But what Chris Matthews said to Priebus in his face is only the tip of the iceberg. Mitt Romney's birther comment, his unchecked lying about the president's welfare-to-work flexibility are all part of a Republican strategy for their only possible path to the White House. Mitt Romney's only possible ticket to the White House comes from a blatant, brazen racist campaign strategy, combined with racist laws to block the votes of the poor, elderly, students and minorities pursued by governors and legislatures of his party.
Mitt Romney is a dud of a candidate, his economic plans is to steal from the poor and middle class to give to the rich, and his party's social platform advocates for forcing rape victims to bear their rapists' children, and his vice presidential candidate scares the pants off of anyone who believes in community and social responsibility. Romney is losing the African American and Latino votes by catastrophic margins, while his party scares off women, students, young people. When the American demographic is vastly changing right in front of our eyes - we're getting more diverse, more conscious about community and broad-based economic opportunity, and decidedly less bigoted - what's a party that has both its feet firmly planted in the early 20th century to do? They are to do two things: disenfranchise "those" people from voting by inventing a fantom problem of "voter fraud" and press every racist, misogynist, homophobic button to bring out the bigot vote.
Lest anyone think that what has been going on in the Republican party's campaign trail lately are gaffes, I can assure you that these are no gaffes. It began with his advocacy to "let Detroit go bankrupt." Does anyone seriously think that he would have worded the headline that way if Detroit were a predominantly white town? Mitt Romney had no issues appearing with and fundraising with Donald Trump, who is second to none when it comes to birtherism, and a more presentable version of Orly Taitz with better hair.
Mitt Romney's primary challengers were seldom - if ever - challenged by Romney on their open racism. Mitt Romney paid but lip service to wean himself away from Newt Gingrich's comment that poor urban school children (you know, the black ones) be put to work scrubbing toilets while professional janitors be put out of work (because of their cardinal sin of participating in collective bargaining). Where was the frontrunner's outrage against the heated, unveiled racism? It wasn't there. Where was Mitt Romney when Rick Santorum was telling us that he didn't want to make "blaaahhh" people's lives better by giving them "other people's money?" Nowhere to be found.
Of course, it isn't a surprise that Mitt Romney would not strongly contradict that idea, given his own fiasco at and after his speech at the NAACP, in which he himself accused black people of wanting free things from the government. Speaking of which, does Mitt Romney realize that he is running to move into a house that was built by the free labor African Americans were forced to provide to the government? How is it that he isn't ashamed of himself? Oh, right. He doesn't have shame. Or empathy, for that matter.
This history, and the facts, of course, are irrelevant to Mitt Romney and to his campaign. What's important is that black people don't get to vote, as much as possible. What's important is that he can go to the conservative white social security recipient and complain that the paultry welfare check a black, bone-tired, working single mother gets to try to put food on the table for her - gasp, black - children is the root of all evil. What's important is that he gets to gin up racial resentment by proudly proclaiming that the Mexicans - I mean, "illegals" - will self-deport under a President Romney's rein. Except, I suppose, the ones that work on one more of his lawns. What's important is that he gets to boast that he would veto any attempt to give legal status to kids and young people who came here through no fault of their own, graduated high school, are serving int he military, working or going college and are Americans in every way except for one (on paper).
Because Mitt Romney cannot run on Romney Hood. He cannot run on handing over women's health care decisions to their bosses. He cannot run on the Romney-Ryan budget to end Medicare once and for all, and on ending all programs that help give people at the bottom of the economic ladder a fighting chance to help themselves. He cannot run on ending our social and generational commitment, stealing the money, and giving it away to the super rich and multimillionaires. He cannot run on his vision of a dirty energy future of America. He cannot run on destroying America's social fabric and our sense of responsibility for one another.
He cannot run on destroying America's social fabric, but he sure as hell can try to tear that fabric apart. He can run on resentment. He can run on lies. He can run by telling poor white people that poor black people and poor brown people are to blame for their lot in life. He can run by telling people that "banks aren't bad people", and presumably, it was the poor people that tanked the economy by taking out liar loans they were sold by the banks. He can run on selling the idea that these poor black and brown people don't deserve the right to vote. After all, black people are all criminals, and those Mexicans, you know where they're from! Not like Mitt Romney, who was never asked questions about where he was born.
The fact of the matter is that for the Republicans, exploiting racism is an important election strategy. But until a decade or so ago, it used to be that they simply used the racism within their base to win election with a dog whistle once in a while. But now, with the advent of the Teabaggers, the inmates are running the asylum. Now, exploiting racist emotions are not enough (both in terms of electoral strategy and in terms of toeing the Teabagging line). Now, racism and bigotry is not simply part of the GOP strategy to win elections. It is the sole Republican strategy to win elections.
And this time, the party is full of true believers in racist policies and voter suppression in positions of power in state houses all across the country. This time, racism is not simply a strategy initiated by the need to win elections. Instead, racism and bigotry has become the primary identifying traits of the Republican party. That is why now they aren't even ashamed to admit it. They aren't ashamed to admit openly that voter suppression laws are meant to give the election to Mitt Romney, or to reduce the African American and other minority vote. The Republican party no longer believes in racism as simply an electoral strategy. The national party, writ large, believes that racism is in fact right. And Mitt Romney? Is he a racist? He sure hasn't done anything to tame his party's flagrant racism, except to egg it on. His policies are no less harsh on minorities than those advocated by the conservative champion, and his running mate, Paul Ryan. Romney is that party's nominee, and he knows full well that it doesn't just provide his best chance to win the White House; he knows it's his last and only chance.