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September 14, 2012 5:39 PM How Could Anyone Possibly Suspect Racism?

By Ed Kilgore

Among the many fine examples of Christ-like oratory we are hearing today as the Values Voter Summit picks up speed, this bit (reported by TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro) from Gary Bauer, whose rhetoric always brings to mind the sweet loving nature of Jesus, really gets me:

“There’s a lot of people out now around America who depend on checks from their fellow taxpayers being in the mailbox every day,” Bauer said. “They will turn out in massive numbers, but so will the entrepreneurs, the small businessmen and women, the military families, the soldiers in harms way, the millions of Americans that want to hope again….”
“My prediction is after all the votes are counted — even the dead votes of Democrats in Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland — I predict that we will win, that this nightmare will be over and America will finally be on the road to recovery,” Bauer said.

“Depend on checks being in the mailbox everyday…the dead votes of Democrats in Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland.” Who do you think he’s talking about? Social Security beneficiaries? Croatian-Americans?

I swear, anyone who listens to this kind of talk, which we’ve hearing for so many years, and then can righteously deny the GOP is appealing to racial stereotypes, is really just hopeless.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • delNorte on September 14, 2012 6:00 PM:

    I will hold these Values Voter Summit folks to a Biblical standard, since that's the standard they profess, and judge them by their fruit ("Therefore by their fruits you shall know them"):

    From talk like this it's pretty clear what their values are, and "Christian" they are not.

  • c u n d gulag on September 14, 2012 6:01 PM:

    Ed,
    Some may be, but most aren't, hopeless - they're "beards" hired to provide cover.

  • matt on September 14, 2012 6:08 PM:

    Military families depend on checks from their fellow taxpayer being in their mailbox.

  • meander on September 14, 2012 6:09 PM:

    I know exactly what dog whistle he was blowing, but let's take a look at his actual words and treat them literally. He said, “They ["people out now around America who depend on checks from their fellow taxpayers"] will turn out in massive numbers, but so will the entrepreneurs, the small businessmen and women, the military families, the soldiers in harms way, the millions of Americans that want to hope again….”

    Entrepreneurs and small businessmen: many dependent on checks from local, state and federal government to stay in business (defense, road construction, airport maintenance, and on and on).

    Military families: their salaries are checks from the government

    Soldiers: ditto

    And then there is everyone who depends on (indirect) checks to make ends meet via mortgage interest tax deduction, Medicare, Medicaid, and etc.

  • TCinLA on September 14, 2012 6:33 PM:

    Looks like they moved the Party Rally from Nuremburg this year.

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Upton Sinclair, 1932

  • g on September 14, 2012 6:50 PM:

    Let's see..in 2008 66,882,230 people voted for Obama.

    They're all "dependent on government checks?"

  • AndThenThere'sThat on September 14, 2012 6:55 PM:

    I predict that we will win, that this nightmare will be over and America will finally be on the road to recovery....


    Scratching my head on that one. Kinda sounds like he's suggesting welfare recipients were responsible for tanking the U.S. economy in the first place. Then, if we could all just pretty please vote in Saint Ryan to cancel kitchen scraps to poor kids, Jesus will once more smile down on us. Whatever, dude. All I know is Jesus wouldn't be protecting pedophiles nor the rich and powerful, and he sure as hell wouldn't be eager to spend 25% of a nation's GDP on a global military empire protecting oil interests.


  • AndThenThere'sThat on September 14, 2012 6:57 PM:

    that should be 25% of a nation's fiscal budget, not GDP.

  • Equal Opportunity Cynic on September 14, 2012 7:04 PM:

    In their very strict definition, it's not racism because it's not specifically premised on the skin color of the individual. It's like saying, "Obama's gonna give your money to those hip-hop-listening, inner city-dwelling welfare queens." Everyone knows the stereotype, but because there are surely Caucasian welfare recipients who live in the inner city and listen to hip hop, we're supposed to pretend it's not racist.

    The problem for us is, this shunts the debate into an interesting but ultimately tangential attempt to define racism. If they're tricking the working class into voting against their own self-interest by appealing to stereotypes, it's irrelevant whether most of the stereotype could apply regardless of race.

    The best approach is to tackle all those stereotypes by showing all the hard-working individuals, of all different racial and ethnic groups, who won't be able to make ends meet under Republican maladministration. Forget about the 5% who really are racist in the strictest sense and start driving home the point that we're all in this together and all getting screwed together if the Republicans win.

