Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Racial Aikido: The Genius of Mitt Romney's "Barack Obama is a Lazy Negro Who Ain't Working" Ad Campaign



Well played Mr. Romney. Very well played indeed.

Mitt Romney's "Barack Obama Isn't Working" campaign is a genius political move. Less clumsy than the infamous Willie Horton ad, it is a more elegant and refined racial appeal for a slightly more civilized "colorblind" age.

As such, Mitt Romney's suggestion that Barack Obama is "not working" deftly draws on a set of stereotypes from the American popular imagination where black people, and black men in particular, are depicted as lazy and not self-sufficient. This is one of the core attributes of what social scientists have termed "symbolic racism."

This stereotype is central to contemporary right-wing political discourse, and can trace its lineage back to the Southern Strategy under Richard Nixon, and through to Ronald Reagan's mobilization of anti-black sentiment with his allusions to "welfare queens" and "strapping young black bucks" who buy steaks with food stamps. As part of this pattern, the 2012 Republican campaign has featured such onerous moments as Rick Santorum's suggesting that black Americans are parasites who live off of white people, as well as Newt Gingrich advising young people of color (because they are especially lazy and pathological) that they should be janitors in order to learn a "work ethic."

The polite and more refined bigotry that drives Romney's "Barack Obama Isn't Working" campaign is more careful than that of his Tea Party GOP brethren. However, it still plays off of the same sentiments and crude racial stereotypes about African Americans. Moreover, Romney's more "polite" racism resonates because it exists in a right-wing imaginary that considers Obama a "Socialist," wallows in birtherism, and has marshaled faux populist zeal in order to mark out clear boundaries of civic belonging where to be a "real" American requires that a person be White. In all, the right-wing echo chamber is unapologetic in its use of racial stereotypes, mobilization of white racial resentment, and outright race prejudice. Romney can fly above the racist fray, but still benefit from how such attitudes have helped to prep the political battlefield for his success.

Romney's devious narrative about President Obama's lack of success, incompetence, and implied laziness is masterful on a number of levels.

1. The claim that Barack Obama isn't working has a veneer of plausible deniability. Romney claims that the slogan is "historical" in nature, borrowing from Thatcher's anti-Labour campaign in the United Kingdom during the late 1970s. Through this logic, there is no racial animus at work; racism cannot possibly be present in the suggestion that Barack Obama isn't working because the slogan is inspired from events both decades ago, and in another country.

In the United States, and given how the color line has structured American life, operates in the country's collective subconscious, and provides a set of scripts which impact our perceptions of one another, the wellsprings of Romney's slogan are of little importance.

Question: would there be an equivalent silence if a politician campaigning for high office suggested that his Jewish rival was cheap? Or that his Asian-American competitor for the same office was devious, sneaky, or untrustworthy?

I would suggest that the precarious position of blacks in American society makes them uniquely vulnerable to the use of racial appeals in political discourse.

It is also important to note how language involves both the transmission, reception, and circulation of ideas between a speaker and the audience.The repeated suggestion that a black man "isn't working" signals to deeply held biases that link together the black body, black personhood, and stereotypes about poverty, work ethic, and respectability. A listener, or in this case a voter, does not have to be conscious of how these concepts motivate his or her behavior. As research on racial attitudes and political behavior has repeatedly demonstrated, white voters "get" these racial cues and are quite responsive to them--conservatives and right-leaning independents especially so.  

2.  Any effort to call out Romney's use of racial stereotypes would play into the politics of white racial resentment and white backlash that came in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement. The associated and invented language of "the race card" and "reverse racism" are based on a premise that white supremacy is a thing of the past. Since the election of Barack Obama, the right-wing media and other elites have been able to push this narrative even further--white people are now oppressed, and despite all available sociological data that suggests otherwise, anti-white racism is now a plague upon the land. To attack Romney's campaign slogan is to fuel the howls of white victimology.

3. In the age of conservative "colorblindness," racism is defined by intent. This is a function of the personalization of race prejudice wherein racist social structures and institutional arrangements of power are conveniently ignored. Racism is universal. It is no longer a sin unique to white people. Consequently, the intent behind a person's words and deeds trump both the context and consequences of their actions. If Romney were to deny that his ad was "racist"--which Romney would most certainly do--one of the evasions would be that "he did not intend it that way." The same deflection would be flipped around on the critic who pointed out the problematic nature of Romney's appeal to Obama's imagined laziness in order to win over white voters. In keeping with the colorblind/reverse racism script, Mitt Romney would now become a victim, as the act of calling someone a "racist" in post-Civil Rights America is a bigger sin than racism itself.

