As I noted in my Twitter feed, and have written here before, the Republicans have a “tell.” They attack Democrats for things Democrats aren’t doing, but Republicans are doing (thus accusing Joan of being the racist), in the hopes of deflecting attention from their own sins and creating a he-said-she-said where both sides are lobbing the same charge, so clearly neither can be right. (To wit: One of the people attacking Joan is a Tea Party leader. You’ve heard of the Tea Party, that racist bastion. Just read through the Google links on “tea party” and “racism.”) The GOP is also good at a second tactic witnessed here: going after our strengths. If Joan is one of our top messengers, and she is, then she must be destroyed.
Here’s an excerpt of Joan’s piece. Considering how much the right is freaking out over it, she’s clearly on to something.
Newt Gingrich doubled down on his clever new slur against President Obama as “the food stamp president.” He tried the line in a Friday speech to the Georgia Republican convention, and he used it again on “Meet the Press Sunday.” It’s a short hop from Gingrich’s slur to Ronald Reagan’s attacks on “strapping young bucks” buying “T-bone steaks” with food stamps. Blaming our first black president for the sharp rise in food-stamp reliance (which resulted from the economic crash that happened on the watch of our most recent white president) is just the latest version of Rush Limbaugh suggesting that Obama’s social policy amounts to “reparations” for black people.
But when host David Gregory suggested the term had racial overtones, Gingrich replied “That’s bizarre,” and added, “I have never said anything about President Obama which is racist.” That’s not quite as extreme or silly as Donald Trump declaring “I am the least racist person there is,” but it’s up there. He also told Georgia Republicans Friday that 2012 will be the most momentous election “since 1860,” which happens to be the year we elected the anti-slavery Abraham Lincoln president, and he suggested the U.S. bring back a “voting standard” that requires voters to prove they know American history — which sounds a lot like the “poll tests” outlawed by the Voting Rights Act.
Just last week Gingrich said Obama “knows how to get the whole country to resemble Detroit,” which just happens to be home to many black people. And last year Gingrich accused Obama of “Kenyan anti-colonialist behavior” that made him “outside our comprehension” as Americans, spreading Dinesh D’Souza’s idiocy that Obama inherited angry African anti-colonialism from the Kenyan father he never knew. “This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president,” Gingrich told the National Review Online last year.