Did you hear the latest in racial politics.
Mitt Romney used the “n” word. Not the “N” word, the “n” word as in “isn‘t working.”
Romney has a website devoted to the slogan:
And has it hanging up behind him during speeches:
And that has Tommy Christopher of Mediaite seeing things:
The slogan is a multiple entendre, but one of those entendres, intentionally or not, is evocative of a nasty racial stereotype about black men.
When I first saw the banner this afternoon, the multiple meanings were clear: President Obama‘s policies aren’t working, the Obama presidency isn’t working, President Obama…isn’t working, as in, doing any work. That’s not a nice thing to say about any president, but like it or not, it becomes a more loaded accusation when leveled at our first black president.
Just to be sure it wasn’t just me, though, I asked several friends about the banner, and four out of four pointed out, unprompted, the stereotype of the “lazy,” “shiftless” black man. One of the people I called was cable news fixture Goldie Taylor, who, upon hearing my description of the banner, said “Are you kidding me? You have got to be kidding me.”
Well, that resolves it. Tommy Christopher and Goldie Taylor have spoken.
And so has Ed Kilgore, who plays the “denial is confirmation” card:
Many regular folks seeing or hearing this slogan, personalized as it is to the president, are most likely to take it very literally: Barack Obama could fix the economy, but is too lazy to try. People in politics who blow dog whistles invariably deny it and usually express great umbrage at the very suggestion they don’t mean exactly what they are saying and nothing more.
I have a different interpretation.
“Obama Isn’t Working” has nothing to do with the color of Obama’s skin and everything to do with the size of Obama’s historic ego: