When reporting on things said and done by the incredibly vocal minority of angry white people who make up the Republican base, one should always remember that their "reality" is different from ours. James Carville has proven this, with science!
According to TPM, Carville's Democracy Corps polling group conducted a focus group study of "conservative Republicans" and "conservative-leaning independents." And basically conservative-leaning independents are worried about the deficit and quibble with the particulars of congress' health care reform plans, while base Republicans live in a scary alternate reality where Obama has this little goatee thing, see, and health care reform is literally a secret plot to bankrupt the nation so that he can enslave us.
First and foremost, these conservative Republican voters believe Obama is deliberately and ruthlessly advancing a ‘secret agenda' to bankrupt our country and dramatically expand government control over all aspects of our daily lives. They view this effort in sweeping terms, and cast a successful Obama presidency as the destruction of the United States as it was conceived by our founders and developed over the past 200 years.
"Two aspects of the discussion on Beck among conservative Republicans were particularly noteworthy. One was a common fear among the women for his personal safety, a belief that his willingness to stand up to powerful liberal interests was putting his life, as well as the lives of those working with him, in danger. Of course, his willingness to face this danger head on only adds to his legend."
Carville is also trying to get everyone to shut up about race, and he insists that race has nothing to do with their fears of a black planet.
Instead of focusing on these intense ideological divisions, the press and elites continue to look for a racial element that drives these voters' beliefs - but they need to get over it. Conducted on the heels of Joe Wilson's incendiary comments at the president's joint session address, we gave these groups of older, white Republican base voters in Georgia full opportunity to bring race into their discussion - but it did not ever become a central element, and indeed, was almost beside the point.
Right. Carville gave them "full opportunity" to make White House watermelon patch jokes, but, weirdly, in front of focus group researchers, they declined to shout racial slurs, and in fact announced that their hatred of the president had nothing to do with his Blackness!
We cannot ever know how much of a role race plays in making a bunch of white dudes scared of a black man. But race informs it. That's patently obvious, and to declare that it's a non-factor because calling attention to it doesn't "play" well politically (because America is incapable of talking about race without people screaming "DON'T CALL ME A RACIST YOU'RE THE REAL RACIST YOU RACIST") is dumb. Yes, obviously any Democratic president was going to have to deal with crackers hating him or her, but that is because any Democratic president would've represented an America of black folk, gays, and uppity ladies that these people don't recognize as legitimately American. So, there is your race card.
In conclusion: there's no "reasoning" with these people and honestly the best we could possibly hope for is that the people lying to them constantly come up with slightly less deranged and dangerous lies.