Randi Rhodes: When Obama Talks Race, Right-wingers 'Want to Tear Him Limb from Limb'

On her Wednesday show, left-wing radio host Randi Rhodes thought President Obama was far too weak and politician-like in his racial remarks on the Jay Leno show. Leno asked Obama to expand on his briefing-room race speech.

Rhodes thought Obama only appeared on Leno because it’s for “old white people,” while she is “a Comedy Central kind of a gal.” Rhodes thought Obama should have gone Hulk-smash mad about the George Zimmerman verdict, but whenever Obama speaks on race, she claimed, the right wing “just want to tear him limb from limb”:

When the President spoke about Trayvon Martin and said if I had a son he would he would look like Trayvon, the right wing just, you know, tore him limb from limb because – first of all they don't consider him to be a legitimate person, let alone a legitimate president. And then when he speaks about being a black person in America or a mixed-race person, which is what he is, in America, and he explains what the you know, experience is, uh, they just want to tear him limb from limb.

Rhodes wanted Obama to embrace the conspiracy theory that the Zimmerman prosecutors lost the case on purpose, as argued in an Alternet article:

“I find it personally difficult to believe it was not thrown,” said Warren Ingber, a New York-based attorney...Ingber detailed his reasons in a letter sent to a NPR’s "Left, Right and Center" program after its liberal analysts would not touch that possibility.

Rhodes claimed Obama was intimidated by a very tiny right-wing, which is supposedly measured by the number of people who approve of Congress. (Conservatives wouldn’t tell pollsters they disapprove of Congress?)

This is what happens when the right wing starts shrieking. They’re just a tiny little percentage.  Remember, only nine percent of America thinks Congress is doing a good job, only nine percent.
And only 19 percent of Americans identify themselves any more with the GOP!

Nineteen percent? Where does that number come from? It’s a recent Pew poll:

In this most recent Pew poll, just 19 percent identified as Republican, a steady decline from the 30 percent who identified as Republican a decade ago. When those who said they were independent but leaned Republican are included, the total Republicans grow to 37 percent, just slightly down from 42 percent in 2003. Pew’s recent poll found 29 percent of Americans identified as Democrats, roughly the same as the 32 percent who said so in 2003. However, when including leaners, Democrats are holding steadier numbers, with a total 47 percent today, compared to 44 percent in 2003.

If Pew's numbers are accurate, it can be argued that many conservatives of a Tea Party persuasion are seeing themselves as independent of the GOP establishment, but that shouldn't be used as an argument that the number of conservatives is now tiny. Thirty-seven percent isn't a thriving majority, but it's not a tiny little fringe.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis