- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I guess I’m a little confused. Earlier this month, Republican White House contender Rick Santorum made a comment about wishing to improve the lives of black Americans. The mainstream media and liberal lawmakers ran with the sound bite as a way of smearing Mr. Santorum with the “racist” brush. Now Rep. James E. Clyburn, South Carolina Democrat, and others are once again playing the race card, insisting that an attack on food stamps is an attack on the black community (“West: Yes, Obama is ‘the food-stamp president,’ ” Web, Monday).

So which is it? Are food-stamp-related issues completely separate from the black community or are the two inextricably linked? The answer, of course, is neither.

The simple fact is that Mr. Santorum’s comments served as a spotlight on hunger and obesity among the poor and how, as an effort to curb hunger, food stamps actually encourage obesity.

Meanwhile, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s recent comments, during which he called President Obama “the food-stamp president,” were a fact-based attack on Mr. Obama’s economic policies, which have expanded the welfare state and made the poor more dependent rather than more self-reliant.

If this trend is a sign of things to come between now and November, it is clearer than ever that the only political strategy Mr. Obama and his supporters have planned is to play the race card at every turn and hope the voters take the bait.

ED GROTH

Mountain Top, Pa.