Thursday, October 30, 2008

More on the right's current views on race

Noam Scheiber, in a post I referred to earlier, wrote:
(T)hough I have no evidence for this (nothing new there), I worry that (McCain's racially-tinged) insinuations are reinforced in the minds of working-class whites by the millions of African-Americans lining up early to vote for Obama. How sad for the country if McCain ends up jujitsuing something (i.e., record turnout) that should be a source of pride.
Ross Douthat was incensed!
Maybe if you have "no evidence" for worrying about a McCain victory on the basis of a racist backlash, you shouldn't speculate publicly about it!
Ross has a point. There's always some crazy out there in the blogosphere, right, who's stupid enough to try to claim Barack Obama is really the Saddam-funded, Svengali biological son of Malcolm X*, but no actual Republican officeholder is cynical (or stupid) enough to suggest that the party could actually benefit from "racist backlash." That would be just crazy, I mean--

Wait. What's that?
In Georgia, where Mr. Obama’s organization worked hard to register new voters but did not mount a full-blown campaign because the state seems beyond his reach, black voters in Atlanta and the surrounding areas have been standing in line for hours. Many are among the tens of thousands of newly registered voters.

New registrations of black voters ran more than 25 percent higher this year than four years ago, with especially high registration among black women.

Nearly 1.4 million Georgians have voted, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, and more than a third were black. (Blacks make up just over 29 percent of registered voters in the state, which keeps track of racial data under civil rights laws.) Early voting began Sept. 22, and this week the state opened extra polling stations and extended their hours.

The development is not lost on Mr. Chambliss. “There has always been a rush to the polls by African-Americans early,” he said at the square in Covington, a quick stop on a bus tour as the campaign entered its final week. He predicted the crowds of early voters would motivate Republicans to turn out. “It has also got our side energized, they see what is happening,” he said.
It may not be the evidence of a racist backlash Ross was looking for, but it certainly seems to be evidence that some Republicans are counting on just such a backlash.

Update: And here's an excerpt from a scare e-mail forwarded by David Storck, chairman of the Hillsborough County (FL) Republican Party:
THE THREAT:
HERE IN TEMPLE TERRACE, FL OUR REPUBLICAN HQ IS ONE BLOCK AWAY FROM OUR LIBRARY, WHICH IS AN EARLY VOTING SITE.

I SEE CARLOADS OF BLACK OBAMA SUPPORTERS COMING FROM THE INNER CITY TO CAST THEIR VOTES FOR OBAMA. THIS IS THEIR CHANCE TO GET A BLACK PRESIDENT AND THEY SEEM TO CARE LITTLE THAT HE IS AT MINIMUM, SOCIALIST, AND PROBABLY MARXIST IN HIS CORE BELIEFS. AFTER ALL, HE IS BLACK--NO EXPERIENCE OR ACCOMPLISHMENTS--BUT HE IS BLACK.
And check out Storck's initial reaction to this becoming a story: The Democrats are trying to sabotage me by pointing out my actions.


* Please note: While today, 99.9% of people who read The Atlas Shrugs post which suggests Malcolm X is Barack Obama's father would agree she is, as Ben Smith puts it, out on the "frontiers of craziness," those of us who have lurked in the blogosphere for some time know that she's actually a blogger respected by many on the right. In fact, she was, I believe, one of only two bloggers to interview John Bolton one-on-one (insanely) while he was our Ambassador to the U.N. and is sill taken seriously by the supposed conservative intellectuals over at National Review.

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