The rise of racism that has corresponded with Barack Obama’s presidency has been shockingly blatant and unapologetic. There is a frightening catharsis that comes from those who exclaim racial animosity towards our President, reflecting gratification at finally being able to free the hatred they had been forced to keep bottled up by society in the past.
Today, thanks to the Tea Party, Fox News and the rest of the MSM and the de-evolution of the GOP, there is no stigma against racism to act as a regulator for those who hate other races. In fact, one of the surest ways to get on the MSM is to spout something racist and your views will be publicized by “concerned” talking heads endlessly.
It was only a matter of time that this regressive aspect of our society, so much a part of the fabric of the Right Wing and the Republican Party, would eventually surface and become prominent in Mitt Romney’s “I’ll do whatever it takes to win!” campaign.
To those who have been following the race closely enough, it comes as no surprise that the Romney campaign and the GOP are desperate to change the topic of discussion from Romney’s lying about his time at Bain. Their first lame attempt was to try and whip up a phony story about Condi Rice being at the top of the list for VP picks. When that story fell flat and was presented as exactly the distraction it was intended to be, a desperate yet organized campaign to go back to the dependable Republican political tool of racism was launched.
Rush Limbaugh started beating the drum (or his head, hard to tell the difference) for changing the Bain scandal through racist attacks against Obama by declaring:
“I think it can now be said, without equivocation, without equivocation, that this man hates this country. He is trying, Barack Obama is trying, to dismantle, brick by brick, the American Dream. There’s no other way to put this. There’s no other way to explain this. He was indoctrinated as a child. His father was a communist. His mother was a leftist. He was sent to prep and Ivy League schools where his contempt for the country was reinforced.
This is what we have as a president: a radical ideologue, a ruthless politician who despises the country and the way it was founded and the way in which it became great. He hates it.”
Rush’s racist marching orders were then followed the next day by Romney’s chief attack dog, John Sununu, who was born in Cuba and directly of Palestinian and Greek dissent, saying of President Obama:
“I wish this president would learn how to be an American.”
Not one to be left out of the Racist Olympics, record holder Michelle Bachmann qualified for the finals of the “Joseph McCarthy Broad Jump to Prejudiced Conclusions” by accusing Hillary Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, of being a devious agent of the Muslim Brotherhood, bent on destroying America, because she’s not white and was born…in Michigan. Oh, and an old friend of her dead father’s organization had an organization that someone might have belonged to who was possibly supportive of Muslim religious rule…and as Michele Bachmann can attest, anyone who supports religious domination of a political system needs to be Christian or it is unAmerican.
More Republicans jumped on the burning cross bandwagon since Rush’s call to Republicans to don the white hoods and of course, Mitt Romney, who has apparently based his life on a mean version of the identity-shifting Woody Allen character, Zelig, had to conform as well to this racist campaign strategy, saying yesterday:
“It is changing the nature of America, changing the nature of what the Democrats have fought for, and Republicans have fought for. In the past, people of both parties understood that encouraging achievement, encouraging success, encouraging people to lift themselves as high as they can, encouraging entrepreneurs, celebrating success instead of attacking it and denigrating, makes America strong. That’s the right course for this country. His course is extraordinarily foreign.”
By now, most who have seen this pattern of thinly veiled racist pandering and provoking for the past four years, trying to cast Obama as “foreign” to white America since Obama began his run for the Presidency, see it for what it is. The word is now that Romney is going to “go after” Obama’s biography to show how tough he is and to rally the base.
“Going after Obama’s biography” is code that’s not that hard to break. Let’s see, he’s not American, his birth certificate is fake, he lived in Indonesia, his Father was Kenyan and Muslim, Reverend Wright led his church, he was raised to believe in communism and socialism, he smoked pot as a teen and had an afro…where exactly is all of this leading? It’s so bewildering!
The absurdity of the Romney campaign and the GOP now defies description. Romney wails at how dirty it is for Obama’s campaign to expose his lies about his business experience (including his possible perjury to the SEC which is a felony), the only qualification he touts for being a worthy choice for President yet he and the Repubs attack Obama for being born black and into “non-white” circumstances which he, as a baby and child had no control over. Romney’s tax returns from three years ago which could show to Americans his true character and philosophies as well as who he may be in bed with financially are “irrelevant” but Obama’s childhood 40 years ago or people he may have known as acquaintances 20 years ago is of critical importance.
The racist Republican campaign, spearheaded by the venom-spitting, happy warrior Sarah Palin in 2008 can hardly be forgotten. And all Americans should be prepared for the return of this type of race-based campaign in even greater intensity this election cycle. As McCain’s VP pick, Palin was reading from the script she was given, painting Obama as the scary, foreign, terrorist-loving black man who wanted to destroy the white people’s utopia of America and replace Christianity with that black religion, Islam, turning America into a socialist, Islamist tyranny where black people would kill and dominate white Christians.
