Boy, Oh, Boy

Joe Wilson’s outburst in Congress revealed one thing: Some people just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it.

Comments: 125

  1. The saddest thing is, people aren't just angry with the fact that we have an African-American president. They are angry with the feelings within themselves which are activated by seeing such a symbol. Racism becomes not just an attitude at this point as it does a mental illness.

  2. Deep fear and hatred of the Other rarely get addressed in static individuals. Only the pressure from larger systems can change things, but the deep stuff doesn't go away. Larger systems would be legislation, judicial decisions, etc. in the short run, but, I believe with MLK that the arc does bend toward justice. That means incremental cultural transformation. It is saddening to read about the SC culture -- the amount of fear and hate is stunning.

  3. Maureen,

    As a liberal Democrat, I've done some outreach with conservative groups such as "tea partiers" and have noted a distinct change in tone since the summer.

    We need to stand strong behind our President in the face of this. It doesn't mean that we rubber-stamp everything the President does, but it does mean raising our voices LOUDLY to show that we are behind the President's originally promised agenda - and right now that means health care reform with a robust public option.

    The right wing loves authority and confidence. Let's show it to them in spades.

    We need to show the right wing the only thing they understand:

    We will not back down.

  4. Gee Marueen, you're as bad as Gail Collins with linking Joe Wilson to the anti tax tea partiers. This country is flat broke and in debt up to its eyeballs so anyone who opposes more government spendind is a racist. If Obama can save billion in medicaid / medicare fraud and waste why has he not already done so ? Obama is lying. You can't provide health care / insurance for 45 million more people without cost increases and or rationing. That's like telling someone they can loose weight by eating more then they already do. But no increase in calorie usage (exercise.)

  5. MAUREEN SAID: "But, fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!"

    That's a fair assessment, Maureen, because that's exactly what I heard too! Heard the same reframe, not-so-cleverly disguised, during the Teabagger Mini-March-Hatefest on Washington, D.C. on Saturday.

    The disrespect of our duly elected president by right-wingers is total and totally unacceptable.

  6. Go Maureen! It is about time that the gloves come off. Disagree with the man's politics on a political level but get over the fact that he is smart and black ( the opposite of W.) and that his wife is gorgeous (again an opposite). The majority of this vocal opposition is about our president simply being an intelligent black man. Let's call them out into the sun light where they will melt.

  7. THE BEST column ever written by Ms. Dowd. Absolutely 100% correct.

  8. As unfortunate as it seems we in the rest of America have to come to grips with the fact that the Civil War was never finished. I saw photographs in the news today of people marching in Washington to protest a humane and sensible healthcare program. These same demonstrators quoted chapter and verse from comments made by extremists who claim to be a part of the Republican Party. I don’t believe it. I have a theory that the smart minds of the GOP don’t know how to shed the lunatic fringe; those same loud mouths on radio and television who make a living as entertainers and who proclaim that they are leading a movement.
    Note to the GOP: Get your act together, get rid of the poison that has overtaken your party or prepare for extinction.

  9. Clyburn's comments are timely and to the point.
    The white house should heed his words.

  10. They better get used to it. The USA of the future will not be white, and I'm talking about fifty years from now, not two centuries. I visited Buenos Aires in 2007 after forty one years, and I noticed that people were a lot darker. It was explained to me that it was due to the influx of peruvians and bolivians. Even the ones living all these years there noticed the change. Eventually we are going to notice the change here...

  11. Excellent column, Ms. Dowd. I, likyou, tried to believe that racism was not a big part of the anti-Obama movement. Mr. Wilson's outcry forced me to recognize the truth about which you have so aptly written. Thank you.

  12. I followed the long campaign Obama undertook to become your President.
    Along with the majority of we overseas observers, I cheered at his
    election as a validation of the finest principles of your Constitution
    - all men are created equal.

    It has therefore puzzled me when I have read the absolute virulence of
    opposition to Obama the man, as opposed to a President and his policies.

    You Ms Dowd have bravely identified what I have long suspected, this
    President's legitimacy is being questioned by opponents on the basis
    of his background and colour.

    These people, Joe Wilson et al, do a great disservice to your country's
    image abroad, and I believe to you as a people.

    This man has the potential to be a great President and lead the USA and the world to a better place, allow him to do that.

  13. You could not be more accurate. The undercurrent of basic rejection of a black man has been building all summer. If Obama refuses to get tougher, he needs to gather a core group of tough men who will fight back strongly and effectively. It is not limited to South Carolina - or south of the Mason Dixon line - by any means. Pelosi does not get it.

  14. There are no doubt plenty of white racists in the South, as there always have been. I am not excusing them in the least when I say that Lincoln did not allow them the choice of leaving the Union. The Union's cause was just, but nothing good comes without a price. The Civil War had an immediate price in its awful death and destruction; and a lasting price in that all these unreconstructed racists are part of the Union.

  15. These are ominous times. The healthcare ‘debate’ has gone far beyond the topic of healthcare, exposing the troubling division in our country. New code words for racism emerging nightly. DeMint this morning telling the crowd that Obama would 'call out' anyone who disagreed with him. I heard Obama's speech. He said anyone who 'lied.' Mr. DeMint appears to be one of those liars. He along with Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity are setting us on a dangerous path. I wonder has the revolution started? I think it is too late for America. The right has gone too far, forgetting the very notion of loyal opposition.

    Change has come quickly to the uneducated and the undereducated who know only that things don't feel right in their world. They feel so threatened in our evolving world they can't even see how they are being used. Prisoners of their own prejudice. They seem unaware that they are working against their own self interest. They cannot ask how the rest of the world manages to provide healthcare for their citizens. They do no research preferring instead to believe fantastic tales of death panels hoping to catch the infirm, posted on the websites of their leaders and bellowed on hate radio. I read a sign that said ‘Youth in Asia wants to kill Grandma.’ It took me a minute to decode the meaning.

    I find myself thinking of these mobs as 'other' people. They are ‘others’, the first step in objectifying people and I am sure they think of me in the same terms. We are becoming the Hutus and the Tutsies of the US. I don’t know that we can have any rational discourse, as Joe Wilson proved on Wednesday night, or make a difference using our system of government. I have called my representatives but found them uninterested and see them as purchased by big pharma and insurance companies, a new sort of corporate slave.They reinforce my perceptions and prejudice about corporate rule and plutocracy. This leaves little possibility for change. The question is how do we stop this madness? I fear we cannot persuade the anti-reformists with reason nor even confront them about their own fear and racism. I read the comments of the 'others' hitting back angry, paranoid, racist, yes racist, and defensive. I watch their aggression grow on the nightly news. Is their fear really about the changing demographics in our country? Is healthcare merely the symbol of this change?

