You might think it would be more offensive for Mitt Romney to skip the NAACP convention entirely than to show up and give a respectful speech as he did yesterday — but you’d be wrong. (Well, actually you’d be half-right: the left probably would have accused Romney of racism either way.)
According to MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, Romney outed himself as a race-baiter just by showing up at the NAACP. As this theory goes, Romney apparently knew that getting booed would send a subtle signal to racists that he was on their side (via Washington Examiner):
Speaking to TheGrio.com’s Goldie Taylor, O’Donnell said, “Tell me, Goldie, if I’m being too cynical, to think that the Romney campaign actually went in that room today with the hope of getting booed, at least three times, because they want the video of their candidate being booed by the NAACP to play in certain racist precincts where that will actually help them.”
Taylor agreed with O’Donnell’s assessment, adding Romney appeared “paternalistic” and criticized him for using a “derisive word” like “ObamaCare” to describe the President’s Affordable Health Care act.
Okay, but why would Romney even need to send some sort of clandestine signal to these “racist precincts” O’Donnell mentions? I assume that many of the people in these “racist precincts” possess eyes, and have already caught on to the fact that Obama is African-American and Romney is white. For racists, that choice would probably be self-explanatory. No need for any secret dog whistle there.
TPM has the videos of Mitt Romney getting booed (multiple times!) during his speech to the NAACP today. The Fix speculates that Romney’s “combative tone” did him in with the crowd:
By contrast, Romney criticized Obama for running a negative campaign, said the president could not bring economic recovery, and said he would eliminate “non-essential, expensive” programs like “Obamacare.”
His only reference to the historic nature of Obama’s win was to say that “if someone had told us in the 1950s or 1960s that a black citizen would serve as the forty-fourth president, we would have been proud and many would have been surprised.”
When the crowd started to boo, the candidate shot back combatively, ‘‘If you want a president who will make things better in the African-American community, you are looking at him. You take a look.”
Romney was booed for two things: promising to eliminate Obamacare and promising that his policies would make things better in the black community. He probably didn’t go into this speech expecting to win over the left-leaning NAACP, and the response didn’t seem to catch him off guard. Obamacare is unpopular with the majority of Americans, and the headlines on tonight’s news will now note that Romney promised to repeal it — the fact that he was booed for doing so doesn’t make a difference there.
The NAACP also didn’t do itself any favors by booing Romney’s earnest and unobjectionable promise to “make things better in the African American community.”
Allen West’s comments about Communists in Congress were needlessly provocative, but in the scheme of things he doesn’t deserve as much grief for them as he’s been getting. Plenty of politicians have said worse, but West has become a magnet for criticism recently. The latest fallout is from the NAACP, which reportedly disinvited West from a fundraiser where he was supposed to deliver the keynote address:
Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) was supposed to be the keynote speaker at a fundraiser for his district chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) this past Saturday. But days before the event, the group canceled the gathering and asked West not to come back when they rescheduled. Why?
“There’s a certain statement he made about Communists,” Jerry Gore, president of the Martin County NAACP, told Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers. “That statement alone … we do not represent that type of atmosphere.”
The liberal war on voter integrity has now morphed from partisan hypocrisy to parody. It is bad enough for the Obama administration and its cheerleaders in the media to falsely brand the effort by various states to require citizens to present a picture ID when they go to vote as a revival of Jim Crow laws. But the NAACP has reduced that controversy to satire by asking the United Nations Human Rights Council to weigh in on the matter at an upcoming conference on minority rights in Geneva, Switzerland.
This is the same UN Council that is comprised of some of the worst human rights abusers in the world such as China, Cuba and Saudi Arabia. The idea that Americans would ask a group whose members are countries that not only restrict voting rights but lack even the façade of democratic rule to take a stand on U.S. laws is beyond absurd. It seems never to have occurred to the partisans at the NAACP that there is something humorous about regimes that deny all of their citizens any say in governance standing in judgment on an actual working democracy. The arguments arrayed against voter ID laws by the Obama administration and those seeking to create a race issue where none exists are already weak. But by involving the UN, the NAACP has exposed itself to some well-earned scorn.