Et Tu, Tweety?

Bird Tweety Fantastic Picture

On Morning Joe this morning,  MSNBC’s Chris Matthews became one of the first major media figures to actually state the blindingly obvious:  that Mitt Romney and the Republicans are running a campaign so openly racist it would make Lee Atwater blush.  I’m not sure whether Tweety drank some of that potion or what, but this certainly is a welcome development, and a surprising one.

Given the excruciating deference granted Republicans when they say utterly outlandish things, which is pretty much whenever their mouths are open, I’m left to wonder why, at this moment, loud and explicit race baiting seems to be the only line they cross at their peril.  After all, isn’t it equally galling (not to mention equally false), to flatly state that Climate Change is a myth, that the US can drill its way to energy independence, that smart growth policies are a secret UN plot, that Obama is a big spender who is itching to disarm America, that deficit spending hampers the economy, that lower taxes on the rich creates jobs, that Social Security is “broke,” and what have you?  All of these ridiculous myths, and many more, pollute the public discourse unchallenged, by Tweety and all other television gasbags.

So why should a few race-tainted fact-free ads and a relentless, coordinated campaign to smear President Obama in flagrantly racist terms get Tweety’s dander up?  After all, this is the same Tweety who waxed lyrical about George W. Bush’s bulging basket; Amy Goodman he’s not.  For whatever reason, Matthews seems to have something of a soft spot for sitting Presidents, even if they’re, well, not white.  I think this is a better explanation for Tweety’s transformation than assuming he’s offended by racism, per se.  Like most media stars, Matthews’ foremost value is twofold: deference to power and a bias toward “civility” in political discourse.

Unfortunately, the Republican party ascribes to neither of these values, and as the reaction of RNC scumbag Reince Priebus clearly showed, they couldn’t give a flying fuck what the MSM thinks of their tactics.  Saddled with an unpopular candidate, no credible plans for governing,  and an unbroken record of failure in office, the RNC simply doesn’t care about offending people; if racism works, racism it is.  And it appears to be working;  Romney and Obama have remained neck and neck throughout the race, even as the gaffes, debunkings, and ludicrous statements fall like rain.

Of course, for this strategy to succeed, a few more ingredients are necessary, hence the voter suppression efforts across the country.  Unable to stop driving away not just African Americans, but also Latinos, women, LGBT people, younger voters, the poor, etc., at least they’re being realistic about the daunting math running against them.  As for the long-term consequences from repeatedly asserting that all these groups are something less than truly American, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.  Hewing to the Nixonian notion that stoking such divisions will leave them with the larger half, they then, incredibly, turn around and say it’s President Obama who is divisive, angry, and hateful.

If gasbags like Tweety were to challenge them on that entire premise, rather than just an ad here and a statement there, Republicans might soften their tone a bit, but I doubt it.  They’ve created a monster, and they know it.

11 Comments

  1. mikeinportc says:

    I’d like to see Tweety interview Romney, or Ryan, or anybody that is SOMEBODY , and bring it up. If he does that, instead of just shouting at the air, or going Hardball on some nobody, then we’ll know if he’s actually lapsed into journalism, rather than another drama-tweety episode.

  2. cocktailhag says:

    I doubt that. Charlie Pierce at Esquire even thinks the little boid might get in trouble for being so combative. (Republicans like the truth the way vampires like garlic….)
    The whole thing went pretty viral in just a couple of hours, though, so you never know. All gasbags like attention, and Tweety sure got some.

  3. Ché Pasa says:

    As for the long-term consequences from repeatedly asserting that all these groups are something less than truly American…

    By now, it’s as if they’re asserting all these groups aren’t truly human — and I’m sure that’s what they believe, too.

    I saw that Tweety piece and his followup later, and I thought he was mostly just doing his schtick, “Tweety will be Tweety” and all that.

    What was interesting was the reaction, the embarrassment at his outré outbursts demonstrated by Mika, the huffy ‘tude of What’s His Name the (accused) Intern Killer, the airy dismissal of the so-called “problem” by His Eminence Tom Brokaw (nice to see him able to speak more or less clearly these days, too bad he has nothing worthwhile to say), and the stupid smirking and disgusting deflection of that Priebus person, whoever he is.

    It was quite the Goon Show.

    It would be nice to think that Tweety’s aggressiveness will set the benchmark for other media scrutiny of the RnR Ticket, but we know too well that their bosses can’t go for that. It would hurt the bottom line, dontchaknow, and it might get out of hand. I imagine the Billionaires are strategizing ways to Punish NBC as we speak.

    (Maybe have them droned or bombed like Bush repeatedly did to Aljazeera.)