4. Accidents and coincidence. Mitt Romney's choice of a slogan that leverages one of the most pernicious and deeply rooted stereotypes about black men in American society (next to the myth of the black rapist) is no accident. Romney did not personally select the language "Obama Isn't Working." His consultants (a cadre of psychologists, marketing experts, political advisers, and focus groups) perfected the language, visuals, and narrative of Romney's campaign ad. The way that the campaign mines white animus and stereotypes towards the country's first black president, while skillfully playing along the edge of being an overt racial appeal, is a delicately choreographed balancing act: this grace does not come without much practice and reflection.

Mitt Romney's "Obama Isn't Working" campaign is a racial smart bomb aimed at white Independents (and other right-leaning fence-sitters). Ultimately, Mitt Romney is vulnerable on many issues such as his gangster capitalist roots, insincerity, aloofness, religion, the Tea Party GOP's failed economic policies and obstructionist behavior. Romney's flank is also exposed because he is the nominee for a political party that is possessed by Culture Warriors whose views are outside of the American mainstream. These are weaknesses to be exploited.

However, I would suggest that folks not sally forth and engage Romney regarding the racial invective present in his "Obama Isn't Working" campaign theme. To do so, would be to fight on Romney's chosen terrain. Nor would such an engagement offer up many political gains. The cause would be noble; the battle would still be lost.

Once more Mr. Romney, well played, very well played indeed. You are a worthy foe.

66 comments:

CNu said...

This is one of the core attributes of what social scientists have termed "symbolic racism."

rotflmbao...,whew!!!

no allusion to record high levels of unemployment and Romney's claim to be a jobs creator?

Anonymous said...

Somebody got a thesaurus for their birthday.

chaunceydevega said...

@Cnu. Can only say so much. Romney is vulnerable on many issues--the gangster capitalist point was an allusion to that. I do not trust the public's ability to be that critical, nor the Dems capacity to follow through on obvious lines of attack in a consistent and meaningful way.

@Anon. No, just a moderate to average command of the English language. If anyone would need a thesaurus to translate any of what I transparently wrote here our school system is really in far more trouble than I initially suspected.

CNu said...

I do not trust the public's ability to be that critical

What % of the electorate is responsive to the purported racial dog whistle?

What % of the electorate is currently impacted by record high unemployment?

Can a brotha get a little science to go with that symbolic racism conjecture?

Abstentus said...

I have been predicting this kinda racist nonsense being a factor in
Campaign 2012 since the first week of November, 2008 (or thereabouts.)

I get the idea that for Team Obama, directly calling out Team Romney on their cynical, dog whistle racism might not have an guaranted upside (The Tar Baby example comes to mind. How's that for "reverse racism?") However, I still think think we need lots and lots of push-back from the auxilliaries. Push-back works. Even this week, that supercillious ignoramous and racist game player Trump is showing signs of strain. I can well imagine it's a tricky game.

But if one can . . . . hell. what's the best explanation? Ok. I used to play street hockey. Defensive Left Wing. If someone from the other team got in my zone, I'd pop them. If I saw them going to the right wing to avoid the pop, I'd hunt them down there and pop them.

Point is, you can't always get people to do what you want, or get them to stop what they are doing. But you have a better chance of affecting their behaviour if you engage them. Directly or indirectly.

Dread Pirate Roberts said...

@Vizzini: Would it make a difference if the campaign had used the non-truncated "Obama's Policies Aren't Working"?

Or if they had noted that in the past seventeen days, Obama's public schedule includes five weekdays with "no public schedule" plus one weekday the entire schedule for which was his airport arrival, and that much of his work is campaigning?

chaunceydevega said...

@Cnu. It isn't conjecture. Symbolic racism is a concept that we see mobilized time and time again in conservative campaign appeals, commercials, speeches, and the like. As a concept it has good "fit" for describing the changes in racial animus in the near present. See Bobo et al's work on the subject.

In terms of percentages, folks are still debating if the Bradley effect exists. Some say Obama's election proved it an artifact of the past, another group suggest that if you look at precinct level data the phenomenon still holds. Likewise, we are still figuring out how much Obama's race helped or hurt him in the general election. The figure agreed upon by Bartels and Rosenstone (I believe it was both of them as this is from memory) is that Obama's being black hurt him by 5 points.

Negative campaign ads work. Conservative voters are much more motivated by them. Mendelberg, Kinders and Sanders, Iyengar and others have made a pretty convincing argument that for right leaning independents and "reagan democrat" types especially racial resentment can push them over the edge towards the republican candidate.

Examples, Harold Ford, Willie Horton, Black Hands White Hands, and the ton of racially tinged anti-Obama ads last time. Folks wouldn't do it if there was not at least the perception that they were effective. Add that to all the data on unconscious white racial bias and priming. The case becomes even stronger. Then look at how white voters are even more upset about the economy than people of color (who are suffering more) and you have white privilege unsettled becoming imperiled group interests that are now racialized. Not good.

