Eagleburger: Obama Playing Race Card Is “Despicable”

Several posts ago, here, I criticized Obama for playing the race and bigot card when he accused unnamed Republicans of planning to “make [voters] afraid of me” because of his funny name, inexperience, “… and did I mention he’s black?”

My criticism may have been strong — I hope it was — but it was the very picture of modest, restrained diplomatic understatement compared to what former Secretary of State (and eminent Charlottesvillian) Lawrence Eagleburger said today in a letter to the Charlottesville Daily Progress, “Obama Is Making Race An Issue.”

Comparing Obama’s sly injection of race to the slimy tactics of Joe McCarthy, Eagleburger writes:

In a recent appearance in Florida Sen. Barack Obama predicted how Republicans would campaign against him. He said: “They’re going to make you afraid of me [by saying] ‘He’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?’ ”

Obama’s accusation of racism dismisses the fact that his opponent, Arizona Sen. John McCain, spent some five years in a Vietnamese prison in the closest proximity to other Americans of various races. They all suffered torture and starvation because they were Americans, not because they were white or black. To accuse Sen. McCain and his party of racism in the face of his history is despicable.

So, despite all hope that perhaps we had finally put the issue of race aside, here it is.

Who raised it? The Republicans? Sen. McCain? It’s Sen. Obama, who has decided that he can use race to his advantage. But McCain has made it clear that he will not tolerate anyone in his campaign using the race issue.

So Obama has had to drag the issue in through the back door.

Sen. McCarthy played on the early post-war fear of communism to gain and hold power, despite the lives he ruined and the constitutional rights he ignored. In the end, those acts brought him down.

Sen. Obama needs to take a hard look at the McCarthy example and decide whether he wants to continue down the path he has adopted.

Most Americans would agree that to introduce race into the campaign, as he has, was both reckless and lacking in any sense of decency.

Who says diplomats, or at least former diplomats, can’t tell it like it is?

My only complaint with Eagleburger’s devastating put down of Obama’s most recent foray into racial politics concerns its concluding warning:

Should he continue down the McCarthy path, he will, sooner or later, pay the McCarthy price. But the damage will be done: He will have turned the clock back to the bad old days when politicians could say aloud — and get away with it — that the color of your skin mattered.

The clock doesn’t have to be turned back. Right now, every day, Democrats, including Obama, insist that “the color of your skin matter[s].” That’s why they defend, as Obama does, programs that distribute burdens and benefits based on race and oppose all efforts to eliminate them.

Say What? (4)

  1. ELC June 30, 2008 at 10:26 pm | | Reply

    Sen. Obama needs to take a hard look at the McCarthy example and decide whether he wants to continue down the path he has adopted. Surely, Eagleburger is not so naive? Obama not only wants to go down that path, he wants to pave it and line it with sidewalks.

  2. GW July 1, 2008 at 11:57 am | | Reply

    Very good post. Eagleburger put down is well warranted, thogh your concluding point is correct also. I worried back in Feb. about the harm that Obama could do to race relations in America. He is anything but a post racial candidate. Linked. http://wolfhowling.blogspot.com/2008/06/interesting-posts-from-around-web-1_30.html

  3. Cobra July 4, 2008 at 3:02 pm | | Reply

    John Rosenberg writes:

    >>>”Who says diplomats, or at least former diplomats, can’t tell it like it is?”

    Tell “what” like it is? It’s very apparent that the main ally to the Republican Party in America is the ignorance of the American people.

    Sure, you and Lawrence Eagleburger can put one over on people who don’t remember, or never learned about the GOP Southern Strategy:

    >>>”It was called “the southern strategy,” started under Richard M. Nixon in 1968, and described Republican efforts to use race as a wedge issue — on matters such as desegregation and busing — to appeal to white southern voters.

    Ken Mehlman, the Republican National Committee chairman, this morning will tell the NAACP national convention in Milwaukee that it was “wrong.”


    What else did Mehlman say at the NAACP convention?

    >>>””By the ’70s and into the ’80s and ’90s, the Democratic Party solidified its gains in the African American community, and we Republicans did not effectively reach out,” Mehlman says in his prepared text. “Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong.”


    John, Karl Rove is an “unofficial” consultant to the McCain campaign. You do remember what the Karl Rove machine did to McCain in the 2000 South Carolina Primary, right?

    >>>”Rove invented a uniquely injurious fiction for his operatives to circulate via a phony poll. Voters were asked, “Would you be more or less likely to vote for John McCain…if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?” This was no random slur. McCain was at the time campaigning with his dark-skinned daughter, Bridget, adopted from Bangladesh.

    It worked. Owing largely to the Rove-orchestrated whispering campaign, Bush prevailed in South Carolina and secured the Republican nomination.”


    What on EARTH leads you and Eagleburger to believe that the Southern Strategy and Rove race tactics won’t be employed against Barack Obama?


  4. The Race-Card/Anti-Jew/Anti-Muslim card must be stopped!

    What I have noticed more and more that after Obama got in there that racism has increased rapidly, that Anti-Jew movements have increased in size and more hatred against Jews, and Muslims are under more attacks.

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