A friend responding to an e-mail I sent her about questionable polling results in New Hampshire wrote back to me:
They are blaming the discrepancy [between Obama's polling numbers and official results] on older women voters who are closet racists. I'm an older woman voter and I wasn't gonna vote for Obama probably. I was supporting Edwards or Kucinich or Richardson. I guess that makes me an out and out up front racist.
Anyway, do they have any evidence that these women exist? They are now "citing" exit polls. Well, they don't cite them exactly; they just wave, as if to indicate that they are out there somewhere. Are there exit polls showing that old women all switched to Hillary? And may I go to New Hampshire to shoot the idiots, if they exist? I mean, jeez, we are all post menopause, we don't have any excuse for hormonal instability. None." --A.
I've heard that myth of "Racists for Obama (not!)" being chatted up on the radio, too. No, of course they have no evidence of racism being behind the shift of voters away from Obama, they're just pulling all that out of their, er,... hats! Let's suppose I'm a racist voter who wants to support Hillary because she's not black, but in order to prove I'm not racist, I supposedly have to tell people I'm voting for Obama? That's just patently absurd BS that doesn't even deserve one second of air time. If you think about it, any racist worth their salt will give other obvious reasons for preferring another candidate over Obama: "Obama? He just doesn't have enough experience, dontcha know? He's too young! He's pro-nuclear power! He isn't staunch enough in opposing the war! He's way too vague about his positions on the issues-- all he does is talk about hope and "one nation"-- I'll grant you he's articul-- oops-- I mean he's a great speaker, but electing Obama is like a box of choco-- er, confections-- you just don't know what you're getting!" That's the sort of thing any racist worth their salt is going to say, if they feel any compunction to explain at all. They'll make their reasoning sound pretty much indistinguishable from the reasons given by other people not voting for Obama.
Racist employers and landlords developed the citing of "other reasons" to a high art form during the 20th century. So, there's really no excuse for a racist in the 21st century to be so unsophisticated as to have to lie to people and tell them they're voting for Obama to avoid revealing they're racists. Even a complete dunderhead racist could manage to at least say something like "O'bama? Never heard of him. Aren't the Irish called the "Fightin' Irish"? I want a Peace president!". The Racist Obama Responder (ROR) hypothesis is really just a ploy -- a distracting non-explanation very similar to the RBR (Reluctant Bush Responder) hypothesis put forward by the mainstream press in 2004 to explain why Kerry did so much better in the exit polls. The RBR hypothesis was later disproved by showing that there was less discrepancy between exit polls and official results in counties with more Republican and Bush supporters, but the RBR hypothesis was never retracted and served its function-- it lulled the populace into complacency with a carefully crafted "doubt" designed to blunt the notion that massive voter disenfranchisement and election fraud were the most obvious explanations of the discrepancy. And, probably, the ROR hypothesis will serve a similar function. Later, people will realize that it doesn't make any sense for reasons I've outlined above, or, perhaps some zealous grad student will complete a statistical analysis showing the New Hampshire discrepancy didn't correlate consistently with down-ballot contests where other blacks ran for office. People will conclude that the ROR hypothesis is BS. But it will be too late. The moment of action will have passed. The chance to confront and expose electronic voting systems will have slipped away. A great man once said, "There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again." Whatever. In 2002, Ron Suskind wrote in the New York Times the following quote from an unnamed aide within the Bush administration's White House:
Think about it. Study it, judiciously even. It could be wrong to dismiss the Racist Obama Responder (ROR) explanation as pure BS without doing more interviews and statistical analyses. Maybe that's really what happened . . . Not!
The aide said that guys like me were in what he called 'the reality-based community' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality'. I nodded and murmured something about Enlightenment principles, and empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works any more', he continued.
'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality, judiciously as you will, we'll act again, creating other new realities which you can study, too. And that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors, and you, all of you, will be left just to study what we do.'"