In a close election fighting for those small numbers of people can be a big deal as you know.

Will that trump pocketbook/sociotropic voting? I don't know. These matters are not neatly separated thus the ecological fallacy problem in data analysis. I will agree with Mark Hansen and others who suggest that the jobs data that comes out right before the election will be a good indicator of Obama's fortunes.

Anonymous said...

How dare he make such a blatantly false statement! Obama not working? He's done an outstanding job for Wall Street and the top 1 percent of Amerika.

CNu said...

Conservative voters are much more motivated by them. Mendelberg, Kinders and Sanders, Iyengar and others have made a pretty convincing argument that for right leaning independents and "reagan democrat" types especially racial resentment can push them over the edge towards the republican candidate.

The MSNBC brothers Ford and Steele are not good examples of the Bradley effect because their election outcomes closely paralleled their polling - there was no gap. Furthermore, one wonders if an effect noted over a generation ago still applies with anything even remotely approaching its former force, which, at the height of its hypothesized potency, was not that great.

Then look at how white voters are even more upset about the economy than people of color (who are suffering more) and you have white privilege unsettled becoming imperiled group interests that are now racialized. Not good.

Umm..., care to offer up a coinage for the effect you've described above re black folks voting sociotropically and against group economic self-interests? Shall we call that the Obama effect?

As the now anonymous still-Mad notes below How dare he make such a blatantly false statement! Obama not working? He's done an outstanding job for Wall Street and the top 1 percent of Amerika. there are beginning to be some black folk keenly aware of the extent to which we're being played for fools by the Hon.Bro.Preznit.Double-O.....,

Steven Augustine said...

Shrug. We all know that BHO is just as good at his job (being the face of/scapegoat for/ diversion from the particularities of a Serf-crushing, multi-genocide agenda put into motion long before his birth) as any of the creeps, crooks, milquetoasts, rapists and clowns whose sulfurous farts have scorched the cushion on that throne in the Offal Orifice from the beginning.

It's just kind of weird that we're worried about "racism" directed against BHO (from a fellow monster) while failing to really bother to detest the growing blot of the brains of sand-brown children on his highly competent record.

The mere fact that BHO excels at the job (the brother is slicker than Willy, more self-deluded than Reagan and deeper in the closet than Bushes) is why we need to *not* vote for him.

By all means put Mitt in office... BHO's skin is Kryptonite (Criptonite?) to the Left! Vote in Mitt and at least *some* of the population will suddenly remember to notice that America is a full-blown stage-2 Fourth Reich and... ooops.

Got kinda carried away.

Whateva.

chaunceydevega said...

@Cnu. I wasn't talking about the Bradley effect re: Ford and most certainly not Steele. I was referencing voting for Obama by whites and how that concept was much discussed at the time.

The Atlantic monthly had a piece a few months back on how whites are more upset about the economy and less hopeful than blacks and latinos. We discussed it here. The NY Times piece last week also touched on the issue and had some embedded charts that highlighted the irony that blacks and latinos are being hurt more by the great depression 2.0 than whites, but the latter are more likely to vote against Obama, partly as a function of that issue. Moreover, white are going to vote for Romney whose policies will continue that very same economic crisis we are in. Once more, fuel to the thesis that the masses are asses.

Re: black sociotropic voting, there is a puzzle there-is it black voters are smart enough to understand that while things are bad under Obama they would be hellish under Romney's economic policies. Dawson's Behind the Mule has some nice data that suggests how even black elites take into account black communal self interest, even voting against personal economic gains (lower taxes for higher earners) because we are astute enough to understand how our group interests are racialized, and that race trumps class historically.

Steven Augustine said...

1. "Moreover, white are going to vote for Romney whose policies will continue that very same economic crisis we are in."

Vs...what? Obama bumping his head (a la an episode of Gilligan's Island) and deciding to tell Big Bankster to FO? Prediction: more of the same. Regardless.

2. No mention of the ongoing slaughter in the "middle east" as a thorny issue, though...? No disquieting thoughts about Africom's crypto-colonialist agenda and how it figures in NATO-American war crimes on the continent? No words in relation to what the brave, informed and truly righteous Sister Cynthia McKinney has to say about BHO's failure to *not* be LBJ in beigeface?

Are we *that* post-morality?

Yes. We. Is.

rikyrah said...

Superb post, Chauncey.

totally on the money.

but, Willard started this with the ' he's a nice guy, but in over his head'.

that condescending, all knowing White folk bullshyt.

but, I'm feeling ya on this post. it's totally on point.

Barack Obama did more in 2 years, with an opposition party that decided to commit ECONOMIC TREASON against this country, than Shrub did in 8 years.

CNu said...

The Atlantic monthly had a piece a few months back on how whites are more upset about the economy and less hopeful than blacks and latinos.

