WASHINGTON — In August 2009, in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” host Chris Matthews asked me about the angry, frequently irrational voters who were showing up at town-hall-style meetings around the country to denounce President Obama’s health care policy. Having watched TV news reports, I knew that many of those voters were older white Americans who benefited from Medicare. Why would they oppose a health care policy for others?
Matthews asked whether I thought that some of those voters opposed Obama’s Affordable Care Act because they were uncomfortable with having a black president. I responded that I did.