Maureen Dowd examines the Joe Wilson outburst and realizes that, ZOMG!!1! He’s from South Carolina!
Which if you didn’t know, is the same state that started the Civil Fricken’ War!
Surrounded by middle-aged white guys — a sepia snapshot of the days when such pols ran Washington like their own men’s club — Joe Wilson yelled “You lie!” at a president who didn’t.
But, fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!
Fair or not – one doubts whether MoDo really cares – both the Senate Finance Committee and the White House are now considering enforcement provisions to the previously toothless versions of the many several health care reform bills floating about the Capitol. Which, approaching the ides of September, and August being an otherwise slow month, portions of which several congressmen have by now probably read.
Without those enforcement provisions, the president’s pledge that no illegal aliens would receive new public funding – in California, at least, illegals who cannot afford it already receive critical care augmented by federal funding free of cost – would have been at best a polite fiction. Girl.
So, in a fair world, these changes would be labeled the Joe Wilson Amendment.
The congressman, we learned, belonged to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, led a 2000 campaign to keep the Confederate flag waving above South Carolina’s state Capitol and denounced as a “smear” the true claim of a black woman that she was the daughter of Strom Thurmond, the ’48 segregationist candidate for president.
Let’s set aside for the moment that when Strom Thurmond ran for president he was a Democrat – it’s enough to say that he came from the south. For a New Yorker, the only proper response to their inherited culture for sons (grandsons, great grandsons, etc.) of the south would be to walk around wearing sackcloth and ashes in perpetuity. (The contemporary and ante bellum northern institutions of indentured servitude and sweatshops were entirely different and more noble expressions of chattel bondage, and anyway we were talking about you, southern boy).
Wilson clearly did not like being lectured and even rebuked by the brainy black president presiding over the majestic chamber.
Alternatively, it’s at least possible that Wilson didn’t like feeling like he was being lied to on the floor of his chamber.
I’ve been loath to admit that the shrieking lunacy of the summer — the frantic efforts to paint our first black president as the Other, a foreigner, socialist, fascist, Marxist, racist, Commie, Nazi; a cad who would snuff old people; a snake who would indoctrinate kids — had much to do with race.
But she’s going to do it anyway, because it’s been a slow week and she hasn’t had an original thought in decades.
I tended to agree with some Obama advisers that Democratic presidents typically have provoked a frothing response from paranoids…
Nothing like this has ever happened on the Dowd‘s side of an argument, however.
Even if he and the coterie of white male advisers around him don’t choose to openly acknowledge it, this president is the ultimate civil rights figure — a black man whose legitimacy is constantly challenged by a loco fringe.
Fortunately, Mr. Obama’s predecessor did not have his legitimacy challenged at any time by any sort of loco fringe, or else Dowd’s race bating argument would fall apart under the weight of its own smug, unchallenged certitudes. (When it comes to battling the scourge of melanin-challenged advisers with external wedding tackle, the president is still batting .500.
So leave Barracky alone!)
For two centuries, the South has feared a takeover by blacks or the feds. In Obama, they have both.
For two decades, Maureen Dowd has feared that someone would actually deconstruct an essay of hers. Unfortunately for the girl in the bubble, it has already happened. It used to be, as Josh Chafetz lamented, that Ms. Dowd had been reduced to “drawing caricatures.” Now she has become one.
The state that fired the first shot of the Civil War has now given us this: Senator Jim DeMint exhorted conservatives to “break” the president by upending his health care plan. Rusty DePass, a G.O.P. activist, said that a gorilla that escaped from a zoo was “just one of Michelle’s ancestors.” Lovelorn Mark Sanford tried to refuse the president’s stimulus money. And now Joe Wilson.
There’s no other plausible reason for a senator to oppose our venerable president’s policies but that he’s a racist!! So take that Jim DeMint. Whom MoDo has cleverly linked to an actual South Carolina racist (there are none in New York, at least not in the city). (DePass is an activist that just about no one had ever heard of until he said a bigoted thing. But there’s linkage there, people. Because – and this is critical – they’re both from South Carolina.)
Which is full of racists.
And Mark Sanford? Please. Dude’s so white, and so not from New York. Whose only previous claim to fame outside the state had to do with his predilection for jetting off to visit his South American mistress. Which, granted, doesn’t really have anything to do with this particular Dowdian thesis. But still, he’s white and male. And from South Carolina. So you get how he’s a racist.
It may be President Obama’s very air of elegance and erudition that raises hackles in some.
It may be that Maureen Dowd’s very air of wide-eyed insipidity and assumed moral superiority raises hackles in others.
Clyburn had a warning for Obama advisers who want to forgive Wilson, ignore the ignorant outbursts and move on.
Yes. Probably good advice all the way around.