    I hope our path is not to revolution. Revolutions are living entities with a life of their own, not at all controllable and revolutions start with one small act. In the meantime we squabble with each other, divisive and angry, while the plutocrats and corporations make off with the wealth. Ominous times indeed.

  16. Yes. Thank you for pointing out the invisible word and the elephant in the room.

  17. Every time a republican who's mad that they aren't in power makes an idiotic remark -- which is all the time now -- I feel closer to the President. He is calm, sensible -- just what I want our elected leaders to be. When you have fruitcakes like the radical Right you will have a lot of nuts too.

  18. Thank you for saying what I wish I didn't agree were true. Please, please everyone who had such high hopes for Obama, let's get together and stop what's happening.

  19. Maureen:

    You're only saying what everyone knows is true. Aint it ugly?

    EB

  20. I've been telling you guys . . . as a white listening to some other whites, you know this is true. Its just a real good question: how do we respond to it? You can't even hear them for the shouting anymore. They've made themselves look ridiculous, but they won't be quiet.

  21. Wilson should be expelled from Congress.

  22. Finally, someone has called the assault on Obama by its right name. Thank you! Why has everybody been so silent about the blatant racism that is driving much of the anger against Obama?

  23. When in doubt, play the race card.

  24. eric holder is right , we are a nation of cowards

  25. Enough already about this Wilson person. Yes, his behaviour was heinous in its disrespect of the President while he was addressing the country. It was also probably calculated to distract the American populace from analysis of the substantive points of legislation under consideration. Let's keep our eye on the ball and focus on the legislation. The issue of health care in America is too important for all of us to indulge ourselves in being caught up in sensationalist distraction.

  26. Excellent piece. Now two in a row! I think it is better to let Wilson self destruct rather than attacking him. He seems to be on the road to doing so which will help the democrats.

  27. I heard just the other day that Rush Limbaugh lost a job as a sportscaster at the beginning of his career for making racist remarks. Now he, and the rest of the right, are rabidly against anything Obama says or does, not matter how moderate or centrist. Conspiracies are read into every move and statement, from trying to strengthen AmirCore or Amtrack to some bogus claim that Obama will take away people's guns. (I wish he would.)

    Do we detect a pattern here?

    And you, Maureen and Clyburn are absolutely right — the White House will have to learn to counter these lies and this bigotry before they get out of hand. Don't wait until the inmates have taken over the asylum.

    The good news is, if we survive this period, Southern racism has retreated to its last refuge where it will die. The Southern strategy of the Republican party is dead, and all that's left is the Southern lunatics. It will probably take another decade to complete the process of eracism, but that's in the cards.

    Skip Wenz,
    Corvallis, Oregon

  28. I was starting to think was alone in thinking that Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst during Obama's speech was born out of the deepest imaginable racism and over-boiling anger that an African-American holds the office of President of the U.S. and that in that office, Obama has engendered the respect and support of a majority of people in our country.
    If President Obama were white, Wilson's venom would never have penetrated through the historical layers of protocol and propriety. Clearly, WIlson's internal social & psychological controls were overridden by an impulse that was too strong to be rooted in mere partisan politics. In my view, racist resentment absolutely caused the outburst. This same racism is evinced in various Republican Smear-Through-Fear campaigns to undermine President Obama's efforts to improve the health, education and fiscal strength of our country.

  29. As a white, fifty-something male, I too expected Joe Wilson to finish his statement with "boy". With him sitting there, surrounded by his buddies in their suits, I saw his absolute contempt for this remarkable president. There is a lesson for Democrats here, no need to try to compromise with these Republicans, just roll right over them.

  30. "You lie, boy" - of course he was pandering to racists. The outrange would be incredible in the south if a Dem had done the same thing to a white Repub president.

  31. All you have to do is look at the photographs of the people at the protest Saturday in Washington and at the ones showing up to scream at town hall meetings. They look like the wild-eyed crazies that showed up to throw tomatoes at black children trying to go to integrated schools in Little Rock in the 1950s. It's the same bunch. They can't stand black people and they'd rather burst their own blood vessals and scream until their veins bloat out of their necks than get used to the fact that it is the 21st century. From their attitudes to their hairdos, everything about them screams 1950s racists.

  32. The " numbers " are already moving in the wrong direction, Maureen. That is the problem. Not your Northeastern sniff of supposed racism hiding behind every bush and bramble.

    You need to start living in reality world. Out here, people voted " for " Obama, because of the economy. Now, people are turning against Obama, because of the way he is handling the econmy. We know that you cannot spend and spend and spend and spend, without a terrible ending.

    Now, if you please, you can continue to live in your fantasyland, where a few bigots have so much power they completely neuter the power of the President and the Congress. But, Maureen, that is not the real world.

  33. Is this really about race, or race + other things?

  34. An excellent article. Fortunately, it seems that many of those with such attitudes have fewer years ahead of them than behind them. Funeral by funeral, this country will achieve a superior morality.

  35. Maureen might have hit the nail on the head here. Tonight on the news, when the "tax protesters" were having their vociferous say, I noticed a lot of white folks waving signs and saying they want "real" reform. Good gracious, if that wasn't bad enough, when one woman was queried about why she was afraid, without hesitation she said "too many Muslims coming in." So, they will yell and scream and bully and taunt, but just yelling and screaming does not make a person morally right. He was, after all, voted in office. I wasn't aware of any revolution he led to take over our good country. I am proud of the President and support him, even when we don't agree.
    Lets not let our southern friends railroad this presidency. We are, I hope, too good for that.

  36. That was an unfortunate outburst, but trying to always tie events to race gets a little boring from you. How do you know what South Carolinians really think? Maybe they dont want the government doing a shabby job of medical care like they do everything else (think tax forms, Post Office). I am glad there is lively discussion and it is actually causing pause instead of rapidly moving on a bill just because it's the hot potato of the moment. Doesnt mean they are all racist. Be careful.

  37. You nailed it Maureen. But I'm surprised you didn't mention the gentleman from South Carolina who nearly beat to death the abolitionist Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts on the senate floor in the years leading up to the Civil War. Surely Joe Wilson thought he was echoing that fine tradition, but with words only, so there are no real negative consequences for Congressman Wilson's self-indulgent and undisciplined behavior.

    Oh, I forgot--Wilson actually *planned* this childish and dishonest outburst in order to put the BOY in his place, thereby throwing meat to all the constituents who told pollsters that they would *never* vote for a black man for president.

