There has been a lot of talk about whether Gingrich's recent language, including his performance in the South Carolina debates and his earlier declaration that Barack Obama has been America's best "food-stamp president", amounts to a coded appeal to racist sensitivities. The answer is simple: yes ~ Leonard Pitts Jr (10/11/1957) a politically progressive African American commentator, journalist and novelist, as quoted in his 1/29/2012 publication article, "GOP's Politics of Racial Resentment".
I would not make black people's lives better by giving them other people's money ~ Rick Santorum (5/10/1958) a Republican politician who served as a United States Senator representing Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2007, as well as a religious fundamentalist, homophobe and racist, as quoted during a 1/2/2012 Iowa campaign speech... a comment he later denied, insisting he was actually talking about "bla" people.
The following is an excerpt from the 3/13/2012 broadcast of Current TV's The Young Turks, which I edited for brevity and clarity. Host Cenk Uygur discusses recent statements by Sarah Palin with Alexis Garcia (a political Correspondent with PJTV) and Paul Waldman (Contributing editor at the American Prospect)...
Video Clip of Sarah Palin: [Clip used in an Obama campaign ad pulled from the Sean Hannity Show]. Obama has never been seen in the conventional, traditional way as we who would describe a man of valor. And his profession as a community organizer... what went into his thinking was this philosophy of radicalism. He is bringing us back, Sean, to days... you can harken back to days before the civil war. What Barack Obama seems to want to do is go back to before those days when we were in different classes based on income, based on color of skin. Why are we allowing our country to move backwards... [End video clip].
Cenk Uygur: OK, that's it... it's official. This breaks the record for the dumbest criticism of the president ever. President Obama would like to go back to the days before the civil war when we had slavery. Who can possibly believe that? How can you be that profoundly stupid?
But Palin says that was "heavily edited". All right, we have the actual clip from the Sean Hannity program. Let's see if she was taken out of context.
Unedited Video Clip of Sarah Palin: [My summary] Sarah Palin says exactly the same thing as in the edited clip, with a few sentences removed to cut down the length of the clip. The edited clip is an accurate representation of what she said. Her "out of context" claims are baloney. [End video clip].
Cenk: [Scoffs] Oh, that made it much better. ... She went on and on, calling him the "radical of the radicals". She said "radical" about eight times. When you see the full tape it's much worse. So, Alexis, you're in a tough spot here. Are you going to defend this national embarrassment or not?
Alexis Garcia: ...Obama makes an ad about this because it's the only thing he can talk about. He's got to rile up his base. Your viewers are intelligent and can see this for what it is. The president can't talk about the economy, he can't talk about gas prices, he's continuing the bush policies in Afghanistan... he's got to remind his base - look at the Right-wing wackos out there.
Cenk: Alright, a spirited effort. ... Now I've got to go to Paul. Paul, when someone pitches you a softball, what do you normally do with it?
Paul Waldman: Well, you hit it. And I think it does show the Obama campaign sees some political benefit in drawing attention to Sarah Palin. I don't think that's aimed at the base. I think it's aimed at the broader electorate, particularly independents. What we've seen over the course of this primary, as the Republican candidates have tried very hard to appeal to their base, is that the opinions of the Republican Party and of those candidates in particular have gone down and down [he's talking about public sentiment]... and the Obama campaign knows what it's doing.
Sarah Palin knows what she's doing too. Even though you look at that statement and you may think that's nuts... she understands what parts of the Conservative Id she's tickling. Since Obama came into office, and even before... there's been this real part of the Conservative movement in America who believe the way to keep up their support and generate opposition to Obama is to play on racial grievance. To tell people that, not only is he "other", but that the blacks in America are coming for them.
That's why Rush Limbaugh tells his listeners that the Affordable Health Care Act is reparations for slavery. That's why Glenn Beck goes on TV and says Obama has a deep-seated hatred of White people. That's why Andrew Breitbart did that edited Shirley Sherrod video that tried to convince people that the agriculture department was discriminating against Whites. It's this message over and over that Obama is some kind of Stokely Carmichael type figure... despite everything that he's actually done.
If we can go back and find that he some sort of radical association, that will give you the clue that his war on White people is about to begin. It hasn't actually begun yet, of course... because you don't want to talk about the things that have actually happened. It's always right around the corner. Some kind of terrible thing is about to come and all of that racial grievance is going to be unleashed on White America.
Cenk: Unfortunately we're out of time... to me it seems like Paul is right, of course... [End of segment]
My Commentary: Alexis Garcia's response isn't a "spirited effort", it an obvious dodge. She doesn't answer the question, although she's right about Sarah Palin being a wacko. (and about Obama continuing the bush policies in Afghanistan, unfortunately)... but her answer isn't why I decided to turn this excerpt from the Young Turks into a blog post. The reason I did that is because of Paul Waldman's response concerning Palin "tickling the Conservative Id". It's blatant race-baiting. They deny it eternally, but continue to employ it.
Video 1 Description: Sarah Palin on the Sean Hannity program, 3/9/2012. Sarah inserts the racist dog whistles (those excerpted for the Obama Ad) beginning at the 5:22 mark, and ending at 6:47.
Video 2 Description: Mitt Romney on Barack Obama: "He has been awful European". Translation: Barack Obama isn't American. Or, as a commenter who calls himself "tom cook" on the World Net Daily message board recently said, "You can't be just a good old American anymore to be popular; you have to be an African-American, or a Latin-American, or some other wog-American. The liberals and the NEA have made all of the stupids ashamed of good solid American Americans". So, who are the "American Americans"? Obviously they're white people.