Geez, these people are vile.
It wasn’t until just this morning, actually, as I was listening to Thom Hartmann interview his right-wing guest Brad O'Leary, the author of The Audacity of Deceit, that it hit me. O’Leary was regurgitating the bizarre "redistribution of wealth" trope that the McCain campaign, in its death throes, has latched onto.
It hit me like a thunderbolt when I realized what audience this otherwise inexplicably incongruous line of attack was intended to reach.
O'Leary kept pounding the point that, according to those bastions of impartiality the Wall Street Journal and Investor’s Business Daily, Obama’s tax plan would permanently take 44% of Americans off the tax rolls. (Never mind that, according to Hartmann, that number today stands at 40%.)
O'Leary sounded positively apoplectic about the possibility that some Americans would pay taxes while other Americans would not - never mind the fact that it's been the case for as long as there have been income taxes. (And never mind the payroll tax, or the fact that, unless I am greatly mistaken, most jurisdictions in the country impose some kind of tax, so almost no one ever gets away with paying nothing in taxes. However, let us not get sidetracked with too many facts - we are talking about Republicans here, after all.)
But as I listened to O'Leary's increasingly strident entreaties, it suddenly dawned on me that what he was saying - the message that the McCain campaign is pushing so hard with its mantra of "socialism" in these final retreat-to-the-bunker days of a doomed campaign - was that SCARY BROWN PEOPLE ARE GOING TO TAKE YOUR MONEY!!.
Well, duhhh: it's all about the racism. [smacks forehead]
During the 1980 presidential campaign, the campaign that set the tone for every future national Republican campaign, Ronald Reagan famously and repeatedly lied about "welfare queens" driving Cadillacs. Reagan’s choice of language was not accidental; on the contrary, it was specifically designed to appeal to racist white Dixiecrats. Much of Reagan’s campaign was about thinly-veiled racism. In fact, the very first speech he gave after his nomination was made in Philadelphia, Mississippi, site of the murder of four civil rights workers 16 years earlier. In that speech, Reagan explicitly said, "I believe in states’ rights" – "states’ rights," of course, being code for "segregation."
Reagan’s speech was intended to serve as a wink and a nod in the direction of the James Earl Ray-worshiping troglodytes who formed the base - that is to say, the lowest part - of the Republican Party. Dog-whistle politics as a fundamental Republican strategy was out in force, and that genie has never been put back in the bottle.
So it is today with the Republican talking point of "redistribution of wealth." This is not about "socialism" – a word that even by modern, bizarre, reality-denying Republican standards doesn't make a lick of sense, although it might have 50 years ago.
(Of course, we all know this isn't about "redistribution of wealth" in any event; after all, all taxation is about redistribution of wealth. And hey, guess what, all you Ayn-Rand-teat-sucking laissez-faire-except-when-you’re-not free-market-when-it-benefits-you selfish Republican douchebags: So is capitalism.)
No, what the "redistribution of wealth" meme is, is code for "Scary Brown People Will Take YOUR Money!"
It ‘s the "welfare queens" of the 2008 presidential campaign.
And, fittingly, it is yet another sure sign that as they feel the icy waters lapping around their ankles, the few Republicans remaining on the RMS (Republicans’ Massive Shitpile) Titanic are clutching at every bit of flotsam and jetsam they can get their hands on in a last desperate attempt to remain politically viable and relevant before their party in its current execrable iteration slips forever into the dark, cold abyss of political oblivion.
Fitting, because the miserable social experiment known as "rich people welfare" (sometimes referred to as the modern Republican Party) should have as its bookends two patent, deplorable attempts to use race to divide and conquer the bottom 99% of the American electorate.
H/t to RKA, who I see astutely pointed this out a week-and-a-half ago.