Michele Bachmann's "tar baby" Obama blast "has nothing to do with race"

Bachmann new square.jpg
Bachmann "values all human life -- regardless of race," her spokeswoman says.
Yesterday, we told you about Michele Bachmann's latest embroglio -- she found herself having to confront accusations she used a racial slur after characterizing President Obama's effort to crack down on oil speculators as akin to "waving a tar baby in the air."

Some observers believe Bachmann's remark was actually a calculated fundraising ploy, but Michele herself wasted no time trying to dispel the notion that her comment was racially motivated.

Becky Rogness, Bachmann's spokeswoman, said Bachmann simply meant to say that Obama is getting himself into a sticky situation with the oil speculator crackdown.

In case you missed it yesterday, here's a transcript of Michele's controversial remarks (video of the full interview can be found here):
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Michele would have us believe her hatred of Democrats is colorblind.
This is just about waiving a tar baby in the air and saying that something else is a problem. I have never seen a more irresponsible President who is infantile in the way that he continually blames everyone else for his failure to first diagnose the problem and second to address the problem.
Racial slur? Bachmann's spokeswoman told MinnPost that "if you listen to the interview, [she] was making a point about the President's poor understanding of oil prices, which has nothing to do with race."

"The President doesn't understand the oil market and, hence, has gotten himself into a sticky situation," Rogness added. The same could be said about Bachmann's understanding of racially insensitive remarks, apparently.

See also:
-- Is Michele Bachmann's "tar baby" blast of President Obama a racial slur? [VIDEO]

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50 comments
poorlilfool
poorlilfool

Think of the story that Michele is alluding to. Brer Rabbit/Obama is waving the Tar Baby about because he is stuck. Brer Rabbit originally thought the Tar Baby was a genuine person/issue and was only trying to be neighborly when he greeted the Tar Baby. He grew frustrated at the lack of a response (genuine, good faith consideration of the issues at hand.) While Brer Rabbit/Obama continues to become totally incapacitated, Brer Fox (duplicitous Republican operative) is hiding in the bushes laughing at Brer Rabbit's helplessness (President's helplessness,) all brought about by his, Brer Fox's deception.Michele Bachman is drawing on Brer Fox's playbook, and by doing so she is duping the American public.Ever notice when she's asked questions on one of those national news programs that she never answers the questions? She shifts to one of two or three messages she repeatedly delivers, "Obama = Bad" being one of them.

Jason Dorweiler
Jason Dorweiler

Ok great, her comment was not racist. Moving on ...lets not dwell on such a stupid subject. Congrats Aaron, you knew exactly how this one play out.

Ridg
Ridg

It is possible that the remark was not meant to be racist; but then that would mean that you are to dense to realize that it could be taken that way, which could even be worse. Can you imagine her negotiating with some hostile country/culture!..... I don't see "Too dumb to know any better" as a positive quality in a representative.

mplstim
mplstim

The argument that per se the term is racist is damaged - gutted, in fact - by the fact that liberal Dem John Kerry used it a few years ago referring to McCain, and in his case, unfortunately the metaphor made Obama himself the t-baby...so, hard as it is to believe for many people, the term long has been used in politics to mean what the author of the Uncle Remus tales meant; with President Obama now the topic of its direct or indirect application, people are "seeing a racist or racial connotation that they wouldn't see if the politician did not have African heritage....And on a side note, if you think about it, it may be easier to believe John Kerry is a racist than Michelle Bachmann, who no doubt had minority children among the 23 to whom she was a foster parent.

i9zero
i9zero

really?  there was no other analogy remark that she could come up with that might not be raising eyebrows?  Maybe I'm giving her writer staff and herself too much credit.  Maybe she is just not that smart.

green23
green23

Conservatives scream that Obama isn't doing anything about high gas prices. There's pretty convincing evidence that the current high prices have been caused by speculators. Obama proposes to investigate the speculators.

...and then conservatives scream that this is a "distraction". WTF?

Drilling has *increased* during this Administration.

The Keystone pipeline was for an *export* market. That's why it had to run to the Gulf coast. If it was to increase *domestic* supply, it could have run into ND and been refined there. Obama could not have stopped it then. How does shipping oil from Canada to the rest of the world lower gas prices *here*? It doesn't, but that's Bachmann's 'solution'.

Meanwhile, conservatives call for investigations every day, and most of these are frivolous. Yet, Bachmann never sees this phenomena as a "distraction". Bachmann herself called for multiple investigations into the patriotism of Democratic Representatives, but this was not seen as a "distraction", either.

