Saturday, September 19, 2009

Obama Disagrees with Jimmy Carter on Racism

When Barrack Obama says something right, he deserves credit. And in an interview this morning published by The Washington Times, he disagreed with recent high profile liberals that race is the motivating factor behind the opposition to his health care plan.
"President Obama said Friday that angry criticisms about his health care
agenda are driven by an intense debate over the proper role of government - and
not by racism.

"Are there people out there who don't like me because of race? I'm sure
there are," Mr. Obama told CNN. "That's not the overriding issue here.""

Later, Obama directly addressed the irresponsible remarks made by Jimmy Carter the other day:

"Time and again, Mr. Obama was asked about whether the tenor of the health
care turned nasty because of undercurrents of racism. Former President Jimmy
Carter raised the point prominently this week when he said the vitriol was
racially motivated.

Not so, Mr. Obama said.

"There's been a long-standing debate in this country that is usually
that much more fierce during times of transition, or when presidents are trying
to bring about big changes," Mr. Obama told CNN.

To NBC News, Mr. Obama put it this way: "It's an argument that's gone on
for the history of this republic, and that is, What's the right role of
government? How do we balance freedom with our need to look out for one another?
... This is not a new argument, and it always evokes passions.""

Obama was even right on the money in asserting that the media is largely to blame for stoking the race issue:
" Mr. Obama told CBS News that the media were partly to blame.

"The 24-hour news cycle and cable television and blogs and all this -
they focus on the most extreme elements on both sides," Mr. Obama said. "They
can't get enough of conflict. It's catnip to the media right now.""

However, he could have also admitted that the media would not have had nearly so much to report if the Democrats had not popped off about the issue and turned it into a partisan issue. Nevertheless, even if this is a good cop - bad cop routine designed to make the president look presidential while others play the race card to intimidate the critics, it is still good to see the president sounding like a man who is in touch with reality. It is good to see him speak truth.

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