Why I Can’t Take The Right Seriously Anymore

Shelby Steele. It is that simple.

There are obviously a lot of writers, thinkers, pundits,etc. I don’t agree with, but there are relatively few, in the grand scheme of things, that I have absolutely no respect for. Obviously K-Lo, Jonah, Andy McCarthy, and the spittle flickers at The Corner and Commentary are on that list, but the top spot is reserved, far and away, for the amazingly dishonest and destructive drivel that comes from Shelby Steele.

Now, in a rational world, the fact that Steele most recently published book was titled A Bound Man: Why we Are Excited About Obama and why He Can’t Win, (emphasis added), would require that Shelby Steele sit down and shut up for a certain amount of time, given the fact that Obama did, in fact, win. And by winning states Democrats hadn’t carried since roughly 1964. But, alas, there was good old Shelby writing in the LA Time the very next day.

I don’t entirely know where to start with the nonsense, but I think what irks me most about the column is the timing. Basically, to go to print on Wednesday, Steele would have had to have turned the article in sometime Tuesday. Now you can argue that the outcome of the race was clear well before the race was called officially at 11:00 P.M. on the east coast, but so far as data goes, exit polls aren’t released until all polls are closed in a state. So, in short, it seems incredibly unlikely to me that Steele couldhave possibly done any realresearch for this article, and instead just repackaged his usual, broad brushed tripe about race relations andhow white people are all mushy about black people.

And what do you know:

Obama is what I have called a “bargainer” – a black who says to whites, “I will never presume that you are racist if you will not hold my race against me.” Whites become enthralled with bargainers out of gratitude for the presumption of innocence they offer. Bargainers relieve their anxiety about being white and, for this gift of trust, bargainers are often rewarded with a kind of halo.

I suppose it’s a plausible enough explanation as to why Obama got so many millions more votes from white people than the 8 white guys Democrats have nominated for President since 1964, but here’s the rub; white people didn’t vote for Obama. Or, they didn’t vote for him at substantially higher rates than they usually vote for Democrats. Obama carried 43% of white votes nationally, up 2% from John Kerry’s 41% in 2004, but exactly even with the share Clinton took in 1996. Or, in non-numerical speak, white Democrats and Democratic-leaners voted for Obama, the substantial number of white voters who aren’t Democrats did not. Exactly what you’d expect from any election if your reason for existing isn’t to explain everything through prisms of “white guilt,” i.e. if you’re not Shelby Steele.

Now I suppose this is relatively minute from the perspective of the electoral coalitions going forward, but you’d really think that a media devoted to informing its readers would get more angry when people like Shelby Steele submit complete nonsense like this. And you’d think that, at some point, people would recognize that Steele has no real attachment to reality, that he makes things up to weave a particular narrative about race that’s very profitable to him, and that by extension he would lose his access to valuable platforms like the Los Angeles Times, in favor of someone who would actually inform their readers.

But that would be a rational media, wouldn’t it?