The Obama re-election campaign has released an internet ad targeting Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, and Breitbart.com. Coming up short in the fundraising department and under fire for President Obama’s longtime association with the radical ideas of Professor Derrick Bell, the Obama campaign video features the McCain/Palin logo, and claims that right-wingers are dog-whistling racism.
The video opens with words flying in, white on blue, with the trademark McCain/Palin yellow stripe. “MORE THAN FOUR YEARS LATER,” the ad proclaims, “SARAH PALIN AND THE FAR RIGHT SAY PRESIDENT OBAMA WILL BRING BACK RACIAL DISCRIMINATION … AGAINST WHITE PEOPLE.”
The video then cuts to Palin on Hannity stating, “Barack Obama has never been seen in the conventional, traditional way of we who would describe a man of valor … And his profession as a community organizer, what went into his thinking was this philosophy of radicalism … He is bringing us back, Sean, you can hearken back to days before the Civil War ... What Barack Obama seems to want to do is to go back to those days when we were in different classes based on income, based on color of skin, why are we allowing our country to move backwards?”
“THESE ATTACKS ARE WRONG AND DANGEROUS,” the ad shouts. “IF YOU’RE TIRED OF IT, DO SOMETHING. DONATE TO THE TWO TERM FUND.”
Let’s parse this for a second. Palin was talking about the Derrick Bell story when she said all of this. Here’s the actual transcript, unspliced together by the Obama campaign. Here’s the “man of valor” clip – she was clearly talking about how Obama was accepting campaign cash from Bill Maher, a man who had called Palin a “c---“:
I don't know how anyone can sit in the audience of a commentator like Bill Maher and chuckle and laugh and think that that's entertaining. I think it's disgusting and it's dirty money that he has now provided Barack Obama's campaign, and I don't know how Barack Obama can sleep at night if he really thinks about Sasha and Malia and the treatment of some women today, how he can accept that dirty money. And granted Barack Obama has never been, I think, seen in the conventional, traditional way of we who would describe a man of valor, so it shouldn't surprise us that Barack Obama would accept that dirty money and try to get re-elected with it. But I think it does not bode well for our president's character to not speak out against that dirty money.
So she wasn’t saying anything at all about race.
As for the rest of this, she’s talking about Professor Derrick Bell. But the Obama campaign splices the footage so you have no idea what she’s talking about. The purpose is to avoid any association between Obama and Bell, of course. Here’s the full context of what Palin said:
It is a tragedy that the media did not do its job in vetting Barack Obama in 2008. Here, this is belated vetting of Barack Obama, but it must be done. People must be aware of his radical past, his radical associations … He has chosen these people because what went into his thinking through those college years, through years probably before his college years and his profession as a community organizer, what went into his thinking was this philosophy of radicalism, based on the people whom he chose to be around. He has chosen now to help lead this country more of these radicals.
So far, uncontroversial stuff. Obama’s past matters, and his philosophy matters.
But what about those Civil War comments? Again, roll tape:
He is bringing us back to days, you can hearken back to days before the Civil War, when unfortunately too many Americans mistakenly believed that not all men were created equal. And it was the Civil War that began the codification of the truth that here in America, yes we are equal, and we all have equal opportunities, not based on the color of your skin, you have equal opportunity to work hard and to succeed and to embrace God-given opportunities to develop resources and work extremely hard and as I say, to succeed. Now, it has taken all these years for many Americans to understand the gravity of that mistake that took place before the Civil War and why the Civil War had to really start changing America. What Barack Obama seems to want to do is go back to before those days when we were in different classes based on income, based on color of skin. Why are we allowing our country to move backwards instead of moving forward with that understanding that as our charters of liberty spell out for us, we are all created equally?
In other words, she’s opposing Obama’s attempt to divide us along racial and class lines. Which is what Critical Race Theory is all about – it suggests that our charters of liberty are fundamentally corrupted and there is no possibility of true change so long as they hold sway.
Notice what Obama’s team left on the cutting room floor: the vast bulk of the interview about Bell and Maher. This is a selective editing hit-job designed to make Palin look like a racist. That’s how Obama’s team is fighting back. And that’s why we must not be afraid to vet this president. The dangerous rhetoric here isn’t Palin’s – it’s the rhetoric and philosophy that infused this president with his views on race relations. That must be exposed, despite all the bully tactics of the Obama left.