Not even trying to hide it…

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/59124558@N06/7117016481/” title=”2012-Romney-campaign-sign by dengre.bj, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7102/7117016481_21b74f81f4.jpg” width=”500″ height=”162″ alt=”2012-Romney-campaign-sign”></a>

Mitt Romney is doubling down on his race-baiting dog whistle campaign. His latest code-talking theme is that President Obama wants to overturn welform reform and give the hard earn tax dollars of white ‘mericans to lazy negroes and mexicans.

It is total bullshit and Mitt’s welfare line of attack is an outrageous lie, but it gets a wink, wink from a lazy press too busy dreaming about shirtless men with zombie eyes passing out cat food vouchers.

And yet, the press is lazy, and so from time to time they forget to hide the racist intent of Romney’s latest ads. Take mini-Drudge Halperin as a case in point.  This morning he reports on Mitt’s release of a second race-baiting welfare ad (emphasis added) :

Three factors that are likely encouraging the Republicans to keep on an attack tact that is factually questionable:

      1. The Obamans felt it necessary to spend money on a response ad of their own already.

      2. David Axelrod gets pretty heated discussing this issue — less like James Baker and more like Howard Dean.

      3. Romney needs to dominate the white vote huge to win this race.

And how does a welfare attack help Romney “dominate the white vote”? Through the use of racist code-talking, that’s how.

It would be nice if the press would call out these appeals to racism as racism instead of winking at it as a smart horse race move for Team Wingnut.

That’s why this column by Dana Milbank over the weekend was encouraging.

Cheers






52 replies
  1. 1
    Valdivia says:

    Don’t forget the Obama has blood on his hands because he stole grandma’s medicare to give it to the poorz. Totally complementary.

  2. 2
    Jeff Spender says:

    ‘Cause, you know, we Messicans love our white-man welfare money. None of us has any concept of “sweat of your brow” type achievement.

    Forget the fact that hispanic day-laborers work in fields and factories and construction. Anyone can do that, right? Ask Alabama.

    Admittedly, my family was always too proud to take welfare. But don’t let that distract you from the shiny objects.

  3. 3
    Soonergrunt says:

    Of course, Millbank’s column was over the weekend, so the number of people who actually read it is probably less than the number of people who comment on a pet posting here on Balloon-Juice.

  4. 4
    kc says:

    As a white person, I apologize on behalf of my race for Mark Halperin.

  5. 5
    Randy P says:

    Judging by polls (Romney leads among white males 55-45 or so), the racist white vote is significant. But I choose to be a starry-eyed optimist and believe it’s not a majority, especially not a huge majority. I think as a society we’re growing up.

    And those polls are old news. I think the numbers I’m thinking of are at least a month old. They may very well have fallen significantly.

  6. 6
    feebog says:

    The only surprise about this turn toward racist dog whistles is that it took them so long. Desperate, out of touch cowards.

  7. 7
    Mark S. says:

    3. Romney needs to dominate the white vote huge to win this race.

    Because trying to appeal to non-white voters just isn’t an option.

    Do these media idiots realize how racist they sound with this shit? Or would they have no problem writing “Hitler needs to dominate the Aryan vote huge to win this race”?

  8. 8
    Bulworth says:

    This is my problem with Romney: He is a decent man, but he’s too weak to stand up to the minority on his own side who are not. With the welfare attack, he is encouraging them.

    I wonder what evidence Milbank has for this belief?

  9. 9
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Mitt Romney is a repellent creature.

  10. 10
  11. 11

    Did anyone else see this?

    http://gop12.thehill.com/2012/.....souri.html

    Romney is only up 1% in MIssouri, while the Republican challenger to McKaskill is up 11%.

  12. 12
    Elizabelle says:

    Dennis (and BJ commentariat): What do you think of this column by Ron Brownstein, National Journal:

    The inability to hold whites while enjoying a free hand to implement their program ought to send Democrats [Brownstein’s italics] a clear signal. If the party cannot formulate a vision for activist government that retains white support, it is unlikely to control Washington for any lasting period.

