Despite the storm, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Dick Polman has an interesting election analysis, his thesis being that the “reelection of America’s first black president is imperiled because he’s doing so badly with white voters.

Is it really about race?

It’s sad, but inescapable, that we have to crunch the numbers on the basis of race. Four years ago Obama drew 43 percent of the white vote, an impressive share for any Democrat – two points higher than John Kerry in 2004, a point higher than Al Gore in 2000, and the same share that Bill Clinton garnered in 1996 – but 43 percent looks like a pipe dream in 2012. The latest polls place Obama at 38 percent.

I see a major problem with Polman’s argument (which is hardly unique to Polman). The fact that Obama did better with whites than did Kerry, Gore, or Clinton indicates not white racism, but simply that whites are more likely to vote Republican than Democrat. The fact that a black Democrat garnered more white votes than the white Democrats hardly indicates white racism;  if anything it indicates the opposite. Obviously, if more white voters are unwilling to give Obama a second term, that means a number of white 2008 Obama voters are disappointed in his presidency. But by what stretch of the imagination does that indicate racism? Are they suddenly newly minted racists who have “discovered” over the last four years that the president is black and who now intend to vote against him for that reason? I don’t think so.

What I think would be really interesting would be to see how the race would be analyzed had the GOP nominated Colin Powell or Condoleezza Rice as their candidate. Would attempts be made to tarnish the white voters preferring a black Republican to a black Democrat as racist? I suspect so. That’s because opposition to the Democratic Party and to liberalism has come to be defined as racism. Black Republicans are not considered black; they are seen as traitors.

Now, while I have been sick and tired of that mindset for years, I think growing numbers of people are sick and tired of it too — including many who believed that having a black president might help put a stop to divisive racial politics.

Hey, at least the punditocrats not — yet — trying to racialize Sandy as they did with Hurricane Katrina.  However, it did not take long to unfurl the Global Warming Climate Change banner. As I knew it would, a quick check with Memeorandum revealed several desperate attempts to harness the power of the latest storm, which is seen by some as an ideal occasion to make this election be about CLIMATE CHANGE!

I have a problem with that, because it’s raining sleet and ice right now in Michigan. Not only is it unsafe for me to walk down my front steps, but I’m freezing my butt off.

CLIMATE CHANGE, SHLIMATE CHANGE!

I WANT MY GLOBAL WARMING, DAMMIT!

Except I really should be careful saying that, because the “scientists” maintain that whether you call it Global Warming or Climate Change, weather is in fact a race issue:

The climate gap refers to a body of data indicating disparities in how climate change impacts various racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups in the United States. The data show that low socioeconomic status groups and racial and ethnic minorities will experience more negative health and economic impacts from the results of climate change than other populations in the United States. This term, climate gap, was first used in the May 2009 report, “The Climate Gap: Inequalities in How Climate Change Hurts Americans & How to Close the Gap”,[1][2] as well as in a concurrent paper published in the journal, Environmental Justice, by Seth B. Shonkoff, Rachel Morello-Frosch and colleagues entitled, “Minding the Climate Gap: Implications of Environmental Health Inequities for Mitigation Policies in California”.[3]

There you go. There ‘s no way to avoid racial politics. Not even if you talk about the weather.