President Obama gave a series of comments to the New Yorker’s David Remnick that, predictably, are attracting attention this morning because he said: “There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black President.” Obama also said there are blacks and whites who “give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black President,” but this nuance isn’t making it into the headlines.
Far more interesting than this, however, are Obama’s comments about race and the Affordable Care Act:
“There is a historic connection between some of the arguments that we have politically and the history of race in our country, and sometimes it’s hard to disentangle those issues,” he went on.
“You can be somebody who, for very legitimate reasons, worries about the power of the federal government — that it’s distant, that it’s bureaucratic, that it’s not accountable — and as a consequence you think that more power should reside in the hands of state governments. But what’s also true, obviously, is that philosophy is wrapped up in the history of states’ rights in the context of the civil-rights movement and the Civil War and Calhoun…”