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This world is one big game of "Go"-- Black against White, Light against Darkness --and we all have a choice to make: Do we war FOR the Light?

...or against it?




Why Isn't He Running Away With It?


Barack Obama's image suffers amid John McCain attacks, poll finds


The only problem with this poll-- as with most polls performed by the left --is their reliance on and use of "registered voters." Far more reliable polls are conducted with "likely voters"... lots of people register, but how many actually get out and vote? far less than have registered.


posted by Eric @ 10:35 PM,

41 Comments:

On August 20, 2008 at 7:46 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...

I don't think a firm prediction either way is prudent at this point, and I certainly think it's unseemly of some to assert rather presumptuously that their candidate "will" win in November. Such behavior is almost as presumptuous as, say, a candidate's introducing his own pre-presidential seal and trying to place himself alongside JFK and Reagan by giving a pre-election rally in Berlin.

Most certainly, presidential politics aren't nearly as important as the eternal things, but they are important. There's no need to introduce the sort of behavior that is better suited in a sports arena, and the "we're gonna win" pre-election victory lap diminishes the decorum that ought to attend the democratic process.

About Obama's chances, Glenn Reynolds points out that Obama is underperforming John Kerry in the electoral map, when comparing polls for the same time period in each race.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 8:19 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

I'd suggest there might be several reasons why he's not blowing McCain out of the water. Some at least a little legitimate and some less seemly...

1. While he is not wholly IN-experienced, as some like to pretend, he factually does not have as much experience as many previous presidents.

But then, elected experience is not always the best criteria by which to judge a candidate's readiness. Here's an interesting study on the matter.

Still, I think his relative lack of experience is one reason many people might be wary of voting for him.

On the other hand, McCain's experience - of the wrong sort - is the reason that many people are wary of voting for him.

2. Racism IS still a factor. Now, I don't know that we CAN know how big a factor it will play - are there only .5% of the people who would not vote for Obama for racist reasons or are there 10%? And where do these racists live and how will that affect the race?

I think polls suggest that one could reasonably assume that at least 1-2% of the voting public who may otherwise have voted for a Dem won't vote for Obama. And, in close races as we've had for a while now, 1-2% is nothing to sneeze at.

I'm glad to see that racism is not playing a greater role in this election, but it would be ridiculous to deny that it's there.

3. Wedge issues have been effectively used by the Republicans in the past several elections and are being used this election. Whether or not you agree or disagree, this is a tactic that is being used.

4. Smear campaigning. Obama is a Muslim. Obama is a communist. Obama supports killing babies.

I find this pretty loathesome, but it is a fairly effective tactic the Republicans like to use.

5. It has been suggested that the polling methods used have undercounted Obama's supporters and that looks like a legitimate issue to me.

For starters, I'd suggest that these are perhaps the largest reasons why Obama is only leading McCain by 3-8% in the polls (fairly consistently over the last six months).

Still, winning by 3-8% is no small thing.

Bush won in 2004 by a 2.5-ish% lead in the popular vote. Bush won in 2000 with a NEGATIVE percentage of the popular vote.

Clinton won in 1996 with ~8% of the popular vote and in 1992 with ~5% of the popular vote.

HW Bush won with ~7% of the vote in 1988.

Reagan won with ~8% in 1980 and 18% (!) in 1984.

So, if the polls are accurate and Obama "only" wins by, say, 5% of the vote, well, it's a pretty astounding thing, I'd suggest, given the obstacles in his way. And if the polls HAVE undercounted the youth and poverty vote and therefore underestimated Obama's support, a 10%+ win would be pretty historic.

I think it will all come down to WHERE the votes turn out - I sort of expect if he loses at all it will be an electoral college loss, not a popular vote loss.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 8:54 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...

The race card. How predictable, and how loathesome.


As much as I disagree with many of his political positions -- sometimes very strongly, as on the issues of campaign finance "reform" and immigration, and energy -- McCain's campaign isn't guilty of "smear campaigning," Dan. To accuse Republicans of smearing Obama in the absence of evidence -- which is something Obama himself is doing, to no small degree -- is itself a smear.

And, I will add that it is no smear to paint an accurate picture of Obama's voting record. His voting record is to the left of the self-described socialist from Vermont, Bernie Sanders; and his support for abortion extends to partial-birth abortion, to what is clearly total opposition to the Born Alive Act, and even support of the Freedom of Choice Act -- the latter of which would remove all government restrictions of abortion at every level of government, including restricitons on government funding for abortions. It's no smear to point all this out.


Whatever happened to those stirring words denouncing demonization?

"...I, for one, will try to avoid the demonization method of discussion and debate. You, Eric, are not the enemy. Bush nor McCain are not the enemy. You are my brothers and fellow citizens. And we are all in this together trying to work out the best policies for our country. As is Obama."

Monday seems so long ago, and your denouncing of demonization is proving to be clearly fraudulent because you can't help but attribute the worst possible motives to your political opponents in order to explain away Obama's obstacles.

It's not that Republicans are accurately reporting Obama's extreme voting record; you accuse us of a smear campaign.

It's not that issues such as abortion and the Second Amendment are important issues on which the two parties happen to disagree: you dismiss as "wedge issues" any political issue that isn't advantageous to the Obama campaign.

And, for good measure, you go ahead and play the race card.

The only thing you grant Obama's opponents is that the candidate doesn't have a whole lot of experience. Actual, substantive disagreement with his policies, when it's clear that this country is fairly evenly split ideologically, isn't attributed as a reason for why Obama isn't blowing McCain out of the water.

And you say you want a civil discussion.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 9:13 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Yes, Bubba, you are correct. There are no racists any more in the US. And the ones that DO still exist, well, they don't vote.

I retract that mistaken comment. I don't know what I was thinking.

Oh, happy day! Racists no longer exist in the continental United States! Alert the presses!

 
On August 20, 2008 at 9:17 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

1. It is a fact in the real world that some people (I didn't say that McCain was doing this) have called Obama a terrorist.

2. It is a fact that in the real world, some people have said that Obama is a closet Muslim.

3. It is a fact that in the real world, some have accused Obama of being a socialist.

4. It is my opinion (and I think a fairly solid one) that such ridiculous charges are just attempts at smearing Obama. Have you heard anyone calling McCain a baby killer because he was in the Viet Nam war? Have there been vast internet rumors spread to that effect? No. But there have been smears about Obama being a Muslim, being a socialist, being a baby killer, etc.

It is not demonizing to state what people are doing. It is just reporting a fact.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 9:54 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan, when you write about "smear campaigning", I thought you were, y'know, referring to the actual campaign.

2. It is a fact that in the real world, some people have said that Obama is a closet Muslim.

3. It is a fact that in the real world, some have accused Obama of being a socialist.


I'm reminded of another pair of numbered assertions.

1. No one - NO ONE - in the Dem Party is actively promoting abortion.

2. No one - zero individuals - are actively promoting that the gov't support and promote or enact abortions.


These last two are speculations so implausible that they border on outright lies. Literally no one promotes government funding for abortion? That's horse manure.

But look at the pattern. A few people have undoubtedly suggested that Obama's a Muslim, and you inflate the effect of that suggestion, writing that smearing is "a fairly effective tactic the Republicans like to use." At the same time, some on the Left really do support abortion as a means of population control (since babies born in the West have such substantial carbon footprints) and really do support government funding for abortion, and you not only deny their significance. You outright deny their existence.

Though there are fringe kooks on both sides, you inflate the importance of those kooks on one side and altogether deny the existence of the kooks on the other side.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 9:59 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Eric asked why Obama wasn't running away with the election.

I answered some reasons that I think are contributing to Obama "only" leading McCain by 3-8% points.

One of those reasons is the fact that some people are smearing Obama.

These are all factual statements and my opinion about those facts.

You are free to disagree with my opinion. The factual statements are factual statements. Do with them what you will, but they will remain factual statements.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 10:01 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...

And Dan, clearly there are still racists in this country. It's worth remembering that, when we pointed out the racism being spewed from the pulpit of Chicago's Trinity UCC, you accused us of a "digital lynching."

But between those who wouldn't vote for Obama because of his race and those who would vote for him for the very same reason, I'm not sure his race is a net negative.

You seem to imply that you know it is, because you think that racists are disproportionately on the right. Hence, my rather accurately stating that you're playing the race card.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 10:06 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Can you provide the name of even one minority who won't vote for a white person because they're white? One individual? Anyone? A name? Nickname? Pen name?

No?

The reality is that there ARE racists out there who would not vote for Obama because he is black. That IS one contributing factor that explains why Obama is not further ahead than he is.

Eric asked, I answered. I further acknowledged that I did not know how large that percentage was that would not vote for him because he is black, but pointing out the existence of such people is not playing the race card.

I hope that clears up your misunderstanding.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan, I expect that a lot of those people that you accuse of being racist because they will not vote for Obama would vote for Alan Keyes or Michael Steele. It's their views, not their color. I tire of the whining, victim cries of Dan and those so ready to label everyone but themselves. mom2

 
On August 20, 2008 at 10:53 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

sigh.

The ones I'm accusing of racism are the ones who say, "I wouldn't ever vote for a black man!"

Does that help clear up your misunderstanding?

 
On August 20, 2008 at 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm saying you are just smearing. You are always demanding names and specifics of those that disagree with you, but you freely throw out your implications.
mom2

 
On August 20, 2008 at 11:11 AM, Blogger ELAshley said...

And let's not forget that Obama himself has repeatedly employed the race card...

"...did I mention he's black?"

"...[he's got] a funny name and he doesn't look like all the presidents on the dollar bills and the five-dollar bills."

He also lied about "...the bill he torpedoed in 2003 that would have required medical providers to give normal medical attention to infants born alive during an abortion. The admission comes with a new spin."

