Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Racist? Verbal Diarrhea? Or Just Plain Ignorant? GOP All-Stars At It Again

Last August, when Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn used the term “tar baby” in a condemnation of Obama’s economic policies, he apologized, backtracked and recanted usage of the term because…well, he’s probably not a moron. And using a term like “tar baby” when castigating our nation’s first black president is so offensive that if one has aspirations of re-election in any state other than Alabama (he reps Colorado by the way), apologizing for such a slur is a smart move.

But last week, when Michelle Bachman said “This is just about waving a tar baby in the air and saying that something else is a problem” when discussing Obama’s energy policy, I honestly can’t ascertain if this comment is racist (which is quite possible) or if she is so oblivious to social mores that the statement’s inherent bigotry escapes her (which is equally likely).

Am I being naïve? Maybe part of me wants to believe that an elected official and ex-presidential hopeful with such a close relationship to Jesus Christ would never dare utter such a hate-mongering slur.

I can anal-rape your soul with my thoughts!
But one has to wonder. The woman does have 247 foster children. The woman conducted her entire on-camera post-State of the Union address to an imaginary friend standing camera left. The woman publicly proposed that HPV vaccines cause mental retardation and when  look into the eyes of this photo, I see a woman not only capable of racism, but also arson, battery and kitten genocide.

So was she making a not-so-subtle jab at Barry? I’m sorry but I can not recall ever having even heard the fucking term ‘tar baby’ used to describe a ‘sticky situation’ which both Lamborn and Bachmann have cited in defense of their comments. Taken by itself, one slip like this would be easier to dismiss. But when you take these comments and place them alongside a litany of GOP remarks, one starts to glimpse a larger, more disturbing picture. 

Newt Gingrich, who for some reason is still running for President, famously made headlines earlier in the year when he said “Obama is the best food stamp president in American history.” And unlike Bachmann, I’m willing to concede that Newt has control over his verbal faculties and knows exactly what he’s saying. In case you missed the subtext to his little quote, here it is. ‘Our black president has gotten more black people on welfare than any of our WHITE presidents ever did. And the WHITE taxpayers are footing the bill!’

So how far have we come from the “He’s a terrorist” shouts of the McCain campaign trail? How far have we come from this picture that was circulated via email by California Republican official Marilyn Davenport?

Not very far.

And now, in the latter stages of the ‘Who can out-white each other’ primary, the Republicans have anointed Mitt Romney as their chosen honky. It was a squeaker but in the end, Santorum’s sweater-vest, God-peddling vengeance was no match for Mitt’s Mormony, country club pedigree.

Eager to hop on the accidental racism bandwagon, Romney recently unveiled his latest prop; a non-racist, I repeat NON-RACIST sign that says simply and quite elegantly “Obama Isn’t Working.” And again, like all the other slings mentioned above, this one too can be written off as ‘inadvertently racist.’ Republicans will predictably claim it is an assessment of Obama’s policies and not an affront to the stereotype of black men as lazy, jobless welfare recipients. But come on man. Seriously.

It begs one to question how much racism is clouding the upcoming election. I like to think that after four years, it would be less of a factor. But a recent Pew Survey showed that among white male voters, Obama trails Romney by 26 percentage points.

By comparison, McCain garnered more white male votes by a 16 percent margin. So Obama faces more formidable obstacles than a sluggish economy and high gas prices. He faces an enormous deficit amidst this voting block.

So here I am, a white male voter, asking myself what polls might reveal if Obama were white. Are these poll marks comparable to what any incumbent president presiding over a bad economy would receive? Or are they those of a black incumbent president? I hate the fact that I am even asking this question but I feel it’s a valid one.

I never liked John Kerry. But would a black George W. Bush have received a second term with a resume that included Iraq, Katrina and his annihilation of a five trillion dollar budgetary surplus?

Probably not.

But conjecture like that is futile. In the mean time, let us hope that this sideshow does not persist through to November. Let’s hope Republican leaders put a stop to this. I like to think that the GOP is better than these bullshit shenanigans. But I could very well be wrong.   

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