And many Americans are actually dumb enough or insecure enough to have bought into that race-bating.
The more that Romney disintegrates publicly as a viable alternative, the more the Romney campaign will get desperate and degrade to the lowest possible denominator to try and beat Obama. Romney has been lying about Obama with astounding frequency, his prolific lying is setting a new standard for future GOP nominees to try and match. And yet, all of his lies about what Obama thinks and says about the economy and taxes and business…still hasn’t gotten Romney enough traction to pull ahead when by all rights, he should be far ahead of a President presiding over 8.2% unemployment and a sluggish economy. It would seem futile to keep going down that road so as we get closer to November, it would seem that he may see no other choice than to resort to the campaign of hate and prejudice that is the hallmark of today’s GOP…and the only strategy this morally bankrupt party has left.
The key question then becomes, will it work?
Will going back to the 2008 GOP campaign of “Obama is a scary black man who wants to do bad things to you and America” be a winner for Romney and the GOP?
That seems less likely. First, most Americans have gotten to know Obama over the past three years, they already have their feelings about who he is. Those who don’t like him will be happy to hear the attacks against him, those who do like him will see them as just nasty politics. Younger voters who may be less familiar with Obama are typically more liberal and not racist so such a tactic would fall flat with that demographic. And in general, whether you agree or disagree with his policies, Obama has certainly not come off as a radical, Muslim terrorist who poses a threat to our country…except for those who see all black people that way. And his saving GM and killing Bin Laden doesn’t exactly fit with that portrayal of Obama by the Right.
Republicans are so accustomed to playing “tit for tat” that they have lost sight of the way things really are (though losing sight of the way things really are is referred to as “reality” in the GOP). Romney and the GOP are upset that Obama is successfully defining Romney to the American people as the greedy liar and fraud that he is. So they want to hit back by making America see Obama as the dangerously black America-hating terrorist he isn’t. The problem is of course, most Americans already know Obama and they don’t know Romney that well so a campaign to define the image of someone…only really works in the case of the person who isn’t already defined, that being only Mitt Romney.
When a Republican attacks Obama or the Dems, the MSM meme is all about how Obama and/or the Dems respond. Did they push back well or not, regardless of how dishonest the charge is against them. When Obama comes out strongly against Romney or Republicans, the same MSM meme always surfaces, “Is this going to hurt Obama?” So the game is, if Obama doesn’t react strongly enough, he’s a weak wimp who lets the Repubs have their way and walk all over him but if he responds aggressively, he will look like an angry black man and turn off Americans.
Let’s consider this dynamic in a more realistic way towards Romney. If Romney’s campaign, which has already been 99% negative against Obama (mostly using lies and distortions) with no positive specifics on how he would make things better, was to lock down into a hateful, racist-tinged campaign against Obama…what about the blowback Romney would incur?
Independent and swing voters don’t like negative campaigning. Yes, some are swayed by it but many are swayed against the one they perceive as being “too negative”. Romney’s polling on being trusted and liked by the public are in the toilet already, might not a sustained and intensified campaign of negativity and hate against Obama instead end up flushing him and not Obama, down the drain?
We have a track record of Romney from the primary, the more the public saw of him and saw his negative campaigning, the less they liked him. He was able to power through all of that to win the nomination but thanks to two elements that aren’t present in the General Election against Obama. In the primary, Romney was running against moronic cartoon characters…and was losing against them for quite a while. Romney also had such a massive money advantage over all of them, he was able to drown them in slime while they could barely afford to scuff his shoes.
In the General Election, Romney is running against an accomplished President who is far more brilliant, genuine, likeable and charismatic than he is. Though Romney and the Right Wing SuperPACS may have an overall financial advantage, it won’t be 10-1 as it was for Romney in the primaries and in swing states, it should be pretty even.
So, it would be sensible to prepare ourselves for a renewed and aggressive campaign of thinly veiled (or just plain blatant) racism against President Obama by Romney and his ilk. They don’t have the facts on their side, or history, the truth or public opinion. They can’t campaign honestly because they only want to make things better for the top 1%. All they have is manipulating (or preventing the votes of) the American people, by preying on their insecurities and fears, their envy and greed, their religion and spiritual beliefs, their frustration and disillusionment, their prejudices and discomfort with people who are different from them.
It is the worst in people that Republicans prey on and are depending on. Sometimes this low opinion of Americans has proven effective. This year, so far, a low opinion of the GOP and Mitt Romney may turn out to be a better bet.