Just a quick follow up to Imani’s post.
Today John Sununu called the President “lazy” — and on being pressed, doubled down and said it again.
Just to be clear: the word Sununu was looking for is “shiftless.” And BTW, I disagree with Imani just this far: Sununu wasn’t really blowing a dog whistle. He just about stood on top of the bar and trumpeted the noun we all can hear lurking right behind the adjective.
Here we see again what’s been apparent for some time: the Romney campaign has clearly set itself the goal of out-George Wallace-ing the entire GOP primary field as it looks for ways to remind the electorate that the 44th president of the United States is, you know, an African-American man.
For which I offer my sincere thanks to Mr. Sununu…
…best remembered as the toxic-moocher George H. W. Bush fired in an ultimately bootless attempt to avoid re-election crash-and-burn.
Why such gratitude? Not just because every time something like this makes headlines the toxic foulness of your current GOP becomes yet more obvious (to the point where even such an MSM Village stalwart as Andrea Mitchell seemed to wince, as you can see in the video at the TPM link).
But also because once again Sununu himself and the Romney campaign — a hopelessly undisciplined, tactics-before-strategy, book-a-separate-seat-on-the-plane-for-each-ego kind of operation — have managed to step on their collective genitals, muddying the story of Romney’s debate prowess that they hoped would dominate the day.
I don’t know what universe Sununu inhabits, but in the one in which you must persuade a very small number of folks who voted for Barack Obama last time but might not this time, it just isn’t that great an idea to race-bait in the hopes that no one but your targets will notice. They will. We do.
Ta-Nehisi Coates linked above as well as here, is dead right on this one. I don’t know or care if John Sununu is a racist in his daily interactions. What matters is that he’s a race-hustler. Here’s TNC on that pathology:
We imagine the American past as filled with rabid bigots. But there have always been at least as many people who have some sense that bigotry is wrong, though they may say nothing. And then there are a select few who are fairly clear on right and wrong, but simply see more upside in being wrong.
The difference now is that we actually have a black President. And despite the delusions and deceit of the Sununus of the world, an awful lot of the electorate seems to have its collective head screwed on pretty good. They — we — get that the Obama Michael Lewis describes is a much better representation of the actual person than any fantasy put out in a haze of power lust by John Sununu or Mitt Romney. And thus, despite that ever closer tiptoeing to the plain-text Ni-CLANG! moment Imani describes, Sununu’s hateful speech is the howler monkey’s last fling of faeces against the bars of his cage. Satisfying to the simian involved, no doubt, but hardly a persuasive exercise.
Put simply: for all the storm and chaos on the right, most Americans wish this and any President well — out of self interest, if nothing else. When you trumpet the crazy beyond the walls of the asylum, you make even those who might be receptive to calmer argument just a bit nervous. Folks start to cross the street when they see you coming. You get my drift?
One more thing: Sununu, not content to insult every American who believes that the Presidency deserves minimal respect, added this gem on Fox News. Asked if Obama would do better next round, he replied “When you’re not that bright, you can’t get better prepared.”
Oh frabjous day.
John — can I call you John? — it’s less descriptive, but trips off the tongue more easily than “pustule” — please, oh please continue enjoying the carnal knowledge of that fine pullet. I sincerely hope that your view reflects the Romney campaign’s perception of their opponent.
That is all.
Image Otto Marseus van Schreick, Blue Breeze, Toad and Insects, 1660.