Dan Hannan ‘excusing racism’ at Obama


10:54 am - September 18th 2009

by Sunny Hundal    


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The Daily Mirror reports:

David Cameron was dragged into the US race row yesterday after one of his rising stars said that he understood the anti-Barack Obama feelings.

Euro MP Daniel Hannan said fellow right-wingers should admit that racism was behind the attacks on the President.

Daniel Hannan says on his blog:

He was both black and white. He was a Protestant brought up among Muslims. He seemed to have family on every continent. Like St Paul, he made a virtue of being all things to all men.

On one level, the strategy worked brilliantly. But it could hardly fail to leave a chunk of people feeling that Obama wasn’t exactly a regular guy. Hence, for example, the surprising number of Americans who question whether he was born in the US.

So apparently Obama wasn’t a “regular guy” on account of having lived outside the US and having being “exotic”.

He goes on to say that most American conservatives see Obama’s ethnic background as a point in his favour. Of course, like these people who went to the rallies.


All that isn’t examples of racism see. It’s just ordinary citizens worrying about expanding government. (more at Media Matters)

The Mirror adds:

Labour’s Parmjit Dhanda said: “Hannan’s remarks are a disgrace. He needs to wake up to the modern world.

“It’s excusing racism. He is implying if you have what he calls an ‘exotic’ background you can be treated differently.

“Barack Obama is as representative of what it means to be an American as anyone else.”

And we were under the impression that right-wingers thought race didn’t matter. Apparently it does, if you’re “exotic”.

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Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


FFS Sunny. Have you read what Hannan actually wrote?

We should admit something frankly, we conservatives. As the amiable Jimmy Carter says, there is an element of racism in some of the hostility to Obama. At the extreme end of the spectrum, it can lead to this. But, in a softer and perhaps less conscious form, it leads to some of the vicious personal attacks on him – the ones invariably picked up by Leftist media and presented as typical.

And

But if conservatives should accept that some of the attacks on the forty-fourth president are discreditable, Lefties ought, by the same token, to concede that the overwhelming majority of the president’s opponents are not motivated by personal dislike.

So, some of the opposition to Obama is motivated by racism and this is a bad thing. But not all opposition to Obama is racist, and that shouldn’t be claimed.

And Obama was born in Hawaii to a Kenyan father and spent a lot of his childhood in Indonesia. That’s an exotic background by most standards, let alone mid-West America.

Look, I know you don’t like Dan Hannan, but this is just getting silly.

“Look, I know you don’t like Dan Hannan, but this is just getting silly.”

Not so silly that you weren’t compelled to jump in and defend him.

I really don’t think Dan Hannan can help himself, or he doesn’t want to. Hannan is popular amongst the Tory grassroots, in some ways he is their equivalent of Tony Benn in that Hannan’s philosophy represents the aspirations of most of the conservative grassroots, even if it is not popular amongst ‘liberal-conservative’ swing voters in the Midlands.

Cameron can not act over Hannan because he does not want to risk a demoralised Tory activist base when going into an election. Any kind of removal of Hannan would be unpopular with the grassroots and would create a passive membership unwilling to do the busy election work. In effect Hannan can be a loose cannon and say whatever he pretty much likes because he is aware that repercussions would not be forthcoming because Cameron is not prepared to take risks. He will happily let Dan Hannan be the poster boy of the Tory hard-right because he is an asset in pinning down the extreme wing of the Tories broad-church.

In defence of Dan Hannan … I agree with Tim J … I think this overplays and somewhat misrepresents what is basically a sensible argument from Hannan:
that it would be silly to deny that there are some racists who oppose everything Obama does for that reason, but that this is not true of most conservatives who oppose Obama on political or ideological grounds.

I don’t quite see the point of policing the discussion of Obama’s unusual background in this way. He successfully made it a very American narrative, as Hannan says. And the Obama campaign would of course acknowledge that they had to negotiate precisely these issues of race and “difference” in the campaign as Marc Ambinder’s Race Over? in the Atlantic discussed very intelligently, if they did not want their candidate defined primarily by race.

I can broadly agree with it while disagreeing with Hannan over whether the protestors are right or wrong, or how rational and well argued their case is.

