There’s something sinister on the airwaves. It’s sloppy, and it’s cynical, but sinister all the same, and it’s race-hate spewing from the absolute top of the Democratic Party.
On Wednesday afternoon, Attorney General Eric Holder threw out some thinly veiled race-hate, telling an audience that criticism of his contempt for Congress was “unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly, and divisive adversity” that no other “attorney general has ever had to deal with.”
[“Black vote,” check.]
That same day, Politico published an interview where House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi more openly stoked race-hate, saying conservative opposition to amnesty “has a scent of Japanese internment.”
[“Asian vote,” check.]
Later that night, President Barack Obama whipped up a little more identity politics, complaining to an audience of Texas donors that “Our … younger, more unmarried women, more African American and Latino voters … have this congenital disease, which is in midterm elections we don’t vote at the same rate” as married and white people (read: not Democrats).
[Check, check, check, check.]
The next day, Ms. Pelosi told reporters, “I think race has something to do with the fact that [conservatives] they’re not bringing up an immigration bill.”
[“Everyone who isn’t “Irish” — check.]
Ms. Pelosi is correct: Race has got to do with something, but it isn’t the amnesty debate: It’s November, and Republicans — both moderates and conservatives — should take note.
Because the Democrats have made clear that they know they won’t have a lot of success whipping up midterm excitement with six years of failed economics, one year of failed Obamacare, or Senate-floor ramblings about Charles Koch. So, in a bid to their base [hatreds], the game plan is identity politics.
In his 2008 speech on race in America, Mr. Obama warned, “We have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division and conflict and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle”
“We can do that,” he concluded. “But if we do … nothing will change.”
A more fitting conclusion would have been “Yes, we can.”
Yes they can promote “a politics that breeds division and conflict and cynicism.”
Yes they can “tackle race only as spectacle.”
And they will. And they are.
True, there is no cabinet-level official who feels more persecuted than America’s top cop; yes, Ms. Pelosi is prone to incoherent rambling; indeed, Mr. Obama is best when he sticks to his script. But together, over two days this week, these three top officials didn’t gaffe along the way — they coordinated a campaign message.
And just as in the past, it’s a campaign message that will be used ceaselessly to attack Republicans for anything and everything.
And if Gov. Jeb Bush and his friends think they can promote enough pro-illegal-immigrant policies to actually get out in front of a party that compares border laws to Japanese detention — that warns black Americans that Republicans want to “put y’all back in chains” — they’re mistaken, and will rapidly find themselves in a game of chicken they can’t, in good conscience, win.
It’s true, no one votes for a party they think hates them, but it’s also true that a major reason for voters’ feelings are the divisive lies our commander in chief and his deputies so casually bellow.
Conservatives need to be prepared to hit back. Hell, they need to hit back now. It doesn’t matter which party is the party of Abraham Lincoln — in a country where millions can’t name a single living senator, demagogues like Ms. Pelosi and Messrs. Obama and Holder can and will define the GOP any way they like. It’s up to Republicans to tell their own story, and to tell their opposition’s story too.
“I have never been so naïve as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle,” Mr. Obama said in his much-lauded race speech.
Too true, Mr. President, too true.