Monday, September 24, 2012

"... i mean black people"

in a thursday special saturday night live took a chainsaw to romney's "quiet room" comments about the so-called "47%":

romney (jason sudeikis): "... so you have this 47% that don't pay taxes, and these people are never going to vote for me. and when i talk about these people who don't pay taxes, i don't mean senior citizens. alright? and i don't mean members of our armed services. and i don't mean southern whites. okay, what i mean is ... and real quick — no one is recording this, correct? no? okay, it's very important that no one records this. okay, good, 'cause i'm about to say who "these people" [finger quotes] are. now i would prefer not to have that on tape.

[turns to camera] ah, sorry sir, is that a camera on the table pointing right at me?

[brief camera pans right and left, as if signaling "no"] okay, great.

[turning back to guests] alright, now when i say "these people", i mean black people."

snl got it exactly right: this is the elusive "whitey tape". the real one. glad somebody finally aired it.

since the surfacing of romney's "47%" comments, a narrative has settled in that romney has carelessly damaged himself with huge swathes of his own voters. while there is definitely anecdotal evidence of some defections, and while i can certainly see this hurting him badly among any remaining undecideds, anyone who's been following conservatives, especially hardcore conservatives, knows that this tape only validates what wingnuts rich, middle and poor already believe. to them, romney's statements come simply as an extension of his already established coded attacks on welfare.

the american spectator: "when i hear romney's words at this event, my reaction is "say more of this stuff in public, mitt." it's a strong and correct message (other than the use of a number as high as 47 percent) and it will resonate with many americans, including quite a few who don't pay income tax."

"i entirely agree, and this should be the campaign focus. if the truth doesn't get him elected, then the country is gone at this point in history anyway." (pieceofthepuzzle)

as i recently commented on daily kos:

... romney's saying that the OTHER half of the country are freeloaders (colored people).

HIS half of the country, his white base, regardless of class or income level, will always exempt themselves from that description. they rightfully deserve their govt largess (tax cuts, loans, subsidies), which don't count as loathsome handouts (welfare, food stamps, unemployment).

cnn's john king carried the conventional narrative by poignantly making the case for the 47% via his own experience:

"... so, a lot of these voters could be republicans. and ah, i understand your back-and-forth, but alice, i, i make a personal note here: a lot of americans, of all income stripes, have struggled for the last few years and the risk for gov. romney is that it is insulting to them. as a kid, my family was on food stamps for a couple of years when my dad got sick. ah, we didn't feel entitled, and we weren't victms, and my father was pretty embarrassed about the whole thing. ah, but in the end my mother was grateful she was able to feed her kids."

meanwhile, hardcore conservatives not only exempt themselves from admissions or accusations of government assistance, they deny their government assistance is a form of government assistance! craig t. nelson on glenn beck's show:

"i've been on food stamps. anybody help me out? no."

just another episode in the GOP's long-running but more and more often flaccid southern strategy:

interviewer: but the fact is, isn't it, that reagan does get to the wallace voter and to the racist side of the wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps?

lee atwater: you start out in 1954 by saying, "nigger, nigger, nigger." by 1968 you can't say "nigger" — that hurts you. backfires. so you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. you're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. and subconsciously maybe that is part of it. i'm not saying that. but i'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. you follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, "we want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "nigger, nigger."

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