    Widening Racial Chasm a Problem for Both Parties

    Brownstein says problem goes back to LBJ; talk radio and rightwing media never mentioned.

  13. 13
    maurinsky says:

    @Bulworth:

    I had the same question.

  14. 14
    amk says:

    Not surprising from a punk who called obama a dick on live teevee. So fucking time will give the zak treatment to the racist whistling hackperin ? Not a chance.

  15. 15

    @Mark S.:

    It’s only racist when Democrats try to win A.A. voters. White voters have all kinds of normal, decent, not racist reasons to vote against President Obama, like, he’s a nazi, a communist, a Muslim, an atheist, he hates America, he hates success and he was born in Kenya. Any time an A.A. votes for Obama, though, that’s racist. Only blah people can be racist. We know that, because they’re always playing the race card and making a big deal when somebody tells a totally not racist joke about how the White House is now the biggest watermelon farm ever. That isn’t racist; that’s funny. But, damn, black people, they just can’t take a joke, and they’re, like, always up in our faces with their dark skin and their weird hair. Fuck. If refusing to have normal American skin like mine isn’t racist, then I don’t know what is.

  16. 16
    hep kitty says:

    And how does a welfare attack help Romney “dominate the white vote”? Through the use of racist code-talking, that’s how.

    As long as the white working class continues to be in denial about slipping into poverty, this will work just fine.

    When, after a couple of years looking for work, their kids start starving or get sick and they have to take advantage of those gubmint bennies, they’ll be singing a different tune. But by then, it may well be too late.

    You know, I realize I speak in hyperbole a lot, but honestly, I have been following all this for the last decade and I don’t know how to speak the truth without using extremes, because the truth about these people, their sociopathy, IS extreme and terrifying.

  17. 17
    patrick II says:

    Milbank:

    This is my problem with Romney: He is a decent man, but he’s too weak to stand up to the minority on his own side who are not.

    This is my problem with Milbank: He is a naive man, but he is too weak to think that a banal white man in a suit and tie can be evil. A man who made a good part of his fortune by stealing from retirement funds and medical insurance funds and then avoided paying taxes on his profits is not a decent man.
    The fact that he wants to continue the same laws that cause distress to many while profit to him is evil. Milbank should read some Hannah Arendt.

  18. 18
    Balconesfault says:

    @Bulworth: I was about to cite the same quote.

    Would being unwilling to club striking workers yourself, but ready to hire Pinkertons to club the striking workers for you, make you a decent man who just is too weak to stand up to those who enjoy clubbing striking workers?

  19. 19
    Jay C says:

    Well, to try to look a bit on the bright side….

    Myself, I’m not so sure the dog-whistle racist crap (which will probably edge more and more into the audible as the campaign wears on) is really going to work all that well on a national scale. Not in 2012. Our “MSM” is badly-enough in the tank for Republicans as it is: but I think that if President Obama can hold a steady lead (say 6-7%) in national polling through early October, the “Romney/Ryan as losers” meme is going to take irrevocable hold, and the press will jump on and do a Goldwater on him. And even in 1964, tut-tutting over racism was a media and political winner: nowadays, it’s even more potent.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Elizabelle: It’s very difficult to run a social democracy that retains broad support, or any social democracy, after your society reaches a certain level of ethnic or racial diversity. It’s not a US-specific phenomenon.

    Academics have been studying this for a while. The nickle version — support for social provision, especially for transfer payments — goes down, as the diversity of a society goes up.

  22. 22
    Balconesfault says:

    @hep kitty: When, after a couple of years looking for work, their kids start starving or get sick and they have to take advantage of those gubmint bennies, they’ll be singing a different tune. But by then, it may well be too late.

