“He’s smarter, richer, luckier and better looking than you, and he’s your president. And he’s black. Get over it”

Thanks, edwina, for the link to this terrific Eugene Robinson column:

// snip

Two ugly forces had to combine to produce the birth certificate sideshow, which can only be described as a national disgrace. One is a calculated attempt by Obama’s political opponents to de-legitimize his presidency.

It seems obvious to me that this campaign to paint the president as some sort of usurper — this insistence that despite winning the popular vote by a healthy margin and the electoral vote by a landslide, he wasn’t really elected — has everything to do with race.

Does anyone disagree? Well, just imagine what the birthers would be saying if Obama — like his Republican opponent in 2008, John McCain — had been born in the Panama Canal Zone. Or think of the uproar if Obama — like George W. Bush in 2000 — had lost the popular vote but won the electoral college.

Look, I’m not surprised that the first black president faces unprecedented scrutiny about his origins, and I hope Obama’s not surprised, either. This sort of thing comes with being a historic “first,” and there’s no way around it. To those deniers who can’t come to terms with the fact of the Obama presidency, I have nothing to offer but this: Yes, he’s smarter, richer, luckier and better looking than you, and he’s your president. Yours, mine and ours. And he’s black. Get over it.

But race alone couldn’t have generated the whole birther phenomenon. Also required was an increasing tendency for facts to be treated as personal accoutrements, as easily adopted or discarded as the newest-model smartphone.

If a fact is inconvenient, just ignore it. Put it aside. Surely there’s someone out there who’s selling a counterfeit version that might be more to your liking.

The late Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s adage that “everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts” seems so last century. I’m not talking about competing worldviews, I’m talking about a lack of agreement on what is provably, objectively true and what is not. Political polarization is old hat. Empirical polarization — a rejection of this nation’s founding Enlightenment principles — is something new.

The birther lunacy is an extreme case. The short-form birth certificate that Obama released in June 2008 was the official document, according to Hawaii officials. They should know, right? Wrong, said the deniers, we need the long-form certificate, even though it’s not considered official. Obama produced it Wednesday, and that settles the question, right? No sooner had the president finished speaking than a birther e-mail landed in my inbox, headlined “Case closed? Not so fast.”

But there are other examples, some much more consequential. The vast majority of scientists look dispassionately at the data and conclude that atmospheric warming and climate change are real. Deniers don’t produce data of their own, they just say no, no, no — and attack the scientists’ political views, rather than their research.

Rodney King famously asked, “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?” If we decide there’s no difference between fact and opinion, then surely the sad answer is no.

 

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53 thoughts on ““He’s smarter, richer, luckier and better looking than you, and he’s your president. And he’s black. Get over it”

  1. I love listening to Eugene Robinson. He is always sensible, accurate and polite. I have never heard him shout at an opposing viewpoint, nor try to talk over another guest on a news show.

  2. So true, except when he’s bashing the president for some dumb reason to appear “neutral”.

  3. Eugene nailed it a) they want to de-legitimize his presidency based on race, b) there is this bizarre acceptance by the media to accept answers from politicians based on a rejection of inconvenient facts.

    And yes, he is indeed smarter, more handsome, charming, more poised and mature than his opponents and they need to get over it.

  4. I like his writing more than his speaking as he does tend to ramble a bit. On the whole he normally has something interesting except when he chooses to go along with the basher of the moment.

  5. Wells Fargo say its subsidiaries will invest up to $120 million over the next year in US solar PV projects developed by SunEdison.

    In 2007, Wells Fargo invested over $200 million in a SunEdison solar investment fund. It financed about 150 SunEdison solar projects in eight states.

    SunEdison offers solar energy to corporations and municipalities under power purchase agreements (PPA), where it builds, manages, and operates the solar systems and customers pay fixed prices at or below retail rates. The model allows customers to avoid upfront installation costs, while protecting them from electricity price hikes.