And a larger measure of Obama's "poor showing" is due to perceived weakness. I say "perceived," because his actions and statements belie any strength he claims to have. The action line: "He's running for Carter's second term" therefore cares some genuine weight in the minds of too many voters, if Barack really want to win he needs to get a pair.

Kerry was blowing Bush out of the water early on, and by greater margins than Barack. Bush closed the gap in August. But this time around McCain seems to have done that without much effort at all; the Obama camp, seemingly, has done all the work for him.

And McCain is playing this month very smart. Obama hopes to get that convention bounce, but McCain is likely to steal the show the night after Barack's coronation when he announces his VP choice. The media will not have a week or two to chew the Obama cud before the Republicans arrive at Convention. The two conventions are back to back this year, leaving not much time for a good old fashioned convention bounce. The bounce deck is stacked in McCain's favor.

Bubba's right, it's far too early to say who will and who cannot win. But the numbers are not looking good for Obama. The heavens are parting more brightly over the McCain Camp... at present.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 11:13 AM, Blogger ELAshley said...

"The reality is that there ARE racists out there who would not vote for Obama because he is black."

Neither Bubba nor I have suggested that Dan. What we are suggesting is that a higher percentage of people will be voting for Obama BECAUSE he is black.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 11:27 AM, Blogger ELAshley said...

McCain, by the way, is leading Obama by five points in the latest Reuters/Zogby poll...

"McCain leads Obama among likely U.S. voters by 46 percent to 41 percent, wiping out Obama's solid 7-point advantage in July and taking his first lead in the monthly Reuters/Zogby poll."

 
On August 20, 2008 at 11:55 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan:

Can you provide the name of even one minority who won't vote for a white person because they're white? One individual? Anyone? A name? Nickname? Pen name?

As mom2 pointed out, you haven't started "naming names" yourself, so it's a bit presumptuous of you to demand of others what you do not do yourself.

And, there's a big difference between saying someone would support Obama because he's black and saying someone would refuse to support a white candidate because he's white. Both sentiments are racist, but they're not interchangeable.


Now, about the claim that some support Obama because he's black, I can indeed provide proof. I can name names. The name is relatively prominent, and it belongs to a white man who claims to be conservative.

That name is Andrew Sullivan.

What does [Obama] offer? First and foremost: his face. Think of it as the most effective potential re-branding of the United States since Reagan. Such a re-branding is not trivial—it’s central to an effective war strategy. The war on Islamist terror, after all, is two-pronged: a function of both hard power and soft power. We have seen the potential of hard power in removing the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. We have also seen its inherent weaknesses in Iraq, and its profound limitations in winning a long war against radical Islam. The next president has to create a sophisticated and supple blend of soft and hard power to isolate the enemy, to fight where necessary, but also to create an ideological template that works to the West’s advantage over the long haul. There is simply no other candidate with the potential of Obama to do this. Which is where his face comes in.

Consider this hypothetical. It’s November 2008. A young Pakistani Muslim is watching television and sees that this man -— Barack Hussein Obama —- is the new face of America. In one simple image, America’s soft power has been ratcheted up not a notch, but a logarithm. A brown-skinned man whose father was an African, who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, who attended a majority-Muslim school as a boy, is now the alleged enemy. If you wanted the crudest but most effective weapon against the demonization of America that fuels Islamist ideology, Obama’s face gets close. It proves them wrong about what America is in ways no words can.
[emphasis mine]

Andrew Sullivan believes that the very fact that Barack Obama is black and looks black, is a good reason for supporting Obama.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 12:18 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

You asked, I offered some facts and opinions.

Disagree if you like.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 1:17 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

Facts? What facts? I've seen conjecture, anecdote, AND opinion, but...

 
On August 20, 2008 at 1:50 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Fact 1: Racism IS still a factor. We don't know how large a factor, but it is a factor in Obama losing votes.

Fact 2: (A new one I'll offer today, but one I've pointed out before) In Kentucky and West Virginia, some 20% of the voters were whites who said that race was a factor (18% in KY, 21% in WV). [ KY source, WV source] Now, some of those may have been whites who voted for Obama saying race was a factor, but we can expect that the majority of those were whites who voted against Obama because of his race.

Fact 3: Some people are using smear tactics against Obama. Some people are claiming that he's a Muslim, that he supports terrorism, that he supports killing babies, that he is a socialist, etc. These are not fact-based but rather smears. That is a fact.

Fact 4: Wedge issues HAVE been successfully used by Republicans in past to get out the vote.

These are the facts.

My opinion is that these contribute to Obama not being further ahead than he already is.

Feel free to disagree with my opinion. The facts are, though, what they are.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 2:02 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

I don't disagree, Dan, but your fact are one-sided.

Fact 1: Racism IS still a factor. Most of the 90% of black votes he will receive come Novermber will be because he is black. Furthermore, Obama himself has used race to silence his critics, often on matters that do not involve race.

Fact 2: Those Blacks in Kentucky and West Virginia who are voting for Obama because of his skin color are likewise NOT voting for McCain because of his.

Fact 3: Many people on the left and in Media have used smear tactics to discredit John McCain. Most recent example: The "Cone of Silence" nonsense.

