Here’s an easy question: How do you know that a piece of legislation that was supposed to be a signature, landmark achievement for the President who signed it into law actually has become a public relations disaster?
Generally, at the point where that legislation’s supporters don’t want it attached to the President’s name. And based on some of the more hysterical liberal reaction to Mitt Romney’s speech to the NAACP, that has been exactly the response of President Obama’s most fervent supporters to Mitt Romney’s usage of the word “Obamacare” in the speech. According to these very supporters, tying President Obama’s name to the controversial Affordable Care Act (ACA) by calling it ‘Obamacare” is a smear. Consider these reactions, firstly, from Michael Tomasky at Newsweek (emphasis added):
But he wasn’t a race-baiter until yesterday. That speech wasn’t to the NAACP. It was to Rush Limbaugh. It was to Tea Party Nation. It was to Fox News. Oh, he said some nice things. And sure, let’s give him one point for going there at all. But listen: You don’t go into the NAACP and use the word “Obamacare” and think that you’re not going to hear some boos. It’s a heavily loaded word, and Romney and his people know very well that liberals and the president’s supporters consider it an insult. He and his team had to know those boos were coming, and Romney acknowledged as much a few hours later in an interview with . . . guess which channel (hint: it’s the one whose web site often has to close articles about race to commenters because of the blatant racism). Romney and team obviously concluded that a little shower of boos was perfectly fine because the story “Romney Booed at NAACP” would jazz up their (very white) base.
Now, notice the revealing wording here. Tomasky doesn’t say “blacks consider it an insult.” He says “liberals and the president’s supporters consider it an insult.” We’ll get to whether this is actually true later, but for the time being, what does this tell us about race-baiting? Apparently all you have to do is anger liberals and/or President Obama’s supporters and presto, changeo, bingo, you’re a racist.
The incoherence of this attack, however, hasn’t stopped it from spreading. Consider this clip from MSNBC’s “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell,” courtesy of RealClearPolitics:
But the rather trivial nature of this complaint notwithstanding, the question has to be asked – is it true? Is Obamacare really a nasty slur that people use to demean the President? In answer to that, we present today’s front page of BarackObama.com, the President’s reelection campaign’s website: