More Fox News Race Baiting
The Grand Old Party, the part of racists. The Southern Strategy isn’t a political strategy necessarily executed by people who were racists (although they may have been). What Republican Party since Barry Goldwater and Nixon but mostly afterwards have done is to use words and arguments that attract racists to the Republican Party.
In the 1964 presidential campaign, Barry Goldwater ran a conservative campaign which was a magnet for conservatives. Goldwater broadly opposed strong action by the federal government. Although he had supported all previous federal civil rights legislation, Goldwater made the decision to oppose the Civil Rights Act of 1964. His stance was based on his view that the act was an intrusion of the federal government into the affairs of states and, second, that the Act interfered with the rights of private persons to do business, or not, with whomever they chose.
All this appealed to white Southern Democrats, and Goldwater was the first Republican to win the electoral votes of the Deep South states (Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina) since Reconstruction. However, Goldwater’s vote on the Civil Rights Act proved devastating to Goldwater’s campaign everywhere outside the South (Other than the South, Goldwater won only in Arizona, his home state), contributing to his landslide defeat in 1964. A Lyndon B. Johnson ad called "Confessions of a Republican," which ran in the North, associated Goldwater with the Ku Klux Klan. At the same time, Johnson’s campaign in the Deep South publicized Goldwater’s full history on civil rights. In the end, Johnson swept the election.
What Republicans learned since that defeat is that they need to keep the race-baiting on the down-low if they are to win the white Southern Democrats (reborn Republicans) who were very pro-segregation while minimizing the fact that they’re race-baiting. This would get the southern vote and allow them to keep the rest of the country.
Fox News’ Megyn Kelly (who is supposed to be a reporter, not a political commentator like O’reilly and Beck, thus is supposed to keep her opinions to a minimum) had a verbal fist-fight with one of Fox News’ nominal (read “fake”) Democrats Kirsten Powers for thinking Fox News has been blowing up a dead story for political purposes:
This is an example but a lot of people won’t GET IT until it’s explained in detail. This is dog whistle politics and it’s not the best because it’s so blatant.
Oliver Willis makes the case:
Goldberg (intentionally) misses the point. Powers was referring to the constant looping of the New Black Panther Party video, in addition to other videos not related to the 2008 polling place case, by Fox News.
Why is Fox News doing this? Fox News is trying their damnedest to associate Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, the Democratic party, and the larger liberal/progressive movement with the NBPP. Fox is doing everything within their power to foster an atmosphere of racial animosity, without regard to facts or the long-term impact. Why? They think it hurts Obama.
This is the same thing they pulled attacking ACORN in the last month of the 2008 election. Their entire goal is to make Obama out to be the scary black man with his militant wife, despite the fact that the Obamas are the closest we’ve ever had to the Huxtable family at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Consider the recent billboard showing Hitler as a National Socialist, Lenin as a Marxist Socialist and Obama as a Democrat Socialist:
Republicans have been trying to paint Obama as someone who is trying to take money from everyone (House/Senate GOP), make everyone a slave (Bachmann), destroy America and Democracy and make everyone a Muslim (Beck, Limbaugh), and that Obama is a scary black that’s going to take your rights away and favor other blacks. This is yet another addition to the attempt to make Obama look worse and worse. Make a story that’s a done and dead deal like the NBPP story and make it seem like it’s a huge concern, as if it’s going to happen again and again and is going to be rampant and everywhere–as if this is the plan for the future… and that blacks are a privileged bunch that are going to make white people a minority with fewer rights… that blacks will be allowed to intimidate voters and get away with it.
Here are the facts; from Dave Weigel:
No one disputes that two members of the Panthers lurked outside of a heavily black, Democratic polling place in Philadelphia on election day 2008, and no one thinks this was a smart or legal thing for them to do. Police were called to the scene to disperse them, and King Samir Shabazz, who was filmed holding (though not using) a nightstick, lost the right to be a poll-watcher for the next election cycle. It was the only recorded incident like this in the nation; nearly two years later, no voter has come forward and said he or she was prevented from voting by the Panthers. And in his publicity tour to attack the DOJ over the Panther case — a second-rate case against a fifth-rate hate group — J. Christian Adams has been unable to name any case in which the DOJ was presented with a crime committed by black people and chose not to prosecute it.
On top of that, the videos of King Samir Shabazz “yelling about ‘crackers’ at a street fair before the election” is just that and nothing more. What he did is disgusting—this is a digusting waste of human flesh, as all racists are—but it’s a red herring since it has nothing to do with voter intimidation.
This is what Fox News has been up to. It’s nothing more than a way to defeat the Democrats as much as possible in the 2010 election and then in 2012 take over the presidency.
So why obsess over the Panthers? Is it turnabout for the way that liberals elevate the craziest tea party activists, or the way they call them racist? Because it’s obviously not a search for justice or a muckraking effort to discover reverse racism in the DOJ. If this is an effort to make sure that King Samir Shabazz is prosecuted for intimidating voters, why not try to find some voters he intimidated? Why, instead, as Kelly and Glenn Beck have opted to do, show video of the Shabazz yelling about "crackers" at a street fair before the election? No one disputes that he hates white people — just watch one of the tapes from the times Fox News invited his colleagues on to discuss how they hate white people.
One of the more jarring passages in Rick Perlstein’s
"Nixonland" is his recounting of a popular myth that went around Iowa in 1966, the year of the conservative backlash against the Great Society. The myth was that black gang members on motorcycles were going to head from Chicago to ransack Des Moines. Reading this in 2008, it sounded preposterous, the kind of thing that no one could believe in the country that was about to elect Barack Obama. But Kelly, under the guise of journalism, is working to create a rumor like this in 2010. Watch her broadcasts and you become convinced that the New Black Panthers are a powerful group that hate white people and operate under the protection of Eric Holder’s DOJ. That "Megyn Kelly DESTROYS Kirsten Powers" video that I mentioned begins with her introducing a clip of a town hall meeting with Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Ca.) in which he gets an angry question about whether the DOJ has a policy of not prosecuting African-Americans.
This is the cynical, nihilist racist aspect of the GOP. There are racists in practically every political party, including the Democratic Party, but this is different. It’s like someone selling their soul to the devil for a chance at heaven on earth.
Bob Cesca has a ton more words to lob.