The patois of racism.

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 @ 1:48 pm | Politics

This is a pretty amazing debate that really is the pure distillation of the Nixon approach, completely embodied as dogma:

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He says it twice: the only racism he sees is Democrats calling Republicans out on racism.

The food-stamp debacle of Republican idiocy is plainly refuted with statistics showing more Americans signed up for food stamps under George W. Bush and most signed up in the midst of a crisis already underway when Barack Obama was sworn in. Yet this guy doesn’t bat an eye, doesn’t see anything wrong with Newt’s repeated dog whistles.

But I think Al and Rachel kind of miss out on something here: This is just a different variation on the, “Republicans love puppies and rainbows,” shtick.

Everybody loves making money in the free market. Everybody loves buying things. Liberals buy things. Liberals open stores. Liberals even become billionaires. There’s no aspect of the market that lacks for liberals. The idea that liberals are trying to sell people on not working is completely, comically absurd. No such sentiment exists at all, anywhere.

No, what liberal sentiment has always said is that there are some of us who aren’t set back by a lack of will to work, but by a lack of opportunity. Usually it’s health, but we try to keep people living long, healthy lives by advocating for good food, exercise, and medical treatment. We advocate for Social Security because age humbles us all in the end. If you can make enough in your life to retire without it, I applaud and admire you. I have the same dream myself, in fact. We all should. We advocate for good public schools that turn out highly trained students who are ready for 21st century technology in the workplace. We support Medicaid and other programs that benefit the young, so that a child’s opportunity isn’t diminished due to poor development. We all want to compete and win, but we have a clear conscience about putting tax dollars out there to mitigate the realities of life that interfere with the dream. The people who are byproducts of a system that keeps them punished with low paying jobs with little security. And if you’re black, you’ve got the Drug War kicking your ass and tearing apart your families in a double-vice-grip of jail and Prohibition-related crime. We’re for removing those impediments to success and getting people working instead of costing the taxpayers in jail.

Republicans believe in WORKING AND SUCCEEDING IN THE FREE MARKET! Democrats promote LOOKING TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR A HANDOUT INSTEAD! This has become Republican dogma, turning right-o-sphere insanity into the stuff of presidential candidates. It’s a false choice. It simply doesn’t exist.

Democrats have gotten a lot better at challenging this false dichotomy. Al Sharpton actually does an incredible job of pinpointing Rick Tyler’s blind spots, but Tyler is well-versed in talking points and puts damn near every single one of them out there for the smell test. I just wish Sharpton or Maddow had gone after the fundamental premise in Tyler’s argument that 90%+ black people only vote Democrat because the Democrats peddle and promote dependence, a popular Republican sentiment that is unbelievably condescending to black voters (Herman Cain was hailed a hero for being a black man willing to say it about the rest of black people, naturally…very valuable cover).

Never let a straw man stand.


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