NYT Sunday Review Contributor Finds 'Political Racism' in Long Voting Lines for Minorities

Since taking over the section, editor Andrew Rosenthal has transformed the New York Times Sunday Review from a selection of liberal-leaning political and sociological analysis into a bulletin board for the far left.

From the softer end of the spectrum, an essay by Washington bureau chief David Leonhardt, who proposed liberal tax solutions to the "fiscal cliff" in "The Cliff Is a Hard Place to Compromise." Holding up the hard left, professor Steven Hahn (pictured) dutifully uncovered "Political Racism in the Age of Obama."

If he can persuade the Republicans to increase taxes on the affluent and leave them low on the middle class and poor, he will take a step toward reducing economic inequality. Those tax increases, combined with more military cuts than Republicans favor, would also leave the federal government with money to spend on education, scientific research, clean energy, roads and mass transit, all of which Mr. Obama calls crucial to the economy of the future.

Perhaps his strongest weapon in the debate is that Americans mostly agree with him on these issues -- in greater numbers, in fact, than they voted for him last week. Polls generally show that strong majorities support higher taxes on the affluent and more spending on a handful of tangible domestic programs, like schools and infrastructure.

University of Pennsylvania professor Steven Hahn uncovered "Political Racism in the Age of Obama." Hahn joins the lengthening line of intellects primed to see Republican racism absolutely everywhere if it means a byline in the Sunday Review.

The white students at Ole Miss who greeted President Obama’s decisive re-election with racial slurs and nasty disruptions on Tuesday night show that the long shadows of race still hang eerily over us. Four years ago, when Mr. Obama became our first African-American president by putting together an impressive coalition of white, black and Latino voters, it might have appeared otherwise. Some observers even insisted that we had entered a “post-racial” era.

Vigilance against voter fraud translates to racism in Hahn's thinking, and even long lines at polling stations, even standard political stands in support of "small business" are racially suspect in Hahn's worldview.

But the coordinated efforts across the country to intimidate and suppress the votes of racial and ethnic minorities are far more consequential. Hostile officials regularly deploy the language of “fraud” and “corruption” to justify their efforts much as their counterparts at the end of the 19th century did to fully disenfranchise black voters.

Although our present-day tactics are state-issued IDs, state-mandated harassment of immigrants and voter-roll purges, these are not a far cry from the poll taxes, literacy tests, residency requirements and discretionary power of local registrars that composed the political racism of a century ago. That’s not even counting the hours-long lines many minority voters confronted.

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At the same time, the embrace of “small business” and the retreat from public-sector institutions as a formula for solving our economic and social crises -- evident in the policies of both parties -- threaten to further erode the prospects and living standards of racial and ethnic minorities, who are overwhelmingly wage earners and most likely to find decent pay and stability as teachers, police officers, firefighters and government employees.

The crew of Sunday columnists were also in fine liberal froth the first weekend after the election, including Tom Friedman's offensive anti-Israel hostility in defense of Obama and his reelection, "My President Is Busy." Friedman's message to Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Our president Obama has better things to do than worry about you.

Israeli friends have been asking me whether a re-elected President Obama will take revenge on Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu for the way he and Sheldon Adelson, his foolhardy financier, openly backed Mitt Romney. My answer to Israelis is this: You should be so lucky.

Friedman is under a long-standing delusion that left-wing students at progressive colleges are willing to give Israel a fair hearing. He quoted a long passage from Israeli columnist Ari Shavit, where Shavit bizarrely accused American Tea Party voters of insufficient concern for acts of vandalism against Palestinians (not really a prime Tea Party issue):

In the past, both the Zionist movement and the Jewish state were careful to be identified with the progressive forces in the world. ... But in recent decades more and more Israelis took to leaning on the reactionary forces in American society. It was convenient to lean on them. The evangelists didn’t ask difficult questions about the settlements, the Tea Party people didn’t say a word about excluding women and minorities or about Jewish settlers’ attacks and acts of vandalism against Palestinians and peace activists. The Republican Party’s white, religious, conservative wing was not agitated when the Israeli Supreme Court was attacked and the rule of law in Israel was trampled.” Israel, Shavit added, assumed that “under the patronage of a radical, rightist America we can conduct a radical, rightist policy without paying the price.” No more. Netanyahu can still get a standing ovation from the Israel lobby, but not at U.C.L.A

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So my best advice to Israelis is: Focus on your own election -- on Jan. 22 -- not ours. I find it very sad that in a country with so much human talent, the Israeli center and left still can’t agree on a national figure who could run against Netanyahu and his thuggish partner, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman -- a man whose commitment to democracy is closer to Vladimir Putin’s than Thomas Jefferson’s. Don’t count on America to ride to the rescue. It has to start with you.

My president is busy.

Maureen Dowd heard the death rattle of the white male Republican party in the wierdly titled "Romney Is President."

Team Romney has every reason to be shellshocked. Its candidate, after all, resoundingly won the election of the country he was wooing.

Mitt Romney is the president of white male America.

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Romney was still running in an illusory country where husbands told wives how to vote, and the wives who worked had better get home in time to cook dinner. But in the real country, many wives were urging husbands not to vote for a Brylcreemed boss out of a ’50s boardroom whose party was helping to revive a 50-year-old debate over contraception.

Just like the Bushes before him, Romney tried to portray himself as more American than his Democratic opponent. But America’s gallimaufry wasn’t knuckling under to the gentry this time.
 

Clay Waters
Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center . Read more: http://archive.newsbusters.org/bios/clay-waters.html#ixzz3CdgxLFgQ