Fact 4: Wedge issues HAVE been successfully used by DEMOCRATS in the past to get out the vote. "Republicans want to take away your Social Security" | "Republicans want to take away school lunches" | "Republicans want to end welfare"

These are the facts.

My opinion is that these contribute to McCain not being further ahead than he already is.

Feel free to disagree with my opinion. The facts are, though, what they are.

The ugly face or racism is bipartisan and its card is used just as, if not more, frequently by the left, than the right.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 2:23 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Eric said:

Most of the 90% of black votes he will receive come Novermber will be because he is black.

That is NOT a fact, but an opinion. An utterly wrong opinion, I'd suggest. But feel free to provide the study or poll to support this opinion.

1. Black folk aren't stupid. They don't vote for someone merely because they're black. If that were the case, then you could rejoice in Alan Keyes' presidency. That is a ridiculous suggestion to make AND it borders on racism (it sure sounds like you're saying that the group of Americans with African backgrounds are too stupid or racist to vote responsibly, choosing instead to vote based on the color of a person's skin.)

2. I've yet to meet the first person who is voting for Obama simply because he's black.

3. EVEN IF there were someone out there doing so (and I'm sure there may be - even though I have never met anyone like that), that does not mean that he/she is a racist.
Voting for someone because they are the first person from your ethnic group to have a shot at the presidency is NOT using racist reasoning. Voting AGAINST someone because you don't like that person's ethnicity, THAT is racist. Words mean things.

4. Pointing out racism IS NOT demonizing or smearing, it's pointing out racism. There is a difference. A HUGE difference.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 2:31 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Eric also said:

Fact 2: Those Blacks in Kentucky and West Virginia who are voting for Obama because of his skin color are likewise NOT voting for McCain because of his.

Needless to say, this is utterly false and not a fact at all, but your opinion, and it is incorrect. Our black brothers and sisters have been voting for white politicians for years. They will not be voting against McCain because he is white (oh, I'm sure you could find a few who might, but you're talking miniscule numbers), but because they disagree with his policies and they agree with Obama's.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 3:20 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

Dan, your reading comprehension sucks... I said,

"Those Blacks in Kentucky and West Virginia who are voting for Obama because of his skin color are likewise NOT voting for McCain because of his."

If the ones who are voting for Barack BECAUSE of his skin color, and a good many are, then it stands to reason that given a choice between a black candidate and a white candidate they are choosing the black candidate and are, therefore, voting against the white candidate BECAUSE of his skin color.

Learn to read. Better yet, learn to comprehend.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 3:28 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan, first about those exit polls...

In Kentucky and West Virginia, some 20% of the voters were whites who said that race was a factor (18% in KY, 21% in WV).

It's worth noting that those poll numbers were among Democrats, not Republicans or the total electorate. But more important may be the stats from North Carolina, one of the few states where A) this question was asked, B) the answers were broken down by race, and C) enough blacks voted to provide breakdowns for both races.

"In deciding your vote for president today, was the race of the candidate important/not important?"

Whites who say race was a factor 8%

Whites who say race was not a factor 52

Blacks who say race was a factor 9

Blacks who say race was not a factor 24


For what percentage of whites was the candidate's race a factor? 8 / (8+52) = 13.3 percent

For what percentage of blacks was race a factor? 9 / (9+24) = 27.3 percent

A black Democrat is twice as likely to be racist as his white Democratic counterpart, which might partially explain why North Carolina blacks more uniformly supported Obama (91 to 7) then whites supported Clinton (61 to 37).

The only way to ignore this stat is to redefine racism...


...which you do, here:

Voting for someone because they are the first person from your ethnic group to have a shot at the presidency is NOT using racist reasoning. Voting AGAINST someone because you don't like that person's ethnicity, THAT is racist. Words mean things.

Explain yourself.

Explain how it's not racist for a black to support a candidate because he's black.

It seems to me that letting a person's race influence one's decision to support a candidate is clearly racist, whether you're withholding support because the candidate doesn't look like you, or whether you're extending support because he does.

It certainly ain't the mark of a color-blind voter, is it?

 
On August 20, 2008 at 3:37 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

I did read, Eric.

You said, and I quote:

Fact 1: Racism IS still a factor. Most of the 90% of black votes he will receive come November will be because he is black.

That is a falsehood. You have nothing to support it. It is merely your opinion and, I say, an ignorant opinion as it's based on nothing but poor indigestion (or something, I don't really know WHAT it's based on, but it is NOT fact-based).

My reading comprehension is fine, thanks, Eric.

You said:

If the ones who are voting for Barack BECAUSE of his skin color, and a good many are, then it stands to reason that given a choice between a black candidate and a white candidate they are choosing the black candidate and are, therefore, voting against the white candidate BECAUSE of his skin color.

Read and comprehend this, friend:

1. It is YOUR OPINION and naught else that "a good many are" voting for Obama because of his skin color. You have not one shred of objective evidence to support this ludicrous claim. I reject it out of hand as ignorant and unsupported. IF you have any evidence, study, poll - ANYTHING to support such a ridiculous claim, feel free to produce it.

