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Hullabaloo


Thursday, March 27, 2014

 
The 2014 Paul Ryan "I'm definitely not a racist, how could you even think that" right wing gasbag tour

by digby

Joan Walsh weighs in on the Paul "I don't have a racist bone in my body" Ryan sitting there like a potted plant when a famous right wing gasbag defends him by going on about "race hustlers" flap:

“She does not believe that I have these views,” he told O’Reilly. “She knows me well, and she knows that I don’t have a racist bone in my body.”

O’Reilly wasn’t satisfied: “Then why did she imply you did?”

“Well, you’ll have to ask Barbara that,” Ryan averred. The host jumped in again:

“Are you mad at her? I would be…”

“No, I’m not mad at her. I’m a big boy. I understand that if you challenge the status quo sometimes you’ll be misinterpreted…”

And that’s when O’Reilly got to the point of his segment: trashing Lee and other black leaders as “race hustlers.”
It’s intentional. With all due respect to you, because I think you’re a good man, they don’t want a conversation, they don’t want to solve the problem. These race hustlers make a big living, and they get voted into office, by portraying their constituents as victims. And it’s all your fault, and it’s my fault, it’s the rich people’s fault, and it’s the Republicans’ fault — it’s everybody’s fault except what’s going on.

And what’s going on, as you know, is the dissolution of the family, and you don’t have proper supervision of children, and they grow up with no skills, and they can’t read and speak, and they have tattoos on their neck, and they can’t compete in the marketplace, and that’s what’s going on!
That was Bill O'Reilly, a man famous for being surprised that eating a meal at Sylvia's in Harlem didn't require him to flash gang signs or witness the birth of an out-of-wedlock child in he next booth:
"It was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun," he said. "And there wasn't any kind of craziness at all."
Joan Walsh adds:
So let’s get this straight: Ryan effectively uses Lee as a human shield against charges of racism, insisting “she knows I don’t have these views” and “she knows me well” and “she knows I don’t have a racist bone in my body.” But when O’Reilly trashed Lee as a “race hustler,” Ryan can’t be bothered to say a word on her behalf. Instead of smiling and nodding, imagine if Ryan had shown a little spine: “Look, Bill, Barbara and I disagree on these issues, but she is not a ‘race hustler,’ she’s a strong public servant looking out for her constituents.”
It's more and more obvious that Paul Ryan's "I am not a racist" tour is actually an elaborate dogwhistle to the base. There's no real reason to go on Bill O'Reilly's show to talk about this if what he wants is to convince non-racists and racial minorities that he isn't hostile to them. The only reason to go on O'Reilly's show is to whine about being called a racist ... and then let O'Reilly spew his toxic bile about "race hustlers" while he sits there looking like Eddie Haskell.

Paul Ryan is making a play for the hardcore conservatives and he's doing it in the guise of "helping" the poor and the downtrodden. It's not an original ploy, but we haven't seen it in a while. The question is, why? I don't honestly know the answer, but it is a common strategy for those planning a run for the White House to work hard to secure their base before launching a national campaign. Or perhaps he just needs to brush the last of the Romney dust off his reputation. Whatever it is, he's certainly a traditionalist: Republicans have been "race hustlers" ever since the Southern Strategy was hatched. It's worked quite well for them. What's laughable about all this is the idea that his "root causes of poverty" rap is something new that's shaking up the status quo. There couldn't be a more stale and predictable pile of wingnut nonsense.

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