Sunday, August 02, 2009

Shorter Donald Douglas: Obama Sux!

In response to a comment I made regarding American Neo-Con Donald Douglas' penchant for outsourcing his blog to others through the use of excessive excerpting, Douglas pointed to a piece of "orginal [sic] writing and analysis" he wrote for PJ Media. And with it, Douglas proves yet again why he's actually better off relying on others to write his blog for him. As the saying goes, it's better to quote others and be thought an idiot than to attempt to be original and yet again prove Doctor Biobrain right...or something like that.

Douglas was attempting to argue that Obama isn't the "post-racial" guy he pretended to be last year because sometimes he notices when people say racist shit about him. Additionally, Obama supposedly didn't condemn Reverend Wright for racist stuff he said against whites (a point clearly refuted below). And now with the Gates-Crowley ruckus, Obama said the police "acted stupidly," which somehow can only mean that he thinks they were racist. And because Obama notices racism, supposedly didn't notice anti-white racism, and didn't support the police when they acted stupidly, Obama apparently isn't transcending race. Right.

But just so you know, there was almost NO original writing or analysis here. All he did was recap a few well-known stories from the standard conservative perspective, while writing the same gibberish attacking Obama that could have come from any other conservative. He even pointlessly outsourced parts of his argument to others, apparently under the mistaken belief that quoting other people who express the same opinion that you're expressing somehow provides support for your opinion. Sorry, Donald. It doesn't. Opinion plus Opinion still equals Opinion.

This wasn't analysis; it was a fricking book report. All he did was regurgitate what he read elsewhere, much of which was entirely wrong. Brilliant, Donald. You're a true thinker's thinker.

Transcend Doesn't Mean Blind

And Donald's main premise is entirely flawed here. It's as if being "post-racial" means that you're not allowed to notice racism anymore...unless the racism comes from your side. Seriously, I see no other point here. And the only way that makes even the slightest sense is if you think it's racist to notice racism. But of course, the point of Obama being "post-racial" wasn't that he wasn't going to notice racism, but rather that his presidency would be for ALL Americans, and that he wouldn't just be the "black" president.

And at its most cynical, it was an attempt to let white people know that he wasn't against them and wouldn't blame them collectively for slavery or try to give their shit away to the negroes as slave reparations. I myself have never understood why that was necessary, as Obama is half white, was raised by white people, and has succeeded fabulously in White America. Hell, most of his best friends are white. Besides, the phrase was really just meant to be a nice piece of rhetoric, which helped bring Americans together.

I have no idea where Donald's specific interpretation of "transcending race" came from, but it wasn't from anything Obama said. Had he ever said "I won't notice racism anymore," Donald might have a point, but as with most rhetoric, it was a vague phrase that had all sorts of possible meanings. And without Donald's specific meaning for "post-racial," his entire piece is a meritless joke.

Racial Sensitivity

And as an aside, I sort of remember a time not too long ago when Donald himself got a little sensitive regarding what he thought was a racist joke against him; when a "nihilist" joked that Donald should fight his "hate monkey."

I myself clearly understood that the imagined monkey was to fight Donald, and wasn't meant to be him; but can almost sort of see how Douglas could be confused about this, if he was a complete nimrod who was looking for something to be offended about. And all the same, the smart thing to do is to be extra cautious about that sort of thing, in order to avoid any such confusion. That's why my offer to have Donald fight my pet Hate Falcon still stands. Let me tell you, Falky the Nihilist Falcoln will tear Donald's shit UP!

So, while Donald is clearly not ignorant of the problems of racism in this country, he seems to believe that Obama can no longer criticize racism at all. For example, when Geraldine Ferraro stated that “if Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position," Obama wasn't supposed to notice the racist turd Ferraro had dumped on Obama's accomplishments. Apparently, all one has to do in this country to win the Democratic nomination is to be black. If only someone had told Al Sharpton sooner...or Jesse Jackson.

And the reason Douglas mentioned this was because he claimed Obama attacked Ferraro for the comment. Yet, this "attack" consisted of him denouncing her comment, saying "I don't think Geraldine Ferraro's comments have any place in our politics or in the Democratic Party." Wow, how vicious. That's much worse than Ferraro saying that Obama's political success was due to his race. Oh, and Obama declined to say whether he thought Ferraro should be fired from Clinton's campaign. Ouch!

But I suppose if Ferraro had suggested that Obama fight her imaginary monkey that Donald would be the first to denounce her; particularly since Obama is apparently not allowed to do so with his post-racial attitude. And yes, my offer of fighting Falky also extends to Ms. Ferraro.

Misrepresenting Obama

And Donald's entire thesis is a weird hodgepodge that only makes sense when you cut through the garbage and see his true theme: Obama sux! Because he attacks Obama for noticing race and nationalizing the Gates' story, yet also chides Obama for not using this as a "teachable moment" to heal the racial wounds of the country.

So which is it, Donald? Should Obama have gotten involved or not? And perhaps I'm being unfair, but I'm pretty sure that Donald would have attacked Obama if he had kept trying to beat this story; which would at least add an element of consistency to Donald's argument. And I don't even want to imagine the shitstorm conservatives would have raised had Crowley apologized to Gates during the "Beer Summit" that Donald considers a failure.