2. EVEN FOR those few who might vote for Obama because he is the first black man to have a chance at the presidency, it does not logically follow that they are racist for wanting to do so. It does not follow that they're voting against McCain because he's white.

All it suggests is that in those few cases where you might be able to find someone who is voting for Obama solely because he is black, the most likely reason they would do so is because they have never had a chance to vote for a black man with a legitimate chance for presidency. They are, in that case, voting for historical reasons, not racist reasons.

Comprehend?

If you have any actual evidence to the contrary (something beyond, "I knew this guy once who had a friend who was black and that friend said that his mother was going to..."), feel free to produce it. Otherwise, I'd suggest you quit making unsupported statements.

You are free to do so, of course, but each and every ignorant quote like that just lends credence to the notion that white evangelicals and republicans are not on the side of our black brothers and sisters. It further the divide between we and you, to everyone's detriment.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 3:45 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Bubba asked:


Explain yourself.

Explain how it's not racist for a black to support a candidate because he's black.


I tire of explaining myself. It is obvious to anyone I know why it's not racist.

I'd suggest you begin by looking up the word in the dictionary.

Racism: a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.

1. Are those blacks who are voting for Obama solely because he is black (and again, I'd suggest this is pretty rare, barring any evidence to the contrary), are they doing so because they believe "that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement"?

No. They are not. They are doing so because this is the first time they have ever had a chance to vote for an African American who might win the presidency.

2. Are they doing so because they believe, "the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others"?

No. They are not.

THEREFORE, IF those few blacks who might be voting for Obama purely because he is black do not meet the definition of doing so for "racist" reasons, THEN they are not racist.

It is blatantly obvious. It sounds rather like some here are projecting attitudes rather than looking for Truth.

Tell me, anyone, do you know personally EVEN ONE African American who will be voting for Obama because they believe "the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others." ONE person?

No?

Well then, tell me: Can you cite a verifiable story or a study where EVEN ONE African American said they'd vote for Obama because they believe "the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others."?

No?

Honestly, friends, think about what you're saying. Does it make logical sense at all? Do you have any objective reason for thinking it at all, or it merely a hunch in your gut?

 
On August 20, 2008 at 4:18 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan:

Merriam-Webster provides two definitions of racism:

1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

2 : racial prejudice or discrimination

Supporting a candidate because he is or isn't black IS prejudiced and discriminatory, so it fits the second definition.

If you demand that we adhere to the more specific first definition, then I demand that you be a helluva lot more thorough proving that beliefs of racial superiority is responsible for Obama's loss of one or two percentage points. The MSNBC exit polls you cite don't reveal any such beliefs on the part of any voter.

Those exit polls are absolutely useless as evidence if you require that we stick to the more strict definition of racism. Because the evidence you yourself present is wholly irrelevant by your own definition of the term, I suspect that you're invoking that definition inconsistently.


As I noted in my most recent comment, there is evidence that the candidate's race was a factor for black Democrats in North Carolina, moreso than their white counterparts. If you're going to suggest racism on the part of white voters when 13 percent say that race was a factor, you need to acknowledge the fact that 26 percent of blacks said the same thing.


And you ask whether I know of any black who supports Obama because of "the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others."

Well, I do know of a black who preaches "a theology which confronts white society as the racist Antichrist."

That man is James Cone, whose black liberation theology is the intellectual foundation of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, which has been pastored by Jeremiah Wright and attended by his spiritual pupil, Barack Obama.

When we pointed out the deeply racist theology of Trinity UCC, you accused us of "digital lynching." The truth is, the church Obama made home for twenty years is the most racist congregation ever attended by a major presidential candidate, at least in modern times, and probably ever.

Of course that doesn't mean that even a majority of Obama's black supporters subscribe to that racist theology, but it makes it more difficult for Obama to repudiate persuasively those who do embrace that theology and who would support Obama because they believe that whites are part of an "Antichrist" society.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 4:50 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

A couple quotes from Dan, from earlier in this thread:

Racism IS still a factor. Now, I don't know that we CAN know how big a factor it will play - are there only .5% of the people who would not vote for Obama for racist reasons or are there 10%? And where do these racists live and how will that affect the race?

I think polls suggest that one could reasonably assume that at least 1-2% of the voting public who may otherwise have voted for a Dem won't vote for Obama. And, in close races as we've had for a while now, 1-2% is nothing to sneeze at.


Never mind he doesn't actually link to any such polls: notice that Dan doesn't try to prove that this 1-2% believes in the more strict definition of racism.

(Heck, here he doesn't even prove that this 1-2% wouldn't vote for Obama because of his race.)


Can you provide the name of even one minority who won't vote for a white person because they're white? One individual? Anyone? A name? Nickname? Pen name?

No?

The reality is that there ARE racists out there who would not vote for Obama because he is black. That IS one contributing factor that explains why Obama is not further ahead than he is.


