Romney is failing – and flailing – with every demographic in the US. The only hope he has is the working class White vote. And assuming that all those people, or a suitable number of those people are racists. I fear he may be at least half right, but this sort of racism should lose, and lose huge. It should go down in history as a losing strategy, forever. That’s my hope anyway.
Shorter Question Everything
Going Full Birther:
• Chris Matthews destroys RNC chairman on live TV for playing race card: Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus may have canceled the first day of the party’s convention due to weather, but he couldn’t evacuate in time to escape the wrath of Hurricane Chris. The party chairman found himself on Monday weathering a blistering rant from MSNBC host Chris Matthews about how Republicans were playing the “race card” with birther jokes and falsehoods about ending work requirements for welfare.
Be warned, smug right winger alert:
On Monday night’s edition of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow talked about the group True the Vote, and how that group is planning on posting white operatives in black voting precincts on election day to challenge those voters’ authenticity.
The fact that the Republican Party is using suppression of the black vote as part of its 2012 election strategy has become less and less of a secret over the last few months. A disgruntled Florida Republican admitted as much about his party’s aims, and Ohio election officials aren’t even trying to hide the fact that they want fewer African-Americans to vote.
In this climate, the existence of a group like True the Vote should hardly come as a surprise, and yet, the cynicism and naked racism of the group still manages to elicit feelings of surprise and disgust. It was formed in Houston, Texas, an outgrowth of the local Tea Party chapter. Dedicated to fighting the Republicans’ trumped-up “voter fraud” epidemic, the group sends white personnel to minority districts to approach voters at the polls and challenge their right to cast a ballot.
The group had its first test run in its home district of Houston in 2010. ”True the Vote appears to have targeted mostly black precincts, sending white challengers to stare down voting booths filled with black voters,” Maddow said. ”There were so many reports of an intimidating atmosphere in Houston that election that the Federal Justice Department sent observers in on election day.”
True the Vote’s shadowy backers have injected a massive infusion of cash into the organization’s coffers, which will enable them to station “a million” poll watchers at every district they deem questionable in the country. They have held seminars in Colorado, Florida and Ohio, all hotly contested swing states.
In Ohio, the practice has its origins in the 1800s, when precinct captains were charged with the duty of challenging any person who showed up to vote and appeared to have a “distinct and visible admixture of African blood.” The voter would then be subject to a barrage of questions about their heritage and background with the aim of intimidating them to the point that they would leave rather than face this type of harassment.
• “There’s no question in my mind that the president’s action was calculated to… shore up his base,” Romney said, according to an extended quote that USA Today provided to The Huffington Post. “Weakening the work requirement in welfare is an enormous mistake.” Romney was one of 29 Republican governors who signed a letter to HHS in 2005 asking Congress for even more expansive waivers to the work requirement.
• Romney Goes Full Racist: Accuses Obama of Cutting Welfare Work Requirement to “Shore Up Base.” Romney defends the welfare ads as accurate, accusing Obama of offering state waivers as a political calculation designed to “shore up his base” for the election. He denies he was trying to stoke discredited questions about Obama’s birthplace when he said at a Detroit rally Friday that no one had ever asked him for his Michigan birth certificate.
• Rule changes forced through by Romney campaign at RNC provoke grassroots backlash: One blogger at the website of the pro-Tea Party organization FreedomWorks complained on Sunday, “As you may know the Romney camp is pushing new rules that would strip grassroots activists of any meaningful ability to participate in presidential politics. The process has always been bottom-up, but Romney officials have rewritten the rules so that the nominee can stifle any dissent on the platform committee and even unseat delegates.”
• HA!: A gift bag being handed out to delegates at this year’s Republican National Convention in Tampa contains a little something the party thought it had sent down the memory hole a long time ago: Mitt Romney’s argument that Obama-style health care mandates would work “for everyone in the country.” It’s a passage that Romney had edited out of his book “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness,” which RNC-goers are being given this year. Problem is, the RNC is handing out Romney’s original text, from back when he actually wasn’t apologizing for what he once considered to be his greatest accomplishment as Massachusetts governor.
• Clueless: While the men of the GOP gear up to talk policy, debate the merits of their platform, and listen to speeches about the Republican vision for America, the women can stop by Young Guns Network’s “Woman Up Pavilion” for hair and makeup touch ups while cable news plays in the background. From the looks of it, the salon hasn’t caught on yet.
• On his radio show today, Rush Limbaugh suggested that the government manipulated hurricane forecasts in order to force Republicans to cancel a day of their national convention, saying the model “allows them to do it.” “The hurricane center is the regime; the hurricane center is the Commerce Department. It’s the government. It’s Obama,” said Limbaugh. Even President Obama’s biggest fans don’t think he can make it rain — but Rush Limbaugh does.
