On Haley Barbour's Comments

Jim Geraghty makes several good points:
Before emphasizing that no one can really know, The Economist asks, “IS HALEY BARBOUR a racist?” Of course, if you want to be president, you don’t want major publications asking if you’re racist and then giving any answer other than “absolutely not.”

Does Barbour’s kind interpretation of the Citizens Council make him unelectable? Alone, perhaps not, but coupled with the watermelon joke and other factors, almost certainly, and deservedly so if Barbour had a habit of using stereotypical caricatures.

But if Barbour’s future career is derailed by these comments, it will further reflect the epic double standard reflecting race and partisan politics. Harry Reid can marvel at Barack Obama’s lack of a “negro accent” with no real consequence. Bill Clinton can describe Obama to Ted Kennedy as a “guy [who] would have been getting us coffee” not long ago with no real consequence. Hillary Clinton faced accusations of racism for appearing to diminish the accomplishments of Martin Luther King in comparison to Lyndon Johnson – until the Democratic primary ended, and then no liberal had much reason to stir the controversy further. Joe Biden can utter awful stereotypical jokes about Indians running 7-11s and Dunkin’ Doughnuts with no major repercussion. The President’s mentor trafficked in explicit racial insults – referring to Italians as “garlic noses” – and the topic was deemed irrelevant by many. And of course, there is the former recruiter of the Ku Klux Klan who used the n-word on national television with little major repercussion.
Link added. The rest can be found here.

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