Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Excuse -- If Obama's Defeated, It's Because Of Racists

Yes, it's those racist folks called "Bubba" who may do in The Messiah, despite the polls (allegedly) showing him cruising to victory.

That's according to a Gannett News Service article, which seems to me like the first draft of revisionist history in case Obama loses. In the spring, Obama was supposed to be the Democrat's invincible candidate. Now that The Precious is looking like a mere mortal, who could actually lose to McCain, some people are ginning up a politically correct answer.

Of course, that answer is racism.

Ever since Tom Bradley got defeated for governor of California by George Deukmejian, despite being in the lead in polls, there has been talk of a "Bradley effect" -- that some people were reluctant to vote for Bradley as a black person, but didn't want to say so because racism is socially unacceptable.

WASHINGTON -- Former Republican House of Representatives Majority Leader Dick Armey calls it "the Bubba vote." Democratic Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland says Barack Obama's race is "the elephant in the corner."

No matter how bluntly it is put, the race question is one of several fuzzy variables in the 2008 presidential campaign that are giving pollsters fits. Much careful thought and second-guessing are going on throughout the nation's political polling industry.

Pollsters wonder if some Americans are lying when they say they are uncommitted or plan to vote for Obama in November, raising the question of whether the so-called Bradley effect has clouded the 2008 race. . .

"There's an awful lot of people in America, bless their heart, who simply are not emotionally prepared to vote for a black man," Armey said in an interview during the Republican National Convention. "I think it's unfortunate. I think it's deplorable. But it's there and it's real and it will affect the vote."

Let's stipulate that some people are racist, and would not vote for a black man (or woman). But there are also others who preferentially cast their vote for black people. Obama won the support of black Democrats in overwhelming majorities, far disproportionate to the Democratic populace as a whole, which was more closely divided. Why is that not also racism?

What was most lacking from this article was evidence to back up its claim of closet racist voters. Here is what passes for evidence, in its entirety:

In the 1982 California governor's race, former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, a black candidate, led in preelection polls but lost at the ballot box. Since then, there have been questions about whether poll respondents always speak truthfully about race.

A black candidate led in polls, but lost an election in 1982. So that raised "questions" about people speaking truthfully about race. And from questions, a conjecture is made, one that conveniently exculpates pollsters from any blame. There is no research cited to back up this conjecture -- it doesn't deserve to be called theory -- just a bunch of quotes.

Perhaps there is research backing the "Bradley Effect." If so, the reporter should have cited the evidence instead of writing such a slapdash article, one that places those who don't vote for Obama under suspicion of being closet racists.

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