The race card used to be the most powerful one in the deck. Shoot, it pretty much propelled Barack Obama to the Democratic nomination, if not the presidency. Most recently, however, it has been supplanted by another card that can be played against it, and nullify it of its power: the backlash card. As in, when the player of the race card is using it as a feint, a bluff, a distraction from a weak hand, the player leaves himself open to backlash, and defeat.
Eric Holder hasn't been keeping up with the times, and palyed his cards poorly. Not only has his accusations of racism weakened his position, it has weakened his benefactor as well. Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh (R) fires back after Holder whined about his critics being nothing but haters:
Walsh said Obama’s continued silence in the face of Holder’s inflammatory rhetoric demonstrates that the president shares in the blame for the attorney general’s choice of words.
“His [Obama’s] silence, to me, tells me the president is complicit in this,” Walsh said
Interesting. If Obama does become accused in complicity in the "Fast and Furious" fiasco, will he too accuse his critics of racism? Walsh things so:
“This is so despicable, because what they’re doing is they’re trying real early now to lay down the ground rules for his re-election,” Walsh said. “This time around, the American people are not going to put up with it. We can criticize this president based on the job he’s done — I don’t care what his skin color is.”
“He is going to say, because he did this during the last election, and the media is going to enable him to get away with it, that any time we criticize him, it’s because of his race,” Walsh added. “For Eric Holder to take that same line right now is absolutely ridiculous and to me, it’s just more fodder proving that he needs to resign.”
Walsh is right. Nobody will be cowed by accusations of racism anymore - the card has lost its power against the American people.
But few of us want to be forced to fight off the accusation, either. It's why Obama's "personal likability" numbers have remained over 50% while his job approval ratings threaten to fall below 40%. Gives the American people a way to fight off the racism claim - "Hey, I like the guy, just not his policies!"
Want to know what percentage of the vote Obama will get in 2012? Look at his approval ratings. And subtract a bit from that number as well.
Call it "backlash".