News & Politics

Right Wing Pundits Use Obama Speech as Excuse for Their Most Illogical Racist Rants

A national conversation on race would be far more encouraging if conservative media personalities had intelligent things to say.

It’s always the downside of any major discussion — someone ends up saying something that doesn’t make any sense. In light of Barack Obama’s speech last week on race in America, we’re apparently in the midst of a national conversation of sorts.

I get the sense this is one conversation in which Lou Dobbs deserves to be interrupted.
On the March 21 edition of CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight, host Lou Dobbs introduced his program by announcing: “Tonight, Senator [Barack] Obama wins the endorsement of the nation’s only Hispanic governor, Bill Richardson. Is Obama pandering to ethnocentric special interests again? We’ll have complete coverage.” The subsequent report by Capitol Hill reporter Jessica Yellin did not include a discussion of whether Obama is “pandering to ethnocentric special interests.”
Later, during a panel discussion with Washington Post New York bureau chief Keith Richburg, New York Daily News columnist Michael Goodwin, and Democratic superdelegate Robert Zimmerman, Dobbs asked: “Are each endorsement, are we going to hear, as white Americans, as black Americans, as Hispanic-Americans, I mean, is this going to be part of what is the group and identity party in this country? Are — is that not — is it just — I mean, just tell me, is there some sense that the Democratic Party is being overwhelmed by its own sense of group and identity politics here?”

I’ve read the transcript, and watched the clip, and I’m still don’t have the foggiest idea what Dobbs is talking about. Obama is “pandering to ethnocentric special interests” by accepting the endorsement of a governor? I don’t seem to recall Dobbs asking similar questions when Obama was endorsed by, say, Virginia Gov. (and white guy) Tim Kaine.

And why, exactly, would Dems be “overwhelmed by its own sense of group and identity politics”? Because Richardson is a Latino?

I’m afraid I’m a little lost.

For that matter, is it me, or have conservative media personalities been pushing the racial envelope a little more than usual lately? Pat Buchanan’s intolerance was unusually apparent this week in his syndicated column:
Steve Benen is a freelance writer/researcher and creator of The Carpetbagger Report. In addition, he is the lead editor of's Blog Report, and has been a contributor to Talking Points Memo, Washington Monthly, Crooks & Liars, The American Prospect, and the Guardian.
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