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Monday, July 29, 2013

Bill Keller, "Profiling Obama": Obama's "Daunting Agenda"?

Yes, the United States is in trouble.

As reported by TPM (http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/poll-race-relations-suffer-in-wake-of-zimmerman):

"The acquittal of George Zimmerman still fresh in the public's memory, a poll released Wednesday found that America's views of race relations have taken a step back in the wake of the polarizing verdict.

According to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, a slight majority of 52 percent of Americans said race relations in the country are either 'very good' or 'fairly good,' a huge dip from the stretch between 2009 and 2011. In NBC/WSJ polls conducted during that period, more than 70 percent described race relations in such positive terms."

Remarkably, the Zimmerman trial provoked racial antagonism, notwithstanding the fact that the prosecution was unable to present any evidence whatsoever of racist tendencies on the part of George Zimmerman. But then the fires of racism were stoked by Obama's misguided interference with the case, when he declared that "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago."

Obama, who had a privileged upbringing in Hawaii, could have been Martin? Was Obama ever known for violence, even when provoked, or problems at his top private school in Honolulu? Was Obama suspended three times from high school, or was jewelry, allegedly given to him by an unnamed friend, ever found in his backpack (see: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/26/2714778/thousands-expected-at-trayvon.html)? Sorry, but there can be no comparing Obama's childhood with that of Martin.

Of course, there is always a need to address and confront racism, but the Zimmerman trial was neither the time nor place. This was a time for healing and for bringing the temperature down below the boiling point. Obama bungled the matter.

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Profiling Obama" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/29/opinion/keller-profiling-obama.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0), Bill Keller refers us to Obama's responses to the Zimmerman trial and claims that the president is the object of "racial profiling" by those hoping that he will be more proactive regarding matters of race and also those fearful of his involvement. Keller writes:

"People may no longer give Obama suspicious glares in department stores or clutch their purses when he enters an elevator, but they have typecast him according to their own fears and expectations of a black man in the White House. They are still profiling Barack Obama."

Keller goes on to say that Obama will continue to tread carefully regarding matters of race, because he has an "agenda" to pursue:

"My guess is that the president will navigate those straits as he always has when race looms, carefully and without fanfare. If he is true to form, he will quietly pass over [New York police commissioner Ray] Kelly, because it’s now clear the appointment would become a major distraction from his agenda, because racial profiling is a lifelong personal sore spot for Obama, and because he has other, less polarizing options.

. . . .

And that’s O.K. President Obama has an economy to heal, a foreign policy to run, a daunting agenda blockaded by an intransigent opposition."

An "agenda"? A "daunting agenda"? And just what might that agenda be?

An economy to heal? Where is the new game plan?

The president's signature legislation? Earlier this month, Obama postponed implementation of the Affordable Care Act's demand that large employers provide their employees with health insurance or pay a tax. Sorry, Bill, but this had nothing to do with "intransigent" Republicans. Rather, it had everything to do with recognition by the administration that Obamacare is indeed a train wreck that could jeopardize the chances of Democrats in the 2014 congressional elections.

Foreign policy? Excuse me, but just what might that foreign policy be? Is it to be found in the declaration of Samantha Power, America's new UN ambassador(http://www.newrepublic.com/article/srebenica-liberalism-balkan-united%20nations#):

"A country has to look back before it can move forward. Instituting a doctrine of the mea culpa would enhance our credibility by showing that American decision-makers do not endorse the sins of their predecessors."

Yes, let's continue with the apology tour, before taking the lead on pressing issues around the globe.

An agenda? If you ask me, Barack Obama's true "agenda" is Barack Obama, which will find increasing expression on the links, which are neither black nor white, but green.

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