    SunEdison is responsible for over 400 solar projects totaling over 160 MW in North America, and over 100MW elsewhere.

    http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/22329

  6. SustainableBusiness.com News

    As gas prices climb at the pump and oil companies earn record profits, President Obama again calls for an end to oil subsidies and Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) wants to reduce gas prices through a windfall profits tax on oil companies.

    Kucinich is re-introducing his Gas Price Spike Act, which would tax windfall profits on oil companies, give tax credits for the purchase of ultra efficient vehicles, and provide federal grants to reduce mass transit fares.

    “Consumers are being gouged at the gas pump,” stated Kucinich. “The only thing rising faster than the price of gasoline right now is the skyrocketing profits of the oil companies.”

    http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/22328

    You mean Kucinich is actually doing something worthwhile? LOL.

  7. Unfortunately, sometimes when he is on Morning Joe, he gets nasty towards the President! And sometimes, I flip the channel.

  8. I second and third all you just said. He is an exceptional and even the fringes don’t want to admit it the gop older establishment know this.

  9. I love it and just posted it on Facebook. And I agree completely about Eugene Robinson; he’s one of my favorites, such a decent man.

  10. I’ve never heard him bash the President – I guess there’s a reason I never watch Morning Jo😦

  11. I LOVE THAT STATEMENT FROM ROBINSON AND I’LL GIVE IT A ‘DOUBLE AMEN!’

  12. Enjoy ur weekend everyone..!!

    FIRED UP…!!

    READY TO GO..!!!😀

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  13. WASHINGTON — The New Hampshire Democratic Party announced this morning that it is filing a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that Republican Mitt Romney violated campaign finance laws by using large contributions given to a series of state PACs to fund his presidential ambitions.

    The complaint asks the commission to investigate and cites a Boston Globe story published earlier this month that outlined Romney’s state committee fund-raising system.

    By using committees set up in individual states with no contribution limits, Romney was able to get around individual federal contribution limits of $5,000 per year. Through state committees in Alabama, Iowa, Michigan, South Carolina, and New Hampshire, the former Massachusetts governor raised large contributions totaling $1.62 million from 43 individuals in 2009 and 2010. That’s an average contribution amount of $37,700.

    Typically such committees are set up to support candidates or causes in those states but in Romney’s case, most of the state committees’ money was transferred to his federal committee to pay for the overhead costs of his political operation, including staff salaries, political consultants, and travel expenses.

    http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2011/04/nh_democrats_ch.html

    MSM misses it.

  14. WOW…LOOKS LIKE THE ‘MITT’ MAY HAVE BEEN CAUGHT WITH HIS MITTS IN THE WRONG COOKIE JAR. HE’S NOT GOING ANYWHERE ANYWAY! HE’S A RE-RUN!

  15. I did the same and also emails.

    I have been a little uncomfortable with him the last months. Too much time on msnbc. Playing the attack game with most of the others.

  16. The thing that Robinson left out of the list is that he is also a Democrat, and we all know that no Democtrat can be a legitimate President because the only way a Democrat can win in this center-right country is through fraud.

    That being said, the fact that he is black is without a shadow of a doubt the major driving force behind things such as the birther movement. Anything that focuses on terms like “weak” or “dishonest” or “Kenyan” is racist based for the most part.

    Things like socialist, communist, atheist, and even Muslim, are not so much racist as geared toward any Democrat.

    I won’t even go so far as to call Trump racist, but it is obvious that he plays to racist sentiments in order to give himself a boost. Note, I am not saying he is not a racist, only that one may bnot be a racist and still manipulate racist feelings in order to achieve a goal. Of course, that does not meant that person is not despicable, gutless, hypocritical and a poor excuse for a human being, all of which people like Trump, Dick Armey and any body who did not affirmatively do anything to discredit the birther talk are.

  17. How about when Trum said, when he isn’t on the basketball court. LOL.
    Meanwhile, he is so Anti -china, the he has a Company in china that sells his clothing.
    Hypocrit, or what?

