Skip to main content

Sean Wilentz Attacks Obama Over Racial Politics

Historian Sean Wilentz has written a piece in The New Republic that is being promoted by anti-Obama/pro-Clinton sites as some sort of revelation. What it is is serial excuse-making, taking the racial politics that has sadly been played by the Clinton team and blaming it on Sen. Obama. For example, Wilentz sees nothing wrong racially with a Clinton campaign surrogate caricaturing Obama as a drug dealer. Apparently Mr. Wilentz has not turned on a television in this century or the last and understood the way in all black men have been slimed, regardless of whether or not we've even seen illegal drugs, let alone sell them.

But where is this coming from for Wilentz? He's an avid Clinton supporter who has already written a piece in TNR pooh-poohing Sen. Obama's candidacy. Here's Wilentz rhapsodizing over Sen. Clinton:

I think Hillary is important because the election really is the culmination of what's been a 40 year struggle for the Democrats to rediscover who they are. A 40-year struggle against what we'll call Nixon-slash-Reaganism. And, simply put, she's in the best position to be a president. Which is to say, she understands how American politics works. She understands the trajectory of American political history for the last 40 years because she's lived it in a way that the others haven't, really. She's seen it at all levels, from Arkansas to Capitol Hill.

Wilentz similarly attacked Sen. Obama for invoking JFK's presidency in relation to his candidacy. A few days later JFK's brother, Ted Kennedy, and President Kennedy's daughter, Caroline Kennedy, endorsed Sen. Obama as a worthy heir to JFK's legacy.