Wednesday, July 25, 2012


From Talking Points Memo courtesy of a facebook friend:

What the London Daily Telegraph calls one of Romney’s “advisors” told the paper that Romney was better positioned to understand and respect the ‘special relationship’ between the US and Great Britain than President Obama, whose father was from Kenya.

Said the advisor: “We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special. The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.”

It’s all of a piece with the constant refrains that Obama is an outsider to whatever is essential about the American experience of simply being an American. But it’s getting closer to the surface.

More here.

You may know the story. When LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act in 1965, he is reported to have said "we've just lost the South for a generation or more." Actually, it was more; we're at two generations going on three now, and the once "Solid South" for the Democrats is now solidly Republican. But it wasn't all just a spontaneous reaction to President Johnson's seeming race-betrayal. Indeed, the Republicans swarmed the new opportunity like flies on shit, implementing their "Southern Strategy" to push the process along as quickly as possible.

A big part of this was/is coded political rhetoric. You know, politicians appealing to Southern racist sensibilities without actually coming out and saying it directly. So Ronald Reagan spoke about how welfare is anti-work and un-American and all that, but he also described welfare recipients as "strapping young bucks" or Cadillac-driving "welfare queens." Invariably, these images, in the minds of racist Southern voters, had black faces. Republicans have spoken repeatedly, and continue to speak, about "states' rights," ostensibly in a framework of "new federalism," but fully understanding that such a phrase has reverberations in the South that go back to before the Civil War--this is very old school and understood in the South for what it really is. In short, the GOP has gone well out of its way to let Southern racists know that they have a home in the Republican Party.

But the code has been breaking down lately. I mean, our first black President has had the right-wing in a state of profound panic since he was elected in 2008. All the birther nonsense, all the Kenyan anti-colonialist bullshit, all the "foreigner" language Romney's been using lately. And now, apparently, a Romney campaign staffer is saying that only a white man can understand America's relationship with the UK. I mean, that's what "Anglo-Saxon" means, "white." That's hardly coded at all.

Things might seem depressing right now, but I think the paranoia, fear, and group hysteria we've been seeing these last four years on the right can only mean one thing: their days are numbered. It might take a decade or two, but these guys know the jig is up. And they're running scared. Actually, while tacky and racist, this "Anglo-Saxon" comment signifies good things to come.