    Obama is in a tough spot because he knows the trap they're setting for him: getting him to lose it and be "the angry black male" they all wanted him to be in the campaign (that's why they let Palin loose on him).

    However, if Obama cannot bring ALL the Democrats in the Senate and House to work with him and against the status quo and the very obvious racism and insanity at play here, he and they are at fault (add in a few sane moderate Republican legislators).

    And if they can't understand who they are and why they were elected, along with Obama, in 2006 and 200 respectively, the so-called "Blue Dog" Dems can kiss their jobs goodbye during the next elections. The only reason they are in office at all is because Democrats united, raised money, worked through Moveon.org, etc., to overwhelm the national trend toward right-wing craziness.

    Even if Obama does not get angry in public, I hope to God he is blasting the so-called Dems who go along with the Beck crowd and the insurance lobby.

  38. You write that you heard "You lie, boy!"

    I heard that last word too. Wilson somehow managed to refrain from blurting it out but the underlying conceptualization ("boy") was right there for anyone who was paying attention.

    When I looked at the pictures of the tea bagger/kitchen table coalition that marched on DC today, I saw white people with fists raised as though they were part of a fascist rally.

    This is frightening and disheartening. Xenophobia and racism are not going to protect this country; instead, they will drag it down and destroy us all.

    I'm proud and happy to have a biracial president. He and his beautiful family are a gift to us all.

    Joe Wilson's shout was a slap in the face for all decent Americans. My cheek still burns in protest.

    Cali S.

  39. The death rattle of the Repubnix. I guess he didn't have time to add the "...pants on fire" part.

  40. There was nothing racist in Wilson's outburst...the racist overtones are inserted by other journalists and you. Don't add to the story...your job is to comment upon it.

  41. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this, because it's right out of the Rove playbook, but the evil side of me considers this: How about delaying stimulus funds to his district? Wilson voted against the bill, even after the Republicans larded it with several layers of their own pork. That way, he can't take credit for bringing home the bacon to his district.

  42. Brava!

  43. For more of a hilarious view of South Carolinians' contributions to US culture and history, see the great John Adams docu-drama. What ridiculous fops. We should have let them go back then!

  44. When I started working in New York in the 1980's I saw so much "wink wink" racism where jerks did everything to put the new black guy in an embarrassing position -- then they'd say you must be racist for even noticing. Then, they'd go off snorting and guffawing about how they got away with what they did, bragging about how they put so and so in their place.

    Wilson apologized privately -- and he's soliciting hate dollars at the same time. Sounds like the same thing. Wink wink!

  45. Racism, fear of change & resistance to progress, plain & simple. Seriously, what is wrong with encouraging SC, TN, GA, FL, AR, MO, KY, TX, WY, UT, AZ, & Orange Co, CA to take their remaining marbles & go start their own version of the American dream?

  46. It is a shame there are so many people in our wonderful nation who will not accept a black leader. It must scare them so much to know sociologists and demographers predict that in another thirty years or so, whites will be in the minority in the United States. That is so out-of-step with their conservative views. But if Barack Obama, educated, erudite, and enthusiastic, is what we can expect in our future leaders, our country is in good shape. I say to President Obama, "We overwhelmingly elected you and we want you to lead." He should forget about bi-partisanship because it is simply not going to happen and, in truth, he doesn't need it. The birthers, town hallers, and Joe Wilsons refuse to accept him, in spite of his abilities, or more accurately, because of them. Mr. Wilson, he doesn't lie, he leads!

  47. Sometimes a cigar is only a cigar! Grow up!

  48. Way to to tell it like it is M. Dowd. Racism is at the heart of much of the anger we see lately. It is racism driving people like Wilson, no question. He can't stand the idea of a black man running the show. His red face at the time of the outburst said it all.

    Mr. Wilson probably did say "boy" in his head. South Carolina should show him they have no place for his back woods good old boy ways. Makes me sick to know people like that even still exist.

  49. Can't South Carolinians be persuaded to secede again--and this time, we let them go.

  50. I think that until we find a way to regain civil discourse, we are headed for serious times, perhaps serious violence. There seems to be no stopping the Glenn Beck's, Rush Limbaugh's and others whose rise to fame depends on hate and divisiveness. So how to deal with this?

    Where are the priests and ministers who need to speak out at a time like this? Where are the Bishops - if they are not complicit in this then they need to speak up for truth, civility, and that we all need to act as if we are made in the image and likeness of God. I was totally stunned the other day to see a Glenn Beck rant paid for by the Church of Latter Day Saints! What has this world come to? What happened to the wonderful ads we used to see about caring for families? Where is the conscience of the LDS?

    All rational Americans, who believe that civil discourse is required for a successful democracy, have to take a lead in addressing this at every level possible. There is clearly an undercurrent of racism in what we see and here and there is hate for education and rationalism. Whip 'em up, boys - that's the way it feels. Get the government out of my life, but leave my medicare alone could have been the signs carried by many erstwhile protesters.

    My prayers are with us all because this level of hate-whipped propaganda, leading to blind rage is not what will, ultimately, lead us to a good end or our country to a beautiful and loving future. Religious clergy - where are you in this - you are as silent as the Muslim clerics have been. And it does make us wonder what side you are on.

    Do your best. Never give up. Speak out. Be loving.

  51. I wish that I could disagree with your column, but I'm afraid it's all too apt.

    My spouse and I are about ready to claim North Carolina as our primary (state) residence, as we have a small second home in NC. As westerners, we've lived in Georgia and SC over the last 25 years, and have enjoyed the experience and quality of life, and warmth of people.

    But we've also felt like SC is quite an unprogressive state, with a legislature and federal delegation that's less than productive.

    The only bright spot is a conservative Senator (Lindsay Graham) who actually can think independently.

  52. I saw CNN's Don Lemon interview one of the tea party protestors earlier. When Mr. Lemon asked him what they wanted his response was "We want things to go back the way they were a hundred years ago." Before civil rights. Before women had the right to vote. . .
    The kooks have crawled out from the woodwork.

  53. Why the race card, Ms. Dowd? You added the, "boy". Dig deeper and you'll see Americans increasingly fed-up with the political class. The whole lot, including the machinery that delivered this incredibly inexperienced and apparently infective individual. Have you noticed how poorly President Obama performs with detailed information?

    The President stated a premium-funded government insurance plan would, "compete" with private insurance just like public universities compete with private schools. Don't public colleges and universities get huge sums of money from their respective states? This is a laughable remark. Does he think we are stupid? Maybe we are. We voted for him.