Note that Dan's question is about whether a minority wouldn't vote for a white simply "because they're white". There's no further specification that the reason is "the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others."


The ones I'm accusing of racism are the ones who say, "I wouldn't ever vote for a black man!"

Again, no specification of their reasons -- nothing like, "I wouldn't ever vote for a black man the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others."

No, here the reason doesn't matter: by all indications, any refusal to ever vote for a black man is racist, with or without a specific belief in racial superiority.


Fact 1: Racism IS still a factor. We don't know how large a factor, but it is a factor in Obama losing votes.

Fact 2: (A new one I'll offer today, but one I've pointed out before) In Kentucky and West Virginia, some 20% of the voters were whites who said that race was a factor (18% in KY, 21% in WV). [ KY source, WV source] Now, some of those may have been whites who voted for Obama saying race was a factor, but we can expect that the majority of those were whites who voted against Obama because of his race.


Of his list of facts and so-called facts, there's nothing tying these voters' admission that race was a factor to a belief in "the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others."

If Dan was trying to prove a significant presence of racism according to the strictest definition of the term, he provided no real evidence of it.


It is only the comments that follow these quotes above where one could arguably see indications of a strict application of the definition of racism.

In the earlier comments, Dan seemed to be arguing using the less strict definition, mere prejudice based on race rather than a strict belief in racial superiority.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm glad to see that racism is not playing a greater role in this election, but it would be ridiculous to deny that it's there."

Yes, there are many, many people who are only voting for Obama because he is black. Racism is a bad thing.

I think it would be swell to have a black president, or a female, or both, as long as he/she was anti-abortion, pro-defense, leadership experience, had sound economic policies, etc.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 7:09 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

"I think it would be swell to have a black president, or a female, or both, as long as he/she was anti-abortion, pro-defense, leadership experience, had sound economic policies, etc."

I'd vote for that man too. But truth is, you're not likely to find that man, or woman, in the Democratic party.

I object to Obama as president not because of the color of his skin, but because he is pro-abortion, anti-defense, has no leadership experience, and poor economic philosophies informing his proposed policies.

The fact that he's a Democrat is really unimportant at this juncture. He simply represents all the things I cannot in good conscience support. Because of this he will not get my vote. Neither will he get the votes of many other whites, blacks, Asians, Hispanics, what-have-you. And race will not be a factor in their votes for McCain, Nader, or Barr.

That is not racist. If Alan Keyes were poised to accept the Republican nomination, I'd vote for him. If Alan Keyes were poised to take the DEMOCRATIC nomination, I'd vote for him. I know what kind of man Keyes is. Barack is an empty suit-- empty of compassion for the unborn, empty of leadership experience, empty of qualified foreign and domestic policy bona fides and he wants to raise taxes to the extent [and rather misguidedly] that our economy will literally snap. Think it's bad now? [and it's not] An Obama presidency would cause untold suffering among the poorer peoples of this nation.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 8:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent summary, Eric.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 8:59 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

To be clear (although I never said any of these things or even hinted at them, you all seem to be reading what isn't there):

1. I never said voting against Obama is racist. It clearly is not.

2. I never said that most white folk who vote against Obama are racist. Clearly they are not.

3. I only said that those who vote against Obama for racist reasons ("I wouldn't ever vote for a black man") THOSE people are racist and they are out there. If nothing else, I know they're out there because I know it's true for some of my family and friends/acquaintances growing up.

4. Clearly these racists are in the minority (a great minority, I'd suggest) in the US.

5. Even so, if they constitute even 1-2%, that is enough of an effect to be felt (and, as I have noted, I don't know that we CAN know what percentage of folk are out there like that).

6. There are bound to be some black folk who would not vote for a white man. However, I've seen no evidence to suggest that there is any reason to suspect that this is any appreciable number.

Just to clear things up a bit.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 9:35 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

When considering the How Many questions of racially-motivated voting, it is a difficult thing to measure. But for the record, here are some of the polls that touch on the question:

According to a July New York Times/CBS News poll, when whites were asked whether they would be willing to vote for a black candidate, 5 percent confessed that they would not. That’s not so bad, right? But wait. The pollsters then rephrased the question to get a more accurate portrait of the sentiment. They asked the same whites if most of the people they knew would vote for a black candidate. Nineteen percent said that those they knew would not.

http://nytimes.com/2008/08/09/opinion/09blow.html?_r=1&em=&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1219284167-0j0BmtT1t+m1LSahX+SKNQ

[Sorry, I can't "fix" that link.]

CBS News/New York Times Poll. Jan. 9-12, 2008

"Would you personally vote for a presidential candidate who is black, or not?"

Yes: 90% No: 6%

"Do you think most people you know would vote for a presidential candidate who is black, or not?"
Would: 65% Would not: 21%


pollingreport.com

On the other side of things, here is a study that says:

The report, which explores the political interest and mindsets of minority females, showed that less than 10 percent of black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander and Native American female Democrats say that race or gender is a primary motivator of selecting the next presidential candidate. Only 2.7 percent said race for a primary motivator and only 6 percent said their decision for support was based on gender.