So there is some racism, inevitably, but it is not in Obama’s interest to make this all about race, when it isn’t and when he has no interest whatsoever in polarising debate about his health proposals around the question ‘is it racist to oppose Obama on health’ to which the answer is obviously No, it isn’t. Carter’s remarks went much too far in that respect, though had he made a more nuanced point (there is a minority with a racial motivation) it would have been a statement of the obvious. If he had said most of the “birther” stuff is racist and/or bordering on it, he would have been right about that too. What he said was silly, both in the weakness of his argument and as a matter of politics.

My main disagreement with Hannan would be to note that several of the non-racist protestors are also somewhat bonkers in a different way – the is Obama a Commie stuff is rooted in a right-wing tendency to question the legitimacy of Democratic Presidents, and to refuse them the basic respect due to the institution of the office of the Presidency, which is something conservatives have tended to think important. The “birthers” do give this a racial tinge for sure, and that particular conspiracy nonsense will particularly appeal to racists as well as to other idiots. But these are issues about Obama being a Democrat, a liberal, etc and one can find very similar anti-Hillary and anti-Bill Clinton and anti-John Kerry sentiments and conspiracy theories.

I am not saying there isn;t a legitimate argument about healthcare and legitimate opposition to either the specific plan or indeed the broad ideal of universal coverage. I think it would be fair to say that a high proportion of the opposition has not been rational or reality-based, and wing-nutty. but that doesn’t mean all of the wing-nuts are racist, or that they would stop being wing-nuts if Obama wasn’t black and mixed race.

Or, in short, its the liberalism stupid. (Or, as it happens, the moderate sensible pragmatic centrism)

Daniel Hannan is not a racist, or making excuses for racists in his blog.

Just because he’s a hard-right libertarian who we have little ideologically in common with doesn’t mean we can deliberately take his words out of context in order to discredit him.

I vehemently dislike Daniel Hannan, but it sounds like he’s explaining the racism, as opposed to excusing it.

He is entirely clueless however to the amount of opposition to Obama that is fuelled by his race though, as are a vast majority of commentators in the political classes. Which is part of the problem with racism, it’s not always obvious even to the people that practice it.

He’s not explaining the racism. He’s saying it mostly doesn’t exist. And that most of the wingnuts who go to these rallies are really doing it for the deficit (in which case, why were they not protesting when Bush was running them up?).

Funny how rightwingers are suddenly concocting up stories of ‘death panels’. Will Hannan say anything about that?

I agree with Sunder @ 4.

From how I understand it, he’s saying that there is some racism going on, but not as much as prObama (see what I did there?) supporters would have you believe. They are trying to put across that anyone who disagrees with their man is doing so because they are an ignorant racist, and are missing the fact that some people disagree with him on policy.

Both sides, the prObama and the anti-Obama, need to get over the fact that he is black. He is president, and that is far more important than the colour of his skin.

Sunder @4:

My main disagreement with Hannan would be to note that several of the non-racist protestors are also somewhat bonkers in a different way – the is Obama a Commie stuff is rooted in a right-wing tendency to question the legitimacy of Democratic Presidents, and to refuse them the basic respect due to the institution of the office of the Presidency, which is something conservatives have tended to think important.

I’m not sure it has anything to do with legitimacy (a nebulous concept at best) and more to do with the fact that many US conservatives believe strongly in a somewhat bastardised version of Hayek’s ‘Road to Serfdom’ thesis, which states that government intervention in people’s daily lives will almost inevitably lead to government abusing that influence. “A government that is big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take it all away” is how that belief is often summarised. There is a genuine fear that state-run healthcare will mean that, at some point, the government may set healthcare priorities that the individuals on the receiving end are unhappy with, but are unable to do anything about. Hence the fascination with people who can’t get experimental cancer drugs on the NHS, and the somewhat absurd logical conclusion of ‘death panels’.

