The following is an excerpt from OpinionJournal.com’s “Best of the Web” written by the editor, James Taranto.
Hard to Believe Money Launderers Still Use Checks
“Fed Orders Citigroup to Improve Money Laundering Checks”–headline, Reuters, March 26
So Much for the War on Drugs
“Dan Carpenter: Public Schools Take Blow From Indiana Supreme Court”–headline, Indianapolis Star, March 27
Doesn’t Have the Same Ring as ‘And That’s the Way It Is’
“NBC Anchor: I’m Gay, I’m Pregnant and I’m Marrying My Partner”–headline, Washington Times, March 27
That Word Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means
Georgia journalism prof Cynthia Tucker isn’t impressed with Ben Carson, a black physician who wowed conservatives by giving a speech [opposing] President Obama’s [policies] at the National Prayer Breakfast–with Obama in the audience. In a CNN.com piece, Tucker writes:
Like giddy teenagers, Republican activists have fallen for another charming, personable and accomplished black conservative. Dr. Ben Carson is the newest object of their crush, which was born of a desperate need to attract more black men and women as high-profile standard-bearers.
You can’t blame Republican loyalists for swooning over the doc, a renowned surgeon who rose from poverty to head pediatric neurosurgery at Baltimore’s famed Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Question 1: How exactly does Republicans’ behavior toward Carson differ from Democrats’ behavior toward Barack Obama in, say, 2004-10?
If wooing voters of color were simply a matter of finding an attractive black face with an inspiring personal story and an impressive resume, Carson would be hard to beat.
But black voters tend to be more discerning than that. . . .
One of the reasons is that Carson doesn’t seem to know black Americans’ political values very well. In his most recent book–a political tract called “America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great”–he writes: “Many African-Americans voted for Obama simply because he was a black man and not because they resonated philosophically with his policies.” In fact, black voters have been increasingly allied with the Democratic Party since the 1960s when Lyndon Johnson pushed through significant civil rights legislation. Al Gore received about 95% of the black vote in 2000, John Kerry about 93% in 2004.
Black turnout was up significantly in 2008 and 2012 compared with previous years, and Obama’s race probably had something to do with that. But Tucker is correct that the level of Obama’s support among blacks was a function of his party more than his race.
But that leads us to Question 2: Is “discerning” really the right word to describe a voting bloc that so nearly approaches unanimity in its support for one party?
For more “Best of the Web” click here and look for the “Best of the Web Today” link in the middle column below “Today’s Columnists.