Told you so.
Mitt Romney has surrendered to the most despicable urges of white conservative populism and xenophobia. Although he will talk out of both sides of his mouth in denying the obvious, Romney has finally endorsed Birtherism. An honorable man would be a principled bigot; Romney has no principles or honor, thus he will deny, deny, deny, and obfuscate all the while winking at the white racists who are the base of the Tea Party GOP.
One of my mentors said it is satisfying to reach a point where you have enough material written, and are enough of an authority on a topic, that you can quote yourself. This is not laziness; it is efficiency. I may not have the latter, and I am working on the former, but regarding Mitt Romney's sociopathic, white racist ways, I called out his shenanigans months ago.
Mitt Romney is only getting started folks--and his bigotry is going to pay great dividends among "the silent majority" of white voters come election day. Candidates go "negative" because it works. White conservative candidates mine white racial resentment because they have calculated that the reward is greater than the risk. Romney's people have run the numbers and decided that ginning up white racism is a tactically sound choice for securing their candidate's victory over President Obama.
Do allow me my moment of gloating. Here are three passages from just a few of the pieces I have offered here on We Are Respectable Negroes that speak directly to Romney's concerted campaign of race-baiting and the Southern Strategy 2.0. Do share these prescient observations with your friends, and please tell folks where you heard them first.
2. By proxy, these racially driven attacks on Barack Obama are really an assault on Black Americans. We are positioned in the White Conservative political imagination as perennial outsiders and second class citizens. As the late Joel Olson smartly observed, in the American political tradition, and in a country founded as a herrenvolk society, to be black means to be an "anti-citizen."
Romney and the Tea Party GOP's efforts to use racially coded speech, dog whistles, and naked racism to mobilize white voters against Barack Obama work only to the degree that the target audience can locate the president relative to the African American community. Thus, hostility to black folks, stereotypes about them, and other negative sentiment, is transferred on to Barack Obama.
In all, the real America/American exceptionalism talk (both are intimates) that Romney and other Right-wing populists have deployed is a exclusionary one.
"American exceptionalism" is code for white American exceptionalism. "Real America" is code for white America.
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney’s family photos reflect this contrasting view of America. Mitt Romney’s family is a collective poster child for conservative “whiteopian” Culture War political dreams. Everyone is white; they are all the same.
When the Republican Party talks about a return to “traditional values” and “American exceptionalism” this is the vision of family—and the past—they are signaling to. To them, Mitt Romney’s particular brand of whiteness is normalizing, comforting and familiar.