The thing is, it’s not such a bad argument in and of itself. The more power given to the state to set priorities over healthcare, the greater the damage that could be done by having a nutter in charge of the state. Even from a left-wing perspective, it’s worth worrying about what might happen if a hardcore anti-abortionist became President and wielded significant influence over healthcare funding for contraception and abortion. The solution of having private, competing health providers certainly generates inefficiencies and injustices, but the opposite end of the spectrum has its own problems (or risks of problems). Conservatives are those who regard the latter risks as a bigger worry than the present-day problems – and that’s pretty much your nutshell definition of a conservative right there, so nobody should be surprised by this.

Of course, Obama isn’t proposing a monolithic state healthcare system – he isn’t even talking about state provision of healthcare, just state funding (afaik, having very loosely followed this). What’s wrong with the conservative argument is that it depends on the mother of all slippery slopes, leading from the state helping to pay for the treatment of your choice to the state deciding everything about how – and whether at all – you are treated. Oh, that and the insane nutjob racism and accusations of communism/fascism (though anyone who argues that it’s just plain wrong to compare the President to Hitler should remember this kind of thing).

11. David O'Keefe

“Barack Obama has an exotic background, and it would be odd if some people weren’t unsettled by it.”

Translated: I’m not racist but…

I wonder if a young Sunny was ever sat on his parents knees and told of the story of he boy who cried race? It seems not.

13. douglas clark

Rob @ 10,

Couldn’t this hypothetical all powerfull anti abortion President just pass laws that would effect private health providers in exactly the same way as it effects public health providers? No?

I love the way the person in the first picture has copied a joke but not understood it and therefore missed out a crucial word – it should start “the zoo has an African lion”

Still racist, and still not funny, but at least it makes sense that way. How dim do you have to be to get something like that wrong?

This post smacks of desperation. Can’t we wait until Hannan actually says something racist (I mean aside from the whole Enoch Powell thing) instead of simply taking him out of context?

I’m sure he’ll supply something soon.

#14 – I think the photo of a lion is supposed to replace the word.

Personally my favourite is the “bury Obamacare along with Kennedy” placard.

I’d never particularly gained the impression there were a lot of American votes in gloating about Kennedy’s assassination, but I stand to be corrected.

16 – Clearly anti-Catholic as well as racist. Is there no end to the wickedness of these people?

@16 that’s a reference to Ted Kennedy not JFK

Didn’t Hannan write before the election that he hoped Obama would win?

“that’s a reference to Ted Kennedy not JFK”

How do you know? Did you write it?

18 – yup. He came out for Obama quite early I seem to remember.

Incidentally, does Sunny think that references to Obama’s exotic background are hidden racism?

19 – presumably because JFK’s been buried for really quite a long time now?

Whether Hannan and those people in the pictures are racist or not, they all leave a nasty taste in the mouth. Something not quite right about all of them, and definitely not promoting sensible debate. One cannot help thinking that actually they don’t want a sensible debate. Of course, some of them wouldn’t know a debate if it punched them on the nose. They just follow he who shouts the loudest and it’s usually Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity!

“presumably because JFK’s been buried for really quite a long time now?”

And since when has ‘a long time’ been any impediment to wingnuts still bearing a grudge?

22 – Maybe it’s a reference to Joe Kennedy? Or perhaps it was angry Latinists referring to Kennedy’s Latin Primer? Or Ray Kennedy? Charles Kennedy perhaps? Nigel Kennedy?

Or maybe it was a reference to burying the Kennedy who died, like, a week or two ago. Occam’s razor?

[21] Chris

And you think Labour has been promoting sensible debate? Firstly Brown’s insistence that they wouldn’t cut, then the “yes our spending goes down but it’s not cuts because our unemployment is going to come down, unlike the Tories who want to keep unemployment high”, then finally to “yes, we’re cutting, but our cuts won’t affect anyone”.

Neither side wants a debate, because neither side wants to admit to specifics.

“maybe it was a reference to burying the Kennedy who died, like, a week or two ago.”

Ah, I see: It’s fuuu-neee if it’s someone who died recently.

I’ll bookmark this thread. It might come in useful soon.

smears and snears. I think checking back which you wont do Han described himself as a Obamacon, and wrote quite a few pro Bam articles.

Here is a tip, stop reading the Mirror.

