Is Obama a communist? "Study it out"

This woman was with a group of Tea Party supporters outside the Vice Presidential debate last night. After she shouted several times that Obama was a communist, Chris Matthews asked her to explain why she thought so. She told him to "Study it out and you will see. You haven't done your homework buddy."


    1. Does anybody know if ‘study it out’ is a more common expression in some regional variant of English? It’s sort of an odd phrase.

      (interestingly, the only google hits for that string on the first few pages are either about this particular mental giant or a piece of LDS scripture…)

      1.  I’m guessing it’s a catch-phrase used a lot by one of the several talk-radio hosts she apparently listens to. Even small local markets have their own home-grown Beck or Limbaugh plaguing the airwaves.

      2. They went through this on Reddit a few days ago.  Apparently it’s a phrase from Mormon scripture. It certainly sounds like something some 19th Century huckster would say.

  1. Sounds like a pretty typical conspiracy theorist’s response to me- 
    “Can you site your sources?”
    “I don’t have to, man. If you did the research, you’d see the TROOF.” Along with the ever-popular “it’s not up to me to prove it- it’s up to you to disprove it.”

    1. I’m assuming she thinks Matthews is “in on it” since he’s in the “lamestream media”.  I’m sure she knowing nodded her head to her friends later about that. 

  2. Oh, that Barack is a crafty one alright; but I’m on to him.

    He is carefully not enacting any significant reform of the bloated, bailed-out, and absurdly weakly regulated US corporate sector in order to ensure that the proletariat becomes miserable enough to spark a worker’s revolution that destroys American capitalism…. Crafty indeed. 

    Seriously, though, why is it that Obama manages to get so much flack for things he isn’t and deeds he has never done, and so little for things he is or has done?

    1. You wrote: “why is it that Obama manages to get so much flack for things he isn’t and deeds he has never done, and so little for things he is or has done?”

      Because the long and short of it is the real problem these people have is: he’s black. Yeah, go ahead all you “oh there you go playing the race card again” apologists and say I’m full of it. There is no rational reason for any of it. It’s based on something irrational. I’m not saying it’s racism…but it’s racism.

      1. I thought they were calling him a half-breed “muslin”.

        And I thought they approved of men of the cloth…

      2. I’m sure that’s it for some of them. But then they irrationally hated Hilary, and I figured it was because she was a woman. But then I thought, they also irrationally hated Bill, and before that they irrationally hated Jimmy Carter, so I just came to the conclusion that they are full of irrational hate for anyone who thinks differently from them.

      3. Yeah, it’s racism.  I’m a whitey, to boot, and I see it clear as day.  He can’t be President, or an effective president, or anything because he’s black.  He can’t even prove he’s a citizen of the USA definitively, even if they had birth footage with a hawaiian landmark out the window in the background…  People would claim it’s fake.  Because it’s RACISM.

        Malcolm X was right.  Racism in the North is much worse than racism in the South.  In the South, it’s overt. You can SEE it, FEEL it, and PUSH BACK against it.  In the North, it’s insidious, passive-aggressive, exclusivist, elitist, innuendo doublespeak.  What’s worse?  Well, we have come a long way since 1957, but the short version is that the Northern style racism Malcom X wrote about is now spread all over the country and has infiltrated the political process, and is considered mainstream.  It’s sad.

        TL/DR on all of this. To the point of your post… you’re damn right it’s racism.

        1. This was filmed outside the VP debate in Kentucky.  Other than that, I agree with the racism part. “Communist” is a more acceptable stand in for “Ni@@er”.

          I disagree with the Northern thing tho. Having spent a good portion of my life in the deep south as well as a good portion of it in “Obama’s Chicago” I can say that while Northern racism is more discreet and lurking beneath the surface, it is still less pervasive/endemic than Southern (and rural) racism.

          1. To connect the dots, the old style overt racism of the South is in shorter supply now.  It has been replaced in both the South and the North with the insidious, code-worded Northern style racism.  Just go talk to any black person.  They can explain it to you and give you examples of how it works.

