Politico’s Jonathan Martin reports on Limbaugh’s latest display of bigotry:
Rush Limbaugh said Colin Powell’s decision to get behind Barack Obama appeared to be very much tied to Obama’s status as the first African-American with a chance to become president.
“Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race,” Limbaugh wrote in an e-mail. “OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I’ll let you know what I come up with.”
For those who can’t read between the lines, Limbaugh’s assertion here is pretty clear: Colin Powell only endorsed Barack Obama because they’re both black.
But if this is true, then what is Limbaugh’s excuse for why the conservative Chicago Tribune endorsed Obama– the first endorsement of a Democratic candidate in its 161-year history? And what is Limbaugh’s excuse for the Los Angeles Times, who gave Obama its first presidential endorsement since 1972, and also its first endorsement ever of a Democratic candidate? And what is Limbaugh’s excuse for why the rigidly Republican News-Register in Oregon wrote a strong endorsement for Obama that knocked New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof off his feet, including the following:
Only one candidate stands for change in this year’s presidential race — Barack Obama. Obama’s intellect, temperament and ability to inspire are precisely what we need after a disastrous eight years under George W. Bush.
What did Limbaugh have to say about the other major Republican figures who have endorsed Obama: Lincoln Chafee, Jim Leach, Susan Eisenhower, Ed Koch?
But most importantly, what did Limbaugh have to say when another prominent Republican military man, retired four-star Air Force General Tony McPeak endorsed Obama? Did Limbaugh sarcastically promise to “find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed”? Did Limbaugh question McPeak’s endorsement on the grounds of race? No. And for one simple reason: McPeak is white, Powell is black.
If this isn’t racism, then the word has no meaning.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Limbaugh has played the race card when it comes to the success of a black man. As you may remember, five years ago Limbaugh was forced to resign from ESPN after igniting a firestorm of controversy with this statement about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb:
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. I think the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. They’re interested in black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well. I think there’s a little hope invested in McNabb and he got a lot of credit for the performance of his team that he really didn’t deserve. The defense carried this team.
This was despite the fact that McNabb at that point, only two full seasons into his career, was a two-time Pro Bowl quarterback, who in 2000 finished second in league MVP voting and in 2001 led his team to the NFC championship game. According to Limbaugh, McNabb’s success, like Obama’s, was due to race.