Following Mitt Romney's disparaging statements describing 47 percent of Americans as moochers, Romney has been behind in all of the crucial swing states. Essentially, the GOP realizes that the President Obama is now connecting with many different demographics, including white working class men. As reported in Politico and on Morning Joe,
Since 1972, white men have voted roughly 60-40 percent in favor of the Republican Party in presidential elections. The exception was 1976, when Democratic Southerner Jimmy Carter attracted 48 percent of the white male vote. Then, in 2008, Obama surpassed the numbers of Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry to win 41 percent of the white male vote nationally. But by 2010, white male support had shrunk back to 37 percent — a precarious landing spot for the president.
Now, things could be shifting again. Already struggling to connect with average voters of all stripes because of his wealth and social station, Romney faces an additional hurdle with middle-class men in the secretly recorded video at a Florida fundraiser in which he seems to be assailing the working class as deadbeats and moochers.In an act of desperation, Romney surrogates are attempting to create a wedge between the President and white voters. The Republicans realize that they cannot win this election on the merits. Instead of taking the high road, Romney and the GOP are resorting to two different race baiting tactics.
The first tactic is make white voters fear the President by depicting him as the stereotypical angry, militant, divisive black man. The Right is attempting to resurrect that old, tired, dead Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy by digging up a 2007 video showing President Obama recognizing and praising his former pastor. Essentially, they are trying to Farrakhanize Obama. For example, the Daily Caller reported that:
In a video obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama tells an audience of black ministers, including the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, that the U.S. government shortchanged Hurricane Katrina victims because of racism.
...The racially charged and at times angry speech undermines Obama’s carefully-crafted image as a leader eager to build bridges between ethnic groups. For nearly 40 minutes, using an accent he almost never adopts in public, Obama describes a racist, zero-sum society, in which the white majority profits by exploiting black America. The mostly black audience shouts in agreement. The effect is closer to an Al Sharpton rally than a conventional campaign event.Another example of this fear tactic is the ongoing promotion of false and absurd notions that the President is foreign, Muslim and socialist. Some misguided, ignorant people continue to believe that the President's birth certificate is a forgery. A couple of weeks ago, Mitt Romney pandered to that group of simpletons by joking about his birth certificate. Moreover, despite doing countless interviews stating that he is a Christian, many people continue to insist that the President is a Muslim. In some quarters, the word "Muslim" is just another word for terrorist.
The second race baiting tactic is to make white voters resent the President by equating him with the lazy, undeserving, unqualified, welfare dependent negro stereotype. In the words of MSNBC commentator Toure, the Romney Campaign and its surrogates are attempting to niggerize the President. That are doing that by creating misleading ads and staged videos suggesting that President Obama is expanding welfare and giving away free cellphones to lazy black people.
Furthermore, in the Washington Post, columnist George Will basically wrote that the Obama will be re-elected simply because he is black.
"Perhaps a pleasant paradox defines this political season: That Obama is African American may be important, but in a way quite unlike that darkly suggested by, for example, MSNBC’s excitable boys and girls who, with their (at most) one-track minds and exquisitely sensitive olfactory receptors, sniff racism in any criticism of their pin-up. Instead, the nation, which is generally reluctant to declare a president a failure — thereby admitting that it made a mistake in choosing him — seems especially reluctant to give up on the first African American president. If so, the 2012 election speaks well of the nation’s heart, if not its head."Another example is former Speaker House Newt Gingrich describing the President as the "food stamp president" and as "not a real president". More specifically, as stated in the Hill,
“[Obama] really is like the substitute [National Football League] referees in the sense that he’s not a real president,” Gingrich told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Tuesday night. “He doesn’t do anything that presidents do, he doesn’t worry about any of the things the presidents do, but he has the White House, he has enormous power, and he’ll go down in history as the president, and I suspect that he’s pretty contemptuous of the rest of us.”George Will's and Newt Gingrich's statements essentially convey the idea that the President is an unqualified, undeserving individual who achieved success based solely on unwarranted racial preferences and white liberal paternalism. These attacks are nothing but dog whistles designed to use race to make white voters support Romney.
Hopefully, after tonight's presidential debate, no one will be talking about that five year old Obama video footage. I look forward to hearing the President and Romney debate on substantive issues.