I also fail to see how investigating speculators is a "sticky situation", even if you accept the notion that it's a distraction.

Considering that Bachmann's 'solution' is to blame Obama, it's very odd that she makes her point about Obama blaming everyone else instead of fixing problems. Bachmann's three terms are notable for a lack of accomplishments, which she blames on the mere existence of Democrats.

swmnguy
swmnguy

Rep. Bachmann only has one trick, but she's really good at it.  Say something encrusted with dog-whistle appeals to her base which are outrageously offensive to about 85% of Americans.  This gets her base firmly on her side and outrages everyone else, making the papers.  Then she denies having said what she said, or that what she said meant what it clearly meant.  Then she and her supporters attack everyone who was offended by her intentionally offensive remarks.  She re-establishes her credentials, and more importantly, her victimhood, with her core supporters. 

She's done this since she first ran for Stillwater school board, all those years ago.  This trick only works with people who believe what they want to believe over the facts, and  who hold opinions so offensive to most people that they have to decide whether to constantly consider themselves victims or change their opinions to not be ostracized in polite company. 

Based on Rep. Bachmann's career, that seems to be about half the active voters in MN-6; about 15% of Republican primary voters nationwide; and about 10% of all Americans.  The real justice would be to ignore her, but she's too much juicy red meat for the media to ignore.

mplstim
mplstim

Sure, it was not smart when Bachmann turned her overdrive on referring to Obama being stuck in a tar baby....but if you read up a little, there's no reason to pronounce it racist or racial;  windsurfer dude John Kerry, a liberal Dem,  used the same term talking about John McCain a few years ago,and in that case it was clumsier since he put Obama into the role of playing the tar baby...    this ends up being much adoo doo and news aggregator RuPar seems to just be repeating himself to keep harping on Bachmann being a racist.....come on.     Why not try to find other parallels and common ground shared by Bachmann and Kerry.....

http://www.minnpost.com/dc-dis...

Where You At?
Where You At?

Leave it to the Liberals to cry "Racism!!!!" on every single topic.

You know what is racist?  The fact that 90% of black people voted for Obama SOLELY based on the color of his skin (CNN poll). And those 90% had NO CLUE what Barry was all about.  Now they know. 

You know what else is racist?  The fact that there are 4 times as many black-on-white crimes in America than the reverse.  Yet, you NEVER hear about them in the media (and if you do, it is a little blip and the races of the perps are never mentioned, unless Fox News, or even City Pages mentions it.  This is why I like Rupar.  I admire him as a Liberal and a journalist.  I don't agree with his politics, but he is not afraid to report FACTS.) 

It seems to me that the only people who have intense anger built up in their souls are minorities, and in particular African Americans.  Remember, it is not the Michelle Bachmann's of America who commit unnecessary violence in this country.  It is not Michelle Bachmann who is organizing violent flash mobs who injure (and sometimes kill) innocent people.  It is not Michelle Bachmann who is standing on the corner of Broadway Ave. and Freemont Ave. North selling crack cocaine.

I am a Republican, and a very conservative one at that, but even I cringe at some of the dumb-ass comments Michelle makes.  However, this is NOT one of them.  She nailed it RIGHT ON THE HEAD when she said, 

" This is just about waiving a tar baby in the air and saying that something else is a problem. I have never seen a more irresponsible President who is infantile in the way that he continually blames everyone else for his failure to first diagnose the problem and second to address the problem."

She is correct.  Any President.....R or D, who cannot owe up to their mistakes is a FAILURE.  Even Bush Jr. owed up to his mistakes regarding the Iraq war.  But just remember one thing about Bush Jr. : When he was in office, and declared the war on Iraq: The then-Democratic controlled Congress APPROVED the war in Iraq.  Just remember that.  The bloodshed in Iraq cannot be blamed only on Bush.  Your "Democratic" leaders approved the war also.  So before you start throwing shit, look in the fucking mirror.

Michelle Bachmann is not the problem in this country.  YOU ARE.

My View
My View

Using Mr. Rupar's logic I'd suggest he be cautious about using the word "crack" in the same sentence as he uses the President's name lest he be misunderstood.

Miss G.
Miss G.

