Most voters say they won't decide between Barack Obama and John McCain on the basis of race. But, in a question that is more subtle than the standard questions in a poll, can a decision be based on the racial experience of the voter?
There's Harvard's Randall Kennedy writing in the Washington Post:
If Obama loses, I personally will feel disappointed, frustrated, hurt. I'll conclude that a fabulous opportunity has been lost. I'll believe that American voters have made a huge mistake. And I'll think that an important ingredient of their error is racial prejudice -- not the hateful, snarling, open bigotry that terrorized my parents in their youth, but rather a vague, sophisticated, low-key prejudice that is chameleonlike in its ability to adapt to new surroundings and to hide even from those firmly in its grip.
There's Gov. Kathleen Sebelius's claim in an AP article initially entitled "Sebelius says GOP using racial code language" - self-evident, that claim. But an excerpt anyway:
"Have any of you noticed that Barack Obama is part African-American?" Sebelius asked with sarcasm. "(Republicans) are not going to go lightly into the darkness."
And overall, a widespread sense that, with Pres. Bush's approval rating in the 30s, if Obama isn't up in the polls by at least a dozen points nationwide, something fishy must be going on, and by "fishy," I'm using GOP "code language" for "racist." (They give you a code book when you register Republican. Really. You know motor-voter registration at the DMV? If you register Republican, the person who takes down your information gives you a little wink and a head-jerk toward the restrooms. You go into the stall on the right - of course! - and a little door opens up in the back wall and there's a little book inside. Now that I've squealed, you can expect never to hear from me again.) I wish I could find the cite for an op-ed - I think it was an op-ed - I just heard quoted on the Limbaugh radio show, in which the writer, or the person being interviewed if it wasn't an op-ed, said again that the Democrat ticket ought to have taken this election in a walk; that it's a dead heat can only be explained, he said, by racism.
Really? ONLY by racism?
One question: why are the Democrats so sure that Bush's approval rating is "historically low" because he hasn't been acting left enough?