    Ahh – but the GOP plays the “devil take the hindmost” job very well, stressing to those who are working that being out of work, having starving/sick kids, and needing government benefits are all signs of immorality and weakness that are beneath them.

    If, at some point in the future, a Romney voter does suffer ill fortune and slip off the back end of society, they will have joined the rank of the immoral and weak … and the rest of the Romney voters can look down on them as well as they savor the remaining moments of prosperity they enjoy.

  23. 23
    hep kitty says:

    @patrick II:

    he is too weak to think that a banal white man in a suit and tie can be evil

    Having grown up white in the 60’s, I believed the white man in the suit knew everything, would never lie to me and had only my best interests at heart.

    Over the last decade, I came to realize he was lying to me most of the time. That was devastating. I guess Milbank, along with a lot of other people, just can’t “go there” because their perceptions of the world and how it really works would be shattered.

  24. 24
    Violet says:

    Did Ryan engage in insider trading?

    Ryan attended a closed meeting with congressional leaders, Bush’s Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on September 18, 2008. The purpose of the meeting was to disclose the coming economic meltdown and beg Congress to pass legislation to help collapsing banks.
    __
    Instead of doing anything to help, Ryan left the meeting and on that very same day Paul Ryan sold shares of stock he owned in several troubled banks and reinvested the proceeds in Goldman Sachs, a bank that the meeting had disclosed was not in trouble.

    PDFs of Ryan’s financial disclosure forms at the link.
    (h/t GOS)

  25. 25
    hep kitty says:

    @Balconesfault:

    the rest of the Romney voters can look down on them as well

    If there are any left to look down on. Good lord, the Romneys & Ryans of the world will have to take up a new sport!

  26. 26
    mamayaga says:

    @Violet: Isn’t that the kind of Congressional insider trading that the recent STOCK act was intended to stop? As in many other things, Congress had previously exempted itself from insider trading laws.

  27. 27
    SenyorDave says:

    If you start out with racist attitudes, when you see a racist ad you can analyze it intellectually. You don’t even notice the race-baiting part becasue that is what you would do.

  28. 28
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Hey! I can actually detect the dog whistles in that ad! The good, hard-working people are all white.

    When the Democratic Party makes videos about workers, we get to see all kinds of folks.

  29. 29
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Violet: unforrtunately, if I recall correctly from a sixty minutes special, there is no insider trading for Congressmen. There is a reason why they retire from Congress so well off. It’s a lucrative position to have. So much information to sell. So much time to profit. It’s a sickness that we’ve let fester far too long.

  30. 30

    @Bulworth:

    This is my problem with Romney: He is a decent man, but he’s too weak to stand up to the minority on his own side who are not. With the welfare attack, he is encouraging them.

    I wonder what evidence Milbank has for this belief?

    He’s rich, white, straight and male. That’s the definition of “decency” among most rich white straight men. We’ve just barely reached the point where rich, white, straight, Christian men will accept the possibility that groups at the fringes of Christianity (like the Mormons) can plausibly be called “decent.”

  31. 31
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Bulworth:
    You beat me to it. My comment was “Objection! Assumes facts not in evidence.”

    The guy has no empathy for anyone who makes less than 7 or 8 figures a year. He doesn’t know how to talk to someone that he has no authority over, whether it’s subordinates at some company that he’s sucking dry or his flock in the Mormon Church.

    He’s a straight-up bully; I suspect the hair-cutting assault on a fellow student is simply one of the more egregious offenses he committed during his formative years.

    As my mother says, he lies when it would be easier to tell the truth. He supported the Vietnam war, then ran off to France to avoid serving in it—but boy howdy, he wishes he could have been there now!

  32. 32
    Violet says:

    @mamayaga: Yes, exactly. What Ryan did wasn’t illegal when he did it, although it certainly was ethically questionable. So ethically questionable that the doing the same thing now would be illegal because of the STOCK Act, like you said.

