Friday, July 13, 2012
Romney Plays To The Racist Right
Romney did not go to the NAACP convention to appeal for votes from African-American voters, or to try and win any of them over to the Republican Party. Romney may not be a very good candidate (having the charisma of a wet rock and the ethics of a Wall Street banker), but he's not a complete idiot. He knows his chance of getting a significant number of African-American votes is worse than an icicle's chance of surviving a summer in the Sahara Desert.
He could have given a conciliatory speech to that convention. He chose not to do that. He chose not to do that because his real audience was not African-Americans -- it was the racists of the Republican right (the teabaggers). Romney gave a speech guaranteed to upset the audience at the NAACP because he wanted (actually needed) for them to boo him.
The truth is that there is still a significant portion of the Republican Party that simply doesn't trust Romney -- the teabaggers, who went through a long list of candidates searching for anyone else but Romney. These people consider him to be a moderate (or worse, maybe a liberal) whose has assumed right-wing positions just to win the nomination -- and they suspect he will abandon those right-wing positions now that he has the nomination. These are the people Romney's appearance at the NAACP convention was really aimed at.
What these doubting teabaggers will see is a candidate that is hated by the NAACP -- and any enemy of the NAACP might really be a friend of theirs. And just in case the racist right didn't fully understand this, Romney doubled-down on it by accusing the NAACP (and African-Americans in general) of just wanting "free things" from the government. If that's not an appeal to teabagger racists, then I don't know what would be.
The Republican convention is coming up very soon, and Romney needs to leave that convention with a united party behind him (so he can start appealing to moderates and Independents). He can't afford to leave the convention with a large hunk of the party's base still unhappy with him.
Will this ploy work to win over the extreme right? It might. The real question now is how it's going to play with Independents -- and we may not know that for a while. Hopefully, they will see this racist ploy for what it is -- and be turned off by it.