• Vice Presidential Panderer: Either Ryan really feels this way, that there are degrees of rape, which is bad enough, or he is led around to use stock bills with their “stock language” stating that there are degrees of rape, which may be worse. Or he just doesn’t read what he proposes, as with his reaction to asking for stimulus money and now the forcible rape bills, which makes him stupid.
• Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Tom Smith says “out of wedlock” birth is “similar” to rape:
An Associated Press reporter asked Smith, “How would you tell a daughter or a granddaughter who, God forbid, would be the victim of a rape, to keep the child against her own will?” Smith replied, “I lived something similar to that with my own family. She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn’t have to. She chose the way I thought. No, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rape.” What was it, then? His daughter had “a baby out of wedlock.” Asked if that was similar to rape, Smith stammered, “No, no, no, but … put yourself in a father’s situation, yes. It is similar. But, back to the original, I’m pro-life, period.”
If you believe pregnancy from rape and pregnancy from sex out of marriage are “similar,” then you implicitly believe that the problem with rape is that it’s non-sanctioned sexual activity, as opposed to a crime against a woman’s person. The problem is not the consent; the problem is sex outside of the regulated strictures, meaning marriage.
• Tom Smith update: The Romney-Ryan ticket has a prior relationship with this Pennsylvania Senate candidate. Tom Smith introduced Paul Ryan at an event just last week, and he attended a Romney fundraiser last month.
• Republican Senate Candidate Tom Smith Compares Conception From Rape To Pregnancy Out Of Wedlock:
• A must read: When talking about rape, the ugliness and dehumanization of women is much more obvious to the public, but it’s important to understand that this utter unwillingness to see women as people—instead of just Easy Bake ovens that make people–is shot throughout anti-choice sentiment.
• The Republican Party platform includes support for the “Human Life Amendment,” also known as HR 212. It gives a fertilized egg inside the womb the same rights as a person outside the womb. It’s designed to ban all abortions. …[E]ven if we are divided over the question of when life begins, one thing we should agree on is this: vulnerable children outside the womb deserve at least as much focus and care as those not yet born. Shouldn’t those concerned about the lives of the unborn be equally concerned about the lives of the recently born?I’m honestly perplexed about the distinction represented by the cervical wall. On one side, people should be prosecuted if they do anything to harm the fetus, but once on the outside, sorry kid, whatever happens, happens. You’re on your own.
• U.S. Troops at Ft. Stewart Plotted to Assassinate President Obama: Prosecutors say a murder case against four soldiers in Georgia has revealed they formed an anarchist militia within the U.S. military with plans to overthrow the federal government. Via Gawker, the ringleader of this plot attended the 2008 Republican National Convention as a page: Isaac Aguigui, the Army private and alleged ringleader of a plot to assassinate Barack Obama and “take over” Ft. Stewart in Georgia, apparently served as a page at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, Minn. That’s his mug shot after he was arrested for the alleged murder of Pvt. Michael Roark on the left. At right is a 2008 Reuters photo with the caption: “Republican National Convention page Isaac Aguigui watches from the edge of the floor at the start of the first session of the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota September 1, 2008.”
• A group of coal miners in Ohio feel they would have been fired if they did not attend an Aug. 14 event with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and contribute to his campaign — and to make matters worse, they lost of day of pay for their trouble. In phone calls and emails to WWVA radio host David Blomquist, employees at the Century Mine in Ohio said they feared retaliation if they did not attend the Romney event.
• Sheldon Adelson, the multi-billionaire casino mogul who already spent at least $5 million to help keep Republicans in control of the House next year, reportedly pledged $500,000 to just one House candidate, New Jersey Republican candidate Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.
• The daughter of Cuba’s vice president has defected from the communist-run island and now lives in Tampa, Florida, the site of the Republican National Convention, a newspaper reported. Glenda Murillo Diaz, 24, daughter of Vice President Marino Murillo, crossed over into Texas from Mexico, according to a report in the online version of US Spanish-language newspaper El Nuevo Herald.
• An Israeli court on Tuesday cleared the military of any responsibility for the death of US activist Rachel Corrie who was killed by an army bulldozer in 2003, rejecting a civil suit filed by the family. The family said they were “deeply saddened and deeply troubled” by the verdict, with their lawyer vowing to press ahead with an appeal after a legal battle which has lasted nearly 30 months.
• Israeli warplanes have launched at least three airstrikes on several targets in the northern Gaza Strip, according to security sources. Israeli F-16 warplanes attacked the blockaded coastal enclave on Monday night. Several powerful explosions were also heard in the area.