There you have a bit more solid information on the topic, but, as I and others have noted, measuring this sort of bias is difficult. Do people say to pollsters, “Yeah, I’m not ever going to vote for a black guy”?

I suspect there's some measurable effect of racism in this race. I think you'd have to be pretty tuned out of reality to not agree.

 
On August 20, 2008 at 11:10 PM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

"I suspect there's some measurable effect of racism in this race."

We don't disagree. We're saying tht the effect is in favor of Yomama. I would also say that polls asking a person what their friends might do is worthless. In a court of law, it doesn't even rise to the level of hearsay, unless the person said specifically that a given friend said such a thing. I would like to think all my friends think like I do on a given subject. I would likely respond to a question in that manner. I would likely be surprised to find out I was wrong about some of them. A useless poll indeed and totally meaningless as a measure of voter sentiment.

Really, Dan. You're spending a lot of effort defining racism to fit your argument. Any such vote because one group never had someone from that group available in the race is every bit as bad and stupid as a purely racist act. If there was a candidate who was, like me, 3/4 Polish, 1/4 German and strikingly handsome, I admit it wouldn't go unnoticed. But if it turned out he shared the same beliefs and policy positions as Buh-rock, he wouldn't get the time of day from me.

I would also ask you what makes you think that any black person you've questioned would admit to voting for Barry because half of him is black? Do you suspect they'd be willing to announce how shallow they are? Here's a tip for ya. It's not scientifically proven, but I'd wager on it's accuracy: If you ask a black guy why he'd voting for Obama, and the response is along the lines of "Change", "He's a uniter", or some other empty BS reply, he's probably voting because Barry's almost black.

One more point. Considering how many black candidates have been available over the years, I don't think it would be impossible to find blacks who never voted because they think no whitey cares about them. Are there any polls that indicate if black voter registration surged since Barely announced?

Finally, your chastisement regarding our love for our "black brothers and sisters" is crap. Shame on you for using that lame ploy.

 
On August 21, 2008 at 5:14 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

And you all wonder why a whole race of people don't vote Republican.

 
On August 21, 2008 at 7:46 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan:

And you all wonder why a whole race of people don't vote Republican.

What the hell is this supposed to mean?

If you're going to insinuate what I think you're insinuating, you should have the intestinal fortitude to do so explicitly. If you want to use "fightin' words", go ahead and do so, because the distance afforded by the Internet protects you from receiving a punch to the face no matter how much you deserve it.


Now, the NY Times poll you cite is fairly worthless, except to demonstrate that most people don't think they're racist, but they think they're acquainted to racists.

But look at the numbers about people's own beliefs, not their beliefs about others' beliefs. I'll quote what you quote.

"According to a July New York Times/CBS News poll, when whites were asked whether they would be willing to vote for a black candidate, 5 percent confessed that they would not."

At the same time, you quote another article:

"The report, which explores the political interest and mindsets of minority females, showed that less than 10 percent of black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander and Native American female Democrats say that race or gender is a primary motivator of selecting the next presidential candidate. Only 2.7 percent said race for a primary motivator and only 6 percent said their decision for support was based on gender."

5 percent is not significantly more than 2.7 percent; it's almost certainly within the margin of error.


You write:

There are bound to be some black folk who would not vote for a white man. However, I've seen no evidence to suggest that there is any reason to suspect that this is any appreciable number.

As I pointed out, there is the North Carolina exit poll from the same organization whose exit polls you cited, for Kentucky and West Virginia. It's one of the few such polls where the same question of race was asked, a breakdown of answers by race was given, and the population of blacks was large enough to provide data.

Only thirteen percent of the whites voting in the Democratic primary said race was a factor, compared to twenty-seven percent of blacks.

The Democratic candidates, down to two at that point, were remarkably similar in policy positions. Obama, Clinton, and Edwards: the biggest difference is what they look like. (Compare that to the GOP race, where there were significant differences in philosophy and policy between, say, Ron Paul, Rudy Guiliani, Mike Huckabee, and Fred Thompson; a bunch of white men, and Republicans still had the opportunity to vote on the differences that really matter.)

But despite the similarity in policy, the primary vote in North Carolina was split by race.

North Carolina whites favored Clinton 61 to 37. Blacks favored Obama 91 to 7.

There was near-unanimous support for Obama among NC blacks when he was running against another Democratic whose policy differences were minor.

You've seen "no evidence" of race-based voting on the part of blacks because you refuse to see.


Finally, you write this telling little comment.

I only said that those who vote against Obama for racist reasons ("I wouldn't ever vote for a black man") THOSE people are racist and they are out there.

What do you parenthetically include as racist reasons?

"I wouldn't ever vote for a black man"

Gee, Dan, whatever happened to "the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others." Whatever happened to your insistence on the most strict definition of racism?

It disappeared, just as quickly and as mysteriously as it appeared.

