Analysis of media issues, politics and current events.
Mitt Romney is right. He did expect those boos he got when he addressed the NAACP yesterday. The easiest giveaway: He wouldn’t have called the Affordable Patient Care Act the pejorative “Obamacare” in front of the African-American crowd, nor called it a “wasteful, useless program.” That’s asking for a fight. That’s like purposely giving a speech in front of a Star Trek convention audience and saying lets drop “hack actors” from the show like William Shatner. Even if it’s true, it will be considered offensive for those who see him as a hero or icon and you aren’t going to make many friends there. You’re throwing an idea grenade on purpose.
Like the rest of the GOP, it seems Mitt too has written off the African-American vote. So for him the best way to use the NAACP event is to gain extra mileage with his own base. By standing up to the African-American audience to show his conviction about “Obamacare” – something he hasn’t done on other issues. It’s his version of a Sister Souljah moment. Like Bill Clinton’s famous encounter and dressing down of the black rapper, he hoped to gain support of working whites who saw his pushback on rapper Sister Souljah as a clear message the wasn’t going to let the likes of black interest groups *symbolized by she and Jesse Jackson) push him around.
There’s a good article on why the GOP has lost the African-American vote in the first place from Politico’s Greg Sargent, Why (most) African Americans are a lost cause for the GOP. The most pointed excerpt:
“In the years since the 2008 election, many Republicans have adopted racially charged narratives on everything from the financial collapse — minorities and the Community Reinvestment Act are to blame — to a program meant to compensate African American farmers for racial discrimination (it’s actually “reparations”). What’s more, in its attacks on Obama, a large portion of the Republican base has adopted an explicitly racial frame. The attacks aren’t motivated by race — the apocalyptic tenor should be familiar to anyone who remembers Bill Clinton’s presidency — but race acts as a filter for their appearance. Birthers — including prominent members of the GOP — demand evidence of Obama’s citizenship, local Republicans depict Obama’s parents as chimpanzees, and online conservatives portray Obama as an African witch doctor.”
As I mentioned in a previous blog post, Republicans & Conservatives*: Where do you whores, illegals and lazy welfare people think we hate women and Hispanics and blacks? such groups remember the racially charged messages over the economic outreach messages that the GOP currently try to to use to mollify the same groups. And that’s why they’ll continue to fall flat. And why the GOP will use groups like the NAACP and the La Raza like props more than truly engage them.