But of course, another mistaken premise in Donald's argument is in twisting Obama's "acted stupidly" comment into a racial attack of some sort. In Donald's mind, Obama's comment was somehow meant to imply that he thought the cops had been racist. Yet, that ignores the first sentence in Obama's response, which was:
I don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that.
Oh, so before Obama said the cops had "acted stupidly," he had just said he hadn't seen all the facts and didn't know if racism was involved. So...where in the hell did Donald get the idea that Obama was referring to the racial aspects of the case? Oh yeah, from all the people who tell Donald what to think. Yet, if he had just bothered reading Obama's actual statement, he'd see that his entire thesis was a big giant turd.

Obama was criticizing the police for arresting Gates; not for being racist. And in case that wasn't clear, he clarified that the next day, saying "it was a pretty straightforward commentary that you probably don't need to handcuff a guy, a middle-aged man who uses a cane, who's in his own home." So all the racial stuff in Donald's anti-Obama screed was entirely misplaced, because Obama wasn't saying anything about the racial aspects of the case. Color me unsurprised.

Donald Douglas: Republican Sock Puppet

And sadly, conservative spin entirely colors Donald's piece. Being an egregious authoritarian, he automatically accepts whatever his thinkers tell him and imagines them to be factual claims.

Like when Donald quotes Gates saying, “Yeah, I’ll speak with your mama outside," even though Gates has denied ever saying that. This is apparently now an established fact which Donald included for reasons I can't quite comprehend. If anything, I suppose Donald's used it as a way of undermining Gates, by showing how rude he was...or something. As if a "your mama" comment is an arrestable offense.

And Douglas blames Obama for this story not staying "localized," even though it was already a huge news story before Obama was asked a question about it. Donald seems to be aware of this, as he says the photos of Gates walking off handcuffed "immediately ignited a roaring national debate on race in America." So, which was it, Donald? A local story that Obama nationalized, or a roaring national debate that Obama commented? And blaming Obama for this is standard Republican spin, as it suggests that it was improper for him to comment on a story that everyone else was already commenting on, and which involved a friend of his.

The Intelligent Mistake

And then there's Douglas' regurgitation that Obama's "acted stupidly" comment was "ill-informed." Yet, he quotes one commenter who wrote "Gates’s arrest was an honest and understandable mistake by the Cambridge police." But perhaps she meant that it was an intelligent mistake. Sure, it was a mistake to arrest a man for being angry at his own home, but it wasn't a stupid mistake. Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

Oddly, Douglas refers to a "mutual misunderstanding" between Gates and Crowley. Misunderstanding? Ahh yes, Crowley misunderstood Gates when Gates was angry, and somehow imagined that he wanted to be arrested. Of course. It could happen to anyone. I hope Donald suffers a similar "misunderstanding" some day, so he perhaps might understand how stupid it is to arrest someone for being angry at their own home. Hopefully, those charges will be dropped too, as I really can't imagine Donald making many friends in jail.

Oh, and that commenter Don quoted was clearly a mind-reader. How else could she know that the police made an honest mistake which "clearly" had nothing to do with race, yet also know that Obama meant to "damn the Cambridge police as 'stupid'" when he said they "acted stupidly." That's the level of quality you get with a Donald Douglas original report: Psychics.

Divisive and Destructive

And shit, this got too long, so I'll just cut it short by highlighting only one of Donald's factual errors: When he claims that Obama "never actually denounced the race-hatred of his mentor Jeremiah Wright" during his big speech on race last March. But of course, in our reality, Obama said:
I've known Rev. Wright for almost 20 years. The person that I saw yesterday was not the person I met 20 years ago. His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate, and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church.

They certainly don't portray accurately my values and beliefs. And if Rev. Wright thinks that that's political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn't know me very well. And based on his remarks yesterday, well I might not know him as well as I thought, either.
But maybe Donald missed that speech, seeing as how it came out a full month after the race speech Donald quoted from. But then, perhaps he could have bothered reading the speech he quoted from, in which he would have seen this:
On one end of the spectrum, we've heard the implication that my candidacy is somehow an exercise in affirmative action; that it's based solely on the desire of wide-eyed liberals to purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap. On the other end, we've heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and black alike.

I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely – just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.
Yes, no denouncing there at all. Idiot. Later in that speech, he used words like "profoundly distorted" "wrong" "divisive" and "racially charged" to describe Wright's rhetoric, and that's just in the first page of the speech. Perhaps that's the reason why Donald provides so few links in his article, so people can't read this stuff for themselves and realize that Donald hasn't a clue what he's talking about.

But at a guess, I'd say the reason Donald doesn't provide fuller context to these issues is because he isn't familiar with it. He's heard repeatedly that Obama never denounced Wright, and therefore completely missed the denouncement that was in the speech Donald quoted from. And that can only be because he hadn't read the speech and was merely reprinting the part he was familiar with and relaying the same false spin he was given. He knows what he's been told and he's sticking to it.

