Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I’m looking for just the right word here.

President Obama gave a speech in El Paso yesterday, at the Chamizal National Memorial. A portion of the speech is posted at Left Coast Rebel.

The full text is here.

The President refers to “they,” in the fashion of, “All the stuff they asked for, we’ve done.” He cultivates an “us versus them” mentality in the audience.

And then he gets my attention:

THE PRESIDENT: But even though we’ve answered these concerns, I’ve got to say I suspect there are still going to be some who are trying to move the goal posts on us one more time.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: They’re racist!

THE PRESIDENT: You know, they said we needed to triple the Border Patrol. Or now they’re going to say we need to quadruple the Border Patrol. Or they’ll want a higher fence. Maybe they’ll need a moat. (Laughter.) Maybe they want alligators in the moat. (Laughter.) They’ll never be satisfied.

The President of the United States enjoys the characterization of Republicans as racists, as does his audience.

It leaves me dumbfounded.

When someone makes light of the scourge of racism, I think of the article by Ayn Rand, published almost fifty years ago. She explains racism at length, and does not look favorably on people who exhibit the behavior “Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.”

Ms. Rand is a hero of the Republican side of the aisle. From my own personal experience, I can say that after I read “The Fountainhead,” I thought I had read the best American novel ever written. (At the time, I had no interest in politics. I was taking a high school course in American Literature, and wasn’t old enough to vote.)

But back to the President’s remarks…

Republicans fought a civil war to end slavery, and fervently believe in equal justice under the law. To joke about them being racists and enjoying the specter of human beings eaten by alligators seems over-the-top.

It is certainly not "Presidential."

I think the proper word is “grotesque.”

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