#the is Obama a Commie stuff is rooted in a right-wing tendency to question the legitimacy of Democratic Presidents, and to refuse them the basic respect due to the institution of the office of the Presidency#

Yeah you fuckin hippies…that office deserves respect…the United States is a great nation and beacon of decency of freedom to the world…the man or wo…er man duly and democratically elected to lead that freedom-lovin’ pioneer race merits a bit of deference and homage from you lot…they saved your asses from the Kaiser, Hitler and Obama…er Osama…. no matter who the incumbent is, you should afford him the dignity that is his due. Same goes for the office of Prime Minister..some of you smart ass liberal beatniks ought to remember that. If I had my way I’d…well never mind but it wouldn’t be pretty or painless.

Thank god Sunder reminds us of the need for a bit of basic courtesy when dealing with elected politicians. Even a righteous horny-handed, Fabian artisan like him has more dignity than you bunch of namby pamby, middle-class, contrarian, “too cool for school” Generation X’ers. Shame on you. I bet your mums are so proud.

25 – no, it isn’t funny, and I wasn’t suggesting that it was. Nor is it a reference to JFK. It was an unfunny, and not very pleasant, reference to Edward Kennedy.

And I rather doubt that de mortuis nil nisi bonum will apply to lefties when Mrs Thatcher dies anyway. Which is what you were referring to presumably?

#18

Yes, I wasn’t thinking. You’re probably right, although despite being pretty left-wing for a mainstream US politician, Ted Kennedy was fairly popular nationally, so the point about it not being a good way to sell your message still stands.

#28

The maxim “don’t speak ill of the dead” (I don’t speak Latin but presumably that’s what that is) has always seemed a bit superstitious to me. I think you’d struggle to find a more polarising figure than Thatcher: half the country will be mourning and half celebrating when she finally passes away, and each reaction will seem inappropriate to the other.

“I rather doubt that de mortuis nil nisi bonum will apply to lefties”

I’m sure it won’t, either.

But I am sure that you’ll have the first comment on any post here that does… Especially if it mentions Danny-wannie-Hannie-poos.

1) Obama is black.

2) There are racists in the United States.

3) The racists in the United States oppose Obamas policies because he is black and they are racists.

4) If you oppose Obamas policies you therefore must be a racist.

All Hannan was doing was pointing out the logical fallacy in the above which should be clear to even the most fervent witchfinder.

But of course that makes him a racist or an apologist.

FFS get a grip guys……..

The maxim “don’t speak ill of the dead” (I don’t speak Latin but presumably that’s what that is) has always seemed a bit superstitious to me. I think you’d struggle to find a more polarising figure than Thatcher: half the country will be mourning and half celebrating when she finally passes away, and each reaction will seem inappropriate to the other.

Sorry! If it’s any consolation it ought to be in Greek, but I don’t speak that either…

I think it’s less superstitious than just a plea for good manners. It’s not as if you can never speak ill of the dead, but it’s considered good form to wait a bit first. Plus, actively celebrating someone’s death (as opposed to not mourning them) strikes me as just being unpleasant.

The New Statesman had a blog by Macintyre on this very subject.

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/public-accounts/2009/09/obama-hannan-racism-cameron

Alas, it seems to have disappeared. Perhaps NS realise how ridiculous this is, even by Macintyre’s standards.

33 – I suspect it was the imputations of racism to Hannan personally. Presumably the NS lawyers had conniptions…

Incidentally, does Sunny think that references to Obama’s exotic background are hidden racism?

Why bring up his “exotic” background when it has little relevant to the healthcare debate?

Not long ago, Hannan said he couldn’t tell the difference between Sunder Katwala and I. Bizarre, given we look very different and he’s met Sunder (not me though, by then). Oh and then of course the flowing platitudes about Enoch Powell.

It’s funny how ethnic minorities can never play the race card, even when people like Dan Hannan are clearly playing to excuse away the vile attacks made on Obama.

douglas @ 14:

Couldn’t this hypothetical all powerfull anti abortion President just pass laws that would effect private health providers in exactly the same way as it effects public health providers? No?

Yes, but that would require passing a law, which the US system makes quite difficult to do. Controlling federal healthcare policy is something that could probably (this is all hypothetical, of course) be done by executive order, making it much easier for a single powerful individual to impose decisions. Like I said above, this is all very much ‘what if’, but the fear is not a totally unreasonable one, even if you don’t share it.

