The past week has been particularly tough for Mitt Romney. It seems every step of the way, he has found another pothole to trip over. His statements about bin Laden, his faux pizza delivery, caving to the hard right and firing his gay spokesperson – none of these paints the picture of a guy who can win the Presidency.
And Republicans see this. It’s why they’ve never liked Romney to begin with. But, they’re stuck with him, so now they’re getting desperate, looking for something, anything they can use to try to put a negative spin on the President.
The latest act of desperation? Trying to connect the Obama campaign’s use of the word “Forward” to Marxists and Nazis. Really.
That’s how ridiculous this whole thing has gotten. We can’t use common every day words, because they might have some sinister, nefarious meaning. Never mind that the Wisconsin state motto is “Forward” – the state must have been founded by those evil Marxists, right? And that bastion of Marxism, George W. Bush when he proposed “the way forward” in Iraq in 2006.
This is how ridiculous the conversation is getting. Anything is a “dog whistle” or has some dark, evil purpose. But I think there’s a very valid reason why the Republicans and the right think that way – it’s how they operate. It’s part of their make-up. While the average American thinks of words like “forward” as simply statements of direction of movement, the folks on the right have to find another meaning. It’s because when they use words like “Patriot”, they don’t mean someone who loves their country and fights for it. They mean someone who thinks just like them. When they say “food stamp President”, what they mean is “lazy, dark-skinned thief stealing my money”. Of late, they’ve been even less transparent, calling the President a “tar baby” and “boy”. There’s no shortage of phrases and messages that the right uses to get their base fired up. They are always looking for that “secret” meaning because they’re always including a secret meaning.
And because of that, they will always look for messages that don’t exist. Messages that no ordinary American will ever see. And of course, when we point that out, the argument is that we “just don’t understand”, or we’re blind, or don’t love our country.
You want to raise the level of discourse in this country? Try saying what you mean, and not looking for or using those “dog whistles”. Chances of that happening? Next to zero. And as we get closer to the election, and as Romney continues to bury himself in his own inanity, watch for the desperate to become even more ridiculous.