  18. Well, you don’t an eugene to tell that. I take all punditz with a pinch of a salt.

  19. I think what makes it even worse for them is that they know how THEIR president, Bush 43, left the office in disgrace. And that the whole world didn’t have any respect for him while they admire President Obama and find him much more intelligent, wise, handsome, and all…

  20. Apologies if someone has already posted this:

    “NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Guns, abortion and Donald Trump: Three topics so controversial that Groupon doesn’t want its brand anywhere near them.

    The daily-deals website said late Thursday that it will pull its ads from the website of Donald Trump’s television show “The Apprentice” to distance itself from the “political criticism” swirling around Trump and his presidential ambitions…..

    “Enough consumers have contacted us to warrant ensuring that we don’t place ads on the ‘Apprentice’ homepage in the future,” the company said …”

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/29/technology/trump_groupon/?section=money_latest

  21. I have been very busy these last few days and will be gone this weekend. I have only been able to read and not comment. This place and all the people here help keep me sane and grounded. I can’t get thru the day without checking in. BWD and all of you are such a wonderful family. Thank you all!

    I love Eugene!!

  22. I know you guys are sick of me bragging but did you happen to catch the major Eclectablog plug on The Rachel Maddow Show last night? w00t!!!

    Video here: Wow. Just wow.

    Sorry, I’m a bit giddy this morning. Stuff like this doesn’t happen to guys like me very often…

  23. Some. Actually I’ve been generating a lot of my own traffic these days. People really want to know what’s going on in Michigan and, strangely, I’m one of the main sources of news coming out of the state right now.

  24. Yeah, I have noticed that even people that comment there talk about how little is in the actual media in the state itself.

  25. Congrats Eb. You deserved the recognition. Here is to you personally getting on the RMS.

  26. WOW, it seems like Rachel Maddow has a fav’rite blogger – and with very good reason !!!

    Very impressive work E’blog. Kudos to you for keeping the focus on the REAL news in MI.

  27. I am so glad to see this. It is high time we started to get some pushback on the way facts have been dismissed by so many in making political arguments. Facts are not opinions and opinions do not carry the same weight as facts to any rational person.

    We need more people demanding that facts be treated as such and that those who dispute facts be held to the same standard of proof that the facts they dispute are held to.

    The president was born in Hawaii is a fact, proven and verified for years now. The opinion that it is all a conspiracy is not fact. The two “sides” are not equal and should never be presented as though they were. That is the fault of our media and it is high time someone started calling them on it.

    Republicans can not be allowed to just lie and make things up and ignore facts that are inconvenient. Neither should anyone but republicans have taken doing so to an art form.

    Thank you Eugene Robinson for finally stating publicly that “balance” is not same thing as neutral and that presenting “both sides” of an argument is not “fair” when only one side has facts on its side. 1+1=2 should not be countered with “some say 1+1=300” as though both sides are valid and it is up to each of us to decide which feels more right. One is demonstrably false and one is demonstrably true. Neutrality and fairness demands that that fact is made loudly and clearly when each “side” presents their version of reality.

  28. Three things:

    1. I enjoyed watching the Brits celebrate the wedding today – they conduct themselves with such dignity and grace. I see this in our President and his family – dignity and grace and intelligence. So lacking in the prospective Republican candidates.

    2. Big congrats to Eclectablog. I heard Rachel give him kudos for keeping her and others up to date on what is happening in Michigan. Our local and state media don’t report much of anything about the outrage the people are feeling.

    3. To you BWD – a big thank you for making this safe place for us where we don’t rag on each other, but are able to discuss matters with manners…..how British of us!

  29. Bad news: the Endeavour Launch scrubbed. Technical problem. They’re talking of a possible 48 hours delay at least.

    Damn. I’m sorry for Gabby Giffords. I’m sorry for the Obama girls.

  30. You deserve all the acclaim. You are doing a great job of getting the news out that the msm doesn’t want to cover. We are fortunate that you are in our wonderful family.

    Keep up the great work! Something the “journalists” don’t want to do.