Why bring up his “exotic” background when it has little relevant to the healthcare debate?

Because he wasn’t talking about healthcare, but whether opposition to Obama is exclusively based on racism, as Jimmy Carter claimed.

Not long ago, Hannan said he couldn’t tell the difference between Sunder Katwala and I.

Yes, and he displayed his vicious anti-Geordie bigotry by comparing you to Ant & Dec. Who also look different.

Oh and then of course the flowing platitudes about Enoch Powell.

Wasn’t that the thread where you ended up arguing that your position on immigration was “essentially the same” as Enoch Powell’s?

Because he wasn’t talking about healthcare, but whether opposition to Obama is exclusively based on racism, as Jimmy Carter claimed.

I realise that – but he seems to believe that Obama’s non WASP background is a good enough reason to continually raise it as an acceptable talking point.

He argues that Americans wanted Obama as Prez so they could have a post-racial future… while simultaneously arguing that because Obama has an “exotic” background, it’s perfectly ok for people to feel uncomfortable about it…. in the context of healthcare?

And he completely ignores all the racism that has been flowing towards Obama. Are you really arguing the above linked images aren’t racist caricatures?

Wasn’t that the thread where you ended up arguing that your position on immigration was “essentially the same” as Enoch Powell’s?

I’m not for unlimited immigration, but not because I think the black man will plan to subjugate the white man. Hope that’s clear enough for you.

I think Dan Hannan is a twat of the first water but Tim J is right. There is nothing remotely racist about his remarks and the Mirror “story” is a cheap smear. We complain when the right does this. We should have higher standards ourselves.

I believe that Hannan (bizarrely perhaps) actually endorsed Obama.

I find myself in agreement with Sunder: most (not all, obviously) of the health reform protesters are McCarthyite rather than racist.

Those illustrated above certainly cross the line into racism though, and the ‘birthers’ are racist, through and through.

We complain when the right does this. We should have higher standards ourselves.

I don’t buy this argument. First, the right does it anyway, and shamelessly. In fact they played the sex card over Sarah Palin and played the race card over Obama when saying that the US was only electing him because he was black (or good for race relations).

Anyway, the point is that the healthcare debate should have little to do with Obama’s race. And yet we’ve seen the most virulent examples of hatred thrown at Obama, especially the “birther” bullshit, because of his background.

Hannan is now saying these guys aren’t really racist, they’re just worried about govt spending. You have to be really fucking stupid to think the above signs have nothing to do with Obama’s race.

It’s not the left which is playing the race card – it’s the rightwingers.

Oh and lastly – if the 9/12 wingnuts who went to the rally, and Glenn Beck et al weren’t racist, they should have repudiated these disgusting signs instead of excusing them.

First of all I don’t care what the right does. That’s not how I want to set the bar.

No-one is suggesting that there is no racism involved in teabaggery. On the contrary Hannan himself clearly accepts that is the case (a concession which few on the right have been prepared to make) and for his pains is accused of sharing these views. I’m not disgreeing about the signs or at the birthers. Where we part company is your apparent insistence on associating Hannan with them in a way which strikes me as grossly unfair.

“We complain when the right does this. We should have higher standards ourselves.

I don’t buy this argument.”

So you’re saying the Left should smear?

Sunny – you haven’t read his piece have you? You can’t have done or you’d have noticed that this:

We should admit something frankly, we conservatives. As the amiable Jimmy Carter says, there is an element of racism in some of the hostility to Obama. At the extreme end of the spectrum, it can lead to this.

is totally incompatible with this:

And he completely ignores all the racism that has been flowing towards Obama. Are you really arguing the above linked images aren’t racist caricatures?

Surely you can’t have actually read his piece and still thought he was totally ignoring all the racism towards Obama? It’s right there in his first sodding paragraph.

Hannan is now saying these guys aren’t really racist, they’re just worried about govt spending. You have to be really fucking stupid to think the above signs have nothing to do with Obama’s race.