Translation, those not in the thrall of the Obama Effect have more information and are better informed about the terror of the situation.

The NY Times piece last week also touched on the issue and had some embedded charts that highlighted the irony that blacks and latinos are being hurt more by the great depression 2.0 than whites, but the latter are more likely to vote against Obama, partly as a function of that issue.

I think you're doing bang-up original work identifying this irrational and racially identified Obama effect which has blacks and latinos voting contrary to their own clear economic interests.

Moreover, white are going to vote for Romney whose policies will continue that very same economic crisis we are in. Once more, fuel to the thesis that the masses are asses.

That thesis was never really in dispute. Nothing different than 80 years ago when Schuyler clowned the electoral masses in Black No More.

Tell me once again why I should want to see the black brand dragged through the muck of abject subservience to the parasitic miltarism and overt banksterism of the 1%?

How do I or anyone who holds the respectable black brand in high living memory regard profit from the Obamamandian desecration?

black voters are smart enough to understand that while things are bad under Obama they would be hellish under Romney's economic policies.

um..., that's pure conjecture.

What we do know for certain, however, is that not only does the Hon.Bro.Preznit.Double-O exclusively serve his 1% task masters, the lion's share of what he brings to that service is the mimetic cover afforded by black social capital. Black social capital is a asset he and his progenitors played NO PART WHATSOEVER in accumulating, but which he has shown himself at liberty to squander simply because of the color of his skin.

Obama is an unparalleled social and cultural parasite, extracting vital resources from his host while adding nothing whatsoever - and - his presidency is an abomination wrt its effect on the black cultural brand.

Anonymous said...

I bet CNu hates his shadow and would find fault with freedom
Obama clearly is not perfect but his presidency was a positive for the nation.
Milt is out of his element but given racial standards in our nation marginal athletes , musicians and leaders are always graded out higher than Blacks and non whites

chaunceydevega said...

@Cnu. Really? Romney's super shock doctrine austerity policies are going to do more to "help" the economy than Obama's modest Keynesianism? Look at Europe if you want a preview of what Romney is gonna do here.

The white working class voting against their own immediate financial interests and supporting and uber plutocrat in Romney when they know Obama would do more to look out for the middle class is the very definition of racial animus driving foolish behavior.

Steven Augustine said...

@We Are Respectably Brainwashed Negroes

Do you even *know* who Cynthia McKinney is? While you were drinking the chocolate Kool Aids in your Barcaloungers, she was actually *in* Libya, for example, reporting on the invasion of yet another sovereign nation (and, later, the brutal humiliation and execution of yet another head of state who stood in the way of Imperialist Gaming). The Sister risks her life (and lost her mainstream political career) defending and disseminating the truth. And all she gets around here from the Sadittycrats (@Euro-American readers: you will not get this reference) is the fingers-in-your-ears, la-la-la treatment?

One would assume that the mission statement of WARN is analytical discourse in critique of the superpathology of Racism (North American and/or Global). But you support BHO (citing, in defense, everything he "would" and "will" and "could" do: let's call him Hypothetical X in honor of Malcolm) merely because his Daddy was a Kenyan, ie his skin and hair and lips are nice. W.T.F.

My father was in "the movement" when I was a kid; he knew Fred (Hampton), I met Jesse "Asset" Jackson on 63rd street and Mr Ali in his office... he even fled Amerika for Liberia (ooops), for a few years, at the end of the Carter Administration. One thing he (and I) learned from his various escapades, in the end, is that Negroes will tend to think that just because the Dance is their own, they don't need to worry about who the Fiddler is (salient example: the "Black" Church with its Aryan Surfer icon). Wrong.

The Patriarchy is laughing its ass off at how easy y'all country bucks with hundred dolla educations beez to fool. Ask yourselves this: if you don't get to determine who the *candidates* are, what difference can it possibly make who you "vote" for? So who picks the candidates?

Duh.

Anonymous said...

@Steven Augustine

"We Are Respectably Brainwashed Negroes" Hilarious!

You are exactly on target. They know who Cynthia McKinney is. They know who Glen Ford is. They just pretend they don't exist. They are Democrats you see. As such they are partners in the hideous crimes Barack is committing. You can't convince them but you can have effect upon the more objective readers of this blog. First they will ignore you.

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."

Steven Augustine said...

@Anon

*Now* you tell me...! (laugh)

Anonymous said...

@Steven Augustine

LOL! Here's the line that boggles my mind this morning:

"The white working class voting against their own immediate financial interests"

This pales in comparison to the pathology of blacks working against their own interests -fervently- in support for Obama. Respectable Negroes don't even see the irony.

CNu said...

Respectable Negroes don't even see the irony.

They see it.

Some, like Rikyrah (Jack and Jill Politics) are paid operatives.

CDV sees it too.

