at the The Progressive throws down the gauntlet, Racism and the Race:
The race boils down to racism. All things being equal, Barack Obama would win the presidency hands down.
...This should be a banner year for Democrats, and by all accounts, it will be--at least down ticket. But it also should be at the top of the ticket.
...So if the conditions are so ripe for an Obama victory, why is the race so close? Because millions of white Americans, especially those who are forty-five and older, may not be able to bring themselves to vote for the black guy. It's that simple.
That's the view from above, then he gets to the real stuff:
The appeals to racism started subtly. Actually, they began not so subtly with Hillary Clinton, when she talked about "hard-working Americans, white Americans." But on the Republican side, for a while, coyness was the order of the day. The McCain campaign discussed race explicitly only after Obama said he doesn't look like other people on the dollar bill. The McCain folks were only too eager to say Obama was playing the race card. They also used all the talk about Obama being arrogant, or an elitist, or a celebrity as a cue for the unspoken epithet of "uppity."
My take on what Clinton was saying is that she was basically agreeing with what Rothschild is saying, as an electability issue, not that she was being racist.
With Election Day approaching, McCain surrogates or supporters may not be able to resist the temptation to fan the flames of racism. Expect the snippets of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright to resurface. Expect video of Michelle Obama sounding militant. Expect disgusting ads about Obama's admitted drug use as a very young man. Expect that picture of Obama in Muslim garb again.
Agreed. I'm expecting that by the end of the month or very soon in October, we will see some sort of resurrection of that or new material, along those Wright/Chicago lines.
This campaign will ultimately be a referendum on the intractability of racism. Obama has only two hopes. One is that the economic conditions will be so dire that white Americans who harbor racism will throw it overboard. And the other is that these white Americans might want to show themselves--or more likely their children and grandchildren--that they are not as hidebound as they sometimes seem.
Is hoping for the 'dire' the more likely of the two?