Wednesday, September 16, 2009

President Obama's "Jackass" comment on Kanye West scores 89 percent in poll

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Yesterday, President Barack Obama called Kanye West as "Jackass" before a hot mic regarding his view of Kanye West's interruption of Taylor Swift as she was getting the award for Female Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards.

The President's candid statement was announced by and picked up by other sites, including my blogs. The uproar inspired me to run yet another poll. This one:

What do you think?  Take my poll.

As of this writing, 88.68 percent of the 689 votes agreed with President Obama, in other words, especially when combined with the TMZ poll, the public backs the President's current opinion of Kanye West.

In case you didn't see what West did, here's a video replay:

Kanye West's actions caused an almost immediate Internet firestorm with a reported 300,000 tweets on Twitter according to Mashable.

In an effort to clean up his image, West first took to his blog to apologize, then appeared on Jay Leno's new show Monday night, saying he was "ashamed" of what he did.

Eventually West called Swift after her appearance on "The View" Tuesday.

Tom Hayes: Fiscal conservatives looking for new dance partners

During the latter part of the 1900s and the Bush years the GOP often seemed one solid, united front of like-minded folks. It's actually nearly as diverse a coalition as the Democratic party, built around a core of old-money, anti-regulation businessmen that, at times, has held its collective fiscally conservative nose to take advantage of voters that just don't feel comfortable with the Democrats (and liked the sound of lower taxes.)

To their great delight at the time, President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered any states that were bastions of white racism in the mid-1960s to the GOP for electoral purposes - largely what we call the "old south." The GOP wielded that sudden influx carefully, and with discipline over the following decades became deft at appealing to this constituency while carefully avoiding any overtly racist public statements.

As Melissa Harris-Lacewell, Professor of Politics and African-American Studies at Princeton University, noted regarding President Carter's recent observations about racism:

"There is something particularly compelling when Southern white men identify, name, and condemn racism. America can never forget what it sounded like..." to hear LBJ say something similar while he was President:
"What happened in Selma is part of a far larger movement which reaches into every section and state of America. It is the effort of American Negroes to secure for themselves the full blessings of American life. Their cause must be our cause too. Because it's not just Negroes, but really it's all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice.

And we shall overcome."
Nobody noticed more, or denied it more vehemently, than racists themselves. LBJ knowingly drove white racists to abandon the Democratic party en masse, and most turned to the GOP, where many have remained. While there are other factors that lead people to criticize President Obama and/or his initiatives, assuming racism is not a factor for some of Obama's detractors is either naive or self-delusional. For racists to think they've managed to conceal their beliefs from most of the rest of us, that we just plain don't realize what's going on, is hubris so blatant it beggars my descriptive powers.

Where will the GOP go now?

To the consternation of the fiscal conservatives in GOP, the Bush~Cheney administration's actions spending to fund their fruitless hunt for Osama bin Laden and the disingenuous hunt for Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq have driven many moderates out of the party while crippling the financial might of the country, and they are left with the "not ready for TV" tea-baggers and some barely disguised racists as key parts of their voting base in many areas. The various ratings-driven, faux-histrionic "conservative" pundits are not solidifying the GOP power in the coming election cycle any more than the hypocritical shenanigans of Mike "Spanky" Duvall, Larry "Wide Stance" Craig, or Mark "Don't cry for me, Argentina" Sanford, which have yet to fade from the public's memory.

Ironically, fiscal conservatives have to hope for a kindred spirit in President Obama, who is considerably more socially and economically moderate than he is painted by the media. For Obama has no choice but to spend given the state of the U.S. economy as he starts his first term: the impact of the unfunded military spending and the credit and financial crisis will reverberate for years, possibly decades. While Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner takes point in the media limelight, with the President intent on bringing fairness to the Health Insurance industry, the dances taking place off-camera in D.C. must be truly epic.