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August 24, 2008


So...is a white person somehow no longer allowed to say that a black person is lazy? What if a white person actually thought that Obama was lazy? How could he express that without being labeled a racist?

Rove deserves some credit for providing examples of the trait he's criticizing. IMHO it is reasonable to ask why so able a man can point to so few public policy achievements. However, I don't think the problem is intellectual laziness. I think the answer is that Obama is self-centered.

As a student, as a candidate and as an author, Obama has worked diligently. He has had great personal success in these areas. OTOH, when it comes to public policy issues, he seems to have been less committed.

Jeff, you are correct, there are some subjects it's apparently verboten for anyone to mention. For example, Obama enjoys playing basketball. Obama plays basketball on the campaign trail. Obama has photographers take pictures of him playing basketball on the campaign trail. But if
Republicans run an ad showing Obama playing basketball, that's an appeal to racial stereotypes and prejudice. Crazy, isn't it?

As far as Jeff's comment, you could certainly imagine circumstances where the use of the word could be appropriate for an individual of any race. The problem is that the evidence for Obama being lazy is so thin and the strategic incentives for Republicans to use coded language are so powerful. Obama is the former editor of the Harvard Law Review who has written two books, been a top lawyer and instructor in the law, risen to the top of American politics in a very short period of time, and defeated a formidable Democratic frontrunner in the Democratic primaries. That's not someone who most people would consider "lazy" intellectually or otherwise. And yet Rove happens to choose that word, which activates racial stereotypes. As I always point out, I can't know what is going on in his head. But it's hard to see how this is just a race-neutral description that Rove happened to come up with.


Talk about LAZY--OTOH??????

When I think of lazy I think of Bush, Mr. Vacation and very incurious.

Rove had the best quote of this election so far:

"He's the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by."



I've followed your writings since Spinasity, even though it appears we would disagree on many things, so I am sad to see you head this direction - where it seems anything a political opponent person says about Obama must be a coded racial slur.

Call him "lazy", it's obviously code for racism.

Call him "hard working", it's still a code for racism, since the speaker obviously think most blacks are not.

Doesn't anyone remember the uproar when Biden called Obama "articulate"?

Can it not be that Rove actually thinks Obama is indeed "intellectually lazy"? Must it be construed as a slur?

I have to say I am disappointed.

I don't know about lazy, but I think Obama is a serial liar. Whether it was 20 years in Trinity and not knowing about Wright's racism, his denying he favored partial birth abortion, his deflection and understatement and withholding information on his association with that scrawny 60's fossil, William Ayers, Obama comes through as disingenuous and a liar.

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