Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Intolerance in politics cuts both ways
Mark Salter's column today is so strong I wish I had written it. But the biggest issue I have with President Obama's allies making claims about racism from his opponents is simple:

It's not race. It's politics at worst. Policy at best.

You had to wonder how long it would be before people like Maureen Dowd would cry racist when someone questioned President Obama.

I was only 12 when President Clinton was trying to do something similar on health care, and I remember the venom he faced in doing it. It was, mainly, because many in this country don't want socialized medicine as a main coverage. They also aren't wild about spending without restraint. I didn't like it when President Bush did it.

I didn't like what Joe Wilson did during President Obama's address. But let's not pretend the last eight years were civility-filled. President Bush was himself charged with racism, and was himself made to look like Hitler by his fringe opponents.

But in this case, I can't help but wonder if every time Obama faces resistance, his allies will say it's about race. Trust me, if Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, Hillary Clinton or any other potential president pushed these types of policies, they would hear about it too.

There are fringe people who will go too far. There are people out there who probably hate Obama because of his race, just as there were people who thought Bush was responsible in the planning of 9-11.

But to pretend that's a motivating factor behind protests, in either case, is ridiculous.

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At 10:38 AM , Blogger Vince said...

I'm not going to say that the people protesting are racists, but there's one underlying question that I still can't answer: After eight years of the Patriot Act, two wars financed by tax cuts and a President who believed we could have guns and butter, why are people only now — when coincidentally, the United States elected its first black president — hollering bloody murder about runaway government spending and erosion of civil rights?
And people in America want something better than the health care system we have. Unfortunately, they're just scared into believing that Obama's health plan will include rationed care (which already exists, only insurance companies do it) and death panels (EVERYONE of a certain age should have a living will).


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