And frankly, I'm not sure which is worse: That Donald's analysis wasn't original to him, or that the people he copied were so entirely wrong. But I suppose that's a question that applies to the conservative movement in its entirety.

4 comments:

ex DLB said...

I'm pretty sure Don knows about Obama denouncing Wright because I'm pretty sure I remember him saying that Obama was throwing Wright under the bus. I apologize for using that expression.

I could be wrong and am to lazy to go look, besides not wanting to contribute towards his million blog hits.

Doctor Biobrain said...

No, DLB, I also have a recollection of Donald saying that. I'm also pretty sure that I quoted him this stuff before. But as with all good conservatives, Donald makes a point of not letting his left brain remember what his right brain was thinking. Conservative just can't keep two concepts in their head at the same time, or they'd realize how wrong they are about everything.

That's why they can support economic sanctions on Cuba with the stated purpose of destroying Cuba's economy, while also blaming Cuba's bad economy entirely on Castro. And they justify our economic sanctions on Cuba by pointing to the harm Castro has done to Cuba's economy, which again, was the purpose of the economic sanctions in the first place. Thanks to their ability to believe in entirely contradictory ideas, these people can have their cake, eat it, and smear it in our faces all at the same time.

So when Donald's point needs to be that Obama didn't denounce Wright's racism, he simply won't remember that he knows it's untrue. And as I said in the post, he tries having it both ways here. Being "post-racial" means not noticing racism when it's used against him, but also means he needs to denounce racism when it comes from his side...you know, the racism he wasn't supposed to notice. And Obama was wrong for getting involved with the Gates-Crowley mess, but was also wrong for not using it to solve racism...which he wasn't supposed to notice. And he can quote someone who thinks the police made a mistake, while also attacking Obama for saying the police made a mistake.

And he'll never notice these contradictions because his underlying belief is that his opponents are wrong about everything. And in that regard, there's nothing contradictory about two contradictory attacks on his opponent, because his opponent is always wrong; and that makes everything he says consistent, even if there's no consistency whatsoever to his attacks. Basically, Obama is wrong no matter what he does.

Donald Douglas said...

"No, DLB, I also have a recollection of Donald saying that. I'm also pretty sure that I quoted him this stuff before."

Man, you two are dumb!

Yeah, Obama threw Wright under the bus, in April!. Obama's Philadelphia speech was in March! Fact is Obama slyly distanced himself from Wright's words while keeping his "spiritual advisor" within the circle. That's hardly, "denouncing' him, buy hey, you're a nihilist - you make s*** up as you go along!

And you've NEVER addressed my core - and original - argument at the piece - that Obama missed his chance to live up to his post-racial mantra. There's really no dispute - on the left or the right - that Obama's appeal was based exactly on that transcendent allure. See, 'A Transformation on Race: Barack Obama's "post-racial" posture reflects a quiet but radical shift in liberal ideas about race in America'.

And so, since you can't get me on either facts or analysis, you attack me as a "sockpuppet"?

Really, classy, Biobrain. Right up there with your anti-Semitism. Why am I not surprised?

Doctor Biobrain said...

Yeah, Obama threw Wright under the bus, in April!. Obama's Philadelphia speech was in March!

Uh, Donald? You're lack of reading comprehension is stunning. The race speech that you quoted from was in March and I quoted from that speech above when Obama said "we've heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and black alike. I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy."

Obama outright said that Wright's words were incendiary, would make race relations worse, and denigrate America; and all in the same speech you quoted from...in March. Sounds like he denounced it to me, as these are the same things YOU say about Wright. Yet you continue to pretend these words don't exist, even though I've quoted them to you before. And now we're to imagine that he threw Wright under the bus while keeping him in his inner circle; all evidence to the contrary. You're a mess of contradictions and don't even know it.

And yes, I completely addressed your core argument and trashed it thoroughly by showing how wrong it was. I know it's a long post, but you'll find that I addressed your core argument in the sections titled "Transcend Doesn't Mean Blind" and "Misrepresenting Obama."

But once again, your complete lack of reading comprehension embarrass you. And once again, I so thoroughly trashed your point that you can't even defend yourself, but instead need to pretend I didn't write what I clearly did write and focus on one minor insult I made of you. If you'd like to show me how my arguments are wrong, that'd be great. But you can't, so you'll just insist that this was all one long insult of you. Pathetic, as usual, Donald.

And geez, Donald. Me calling you a "sockpuppet" is just as bad as the hatred of Jews? Persecution complex much? Not that you have any evidence whatsoever to support your smear on me as an anti-semite, but I'm quite positive that you don't believe it's true. You're just playing the role you've been told to play, which includes acting like a buffoon any time someone suggests that we stop kowtowing to Israel. If you think it's wise to put Israel's policies ahead of our own, that's fine. But I fail to see how it translates into anti-semitism to suggest that we put America's interests first. Israel is a country, just like any other.

But perhaps you'd like to explain to me how my post was anti-semitic. But you won't. You'll just hurl an indefensible insult at me while complaining that I called you a sock puppet. Your hypocrisy knows no bounds.