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uncle ebeneezer
04-30-2009, 07:17 PM
http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/04/york-obama-is-actually-not-so-popular-because-some-people-who-like-him-are-black.php

bjkeefe
04-30-2009, 07:20 PM
http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/04/york-obama-is-actually-not-so-popular-because-some-people-who-like-him-are-black.php

Duuuuuuude ... (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=112026#post112026)

uncle ebeneezer
04-30-2009, 07:27 PM
My bad. But it did bear repeating.

bjkeefe
04-30-2009, 07:50 PM
My bad. But it did bear repeating.

True that.

bjkeefe
05-01-2009, 12:42 AM
My bad. But it did bear repeating.

Ta-Nehisi (http://ta-nehisicoates.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/04/call_it_what_it_is.php) (via Rumproast (http://www.rumproast.com/index.php/site/comments/quote_of_the_day8/)) thinks so, too.

Starwatcher162536
05-01-2009, 03:40 AM
Perhaps I am unconsciously a racist, but I don't see that being a really outrageous statement.

People are tribal. People go easier on other people that share similar traits (Doesn't have to be race, this is true even for minor things like accent). So yes, Obama probably does garner more support then he should on various positions from people that perceive him as sharing their ethnicity. Lets turn down the political correctness people.

bjkeefe
05-01-2009, 07:15 AM
Perhaps I am unconsciously a racist, but I don't see that being a really outrageous statement.

People are tribal. People go easier on other people that share similar traits (Doesn't have to be race, this is true even for minor things like accent). So yes, Obama probably does garner more support then he should on various positions from people that perceive him as sharing their ethnicity. Lets turn down the political correctness people.

First, follow some of the links here (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=112026#post112026). One or two of them, Weigel's piece (http://washingtonindependent.com/41127/investigative-reporter-byron-york-exposes-black-support-for-democratic-president) in particular, have some data that should satisfy you that, in fact, there is no difference of the kind York was suggesting between Obama and many other Democratic politicians -- including white ones -- in how the numbers work.

Second, try to resist the urge to play the "don't be so PC" card as though just because you say so, everyone has to have the same level of (in)sensitivity as you do. It is legitimate for other people to find things offensive that you do not.

Third, if you're not being obtuse and you're truly unaware, then you should familiarize yourself with dog-whistle politics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog-whistle_politics), especially as practiced by oily operatives like Byron York, who make a living from talking about these things with a specific audience in mind. York knew exactly what he was doing with that post. If you read what York wrote and did not immediately think "two words: three-fifths," then I suggest you might not be the best judge on this issue.

Lastly, if you're at all familiar with Ta-Nehisi Coates (http://ta-nehisicoates.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/04/call_it_what_it_is.php)'s attitude about this sort of thing, then you know that he is very reluctant to react when others all around him are shrieking. I am not offering him as the ultimate arbiter, but merely as a useful yardstick.

uncle ebeneezer
05-01-2009, 01:55 PM
Republican policies have never been very popular. It's just that that military supports them.

Actually this brings up an even more interesting point. Imagine how popular Obama would be if prison inmates were allowed to vote!! My guess is that his policies are WAY more popular than even the polls can measure.

York's article was stupid and unoriginal. If he wanted to give a lesson on polls, weighted averages and Stats 101 he could have used many examples, but the one that he chose is telling. He is using a practice which is very common and that needs to called out. He's treading dangerously close to racist pronouncements. Most racism I've witnessed in my life has not been cases where a neo-Nazi screams the N-word. It's usually subtle jabs like stereotypes about blacks not wanting to work, or not being fit to play Quarterback, or comments about Mexicans wanting to take over the US. These kinds of utterances are fairly common-place and disturbing. And the Republican Party loves to use these subtle dog-whistle put-downs every now and then, and I can't think of any reason why, except that the people who spout them are a bit racist. As much as I completely disagree with the major principles of Conservatism, many other people find it appealing and it has done pretty well for itself over the years. And while I'm thoroughly enjoying watching them twist in the wind, I don't believe that some form of the ideology will not remain a large part of our poltical landscape going forward. I don't think these us/them outlooks of the type do much to help recruit people to the GOP. And considering that most of the examples that I have witnessed first-hand were everyday ordinary voters, not politicians, it seems to show that these feelings of black inferiority are widespread, and very hard to change.

Starwatcher162536
05-03-2009, 06:59 PM
If you read what York wrote and did not immediately think "two words: three-fifths," then I suggest you might not be the best judge on this issue.


If your first thought following reading York's article was "three-fifths", then that would suggest to me that you are not being objective. That is an emotional response to what should lead you to ask a series of empirical questions. Such as, What is the ratio of African Americans to the total electorate?, Was there a larger jump in support for Obama compared to past Democrat presidential nominees among African American then in the rest of the electorate?, Is the level of distortion of support for various policies perpetrated by the Obama brand name's support plausible?, etc.


First, follow some of the links here. One or two of them, Weigel's piece in particular, have some data that should satisfy you that, in fact, there is no difference of the kind York was suggesting between Obama and many other Democratic politicians -- including white ones -- in how the numbers work.


