Sen. Rockefeller and the Politics of Blind Prejudice

Babe sheep

Narrator: Fly decided to speak very slowly, for it was a cold fact of nature that sheep were stupid, and there was nothing that could convince her otherwise.

Fly: Please, someone tell me… what happened this morning.

Narrator: The sheep decided to speak very slowly, for it was a cold fact of nature that wolves were ignorant, and there was nothing that could convince them otherwise.

Sheep: It was Babe… he saved us… the wolves killed Maa… But Babe drew the wolves away!

To Sen. Rockefeller—and to many fellow Democrats and political journalists—Republican racism is a cold fact of nature

He begins so calmly. In fact he never raises his voice, ever. Looking over the top of his glasses, he lets us in on the secret that seemingly no one else is willing to talk about.

I’ll be able to dig up some emails that make part of the Affordable Care Act that doesn’t look good-especially from people who made up their mind that they don’t want it to work because they don’t like the president. Maybe he’s of the wrong color, something of that sort. I’ve seen a lot of that and I know a lot of that to be true. It’s not something you’re meant to talk about in public but it’s something I’m talking about in public because that is very true.

I wonder what his theory is on why so many of us fought against Hillarycare.

Or why we wished with all our hearts that anyone other than the architect of Romneycare was running against Sen. Obama in 2008.

He got some letters that matched what he thought Republicans generally think.

And he has defenders

Ian Schwartz , RealClearPolitics: Eugene Robinson: What Sen. Rockefeller Said About Republican Racism Is “Objectively True”

EUGENE ROBINSON: Well, if you do rerun the tape what he said was some of the opposition to President Obama and his signature legislation is because he’s the wrong color. Senator Rockefeller believes that. And frankly, if you were to see my e-mail and my snail mail and see some of the stuff I get, you would agree.

Now, does that mean that — is that calling Ron Johnson a racist? It’s not calling him a racist. That’s making an observation about in general some of the opposition and he did say ‘some of’ the opposition. Does Johnson perhaps have a right to take offense because he was the only Republican in the room? I think he probably does. I think because in that context I can understand why he would feel personally attacked. But I think that what Senator Rockefeller said, if you just take it word for word, is objectively true.

In this case, Robinson—who at least sees the point of Senator Johnson’s taking offense—nevertheless does not consider the context (what is being talked about, who is there, the actual point being made, the reason for bringing it up…) as having anything to do with what is “objectively true.”

What’s “objectively true” is that Rockefeller said there were “some” who objected to this president because of his color.

But why did he bring it up?

Is that really a mystery?

He brought it up because he thinks it immunizes Obamacare from criticism.

Any criticism.

Why doesn’t he own that belief?

Why don’t journalists—including those who share his view—make him own that belief?

Why do they parse his words in lame defense of the indefensible?

His critics are all Republicans

Like Herman Cain.

To which I say—as respectfully as I know how—

‘Who CARES?’

I mean, really.

I’ve gotten emails from folks defending global warming alarmism who also hate human babies.

Literally.

They believe humanity is a virus infecting Planet Earth, and they want it removed by any means necessary.

If I look with the most minimum amount of diligence, I can find impressive numbers of cites where environmental activists express varying degrees of similar views.

In public.

But I never poison the well of our discussions by bringing these extremist people-haters up as if they had any relevance to what we’re arguing about at the moment.

Why can’t liberal race-baiters do the same?

My first, shallow, suspicion is that it’s sand in the eyes.

A dodge to change the subject. Make us forget whatever it was we were talking about.

My second, deeper, suspicion is that defenders of Obama in general and Obamacare in particular, are so invested in these issues and programs they cannot process even the possibility they may actually be wrong.

So they disrespect the people who disagree with them.

They come to believe—honestly, deeply, and totally—that no one on this earth could possibly disagree with them.

Unless they’re evil.

So…

First you tell a lie.

Then you repeat the lie.

Then you perfect the lie, smoothing out its rough edges so it sounds credible to your ears.

Then you start believing the lie.

Then the lie captures you, pulling you further and further from any possibly of knowing the truth.

Not just the content of the truth regarding any particular point of discussion.

But from the merest idea that truth can even exist. Can even be had. Can ever be understood.

Truth drifts from every day experience into memory, then into legend, then into myth.

Then forgotten completely.

Let me ask you

Is that where we are today?

Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

Indeed.

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