Sunday, August 25, 2013

Barack Obama's Real Offense in the Eyes of the GOP - He's Black

When not insisting that Barack Obama is a Muslim who was not born in the United States, the Tea Party crowd is busy fantasizing about impeaching Obama.  Never mind that they have no legal grounds for doing so.  It's simply because they cannot stand the man.  His real offense?  He's black.  He embodies all the fears and resentments of angry whites who see their privileged position in society eroding and the white majority position in the population declining.  Soon, they will be merely like everyone else or, and this is what terrifies them, less than everyone else.  There's a good reason the Tea Party is so strong in the South: since the beginning of the nation, one might be nothing, but if you were white in the South, you were assured a superior position in Southern society in most circles (not all, of course, my New Orleans belle grandmother so "poor white trash" as the lowest of the low since, unlike blacks, they did not face racial barriers to self improvement).  These people are steadily losing that once assured position to black, Hispanics, Asians, etc., and it has become an obsession embodied by Obama.  In the New York Times Maureen Dowd looks at the GOP obsession to impeach Obama and rightly concludes that it's really all about race.  Here are excerpts:

ON the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Kerry Bentivolio, a Michigan [Republican] congressman, has a dream, too: to impeach the nation’s first black president. 

Bentivolio graciously conceded that he’d have to come up with some grounds first. “I went back to my office and I have had lawyers come in,” he said. “And these are lawyers, well — Ph.D.’s in history — I said, ‘Tell me how I can impeach the president of the United States. What evidence do you have?’ You’ve got to have the evidence.” 

The Tea Party congressman, a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, hopes to find e-mails linking the White House to the I.R.S. examination of groups with a “Tea Party” label seeking tax-exempt status. 

“I stood 12 feet away from the guy and listened to him and I couldn’t stand being there,” he said of President Obama,. . . .

Bentivolio is the perfect avatar of the impeachment fever gripping a G.O.P. that’s unmoored from reality, given that he once admitted in a court deposition, “I have a problem figuring out which one I really am, Santa Claus or Kerry Bentivolio.” That’s why he sometimes used the pronoun “we.” 

He’s been playing Santa Claus — as part of a business he started 19 years ago called Old Fashion Santa — with his own six reindeer.
The Free Press reported that Bentivolio, no Edmund Gwenn in “Miracle on 34th Street,” left a teaching job in 2011 “after complaints he bullied students, even telling one class on its first day that his goal was to make all the students cry once during the year.” How much more gratifying to bully the president. 

Not content with fighting off a popular immigration overhaul or threatening to shut down the government and set off the first federal default, hard-core Congressional Republicans want to nullify the election. Unlike when the Republicans did their nutty impeachment of Bill Clinton — (Newt Gingrich is back, starring in the “Crossfire” reboot) — they don’t even control the Senate. And as David Axelrod told me, there isn’t a “scintilla of justification.”

Earlier this month, the president’s motorcade pulled into the Orlando Hilton and was greeted by about 50 protesters holding signs saying “Kenyan Go Home,” “Impeach Obama” and “Obama Lies.” 

This month has been rife with efforts among the G.O.P. “wise men,” using every channel possible — polls, op-eds, cable, Twitter — to try to talk sense to the goons of August. When Condi Rice is a “wise man,” you know you’re in trouble. 

The Democrats never impeached W. and they had real grounds: starting a war on false premises and sanctioning torture. “The Republican Party is in a constant struggle between its ego and its id,” Axelrod says, “and the id has mostly won out lately.” 

It isn’t the president who should leave. It’s the misguided lawmakers trying to drive him out.  For some of the rodeo clowns clamoring for impeachment around the country, Barack Obama’s real crime is presiding while black. 

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