HOW DO YOU SAY "FLOP" IN SPANISH?
Seriously? The Republicans are looking at intraparty chaos and bad poll numbers and are so desperate to change the subject that they're going to pretend to be offended by an unambiguously non-racist tweet from Jim Messina, a top Obama campaign official -- and we're going to take their utterly fake outrage seriously?
Here's the story, if you don't know it: Dana Milbank published a column in The Washington Post titled "Does the GOP Care About Latino Voters?" The column is about the decision by Republican senators to delay for months the approval of a Cuban-American judge's appointment to the federal bench, which Milbank sees (correctly) as emblematic of the GOP's self-sabotaging hostility to Latin-Americans. Milbank concludes with an observation about the GOP's dawdling and fumfering while debating the appointment:
Some [senators] spoke about transportation. Others spoke about the budget. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) spoke about the wonders of his state. "The lettuce in your salad this month almost certainly came from Arizona," McCain said. "It's also believed that the chimichanga has its origin in Arizona."
The chimichanga? It may be the only thing Republicans have left to offer Latinos.
And then, after the column appeared:
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina dubbed the last sentence the "line of the day" on Twitter.
That caused Republicans and conservatives to slam Messina on Twitter. Some even called the comment racist.
Do I have to explain this? How the hell is it racist to quote a line pointing out racist contempt?
No Republican actually thinks this was a racist tweet. The Republicans merely believe they can pretend to be offended and we'll take their fauxtrage seriously.
In the past, I've called this "truth creep": You talk about something in a way that seems accurate, and that's close to accurate, but that differs just enough that you've completely and uttered distorted the meaning -- and then you hope that everyone runs with your phony version of the truth.
In basketball, what the Republicans are doing is a common tactic: if an opposing player lightly touches you, or even brushes close by you, you fall to the ground in n Oscar-worthy show of having been brutalized, and hope you manage to get a foul called on your opponent. This is known as a "flop."
That's exactly what the GOP's phony outrage should be called.