David Weigel, who in high school was voted Most Likely To Win The Internet, catches Byron York making a shocking discovery: black people like Barack Obama.

On his 100th day in office, Barack Obama enjoys high job approval ratings, no matter what poll you consult. But if a new survey by the New York Times is accurate, the president and some of his policies are significantly less popular with white Americans than with black Americans, and his sky-high ratings among African-Americans make some of his positions appear a bit more popular overall than they actually are.

I'm not sure how it makes sense that this means Obama's positions are "more popular overall than they actually are," unless you're arguing that black people don't actually count.

This is another example of a really bizarre genre of conservative writing, which I call "If Only Those People Weren't Here." It reminds me somewhat of the absence of black people in most non-dystopian science fiction, except the subtextual desire in York's column is far more deliberate: If black people weren't able to vote, Republicans would win more elections. And Ann Coulter, at the very least, has had the chutzpah to say directly what she's really thinking: "If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president."

Part of the point of York's column is to provoke the common conservative response that black support for Obama is "racist." The problem is that while Obama's support among black folks is high, it's only really a bit higher than that of Al Gore, John Kerry, and Bill Clinton, all of whom earned close to 9 out of 10 black votes in their respective elections. Weigel writes that "black voters strongly support the Democratic Party, and have since the 1960s, for a number of complicated reasons." Maybe black support for Obama has more to do with things like Republicans arguing that black votes don't really count than it does with Obama being black. Note that Al Sharpton and Carol Mosely-Braun have never sat behind the desk at the Oval Office.

It's telling that rather than conclude the GOP should do something about its deficit with women and minority voters, the typical conservative response is to simply fantasize about a world in which we might not actually exist. I don't mean to spook anyone (well, maybe Pat Buchanan) but we're not exactly going anywhere. Deal with it.

-- A. Serwer

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