Maybe it’s gauche to attribute the unending stream of virulence toward Barack Obama to racism. But that hasn’t stopped Jimmy Carter and it certainly won’t stop me.
The latest–and maybe stupidest–to be taken up by the right wing is that Obama’s trip to East Asia is a boondoggle that will cost $200 million per day. Ignore that we spend about $200 million a day on the war in Afghanistan (though no one ever mentions that). But this is the case being peddled by Republicans and right-wing pundits this week. While I watched Sean Hannity last night, some moron started spewing numbers about Obama traveling with an entourage of 3,000 people and renting out every room in the Taj Mahal hotel. Blah blah blah blah.
What’s this have to do with race? I think that the ultimate aim of this meme is to convey an image of Barack Obama as an Oriental despot traveling through the dusty streets of India and Indonesia on the back of an elephant, trailed by a team of eunuchs who clip his toenails. It’s a attempt to link the fiscal conservative current to the Obama-as-Muslim current. That it has absolutely no basis in fact isn’t stopping anyone. Emperor Akbar Obama. Be scared.