EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

February 2, 2014

Column: Complaints about code words a diversion to silence Obama's critics

(Continued)

And that is just the most recent example. A host of white politicians have been called thugs including former presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and, of course, George W. Bush.

The entire Republican Party, which has far fewer black members than the Democratic Party, is routinely called “Rethuglican.”

And the “Chicago” part? Gee, is it possible that the reference might have something to do with the fact that Obama is from Chicago, and his former chief of staff (who is every bit as much a political thug as Christie and is also white) is now the mayor of Chicago? Would it be just as racist if Obama was from Seattle and his critics called him a Seattle thug?

It might be worth the Obama team rethinking this latest effort at speech control. But I doubt there will be a mea culpa from any of the “progressives” (watch out before that term gets labeled as racist code as well). The real agenda here, after all, is to deflect any substantive criticism of the president with another tired, guilt-trip distraction.

That was especially crucial this past week, given that the most notable element in a pedestrian, cliché-ridden State of the Union address was that Obama intends to ignore laws he finds inconvenient and also to ignore the legislative branch unless it rubber stamps his initiatives. Only then is he “eager” to work with Congress.

If everybody who has a problem with the speech has to sort through the words they are allowed to use when taking issue with the president, well, there is a better chance of defanging their criticism.

It also makes it much easier for dozens of “expert analysts” who populate TV talk shows to dismiss any criticism of the president’s conduct, policies and proposals simply by declaring it racist.

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