This is the latest in a series on the use of the race card for political gain:
And on the 75th episode of the Saturday Night Card Game, we again ponder how we have reached the point where words or expressions which have no connection to race have become a tool by which the race card players stalk Republicans, conservatives and Tea Party supporters.
For those of you who are new to these parts, here are some prior words or terms which have caused problems:
- Baa Baa Black Sheep
- Black Friday
- Black Hole
- Providence Plantations
- Gobbledygook, and
- “No Asians,”
The latest example is the nontroversy over Mitt Romney’s play of the common phrase to “hang an albatross around his neck.” That metaphor was used frequently during the 2008 campaign as commenters throughout the left-blogosphere wanted Democrats to hang George W. Bush around John McCain’s neck.
Romney used this metaphor yesterday in New Hampshire when referring to our economic misery index, which he substituted for the word albatross, and then applied it to Barack Obama:
You can guess the rest, media buzz and cries of racism because in the games of the race card players, hanging the misery index around Obama’s neck or hanging Obama with it, just like it was hung around Carter’s neck, is exactly the same thing as saying “let’s lynch the black guy.”
Really. Here is some media/blogosphere reaction to what is being portrayed as a major “gaffe”:
- HuffPo: “Mitt Romney’s camp is attempting to do damage control after the presidential aspirant made controversial remarks in criticizing President Barack Obama during a stop in New Hampshire on Friday night.
- Boston Globe: Romney clarifies as he proposes to ‘hang’ Obama with misery index.
- Raw Story: “In a speech at the pro-GOP Americans for Prosperity dinner, former Massachusetts governor and contender for the GOP presidential nomination Mitt Romney said he would “hang” Obama, then immediately realized his gaffe and tried to smooth over his mistake.”
- Politico: “Any reference to hanging — however unintentional — would be especially loaded in a campaign against the country’s first black president, as Romney apparently recognized.”
- Daily News: “Mitt Romney scrambled to do some damage control after he suggested it was time to “hang” President Obama in a speech in New Hampshire Friday night.
What lunacy. It’s become a mind control game. These people are not addressing actual racism, they’re just playing word games and gotcha.
The Obama campaign doesn’t need to do a thing, it just needs to sit back and let the media do its job for it. Fairy tales do come true when you are up against the media’s love affair with Obama. (By using the term “affair” I do not intend any subtext or tinge.)
Romney should not be apologizing. He said nothing wrong. He was not suggesting a literal hanging of Obama and he did not use racial terminology. But recognizing the way in which race-neutral words would be twisted against him, Romney clarified the remarks on the spot. There is no story here.
“The capitalists will sell us the rope with which to hang them.”
No offense intended to capitalists, or to Obama.