And you’d have to be really really fucking stupid to think Hannan was saying that. Or just not have read his blog. What he’s saying is that not all, or even most, of the opposition to Obama (on everything, not just on healthcare) is based on racism. Some is, but most isn’t. You cannot, repeat cannot, disprove his theory that some of the opposition to Obama is racist but most isn’t by showing placards that show that some of the opposition to Obama is racist.

And saying that some Americans might be made uncomfortable by Obama’s exotic background is hard to cast as racism, when Obama himself said pretty much exactly the same thing (even including ‘my exotic background’) in his speech to the Democratic Convention in 2004.

Look, call Tories out on policy, on whatever. But continually making unjustified accusations of racism is just shit.

“You cannot, repeat cannot, disprove his theory that some of the opposition to Obama is racist but most isn’t by showing placards that show that some of the opposition to Obama is racist.”

Even if you could of course, that still wouldn’t make Hannan himself a racist.

Incidentally, I note incidentally that a similar piece on the New Statesman website has now been removed.

I agree again with TimJ@45

The pictures are racist. Hannan’s argument was that some are racist, and also that others that don’t think they are racist are uncomfortable with Obama’s “difference”.

I agree with Sunny H on lots of issues. Many of the issues where I disagree with him is so often summed up by versions of his comment@42

“I don’t buy this argument. First, the right does it anyway, and shamelessly”.

this logic is a disaster for us. it will debase all politics. we lose.

I didn’t actually think that what he said was necessarily racist, but does no-one see the irony in Daniel Hannan, an Irish guy who grew up in Peru and then attended Oxford, commenting on Obama’s background?

I mean, Dannan’s not exactly a regular guy. 😀

This all seems very personal. It’s certainly pathetic. Forget the inconvenient facts, Sunny’s in full *shaping the narrative* mode.

Surely you can’t have actually read his piece and still thought he was totally ignoring all the racism towards Obama? It’s right there in his first sodding paragraph.

I stand corrected, but I guess where I differ is that I think a lot of the opposition is motivated by racism. Up to 50% of Republicans think Obama is a non-citizen. Glenn Beck himself thinks Obama is running some mad socialist conspiracy and has repeatedly made racial remarks (including calling Obama a racist). The 9/12 rally wasn’t just a few wingnuts surrounded by citizens concerned by the budget deficit (as I’ve said before, these same people weren’t angry when Bush was screwing up the economy).

Hannan is still downplaying a lot of the virulent racism directed at Obama. The birthers aren’t just a fringe movement anymore – they’re atually making life difficult for moderate Republicans. To dismiss that as a few loonies is frankly absurd.

Last October, John McCain’s campaign ousted a Buchanan County, Va., McCain campaign official, Bobby May, for writing a newspaper column that said that if Obama were elected he’d hire rapper Ludacris to paint the White House black and change the national anthem to the “Negro National Anthem” by James Weldon Johnson.

Diane Fedele, who was then the president of a Republican women’s club in San Bernardino County, Calif., resigned last October after she sent out a newsletter with a drawing of Obama on a bogus food-stamp coupon surrounded by ribs, watermelon and fried chicken.

In May, Sherri Goforth, an aide to Republican state Sen. Diane Black of Tennessee, sent an e-mail to Republican staffers showing the first 43 U.S. presidents in stately poses, but Obama’s image, as the 44th president, was a pair of bright white cartoonish eyes on a black background.

In June, Diann Jones, the vice chairman of the Collin County Republican Party in Texas sent an e-mail to local Republican clubs calling a proposal for a $50 gun tax “another terrific idea from the black house and its minions.”

Also in June, South Carolina Republican activist Rusty DePass compared an escaped gorilla from a Columbia zoo to first lady Michelle Obama’s ancestors.

At an August political forum, Republican U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins of Kansas denied any racial intent when she said that the party was looking for a “great white hope” to lead the party into the future.

I guess all these incidents are insignificant…

Tim J
Trouble with Harmon is not the article but his close association to conservative journalists like James Delingpole, Nick Cohen and rest of their friends at Fox news.
In recent book Delingpole’s attack on Obama are quite vile.
I now that as standpoint conservative you must defend him but Obama is not the the black devil as south park republicans like yourself like to portray him.
By the way this is interesting site.
Left of centre writers and many Thatcherite conservative posters such as Tim F and cjcjc (what ever that means).

