And things are off to a rousing start at the Republican convention.
Two people were removed from the Republican National Convention Tuesday after they threw nuts at an African-American CNN camera operator and said, "This is how we feed animals."
Multiple witnesses observed the exchange and RNC security and police immediately removed the two people from the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The convention released a statement saying, "Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated."
First, this once again confirms what is becoming a pretty solid belief with me -- that a lot of people join the Republican Party because they think it gives them permission to be absolute jerks. And the reason is that it does. You just can't be so obvious about it.
Second, the covert racist nature of Republican politics and Mitt Romney's campaign is beginning to spill over into overt racist actions and statements by Republicans. And this will probably become a trend.
The racist nature of the GOP campaign was admitted to earlier this week, when a Republican strategist all but spilled the beans to Ron Brownstein of NationalJournal.
A Republican strategist said something interesting and revealing on Friday, though it largely escaped attention in the howling gusts of punditry over Mitt Romney’s birth certificate crack and a potential convention-altering hurricane. The subject was a Ron Brownstein story outlining the demographic hit rates each party requires to win in November. To squeak out a majority, Mitt Romney probably needs to win at least 61 percent of the white vote — a figure exceeding what George H.W. Bush commanded over Michael Dukakis in 1988. The Republican strategist told Brownstein, “This is the last time anyone will try to do this” — “this” being a near total reliance on white votes to win a presidential election.
Chait writes that Romney's and the Republicans' messaging is aimed squarely at older white voters. "You'll be safe from our assault on America's social safety net," they tell white seniors. "The Ryan plan doesn't touch anyone over 55. We're going after welfare and Medicaid -- their assistance. Your assistance is safe in our hands."
According to Chait, Republicans "promise to hold their disproportionately old, white base harmless and impose the entire brunt of their ambitious downsizing of government on young, poor, and disproportionately nonwhite Democratic constituencies."
Of course, these are the tactics of the rational -- if immoral -- players in this campaign. The irrational players are the base, the chumps, the morons who throw peanuts at black people. And they're a problem for the GOP, because they're also ideologues.
Ideologues don't modulate. They believe they're absolutely, 100% correct. They believe their own lies and tell them freely. And when those lies are insulting, then they do what Chris Christie did last night -- they call them "hard truths." The peanut throwers seem to think that someone needs to put these black people -- who are all on welfare and who all steal tax money from white people -- in their place. As they were walked out of the hall by security for being too obvious, they probably grinned like the heroes they no doubt believe they are.
Of course, that's the problem for the Republicans and Romney. It's hard to get the shameless to be cautious. The dopes keep opening their mouths and letting all the stupid leak out.
This was what killed the last GOP campaign, the inability of the Republican base to not say what's on their mind. McCain/Palin rallies turned into lynch mobs, as the hatred and panic the candidates and the party had stoked got away from them.
That failed strategy seems to be the same one Romney's running now (currently without the "pals around with terrorists" BS, but the campaign is still relatively young). Except this time will have to be worse. In order for it to work, they've really got to peg the needle. McCain won 55% of the white vote, but it wasn't enough. Before him, Bush won 58% and it was barely enough. Romney needs 61% of the white vote for the same strategy to work, so Republicans are leaving no stone unturned in making this "white people vs. the world."
Expect more of the lynch mob campaign rallies -- only this time expect the racism to be much, much more overt.