Friday, February 12, 2010

CNN'S Roland Martin: It's Time For Obama To 'Go Gangsta On GOP

CNN political analyst Roland Martin stirred things up on with his editorial "Time to go gangsta on GOP." Martin is sick and tired of Republicans holding up Obama nominees, so he’s suggesting that the president act like Al Capone or maybe the movie version, Robert DeNiro in The Untouchables:

Obama's critics keep blasting him for Chicago-style politics. So, fine. Channel your inner Al Capone and go gangsta against your foes. Let 'em know that if they aren't with you, they are against you, and will pay the price.

Several conservative bloggers wondered if "gangsta" sounded less like Al Capone and more like gangsta rappers. Could that sound racially insensitive? Martin attacked a former editor of his at Creators Syndicate for objecting to the analogy:

It is you who seems to resort to stereotypical language by bringing up busting a cap in Michael Steele’s ass or dressing up as Dr. Dre. So you chose to use racially-coded language and stereotypes. So who has the real problem? There is nothing in my column that mentioned race. Did I even mention a black gangster? Nope. I mentioned Al Capone.

Martin also lectured that he’s an independent as he champions Obama, not a liberal:

By the way, being supportive of POTUS doesn’t mean you’re a liberal. I have many conservative positions that tick off liberals. I prefer to be someone who is an independent. I don’t subscribe to an ideology like liberalism or conservatism. And I don’t subscribe to a political party like the Democrats or Republicans. I vote for people; not party; not political persuasion.

That would seem to be utterly contradicted by a column that demands that Democrats should pound some Republican skulls:

For me, I'm sick and tired of Democrats having power and being unwilling to use it. I've always respected Republicans when they had power because they were willing to use it and maybe apologize later.

That would sound to most people like a very partisan Democrat, not an "independent."

Greg Pollowitz joked that "gangsta" probably isn’t the word you’d normally use for making recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. Ed Driscoll was cracking wise, too: "nothing says '2009 Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize' like Al Capone comparisons — from an outspoken supporter, no less!"

—Tim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center.

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