    And to think, the R Convention hasn’t even started yet.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Isn’t it funny, how the whole media behave like a bunch of purse-lipped schoolmarms whenever an uncomfortable truth slips out? (Which is so seldom it instantly becomes famous…)
      That Priebus person makes Karl Rove look sexy, Michael Steele look smart, and Ari Fleischer look credible. What a steaming pile he is.
      The Republican party is like the Island of Misfit Toys, except much more dangerous.

  4. avelna says:

    A few on Current TV have at least tiptoed in the direction of calling out the R’s race-baiting (or strode in the case of Uyger) but, unfortunately their’s is a relatively small audience. Maddow also hasn’t hesitated to call them out for it but none of them would dare talk to her about it. I know the so called Southern Strategy started back with Nixon but it receded for a decade or two. I guess the election of a black president has brought it back in all its disgusting glory.

    • cocktailhag says:

      That’s part of it, I’m sure, but hatred of immigrants, and then Islamophobia, has been a staple of talk radio for years. What surprises me is the openness; the dog whistles have become air raid sirens. My only hope is that it backfires, badly.

  5. RUKidding says:

    I didn’t even bother to watch the Tweety outburst. I guess Tweety had a momentary lapse of truth-telling or, heaven forfend, some actual real moral outrage (almost unimaginable with Tweety the HACK, who does so love to rub shoulders on the DeeCee cocktail weenie circuit). I’ve read about here & elsewhere, so I think I get the drift. I’m sure this Tweety’s “one trick pony” moment, and there will be no more such indiscretions on his part.

    I hasten to remind all concerned that the GOP & their Billionaire benefactors have been ginning up the reliable “flock” with outright racism since Obama began his campaign in 2008, but in earnest when Obama was elected. Within days of Obama’s election, the nascent Tea Party took off with loads of racism for all the world to see courtesy of David Koch via his right hand man, Dick Armey. Never forget the work of Rush, plus Glenn Beck was quite the “thing” for racism and sexism back in 2009… until Beck was back-benched to whatever troglodytic chamber he now inhabits (perish the thought, but I believe I saw a trailer for some “film” that he’s in coming out soon, so brace yourselves for more INSANE racism on display).

    This recent round of naked racism is just more of the same old, differnt day. Let’s face it: the GOP’s got nothin’. At the end of the day, *everyone* hates RMoney, really. The fundie-base of the GOP has always loathed the Mormon CULT and truly believes that they all worship satan (not exaggerating). One of my secret pleasures is witnessing the fundies I know bending themselves into pretzels justifying to themselves why they should vote for this smarmy flip-flopping satan-worshipping freak. The RMoney’s are a loathsome duo who’ve very clearly & demonstrably plundered & pillaged their way to the top. Sugar coat it all you like, even the most brain-dead of the believers has to realize it.

    Then the GOP in their usual misguided way chooses the Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver as #2, and that’s becoming another catastrophe no matter how much they spin how the faithful should lover Ryan’s pampered entitled ass.

    So what’s available to them? Ye Olde standby: RACISM! Woot! Break out the Lee Atwater Southern Strategy one more time with FEELING!! That’ll gin up the flock to vote for Mitt, if nothing else will.

    The end.

    • cocktailhag says:

      If I were the betting type, and still had an ounce left of trust in my fellow countrymen, I would predict that this is a losing strategy.
      Unfortunately, I’m not and I don’t. If it works, I’ll be deeply ashamed, and glad I never bothered to get my passport renewed; it would be far too embarrassing to travel abroad.
      There was a time when I believed in the inexorable nature of progress; after the Bush years that bubble was well and truly popped.

    • mikeinportc says:

      There are lots of reality-based criticisms of Obama out there, just waiting for someone to run with them . (besides us peons) They won’t do that though, because they like that stuff. They like what he’s doing, just not who’s doing it, so they have to go with all this crap.

      • cocktailhag says:

        Disturbingly effective crap, so far. And people wonder why I drink.

      • RUKidding says:

        Exactly. I’m no fan of Obama. I’m disgusted with him, but the color of his skin or who his parents are or what food he ate (or didn’t) as a kid hold no interest for me. I am disgusted with how he’s been bought off by the 1% to pander to the Banks and Wall St.

        No one of any real “substance” has been busted from the crimes of the housing bubble. The Banks & Wall St henchmen get their gi-normous salaries and bonuses, whilst the 99% gets austerity.

        No the 1% cannot go after Obama for what he’s actually doing and how he’s running things… because Obama’s doing exactly what they want. But to distract the rubes, they gin up their nasty little black-hearted hatreds & bigotries. The “churches” have done their jobs well preaching that’s it’s “good” to hate someone different from you, esp if they’re alleged to be poor and lazy.

        Racism works, sad to say. Even many of my trad-Dem voter pals have drunk the Kool Aid and now spout out Fox-based racist bullshit without turning a hair. Horrible but true.