  31. Extremely well said, lila. And to add, one of the features of the PL which has turned me off is that rather than putting in the work to refute Republican “big lies,” they merely issue “big lies” of their own, usually targeting Dems: “POTUS is a Republican” “hcr is a Republican sellout.” They think that they are pushing the Overton Window but to me, they’re using sensationalism and hyperbole, contributing to the lie tsunami and creating confusion rather than progress.

    But your comment about false equivalencies couldn’t be more correct; thank you for articulating that so cleanly.

  32. I’m sorry too for all the people who made the trip. I hope the launch will happen before the end of the week-end and that many of those people who have made the trip will still be able to see the launch.

  33. Better a delay than another tragedy. The girls will see a launch at another time, and I’m sure that Gabby will be there for the delayed launch.

    Remember those shuttle disasters…I’m quite happy that they’re willing to delay if there’s a hint of a problem rather than send people up while crossing fingers.

  34. Yep. Not easy. And the worst being the devastation caused by the tornadoes.

    I look forward for President Obama’s commencement speech tonight. He always finds ways to lift up spirits.

  35. I O-family and BWD family (one in the same of course;smile). I don’t know what is happening over at OFA as far as my posting, but my ability to post comments has been disabled for almost a week. I have contacted technical support through their site and got a return e-mail notifying me they received my correspondence but it might take a couple of weeks for them to actually address my issue. hmmm……….This is how they treat loyal supporters, but yet they continue to allow TROLLS to infest that site daily?

    That being said this BWD blog is really growing on me. Very informative and I love the dark background and the total devotion to PBO. The biggest thing I like about this blog is the absence of TROLLS (knock on wood). Looks like I have found a new home to get all my PBO news and to interact with like minded folks. Thanks blackwaterdog for creating an alternative form of communication for Obama supporters. Much Love to my family here. Nice pics and story lines as well today. Carry on folks. Obama/Biden 2012!!

  36. Oh…..I see meta and jovie sometimes post here. If either of you two see my above post can you tell all the family over at OFA I’m still around but have been disabled for commenting for some reason. Also inform Jess the moderator. Maybe she knows what is going on. It appears that BWD will be a new home for me. I love this blog/site. KUDOS to it’s creator. Obama/Biden 2012!!

  37. Polling data reveals that birtherism (now afterbirtherism) includes 9% of those who say they will definitely vote for Obama in2012. Wha?

    On behalf of my fellow white people, I, am deeply sorry you all have to witness how many scared sgitless dysfunctionals we have.

  38. I wrote to the Washington Post about disinviting Trump to the Correspondence Dinner, I told them that Donald Trump has no class and all the billions he has, cannot buy a loved and decent family like the Obamas, the clean character and statesmanship of Mr. Obama , his deep intellect and the the respect and admiration that untold millions across this nation and the world have for President Obama. President Obama will forever be know in history as “The People’s President.”

  39. Oh yes, I Intended to comment on his statement In thw Washington Post. He Hit the nail on the head. END OF STORRYYYYYYYYYYYY

  40. I’m with you, like I said, he was on It today, Really, and It makes me smile🙂

  41. I just asked an idiot who posted the birther screed on Facebook why the birthers never went after McCain, who was born outside the U.S. in a chunk of land we were leasing from another country.

    He answered “Do you have a valid birth certificate?”

    Yes,I told him, and it’s in Spanish. And I’m a citizen because, like McCain, I’m the child of military parents, in my case, my Air Force dad was serving as a liaison to the Peruvian Air Force. I, I told him, have no problem with McCain’s citizenship.

    But why didn’t he have a problem? Why was there not a single question from a birther about the citizenship of a man born in another country?

    Why was McCain never asked to post his birth certificate? Why did Orly Taitz never make that demand? Why no challenges to McCain? Why no demand to see the birth certificates of any other candidate?

    We know why.

    All I can say is, wait until we elect a woman president. God knows what she’ll have to do to prove she’s not a lesbian, transgendered or a man in disguise.

  42. The oil companies, of course, are saying that high pump prices are due to the greed of the gas station and convenience store owners.

    The companies never mention such facts as Exxon/Mobil’s 69% increase in profits last year.

    69% increase. Sweet.

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