    ETA: People hate this kind of thing. Pointing out that while Ryan didn’t break the law then, it was ethically questionable is a great way to point out Ryan’s hypocrisy.

  33. 33
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Gasp! Missouri turning purple! Oh, noes!

    Deeper into the article is a mention that Obama is polling almost twice as well among evangelicals as he used to. Hmmm.

    [Gee, I haven’t heard Purple Haze in a long time.]

  34. 34
    RareSanity says:

    That’s why this column by Dana Milbank over the weekend was encouraging.

    Careful Dennis G….Milbank is, in no way, chastising Romney’s (or the GOP, at large) use of dog whistles.

    He’s giving cover to it…allowing himself to be the example of why Republicans, their proxies, and their supporters, aren’t racists/extremists/batshit crazy.

    If the topic of the Republican’s decent into insanity comes up, they’ll just say, “We’re not insane! Your talking about just a small percentage of the party. There are even ‘conservatives’ that have criticized attempts to appeal to that very small group. Look at the column that Dana Milbank wrote criticizing Mitt Romney for trying to use welfare against Obama.”

    It’s the same thing as when a lawyer refers to something in front of the jury, that has been excluded from evidence by the judge.

    Sure the other side’s counsel will object. Sure the objection will be sustained, and the jury instructed to disregard the statement. But, the fact remains that the jury did hear the statement, then saw the reaction to the statement, so the attorney that said it, achieved their goal.

    So when an author like Milbank writes something like this, the GOP gets a “twofer”. They get the dog whistle’s affect on the audience the ad was targeted to in the first place…PLUS they get to use the “criticism” as an example of “sanity” for the audiences it wasn’t intended for.

    The line that Bulworth and others pointed out, is evidence of this.

    Outside of all of the other examples of Romney’s lack of character, in a article “criticizing” someone for using racial dog-whistles in a campaign ad, is it possible to also state…so matter of factly that, “Romney is a decent man”?

  35. 35
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Mark S.:

    “Hitler needs to dominate the Aryan vote huge to win this race”?

    I agree. Halperin’s statement is not a dog whistle. It is straight on racism.

  36. 36
    gex says:

    “This is my problem with Romney: He is a decent man, but he’s too weak to stand up to the minority on his own side who are not.”

    This is what’s wrong with our Village. They think sitting back and letting evil bullshit win the day makes you “decent.”

  37. 37
    Cacti says:

    @Randy P:

    Judging by polls (Romney leads among white males 55-45 or so), the racist white vote is significant. But I choose to be a starry-eyed optimist and believe it’s not a majority, especially not a huge majority. I think as a society we’re growing up.

    Dubya carried 58% of the white vote, but needed 40% of the hispanic vote to win a modest 286-252.

    White voters will make up a smaller percentage of the electorate than in 2004, and Willard is polling 30% or below with hispanic voters.

    The GOP has so thoroughly alienated every other group over the past 8 years, that they’ll need over 60% of the white vote to have any real shot at winning.

    That’s why they’re working so feverishly on vote suppression. Demographics are not on their side. The southern strategy has entered into terminal decline.

  38. 38
    gex says:

    @hep kitty: I’ve been saying this all along. It has to get bad for straight white Christian men to leave their tribal warrior mode. The problem is, along the way, every bit they lose to their betters, they will blame on those who have less. So many have to suffer before they can stop seeing how they are different from us icky people and how different the beautiful people at the top are from them.

    This was the first recession in which white men were laid off at the same, if not higher rates, than others. And most of those men will never have full time employment like they had before ever again. So we’re getting there. Sure, it will be gays and blacks fault for this for a while longer. But eventually people will realize that if there aren’t jobs for you what can you do? Is America really ready for that “ownership society” Bush sold them on? Or do they need to work for a living?

    It’s funny. The people who sound laziest are the people who think they should just be able to OWN things to make a living. Yet that’s basically what the working middle class have been buying into. Hey, we have 401ks!