  • RalfW on September 14, 2012 7:07 PM:

    I found 10 year old data so the numbers are probably even higher now, but a decade ago the US military was 20% black and 8% Latino, and recently 1/3 of women in uniform were black.

    So, lets ask Gary Bauer haw he'd like to reconcile his two paragraphs of vile utterances. Because it's pretty obvious he things men in uniform are as white as a navy captains summer dress unform, and those gettin' the checks, well, not so much so...

  • revchicoucc on September 14, 2012 7:12 PM:

    My sermon title for Sunday is "Free Speech." My Bible reading is from James 3: 1 - 12. An excerpt, verses 5 - 8: "So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. For every species of beat and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue -- a restless evil, full of deadly poison."

    Guess Gary skips that part when he reads his Bible.

    Captcha: Invtim Protestant. I am not making this up!

  • @the_dan on September 14, 2012 7:45 PM:

    and it's revchicoucc for comment of the year!

  • buddy66 on September 14, 2012 8:08 PM:

    Gosh, I thought he was talking about me and my SS retirement and VA disability checks. Oh, the shame of it all, I'm just a leech....

  • citizen_pain on September 14, 2012 9:00 PM:

    TC: That would be Sinclair Lewis, no?
    Anyway, he was right.

    I am close to reaching my boiling point with these religious extremists and fanatics on both sides imposing their hatred and violence.

    Why must we 21 century world citizens stand idly by while these fools with medieval mentalities bring us to the brink of self destruction?

  • Anonymous on September 14, 2012 9:13 PM:

    I think he may be talking about people that are dead that have a vote cast for them in their name, counting as illegal cote

  • thebewilderness on September 14, 2012 9:38 PM:

    It's either the standard welfare queen dog whistle or he is talking about those dead beat five year olds and the rest of the post born children who are destroying America.

  • mudwall jackson on September 14, 2012 10:39 PM:

    i guess those values voter folks don't have a problem with bearing false witness ... lord, have mercy on their souls (assuming they still have 'em).

  • c00p on September 14, 2012 11:09 PM:

    As long as "Christians" like Gary Bauer and Mitt Romney keep talking, the interest of younger generations in Christianity will continue to decline. And that's only appropriate--if believers who are truly devoted to Christ (and not Lord Mammon) can't defeat the hypocrites in their midst, then maybe Christianity deserves to decline.

  • c00p on September 14, 2012 11:11 PM:

    As long as "Christians" like Gary Bauer and Mitt Romney keep talking, the interest of younger generations in Christianity will continue to decline. And that's only appropriate--if believers who are truly devoted to Christ (and not Lord Mammon) can't defeat the hypocrites in their midst, then maybe Christianity deserves to decline. (PS: For what it's worth I have tried now at least half a dozen times to post this comment. Can something please be done about the Captcha readability?)

  • yellowdog on September 14, 2012 11:38 PM:

    For the record, Gary Bauer has never run a small business or served in the military. He sat out Vietnam going to law school and working for the Nixon GOP--where he first practiced this kind of message-in-a-bottle. He went on to become a lobbyist for the junk-mail industry before joining the Reagan Administration. He has been a right-wing talker and influence peddler ever since.

    He has been 'in harm's way' maybe once in his life--when he was stuck on the Key Bridge and needed a latte.

  • tbee on September 14, 2012 11:52 PM:

    as an over-educated middle-aged white liberal elitist I am deeply offended to be left out of the equation.

  • MuddyLee on September 15, 2012 8:22 AM:

    As others have pointed out, a military job is a government job and defense contract money is government money. Anybody who thinks there's not a substantial amount of waste and fraud in defense spending is living under the cloud of ignorance. Also, tax deductions are not that different from government spending when you're looking at the federal budget. And if you're talking about "productive" members of society, I'd like to know where you would rank Gary Bauer - he certainly never gets anywhere when he has entered republican primaries.

  • zandru on September 15, 2012 10:47 AM:

    Actually, the "welfare recipients" are much less likely to vote than the general population, Mr. Bauer. For that matter, so are the "soldiers in harm's way."

    And, I believe that the "millions of Americans who want to hope again" will be casting their ballots for Mr Obama. Maybe Bauer was thinking of the "millions of Americans who want to hate again."

  • KarkAwark on November 12, 2012 4:01 PM: