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Thursday, October 30, 2008
 
Lib Bloggers Prepping the Race Card

John Judis:

I mention the Bradley effect because I think, too, that McCain and Sarah Palin's attack against Obama for advocating "spreading the wealth" and for "socialism" and for pronouncing the civil rights revolution a "tragedy" because it didn't deal with the distribution of wealth is aimed ultimately at white working class undecided voters who would construe "spreading the wealth" as giving their money to blacks. It's the latest version of Reagan's "welfare queen" argument from 1980. It if it works, it won't be because most white Americans actually oppose a progressive income tax, but because they fear that Obama will inordinately favor blacks over them. I don't doubt that this argument will have some effect, but I suspect it's too late and that worries about McCain and Republican handling of the economy will overshadow these concerns.


Several people have picked up on this supposed connection between redistribution of income and the progressive income tax; I don't get it. For starters, Obama was talking about redistributing the wealth in that 2001 video, not income (although he did talk about redistributing income in his discussion with Joe the Plumber). Second, there is no "re-distributing" going on in the income tax; it's all taking.

Steve Benen continues the "when John McCain says socialist, he means black" canard.

I perceive the rhetoric the same way. When McCain tells white working class undecided voters that Obama wants to "take your money and give it to someone else," he doesn't say who "someone else" is, but he probably hopes he doesn't have to.


Matt Yglesias:

An Obama presidency would be a stark contrast to the rhetoric of the “real” America — which is basically defined as the part where everyone is white — versus the unreal America comprised of non-whites and the white people who deign to live near them.


What's going on here? For starters, they're poisoning the well. If McCain does win on Tuesday, they're all going to say it's because he ran a racist campaign with all these "code words" to appeal to bigots.

And for another, they're Charlie Brown and the American public is Lucy, holding the football and telling them to go ahead and kick the field goal. They're paranoid that once again the final panel will show them flat on their backs, bemoaning their naive belief that the ball wouldn't get yanked away at the last moment.
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