          2. “the old style overt racism of the South is in shorter supply now”
            …Not in THIS corner of the Deep South… I’m racially mixed, but am vaguely non-anything enough to be able to Zelig into about any group. And a lot of those groups drop the N-bomb about our Prez + the “47%” like they were reciting NWA lyrics. And that’s just the people who think I’m ‘white’ enough to talk around. I’m fairly scared to learn what the hicks here who think I’m a Muslim have to say…

          3. I strongly disagree.  There seem to be daily/weekly examples of amazingly open racism, and they mostly come from the South.  The North for all its real problems with racism does not even compare to The South. The reason it doesn’t is because there are less people that tolerate it up here than down there.  Full stop.

            Just go talk to any black person.

            ? Huh. There’s some kind of understood consensus among blacks that Northern racism is the real problem here? 

          4. Old School 1930’s and 1940’s overt racism IS in much shorter supply now.  There aren’t signs up (very often) for whites only pools, blacks have to sit at the back of the bus, drink out of separate water fountains, etc.  You are just not getting this, and fortunately for all of us, BoingBoing has run out of space for this dissection.

            About talking to a black person. Ask them HOW they encounter racism, and how often they have people tossing the word n****r into their face and causing them to subjugate on the spot… vs… being pulled over way too often, being asked if it’s their vehicle or not, not getting jobs they apply to, getting poor service when eating out, etc etc etc. Just ask, you’ll see.

          5. I really think a lot of people mis-interpret Northern reserve and insular behavior as racist, when in fact it’s just our nature.  To back this up I would point out that the highest rate of inter-racial marriages in the country is Minnesota.  It may feel the same as racism to people on the receiving end, and thus, as people of privilege it is up to us to change, but I would argue that behavior that we show to anyone, including our oldest friends can hardly be considered racist.

      4. I dunno, I certainly don’t think you’re playing any cards, but I think the main reason they don’t like him is because he’s a Democrat.

        Republicans would be saying the same thing about that other lizard man if their ties were swapped.

        This particular women is clearly a racist – she so subtly let it slip that you might have actually needed the sound on to notice, but I’ll give you it in this case.

        1. I disagree, “communist”, “socialist”, “Kenyan”, and so on, Clinton got none of that. He of course was demonized in a million other ways, but not in this “coded” language that’s been reserved for Obama.

          1. An acquaintance of mine in the 90s referred to Clinton as “Chairman Clinton”. Apparently, if your own views are far right, the center looks far left. And a bit left of center? Don’t get me started…

          2. To be fair, that cuts both ways. Far-left individuals often see the middle as a GOP conspiracy of sorts as well.

          3. There’s no question that “Kenyan” and “Muslim” are code for “black”. Look at the flack he got for Jeremiah Wright or for bringing Common to the White House. What’s wrong with bringing Common to the White House? Answer: You’re sullying up the White House with your ghetto friends.

          4.  ah – the mythical center

            as the right continues to veer ever rightward, the “center” also continues to veer ever rightward, so Obama is to the right of say, Nixon. Centrist isn’t as descriptive as you might think.

            Centrist is also a code word which means “Democrat who supports neoliberal economic policies, or other Republican policies”. 

          5. Another invective hurled at obama (that wasn’t hurled at Clinton) was that he was “anti-colonial” (as if this was a bad thing). And have you seen some of the pictures people have held up?  It’s kind of ridiculous, actually, the sometimes openly balatant racism aimed at the President… I mean some people are all like “it’s the WHITE house for a reason”… This isn’t to say that all criticism from the right is racist, but a good deal of it seems to be.

          6.  @boingboing-88bade49e98db8790df275fcebb37a13:disqus ,
            That and the endless stream of watermelon, fried chicken, monkey-themed etc. joke emails that seemed to surface every single week for a while there, from GOP politicians down to GOP staffers.

          7. I agree.  Racism is certainly a factor this year, but the level of hate directed at Obama was there for Clinton and for Gore and for Kerry as well.  I’m not really old enough to remember if Mondale got the treatment, or if the right wing machine was less developed back then.

          8.  I made a point of saying that Clinton was deeply hated in other ways. He was not hated SIMPLY for his skin color though.  That’s kind of the point.

