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Melissa Harris-Perry: Republicans Doing Poor Job of Using Race against Obama

In a provocative column in The Nation, Tulane professor and rising MSNBC star Melissa Harris-Perry says she is surprised by how poorly and clumsily Republicans are attempting to play the “race card” in their desperate campaign to defeat President Obama.

Harris-Perry, whose new weekend show on MSNBC is drawing legions of fans because of its brilliant and unstinting analysis of the American political scene through an African-American and female lens, writes that Republicans are making the same mistake they made in 2004 during Obama’s Senate campaign in Illinois. In that race, they ultimately recruited black conservative Alan Keyes to run against him, thinking that Keyes would siphon away black support for Obama because Keyes had a style and a background that was more familiar to the African-American community. Yet it was Obama who captured the hearts of black voters in Illinois, winning 92 percent of their vote in 2004.

So far the Republicans have tried to use Obama’s support of gay marriage as a wedge to push black voters away from him and they have considered bringing back the specter of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s former pastor in Chicago, as the scary black man who would remind white voters that Obama is very black. But they tried Wright already in 2008—for months and months—and it didn’t work, as Obama not only got 95 percent of the black vote but a larger percentage of the white vote than either Gore or Kerry got in the previous two election.

“All of this suggests that racebaiting and race-divisive tactics won’t be successful in 2012,” Harris-Perry writes. “Black voters won’t be easily divided from the first black president running against a white opponent. President Obama’s stance on marriage equality may not be shared by a majority of black voters, but it is unlikely to negate their support for his re-election. In fact, a recent Pew poll showed that 16 percent of black respondents viewed the president more favorably after his announcement, compared with 13 percent who viewed him less favorably; 68 percent said it had no impact.”

Harris-Perry concludes that it all almost makes you feel sorry for Joe Ricketts, the Chicago multimillionaire (and owner of the Chicago Cubs) who is intent on using his many millions to take Obama down using any means necessay.

“He’s got tens of millions to spend in his crusade to defeat the president,” she writes, “and he’s getting pitched ideas that even casual observers recognize as yesterday’s failed strategies.”

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5 thoughts on “Melissa Harris-Perry: Republicans Doing Poor Job of Using Race against Obama


    “In the last 10 yrs rent have gone up in a steady pace. People are force to live with one another or move back with Mon and dad. It is assistance out their but people don’t know were to go. With the cost of food rising, Rent soaring, gas on its way back up, medicare cost already high, crime getting bad, people emotions are getting wackier, more and more people lives are getting unmanageable. We need to stop and take a long look down the road we are passing. Get back to basic, address the things that is most important, RENT (people will need a place to live), LOWER THE RENT. FOOD (people have to eat) LOWER THE COST OF FOOD. GAS(we need transportation to get to and from) HEALTH CARE INS, (we need to work on the cost the people are paying) Every American came get seen by a doctor if they really need it, insurance or not.) MOST IMPORTANT IS JOBS ( we need jobs to make all of the basic work) If we do what I just mention well people can also help one another through this hard times. I speak of these thing in my book THE UNSPOKEN BY JOHN L BROWN. Its very important that we all help. Share information, help motivate the needy…” by johnbrown.

    This is yet another good reason why it is so important that our own elected Black leaders, the so-called Black affluent, or others in our community, step up to the plate to truly serve the best interests of law abiding Black people who have legitimate claims for redress…………so that money earned through legitimate court settlements can be used to create privately financed work opportunity so that Black people who are U.S. citizens by birthright can:

    1. Pay for the health care plan of his, her, or their choice.
    2. Own rental property as opposed to being the predominate renter or being on a public financed “section 8″ rental subsidy.
    3. Afford to send any sibling to private school, etc.
    4. Be better equipped to control their own destiny.
    5. Keep over intrusion of government out of the their lives.
    6. Send that treasonous Black middleclass “packing”, no good.

    President Barack Obama being one of the treasonous, and/or any outsiders whose influence conspires with the treasonous Black middleclass in no good “Black Code” law enforcement or other un-American, truly unethical, and illegal practices.

    7. Achieve the American Dream and compete on any level, with anyone, be it Caucasian, Korean, Hispanic, Affluent, etc., etc., etc.

    8. Etc…..The typical contemporary elected Black leaders, and/or the typical no good “sellout” Black middleclass are against this.

    By and large many of these individuals have derived their income by using the Black underclass in assorted no good government financed welfare, AFDC, Mental Health (Bull Crap), presenting or publishing falsehoods, conspiring with the perpetrators to further deny law abiding U.S. born Black people redress, promoting penal incarceration, fining, probation for and/or punishment of the innocent, breaking up law abiding Black families for ill-gained profit, etc., which has made Black people “fodder for the system”.

  2. President Barack Obama thinks he is smart, but in reality BO is a disgrace to the essence of what it means to be an elected official/public servant.

    For decades the Democratic Party through no good jackleg preachers, have used the preachers to deliver the black electorate to the Democratic Party….in return no good sleazy preachers receive gratuities for delivering the Black vote to the Democratic Party……and the Black community receives nothing but further oppression from the so called party that claims to be the vanguard for the little guy or gal.

    Web Sources:

    1. Ceyseau and Inept Leaders.

    2. In Many Instances Other than Capital Punishment Cases, Law Abiding Blacks Are Violated by Government.

    3. Elected Black Leaders and Other U.S. born Blacks, are Responsible for Oppressing U.S. born Blacks Too!

    It is refreshing to know that Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, like other blacks finally waking up to “kick to the curb and beyond” the nonsense that Eric Holder, Barack Obama, multiple members of the Congressional Black Clueless are slinging, just to use black voters to be re-elected and doing absolutely nothing in return of any substance.

    You Tube: “Atty Gen. Eric Holder, CBC, IRS, ACLU Give Conspire With Black Pastors To Re-Elect Barack Obama” Published on May 29, 2012 by AxiomAmnesia.

  3. Without any input or influence from the Republican Party….

    President Obama, the ObamaCrats, other Democrats, multiple members of the Congressional Black Clueless are doing a fine job of defeating his or her own best interests by showing contempt for the:

    1. U.S. Constitution, the California Constitution, other State Constitutions.

    2. rule of law, the Principles of government in the U.S., the "free enterprise" system.

    3. personal and property rights of law abiding U.S. citizens or legal immigrants…..and most importantly showing contempt and disrespect for his or her oath of office to competently serve U.S. citizens and legal immigrants.

  4. Anonymous says:

    President Obama was correct today iin saying that the private sector is doing OK. However, he must begin to clarify the geopolitical and macroeconomic meaning behind his thought. He was talking about the financial private sector and to somewhat the non-financial private sector. It is the public sector (both local & state) which is dragging down the economy. In addition the housing sector which is both private & public needs a true "Marshall Plan".

  5. Anonymous says:

    I support his statements to those in the eurozone this morning and was pleasantly surprised to hear PM Cameron support his words.

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