Rapists, Racists, Republicans and Richard Wolffe

| 11 Nov 2014 | 02:14

    Want to see how a rumor gets started? Here it goes: Last week, Laura Bush confirmed that the First Couple plans to replace living in The White House with living in a white town. Situated in Dallas County, their new neighborhood, Preston Hollow, [enacted a covenant in 1956], which among other rules, states “property shall be used and occupied by white persons only…”

    Furthermore, a search of the National Sex Offender Registry using the Bush’s new zip code, 75229, reveals that there are 621 convicted sexual criminals living within driving distance of the president’s new $2.1 million estate. When asked how he felt about his new home by the Dallas Morning News, George W. Bush “played coy” and deflected the answer.  

    In other words, George Bush is moving to a Jim Crow whites-only neighborhood whose residents have no qualms welcoming sex offenders into their midst but cannot fathom living next to black people. President Bush should come clean and let the American people know if he supports his new community’s blatantly racist ideology that accepts pedophiles and rapists as long as they are white.

    See what I did? Now never mind that Preston Hollow abandoned the whites-only covenant in 2000; never mind that Bush has appointed nine people of color to his cabinet; and never mind that sex offenders can live almost anywhere they please (word to the wise, never ever search your own zip code in the National Sex Offenders Registry, it’ll scare the beejeezus outta you)—by highlighting a series of loosely related facts and willfully ignoring others, I managed in less than 175 words to assert that the president of the United States is an unrepentant racist with ties to child molesters.

    Now just imagine if I were writing for a national political organization with a multi-million dollar budget and access to every major newspaper and television outlet in the country and perhaps you’ll see how dangerous it is to try to taint political leaders using nothing more than the intellectually lazy tactic of assigning guilt by mere association.  

    Too many opponents of Barack Obama have been trying to do just that ever since he became a serious contender for the Democratic nomination. First, Hillary Clinton tried the tactic by bringing up Barack’s ties to Reverend Jeremiah “I-don’t-know-when-to- shut-the-f*-up-so-we-can-elect-this-black-man-president” Wright. Ole Johnny Mac picked up where Hill left off and tried to label Obama a terrorist because of his connections to former 1960s radical and current education reform advocate Bill Ayers as well as Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi, whose only transgression seemed to be that he is an Arab-American who is decidedly pro-Palestinian. And now, the Republican National Committee has decided that the fourth time is the charm and has started a campaign linking the president-elect to the federal corruption charges that now face the senate seat-selling, bribe-soliciting Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich.

    [An ad the RNC] launched on Sunday features a video clip of Obama from 2002 stating that he was focused on getting Blago elected to his first term as governor. It also has a 2006 line from the Chicago Daily Herald where Bammers is quoted as saying, “If the governor asks me to work on his behalf, I’ll be happy to do it.” After a series of voice-overs and video clips from liberal leaning media figures, including Richard Wolffe, senior White House correspondent for Newsweek, the ad then closes with the ominous caption, “Questions Remain.”

    First, Obama supporting the nominee of his party for governor shouldn’t be shocking, especially as that support came years before any suspicions surrounded Blago. Second, a United States Senator should take seriously the requests of his state’s governor—what else is the role of a senator if not to represent the interests of his state? Third, what kind of third-rate journalism school did Richard Wolffe attend and why was he queening-out in that RNC ad? In it, Wolffe seems damn near apoplectic during a Dec. 10 appearance on Countdown with Keith Olbermann with his assertion that Obama’s comments on the scandal were so “vague and general that you could easily misconstrue them as not being credible.”

    Now, I happen to know what school Wolffe attended—Oxford University—and I happen to know that his analysis is usually informed. But his questioning of Obama’s credibility on this issue, when the Justice Department, the FBI, and even Blago himself have all stated that Obama was not willing to participate in the pay-for-play shenanigans of the governor, makes him look more like some hack auditioning to replace Alan Colmes as the token liberal on FOX News rather than an internationally recognized and respected journalist.  Did he not think that the U.S. Attorney in charge of the case against Blago may have asked him to wait in revealing certain facts so as not to jeopardize the legal proceedings—which we now know the U.S. Attorney did in fact ask—and maybe this is why he has yet to go into extended detail?  

    National figures in politics and the media owe the public more than replacing thoughtful ideas on good governance with innuendo and investigative journalism with speculation. Instead of wasting its money producing two-and-a-half-minute ads trying to tear down Obama, maybe the RNC should spend its time pressuring him to commit to not raising taxes on anyone, even the wealthy, during a recession. Or maybe those in the media with regular access to The White House can figure out why banks who have received $335 billion in bailouts refuse to lend a mere $15 billion to the auto industry and help save 3 million American jobs.  

    In the meantime, I’ll look into the possibility that the reason [George Bush gave Santa Claus a fist bump at the lighting of the White House Christmas Tree] instead of shaking his hand was because there was a black woman on stage next to him. You never know, maybe there is something to this “Bush is an unrepentant racist” rumor after all.

    Email editorial@nypress.com