The Invisible Man

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I wanted to think some on Clint Eastwood's cringe-inducing performance at the RNC before posting. I think Jamelle Bouie was on to something in noting that the performance offered a perfect representation of the Romney campaign -- an old white man arguing with an imaginary Barack Obama. But more than that it offers us a picture of the present Republican Party -- an old white man arguing with an adversary he lacks the ability to see. 


To paraphrase a commenter from a few years back, in GOP eyes, Barack Obama is a spellbinding orator always in need of teleprompter; the disciple of a radical Christian preacher who reigns like a secular-atheist determined to bring about a new era of Islamo-fascism; an Ivy-league wimp hailing from the gutters of Chicago; a white culture-hating racist who is not really black, but half-white; an anti-military peacenik who pals around with terrorists, who insists on killing terrorists, who insists on bragging about killing terrorists; an avowed Marxist specializing in the shadow arts of crony-capitalism and Leninist theories of banker bail-outs.

They've never figured Obama out. They have no contact with people who like him, or remain utterly blind to people like him, even as people like him become America.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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