In the last 24 hours, news of the National Guard’s deployment to the border and the Vilsack firing and perhaps rehiring of Shirley Sherrod show the limits of the Obama Administration’s iron cage of rationality. One of the tags on Obama is his excessive rationality, so much so that it casts a shadow over his ability to be motivated by emotion. Well, cast that aside as yet another Obama myth. This uber-rational of administrations has taken action in these two instances on the basis of fear not rationality. The Sherrod affair and the Administration’s border politics share three characteristics: race-sensitive topics, 2) right wing distortions and threats; 3) appeasing the right and fanning racial fear.
In each instance the Administration has taken sides with the right and Fox news racialists against the side of rational argument, the facts, oh, yeah, and civil rights. Now let’s be frank. The President’s race has a lot to do with the right wing’s exploitation of these issues. It need also be said that the President’s race does not make his Administration a moral beacon on instances of race.
Quite the opposite. the Obama Administration keeps tripping over itself to not appear biased on race, so much so that it sides with the Right wingnuts over the reasonable and common sense dictates of civil rights and the rule of law.
And who is being victimized by the President’s loss of reason? Residents along the border, in Arizona, and Shirley Sherrod, along with the rest of us who believe in the rule of law and in the normative argument that civil rights have been a good thing for this country, and that such progress must continue.