Tim J
I do agree with Sunny many of the comments from the right in the US and UK have that underlining sentiment “We resent a black man been in charge”.
A little like your posts.

53. douglas clark

I know this will not be popular, but I think this is the start of the decline of the American Empire. The irrational becoming mainstream, the disrespect for democracy, the outright racism. At a level far beyond anything we’ve seen in, what, the last forty years or so?

What, exactly, is there to love?

And before anyone else says it, I respect their science more than they seem to.

Obama says the protests aren’t racist, so he’s excusing racism. He must be racist! Hey, the Hitler moustache must be fair comment then!

52/3 – a few things. First of all, do fuck off. I’m not a Republican at all for a start – I’m a British Conservative and there are a hell of a lot of differences. Second, if you can find any post where I’ve said, suggested or even implied that I don’t think Obama is fit to be President (on any grounds at all, let alone racial ones) do let me know. Third (and less important…) Tim J =/= tim f.

Sunny – so it’s a difference of degree between Hannan, who thinks that not all the opposition to Obama is racist, but some is; and you who think that not all the opposition to Obama is racist but a lot is. That’s a perfectly reasonable point of difference, but it really doesn’t justify accusing Dan of excusing racism, especially without having read the relevant article.

Sunny, how do you respond to Obama’s claim that the protests aren’t racially motivated, and how do you distinguish Obama’s position from Hannan’s ‘racist’ one?

Sunny, how do you respond to Obama’s claim that the protests aren’t racially motivated, and how do you distinguish Obama’s position from Hannan’s ‘racist’ one?

Of course Obama has to say that, or else he’ll be accused of playing the race card. Remember the last time he said anything about race (the professor who got wrongly arrested) and how the right went nutso?

Obama can’t go near race, even if it is about race.

that’s a perfectly reasonable point of difference, but it really doesn’t justify accusing Dan of excusing racism, especially without having read the relevant article.

the headline reflects the accusation made in the Mirror article. I don’t think Hannan is completely excusing the racism – and I shouldn’t have given that impression – but he’s certainly downplaying it.

So it’s racist to describe someone as having an “exotic background” is it?

”I have an unusual name and an exotic background, but my values are essentially American values. I’m rooted in the African-American community, but I’m not limited by it.”

(Barack Obama, 2004, shortly after his election to the Senate).

Sunny,

I think you miss the point. You are are quite right to point out the very real racism that motivates the opposition to Obama, but to make false allegations as the Mirror and Statesman have done against someone who plainly does not deserve it (and in this case even goes some way to agreeing with you) simply undermines the case.

“the headline reflects the accusation made in the Mirror article.”

Perhaps it shouldn’t.

Perhaps Dan Hanna could spend a bit of time explaining why he thinks Enoch Powell was one of his biggest influences.

As I’ve repeatedly pointed out above, the racist element is a lot bigger than anyone wants to admit. The guy who organised the protests called Obama an ‘Indonesian Muslim welfare thug’. (see the CNN / Fox video I posted)

This isn’t a fringe loony group. So why would Hannan downplay that?

“As I’ve repeatedly pointed out above, the racist element is a lot bigger than anyone wants to admit.”

I absolutely agree. So why make it about Hannan? It invites the predictable accusation that you can’t criticise a black politician without being called a racist. It’s an own goal.

I don’t think Hannan’s reference to Powell had anything to do with race. I think he compares himself to Powell as a rightwinger at odds with what he sees as a Heathite leadership. I think that’s a much more interesting reading of his remarks which I think were intended to be mischievious, but not for that reason. Powell tends to be seen only through the prism of that one speech and I think that’s a misreading. Hannan is an extremist who given enough rope will hang himself and put a dent in his party. I just don’t think he’s a racist.

I didn’t say he was a racist. But I think he downplays racism around him. He was also fervently defending the Polish Kaminski, despite the latter being caught out on some of his words. These people would prefer to just think that their allies aren’t racist at all.

This is what the phrase daft racist was invented for.

Fucking backward thinking loons.