There are three major constraints to trying to make group identity (in this case race) make certain positions appear more popular then they actually are. It does not appear there is any plausible way to attribute more then about a 1.5% jump in Obama's positions to race.

My original post was responding to Ygelsias' article you linked to. After reading York's article in full, I won't argue with the assertion that York was indeed playing a form of dog-whistle politics.


Second, try to resist the urge to play the "don't be so PC" card as though just because you say so, everyone has to have the same level of (in)sensitivity as you do. It is legitimate for other people to find things offensive that you do not.

Fair enough. I suppose I may be less sensitive then most people on this, and more prone to assume other people are merely expressing fake outrage, since I find racial topics to be boring topics.

cognitive madisonian
05-07-2009, 11:21 AM
I think it's an entirely silly outrage. Obama's approval ratings are inflated by the abnormally high support from the black community, the same way that a Polish politicians' numbers would be inflated by a high tribal mentality among Polish-Americans (and possibly broader Pan-Slavic sentiment for anyone with a Slavic name). That number does distort the perception of the overall public.

As to bjkeefe's ad hominem filled post, Byron is a far more accomplished writer than any of the netroots bloggers.

popcorn_karate
05-08-2009, 12:57 PM
so how are blacks not a part of the "general public"?

cognitive madisonian
05-08-2009, 04:37 PM
so how are blacks not a part of the "general public"?

When one reads about a poll, one figures that there is fairly even distribution across the different groups that constitute the general public. An abnormally high support level from one group distorts this. This is what York was getting at. The criticisms of him are straw dogs. He didn't claim that blacks aren't part of the general public.

TwinSwords
05-08-2009, 05:44 PM
When one reads about a poll, one figures that there is fairly even distribution across the different groups that constitute the general public. An abnormally high support level from one group distorts this. This is what York was getting at. The criticisms of him are straw dogs. He didn't claim that blacks aren't part of the general public.

Yes, he did.

cognitive madisonian
05-08-2009, 05:58 PM
Yes, he did.

you basically ignored 90% of my post there ;)

TwinSwords
05-08-2009, 06:01 PM
I responded to the important part.

cognitive madisonian
05-08-2009, 06:14 PM
I responded to the important part.

no, you missed the important part. A poll gives the impression of a fairly evenly distributed support level across different subgroups of the overall general population. This is clearly not the case with Obama's support. Stop creating strawman arguments.

Starwatcher162536
05-08-2009, 06:17 PM
I think it's an entirely silly outrage. Obama's approval ratings are inflated by the abnormally high support from the black community, the same way that a Polish politicians' numbers would be inflated by a high tribal mentality among Polish-Americans (and possibly broader Pan-Slavic sentiment for anyone with a Slavic name). That number does distort the perception of the overall public.

As to bjkeefe's ad hominem filled post, Byron is a far more accomplished writer than any of the netroots bloggers.

Considering how much of the electorate is Black (around 12% I think), and blacks strong support for Democratic presidential nominees in the past (around 92%), it is a rather incredulous claim to say Obama's positions are significantly less popular then they poll to be*, because Blacks will follow Obama purely because of his race.

Even if every single new Black voter mindlessly follows Obama because of his ethnicity, it would only take around 2-5% of whites not voting for him because of his race to negate this.

I rarely read opinion pieces, So I can not comment on Bryan's overall quality, but that piece in particular was pathetic. My high school newspaper ran better articles then that.


*By that I mean that If you made two polls to gauge a policy's support, and only one supplied Obama's position on the policy, there would be a large discrepancy in the polls outcomes.

cognitive madisonian
05-08-2009, 06:25 PM
Considering how much of the electorate is Black (around 12% I think), and blacks strong support for Democratic presidential nominees in the past (around 92%), it is a rather incredulous claim to say Obama's positions are significantly less popular then they poll to be*, because Blacks will follow Obama purely because of his race.

Even if every single new Black voter mindlessly follows Obama because of his ethnicity, it would only take around 2-5% of whites not voting for him because of his race to negate this.

I rarely read opinion pieces, So I can not comment on Bryan's overall quality, but that piece in particular was pathetic. My high school newspaper ran better articles then that.


*By that I mean that If you made two polls to gauge a policy's support, and only one supplied Obama's position on the policy, there would be a large discrepancy in the polls outcomes.

Well, a few things:

1) While blacks represent roughly 12% of the population, they often are overrepresented in the voting ranks. This time around I believe they represented roughly 14% of the voting total
2) There is no evidence that anti-black sentiment (Bradley effect) played any role in affecting Obama's number. Some analysts even purported an "anti-Bradley effect" but I don't think this idea has yet been proven.
3) Your point about Bill Clinton is a good one, and one that Byron likely didn't consider when he was writing his piece. But it is very clear that black voters in the south supported Obama over Hillary Clinton due principally, if not entirely, due to his having been (half) black. His support thus is more rigid than the traditional black support of democrat candidates and, again, separated from approval of actual policies. Short of proclaiming a national "celebration of Birth of a Nation" day, there's little Obama can do to lose his support from the black community.