The example you gave above doesn't provide any reason for that hypothetical person not voting for a black man, neither racial superiority nor any other reason.

Instead, you suggest that the sheer fact that a person wouldn't vote for a black man regardless of reason is racist.

I agree, but this demonstrates the fraudulence that was on display when you insisted otherwise.

 
On August 21, 2008 at 8:20 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Once again, Bubba, you have consistently misrepresented what I've said.

Believe what you wish.

As to what I meant by saying, "And you all wonder why a whole race of people don't vote Republican."

I meant that when you all consistently insist that African Americans are voting for Obama because he is black, period, then you are making a racist statement. You all may not be racist, I don't know you that well, but that IS a racist statement.

You are sounding like you're either saying, black people vote for Obama because he's black and therefore blacks are racist (suggesting that ~90% of the race of black folk in the US are racist), or you're suggesting that black folk are unethical (willing to vote for a man just because he's black) or that black folk are stupid (they don't know enough to vote for legitimate reasons, so they just pick the person who happens to be black) or that black folk are ignorant (they don't have the mental wherewithal to sort out the issues and so they "vote black") or some other reason that I know not.

The thing is, these repeated sorts of statements come across as racist and elitist and I'd suggest that this is likely one reason that blacks tend to stay away from the Republican Party en masse.

Because you all sound racist.

Is that clear, Bubba?

And does that make you want to punch me in the face? How 'bout burn a cross in my yard? String me up from a tree?

You have my real name and you can easily find my address. Unlike you, I don't hide who I am. If you believe that violence is the answer to the problem of a race of people not voting for you, do what you have to do. I'm just pointing out a bit of info that should help you.

I wish I had the right sort of mirror so you all could see how you come across. And I mean that as words of good intent. You may take it how you please, but that is how it is meant.

 
On August 21, 2008 at 9:15 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan, I appreciate your making clear that you're a race-baiter.

Falsely accusing people of racism is an extremely serious offense, and it is this false charge -- and not the lamentable fact that blacks disproportionately support Democrats -- that would, were you in the same room with me, prompt me to ask you to step outside.

It is not racist to note that, even against a politically similar white candidate, North Carolina's black Democrats voted almost unanimously for Obama 91 percent to 7 percent.

And it is not racist to conclude the obvious, that, because there were no significant policy differences between the candidates, the candidates' race must have been a factor.

To accuse us of racism for this, and even to use the incendiary imagery of lynching and the KKK, is disgusting, low even for you.

And I suspect that the reason you don't understand the temptation to employ violence to defend one's honor is that you have no honor to defend.

 
On August 21, 2008 at 9:25 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Last time, as fun as it is, I really am tired of correcting your misrepresentations of what I actually said.

Falsely accusing people of racism is an extremely serious offense, and it is this false charge...

To accuse us of racism for this


What I ACTUALLY said:

"I meant that when you all consistently insist that African Americans are voting for Obama because he is black, period, then you are making a racist statement. You all may not be racist, I don't know you that well, but that IS a racist statement."

I specifically said that I'm NOT calling you all racist. Instead, I pointed out the fact that saying a whole race of people vote solely based on race (suggesting that they are racist, or stupid, or ignorant, or unethical) IS a racist statement.

And it is.

As to you wanting to ask me to step outside, get over yourself, brother. This isn't third grade.

 
On August 21, 2008 at 10:22 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...

For one who tires of supposedly being misrepresented, you frequently commit precisely those acts that you condemn.

You write, "I pointed out the fact that saying a whole race of people vote solely based on race (suggesting that they are racist, or stupid, or ignorant, or unethical) IS a racist statement."

Notice the word, "solely."

Has EL used that word? Has Neil? Have I?

No we haven't, Dan. You've repeatedly used this adverb -- at least three times in this thread -- when our comments don't suggest that race is an exclusive factor in the fact that blacks disproportionately support Obama.


You play fast and loose with words, even tossing to and fro with respect to whether you insist on the strictest possible definition of "racism," and now all of sudden you're drawing a very fine line between calling us racists and accusing us of racist behavior.

But since I didn't actually write that you accused us of "being racists," you're making a distinction without a difference.

To repeat what you quoted:

Falsely accusing people of racism is an extremely serious offense, and it is this false charge...

To accuse us of racism for this


Whether you accuse us of being racists or making racist statements, I would argue that what you're doing qualifies as what I described: accusing us of racism.

You made your point clear enough when you brought up lynching and cross-burning.

For a moment you were brave enough to clarify your position, and now you're vainly trying to make some ridiculous point about the subtleties of your race-baiting tactics, when it doesn't address what I actually wrote.

Your behavior's pathetic, Dan.

 
On August 21, 2008 at 8:03 PM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

"Instead, I pointed out the fact that saying a whole race of people vote solely based on race (suggesting that they are racist, or stupid, or ignorant, or unethical) IS a racist statement."

Talk about misrperesenting!!! Who has accused a whole race? It has only been stated that there is a large percentage of blacks voting on race. It is not in the least bit racist to point out the obvious.

 

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