Bob Herbert, Race Baiting And The 2010 Midterms

Poor Bob Herbert. He just can’t quit wailing about racism. Today he is still fulminating about the mean Tea Party crowd in Washington that allegedly taunted Congressmen John Lewis and Barney Frank. Herbert is the only newspaperman in the nation that does not see the irony in his complaint, to wit, that the only black man actually assaulted at a Tea Party gathering was set upon by white union thugs doing the dirty work of the local Democratic Party in St. Louis. But Herbert won’t let facts get in the way of a rant:

For decades the G.O.P. has been the party of fear, ignorance and divisiveness. All you have to do is look around to see what it has done to the country. The greatest economic inequality since the Gilded Age was followed by a near-total collapse of the overall economy. As a country, we have a monumental mess on our hands and still the Republicans have nothing to offer in the way of a remedy except more tax cuts for the rich.

This is the party of trickle down and weapons of mass destruction, the party of birthers and death-panel lunatics. This is the party that genuflects at the altar of right-wing talk radio, with its insane, nauseating, nonstop commitment to hatred and bigotry.

It is 2010, which means it is way past time for decent Americans to rise up against this kind of garbage, to fight it aggressively wherever it appears. And it is time for every American of good will to hold the Republican Party accountable for its role in tolerating, shielding and encouraging foul, mean-spirited and bigoted behavior in its ranks and among its strongest supporters.

Comments like this from the opinion kings on the Left may leave some of us baffled but I think I know where Herbert is headed with this piece. He wants to keep the base of the far Left of the Democratic Party energized and what better device to use than race baiting. In Herbert’s world, just because you’re the kettle doesn’t mean you can’t call the pot black. You just need political cover among friends to get away with it. Herbert’s message is a tacit admission of what Democratic pollster Peter Hart said today.

Pollster Peter Hart argued that the first priority, given that midterm elections are often decided by which side is more motivated, should be invigorating the Democratic base. “Unless they get Democrats interested in this election, they’re going to get smoked,” he said. “The most important thing for them is to develop interest.

After Sunday’s debacle, in which my own predictions(all of them!) that Democrats would act in their own self interest and ultimately reject ObamaCare were proven wrong I experienced my own comeuppance. Maybe some Democrats that voted for the bill rationalized that come November voters would be more focused on other matters. David Frum (who is getting lots of love from lefty blogs now) said they would benefit from an improving economy. Probably not if for no other reason than voters will be experiencing the negative effects of ObamaCare’s rising taxes and fees which go into effect immediately. But I’ll save the economic forecasting for another post and just focus on the one issue that will define the outcome of the 2010 midterms: turnout. The Republican base and the Tea Party movement are going to vote in massive number this November because of several issues, ObamaCare being just one. Unemployment, out of control spending, government usurpation of individual liberties and resentment of the political class are just a few of the issues that will drive turn out. Bob Herbert’s imagined race baiting doesn’t even show up on the voter’s radar.

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