For the left, signs abound that Republicans are closeted misogynists and racists
My poor father. Beavers have taken over, stinking up his yard with fetid water, downing trees and threatening to ravage his property with the unflinching avarice of an advancing army.
Like the notorious “Caddyshack” gopher, the beavers have driven an otherwise rational man to irrational behavior. For example, Dad has developed a weird theory about the beavers using their lodges to signal a mother ship above. That’s right, the beavers are aliens.
I think he’s only partly serious. But you and I would most likely call this hypothesis a conspiracy theory, and dismiss it out of hand as the hallucination of a man at the end of his rope.
But when bizarre conspiracy theories pop up in campaign politics, we’re suddenly all a lot less skeptical.
Take, for instance, the assertion by many on the left that Mitt Romney is a closeted racist, making “dog whistle” comments meant to remind that President Obama is black — in case we didn’t know.
Whether it’s Romney’s comments about welfare or his response to Vice President Biden’s overtly racial “chains” comment, the theory goes that Romney is using “coded” language to rally his base.
Why? Because all Republicans are racists, and they will respond well to this.
In The American Prospect, the acrobatics Patrick Caldwell performs to make this point are truly astounding. He excuses Biden’s "chains” remark as “an unfortunate slip of the tongue” that “accidentally” evoked slavery. Romney’s response? “Outrage” that “flows naturally from Romney’s string of dog whistles."
There is glaring double standard at work here. When a Democrat makes a racist comment, it’s a gaffe. When a Republican even hints at race, it’s a dog whistle.
But if the conservative base is so inherently and wholly racist, then why the need for code? Romney is trying to win an election. If he knew that being a racist was going to get him the votes he needs, wouldn’t you think he’d forgo the dog whistle for something a little less subtle?
The newest conspiracy theory is that Senate candidate Todd Akin’s bizarre statements about rape and abortion are the generally held consensus of the majority of conservatives everywhere.
Never mind, of course, that conservatives everywhere denounced Akin’s claims within hours of him making them. Everyone from Mitt Romney to Paul Ryan (who, yes, did once sponsor legislation with Akin) to Karl Rove to the National Republican Senatorial Committee to Sean Hannity to the National Review have condemned the remarks or called for Akin’s ouster.