Dan’s post on Jonathan Chait’s entry into the “if it’s bad for Obama, it’s racist” games is a keeper. What I love about this stuff is that liberals tend to insist how racism is not only repugnant to them, but alien to them. And yet, they continually demonstrate a sensitivity and acuity for spotting it that even real racists seem to lack. They’re like people who claim to be nose deaf (if you prefer, anosmic) who nonetheless insist they can pick up an exotic scent from miles away (“A lactose intolerant armadillo has grown flatulent over by the old Miller farm . . .”).
I don’t think liberals appreciate how much conservatives laugh at this stuff. We’re constantly being told we’re racists and that conservatism is full of racist codes and dog whistles aimed at conservatives. And yet the only people who consistently decipher these codes or hear these dog whistles are liberals themselves. Most of the time it’s a form of projection of course. Liberals see themselves as sinless and heroic on matters racial, so their opposite numbers in politics must be sinful and villainous on matters of race. It’s a form of lazy categorical thinking that completely fails to take account of reality in order to sustain a self-serving narrative.
I still laugh at this earnest handwringing from Tim Noah about how journalists must not call attention to the fact that Barack Obama is skinny because doing so may — just may — tip off racist voters that Obama is black. “Hey this Obama guys looks like he’s got a 32 inch waist . . . Wait. A. Second. He’s black! I can’t vote for him!”