Monday, September 21, 2009

Editorial: Debate already has enough colors

Today the unnamed Courier editor expresses his discomfort with the week's teevee tantrum about the race factor in criticism of the President, going out of his way to bash Jimmy Carter for speaking the truth and giving the teabaggers a slap on the wrist for their unsporting signs (while ignoring the really scary stuff).

To claim that there is no racism driving any of this is poppycock, of course, just as it's fallacious to say that racism drives it all, which is clearly not what President Carter or any other thinking being is doing. Across a nation so racially charged and full of empowered loonies as the US, it's inescapable that racists will be in the mix. This causes a problem for the right wing, because they want to present the teabaggers et al. as mainstream. The truth is quite the opposite. The people who are chanting and waving misspelled signs are in a small minority, as they always are, so the true-blue nutbars have disproportionate influence.

We on the left have always had to deal with the tiny red-star Mao-suit brigade that has always been in the mix, inviting characterization of liberals as socialists. And so the right has to deal with the snakes in its own nest, the white-supremacists, the greed-is-good corporatists, the nuke-all-the-wogs militarists and other extreme reactionaries. They exist, and they show up at the rallies. Pretending otherwise just makes you look dumb.

The editor is simply chiming in on whatever his preferred agitprop sources are telling him to say. In the Courier offices this somehow passes for "analysis." Again, I urge the editor to stick to local issues, which are better for the paper and its readers.