  54. I am afraid you hit the nail on the head with this one Ms. Dowd.

  55. Wow, Maureen, you've really called it out. I'm amazed it was you who did it. It's become so obvious that it really needed to be spelled out. No president has been treated quite like this, with the extremes of hatred and vitriol. It's getting scary.

  56. Maureen, you cogently express what many are already thinking. It has been obvious since the campaign that Obama is hated by many for no other reason than his race. I have actually heard some in my own neighborhood denounce him as a candidate and president on that basis alone.

    Some held their noses and closed their eyes and voted Democratic anyway, because of the mess left by the Republicans. But beneath the surface there is always that racial tension.

    For a white supremacist and confirmed bigot to disrespect the president the way Wilson did and get away with only an apology, is unacceptable. He needs formal censure in the Congress. He needs to make formal apology.

    There needs to be an example made so that others will not violate the rules of decorum that Wilson trashed so easily.

  57. Maybe some Democrats SHOULD have shouted "Liar!" at W.

  58. Might it be the policies and not the color? I doubt that you have ever even met Joe Wilson and yet you presume to know his heart.

  59. There is a huge element of racism in how many Republicans, white working-class people, and those on the religious right see the Democratic Party as a whole. I know religious people who seethe at the very thought of their tax money going to welfare cheats (i.e., blacks), who are full of anger at having to deal with resentful, boorish, fat, lazy, long-nailed government clerks (black women), and who burn with hatred at the anti-social low-lifes whose very presence drives down property values, ruins neighborhoods, and contaminates everything they touch (blacks again). For many of them the words "welfare", "socialism", "Obama", and "Democrat" are just code words for black, black, black, and black. People do not understand that it is upright, upstanding, God-fearing blacks themselves who suffer most from what white people hate. But for many whites (and non-black ethnics, too) all social problems are broken down into black and white. They are tired of turning the other cheek, and the very figure of Obama just sticks in their craw. Obama could give every white person in the country $1000 and they'd still hate him.

  60. Maureen Dowd = race baiter. Its about the issues not the color of his skin.

  61. It's time for the blue states to start making red state lunatics pay a price. South Carolinians receive more dollars than they send to Washington. Most red states do. Let's dial down our generosity.

  62. As a white, southern male at 61 I believe I am an expert on racism. It seems to me that the liberal supporters of the Obama administration are becoming a little rattled and resorting to the inevitable default position of accusing the right/conservative movement that flexed its muscles today in DC of being racists and therefore below contempt and honest consideration. That is just intellectual cowardice. I know racism. Racism is a burden of mine. The folks you are trying to flush into the racists dung heap are, alas, about as racist as you are Ms. Dowd. They are simply Americans with a different point of view. I know it is making you nervous but there it is. The fact is that President Obama and the acidic, arrogant hubris of his defenders/supporters have touched a raw nerve. Racism be damned...the people are speaking.

  63. Hey, Maureen.....Keep drinking the Kool-Aid, sister.....People resent Obama because he is a LIAR....I do not care if he is black, white, blue, green, or orange....this dude is gonna wreck our country....Seems like you, your crappy paper, and the folks at NBC are the last to realize this! But it is OH-SO-TYPICAL to play the race card in this situation......Where, oh, where will you be when the NYT folds like a deck of cards????

  64. These are ominous times. The healthcare ‘debate’ has gone far beyond the topic of healthcare, exposing the troubling division in our country. New code words for racism emerging nightly. DeMint this morning telling the crowd that Obama would 'call out' anyone who disagreed with him. I heard Obama's speech. He said anyone who 'lied.' Mr. DeMint appears to be one of those liars. He along with Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity are setting us on a dangerous path. I wonder has the revolution started? I think it is too late for America. The right has gone too far, forgetting the very notion of loyal opposition.

    Change has come quickly to the uneducated and the undereducated who know only that things don't feel right in their world. They feel so threatened in our evolving world they can't even see how they are being used. Prisoners of their own prejudice. They seem unaware that they are working against their own self interest. They cannot ask how the rest of the world manages to provide healthcare for their citizens. They do no research preferring instead to believe fantastic tales of death panels hoping to catch the infirm, posted on the websites of their leaders and bellowed on hate radio. I read a sign that said ‘Youth in Asia wants to kill Grandma.’ It took me a minute to decode the meaning.

    I find myself thinking of these mobs as 'other' people. They are ‘others’, the first step in objectifying people and I am sure they think of me in the same terms. We are becoming the Hutus and the Tutsies of the US. I don’t know that we can have any rational discourse, as Joe Wilson proved on Wednesday night, or make a difference using our system of government. I have called my representatives but found them uninterested and see them as purchased by big pharma and insurance companies, a new sort of corporate slave.They reinforce my perceptions and prejudice about corporate rule and plutocracy. This leaves little possibility for change. The question is how do we stop this madness? I fear we cannot persuade the anti-reformists with reason nor even confront them about their own fear and racism. I read the comments of the 'others' hitting back angry, paranoid, racist, yes racist, and defensive. I watch their aggression grow on the nightly news. Is their fear really about the changing demographics in our country? Is healthcare merely the symbol of this change?

    I hope our path is not to revolution. Revolutions are living entities with a life of their own, not at all controllable and revolutions start with one small act. In the meantime we squabble with each other, divisive and angry, while the plutocrats and corporations make off with the wealth. Ominous times indeed.

  65. Maureen Dowd's claim of racism is simply a figment of her "anti republican" imagination. The insults she has hurled, particularly agains the Bush administration, are far more outrageous that anything said by Rep. Wilson.

  66. Bulls-eye. The Obama administration avoids stating the obvious because, and rightly, to do so would be even further polarize an already divided nation. Yet it's clear that the southerners and south-westerners who've been questioning the President's citizenship, calling him a terrorist and bragging about bringing him down are motivated by racial animosity and paranoia. The far right has always identified blacks, Jews and other minorities with "liberal" politics, and made these groups the targets of slander and hatred. Now an African American man has become President of the United States, and an African American first family lives in the White House. No wonder that a southern woman was shown on CNN stating emphatically, "Obama can't be President. It says so in the Constitution." Her Constitution counts a black woman or man as 3/5 of a human being.

    Moreover, corporate America -- the insurance and drug industry -- has cynically encouraged such attitudes and behavior to kill a health care reform bill that would help all Americans, but reduce corporate profits. Apparently, no actions are too base, no attitudes too dangerous to incite, when the bottom line is at stake. Maybe we should interview the CEOs of each of the big insurance and drug companies -- U.S. Healthcare, Wellpoint, Cigna, Pfizer -- each of which is earning tens of millions dollars per year - -and ask just how much money his or her company has poured into the Tea Party and other right-wing campaigns. Think they'd refuse to participate in such interviews? "You betcha."

