In the Arena

The Race Card

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According to Mr. Drudge and Real Clear Politics, I’ve advised the President to play the race card on the Chris Matthews Sunday show. I didn’t, of course. The question to the panel was whether the President was going to have to address what appears to be a growing racial bitterness in the country. My response was that he should. That’s different from “playing the race card,” which is a term I’ve never used–it’s a cliche and a bad one, implying a political gambit or stunt. Political stunts that involve race are obnoxious. But race and ethnicity are issues that the President has addressed with intelligence in the past and, if the current Republican dog-whistling continues, may be something he might want to address in the future.