I take folks at face value.
In response to the negative media attention which followed the circulation of a photo of a white nationalist wearing a t-shirt that said "Make the White House White Again" at his rally in Ohio on Friday, Mitt Romney's campaign issued a press release calling such bigoted acts "reprehensible."
Mitt Romney apparently does not like white racists who show up at his rallies and provide photo ops which could hurt his chances at winning the White House.
However, I am left with a dilemma and a puzzle of sorts.
Mitt Romney has been running one of the most racist campaigns in recent American history against the country's first black president. While some folks are obsessed with the silliness of "lynched" chairs, racist t-shirts, and other nonsense, Mitt Romney has been offering up a mix of overt racism and covert "dog whistles" against Barack Obama that collectively draw upon some of the deepest and ugliest stereotypes about black humanity.
And for the most part, Romney has been playing in the muck of white racism for the purpose of electoral gains with little if any consequence. This is the magic trick of the Right and the Republican party in the post-civil rights era: they complain about overt racism as a means of distracting the public from the party's deep investment in a strategy of mobilizing white voters through racist appeals against people of color. Ultimately, the Republican Party is a White Party; they will do anything to get their people to vote...including deep and ugly appeals to white racism, white victimology, and identity politics.
In all, white racists at his rallies are a micro-level issue; Mitt Romney has been slinging white racism and white racial resentment in order to rile up white conservative voters and right-leaning independent on a national stage with many millions of viewers.
Thus, I must ask the following: how does Mitt Romney decide what constitutes "reprehensible" behavior? What is his decision-rule?
We have not played a game in some time. And as you all know, I do loves me a fun game.
Let's crowdsource this puzzle and try to figure out Romney's logic. Here, I offer a few examples which we in turn can place in three categories. They are as follows: reprehensible behavior; stuff that sort of isn't cool; things that are okay and why are you complaining?
My examples are far less than exhaustive. Please, do feel free to include your own, as well as an explanation for your logic as explained from Romney's sociopathic point of view.
Racist t-shirts which suggest that we should "Make the White House White Again";
Questions about Romney's tax returns;
Questions about Bane Capital and outsourcing jobs to China;
Questions about Romney's offshore accounts and tax shelters;
Questions about Romney's position on why he, as a 31 year old man, remained a member of a religion that until 1978 was formally racist and white supremacist against black people.
Stuff That Sort of isn't Cool
Romney's spokespeople saying that Obama does not understand the "special Anglo-American relationship";
Asking about how Romney's healthcare plan in Massachusetts is in anyway different from "Obamacare";
Asking for specifics about Romney's tax cuts for the rich, and how they will cost at least 5 trillion dollars.
Things that are Okay and Why are You Complaining?
Romney's jokes about birth certificates and how Obama is not an American citizen;
Romney's statement to his donors in private that 47 percent of the American people are leeches, parasites, bums, and surplus people that he does not care about;
Romney's statement in the same speech that life would be easier if he were born Hispanic--and he would be leading the polls--because white folks have it so hard in America;
Romney's spokespeople, Newt Gingrich and John Sununu, saying that Obama has a special rhythm and is a lazy negro who is not fit to be President because he likes playing basketball, going on TV, sleeping all day, and just being a rapscallion colored uppity fellow as opposed to doing his job as President;
Romney's lies that Obama stole money from Medicare;
Romney's lie that Obama is a welfare king who steals money from white people to give it to the lazy blacks;
Romney calling Barack Obama a "boy" to his face during the first presidential debate.