As NewsBusters reported Saturday, Politico has officially cut ties with White House correspondent Joe Williams for saying presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is more comfortable around "white folks."
Throwing caution to the wind, Salon editor at large Joan Walsh on Thursday doubled-down on these caustic comments writing, "It’s almost certainly a fact that Mitt Romney is more comfortable around white people":
But it is just a fact that Republicans today are disproportionately white and older than the rest of the country. It’s almost certainly a fact that Mitt Romney is more comfortable around white people (unless he leads a secret multi-culti life that we don’t know about). Look at his crowds. Look at his friends. Look at his advisors. Look at that video where he sings “Who Let The Dogs Out?” with black people on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Jacksonville, Fla.
What precipitated these comments from Walsh was her desire to defend herself from a NewsBusters article reporting racist remarks she made on Monday subsequently linked by the Drudge Report Wednesday:
I spent part of my Fourth of July with Matt Drudge fans, after Drudge linked to a silly Newsbusters piece taking umbrage at my interview with PBS’s Tavis Smiley on Monday. (Here’s the whole thing.) Umbrage-addicted Noel Sheppard found fault with most of what I said, but he and his readers were most outraged when I told Smiley that Republicans have “an older white base that doesn’t quite understand how healthcare works.” Also big on Drudge Wednesday: Chris Rock Tweeting “Happy white peoples independence day, the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks.”
Talk about the pot and the kettle, Walsh at this point in her career spends most of her time on MSNBC taking umbrage with every conservative on the planet.
If there were a methadone treatment for umbrage-addiction, Walsh's recommended dosage would 100 time mine.
But I digress:
In the context of my interview with Smiley, it’s clear I’m taking about healthcare reform, or Obamacare. I could have been clearer about that. Either way, the statement is factually true. On the “older white base” part: Only 64 percent of Americans today are non-Hispanic whites, but 89 percent of voters who identified themselves as Republicans in 2009 Gallup polls were non-Hispanic whites. In 2012, more than 90 percent of GOP primary voters were white, and voters over 50 comprised a majority of the electorate in every single exit poll conducted, according to National Journal. In the 2010 congressional midterms, 63 percent of whites over 50 voted Republican.
Yes, but that's only part of the equation. In 2008, 58 percent of whites 65 and over voted for McCain versus 40 percent that voted for Obama. This wasn't that much different than the total white population which went 55-43.
In 2010, 60 percent of whites voted for Republican House members. There was no "Vote by Race and Age" category in those exit polls, but 59 percent of those 65 and over voted Republican.
As such, in the previous two elections, there wasn't a huge difference between how whites and older whites voted.
But the reality is that ageism isn't the issue. It's that Walsh accused any segment of one race of not understanding how something works.
She tried to defend herself thusly:
On “they don’t quite understand healthcare [reform]” – well, that almost goes without saying, because to be honest, almost nobody entirely understands it. It is complicated, I’ll concede that. But that’s a dodge I don’t need to use. The Tea Party’s failure to understand the healthcare system, and not merely Obamacare, is immortalized in its members’ many demands to “keep government out of my Medicare” — reported not only by President Obama but by conservative Republican Bob Inglis.
I would agree that "almost nobody entirely understands" healthcare, but that's not what she said. She specifically accused older whites of not understanding it.
As for the Tea Party sign regarding keeping government out of Medicare, that point was specific to the section in ObamaCare that takes money from Medicare to fund it.
Many seniors on both sides of the aisle were displeased by this thereby making this Tea Party claim by Walsh a red herring that so many of her ilk like to resort to.
But here was the real laugher: "We are living in a moment when right-wing extremists are casting any critical observation about white people as racism — and the mainstream media, already tongue-tied about race, has no idea how to respond."
This from a woman who casts any critical observation about Obama as racist. One example among many was when she accused Newt Gingrich of racism for calling Obama "the most successful food stamp president in American history,"
She also agreed in November 2010 that conservative criticism of Obama's trip to India had racist overtones.
The fact is that Walsh smells racism in everything associated with this president, and has been pointing fingers at white people for months if not years:
See a trend here?
Walsh sees racism everywhere EXCEPT when she's the guilty party.
In this instance, I very much agree that citing race statistics when covering politics or the economy should not be deemed as racist.
However, when you point fingers at part of an ethnic group for not understanding something, that's a whole different story?
Being white and old doesn't make people stupid, and saying it does is racist no matter how you try to defend it.
It is a metaphysical certitude Walsh and her ilk would be shouting racism from the rooftops if a conservative commentator said there is "an older black base that doesn’t quite understand how healthcare works."
As that most certainly would have started a liberal firestorm, it should be equally offensive when the word "white" is substituted for "black."
Anyone disagreeing with that must be, well, racist.