    An African-American President can't say, "This is about race, and it's despicable." But the rest of us can.

    Thanks, Maureen.

  67. Thanks, Ms. Dowd, for being the one to finally call out the elephant in the room, race, in print. "Nough said.

  68. I have a feeling that South Carolina may try to "secede" from the Union if their efforts to derail health care reform fail...

  69. Oh for goodness sake Maureen, Obama is half English, raised by an Anglo-American mother and grandparents. Where do you think that singular ability to remain nonplussed comes from? All this stuff you're stirring up about racism is the product of your own imagination. Projecting racism on Joe Wilson suggests that you're the one focused on Obama's race, not WIlson.

  70. As Bill controlled Arkansas pretty much for many years ,Barack Obama did some hard knocks in Chicago. The both of them had no idea what lay ahead in Washington and Mr. Clinton has gotten worse than a cruel rebuke . Who suffers more ,unfortunately is the American public ,,when the decisions come down which affect their lives ,our lives the lives of many and often today ones in distant nations. So these politicians deserve what they throw out and because of the back streets Obama can pretty much take it especially when there are so many avenues the opposition can take without looking very ill placed .

  71. While this piece will have the "I'm not a racist" crowd frothing, I think the observation about President Obama's erudition provoking Wilson's ilk into a fit of pique is spot on.

    Listening to Rep. Wilson making contemporaneous remarks in the aftermath of his outburst has been, for lack of a better term, awkward. He sounds like a school child struggling to read out loud to the class... as if his own thoughts are somehow opaque to him. It must be terribly flummoxing for him to decipher oratory so out of his depth.

  72. Mo you just gone an' did it. You put the 'r' word out there and described what happened exactly. Wonder how long others in the media will take to finally call the elephant in the room an elephant. Soon something will happen that will force everyone to acknowledge that what this mess against Obama is about is race. The boil has burst and the pus is running out. Finally, the ugly underbelly of this country is out for all too see and it ain't pretty but it is a good thing. Obama's election is going to force us to deal with this ugly heritage, like it or not. The time has arrived and there is no going back. Put on your seatbelts and prepare for a bumpy ride.

  73. GOP = KKK.

    It's sad, but oh so true. The Southern GOP is really the political wing of the KKK.

    And they call themselves "Christian" as well.

  74. I've said it before Maureen. You write best when you write em straight. Those first few paragraphs were brilliant. Thanks.

  75. Thank you, you're absolutely right. Anyone who's grown up in the South (as I did) knows that there is a certain loathsome ilk of ol' boys & girls who believe there is one rule for whites and another for black. The "emotion that got the best of" Gentleman Joe was not the President's words but his appearance, and, well, his audacity.

    One thing a man of the South, or anywhere else, learns, is never to criticize a man in the presence of his wife. But among the Joe Wilson crowd, that hard-and-fast rule applies only to white men and white wives.

    There is a REPUBLICAN House rule (written by, among others, Pete Sessions & Virginia Foxx, that says --

    "...it is not permissible to use language that is personally offensive to the President, such as referring to him as a 'hypocrite' or a 'liar.' Similarly, it is not in order to refer to the President as 'intellectually dishonest' or an action taken by the President as 'cowardly.'" -- Republican House Rules Committee

    But evidently that otherwise hard-and-fast rule contains an unwritten caveat -- it doesn't apply if the President is a person of color.

    Joe Wilson, Jim DeMint & all of these supposed leaders who display and gin up racism are abhorrent. Rep. Clyburn is absolutely right to take a hard line against these despicable bigots. If the South is to rise again, it will have to rely on leaders like Rep. Clyburn, because the rest of the nation is really fed up with odious clowns like Joe Wilson.

    The Constant Weader at www.RealityChex.com

  76. It was fascinating to see the face of the republican party on display at our nation's capitol today. Confederate flags held high, swastikas and racist slogans emblazoned across tee shirts and banners, a sea of of angry, shallow, hate filled people.

    When they wear their white sheets and pointy hats they appeared more ominous. Bare faced and out in the light of day they are much less scary.

    It's important to understand that racism still exists on this level in the United States. And to understand how politicians and the corporations that own them are willing to use it against the best interests of the people of this country.

  77. Irony doesn't begin to describe that tens of thousands of clueless white people, may of whom are indeed apoplectic that a black man is in the white house, are taking their marching orders from leaders who themselves are the biggest liars in the country.

    The racist demagogues fanning the flames of this phony top-down populism just make things up, and the political zombies who don't even realize they are defending the interests of a white aristocracy, which by the way will squash these ants the minute they lose their usefulness, are shouting those lies from the rooftops.

    Somehow someone has got to get to the people who are listening to these guys and clear up the misinformation and disinformation that is fueling these irrational attacks on the president.

  78. It is refreshing to see mainstream types finally see what we all have seen a long time now. These are racists. I suppose it hurts to know that after a civil rights bill, a black pres and whatever, the evil remains strong, but it does. Now, what are you going to do about it? Black people have been patient for so very long.

  79. Seems to me that the racists among the republicans are attacking our president with the same ferocity and hatred that attacking muslims would exhibit when they found out there was a woman soldier fighting against them in battle.

  80. Any doubt that if we had President Hillary Clinton the result would be any different? The Republican party is shrinking to a party representing the religious white Southerners, whose view of their "Christian nation" is one very similar to the Confederacy if it had triumphed: with two classes of citizen, one more equal than the other.

  81. Clyburn's advice is right on target.

  82. You wrote eloquently about our elegant President.

    However you have underestimated his skill at tai chi, the ancient Chinese art of redirecting energy. Redirecting energy means the harder the attacking blow the greatest damage results on the attacker.

    Have no fear Obama will emerge victorious. As a Chicago Bulls fan wrote a couple of days ago the expression of the Republicans in Congress reminded him of the look of visiting teams' supporters during the last quarter when Michael Jordan entered the arena. They knew they were going to loose and that nobody could do anything about it.

    The death panels charades have unmasked the lunacy of the opposition. The votes in Congress will not even be close. As Obama told us he will be the last US president to confront the odium of our present health care system.

  83. Right as rain, Maureen. I do appreciate the desire of the President's advisors to deny it; but in reality it is obvious and undeniable. And, of course, very sad.

