WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2020
Barack Obama remembers: Pepperidge Farm used to remember. In his recent interview with The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, Obama remembered too.
In the exchange to which we refer, Goldberg asked this question:
GOLDBERG (11/16/20): Your wife has always had a slightly different view on the salience of race here, and you don’t dwell on race in this volume, but how much of the opposition to you had to do with the fact that you’re a liberal Democrat, versus you being a Black president?
How much of the opposition to Obama's presidency was a function of race? How much of the opposition was a function of party and tribe?
Such things are hard to measure. But in his answer, Obama briefly remembered:
OBAMA (continuing directly): I actually write about how hard it is to allocate percentages here, because American history and culture are so shaped by our racial history. If someone is in favor of “states’ rights,” it’s very hard to disentangle this statement from race. Maybe they just believe in local government and local control. On the other hand, this debate started as far back as debates between northern and southern states and the maintenance of slavery, and Jim Crow and opposition to busing, you name it. It’s difficult to clearly say how much of this was race, as opposed to opposition to liberalism. The Clintons, for example, generated similar venomous attacks. A lot of that had to do with the culture wars that dated back to the ’60s—Vietnam, pot, sex, rock and roll, the debate between Phyllis Schlafly and Bella Abzug.
Obama continued on from there. It seems to us that the highlighted statement ought to be fleshed out.
Dating at least to the Clinton era, our modern politics has been dominated by The Terminally Stupid and Dumb and, of course, by The Crazy. The Crazy has functioned like this
In Obama's case, a crackpot celebrity—Donald J. Trump—spent five years bruiting the crazy claim that Obama had been born in Kenya. Based upon a string of surveys, an amazingly large percentage of Republicans eventually said that they believed this crazy claim.
That's part of the way The Crazy worked with Obama. But as Obama told Goldberg, The Crazy was active in the case of the Clintons too.
In that instance, a crackpot celebrity—the Reverend Jerry Falwell—began peddling a videotape about the Clintons' many murders. We don't recall that matter being surveyed, but it's safe to say that a significant percentage of anti-Clinton voters believed that lunacy too—and yes, a whole lot else went into that lunatic stew.
The Kenya claim can be said to have been about race. The multiple murders claim involves no such connection. And after that, along came Candidate Gore, and an array of celebrities in the upper-end mainstream press corps spent several years spreading the claim that Gore had a psychiatric need to make ridiculous, inaccurate statements.
Al Gore said he invented the Internet! They said such things again and again and again, over a long stretch of years.
The Crazy came from Jerry Falwell, then it came from Trump. In between, it came from Chris Matthews and Maureen Dowd and from an endless array of major mainstream journalists. These same people spent twenty years trashing Hillary Clinton, often in the dumbest and most gender-laden ways.
Our tribe is too spectacularly stupid to understand this history. As a group, we're able to notice nothing at all unless we can tie it to race.
In recent years, we've added gender to our extremely limited playlist. This new concern came along much too late to help Nurse Ratched / Evita Peron, AKA Hillary Clinton.
(The twenty-four years in which we stared into space while Hillary Clinton was being trashed explain how she lost by an eyelash to Trump. Our team is too stupid to grasp this.)
Our team is just tremendously dumb. We've memorized one or two plays. We know, and are able to notice, nothing else.
Our only real skill involves our ability to say that the others are dumb. We're silly and hopeless and nobody likes us. Even in the face of this, Obama briefly remembered what happened when Clinton arrived.
(Before that, the mainstream press corps discovered that Gary Hart might have a girl friend. That discovery came to us from the msm.)
The Clintons "generated similar venomous attacks?" Children, that's putting it mildly! This is the unnoticed history of modern politics in this, our failing society.
The question we'll soon be raising is simple. How did we get so dumb?