I strongly suspect (and he has as yet to deny) that he professionally aspires to be a part of that respectable negroe establishment.

CNu said...

Romney's super shock doctrine austerity policies are going to do more to "help" the economy than Obama's modest Keynesianism?

lol, stop playing...,

Romney's record in Massachusetts clearly belies any such claim.

Look at Europe if you want a preview of what Romney is gonna do here.

Oh please, the IMF is shot calling in Europe, much as the Federal Reserve will be shot calling in the U.S.

No European state is even remotely as Nazified as the U.S. has become wrt muscling up in preparation to violently supress debt slavery dissent.

Say what you will about Obama, nominally black face of corporatist nazification, the ONLY folks still enthusiastically cheering for this sellout and shill are the folks on the payroll to do so, and the folks who want to be on the payroll to do so.

Tom said...

How dare he make such a blatantly false statement! Obama not working? He's done an outstanding job for Wall Street and the top 1 percent of Amerika.

Exactly.

chaunceydevega said...

@Cnu. Look at Romney's own budget proposals and what his tax proposals and budget priorities are. Do you honestly think you will get the "centrist" right-leaning Romney, or the Romney who has actively sold out to the most extreme wing of his own party? I agree on you regarding some matters. This is a lesser of two evils play. But your hysterical flattening of the differences between Obama and the Tea Party GOP is a bit much even by your dramatic standards.

CNu said...

But your hysterical flattening of the differences between Obama and the Tea Party GOP is a bit much even by your dramatic standards

{{{{my dramatic standards}}}}

rotflmbao...WHEW!!!!!

coffee straight through the nostrils.

see, it's hard, hard, hard to write essays about "Obama isn't working" as "brilliant racial aikido" with a straight face - and then - shift gears to address a non-partisan questioner as "hysterical" or "dramatic".

That's the equivalent of a full greasepaint circus clown telling a cover girl that her make-up's a little heavy!

Tom said...

"Hysterical," "hair on fire," etc., are just the snarl words used on leftish folks who aren't staying in line on Obama.

chaunceydevega said...

@Cnu. But the greasepaint heavy clown could be greasepainted up and know that he is the object of the joke, thus being a clown, and the cover girl could think she is authentically and really beautiful.

context matters. as you mentioned earlier, I wish I knew how to get some of that respectable negro money for supporting obama that is supposedly floating around these intertubes. if you see some floating by, please send it my way.

chaunceydevega said...

@tom. This isn't an Obama amen corner. I have real issues with many of his policies as I have outlined here many times. But, if I have to choose between Romney and the GOP vs. Obama and the Dems, and working through my own political calculus, hands down Obama is a better option. Maybe it is the difference between getting electrocuted all at once or boiled slowly alive, but I take the latter.

I get the activist, real talk, radical dreaming that you offer. Sadly, practical politics in this moment demands something else. Call it what you wish.

CNu said...

I wish I knew how to get some of that respectable negro money for supporting obama that is supposedly floating around these intertubes. if you see some floating by, please send it my way.

lol, hollar at your girl Rikyrah. If they're spreading it around to Jack and Jill, surely they'll hook up a partisan afrodemic scholar struggling as hard on their behalf as you are!

If not, then mebbe it's time to just say phukkem..., not only is he not doing what he hs's sposed to do and what he said he'd do - he is in fact causing irrepairable harm and damage.

CNu said...

no time like the present to let the austerians have their hand on the reins.

when those phukkers are in charge, it's incredibly easy to spot the enemy, draw up battle lines, and let the hunger games begin!

Anonymous said...

"I have real issues with many of his policies as I have outlined here many times."

WHERE! I've been waiting almost a year to hear some of your objections to his policies. The closest I've seen is a generalized admission that he's a corporatist. Is there something in the archives you could direct a brother to?

Tom said...

if I have to choose between Romney and the GOP vs. Obama and the Dems, and working through my own political calculus, hands down Obama is a better option.

Please. What proportion of people here are even considering voting for Romney? 5%? That's not a live issue around here.

sabrinabee said...

Obama was allowed to be (placed) elected to do exactly what he is doing,pass laws that a Republican couldn't get through in a milliion years. Not only has he continued too many of Bushes' policies, he's even amped them up. Imagine Bush trying to pass a law where protester can be arrested, jailed or fined for exercising their First Ammendment rights too near an elected official. Bush tried to throw Social Security and Medicaid on the chopping block and was beat down. Obama offered it up on a serving platter as a bargaining chip. Gawd forbid if Bush had decided to send five hundred pound drones raining down on innocent people in order to snag an insurgent.

That said, i am under no illusion that Romney will be better for us domestically. Romeny is touting his performance at Bain as a platform. That company identified, by their standards, what is considered waste in a company (the workers pensions being one) and dismantled them. Used the excess to enrich his company and left the companies they were involved with in bankruptcy or severely diminished. Take that and apply it to the government and the only thing it will be good for is war. Social Security will come to represent pensions that have long since been considered either unecessary or something to gamble on Wall Street.