  84. "Los perros ladran" El Quijote le dice a Sancho, "muestra de que cabalgamos." The dogs are barking, Sancho, it's a good signal that we are riding

  85. Maureen, Bush was heckled and booed by the Democrats in his State of the Union address in both 2004 and 2005 - where was your outrage then? Bit of a double standard isn't it? Not surprising, since you only support the left!!

  86. I have begun to think the same, a black man should 'respect' a cop that extensively questions him in his own home and not mouth off, but when a senator (white) defies decorum during the presidents (black) speech, well that is free speech ladies and gentleman. I will continue to remind my black sons that the rules are different for him and that he has to work twice as hard to get the same things, we need to get back to teaching that lesson to our black children.

  87. Friday I wrote on the Huffington Post that as much as I hate to speak the words aloud, I actually believe racism is at play in the treatment
    of Obama. We still have people in this country who are afraid of the real face of America. Bill Mayer expressed this thought Friday evening on his newest show and now Maureen Dowd has expressed this thought in the New York Times. While it is comforting that any people have started arriving at this conclusion at the same time, it is still sad to see racial bias at play. More people need to call this out.

  88. Why is racism always the card the democrats play? Could it be that democrats themselves are the racists and use black people for their own purposes. After all, it was Southern Republicans who voted for and PASSED the Civil Rights Act. Southern Democrats voted against the Civil Rights Act. Do you not know this or do you omit it on purpose.

  89. It's tough out there all right. You have a President lying and a senator calling him out on it.
    Makes a bad day for liberal media all the way around.

  90. Ms. Dowd deserves credit for having the guts to point out the “elephant” in the living room. There is absolutely no way a Southern Republican Representative (or for that matter any Congressional representative would have dared call a white president a liar!
    The is likewise no way that Wilson’s disgraceful performance did not have an imprimatur from the GOP leadership! If anyone believes that Joe (no not the ersatz plumber) did that on is own, I have a nice bridge for sale!
    The conservatives are doing their best to prove to the world that racism is alive and rampant in parts of this country.
    Someone from the media has to ask the disloyal majority leadership straight out:
    1) Did anyone from across the ‘vile’ know in advance that Jo(ker) Wilson was going to spontaneously bring politics to an all time low?
    2) Did anyone advise him on what to say & when to say it?
    3) Who helped him rehearse his outburst?
    4) Was it his idea or did he get an order from Rush?

  91. It was only a question of time before Mo would play the race card. When you can't win the arguement on facts, you charge racism and make ad hominem attacks. There was nothing racist in Wilson's outburst. It was certainly impolite and may have violated the rules of the chamber. But, factually, he was correct that the President made several deliberate misrepresentations of the current Bills at hand. Illegal immigrants will be treated under Obama's plan. It is currently against the law to not treat someone who shows up in the E.R.under EMTALA. The Dems struck down ammendments that would require citizen identification. Therefore, they will be treated and Obama lied about this fact. We should have an honest debate about how to cover and treat these individuals, but Obama's statement was incorrect. Obama also lied about defensive medicine, saying it 'may' contribute to increased cost. Everyone knows that it raises costs for everyone but the trial lawyers. The only question is how much. Estimates range from 80-200 Billion dollars a year. He lied that he would do something about it. He appointed Sibelius to 'look' into the issue. She was the executive director and chief LOBBYIST for the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association. I'm sure she will do a lot to reform our tort system. He lied about preventive care saving money. Studies have shown that preventive care can improve outcomes and health, but it does not save money. It is great to do preventive health for the betterment of our population, but it is a lie to say it will cost us less. We need to have open and honest discussions about health care and how to pay for it. Crying racism every time someone disagrees with the President is repugnant and trivializes true instances of racism that do occur throughout society.

  92. Joe Wilson's state, South Carolina, is also the state of Preston Brooks, the Congressman who bravely beat abolitionist senator Charles Sumner with a cane on the Senate floor in 1856. His constituents sent him warm letters of praise and a huge collection of canes. Wilson's outburst was the most disgusting behavior in Congress since that day. Every state has its embarrassing politicians, but which state boasts a larger collection?

  93. “Some people are prejudiced anyway, and then they look at his education and mannerisms and get more angry at him.”

    That’s the crux of the situation right there.
    Watching the Wednesday night speech, as you repeatedly saw the Republican side remain seated and vexed, you could tell that they were thinking; “damn, someone with a brain, now what are we going to do?” You could see it was killing them, they were getting hammered, and there was nothing they could do about it, except for knucklehead Joe Wilson to yell, “you lie,” like someone in the elementary school playground.
    The Senate and Congress, along with special interests are probably longing for the Bush years, when they had the consummate ass, for the president. You could let him think he was in, and then do whatever you liked. He thought he was a genius, and they pretended to play along.
    Those days are sorely missed I’m sure.

  94. You ass/u/me too much. The president did lie. I heard not a word of racism, you must have it deeply imbedded in your mind. The cocky, insufferable arrogance of Obama is not to be believed, whether he is black, white or green. He must be deaf and blind not to see that we do not want his socialized medicine. He swears he will not sign a bill that raises the deficit, which is another lie. This cannot be accomplished. Even you must be able to realize the truth of this.

  95. Maurine has it correct. We are a pitiful collection of jack-asses in
    South Carolina who cannot get into the 20th century, let alone the 21st.
    There are a few tiny pockets of moderate to liberal folks who make life here palatable and nearly all South Carolinians are kind, giving, sharing and caring people but they draw the line at understanding and accepting those of other races, creeds, colors and sexual orientation.
    The newcomers from other states by and large fall into the local mentality after they've been here awhile. Hope is slim for any progressive thinking statewide. Jack Evans

  96. Barak Obama is a communist who wants the government to run our lives by creating Health Care Reform.

    So was Franklin D. Roosevelt who passed the Social Security Act in 1935, which was denounced as a socialist bill (but some how no Republicans has refused to receive Social Security payments, including Ronald Reagan).

    So was Lyndon B. Johnson who passed the Medicare in 1965, (which Republican seniors think the program has been run by Wal Mart).

    So was Richard Nixon who tried to pass Universal Health Care.

  97. You nailed it, Ms. Dowd, right on the head hiding under the white sheet.

  98. As much as I enjoy disagreeing with Maureen Dowd, she nailed it this time.

  99. Say it isn't so Joe 15 minutes Wilson,Big Daddy Joe Biden,and Nancy west-coast gave you the look that have kilt,better men than you.Maureen your going to have to get out of that big city new yourk,and commoon down here to the south,where you'll here the word uppity used often,and you will see bush 04 bumber stickers on brand new SUV's.The south is trying to rise again,and the white party,i mean republican party does not want to be remembered as roadkill.

