Jesse Jackson has no doubt that on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, Republican opposition to President Obama’s policies is motivated by racial animus reminiscent of the Civil War-era South. “The tea party is the resurrection of the Confederacy, it’s the Fort Sumter tea party,” Jackson told Politico’s Glenn Thrush.
Jackson, who Thrush describes as the man “who more than anyone occupies the no man’s land between his mentor King and Obama,” is “absolutely” convinced that attempts to thwart the president’s agenda are motivated by his race.
The question “To what degree is the partisan gridlock that is frustrating his attempts to govern racially driven?” is one that President Obama himself is “begging to ask,” according to Taylor Branch, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of a triology on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The president can’t publicly broach the topic, Branch said, because “the slightest mention of race could alienate the millions of white Americans who voted for him.”
The half-dozen aides Thrush interviewed for the article disagree with this assessment, saying that they have never heard Obama suggest that race is a factor in the opposition he faces from the GOP. “Bill Clinton was a white guy from the country, and they were just as vituperative,” said one. “But I don’t know what the president thinks about it.”