There’s A Simple Explanation For Why The Netroots Doesn’t Like Obama

by John Hawkins | January 3, 2008 7:18 am

Over at National Review, Stephen Spruiell[1] writes,

“The Des Moines Register’s final Iowa poll has Barack Obama trouncing Hillary Clinton in today’s caucuses, 32 to 25. This, the Register tells us, is thanks to high projected turnout from self-described independents, 40 percent of whom favor Obama. Nationally, polls show Obama beating prospective Republican nominees by wider margins than any Democrat running. One could make the case that Obama is more authentically liberal than Hillary Clinton or John Edwards, yet could attract more independent voters in the general election than either. On top of that, he has higher favorability ratings than Hillary and a lot more money than Edwards.

So why do liberal bloggers (a.k.a. the netroots) have such a problem with this guy? After all, they are notoriously obsessed with winning, and while they have warmed to John Edwards’s fire-breathing populist shtick, they acknowledge that his decision to take matching funds in the primary race would significantly limit his ability to campaign against a deep-pocketed Republican nominee like Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney until September. The more viable alternative, Hillary Clinton, leaves them cold over her Iraq votes. That leaves Obama, a candidate liberal bloggers have spent much of the last week attacking. Why?”

He goes on to essentially say that they don’t like him because he’s picking up “conservative frames in very unhelpful ways.” This is far too charitable and obviously not true, because if it applies to Barack Obama, it certainly would have applied tenfold to guys like James Webb and Jon Tester, both of whom were ardently supported by the netroots in 2006 even though they were, ideologically and rhetorically, significantly to Obama’s right.

I would offer up a simpler explanation: the netroots is very liberal, very white, and there are lot of them who just don’t trust a black man to be President.

It makes perfect sense if you think about it. Roughly 90% of blacks vote Democratic, but there are only a handful of blacks representing majority white districts. Why? Because liberal whites won’t vote for them.

How can it be George Bush has a much more impressive record of appointing black Americans in his cabinet than “the first black President,” Bill Clinton? Simple — white Democrats are a lot more racist than Republicans.

Why do you think that the Republican Party — which has had essentially the same position on racial discrimination for more than a hundred years, “The law should be colorblind” — doesn’t support programs like Affirmative Action and racial set asides while Democrats do? Part of it is because those programs discriminate unconstitutionally against white people. But, another big part of it is simply that white Republicans believe black Americans are just as capable as whites and don’t need special help, while Democrats believe that blacks are too incompetent to compete with white people without getting a helping hand from the government.

The truth slips out every so often — and not just when Joe Biden or Robert Byrd make the mistake of saying what they really think. White liberal Democrats are much more likely to make race based attacks on blacks who make them angry than their counterparts on the right. That black conservative is an Oreo, he’s an uncle Tom. She’s an Aunt Jemima. That black guy running for President might be a coke-dealing Muslim (Silent subtext: You know how THOSE PEOPLE are. Do you really trust ONE OF THEM to do a white person’s job like the Presidency?)

That’s not to say that there aren’t any racists on the right, because there certainly are, but as a general rule, Republicans are — and have been — considerably less racist than Democrats since the founding of our parties all the way to the present day.

The Democrats have just managed to turn their weakness into a strength. Instead of discriminating against blacks because they think they’re inferior, they support giving them special race based privileges because they think they’re inferior. It’s a position that a liberal and a Klansman, who are and always have been mostly Democrats, could both agree on.

  1. Stephen Spruiell:

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