After talking about a guest on NPR who explained that “personal responsibility” is racist code for hostility to blacks (because they can’t be responsible?), Mark Steyn states the obvious about the whole “criticizing Obama is racist” theme:
“Code language” is code language for “total bollocks.” “Code word” is a code word for “I’m inventing what you really meant to say because the actual quote doesn’t quite do the job for me.” “Small government”? Racist code words! “Non-confiscatory taxes”? Likewise. “Individual liberty”? Don’t even go there! To an incisive NPR racism analyst, the elderly gentleman telling his congressman “I’m very concerned by what I’ve heard about wait times for MRIs in Canada” is really saying “I’m unable to overcome my deep-seated racial anxieties about the sexual prowess of black males, especially now they’re giving prime-time press conferences every night.” With interpreters like professor Harris-Lacewell on the prowl, I’m confident 95 per cent of Webster’s will eventually be ruled “code language.”
My colleague at America’s National Review, Jonah Goldberg, proposed a simple thought experiment: suppose Hillary Clinton had won the election and proposed the current health care reforms. Does anyone doubt that conservatives would be equally opposed to it? Would that, too, be “racist”? A reader wrote back: no, if they were opposing Hillary’s health plan, they’d be sexist. Er, okay, how about John Edwards? Would opposing his health care reforms be oleaginous trial-lawyer creepy adulterer-phobic?