George Will Channels Rush Limbaugh


I thought I could anticipate all the conservative excuses, should President Obama remain President Obama after November 6. But damn, I didn’t expect this one from conservative intellectual George Will:

Perhaps a pleasant paradox defines this political season: That Obama is African American may be important, but in a way quite unlike that darkly suggested by, for example, MSNBC’s excitable boys and girls who, with their (at most) one-track minds and exquisitely sensitive olfactory receptors, sniff racism in any criticism of their pin-up. Instead, the nation, which is generally reluctant to declare a president a failure — thereby admitting that it made a mistake in choosing him — seems especially reluctant to give up on the first African American president. If so, the 2012 election speaks well of the nation’s heart, if not its head.

Get it? Folks don’t want to see Their Negro fail in his first job! Oh, my, God. The condescension is, uh—let me catch my breath—breathtaking. Will is saying that if Barack Obama weren’t black, he’d be toast in November! Americans are engaging in a “pleasant” bit of affirmative action!

If this reasoning sounds familiar, it should. It is very similar to the reasoning Rush Limbaugh used in 2003 on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown—and which lost him that inexplicable gig as a commentator and which later kept him from buying into an NFL franchise—regarding quarterback and African-American Donovan McNabb.

McNabb, you may remember, had three consecutive Pro Bowl appearances and had led his team to a couple of NFC championship games before Limbaugh, during pre-game commentary nine years ago, said this:

Sorry to say this, I don’t think he’s been that good from the get-go. I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve. The defense carried this team.

Limbaugh resigned under pressure soon after those remarks, but was always defended by the right-wing as a victim, since it is hard for palefaced conservatives to see the condescension and offense embedded in them.

Perhaps George Will thinks it is career-enhancing to channel Rush Limbaugh, when trying to explain why Obama might win. And given the state of the conservative movement in the Age of The Scary Negro, perhaps it is.



  1. writer89

     /  October 2, 2012

    It’s a curious triple-jump of logic. Jump #1: Things are very, very bad. Jump #2: It’s the President’s fault. Jump #3: If he wins, it will be because the country doesn’t want to blame him because he’s black. Even if Jump #3 is true for some people (big IF, but it could be), Will and his honchos conveniently ignore the fact that most people are beginning to realize that things aren’t as bad as they were when the President took office, and the situation would be even better if the Republicans hadn’t stonewalled everything he tried to do. Poor George. I guess Stupid is contagious after all. And if he really thinks Obama is the “pin-up” of MSNBC, he hasn’t been paying attention (which of course he hasn’t).


  2. Yes, I was surprised too that the supposedly intellectual George Will would stoop to this, not because the President’s race isn’t a factor in the black community but simply because talking it up is a distraction from the important issues. Hopefully, however, the only people who will actually be swayed by this kind of rhetoric are the ones who were already swayed by bigotry.


  3. King Beauregard

     /  October 2, 2012

    George Will has been a chowderhead for a very long time. The only things he had going for him were his serious demeanor and his bow tie, which made everyone assume he knew what he was talking about; but it’s harder and harder to see him as anything other than a garden variety hack.


  4. I’ll echo King about Will having become just a hack. There was a time when I read him regularly – as I still read some of his conservative brethren – but in the last year or so, I’ve pretty much quit. He no longer offers anything worth thinking about and he sounds bitter and angry. I lguess htat happens when your day is done.


  5. RDG,

    Maybe Will has been listening to the new Randy Newman tune:


  6. Treeske

     /  October 3, 2012

    George Will also predicted the short life of the Prius, claiming total discredit within ten


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