          9. Mondale was derided as a serial loser, and smeared indirectly by the way Carter’s administration was demonised after he lost as being a loser. Carter himself was derided as a naive hick, as white trash. As for Clinton, yeah, it seemed the less previous attacks stuck to him the more it angered them until they went over the cliff. Even calling him the first black president was supposed to be a smear.

          10. Clinton had it pretty bad. Maybe right wing media wasn’t quite as big or mainstream at the time but they were pretty hard on him. But you might recall his rediculous impeachment was largely motivated by hatred of him from the far right, there’s just no other way you can explain why that happened. Which is not to say that none of the whacky Obama critique isn’t motivated by race, do doubt some of it certainly is. But the rights hatred of anything with the big D label or precieved as liberal can be hard to distinguish from old fashioned covert racisim.

          11. How open does the racism have to be before it’s not covert, or dismissed as a purely partisan action?

      5. Because the long and short of it is the real problem these people have is: he’s black. Yeah, go ahead all you “oh there you go playing the race card again” apologists and say I’m full of it.

        I used to be one of those people until Obama ran for office. I couldn’t understand why everyone around me seemed to think he was Muslim — until the Jeremiah Wright story broke, and those same people turned on their heels and said he was the disciple of a black supremacist United Church of Christ preacher.

        Then I got it. Muslim == From a scary and mysterious foreign culture with compelling reasons to hate us.

        1. That equation for Muslim also seems to work for Black if you fast-pitch it enough at old white people’s heads…

          1. You don’t even have to pitch it that fast. Even the ones with slower reaction times will make a grab for it often enough for it to be depressing.

      6. In all fairness, they lost their minds during the Clinton presidency too, and his administration was rife with right-wing conspiracy accusations. He and Hillary were mass murderers and drug runners at one point.

      7. Truly, we don’t need to play the race card. 

        Doesn’t anyone here remember how much Clinton was hated?  No one remembers the constant Limbaugh assaults:  accusing them of complicity with Vince Foster’s suicide, the Whitewater investigation (which came to nothing), and Impeachment over a blowjob?  (Certainly not Clinton’s finest hour, but not an impeachable offense.) 

        Sure it doesn’t help that Obama is bi-racial, and he can be cast more easily as the Other by “legitimate” racists (waves to Akin), but the Democrat president and his policies will always be vilified by the Republican opposition front.   It was different some decades ago, but as the Republican party is currently constituted, whatever he is, whatever he does, they will oppose.  It’s what they do.

        (Edit: There’s been a lot of overt racism thrown Obama’s way, and I’m not at all saying that hasn’t occurred. I’m just saying in this one instance it’s not in evidence.)

        1. Truly, we don’t need to play the race card.

          Were you deliberately trying to undermine your own point by using language exclusively associated with racists for the last few decades?

    2. The trick to understanding these people is knowing that when they say one thing, they actually mean (or will do) the exact opposite.

      They say they are anti-abortion but want abortions for their mistresses. They say they are job creators but want to fire big bird. They say they want a small government but create the TSA and Homeland Security. They say they want to reduce the deficit but spend enormous amounts of money on wars. They say they support free markets but bail out banks. They say they want to help the average American but serve the 1% richest. The list goes on.

      So it really shouldn’t be surprising that they would say they’ve studied the facts when they obviously haven’t, and would accuse Obama of doing things he hasn’t in fact done.

  3. Apparently, the message we can come away with is that Chris Matthews does no show prep.  (Or at least that’s what the Fox News headline might claim.)

    1. Does that mean that they weren’t selling in the US? You know, like the team that loses the Super Bowl — they’ve got to sell their “world champion” shirts and hats somewhere else.

  4. Racist and ignorant, such a perfect combination.

    I get so angry at reporters for not saying what I want them to say. This would have done just fine:

    “I know what bloody communism is you walnut brained bigot, what do YOU think communism is?”

    Anyone at a news publication want to hire me to get angry at people on camera?

  5. “Study it out” is a phrase used in the Doctrines and Covenants of the Church of Latter-Day Saints.

    Could it be this woman is a Mormon? Wouldn’t be a huge coincidence, considering. (section 8)

    “But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.”

    1. So, “study it out” doesn’t actually mean study.  Turn it around in your mind until you get the answer that feels right to you.  That makes a lot of sense.  Or, well….nonsense.

