Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Fury Directed at Richard Cohen

The interwebs have been all aflame about this column by Washington Post opinion writer Richard Cohen. From the reactions I have been reading I expected a super racist rant by this sometimes controversial columnist.

What I read was a pretty common recap of why New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will struggle to get the 2016 GOP nomination for President.  Mr. Cohen recaps what we all know about how the voters who control the Iowa caucuses are from the more extreme wing of the party and right now their golden boy is the Canadian born Ted Cruz and his reactionary papa.

Mr. Cohen goes onto describe all the issues and reasons why the Tea Bagger types feel alienated from the changing face of this country. And, this is where he gets himself into trouble with his critics.

"Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all."

I have to question Mr. Cohen's use of the word "conventional" when describing the views of the people he is writing about.  These views are far outside what is America in 2013 - The de Blasio-McCray family looks a lot more like America than the Tea Baggers who control the Republican Party right now.  The nation is changing and they can't handle it.

Perhaps I am missing something here but I don't really see the reasons for the fury being foisted on Mr. Cohen.  The column does not break new ground and fairly accurately describes the the angst of the people who hate change, foreigners, people of color and the gays.  Oh and they hate government unless it is benefiting them, then it's super fantastic.

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