The media is out with great excitement as Republicans lined up to repudiate Mitt Romney’s offensive “gift” comments. The Washington Post wrote, “Ten days after failing to sail into the White House, Mitt Romney is already being tossed overboard by his party.” The Sunday shows were stuffed with Republicans lining up to be seen on TV distancing themselves from the Romney stink. Yes, it seems everyone is happy with the Republicans for finally seeing the light.
And therein lies the mistake.
Republicans like Newt Gingrich and the gang of repentant Romney apologizers do not see any light except that they can no longer afford to be seen as defending the rich and hating everyone else.
Now they are scapegoating the man who carried that mantle for them in a failed presidential campaign. For this, they are reaping praise for having principles and waking up.
One does not have principles if they defend such comments during a campaign, because they wanted to help their party maintain power. Had they come out immediately after the 47% comments and specifically condemned them and the thinking behind them, that would be different.
But here we have Newt Gingrich, who accused President Obama of being the “food stamp President” playing the Good Guy on the Sunday shows. Suddenly he doesn’t think Obama won because of “gifts” to “those people”.
Here’s a taste from today’s This Week:
Gingrich expresses his moral outrage over Romney’s comments that Obama won because of “gifts’.
GINGRICH: I just think it’s nuts. I mean — I mean, first of all, it’s insulting. This would be like Wal-Mart having a bad week and going, “The customers have really been unruly.” I mean, the job of a political leader in part is to understand the people. If we can’t offer a better future that is believable to more people, we’re not going to win.
Of course, George Will got in on this, telling Mitt to quit hating.
WILL: Quit despising the American people, particularly because a lot of what they’re despising them for are Republican policies.
Give me a break. George Will wrote a column in October saying that the only reason Americans aren’t firing Obama is because he’s black. Redemption? Not so fast. Accountability first, please.
Wake me up when Republicans have the courage to condemn these comments when it matters, and when – more importantly – they do so by not perpetuating the stereotypes beneath the comments and stop campaigning on blatant racism and class warfare.
I am also not buying until the Republicans change their policies to match the rhetoric.
Currently, Republicans are still refusing to lower taxes for the 98% unless they can give “gifts” to the top 2%. Why is that, if they really don’t believe that there are “takers” versus “makers”? If they really don’t believe this crap and think it’s so insulting, why have they been perpetuating it for so long?
The problem is that Republicans do not find “takers” versus “makers” insulting, just as they are not insulted by their use of racial stereotypes to win the resentful white vote. That is the only vote they have, aside from the 2% vote, so naturally they need to keep it. It would be political suicide for them to abandon the resentment vote, even if it only works on a state level now.
Liberals celebrating Republicans who are distancing themselves from Mitt Romney are biting into a poisoned apple. Mitt Romney was, as I wrote early in the general election, going to be a problem for the GOP because he represents everything that they have become. He is the entitled plutocrat who hates the rest of America and thinks they are lazy. He celebrates greed and cruelty. He is an empty puppet devoid of values except those he needs to spout to get votes.
Now that the puppet did exactly to the party what we could all see coming, that is, out them to the public, Republicans want to distance themselves.
Of course they do. This is not an act of authenticity or self-examination or regret. This is an act of a party who just got word that they can no longer win national elections on blatant racism and class warfare. They are rebranding the same policies under yet another “new” Republicanism. The Birchers, the Tea Party, the Southern Strategy all share the same problems and you don’t see the Republicans changing those inherent problems. Rather, they are doing what they always do. Rebrand.
Shiny new sticker, nice words, maybe an immigration reform policy that does not include electric fences and self-deportation — but it is the same party of the elites, of the plutocrats, manipulating the easily fooled into supporting policies that do not benefit them.
Liberals are gloating that Mitt Romney is being demolished. So what? Mitt Romney was never the problem. The way he expressed his disdain is being demolished, but the policies behind the disdain and the strategies that use that disdain as a get out the vote tactic are being let off the hook.
Once again, the symbol gets destroyed as the policies live on. This is the party that ran Sarah Palin as VP in 2008 because she put a pretty face on their ugly policies and Southern Strategies. This is the party that ran the rape triplets. This is the Tea Party, Koch-backed, Norquist pledge-signing party.
The money and therefor the agenda behind the Republican Party has not changed. What do they stand for? Certainly not small government or fiscal conservatism. No, they stand for corporate welfare and the now destroyed trickle down lie.
We can thank Mitt Romney for outing the trickle down lie, and George W Bush for outing the small government lie. What have elected Republicans done over the past four years? They have spent our money trying to get women locked up in prison for having a miscarriage, spent millions on witch hunts to destroy Obama and on voter suppression aimed at minorities, and have stood tall for tax cuts for the rich, subsidies to big oil, more war for private contractor profits and deregulation.
While it’s obvious Republicans never liked Romney personally, that didn’t stop them from glorifying him as a “maker” (job creator, trickle down God, entitlement class ruler) and standing by his welfare to work lies. Mitt Romney represents the empty corporate greed of the GOP. He was the perfect poster boy for the modern day Republican Party and they don’t get to run away from the political poison so quickly.
After all, they built that.