  6. Folks who have no idea what Communism is, voting for folks who have no idea what Communism is all in the name of protecting us from Communism.

    See also:  Foreign Policy based upon never leaving the Greatest Country on Earth and Economics based upon never being Bored by Wonky Statistics.

    1. Related: Promoting liberty and democracy while covertly orchestrating coups and destabilizing democratically-elected governments in nations with important economic assets you covet.

  7. You know, I’ve taken to actually giving a lecture on what communism is and isn’t in my US history survey, because I figure that if this (and socialist) are going to be continually hurled as invectives, then maybe I can give some small corner of the population of the US some grounding in what those words actually mean.  Then maybe then can go ahead and decide (by studying it out maybe) on their own a) if communism and/or socialism is good or bad, and b) if anyone who is actually in power in the US is actually one. 

  8. She’s clearly not a wingnut – she’s not a birther. Matthews gives her an in to get all birther crazy and she says, “Oh he was born here..” but then she follows it up with her most telling comment, “he’s just not American, because he doesn’t think like us”. Man, I wish Matthews would have follwed up with, “Who are ‘us’?” Having to answer that would have put her on the spot more than having to quickly rattle off all her studies of Communism.

    1.  She’s still kind of a wing-nut.  Anyone who can look at Obama’s times as US president and say “communist” is either a wingnut or delusional. 

      1. I’m surrounded by that attitude. I hear people complain about the limits on prayer and Bible study in public school, and when I ask what Buddhists and Hindus are supposed to do when you’re praying and studying the Bible, they say that Buddhists and Hindus have it much better in America than in their own countries. :-/

    2. matthews is smart enough to have picked up on that, but it seemed clear to me his time was really short, or i suspect he would’ve had a field day with that walnut-brained bigot.

    3. She’s a Limbaugh or a Beck or a Coulter or a D’Sousa. They are all non-birthers who talk incessantly about Obama as the virtual second coming of Che Guevara. (It is truly bizarre though how they are on the same talking points giving that its 4 years later.)

  9. Interestingly if you look at the Soviets, they were virulently anti-Liberal, they distrusted academics and intellectuals, they believed in one party rule, they deified dead leaders in a cult of personality while distorting their record, they were ideologues who kept pursuing failed policies blaming past failures on a lack of ideological purity, they only trusted science when it was useful for industry, they had a party news source that was ridiculously biased and shamefully dishonest, and, well, they do seem kind of familiar, but it’s not Obama that they look like.

      1. OMG!!!!   Did you make that?  If you did, can I borrow it and put it in a lecture!!!  That’s pretty amazing. 

        Also, I once ‘shopped a Karl Marx pic holding a ukulele.  Thanks to it being in a class room, the prof sitting way back in the back of the class thought it was real… I sadly had to tell him that, no, Marx was not a badass uke player.

        1. You can make them here:

          Once on the site, I searched for the Karl Marx one.

  10. Thought it might be religious stuff– the kind of hobby that inspires people to parse every word of Revelation, to discern how many blades shall be wielded by the demon.

    But it might be a LDS thing.

    8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.

    doctrines and covenants

    1. Seriously, it portrays Christianity and Mormonism to a T.  To ruminate upon something until you believe it is true.  To put FAITH above facts and evidence.  To just sit with something long enough until you believe it’s true.  “Look, I’ve got five boys. I’m used to people saying something that’s not always true, but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping I’ll believe it.”

  11. Against such penetrating analysis, I can offer no resistance. Clearly: the man is a communist. Well argued, Madam! I forthwith offer my vote — nay, my fealty and undying love — to Those Who Hold Your Preferred Political Persuasion.

    Seriously though: she realizes she’s ANTI arguing, right? As in: makes me want LESS of whatever she’s serving up.

    This goes double for anyone in a Che t-shirt BTW.

  12. “Study it out” means watch FOX “News” and listen to right wing radio and learn very little about reality.

  13. I just can’t wait until next month to see what creative tasteless vitriol these baggers come up with in the wake of their tax-dodging hero’s monumental loss.

    Mittens is such a hopeless idiot that I’d put $500 on him losing.

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