I have a small introduction/anecdote that I want to share before I get to the Sirota comment, and it is actually relevant to the overall post.
One of my best friends, who is from my hometown, and her husband were in town for their annual U.S. summer respite from their current home outside of Mexico City. Since we usually gather for drinks and conversation when they are in the country, I wanted to suggest this great little spot in Phoebus (in Hampton, VA) called Six (I highly recommend the Bombay gimlet up). My friend spent more than a decade in New York City, and I'd spent more than a decade in Washington, DC, and Six is the first place I've come across locally that had a vibe we both recognized and sorely missed. And it was at Six where the discussion that has led to this post took place.
My friend's husband asked if I'd read an op-ed by The Nation Magazine's Melissa Harris-Perry (I am a fan) positing reasons for white liberal disenchantment with President Obama. I hadn't, so he gave me an assignment, and provided me with a one word summary: racism. I looked at him skeptically, because my gut instinct was that that can't be right.
It was only today that I remembered my assignment, because I saw David Sirota's rebuttal to Harris-Perry at Salon. Having now read both, I have to say that I really do agree with Sirota. I highly recommend reading both pieces, starting with Harris-Perry's. I will just say that Sirota brings in a great deal of empirical evidence, including the drop in popularity for President Obama within the black community, to bolster his points. Finally, I will add that my disenchantment with President Obama, and I've expressed that disenchantment in various posts on this blog, has nothing to do with racism. Sirota broke it down nicely.