  100. now the only question r's have for 2012 is it wilson & palin or palin & wilson.

    either way, obama wins but lots of fun to watch

  101. Maureen, you amaze me. So soon to pull the racial card. No, he didn't say "You lie, boy". And when I heard him, I didn't hear "You lie, boy." It is YOU that heard "boy". YOU are the one that heard something racial. Quit being so defensive of Obama, and quit with the racial thing.

  102. Dear Ms. Dowd,

    Once again your column is as insightful as it's well written. "You lie, [boy]!" uttered in what's supposed to be the sacred chamber of our government speaks to the fomenting hatred that the loonies are succeeding in bringing to the fore of the waves of conservative small-thinkers across the country. Reprehensible on face, the yelled comment that brought rebuke, however qualified and light, from even his Republican comrades is symbolic of the general true hatred that's growing. Imagine talk show hosts, courageous on their illegal doses of oxycotin, JUSTIFYING that behavior!

    A perusal of archived photos from Dallas, November 22, 1963 reveal one in particular that is as alarming as it is contemporaneous: a dapper gent in a business suit in a scowling posture holds up a sign to the presidential motorcade that reads, "Because of high regard for the presidency I hold you JFK and your blind socialism in complete contempt." That photo was taken by Dallas newspaper photographer Tom Dillard. Other examples abound, not the least of which was the "Wanted Poster" circulated that dreadful day, the infamous "Wanted For Treason" poster that depicted JFK front-on and in profile a la mug shots.

    We've learned from people like a United States SENATOR, Mr. DeMint, that the lunatic right isn't merely trying to defeat Mr. Obama's health care reform effort, they're trying to break him. And like a well-oiled machine, the fodder they produce is then transmitted to the real dangerous ones, the Limbaughs and Becks of the country.

    "You lie, [boy]!" goes way beyond an egregious and foul outburst; it speaks to the total disdain and hatred of a man who forgot more than they know. It's not a right-wing movement that we can sit back and bemoan as crazy, or lunatic, or unfair, a movement that needs "more Rocky" to repulse it. This is a movement with roots in 1963 that presents real danger.

    Perhaps the greatest of all ironies is that most if not all of these maniacs are "Christians." Evangelical, Baptist, whatever. In all of those sects they tote Bibles. Just like a fundamentalist Muslim trying to reconcile killing kids with the teachings of the Koran, how do they justify outrageous behavior like "You lie, [boy]" with the Gospels of Jesus Christ?

  103. Isn't it obvious?

    "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."

    Maureen, you forgot to mention "Muslim." You can witness the signs at the tea bag rally. There's even one calling Senator Clyburn a racist. The pot calling the kettle black. We are dealing with grown up delinquents owning juvenile minds.

    Keep in mind most white Southerners also hated Lincoln. Glenn Beck and Limbaugh urge these nuts on and they won't be satisfied until they get rid of the black guy. It's up to us to stop them, once and for all.

  104. Small minded, mean spirited, so stupid, so sad...breaks my heart, but will never break my spirit or my optimism.

  105. Clyburn's warning is oh so true. This needs to be nipped in the bud. Mob mentality is the ultimate danger to this Nation now. May those who watch over Obama heed the signs and get rid of these dangerous minds. And let us hope and pray that he is protected from such hateful thoughts and slander.

    Obama deserves his position - he has earned it and let the jealous curs be banished once and for all.

  106. It's nothing to do with your first black president and everything to do with your first socialist/marxist president. Check up on his Saul Alinsky ties.... which you conveniently forgot to mention during the presidential election campaign.

    You lefties are just dying to play the race card, when it has nothing to do with this.

  107. Clyburn says to move on or you'll see numbers moving in the wrong direction.
    And that is the problem.
    As a middle aged white who voted for Obama,I resent my fellow whites in their continued need to be hand held and soothed. Afraid of the rightful anger the scary black man may exhibit because he is disrespected, treated and talked to crudely.
    This scary black man is the PRESIDENT.
    After the way this man has been treated he has every right to remark on or be upset. and his numbers should not suffer over it.

  108. You said everything I've been thinking for some time about the venomous attacks on the president. I would add: the only thing more disgusting than Joe Wilson's no doubt calculated comment is the endless coverage of Wilson by the television news shows. The story should have died within a day. Unfortunately, the non-stop coverage has made this mediocre individual the man of the hour (week?) and he's sold a lot more of his tacky tee shirts than he would have if journalistic sense had prevailed. Oh well; at least it puts to rest the idea that CNN and CNBC have a liberal bias. Obviously, they care only about an easy way to fill air time.

  109. I do not understand the reluctance you felt to identify the incessant attempts to marginalize Obama as anything other than deep seated racism. It is obvious that the groups you identified and their epithets are primal screams of people who cannot believe there is a black man in the White House who is not cooking meals or opening doors for folks. But I disagree with your implicit thesis that this is a southern phenomenon. I see the same prejudice in people from all over. Witness the dominant profile of the most vocal of the town hall meeting shouters - white skinned, white haired males who have personal memories of Negro League baseball and a segregated military and who by the way, probably cherish their Medicare entitlement.


  110. I heard the "Boy" too. In Maine we have a saying: "If you step in cow flop you take those shoes off in the dooryard and don't get near my good rug!"

    Mr. Wilson has stepped in stink and wants to stand on our rug of hospitality and respect.

    The People's House ought to be done with racial hatred and the stink of it.

  111. Silence is consent. That is why people are speaking out against the health care plans that are being put together by the health care industry through highly bribed legislators. A lot of Obama's remarks were fundamentally dishonest and I'm glad someone spoke up. I'd like to see more of it from both sides.

    Illegals will get health care. The Democrats would not allow a Republican bill to go forward that required identification so in reality it allowed illegals to get health care. The Democrats were just playing those ugly political word games. It doesn't matter, however, because the next major bill is immigration "reform" which will make illegals legal so they will be entitled to health care as well as the chain migrants that are a part of the immigration bill. We have plenty of money because we can raid the elderly on Medicare to pay for them.

    Obama's statement that health care plan is deficit neutral because of all of the waste in Medicare and stuff is a joke. Every reputable economist has said the same.

    We, myself included, voted for Obama for single payer and his Presidency has been nothing but corruption and dishonesty. The Wall Street bailouts for his buddies, the stimulus package that had very little stimulus, the mortgage relief bills that haven't worked (they were designed not to work only to give an illusion) and his promises to stop the wars. These have all been lies. Now we are being told that we have to pay for health care when there isn't even a public option. This is a ripoff. We have been told that health care providers will not be able to turn people down because of pre-existing conditions. But we have not been told how much they are going to be able to charge those individuals to carry them. All of the things that are important to the public are avoided or given double talk. We are tired of it all. I'm glad someone spoke out because the politiicans, on both sides, sure don't listen to us.

