Thursday, July 07, 2016


Hey, did you hear that dog whistle? Ed Kilgore did -- and it came not from Donald Trump, but from Eric Fehrnstrom, who was the communications director for the 2012 Mitt Romney campaign:
... as Republicans from coast to coast searched for ways to keep the Clinton "email scandal" alive and still getting ink after the FBI recommended no criminal charges, it was Fehrnstrom who immediately found the Willie Horton angle in the lede to an op-ed in the Boston Globe:
Hillary Clinton is the new O.J. Simpson. She may have gotten off, but everyone knows what she did was wrong.
"Hillary Clinton is the new O.J. Simpson"? That's nasty -- yet it would probably be effective if repeated, as Kilgore notes:
The troubling thing is that you can easily imagine the "Hillary is the new O.J." meme slithering into an attack ad this fall. It's not like Republicans have all that many black votes to lose, right?
I can easily imagine it slithering into a Trump speech, too.

But notice that Trump had nothing to do with it -- in fact, it came from a former top aide to a man now widely praised as a principled opponent of the GOP's nasty presumptive nominee. Mitt, to a lot of people, exemplifies the good Republican Party, the one that was high-minded and responsible until it was trashed by that awful Trump.

That's nonsense. As Kilgore notes,
Every presidential cycle Republicans almost invariably come up with an attack line on the Democratic nominee that not-so-subtly brings back the spirit of the famous Willie Horton ad of 1988: issues and images that conjure up racial fears and prejudices. For Mitt Romney in 2012, it was a heavy-handed and highly mendacious attack on Barack Obama for "gutting" welfare reform.
We've had the Jesse Helms "Hands" ad. We've had the panic over the New Black Panthers. We've had the "voter fraud" scare. And on and on.

Donald Trump didn't invent Republican racism, and Republican racism won't go away when he's gone, no matter what mainstream pundits try to tell you.


Victor said...

So, 'Hillary is the new OJ Simpson...'

This from a party of inept 'Joe Subaro's,' whose candidate makes PT Barnum wish he'd run for POTUS, since as far as ripping people off, he was a mere piker compared to Hair Douche!

Parallax said...

Republicans have been playing the race card in its subtle form since at least 1968. Trump is different only in that he comes right out and says what others imply. The key is firing up your racist constituents without losing credibility with mainstream voters. The press doesn't call it out so they get away with it year after year. The only thing that can change it is shifting demographics. Would happen a heck of a lot faster if Democrats bothered to vote in mid-terms.

Yastreblyansky said...

Don't forget this classic from 1964.

jsrtheta said...

@Victor: Joe Subaro? WTF?

jsrtheta said...

The New Black Panthers really should be paying the Republicans, since no one knew they existed (or cared) until the GOP went nuts about them.

Then again, all those forgotten commies owe them, too, since Republicans see them everywhere, while the rest of the world thought they went the way of the dodo.

Nefer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BKT said...

@Jeff Ryan

I think Victor means "Joe Isuzu," a serial-lying character from an Isuzu marketing campaign back in the 1980s and '90s.

jsrtheta said...

@BKT: That's my guess. And I remember "Joe" well. Pretty good ads, actually, but not good enough to save Isuzu's auto line in the U.S.