It must be plain to everyone –even Cokie Roberts — by now that our president is a liar. Those with an open mind have known for years that the president is a liar, but others, such as Cokie Roberts, have steadfastly maintained that those who call the president a liar are racists. They contend that statements such as “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” were mere miscalculations, unforeseeable by our allegedly scary-smart president.
But in light of the fact that Mr. Obama communicated with his then- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton through her private email server using a pseudonym –even though he claimed to have found out about her private email server by hearing about it on the news –there can be no doubt about whether or not the president is a liar. The President is a liar.
So why pick on Cokie Roberts, when every Democrat that breathes (probably still) maintains that the president is not a liar?
Well, it’s just that when Donald Trump made his conciliatory statement that “Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period”, Cokie Roberts called the idea that Obama might not have been born in the United States “racist”. And the people that questioned whether or not Obama was born in the United States “racist” and “morally tainted.” This on the basis that Obama is the only African-American president, and the only president whose citizenship was questioned.
But the reason Obama is the only president whose citizenship was questioned is that the other candidates whose citizenship was questioned –most recently Republican senator and presidential primary candidate Ted Cruz, and before that Republican senator and presidential candidate John McCain –never became president. To claim that questioning Obama’s citizenship is racist on the basis of his being the only president whose “natural-born citizen” -ship has been questioned is therefore disingenuous at best. Given that Cokie Roberts is no dummy, she surely must know this.
And rumor has it –and had it at the time — that Chester A. Arthur was born in Canada.
Which made me wonder why Cokie Roberts –and the many others like her — is so touchy about Mr. Obama’s past, takes such strong personal umbrage, stamps her foot and excoriates those who disagree with her, even to the point of, surely, “protest[ing] too much.”
Cokie Roberts is a Mayflower descendant, whose family, the Boggs, later settled in New Orleans. Both of her parents were Democrat members of the House of Representatives. Her father served in the House beginning in 1941, followed by a stint in the Navy during WWII.
Roberts grew up in pre-Civil Rights movement New Orleans, a place where racial segregation and Jim Crow laws were still the order of the day. The prevailing order was enforced by the Democrat Party, which had effectively banished the Republican Party from the state by 1890, through disenfranchising Black voters who were the Republican party’s main supporters. The Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision establishing “separate but equal” facilities for each race upheld a Louisiana law.
Two years after the Plessy decision, Louisiana passed one of the first laws officially stripping blacks of the right to register to vote. In essence, everything that could be segregated in Louisiana was. Public facilities for adults, including restaurants, hotels, night clubs, and cemeteries, were strictly segregated, as were public facilities for children such as amusement parks, playgrounds, and schools. By 1900, the line separating whites and blacks had become deeply entrenched in Louisiana’s culture. After 1902, New Orleans streetcars were segregated. A 1908 state law prohibited cohabitation (in marriage or domestic situations) between whites and blacks. Racial segregation in jails was required in 1920. Even in New Orleans, tolerant (if not friendly) interactions between whites and African Americans all but disappeared. The Catholic Church established a segregated parish in downtown New Orleans, the Congregation of Corpus Christi.
In Cokie Roberts’ home state, the unchallenged Democrat party was gradually forced by the courts to concede to African-Americans the rights they had had under Republican rule way back during Reconstruction, particularly in the Republican stronghold of New Orleans. So it is no surprise that the daughter of a New Orleans Democrat political family resents Republicans, and insists that she is on the side of the angels. She no doubt feels guilty about the way African-Americans were treated in her well-to-do and well-connected family’s home state. And she also no doubt grew up believing herself the moral superior of many white people she knew. Of course she sees segregationists and racists everywhere, even in those who just think a proven track record of lying increases the likelihood that what one says today is a lie. No wonder she so casually slanders those who think a liar lies, whatever his race. Or country of birth.