  39. 39
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    Tomasky has an article up on the former FLA GOP Chairman. he admist that the Fla GOP intentionally suppresses minority vote.

    Money quote:

    “There’s no doubt that what the Republican-led legislature in Florida and Governor Scott are trying to do is make sure the Republican Party has an advantage in this upcoming election by reducing early voting and putting roadblocks up for potential voters, Latinos, African-Americans to register and then to exercise their right to vote. There’s no doubt. I was in the room. It’s part of the strategy.”

    His own words.

    Jeebus.

  40. 40

    @gex:

    The people who sound laziest are the people who think they should just be able to OWN things to make a living.

    One of the Big Lies at the core of Reaganism: Vote for us, and you too can gain entry into the rentier class!.

    (IMO this is what drove everything from the destruction of classical pension systems in favor of the 401K, to the repeal of Glass-Steigel, to the GWB/Greenspan housing bubble).

  41. 41
    J says:

    @Bulworth: Agreed. also what evidence is there that it’s a minority of the Republcan party that are not decent human beings?

    Halperin is not only a soulless creep and moron, but an illiterate moron as well: ‘dominate the white vote huge’ indeed.

  42. 42
    Cacti says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    His own words. Jeebus.

    The modern GOP is the nihilist party.

    They’d rather turn the United States into a 21st century South Africa than adapt to the changing reality.

    Party first, country last.

  43. 43
    hep kitty says:

    @gex: Yeh, and I bet they think that the only reason black unemployment is 14% is because those shiftless black bucks just don’t wanna work!

    But, honestly, how bad does it have to get for people to wake up? I feel like I’m surrounded by a bunch of brainwashed, passive zombies. But I’m done running around screaming with my hair on fire. They’ll get what’s coming to them, but unfortunately, the rest of us sensible, but icky people will have to pay as well.

    They are determined to take all of us down with them.

  44. 44
    S. Holland says:

    @kc: I second that

  45. 45
    Cacti says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:

    One of the Big Lies at the core of Reaganism: Vote for us, and you too can gain entry into the rentier class!.

    You forgot…it’s the filthy negros/messicans/uppity wimmins/union thugs that are keeping you from being rich like us.

  46. 46
    Jim Pharo says:

    How much better would he need to do than McCain did? (This is an oblique (sly?) way of asking whether enough whites already indicated their willingness to vote for BHO in 2008 such that R-Money has to woo back non-racists into the racist camp…)

    Isn’t R-Money’s challenge considerably more daunting than even McCain’s, viz. “white” voters?

  47. 47
    Cacti says:

    @Jim Pharo:

    Given that Romney is polling sub-McCain levels with hispanic voters, and Dubya needed 58% of the white vote + 40% of hispanics to win in 2004, he would probably need no less than 63% of the white vote nationally.

  48. 48
    Jim Pharo says:

    @Cacti:

    Isn’t there some evidence (i.e., the 2008 election returns) to suggest that there simply aren’t enough “white” voters who will respond to these racist appeals?

  49. 49
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:

    IMO this is what drove everything from the destruction of classical pension systems in favor of the 401K, to the repeal of Glass-Steigel, to the GWB/Greenspan housing bubble

    Ditto on the housing bubble. I think this is under reported. plenty of people with the resources to buy a house believed that real estate prices would rise at 10 points faster than overall inflation forever, making them millionaires when they retired. There’s just so much wrong with that scenario but it was widely believed.

  50. 50

    I blame it on the seagulls for eating all those locusts.

  51. 51
    lgerard says:

    Nothing makes me angrier then this idiots backhanded slap at Howard Dean.

    Dean was one of the most successful governors of the 20th century, reelected 5 times, he wiped out the state’s long term budget deficit, balanced the budget every year, cut the tax rate twice, and dramatically improved health care and education in Vermont.
    Then he took over the Democratic party and lead them to victory in the House, Senate, and Presidency.

    But he’s no Howard Baker…

  52. 52

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