How Quickly We Forget
While this is a pretty good editorial, this paragraph:
It is inconceivable that this campaign to portray Mr. Obama as the insidious “other” would have been conducted against a white president.is sloppy and misleading. Portraying Democratic presidents as the invidious "other" is what the extreme right always does. And it's not only quote mainstream unquote Republican leaders who go along with it.
Some of us well remember this, for example:
"[Bill Clinton] came in here and he trashed the place," says Washington Post columnist David Broder, "and it's not his place."I think that's as fairly stark portrayal of a president as the insidious "other" as one can get.
And, oh yes, that wasn't said by some bottom-feeding far right asshole but by the so-called dean of the Washington Press Corps. As far as Clinton goes, in fact, calling him white trash who didn't know his place was pretty mild, almost a compliment. Rightwing Republican operatives slimed him as a sleazy land speculator, a drug dealer, a drug addict, and even a murderer. His wife, of course, was a... lesbian (which to them is something to be ashamed of, as per Cheney's behavior when Kerry noted Mary Cheney's sexual orientation during a debate with Bush).
True, questioning the American bona fides of an African-American president is unquestionably a deeply racist stunt: the filth of the Dred Scott decision sticks to it. But let's not forget that there is a long, long history of the far right demonizing - not "portraying," but demonizing- Democrats as Not Real Americans. And they do so by playing not only the race card, but the class card, the gender card, the foreigner card ("He looks French!"), the gay card, the elitist card, and every other card they can think of playing. Nothing - absolutely nothing - is off limits.
And the press goes right along. Merrily along.