The Dish actually transcribed the entire Obama speech – Carlson's massively hyped "scoop" yesterday – in June 2007. You can read the speech in full here. What struck me at the time was the following quote:
We can diminish poverty if we approach it in two ways: by taking mutual responsibility for each other as a society, and also by asking for some more individual responsibility to strengthen our families.
So Carlson is trying to make a speech that was in part about African-Americans taking "more individual responsibility to strengthen our families" into a leftist rant.
Yes, Obama defended government programs – to help young mothers with infants, for example – but the speech's blend of conservative goals and liberal policies is almost Obama's centrist brand. Yes, he implied that in many inner cities there is a constant quiet riot and that the authorities tolerate things there they wouldn't elsewhere (sounds like Giuliani to me). He also implied that the Feds did not respond to Katrina with sufficient urgency in part because the people affected the most were black and powerless. Isn't that obviously true? If Katrina had hit Georgetown, or San Francisco, do you think residents would be on their roofs begging for federal help for days? Yes, in black audiences his cadence shifts a little. So fucking what?
Here was what I wrote about it at the time:
Notice the conservative pitch for a liberal policy. Obama focuses on young children and ex-offenders. His big government programs are all geared toward fostering conservative social behavior and opportunity.
All that Carlson did is clip it to get an "angry black man" in the minds of Americans. It's at once one of the most desperate and lame and vile plays of the race card I can remember – an obvious recognition that the 47 percent tape can only really be countered emotionally with race-baiting. But it lit up "conservative" media in ways that Conor best expresses:
If the New York Times was constantly searching for archival footage to prove that Mitt Romney doesn't like black people, or that he is "whipping up race hatred," the conservative media would accuse them of frivolously ignoring the actual issues that this election ought to turn on. It would say that they were exploiting the racial anxieties of Americans to tarnish the character of a man whose long record of public policy-making shows no evidence of racial animosity or radicalism.
When it comes to racial demagoguery, the right has become everything it says it hates about the left.
Carlson used to be a brilliant writer. He's now a racist demagogue. He's a story in one person of how degenerate and disgusting much of American "conservatism" has become.