Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Warrantless Blogtapping Program

Issue: The Hypocritical Race-Baiting of John Hawkins

Conservative blogger John Hawkins of Right Wing News has yet another revealing post on racialized politics. Yet what it reveals is something completely different than what Hawkins thinks it does. It reveals that Hawkins is a race-baiter with the best of them, one that would make even Al Sharpton blush. In fact, I think it's even worse for Hawkins because he hops on his high horse and pretends that race doesn't matter to him given that he's such a good conservative when it clearly does. I call BS. I'm going to expose this race-baiting fraud and I'll prove it with a good fisking of his latest piece of mental sewage, a fisking which this nitwit so richly deserves. [Aside: Before I jump into the meat of the fisking, let me just point out to you that everytime Hawkins posts something about racial difference, it's almost always in the context of playing the race card himself. Hawkins almost never talks about race dispassionately and without calling liberals racists. That simple fact alone makes him as much a race-hustler as any other race hustler I know.] Now ... on to the fisking ...

In this piece, Hawkins ponders why the "netroots" doesn't like Obama. He claims there's a "Simple Explanation" - they're racist. His evidence? Liberals sometimes vote for white people. Heck, by that measure, what does that make him?

Let me slice and dice his posting piece by piece. First, he starts off by citing a piece by Stephen Spruiell over at the National Review Online. In this citation, Spruiell ponders the question as to why "liberal bloggers (a.k.a. the netroots) have such a problem with this guy [Obama]?" Hawkins responds:

He [Spruiell] 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.
First off, Hawkins is comparing apples to oranges. The "netroots" supported Webb and Tester because they were running against even more conservative Republican opponents. And control of the Senate hung in the balance. Just like Hawkins will support whomever the GOP nominates this November because he will consider that person better than the alternative, "netroots" liberals supported Webb and Tester.

I guarantee you that if Obama wins the Democratic Nomination, you'll see the "netroots" liberals who are currently supporting other candidates "ardently supporting" Obama against any of the current crop of potential GOP candidates. If Hawkins thinks that the netroots liberals will not rally behind Obama and will stay home this November if Obama is the Democratic candidate, he'd be a certifiable fool. Furthermore, what is clearly true, from all indications, is that Obama is appealing to GOP moderates in ways that distinguish him from the rest of the Democratic field. Obama most certainly can frame issues important to conservatives in ways that resonate across all ideological perspectives. All you need to do is to listen to Obama speak on the subject of faith and politics to know this is true. So, it is Hawkins who is engaging in some uncharitable wishful thinking. So why does Hawkins make such a clearly boneheaded claim? Well, to get to the real point of his posting, as the rest of his posting will show, it is nothing more than to race-hustle and to play the race card. Hawkins continues ...
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.
Change the word "netroots" to "rightroots" and the word "liberal" to "conservative" in the above sentence, without any kind of evidence beyond the expression of this opinion and you Al Sharpton. But it gets worse. Watch how race then becomes central to Hawkins' line of thought:
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.
Well, I'm thinking about it. And what Hawkins' statement tells me is that he makes race the exclusive explanatory variable for voting behavior. He says that 90% of Blacks vote Democratic. Why do they vote Democratic? Could it be because the Democratic Party represents positions on Health Care, Labor, Wages that are important to these voters? No siree! They vote Democratic because they are black. You'd think Hawkins, being the color-blind person he claims, wouldn't patronize black folk in this way and explain their vote for Democrats exclusive on the color of their skin. But it gets better, doesn't it? He immediately goes on to say that the reason there are only a handful of blacks representing majority white districts is because liberal whites won't vote for them! Gosh, darn! You'd think that all the white folk in "majority white districts" are all "liberal whites." Go figure! I wonder whom the "conservative white" voters in "majority white" districts are voting for? The "black" candidate? Maybe it's the white conservative voters who won't vote for black candidates and make them their elected representative. I'm sure Hawkins would bluster and defend himself by saying: "well, if there were a 'black' conservative running for office, his race wouldn't matter." And it wouldn't ever dawn on him that the fact that he needs to speak of the likelihood of a black conservative candidate running for office in the hypothetical says something about race and conservative voting patterns. Furthermore, Hawkins doesn't even consider the possiblity that a white liberal voter who votes for a white candidate over a black candidate is doing so because the white candidate better reflects that voters interests on matters of policy. Hawkins, in his own twisted logic, apparently believes that white liberals simply must vote for a black candidate for no other reason than that candidate is black! And I ask you, who is being the race hustler here? Well, if you're not sure of the answer to that question, Hawkins' next comments will clear it up and leave no doubts ...
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.
And so we arrive at the nub of it. Hawkins exposed. Unadulterated and raw and ugly. Out with it, Hawkins! The measure of racism is determined by the number of blacks appointed to a cabinet. Forget qualifications. Forget ability. Just line people up and take note of skin color. And the "racist" is the one with the fewest blacks in the lineup. Yep. For Hawkins, it all boils down to skin color apparently. How "unconservative" is that? And notice Hawkins has expanded his racist claims from "white liberal netroots" to "white Democrats" generally. Apparently, I (a white Democrat) am a lot more racist than David Duke (a Republican). And why am I a lot more racist? By Hawkins' measure, Not because I engage in racist behavior. No, Hawkins doesn't even qualify his charge of racism on the basis of behavior. He just links it to skin color and party affiliation. I am a lot more racist only because I am a "white Democrat." Oy, vey! Moving on ...
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.
Yeah, Hawkins. If you think blacks are as "capable" as whites, why don't you trust them to vote in accordance with their best interests? Or do they have to be "conservative" blacks who vote for the GOP in order to be as capable as whites? And if the Republican Party's position is a "colorblind" one, why are you, Hawkins, so caught up with color yourself?
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 truth does, indeed, slip out. And the truth that has slipped out here is that Hawkins is a race-hustler. If this whole piece isn't a race-based attack on white Democrats who makes Hawkins angry, I don't know what it is. The whole point of this piece is to make people like me out to be a racist simply because I am a white liberal Democrat. Maybe I'm missing something here, but I fail to see a distinction between a white liberal Democrat saying "that black conservative is an Oreo" and a white conservative Republican saying "that white liberal Democrat wants to keep black folk illiterate and on the plantation." And this whole piece is also very patronizing towards blacks, too. It presumes that the 90% of black people who vote Democrat aren't "capable" enough to see how the white liberal Democrats are keeping them down. In Hawkins' mind, these poor, unfortunate black folk are nothing but brainwashed dupes who can't discern the truth -- at least without the helping hand of white conservatives.
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.
Go home, Hawkins. We've learned a lot about you and race. Take your racialized politics somewhere else.

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