    All of this could possibly have been avoided if Obama's first act in office was to push through a publicly financed election bill. This could possibly have eliminated all of the special interest money but that is not what our politicians are all about. It is business as usual and we are getting suckered again.

  112. Mis. Dowd,
    You have just describe accurately the big and colorful elephant in the room. The difficult part is how do you get people of goodwill to see the elephant and take action.

  113. Good column, but it's sad to see that Dowd can't make her point without attacking the generalized, stereotypical "white male." There is no reason to disparage white males just as there is no reason to disparage any other. Such guilt-ridden self-hatred is all too common. We can move forward as a country without such ridiculous, unhelpful and unfair characterizations.

  114. But there really is a hint of socialism coming from the administration. I think a black conservative would be doing better with the xenophobes.

  115. I don't see forgive and forget as a solution. Rather, Obama lost a teachable moment when he could have called Wilson to the Oval Office to point out his error and demand a public apology. As it is, he gave the lout a grandstand and greater legitimacy. I respect Obama enormously but at some point he's got to use the pulpit to batter the nattering nabobs of negativism. We are in a rolling disaster. This bill bodes ill for the climate change bill we also must pass. Time has run out. These fools must be stopped before they cause real insurrection.

  116. As is so often the case, Maureen Dowd speaks truth!

  117. I agree with Maureen, Joe Wilson’s outburst in Congress revealed one thing: Some people just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it.

    In addition, once Obama won the presidency, many whites no longer hold the presidency is high esteem or respect president or his family, hence the horrible posters, chants of, "Lier." To them, he is not the commander in chief or their president, hence they feel free to call the president names.

    Another factor is that many white Americans feel uncomfortable with a black man as president. They were comfortable when the presidents were white as if you can do no wrong if you are white. Our black congressmen do not get the same respect and positive remarks as their white counterpoints. White Americans see them and President Obama as uppity.

    There is certainly anger at the way the government has handled the wars, the bank bailouts, the stimulus and the loss of jobs and outsourcing, but most that started under President Bush!

    The term I like to use is Bambozzled. Thats what the right wing has done to white American to make them think the government is the enemy, the banks are good, the private health care system is good, Medicare and Medicaid is bad, taxes are but unless you can get someone else to pay them for you such as cigareet and booze taxes.

    Th the weak kneeded Democrats, you should have seen this coming. You let the big corporations outsource the good paying jobs, you let the neo-cons start two unnessary wars and continued to vote to fund them. You let the big banks get away with fraud with only a slap in the wrist.

    Many Americans were waiting to see some of the Wall Street CES's marched out in pink jump suits, instead, its's business as usual with multi million bonuses for the money changers.

    What a crazy summer!

  118. excellent, right on target. In fact a significant aspect of the attacks on Obama's health care reforms, does not stem from reasoned argument but from a strong undercurrent of unconcious or conscious racism. The analysis that Dowd offers is, for this and other reasons, quite convincing.

  119. What a surprise!! The eastern elite liberal Maureen is now playing the race card! Yes, Miss Dowd, all of us uneducated, white , racist hicks are out here putting on our sheets.... What Miss Dowd and all of the oh, so "uppity" liberals just don't understand is that many Americans don't believe that you can live beyond your budget, save all of the poor without destroying the economy, and not say that the Democrats are "lying" when they say you can! Whether President Obama should be called black or white (he is biracial!!) isn't the issue. Whether he and those who supply the funds for his presidency have any common economic sense (check the deficit/value of the dollar) is THE ISSUE. Please stop trying to distract the issue with your lame arguments about "racial intolerance" and start addressing the real issue, "economic survival." Your eastern snobbishness is so tiresome and so damaging to what should be your journalistic responsibility which was lost years ago with the "bash Bush" lingo of your new version of yellow , sarcastic journalism ! The new "yellow" is a snobby media "red." Wish William F. Buckley were here to give you a good dose...

  120. Wilson was very rude. Code pink amd Moveon.org is very rude. Rudeness has become accepted when it suits the party being advocated for. Both sides are rude!

  121. Check out this column by Colbert I. King on the Opinion Page in the Washington Post: "A Dangerous Kind of Hate"

    http://www.washingtonpost.com...

    It is terrifying to read about so-called Christian preachers spewing hatred of the President from the pulpit. We are in a very uneasy time now, and I worry. I'm not usually a prayerful sort of person, but I think I'll start praying for the whole First Family on a regular basis now. Better yet, perhaps it's time to organize a new march on Washington, in support of the President. We need to counteract this somehow.

  122. Is it just not interesting enough to you to write about the real argument that's going on over this issue? The argument that's about BIG vs. small government? Do you get paid by the number of comments you get and therefore look for ways to inflame your readers?

    It's the ultimate cop out. To call any dissent racism. Eventually the word will lose meaning. Maybe then you' ll have to get real. But I guess the debate won't have the element of scandal you're looking for. I really feel your pain, what a dilemma. Sigh.

  123. Maureen,
    Thanks for calling the name of the elephant in the room. It is racism, not so much institutional as historical, and for too many, genetic. The birthers and the snake oilers like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and the guy down at the end of the bar, who talk about Obama's hatred of white people and verbally bully their listeners are humming the same poisonous tune that has been our sotto voce national anthem since the beginning. As far as that goes, we're never talking about the blond and blue-eyed illegals from eastern Europe when we hear the spectre of free health care to illegals waved as one more red shirt. We're talkikng about brown people, who don't sometimes speak all that good English as they bend over all day picking our endive. Choking dissent with shouting half truths and outright falsehoods is every bit a metaphoric lynching as pulling on the rope. So what have we got left to combat this? One hopes that the press stays on watch and the pundits don't back off and that people of good will and charitable views...keep the pressure on their elected representatives to do the right thing for the commonweal and not the lobbyists with their unlimited hubris and funds. Oh yeah, it probably behoves just regular folks to get out there and do something beside write in the "comment" boxes of columnists and blog.

  124. Thanks for getting to the heart of the right wing's apoplectic response to anything the president tries to do. They are furious that the majority of us elected a smart, well-spoken black man to move the country forward. They will never get over it--so it's important that the administration find ways to deal with them and let no challenge--regardless of how silly it sounds(who could actually believe that a majority of representatives and senators would actually vote for a bill with 'death panels'?--go unmet.)