The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky has an unfortunate habit of making outlandish statements to attack the GOP. In his latest piece, the liberal columnist used recent comments made by Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) to argue that “You’re in denial to think Steve Israel is wrong about GOP racism.”
As a refresher, Congressman Israel argued that “not all” GOP lawmakers are racist but “to a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism.” In typical Tomasky fashion, the frequent MSNBC guest jumped on the comments and used to attack the entire Republican Party.
Tomasky began by asserting “Not a month goes by without a GOP racial gaffe, racist vitriol fills conservative websites’ comment sections and the party refuses to take on the issue. Of course Steve Israel’s right.”
The Daily Beast writer proceeded to double-down on his GOP hit piece, this time by ridiculously using anonymous comments from online stories about race to justify his argument:
Some time back, whenever a big racial controversy erupted, I trained myself into the habit of reading about it at FoxNews.com, just for the unbelievable comment threads. Let’s put it this way: If my friends and I went out to a bar and started playing a “let’s write the racist FoxNews.com common thread” drinking game, our efforts couldn’t begin to approach what I read there.
I wasn’t alone. Liberal websites started feasting on these threads. And so, a couple of years ago, Ailes &Co. got wise. Stories about race were, at least in my disheartened experience, closed to comments.
Fox acted, I recall, back in February 2012, when the thread on Whitney Houston’s death made even many conservatives a little jumpy. Here’s a little taste: “Whitney is just an inferior lo w life n igg er that needed to go, no tragedy, no loss…” “Any death is a tragedy you heartless bastard…” “not nignogs their death is a plus…”
Well, at least there was that person in the middle there! But these threads were poisonous, and they didn’t appear just on Fox. They’ve been all over conservative websites and have bled into some mainstream ones, too. Lord, the things I read in comment threads on North Carolina newspapers’ sites in their stories about the “Moral Monday” protests. Believe it or not, conservative reads, I don’t go flinging the r-word around loosely. But these comments, hundreds, thousands of them, were just thuggishly racist. Nothing else to call them.
Tomasky, probably realizing that the anonymous comments weren’t sufficient evidence to brand conservatives as racist, decided to find quotes of low-level Republican Party officials making racist comments about President Obama to further his flawed argument. Again, not to excuse the racist comments directed at President Obama, but conservatives are not the only people who have made racially intolerant comments.
Here’s a list of just 25 racially charged comments made by Democrats and liberals including Vice President Joe Biden saying this about Obama: “I mean, you got the first manstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
After all of this, Tomasky’s main point seems to be this:
Commenters like these are enough to prevent Republican politicians from ever addressing racism with any degree of candor. The cowardice on the GOP side on this issue is universal and always has been…Sadly, we shouldn’t even be debating why Republican politicians won’t discuss it. My little hypothetical above showed why. None of them has the stone to. Some, Rand Paul and others, talk a little in general terms about how the party needs to “change” and “modernize.” But to spell out what that change and modernization would involve, in racial terms? No one will confront that.
And so the only question we’re left debating is when all this might change. For starters, it will change some when Barack Obama leaves office. All the Obama-related racial craziness will, obviously, end. But we shouldn’t count on that for much. True, the next president will apparently be a Caucasian one, but racial controversies will still occur, black celebrities will continue to die, juries will keep letting George Zimmerman’s off. We are going to be divided by the same things we always have.
Tomasky’s callous decision to conflate the extreme views of an isolated group of society with conservative policies that do not agree with that of liberals is disingenuous and wrong. When liberals like MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry declare that that using the term ObamaCare is a “wealthy white men” racist term, how can Tomasky with any shred of credibility claim that conservatives have a problem with race?