Wednesday night’s televised debate on ABC between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama was, as one might expect given recent campaign blunders, a mostly comfortable evening for Clinton and a surprisingly awkward performance from Obama.
Moderators Charles Gibson and George Stephanopolous — but especially Stephanopolous — gave Obama a difficult time with questions about his anti-white slurs against Pennsylvanians who “cling” to God and guns, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s refusal to wear an American flag lapel pen, and even his association with left-wing terrorist Bill Ayers.
Yes, the questions were largely unavoidable, even for the MSM, but notable for being piled up so high. And, for a refreshing change, a candidate with undeniable “links” to anti-white hate actually had to stand for questions about it. This “white heat” on Obama persisted almost throughout the evening, and it was satisfying to watch, even if the MSM seized upon it for the ratings value more than anything else.
How tough were the questions? Tough enough that other corners of the MSM were angry with the moderators the morning after. The usually-sharp Tom Shales, the Washington Post’s TV critic, accused them of beating up on Obama
Sounds to me like Shales just couldn’t stand watching a black candidate for president be tagged with “hate” associations. But imagine if a white candidate had some sort of association, however tenuous, with a far-right figure who admitted to committing bombings and killings on behalf of his cause. The MSM wouldn’t merely feel a duty to give him tough questions — they’d see it as their duty to make sure he couldn’t run for office.
Obama, as anyone who follows the news now knows, was caught telling a closed-door crowd in San Francisco that he wouldn’t do well in Pennsylvania because it’s filled with religious fundamentalist, anti-immigrant gun nuts (translated from the original quote).
Of course, he wasn’t talking about black gun nuts or Hispanics who “cling to religion,” he was talking about whites. That unspoken aspect aside, the comments were taken as offensive by many Pennsylvanians, and the Clinton campaign took full advantage. The comments will likely prove devastating to Obama in any general campaign, perhaps even more than the Rev. Wright thundering “God damn America” (and in a similar vein, I must point out that Rev. Wright specifically meant “God damn white people.”)
There is much justified frustration among white advocates about the complete lack of explicit white advocacy or resistance by whites. But this episode demonstrates that there is some fairly powerful proxy opposition. (Kevin MacDonald terms this “implicit whiteness” because it reflects white values and white interests without explicitly stating that they are white.) Religious faith, gun rights and immigration are all issues that whites are “allowed” to pursue, to varying degrees, so long as they don’t mention their own racial interest. So, when there’s an attack on the proxy issue, the resulting blowback is essentially white resistance. By my take, white resistance isn’t completely dead, just mis-channeled.
On Rev. Wright, Obama again struggled with a question from Charles Gibson about the timing of his attempts to disassociate himself, once saying that he “disowned” Rev. Wright, which he corrected to “I disowned the comments” when a surprised George Stephanopolous said, “You disowned him?” Stephanopolous said, correctly, that if Obama won the nomination, we’d all be watching Rev. Wright videos on TV, non-stop. Obama lamely answered that if it weren’t one thing, it would be another.
On affirmative action, Stephanopolous proposed that one reform could take income into account, so that a rich black student wouldn’t be favored over a poor white one. Incredibly, Obama offered only that “I still believe in affirmative action” and that programs should take “the whole person” into account (which is a fairly ridiculous thing to say, given that affirmative action’s very purpose is to ignore the whole person). Affirmative action is so unpopular among whites, and Stephanopolous’ proposal so reasonable, that it’s surprising that a speaker as savvy as Obama wouldn’t seize upon it. But he didn’t.
This is the essential problem Obama — or any candidate in America, really — faces. Your basic job is to try pleasing as many racial and ethnic groups as possible without offending the others. That’s almost impossible to do. I remember once, as an attorney in New York, hearing a mayoral cabinet member describe the mayor’s morning meetings. “It’s basically about which ethnic group is mad that day, and how the mayor’s going to fix it.”
We’re now watching that on a national scale, and it is up to whites to ensure that they are included in ways more explicit than proxy battles over guns and religion. Imagine the squirming anti-white activists will be doing then.
Christopher Donovan is the pen name of an attorney and former journalist.