Who Kidnapped Digby?

     If there is a progressive blogger that is universally respected throughout Left Blogistan it is Digby.  I was a regular reader of her work at Hullabaloo back when nobody online even knew her gender.  That’s why I find it sad and disturbing to learn that she has officially drunk the Kool-aid:

Keep in mijnd that the GOP does not do this stuff for a knock out. They operate on the death of a thousand cuts. Little criticisms, relentlessly played, dribbled out over time designed to create a running theme. This one is obvious: elitist, aloof, and — presumptuous. That last carries quite an amazing amount of freight — presumptuous, uppity, doesn’t know his place. It applies neatly to any Democrat who deigns to lead Broderville but the historical, subliminal American memory that attaches to such a word when the person in question is black is particularly powerful.

Calling Barack Obama “presumptuous” is the same as calling him “uppity.”  The missing word that is implied with “uppity” is “negro,” or even worse, “n*gg*r”  The nuclear weapon of epithets in our country, worse even than “cunt” 

So, according to the premier “A” lister among progressive bloggers, calling Barack Obama “presumptuous” is a racist epithet, delivered as a dogwhistle.  This isn’t the only time she has made this argument.  In response to this story:

ABC News’ Christianne Klein reports that at a breakfast with Republican insiders at the Capitol Hill Club this morning, former White House senior aide Karl Rove referred to Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, as “coolly arrogant.”

“Even if you never met him, you know this guy,” Rove said, per Christianne Klein. “He’s the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by.”

Digby had this to say:

It’s very clever to add in the country club and martini imagery, even though it’s patently absurd. Gives it a nice sort of cover to what he’s saying. After all, conservatives can’t just come right out and call someone an Uppity Negro these days.

Personally, the image I would expect people to associate with “uppity negro” isn’t a smart-ass hipster enjoying cocktails at a country club.

I started referring to Obama as the “Presumptuous Nominee” when his campaign and supporters (both in and outside of the media) started referring to him as the “Presumptive Nominee” before he had attained enough pledged delegates and superdelegate commitments to make a plausible claim to the title, and when he was passing on the remaining primaries in order to begin his campaign against John McCain.

Wiki Dictionary defines presumptuous as “Full of presumption; presuming; overconfident or venturesome; audacious; rash; taking liberties unduly; arrogant; insolent; as, a presumptuous commander; presumptuous conduct” with the following synonyms:

  • overconfident; foolhardy; rash; presuming; forward; arrogant; insolent.

I don’t see “uppity” anywhere in either list.

One of the common criticisms of Senator Obama is that he is arrogant and exudes an elitist attitude.  Bostonboomer, in answer to the question “What is Wrong With Barack Obama?” said:

Well, in the first place he is incredibly arrogant, haughty, full-of-himself, and entitled.  

That about sums it up for me too.  But what do we know, we’re just bitter racists.

I don’t know of any PUMA that thinks Obama is presumptuous because he is black.  They point to his resume, which is far thinner than any Democratic nominee for President since before FDR.  Even John F. Kennedy had completed a full Senate term (along with three terms in the House) before becoming President, and JFK was a war hero who was groomed for politics by his father since his childhood.

At first, only the serious deluded bought into the racism meme.  When the Obama campaign started pushing the idea that Bill Clinton was making a racist putdown of Senator Obama when he called Obama’s story about consistently opposing the war a “fairy tale,” or when he referred to the 15 years-younger man as a “kid.”   Anyone who wasn’t suffering from Clinton Derangement Syndrome found that idea laughable.

Some people found an earlier incident slightly more credible, when Billy Shaheen brought up Obama’s already admitted drug use by saying  that he might be less electable because the press might wonder if Obama had sold drugs in college saying “”It’ll be, ‘When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?‘”  But Shaheen never made any racial inferences, only mentioning the drug use.  Nevertheless, Obama’s admitted cocaine use has been a taboo topic ever since.

We’ve heard it suggested that calling Obama “inexperienced” was racist.  Comparing his win in South Carolina to Jesse Jackson’s was also racist, although Jackson was the last person to win that primary besides Bill Clinton who wasn’t still in the campaign.  Actually, Clinton and Jackson were the last two-time winners in South Carolina. (for a thorough description of the false racism allegations made early in this campaign, see “Race Man” by Sean Wilentz)

Then there was the recent New Yorker cover controversy.  Obviously meant as satire, Obamanation went ballistic because it allegedly was racist.  This is the New Yorker fer gawd’s sake, a supposedly “progressive” publication!  Of course, any caricature or Obama will almost always portray him as black, because (believe it or not) he is of half African descent.

So, according to Digby, “presumptuous” and “arrogant” are racial epithets when applied to Obama.  So is pretty much any criticism or ridicule of The Precious according to the “Obama Rules.”  We’ve seen the “Clinton Rules” in use for years (any action or statement by the Clintons, no matter how innocuous, as proof of evil intent) epitomized by the RFK assassination wankfest last May, but the Obama rules are completely different.  They are the political equivalent of a “get out of jail free” card.

That’s because the Obama rules don’t apply to Obama, they apply to everyone else.  Obama is free to make accusations of racism without any proof, even preemptively.  He has already stated that the GOP will run a racist campaign against him.  In fact, pointing out the racist nature of something he or his wife says is racist too. 

And of course, he gets a complete pass on sexism and misogyny, because pointing it out is . . . well, you know.

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2 Responses to Who Kidnapped Digby?

  1. Pol C says:

    You may have already seen this, but if you’re interested in more on the subject, please read my Sunday post, “Obama, Racism…and Digby”:

    http://polculture.blogspot.com/2008/07/politics-sunday-obama-racismand-digby.html

    http://alegrescorner.soapblox.net/showDiary.do?diaryId=375

    Near the end I ask people to politely complain by writing Digby at her e-mail address, digby@writeme.com, and to drop her site from their blog rolls until she apologizes for this inflammatory garbage. She saw the post and e-mailed me about it: She has no intention of stopping this crap.

  2. Marlowe says:

    Hi,

    As Bill would say, I feel your pain. I’m a refugee from a news board where I’ve gone from being one of the few moderate Democrats who bothered to challenge those who posted racist messages to the one who is frequently attacked as a racist by fellow Democrats because I dare to criticize Obama. While I’m trying to remember that I do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, I’m very angry at the harm to the issue of racial reconciliation that has resulted from the race-baiting of Obama and his minions.
    Fwiw, I don’t think “presumptuous” is anymore racial than “fairytale”.

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