As I’ve repeatedly pointed out above, the racist element is a lot bigger than anyone wants to admit. The guy who organised the protests called Obama an ‘Indonesian Muslim welfare thug’. (see the CNN / Fox video I posted)

This isn’t a fringe loony group. So why would Hannan downplay that?

FFS Sunny, don’t tell me you still haven’t read the piece you’re commenting on. Hannan is talking about all the hostility to Obama, in response to Jimmy Carter, who was also talking about all the hostility to Obama. He wasn’t referring specfically to the marches against the Health reforms, and it is simply dishonest of you to imply that he is. Equally, as I said above, you cannot prove that all opposition to Obama is racist by proving that some is.

Hannan is saying that there is racism involved in some of the hostility to Obama, but that it isn’t universal, and it shouldn’t be used to shut down all opposition.

Look, I’m sure if you look hard enough you’ll find commentators denying that there is any racism at all in the opposition to Obama. You might even find mainstream opponents of his being racists. But shouting ‘racist’ about an article by an Obama supporter which acknowledges and deplores the racism in hostility to Obama while also maintaining that it is possible to oppose Obama for non-racist reasons is, to coin a phrase, really fucking stupid.

Douglas Clark @54:

“Start” of the decline?

The start of that decline was the double-punch of Vietnam and Watergate during the 1970s. The tripwire, though, is the current economic collapse.

The drive to the extreme right was reactionary, in the most literal possible sense; it was a reaction against the steady liberalisation of US common culture through the internet boom and the 1990s. The nutbars coalesced into a powerful force when they realised that America was swinging Democrat under Clinton. Look what they geared up for? The endless rounds of that war of attrition geared them up with a huge machine, which they honed and oiled and then unleashed in 2000, and then unleashed again in the autumn of 2001.

They got really good at tearing the country apart because it was the only way to win anything if you believed what they did and were campaigning in America. And they got really good at it. So good that you see this crap being taken seriously on international news and commentary sites. We have to take it seriously, because they’re really good at eating their own young over there, and as with every other habit America has, we’re afraid they might export it.

What this article forgets is that Obama himself coined the virtue of his ‘exotic’ background and takes pride in not being a ‘regular guy’. I don’t think either of these quotes are (a) originally Hannan’s or (b) derrogative in any way.

See Young Contrarian on the issue:
http://www.youngcontrarian.com


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  1. Liberal Conspiracy

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  2. Clay Harris

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  3. Paranormal Guru

    Liberal Conspiracy » Dan Hannan ‘excusing racism’ at Obama: About the author: Sunny Hundal is editor of .. http://bit.ly/1lMRNM

  4. Liberal Conspiracy

    Article:: Dan Hannan ‘excusing racism’ at Obama http://bit.ly/36nhwx

  5. Clay Harris

    #followfriday and every day RT @libcon: Article: Dan Hannan ‘excusing racism’ at Obama http://bit.ly/36nhwx

  6. Tweets that mention Liberal Conspiracy » Dan Hannan ‘excusing racism’ at Obama -- Topsy.com

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  7. Paranormal Guru

    Liberal Conspiracy » Dan Hannan ‘excusing racism’ at Obama: About the author: Sunny Hundal is editor of .. http://bit.ly/1lMRNM

  8. DriveTimeHappyHour

    Liberal Conspiracy » Dan Hannan ‘excusing racism’ at Obama http://bit.ly/2t9UfF

  9. DriveTimeHappyHour

    Liberal Conspiracy » Dan Hannan ‘excusing racism’ at Obama http://bit.ly/2t9UfF

  10. Complete the English Revolution…says Tory MP?? « Though Cowards Flinch

    […] Talk about bad judgment – but then this is the same Dan Hannan who managed to miss the glaring racism at the Washington march against universal […]

  11. ‘We came unarmed (this time)’ « Max Dunbar

    […] as Jim said, and despite what Dan Hannan thinks, this is clearly a racist campaign. Check out the […]

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    […] as Jim said, and despite what Dan Hannan thinks, this is clearly a racist campaign. Check out the […]

  13. Jessica Asato

    @torybear I can ony find one post from Lib Con, and they don’t use the word sympathiser… http://is.gd/3R7iv





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