On Wednesday, the Commerce Department announced that durable goods orders dropped 3.6 percent, worse than economists’ expectations for a 2.2 percent fall. They also announced that driven by the lack of buyers, the price of new homes continued to deflate. Thursday, it was announced that weekly first-time unemployment claims rose to 424,000 (in February that number was 375,000 — lower, but still very high).
If you believe Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC), corporations stopped buying durable goods, home buyers put their plans on hold, and people quit their jobs on purpose — all to make the president look bad. Why would they want to do that?
Racism of course.
Clyburn didn’t say it directly, but he certainly implied as much in this interview with McClatchy Newspapers. The House minority whip declared the cause of President Obama’s problems is racism.
“You know, I’m 70 years old,” he said. “And I can tell you; people don’t like to deal with it, but the fact of the matter is, the president’s problems are in large measure because of the color of his skin.”
Clyburn noted that he himself got hate mail, racist phone calls and offensive faxes on a regular basis. Asked how that relates to the president, Clyburn retorted: “We have the same skin color; that’s how it relates to him.”
Clyburn suggested that the “birther” movement of Americans who say Obama wasn’t born in the United States is fueled by racism.
“I don’t know why anybody didn’t ask for John McCain’s” birth certificate,” Clyburn said. “He wasn’t even born in this country.”
Clyburn is one of those political conspiracy theorists who brand every negative comment against President Obama or any other African-American in power as intended to demean people of color. And this isn’t the first time Clyburn has inserted race into a discussion. During the stimulus debate, Clyburn had some strong comments for governors who opposed the plan.
“The governor of Louisiana expressed opposition. Has the highest African-American population in the country. Governor of Mississippi expressed opposition. The governor of Texas, and the governor of South Carolina. These four governor’s represent states that are in the black belt. I was insulted by that,” Clyburn said. “All of this was a slap in the face of African-Americans. It had nothing to do with Governor Sanford.”
During the campaign for the 2008 South Carolina primary, former President Clinton made a gaffe while campaigning for his wife. He called candidate Obama
…a boy, a kid, living in a dream land. I don’t think he deserves the title of being a friend or being the first black president.