So this is how the Romney campaign ends.
The supposed bombshell release, of a speech then-Sen. Barack Obama gave to a minister’s conference at Hampton University in June of 2007, capped a week in which polls showed Mitt Romney’s dismissal of 47 percent of Americans sinking in — and a speech Paul Ryan gave in 2011 stating that 30 percent of Americans just “want their welfare state” surfaced.
The Obama speech is neither new nor particularly newsworthy, though at the start of it, he does acknowledge the presence of his controversial then-pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. That, of course, has opened the floodgates for right wing blogs like the Daily Caller and the Drudge Report, along with Fox News, to burst the seals on the presidential campaign Sarah Palin dearly wanted to run in 2008.
That campaign involves a blatant, full-on appeal to race-based fear and grievance, and it has been implanted in the unlikeliest of hosts: Mitt Romney, who far from fleeing his party’s clumsy quest to find enough Archie Bunkers in the electorate to slide him into the White House, is embracing the horror.
Romney’s campaign is rife with digs at Obama’s supposed laxity with “welfare queens,” his running-mate’s “makers versus takers” Ayn Randism, blatant, state-based voter suppression efforts disguised as bulwarks against “voter fraud,” and now, a desperate, parallel campaign among right-wing blogs to pin unbearable blackness on Obama.
He’s using “black” vernacular!
He’s channeling rapper Kanye West by implying former President George W. Bush let New Orleans drown after Hurricane Katrina because the residents were black! (Actually, Obama in the 2007 speech explicitly says the Bush administration was “colorblind in its incompetence.” But let’s not let facts get in the way of some good demagoguery.)
Rev. Wright, who became the right’s psychological drum major, as conservatism and Republicanism began their long march back into the fever swamp of ugly racial politics, gave Obama the title of his best-selling book: The Audacity of Hope.
But what has been truly audacious has been the brash determination of America’s hedge-fund class, filled with anger and self-pity, to place one of their own in the White House, even if it means fomenting racial division.
Having driven the economy off a cliff in 2008, the Wizards of Wall Street not only feel neither regret nor embarrassment; they believe it is they who are “entitled.” They “work hard,” you see, unlike the suckers who toil away at 10-hour shifts in blue-collar jobs.
America’s aristocracy — the ultimate “entitlement class” — wish to be rewarded with executive power, on top of the handsome financial windfall they’ve already reaped from the recovery. Like Romney’s explanation of Bain Capital’s mission, the one-percenters seek to harvest the White House for a profit to be paid out in handsome tax breaks and deregulation. To make that happen, they, and their avatar, Mitt Romney, have gotten into bed with the right-wing carnival barkers, for whom winning elections is worth any price, including America’s sense of unity, and Mitt’s honor.
During the speech that set the right’s hair on fire, then-Sen. Obama said this:
“When we try to have an honest debate about the crises we face, whether it’s from the pulpit or the campaign trail, the pundits don’t want us to find common ground, they want us to find someone to blame. They want to divide us into Red States and Blue States, and tell us to always point the finger at somebody else — the other party, or gay people, or people of faith, or immigrants.
“This journey teaches us that they are going to keep driving that wedge; they are going to keep the distraction going.”
Obama was talking about the “pundits,” but he could well have been referring to the Romney campaign and its allies.