Saturday, February 26, 2011

Crying "Wolf"

Lawrence O’Donnell has absolutely no problem with anyone stating outright that Governor Walker of Wisconsin takes his orders from the Koch brothers, that he bases his governance on what the brothers want done and/or tell him to do. O’Donnell even makes statements to that effect himself.

But he is outraged, simply outraged when Republicans run ads suggesting that President Obama takes orders from the labor unions, and in fact says that Republicans are being racists when they make that suggestion.

On the Last Word in a segment last night he tells Governor Granholme of Michigan that he wants her to listen to the last line of a Republican ad, which states, “Stop Obama and his union bosses today. The Republican Council is responsible for the content of this advertising.” He then says,

“The Republican Party is saying that the President of the United States has bosses. That the unions boss him around. Does that sound to you that they are consciously or subconsciously trying to deliver the racist message that of course, of course, a black man can’t be the real boss.”

Granholme replies, “Oh wow, I hadn’t thought about the racial overtones, but…” and then proceeds to steer the conversation back into sanity and onto the discussion of the Wisconsin labor union legislation issue.

Really, who is the one with the racial fixation here? Jennifer Granholme “hadn’t thought about the racial overtones” because there were no racial overtones until Lawrence O’Donnell interjected them, and when he did so it was clear that she did not want to play his game. She did not want to turn the discussion into one about the racism of the Republican party when she saw no racism.

President Obama is certainly subjected to some racist attacks, and if O’Donnell wants to make that an issue he has plenty of fodder for it. He doesn’t need to manufacture anything in this manner, and in doing so he seriously weakens his case. He creates an atmosphere where none dare be critical of Obama for anything at any time because the critic will unfairly be accused of being racist.

If I say that I do not like President Obama’s policy in Afghanistan, for instance, Lawrence O’Donnell will be in my face screaming that I’m a racist.

In addition to attempting to render mute those who dare be critical of Obama, he renders himself as voiceless as the boy who cried “wolf” or Chicken Little. When someone actually does make actual racial utterances and O’Donnell speaks out against it, the response becomes, “Oh, that’s just Lawrence O’Donnell. To him everyone is a racist.”

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