The Corner

Does Lawrence O’Donnell Think Obama Is Racist?

The Corner’s search engine is off so maybe I missed someone else asking this question, if so I apologize. You may recall that during the Democratic Convention Lawrence O’Donnell went on an absolute tear about a joke by Sen. Mitch McConnell. MSNBC had laid their hands on an advanced copy of McConnell’s speech, in which the senate minority leader planned to say: “For four years, Barack Obama has been running from the nation’s problems. He hasn’t been working to earn reelection. He’s been working to earn a spot on the PGA tour.”

As I sarcastically wrote in the magazine a while back, “A fool might think this a not-exactly-veiled reference to the fact that Barack Obama plays a lot of golf, more than 100 rounds since he was elected. But MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell is no fool.”

O’Donnell was sure — and I mean really, really, really sure — that McConnell’s speechwriters agonized to find the most racist choice of words possible. He told Martin Bashir, “we know exactly what [McConnell’s] trying to do there. He’s trying to align . . . the lifestyle of Tiger Woods with Barack Obama.”

Here’s more from the Real Clear Politics write up:

“There are many, many, many rhetorical choices you can make at any point in any speech to make whatever point up want to make,” MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell said. “If he wanted to make the point that you just suggested and I think he does want to make that point, they had a menu of a minimum of ten different kinds of images that they could have raised. And I promise you, the speech writers went through rejecting three or four before they land order that one. That’s the one they want for a very deliberate reason. That — there’s — these people reach for every single possible racial double entendre they can find in every one of these speeches.”

“I know these people are insensitive. I know these speech writers. I know the way they work. They do not have the same sensitivity level that other speech writers do. But when you get to the Tiger Woods reference, there were people in the speech writing room, I know this, without a shadow of a doubt, who said, ‘Wait a minute, do we really want to go there? Do we really want to go to Tiger Woods and the vote and the room was yes, we do.’ And Mitch McConnell agreed to do it,” O’Donnell said.

The text really doesn’t do justice to O’Donnell’s pompous know-it-all jackassery, you really need to watch the video

So, I have to ask. If McConnell’s golf joke that didn’t mention Tiger Woods at all (and which no normal intelligent human being would interpret as a reference to Tiger woods in the first place) was insensitive racial double entendre for suggesting that Obama’s lifestyle aligns with Tiger Woods, what does O’Donnell think it says about Obama that he literally incorporated Tiger Woods into his lifestyle?

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