Does Disillusionment With Obama Equal Racism?
I just read an article which suggests that if you are a Liberal voter who feels disillusioned with President Obama and is unwilling to vote for him in 2012, you must be a racist:
The 2012 election may be a test of another form of electoral racism: the tendency of white liberals to hold African-American leaders to a higher standard than their white counterparts. If old-fashioned electoral racism is the absolute unwillingness to vote for a black candidate, then liberal electoral racism is the willingness to abandon a black candidate when he is just as competent as his white predecessors.
The reason why the article’s author believes that Liberals who are in no hurry actively to support Obama’s 2012 presidential bid are racist is that, apparently, Bill Clinton got a better treatment when he was running for his second term:
The relevant comparison here is with the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton. Today many progressives complain that Obama’s healthcare reform was inadequate because it did not include a public option; but Clinton failed to pass any kind of meaningful healthcare reform whatsoever. Others argue that Obama has been slow to push for equal rights for gay Americans; but it was Clinton who established the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy Obama helped repeal. Still others are angry about appalling unemployment rates for black Americans; but while overall unemployment was lower under Clinton, black unemployment was double that of whites during his term, as it is now. And, of course, Clinton supported and signed welfare “reform,” cutting off America’s neediest despite the nation’s economic growth. . .
In 1996 President Clinton was re-elected with a coalition more robust and a general election result more favorable than his first win. His vote share among women increased from 46 to 53 percent, among blacks from 83 to 84 percent, among independents from 38 to 42 percent, and among whites from 39 to 43 percent.
President Obama has experienced a swift and steep decline in support among white Americans—from 61 percent in 2009 to 33 percent now.
I think that the Clinton presidency definitely bears some responsibility for Obama’s low approval ratings among Liberals today. I don’t think racism is involved, though. Admittedly, I wasn’t living in the country when Clinton was president, so Liberals who did should feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. I have a feeling that many progressive-minded voters see yet another smooth-talking, intelligent, charming politician who came to power by attracting the American Left to his cause with many promises and beautiful speeches and then failed to deliver. I’ve heard many people refer to Obama as “yet another Clinton.” The disappointment with Clinton makes it harder for people to invest in this type of candidate yet again only to see their hopes dashed.
Another reason why Obama will find it harder to get re-elected than Clinton did is, of course, the economy. Most people don’t see any improvement in their financial situation since Obama was elected in 2008. This makes it much harder for them to care about anything he can deliver in other areas of life.