Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Republicans deny that anything means anything unless they say it does.

After around 1975, racists learned how to talk about racial politics by talking about criminals and welfare kings and queens, playing on racist stereotypes.

The key is "plausible deniability."

So unless Mitt Romney says "Negro President Obama is stealing white taxpayers' money and giving it to blacks, who are all lazy when they aren't being criminals" they will angrily deny that Romney is making a racist argument when he campaigns on the basis of saying that Obama has taken away work requirements for welfare recipients.

Never mind the fact that Romney is lying--and denying that he's lying, even though every fact-checking organization has said this isn't just a lie but a pants-on-fire lie. Never mind a Romney flack saying "We won't let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers." Never mind that the total dollars involved are so tiny as to be in the noise level of the national budget. 

It is a racist argument, playing on how uneducated white men--the core of today's Republican Party--associate "welfare" with "black." 

This is now the pattern for Mitt Romney, just as when he "joked" about not needing a birth certificate to prove he was born in Michigan. 

Can't you take a joke?

Not if you're joking about bombs on airplanes when you're a passenger in an airliner flying over New York. And not if you're joking about birth certificates when at least 20% of Republicans believe President Obama is foreign-born and not legally President. 

So no, it's not a joke. It's racism. Not that Romney's a racist. I'm certain that he isn't. What is certain is that he believes that lying--and lying constantly, then doubling down on the constant lying--is OK in politics. How he firewalls this away from the Mormon injunction to be honest is beyond me.

As is the double standard many rank and file Republicans apply to proving any of this. 

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