Romney has to play this angle because there is really not much difference in what he would do and what Obama has done or has offered to do. Only difference is that Obama has had to dip his foot into some Keynesianism or risk being rode out on a rail by his party. But only just enough to prove his creds. And not enough to prove that his "master's" (Wall Street) tactics are wrong. Thus, the clusterfuck that is happening today. If the man had come in and set about showing the real difference in economic realities, the parallels would be between good vs. evil rather than bad vs. worse.

The question for me is, will i vote for Obama hoping there is a chance he goes full Democrat in his second term or, will I go scorched earth and let the Republicans continue to solidify the fascism of this democracy?

Tom said...

Yeah I think sabrinabee is the one laying out the real situation and options here.

Tom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven Augustine said...

@Sabrinabee


"Obama was allowed to be (placed) elected to do exactly what he is doing,pass laws that a Republican couldn't get through in a milliion years."

Good point and I agree utterly. But then you contradict yourself here:

"The question for me is, will i vote for Obama hoping there is a chance he goes full Democrat in his second term or, will I go scorched earth and let the Republicans continue to solidify the fascism of this democracy?"

If you really believe what you claim to in your opening statement, Obama *accelerates* the process of "solidifying fascism" in this Simulocracy.

The Symbol of Obama's skin is so powerful that even *you* can't shake-off the post-hypnotic suggestion that we must behave as though there are traces of MLK and MX in his DNA. There aren't. His genome comes from the Kapo Klass; he's an off-shoot of Condi and Colon, both of whom, at various times, helped to soften Bush2's image because we just. can't. get. it. through. our. heads... that Colored Folks can be just as venal/creepy/nasty/heartless as their white sociopathic counterparts.

Well, I was kinda convinced Mitt was The Chosen Spokemodel way back in 2008; when Obama got in instead, I had to admire the sheer fucking brilliance of the gambit (even his name is a fucking curve ball!). I did not, at any point, get a tear in my eye or a patriotic goose-pimple. I thought: Massa is deep! I also thought: how many skeletons must be in this Dude's closet for Them to feel assured he won't get uppity?

As I put it a few meters above: Romney slips in, maybe we'll get some vestigial hint of a Dissident Left back.

I mean, come on, people... even rats in a maze, at some point, are smart enough learn to stop running down the same blind alley looking for democratic cheddar.

Steven Augustine said...

erratum: "both of whom, at various times, helped to soften a white man's image"

Steven Augustine said...

also: I find it disturbing that the only standards for comparison and/or judgment on BHO are economy-related. No mention of BHO's unprecedented self-appointed Caesar powers? Good Gawd, the fellow has granted himself the *official* legal right to kill you or anyone, anywhere in the world, without a trial... and you like this? This ain't exactly Richie Havens we're dealing with. How Racist are you to persist in thinking otherwise?

CNu said...

How Racist are you to persist in thinking otherwise?

rotflmbao...,

Augustine is truth!!!

Accept no substitutes...,

Tom said...

Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom!

(whistling the rest)

sabrinabee said...

"No,mention of BHO's unprecedented self-appointed Caesar powers? Good Gawd, the fellow has granted himself the *official* legal right to kill you or anyone, anywhere in the world, without a trial... and you like this?"

I mentioned passing laws that Republicans could never be able to pass. The above is inclusive in that general statement with only a few examples mentioned. I am well aware of the authority to kill at will, be it Americans or otherwise, precedent he has set for the office of the presidency. The same powers that carry over to future presidents and will lead to dangerous times for anyone on the "do not like" list. I like it not a bit. As or the contradiction, one can hope he grabs a set even if that hope is miniscule at best.

Steven Augustine said...

In any case, we've got even more to worry about these days than Obama's winking insincerity; the Jews had their "blood libel" phase to get through... we Negroes (not to be outdone) are now facing the delightful prospect of the full-spectrum-media-supported (drum roll)... Cannibalism Libel!

Nice.

(If I pull all my teeth and keep my hands in my pockets, will white citizens feel safe with me in an elevator again...?)

Anonymous said...

You're killing me,Stephen. LOL!

"(If I pull all my teeth and keep my hands in my pockets, will white citizens feel safe with me in an elevator again...?)"

How many times, in different ways, this thought has crossed my mind. My favorite is when I'm walking down the street and some one in a car at stoplight suddenly remembers to lock their doors.

Anonymous said...

OOps! Somehow I don't have the option some of you seem to have of deleting my comments (I suspect NSA).

I meant *Steven*. Sorry.

Tom said...

