Sarah Palin's call for impeachment isn't about Obama's race; it's about yours

Few things can be as infuriating for progressives as Sarah Palin's rants against this president. The quitter from Twitter has now penned a column in the ultra Right wing publication Breitbart calling for President Obama to be impeached for being president while black. But her screed is, at once, the right's grudging concession in the culture war and an indictment of modern America.

Besides for the correct spelling and grammar - thanks, I am sure, in entirety to Breitbart's editors - there is not much to be surprised in Palin's screed. But it does, just in time for the 2014 midterms, introduce to voters a stark reminder of the stunningly bigoted nature of the Republican base.

Palin does her best to try to hide her dog whistle behind blaming President Obama for the humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied children from central American countries fleeing their home countries' gang violence and coming over the border, but she's no more successful at this than she was with her 2008 comment on the campaign trail that Barack Obama "pals around" with terrorists.

While Palin is, on the surface, attacking the President, her deep disdain for immigrants - including children - pours out from the very first paragraph.

Because of Obama’s purposeful dereliction of duty an untold number of illegal immigrants will kick off their shoes and come on in, competing against Americans for our jobs and limited public services. 

Let me, if I may, paint a picture of these migrants "kicking off their shoes":

Migrant children sleep at a processing center. Credit: Eric Gay/The Associated Press/Dallas News.

Migrant children sleep at a processing center. Credit: Eric Gay/The Associated Press/Dallas News.

And how about them jobs the brown people are taking from... you know... "real" Americans? Surely, Americans clamored for the most back-breaking farm work in 2010, at the height of unemployment hovering around 10%, when given the chance?

With U.S. unemployment near 10 percent, many believe illegal immigrants are taking jobs from Americans. But when the United Farm Workers union launched a campaign offering to connect unemployed people to farm jobs, only three people accepted -- out of thousands of inquiries. 
Union president Arturo Rodriguez says most balked at the difficult working conditions.

No objective investigation of the facts holds up Palin's allegation that migrant workers are taking jobs that Americans would otherwise perform.

The discussion about the particulars of immigration - documented and undocumented - would merit more space if Palin's goal was anything other than to use immigration as an anchor issue to inflame her and her party's racist anger at the fact that the face of America is literally changing. To her credit, Palin gets to that point quickly.

Many now feel like strangers in their own land. It’s the American worker who is forced to deal with Obama’s latest crisis with our hard-earned tax dollars while middle class wages decrease, sustainable jobs get more scarce, and communities become unrecognizable and bankrupted due to Obama’s flood of illegal immigration.

So much racism, so much xenophobia, so little time. The code is so direct and so palpable that she may as well have been standing at a podium and yelling about 'wetbacks.'

The headline story of Palin's latest rant may be that she is jumping on the Teabagger bandwagon calling for the president's impeachment, but in reality, her screed is about much more than impeachment. It is about expressing deep-seated racism not simply against President Obama but the new American coalition that has elected this president in two landslide elections.

Barack Obama's rise to power has always represented something more than simply an ideological loss for the base of the Republican party. They have always viewed it as the beginning of the end of white-dominant America. Barack Obama's rise to power - despite losing the white vote by a 60-40 margin twice has signaled to the racist right a fundamental shift in the makeup of America: not simply ideologically but ethnically and culturally.

Beneath all the false rhetoric about debt, deficit, government control and everything else, there has always been one, and only one, reason for the existence of the Tea Party: race. What has often been lost, however, is that it is not simply Barack Obama's race that has driven the Tea Party nuts (although it certainly has), it's the ethnic makeup of the diverse coalition Obama was able to build twice to decimate the two great white horses (essentially literally) that the Republican party put up against him.

Barack Obama's crime, in the eyes of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party is not simply being president while black. His larger crime is how he became president while black. In that process, he not only proved that America could and would elect and re-elect a non-white president, but also that the political power of the white racist movement had been greatly diminished. And when a coalition of black, white, brown and yellow can elect a president, the white supremacists have lost their quest for cultural superiority.

It is that loss of the culture war that has driven the Republican base from all sanity and into the arms of radicals like Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin's call for impeachment, then, isn't simply about Obama's race. It's about yours - or more specifically, the new, emerging America.



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