Ken Buck, Heal Thyself

A Tweet sent out by freshman Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado during last night's State of the Union address is provoking lots of secondary debate today:

Rep. Ken Buck.

Rep. Ken Buck.

Buck is referring to a poll released this week by Al Jazeera on the state of race relations in America six years into the first African-American presidency of the United States. The problem is, Buck is not reporting the poll accurately. As TPM reported Monday:

The Al Jazeera-Monmouth University poll found that 43 percent of Americans think race relations are worse under Obama, 40 percent said there had been no change and 15 percent said they were better.

Along party lines, 62 percent of Republicans said that race relations had gotten worse under Obama, while only 4 percent said better. Among Democrats, the numbers were more evenly split: 45 percent said no change, 28 percent said better and 25 percent said worse.

Based on these poll numbers, it's accurate to suggest that most Republicans think race relations have become worse since Barack Obama became President. But in truth, it's not even a majority of Americans in this poll who think so–barely a plurality. And if you combine the 40% who say there has been no change with the 15% who say race relations have gotten better since Obama was elected President, why, it appears a majority of Americans think the opposite of what Buck thinks they think!

To be honest, we have trouble considering Buck much of an authority on race relations at all, after he let slip that he thinks all brown kids are "Hispanic."

That said, we certainly aren't arguing that race relations in America are no longer a problem now that we have a black President. It's very difficult to get an accurate poll of the prevalence of racism in America today, since most people who harbor racist sentiments are able to suppress them long enough to not embarrass themselves publicly. But the over-the-top "resistance" over the last six years to what has turned out to be a fairly moderate administration by any objective policy measure is difficult to explain–without factoring some kind of prejudicial reaction to President Obama personally.

You know, like losing your appetite at the mere sight of him.

And with that, we suspect Rep. Buck is ready to change the subject.

24 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. FrankUnderwood says:

    Did I not predict last night that Buckaroo would say something ridiculous.

  2. Davie says:

    What a DumbBuck CD4 has for the Congressman.

    A majority of voters elect (and re-elect) a black president and all the racists in the GOP are pissed.  So naturally, its Obama's fault that Republicans think race relations have gotten worse.

    And, Jeez Ken — I thought white cops shooting unarmed black kids would be a big *positive* for race relations, don't you agree?

  3. Zappatero says:

    David Brooks throws a little dog whistle into the debate

    So what was conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks' reaction? Why, it was the president who engaged in unsportsmanlike behavior:

    BROOKS: And for all the talk at the end about the Philadelphia speech, the revealing moment when the Republicans applauded when he said he wasn't going to run again and he said—I forget the exact words—but like I beat you guys twice.


    DAVID BROOKS: That was basketball court trash talk and that's also who he is. So the bipartisanship that's part of him but the trash talk, that's also part.

    And what was the Republican mockery of Obama? Polite banter under the auspices of Marquess of Queensberry rules? Try a little harder, dude. "Basketball court trash talk" is code that's even more obvious than the kind you can crack with a decoder ring from a box of Kix.

    If only America's First Black President would quit hurting Republicans' feelings, then they wouldn't have to obstruct and lie about his every move and criticize every proposal he's ever made, even the ones they supported a day before Obama proposed it.

    Buck's peers from Colorado should call this bullshit out or it will never stop.

  4. DawnPatrol says:

    Send any good 'Obama with a spear, a headdress and a bone through his nose' cartoons to your racist good ol' boy pals lately, Buckhead? How some watermelon and fried chicken jokes, eh Jenny?

    If race relations have deteriorated in Obama's era, it's because YOU wannabe Klansmen cowards have made it fashionable again to wear your vile racism on your sleeves. Your rogue-cop allies (as opposed to the vast majority of law-abiding police officers) and fellow haters have gotten the GOP word.

  5. And that's ignoring the question of just WHY some people think race relations are worse since Obama was elected.

    How many of those people see worse race relations because someone has been stirring the pot using Obama's race as the stirring stick?

    How many see it because of the recent police shooting controversy?

    How many see worse race relations because of Supreme Court decisions?

    How much of it is actually Obama's fault? And how much of the problem is Ken Buck placing at Obama's feet with his asshat Tweet?

  6. rathmone says:

    At least this time his racism didn't cost his constituents $300,000:

    Raid violated privacy rights of alleged illegal immigrants, Colorado's top court rules


  7. BlueCat says:

    Makes sense. Republicans have been reminding everyone how much racial hate is out there from before day one of Obama's first term making racism much harder to ignore.They forwarded each other cartoons of the Obamas as gorillas, as terrorists, the WH sitting in a watermelon patch, spread theories about how Obama was a white hating Kenyan born terrorist sympathizer, how he was going to take everything away from whites to give to blacks. Of course more people are aware of and angered by racism, almost all of it coming from Republicans. Of course we know race relations haven't progressed as much as we'd like to think. Of course it's mainly Republicans who think they're worse, not just as bad, and that it's Obama's fault for …what? Existing and winning elections and upsetting their everyone in their place world view?

    Before we had a black president I'm sure many of us had no idea how prevalent racist hatred really is and how tenuous race relations really are because of all the bigotry, hate and fear that the grumpy old white guys of the GOTP haven't been able to keep under their hats since one of "those" families moved into the WH.

  8. Canines says:

    You gotta face it, Mr. Congressman: Mr. President sounds a hell of a lot better as a title.

    And, by chance, if you reply in a snarky fashion to this post and call me a so-and-so, that's "Mr. So-And-So" to you.

  9. NotHopeful says:

    Well, Buck's got nothing on his climate change-denying Republican colleague, Cory "Trust me, I'm a moderate" Gardner.

    Gardner voted "no" on two amendments to the big oil pipeline bill today and each would have acknowledged that humans are causing climate change. He even voted against the Republicans' own amendment, along with 38 other GOP-ers.

    Details here.

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