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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign rally at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, October 17, 2012. Obama is campaigning in Iowa and Ohio on Wednesday following the second presidential debate against Mitt Romney on October 16.  REUTERS/Jason
What do you see? Mike Kelly sees something different.
The Roll Call reporter in this piece is charitably pretending that they do not speak wingnut, so allow me to do the translation:
Republican Rep. Mike Kelly unleashed a diatribe on President Barack Obama on Friday, at one point saying he “divides us on race.”
He means the president is black.
“This week I heard the president talk about phony scandals. There’s nothing phonier than the words that have come out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. about reuniting this country, bringing us together as a people,” the Pennsylvania Republican said at a news conference Friday. “No, he’s not a uniter; he’s a divider. He divides us on race, he divides us on income. He picks winners and losers.”
He means the president is black and once or twice has talked about being black, and also something something tax policy I don't like something something.
Speaking with CQ Roll Call following the event, Kelly did not elaborate on what he meant in calling Obama a divider on issues of race.
“Listen, I’ll tell you what: It’s self-evident,” Kelly said. “I don’t know if people who aren’t reading or not watching, maybe, don’t have the same opinion, but I think it’s pretty obvious where we’re going with some of this stuff.
The president a black guy, and it's self-evident that the president is a black guy. If you can't see it, Mike Kelly thinks maybe you're not one of Mike Kelly's people and ain't gonna go into it any further, but everyone Mike Kelly knows is pretty damn aware that the president is a black guy and so he's a bit surprised you can't just see it.
“I think watching him pretty much leads to a conclusion,” he continued. “I don’t know if I can do it any better than the way he does it.”
At this point Mike Kelly devolved into an elaborate semaphore-and-dance routine premised on the notion of oh my god why are you not seeing how damn black that guy is and how divisive that is, in Mike Kelly's version of America.

Whenever Barack Obama talks about race in America, some halfwit like Mike Kelly pops up to tell us that Barack Obama is stoking racial tensions. Whenever Barack Obama talks even offhandedly about class in America, some guy like Mike Kelly slithers his way to a nearby camera to tell us that Barack Obama is inciting one class against the other. Good people of Mike Kelly's standing know, and will say aloud, that racism in America was well on the mend until the Black Guy got elected and started being not-white, obviously and self-evidently not-white, thus pissing off people like Mike Kelly who believe that racism and classism and the plight of the poor and the increasing divide between the powerful and the not-powerful and the rest of that stuff is not nearly so bad as the mean-spirited audacity of someone, somewhere, mentioning any of those things as bad.

More, below the fold:

Still with me? Ahem.

There is a reason why the map of places Barack Obama did or did not win in 2008 looked rather remarkably like the map of places where American racism is still at its most frothy and paranoid. There is a reason why John McCain, born in Panama, was subject to zero prominent theories as to his foreignness but Barack Obama, born in Hawaii, has been the focus of years of elaborate, prominent conspiracies as to his true "origins" and the possible wide-ranging plots that inexorably worked from the first moments of his existence to carry him through maniacal handlers and mentors and fixers necessary to place the little tot in the White House. There is a reason there have been laws conspicuously contemplated in various redneck states to increase the necessary paperwork needed before one can be put on the ballot as presidential material, specifically the need to show one's birth paperwork to every last local official in every last separate jurisdiction who might be, shall we say, suspicious of your alleged American-ness and need to conduct their own little inquiry as to your credibility.

There is a reason why, ever since Barack Obama came into office, conservative kingmaker and thought leader Rush Limbaugh has devoted the near-entirety of his radio career to incessant lectures on how Barack Obama is black, how Barack Obama dislikes white people to the point of irrationality, and how everything Barack Obama does is based on hurting white people to the benefit of black people, speeches all sandwiched between general racial bile, such as observations on whether or not he can say "nigga," that would get anyone who was not the guiding light of conservative say-so fired many years ago. It has not gotten him fired. His increasingly outrageous rhetoric has caused corporate sponsorships to vanish at a rapid pace, but his standing in the party has been reduced by considerably smaller increments.

There is a reason why conspiracy theories, specifically conspiracy theories about lily-white conservatives and their ammunition, have continued to rocket into prominence, and why they have been actually cited and worried over by credulous conservative lawmakers despite no actual evidence that might support any of them. There is a reason many of these conspiracies suppose a secret non-white military force under Obama's direction, and a reason why groups like ACORN that conspicuously assist minorities have been elevated to Illuminati-level conspirators. There is a reason why presumptions that the United Nations is always just a mere two feet from the American border, waiting to pounce just as soon as the American president gives his say so, has worked its way loose from its batshit insane John Birchian origins and is now something third-tier city councils write earnest-sounding declarations about, and why we cannot have nice things like bike trails or efficient lighting because that all ties into the United Nations plan.

There is a reason why there is a heavy price to be paid for a supposed conservative seen as working with the president even to the most piddling degree, to the point that even the most basic functions of government can no longer be managed no matter how much actual harm not managing them continues do. There is a reason why the healthcare position demanded by conservatives during the last Democratic administration has been decreed to be unconstitutional by every two-bit hack who once wrote a policy paper declaring the opposite.

There is a reason why a tanning-bed tax meant to pinpoint a specific known health vice is loudly declared to be evidence of racist intent on the part of government because only white people need tanning beds.

Most of all, there's a reason that the 2010 elections saw a motivated Republican electorate so dedicated to an organized crapping of the pants at the terrifying president and his scary scary divisive lukewarm-centrism that they were willing to vote every last crackpot into office, including past rejects like Steve Stockman and people whose sparse Wikipedia biographies spend more time taking about their high school football career than whatever scraps of past political experience might have qualified them for their new job howling at the conservative moon. It's not about the tea party sector of the American public suddenly discovering that, by golly, they didn't feel like paying their taxes on Barack Obama's inauguration day after all, though that was certainly a lovely coincidence. No, it is about Barack Obama dividing people.

So how is Obama doing it? You wouldn't know, reader. You can either see it or you can't, and if you can't see it then you're just not the sort of person Mike Kelly spends his days catering to.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 08:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by RaceGender DiscrimiNATION and DKos Pennsylvania.

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