Skip to main content

With Romney trailing in the polls, conservatives have already started the post-mortem, looking for ways to explain Romney's loss while absolving their ideology of any blame. George Will has the most unbelievable explanation I've read so far. Voter's are sticking with Obama because he's black.

After criticizing some of the administration's actions, George Will shares an anecdote of baseball manager Frank Robinson, an African American who according to Will, achieved an important milestone in racial equality when the Indians felt comfortable enough to fire him.  Will ends his article with this gem:

Perhaps a pleasant paradox defines this political season: That Obama is African American may be important, but in a way quite unlike that darkly suggested by, for example, MSNBC’s excitable boys and girls who, with their (at most) one-track minds and exquisitely sensitive olfactory receptors, sniff racism in any criticism of their pin-up. Instead, the nation, which is generally reluctant to declare a president a failure — thereby admitting that it made a mistake in choosing him — seems especially reluctant not to give up on the first African American president. If so, the 2012 election speaks well of the nation’s heart, if not its head.
Wha-?  I have now officially heard it all. While dismissing actual dog-whistles and less subtle forms of racism (Gingrich's "not a real president" and "I don't understand his rhythms" comments come to mind), Will chalks up Obama's current success to a collective discomfort at having to fire the first black president. Now, I think it is actually an interesting question the degree to which racial attitudes are affecting this race, but to suggest that that should be the take away from the 2012 election is downright ridiculous.  It's possible to suggest that a group of core supporters are hanging in there because of the race thing, though Will clearly has no evidence to back that up. But how would that explain the movement in the polls towards the president across many different demographic groups, some of whom weren't nearly as supportive of the president before taking a closer look at the Romney/Ryan ticket? Are there people that are gradually discovering the president's race? Romney has the highest net unfavorables of any modern candidate for goodness sakes. Isn't it more likely that that is a bigger reason for the state of the race.

Romney is losing for some simple two simple reasons 1) he hasn't outlined with specificity what he'd do better then the president and how that plan would help the average voter. People don't get excited about promises to cut taxes and lower regulation, we've been there and done that. If there's a magic formula to making it work, it needs to be spelled out. 2) Because Mitt hasn't been detailed, he's essentially asking for votes based on the fact that he's Mitt Romney. And Mitt Romney is a wealthy, secretive, awkward guy who has difficulty conveying empathy and who has embraced virtually every aspect of the (historically extreme) modern republican party, not to mention 47%-gate. Other than his business success, which he hasn't been very forthright about, what is there about Romney to convince a voter that he'd be a better choice? Despite criticisms of the Obama administration, he's clearly doing a better job than president Bush, so voters are acutely aware that things can be worse. Absent a compelling pitch from Romney there's no reason to make a change.

Lastly, it's been the belief within the African American community that you had to be "twice as good" as a white counterpart to get ahead, I'm sure this extra leniency that Will describes would come as a surprise.

Originally posted to CalexanderJ on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 03:02 AM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site