Yeah I don't see any liberal second term, but what other choice do we have? It's kind of amusing (I guess) to see all of us in the position Black Americans have been in all along: voting for an evil that makes itself just slightly lesser.

Steven Augustine said...

@Anon:


Amirite? (high five)

sabrinabee said...

LOL!

"Cannibalism Libel! "

Two in one week. Three in total with the white guy in Canada. Guess, i'll skip the hot sauce aisle in the supermarket. Wouldn't want ti cause a panic.

Steven Augustine said...

A) I call "do-overs"... I think "Zombie Libel" has a lot more *ooomph*

B) Sabrina, have you forgotten the story (on Glenn Beck's website still, I think) about the Crazy Black Lady (see: the standard "crazy Black Lady" mug shot that goes with the story) who snatched a White Lady's adorable (white) baby and tried to chomp on it? I suppose that was the one they actually market-tested the meme with... (ratings went through the roof, et voila! a franchise was born)

Anonymous said...

Anybody else thinks this might have been planned from the start? As an alleged White House Insider said, the people running this administration ain't Democrats. We may have just been subjected to a gigantic PsyOp. "Hmmmm....We need to dismantle the social safety net. Now how we gon do it? Boldfaced Republican Right Wingism? They might not fall for 8 more years of that. Here's a thought: a Trojan Horse. Look, here is how we can neutralize the core of the Dem party. Run a black guy! Not from the native black community, mind you. Totally, detached from it. Black but raised by whites; whites whose family has association with the CIA. He's got to be a great performer. Acting, mainly, but it wouldn't hurt if he could sing. We use PR to get our boy in on a pack of lies. Once in, we do a complete 180. Anybody got any ideas?

sabrinabee said...

Steven,

I DO remember that story! The first thing I thought was, 'now what where was she going with that baby?' Didn't know she was planning to snack on it. I remember the photo too. Hair and all. The woman was clearly mental. I am in no way surprised Beck had it on his site, pushing the "scary black" meme.

I wonder how long it will take for some quack scientist to comes out and trace cannibalism to our African blood. You have to legitimize these things with scientific theory for their full effectiveness to take hold.

sabrinabee said...

Anon,

No, i think Obama that Obama entered politics for altruistic reasons. I think that once he became Senator he was flipped, as so many who go to Washington are. The ability to make shitloads of money is too great.

Adam GH said...

@CD: It seems like there might be a delicate battle to be played here. If one could somehow lure Romney out even farther until the racial game he's playing becomes more and more apparent and ugly. "Why do you think Obama is so lazy Mr. Romney?", "What about his childhood might have made him so lazy?", "Do you think he'll instill in his daughters laziness?". These are all a bit obvious, but perhaps a direction to think about. Thoughts?

fred c said...

Sabrina makes good points, as usual. "The powers that carry over . . ." indeed. My point would be that these powers now exist outside of the body of the president, they have an independent life of their own.

So maybe the questions this year, or any year, when judging candidates, is who might do the most to cooperate with this super-executive, and who might take steps to mitigate the problem?

And the idea that there is no difference between the parties does not, I think, hold water. They, and the politicians that they put forward, do still tend to push the polity in different directions. There is still a choice. Not, perhaps, the choice that we would hope for, but the choice that we have.

So Steven: I do not believe that these are powers that President Obama has taken for himself; rather they are powers that existed before him and to which he is bound. Yes, I hold against him the drone strikes, and much else, and the collateral damage, but I believe any new president these days has the riot act read to him immediately, and is shown a line to toe. We wouldn't want to experience any unanticipated helicopter crashes, now would we?

Anonymous said...

"Obama entered politics for altruistic reasons."

You guys are so gullible. No wonder the psychopaths can get away with these crimes. You think they have empathy.

"And the idea that there is no difference between the parties does not, I think, hold water."

It's not that there is NO difference between the parties. There has to be some, otherwise lesser-evilism incremental fascism wouldn't work. They would not be able to fool us.

I think Barack is an enthusiastic enforcer for these people; but if we could find out who is that supposedly read him the riot act we'd have a clue as to whoever it is -what criminal cabal- that has taken over this government.

Tom said...

Anon, These are all a bit obvious, but perhaps a direction to think about.

With respect, I see Black folks make that mistake (of being too smart to understand racism) again and again. Racist tropes don't need to pass any kind of "is it too obvious?" or "is it too pat?" test to work. The people who pass them around actually take a kind of special glee in extra-stupid stuff. It's like extra chrome on a car.

It works just like high school cliques. (Credit to P6 who pointed this out years ago in a post I don't have a link to anymore.) It's the rare high-school defamation that's weakened by being too obvious. The key thing is, does the victim have enough supporters or not? Not the content of the mudslinging.

