By M. Ulric Killion
Photo Source: Cheryl Senter for The New York Times, Mitt Romney at the Town Hall in Bedford, N.H., on Dec. 20, 2011; See, “Romney and his aides have designed his rhetoric to define pretty much all spending on entitlements, including provisions for the injured, unemployed, sick, disabled or elderly as benefits to the poor who, Romney implies, are undeserving”, Thomas B. Edsall, The Anti-Entitlement Strategy, New York Times, December 25, 2011.
The Republican Conundrum — “how can a GOP candidate appeal to racists who don’t think they are racist without sounding racist?”
— Cheryl Contee (Jill Tubman), Gingrich and Santorum Saving Lazy, Shiftless Social Parasite Black Folks from Themselves - Jack & Jill Politics, January 6, 2012.
One would think that the campaign strategies that we are recently witnessing by some Republican candidates ought to be ineffective. During American presidential elections, however, voters often seem more fickle than normal and even more gullible than one would expect. After-all, potential voters are really only hearing a red-herring-variety of arguments and positions, rather than real solutions about the real problems of America.
Photo Source: “The blogosphere piled up with headlines Thursday over a part of Newt Gingrich's campaign speech involving food stamps and the NAACP, which left the Gingrich campaign scrambling in defense to put Gingrich's comments in context”, Elicia Dover, Gingrich's NAACP, Food Stamp Remarks Stir Controversy, ABC News, January 6, 2012.
One would also think that by now the race card would have played itself out (See Republican Attacks Have Racist Undertones, January 6, 2012). Nonetheless, the controversial comments keep coming. For instance, we now have Newt Gingrich’s controversial comments, such as his food stamps comment; Mitt Romney’s controversial comments, such as his Anti-Entitlement Strategy; Rick Santorum’s pandering to “racist elements in the electorates,” such as his discourses of racial stereotypes and racial divisiveness; and even Ron Paul’s history of controversial comments.
Photo Source; “Texas Congressman and prospective 2012 presidential candidate Ron Paul revealed in a radio interview that he would not have ordered the mission that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden almost two weeks ago”, Amanda Carey, Osama bin Laden Kill | Would Not Have Ordered, The Daily Caller, May 12, 2011.
This is because Ron Paul has long been a source of controversy and, equally so, a target of criticism. For example, one criticism of Ron Paul reads:
Somebody’s going to ask “Isn’t Ron Paul making a difference?” So I’m going to say, “Yes.” None of this is to say that right-fusionism of the Ron Paul variety isn’t now having an influence, or that none of it is good. I’m glad to see Paul spreading a few profoundly important ideas about foreign policy. But that doesn’t mean Paul’s decades of bilking paranoid bigots with bullshit prophesies of hyperinflationary race war was really a stroke of strategic genius after all. Or maybe it means it was. But that doesn’t make it right. I don’t think Paul would be where he is today without all those years of vile fear-mongering. And I don’t think anyone ought to get away with climbing up that evil ladder, kicking it away, then pretending he was born a thousand feet off the ground in the pure mountain air right there next to heaven. He knew what he was doing, chose to do it, and none of it can be justified by a little TV-time for salutary anti-imperialist and free-market ideas. I’d rather not be affiliated with a “movement” that includes him in even a conflicted way (See Wilkinson on Paul « Modeled Behavior, January 3, 2012).
“Morial [Urban League President] said Santorum made the statements to pander to racist elements in the electorate and should be ashamed. Santorum's spokesman did not immediately return telephone calls and emails Tuesday seeking comment,” Suzanne Gamboa, Rick Santorum Rebuked By Urban League On Comments About Black People On Public Assistance, Huffington Post, January 6, 2012; View the video.
The controversial comments of Rick Santorium are equally shocking for obvious reasons. Urban League President Marc Morial observed that Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, “tried to leverage a stereotype about black people and public assistance programs to gain an advantage in the Iowa caucuses” (Gamboa, Huffington Post, 2012). During an interview, Marc Morial directly addressed the problem with Rick Santorium’s language of race and the use of race and/or racism in Iowa. An excerpt from the interview with Morial reads:
Morial pointed out that 84 percent of food stamp recipients in Iowa are white. Nationally, 70 percent of recipients are white, he said. Many people who receive public aid contributed to those programs as workers, Morial said.
“By falsely suggesting that people of color are a disproportionate drain on resources provided mainly by whites, Santorum deliberately fans the flames of racial divisiveness,” Morial said (Gamboa, Huffington Post, 2012).
Moreover, irrespective of the truth or falsity of such “irrelevant” comments, their “red herrings” fail to inform the American public about how they intend to revive the American economy and restore prosperity to the American people. While this obvious strategy undoubtedly bodes well for Obama supporters, the same is not true for the Americans who are actually in search of real solutions to real problems.
Photo Source: “President Obama is hoping to capitalize on his controversial decision to appoint Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “ Richard Bluey, Big Government, January 6, 2012; See also “Congressional Republicans have asked the Justice Department to weigh in on the legality of controversial recess appointments President Barack Obama made this week to install appointees to politically sensitive jobs overseeing consumer lending and the labor force,” Republicans press Obama on recess appointments, Reuters, January 6, 2012.
Yes, if one noticed, arguably the Obama administration is also guilty of sometimes employing red-herrings. The Obama administration admittedly appears not to directly attack many of the controversial comments of Republican forerunners. Nonetheless, one reasonably suspects that President Obama’s recent controversial appointment of Richard Corday as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was an indirect response to the attention drawing controversies surrounding Republican Party candidates. In other words, the tactics employed also constitute yet another red-herring being cast into the political waters.
As for the Americans who are actually in search of real solutions to real problems, this does not speak well of American politics and the “American political party system.” This is because all of this ultimately leaves one wondering when did the right of every citizen, though the now less informed citizen, to withhold acclamation become a “watered-down” right.
Given recent events, if this is as good as it gets, then there is a serious crisis looming in both American politics and the “American political party system,” notwithstanding the social and economic crises awaiting real Americans in need of real solutions to real problems.
Copyright © Protected – All Rights Reserved M. Ulric Killion, 2012.
Last update: January 8, 2012.