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This is what John Sununu, a top surrogate for Mitt Romney's campaign for re-election, and a frequent source of racially-incensed rhetorical conflagration, had to say to Piers Morgan on CNN moments ago regarding staunchly Republican General Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama this morning:

"You have to wonder if that's an endorsement based on issues or whether he's got a...different reason for endorsing Obama."
Here's the Morgan tweet:

These are the people Romney rolls with and refuses to disavow.  Like Mourdock, who, as justification for not wanting women to have the right to choose an abortion, said that children conceived through rape are part of god's plan.  When David Frum wrote today, Don't Let the GOP Become the Party of Rape, all I could think of was, "If you have to ask that, then it is too late."  They own that now.  As for the GOP being the party of racism?   That ship left the yard long ago.  Ain't that right, Toure?

I have no further comment.


For the record, I personally don't find this as maddening as the Tagg "swing at Obama" controversy, in part because, for better or worse, we've come to expect to hear these sorts of outrageous things from Romney's Sununu, and in part also because Obama's presidency has, as a matter of general liberal agreement, eluted the sort of acutely vocalized prejudices that used to be considered inappropriate in the public sphere.  

Nonetheless, it's worth pointing out these sorts of things when they happen on national political television coming from national political candidates, because many of us (especially on the left) are deluded into thinking that we are now a post-racial society merely because a lot of white people listen to Kanye, root for Lebron James, follow so-and-so black pundit on Twitter, and cast enthusiastic votes for a black President: that is not enough, not when only 1% of all American marriages are between a black person and a white person, and when our schools, communities, workplaces, and churches remain stubbornly segregated decades after Brown v Board of Education.

Also think for a second how a serious Republican like Colin Powell might feel to be stripped of his personal judgment and intellectual autonomy—to have his decisions deconstructed as mindless referenda on skin color.  Powell might not care (a black man does not achieve Powell's stature, particularly in the GOP, without thickened skin from having faced much worse) but it's still pertinent that his race is made salient—by whites—within a context that should not be assumed to be racially motivated. That's not a fair burden to place on anybody.

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