CNu said...

but if we could find out who is that supposedly read him the riot act we'd have a clue as to whoever it is -what criminal cabal- that has taken over this government.

rotflmbao...,

and then what?

the Hon.Bro.Preznit.Double-O is a Brookings Institution production - now that you know who backed his play, wtf you gonna do about it?

Steven Augustine said...

"No wonder the psychopaths can get away with these crimes. You think they have empathy."

Have to go with that assessment. Of course we "like" them because being charming is part of the psychopathic politician's winning toolkit. And *of course* they're psychopathic, because if they weren't, they wouldn't have made it so far! QED, betch. Oh, uh-huh, sure: a guitar-strumming devotee of Peace and Light could've beaten Hillary "Lucretia Borgia" Clinton out of that big ass prize her sulfurous, Gore-dripping claws have coveted since she killed off her very first obstacle! NOT.

Corporate/Political structures are pyramidal filters for removing all but the "best" psychopaths as they climb the bone-ladder. The genuinely altruistic politicians are filtered out (crushed or killed) at a grass-roots level.

The people tirelessly/ selflessly leading recycling drives or collecting petitions against corrupt judges or helping to organize the painting of renovated crack-houses are the people who *should*, and will never, be allowed to run for mayor (in anywhere other than micro-Podunk USA) or anything higher.

Why do we think otherwise? Because the psychopaths (and their hired hands) told us to.

You know all the horrifying shit that is reported to go down in, eg, Chile or Zimbabwe... the corruption, vote-tampering, assassinations of rival pols, intimidation/poisoning of entire communities for corporate gain, etc? Multiply all that by a factor proportional to the difference between the GNP of the US and that of the banana republic in question and *that's* the magnitude of the North American Horrors they spend billions keeping you oblivious of. Here: have another George Clooney movie!

They've got us in foggy-state in which they can even "admit" to owning key points in a connect-the-dots portrait of total evil (Gulf of Tonkin? Check. USS Liberty? Check. October Surprise? Check. The Maine? Check. The Mossadegh/ Lumumba / "interventions", et al? Check and double-check)... shit confirmed in the frickin NYT, ferchrissakes... and rather than see these "limited hangouts" as confirmations of an entirely predictable and much larger pattern, we shrug them off as aberrations of a supposedly dark age the Gubmint has long-since outgrown!

(sfx: phlegm-rich Satanic chuckle)

Don't feel bad, though. Our minds have been terraformed (and our material realities constricted and metered) by some of the finest amoral minds recruited from Harvard, Princeton, Yale and MIT. In fact, if the Evil Ones haven't recruited your ass by now, you can't be very good at what you do, Negro!

Damn.

Anonymous said...

{{{{but if we could find out who is that supposedly read him the riot act we'd have a clue as to whoever it is -what criminal cabal- that has taken over this government.

rotflmbao...,

and then what?

the Hon.Bro.Preznit.Double-O is a Brookings Institution production - now that you know who backed his play, }}}}

Hopeless, Ain't it? Don't worry right now about "wtf you gonna do about it?"

First, wake the hell up. Only then will it be possible to know what to do. Wake the hell up; and at least have the possibility (however slim) of knowing what to do. No wakey, no hopey.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RkU9eZjZ3T0

Anonymous said...

Again, Steven, I like the way you think. "Terraformed minds". Mind if I borrow that?

Anonymous said...

Obama is a true believer in his own dogma... I respect that part of his tenure of course his tenure involves more than his signature

Anonymous said...

Turn about is fair play. Neither one of this mofos is working.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oWdZEJW1vWY

Anonymous said...

"And the idea that there is no difference between the parties does not, I think, hold water."

While there may be SOME difference, however marginal, between Dems and Reps, There is no essential difference between the "centrist" Dem in the White House now and the one who preceded him. The same policies of war and war on the social safety net, police statism and bankster enabling has continued unabated. You might even say that Obama has been more successful at it than Bush. In that case, if you happen to be against those kind of polices, Obama is WORSE than Bush. His 'liberal' masquerade has enabled him to accomplish things Bush never dreamed of: put Soc Sec on the chopping block; a 'judicial' assassination hit list, to name two. You lesser-evilists take note. There is nothing lesser about the evil that now occupies the White House.

Anonymous said...

-sigh
I guess for clarity I must insert this; but you probably knew what I meant.

"There is no essential difference between the "centrist" Dem in the White House now and the -right wing Rep- who preceded him."

Steven Augustine said...

"You might even say that Obama has been more successful at it than Bush."

Indeed. And that's the "Racial Aikido" that's so slick that we're not even aware of the fact that it's got us all asses-up on the mat.

Steven Augustine said...

@Anon:

"Mind if I borrow that?"

You can *have* it, Bro!

Tom said...

And that's the "Racial Aikido" that's so slick that we're not even aware of the fact that it's got us all asses-up on the mat.

Wait ... what? Is the match over? Aren't we supposed to shake hands first?