Mitt Romney the Race Baiter at the NAACP
Let’s bat the easy charges out of the way first. Spineless? Please. He’s taken every position the Tea Party base has asked and a few they didn’t. Disingenuous? Easy. Either he’s lying now about health care, abortion rights, his support for Ronald Reagan, and his posture toward Grover Norquist’s no-tax pledge, or he was lying then. Supercilious? Seems appropriate and perhaps even a bit mild for a man who made fun of NASCAR fans’ rain ponchos and a working-class family’s cookie service.
But he wasn’t a race-baiter until yesterday. That speech wasn’t to the NAACP. It was to Rush Limbaugh. It was to Tea Party Nation. It was to Fox News. Oh, he said some nice things. And sure, let’s give him one point for going there at all. But listen: You don’t go into the NAACP and use the word “Obamacare” and think that you’re not going to hear some boos. It’s a heavily loaded word, and Romney and his people know very well that liberals and the president’s supporters consider it an insult. He and his team had to know those boos were coming, and Romney acknowledged as much a few hours later in an interview with … guess which channel (hint: it’s the one whose web site often has to close articles about race to commenters because of the blatant racism). Romney and team obviously concluded that a little shower of boos was perfectly fine because the story “Romney Booed at NAACP” would jazz up their (very white) base.
Blame the media for making such a big deal of it? Come on. When a candidate’s staffers are preparing a speech, they know very well exactly what line the press is going to lead with. Speeches are written with precisely that intent (or if they’re not, someone is sleeping on the job). The mention, for the record, was couched, with appropriate plausible deniability, in the middle of a list of five things he’d do to get the economy humming again. (Speech text here.) Point three concerned reducing government spending and bring down the debt: “To do this, I will eliminate expensive non-essential programs like Obamacare, and I will work to reform and save Medicare and Social Security, in part by means-testing their benefits.”
The context is crucial, and the fact that it was mentioned in passing certainly does not absolve Romney because it was just one item on a list. Think of it this way: If you are trying to talk a friend or co-worker out of a position or belief that you consider to be ill-advised—if, that is, you are actually and earnestly trying to be in that person’s good graces and get through to them—you will make a calm and reasoned case and try to get your target audience to see things your way. You don’t just peremptorily denounce the position you know he is attached to as “non-essential” and say you’ll eliminate it and move on to point four. You would know that that would come across as both condescending and ineffective.
What… what is this? What? I literally cannot wrap my mind around this.
Republican presidential candidate RICK SANTORUM, on Sunday’s Meet The Press.
No seriously. This guy is a fucking dick.
The thing is, Santorum actually believes this. But in his defense, I can understand his self interest in ensuring fewer people go to college and become educated; he does have a voter base he needs to cultivate, after all.
AMY POEHLER, Weekend Update (via inothernews)