Regardless of where the term 'tar baby' originated, I think the majority of the general population associates the term with racism. As a public figure speaking to the public, she should be aware of how the public will likely interpret her statements. Even if she didn't intend for her statement to be racist (which I kind of doubt), the fact that she was so oblivious to the racist implication of the term makes her seem completely ignorant of the issue of race relations. I believe 'color-blind' turned out to be just as discriminatory as outright racism.

Sator Rotas
Sator Rotas

Wid his fis’ stuck, en Brer Rabbit can’t pull loose, en he wave it about. En den de udder han’ got stuck en den Brer Rabbit lose de use er his feet in de same way.

But Brer Fox, he lay low, sayin’ nuthin’ ‘bout how de Tar Baby got der, or who puddum der.

Den bimeby Brer Fox, he sa'ntered fort', lookin' dez ez innercent ez wunner yo' mammy's mockin'-birds.

`Howdy, Brer Rabbit,' sez Brer Fox, sezee. `You look sorter stuck up dis mawnin',' sezee. Lessee you do enythin’ now like run da gumment. En den he rolled on de groun', en laft en laft twel he couldn't laff no mo'. 

(Apologies to Joel Chandler Harris)

XYoflight
XYoflight

Oh so Michele was referring to an old story told when people of color were called NlGGER and it was socially acceptable?

Is that what we're to get from this?

Michele, you are a RACIST.  You can have your spokeswoman try to clean up this mess but YOU need to take responsibility for what you say.

The very idea you then followed up "tar baby" with "Obama is infantile" is pretty CLEAR where you were coming from.

Shame on you, you racist child exploiting cur.

Mesears12
Mesears12

Tar bady is considered racial because of the movie Song of the South with Uncle Tom.  (I happened to remember it being a moving and caring movie and loved  it.  However I was probably 7 at the time).  It' is actually considered so racial that Disney has refused to re-release it.  So yea I guess tar baby is considered racial Michelle.

Jim
Jim

Is describing this person as bat-shit crazy an intelligence slur?  Well, yes.

Lisa Dawn Hart
Lisa Dawn Hart

Actually, Michelle Bachman should cease public speaking.  She consistently makes a fool of herself.  Just be quiet Michelle and go on about your business.  Don't comment on politics anymore.  You give everyone too much to laugh about.  The name "tar baby" is from The Song of the South and where I come from, "tar baby" IS a racial slur.

Nate
Nate

Bachmann, like waiving a stupid bitch in front of voters. That wasn't racist or sexiest, just observant.

theoko
theoko

Michelle's half right- her comment wasn't racist, it was stupid and racist.  Important distinction.

Smichael722
Smichael722

She knows how to get press.  Let me ask, is there anyone out there that hears "tar baby" and does not think of a racial slur?

Mn Voter
Mn Voter

She is right: OBAMA SUCKS! Here is the latest government unemployment claimsThe stats-...................First reported new claims.........Actual new claimsWeek ended 3/3......................362,000..............................365,000Week ended 3/10....................351,000..............................353,000Week ended 3/17....................348,000..............................364,000Week ended 3/24....................359,000..............................363,000Week ended 3/31....................357,000..............................367,000Week ended 4/7......................380,000..............................388,000Week ended 4/14....................386,000..............................389,000Week ended 4/21....................388,000................................??.......Things are getting worse. Since the recovery of 2009 is over, this empty suit (Obama) has the slowest recovery since the depression. He is the welfare president. He speculates for green energy that has failed and is corrupt. He needs to be in jail. Your liberal rag attacks the congresswoman but you really need to look in the mirror. Obama is a disaster, fraud, idiot and is leading us over the cliff for his own re-election.

Spundspunds
Spundspunds

so by your logic if I called you a nigger 5 years ago (assuming your white)  then nobody should take offense to it now if I called lebron james one, that is idiotic. or because elvis costello sings white nigger in oliver's army, again noone should take offense to it, idiotic. I think you get where I am going with this. Its not even about someone possibly taking offense directly to her statement, its that it brings into question her understanding of people and her decisions  when speaking.. about the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. last I checked she wasnt signed to by t pain and putting a out an usher remix if you want to go with the whole re appropriation angle

poorlilfool
poorlilfool

right... let's talk about John Kerry. 

green23
green23

 Completely spot on. At some point, her constituents will realise that she is a punchline and not some prophetic heroine "blowing the minds of the urban libs" with "the truth". And she has no political future outside of her District.

Spundspunds
Spundspunds

 the democrat controlled congress that was given false intel by the bush cabinet

effeminate dad
effeminate dad

That's culture making those "rules". Disney is not the ultimate racial authority, rationale people are.

Hambone
Hambone

 you and michelle can spin it anyway you want, but no one is ignorant enough to believe that tripe unless you a member of the gop.

Erik Geiger
Erik Geiger

 she's a total disaster. I love the wake of stupidity she creates

effeminate dad
effeminate dad

Or, maybe she was actually referring to a "sticky situation" like the one referenced in Uncle Remus stories popular in her day.

Michelle Bachman is a bitch, but it's pretty hard to prove a negative. You see, you, me, nobody knows what was going on in her head when she said that or what implications she was trying to make. I know the TrendyLiberal lexicon says make fun of ol MB whenever possible, but you're TL indoctrination also dictates you not use any sort of undue prejudice against anything or any one.

So, are you illogical, hateful, or both?

Whoop
Whoop

Isn't it actually more racist to think that every reference to a "tar baby" means they are talking about black people?

DurpDurp
DurpDurp

Yes, people familiar with literature. Obviously they are in rather short supply.

Kieron
Kieron

 City Pages is a liberal rag?  I had no idea! *swoon*

Spundspunds
Spundspunds

last I checked he wasn't in human resources

Beefbarfbiff
Beefbarfbiff

effeminatepedophiledad says, "Michelle Bachman is a bitch," Then says, "are you illogical, hateful, or both?"

Irony.

theoko
theoko

"but you're TL indoctrination also dictates you not use any sort of undue prejudice against anything or any one"

I'm sorry, can I get an english translation of this?  It makes no sense as written, and I doubt very much it makes any sense as it is in your head as well, but that's another matter entirely.

Anyway, thanks for your ongoing volunteer effort to defend bigotry in these forums: you're a great American (note the proper use of "you're"...  it may help you to make sense in the future).

Burpburp
Burpburp

That point might hold some merit if she used "tar baby" in a way even somewhat consistent with that original "non-racist" usage. Instead, she pulled off the fairly impressive task of being both incoherent and probably racist.

effeminate dad
effeminate dad

We know MB is a bitch. That is not hateful or illogical. Illogical and hateful is pretending to know the thoughts going on in the head of an individual just because you don't like them. You're hateful for throwing "pedophile" in my name, and illogical for not coming up with any sort of rational comeback, only insults. You can't win this one.

effeminate dad
effeminate dad

Awesome cop out. theoko: the small mind that couldn't.

theoko
theoko

Oh, I can rationalize my arguments just fine.  I'm just smart enough to recognize someone for whom no amount of rationalizing will make a whit of difference, so I rely entirely on mockery.

effeminate dad
effeminate dad

You can't rationalize your argument, so you resort to nitpicking. All your schooling didn't teach you a damn thing. Keep being a hater, princess.

theoko
theoko

Effeminate dad- It's spelled "typos".  And "you're" means "you are".  Also, it's "shouldn't", not "should'nt".  I'm just letting you know how to write like you're fully literate, in case you should ever have an intelligent thought to communicate.

Smichael722
Smichael722

Effeminate dad, you argument makes little sense and your insults are pathetic.  

effeminate dad
effeminate dad

Aww, princess...don't pout. Being wrong is how one learns.

Tell you what: I'll worry more about my type-o's when you start worrying more about being logical and less hateful.

theoko
theoko

It's spelled "bigot", and I'm not being one.  You should be much more concerned with yourself.  MUCH more.

effeminate dad
effeminate dad

You're still being a biggot. Only that nutty bitch Michelle Bachmann knew what point (or non-point) she was making. Give it a rest and stop being so hateful already.

theoko
theoko

effeminate dad - No need to dodge on my part, I'm not defending bigotry. 

You can play dumb and pretend Bachmann used the term 'tar baby' innocently, despite the fact that it's been used as a racial pejorative for the past 100+ years.  The game of plausible deniability used by conservative racists unfortunately doesn't fly with me as well as it does with you, so I won't give your strawman arguments a second of respect or consideration.

effeminate dad
effeminate dad

Good dodging. Guess I'll have to break it down further for you: you can't know for sure what she meant by her statement (unless being a trendy liberal makes you think you're psychic), so inferring she is a biggot based on nothing makes you a biggot.

If my type-o of "you're" instead of "your" totally changes the meaning of my message to you, you probably should'nt be commenting on here.

Keep being a robot, because that's what's cool.

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