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July 13, 2012

Breaking: The Word "Kitchen" Is Also Racist

Romney mentioned a "kitchen cabinet" in his speech. Kitchen cabinet is a 120 year old reference to a group of close, but not necessarily formal, advisers to the president. I.e., the president has some very important advisers or Wise Men who don't hold any formal position in his administration. The actual cabinet was originally conceived (IIRC) as just that circle of Wise Men; but in fact cabinet positions were given out for other reasons, including political one, so it hasn't served that function. The "Kitchen Cabinet" does. It's the group of advisers the President actually trusts.

Anyway, this age-old term is now racist, because, you know, blacks and kitchens. Wink wink.

I really didn't get this at first. But now I think: "Ah, slaves used to work in the kitchen." They also used to work in offices, so is it racist to say the Office of the Presidency?

I expect so, in time. In time, we'll find out everything is racist. Including the words "and" and "the," as they say.

For a long time I got on True Conservatives for pushing arguments which, to my mind, demanded too much of a persuadable, independent swing voter. Arguments that expected far too large a buy-in to a philosophy they didn't really embrace at all and hence, to the extent they had any effect, would tend to drive them away, not draw them beneath the banner.

Let me just say that this Total and Utter Crap coming from Team Blue is the same type of thing. The hardest-core True Liberals are all eagerly repeating these Squawking Points.

But what of swing voters? Do swing voters agree it's an unconscionable action of racism to say the word "ObamaCare" to a Negro, or to speak of "kitchens" in racially-mixed company?

No. And in fact, I think they'll be rather repelled by the crude race-baiting on display here, combined with elements of outright racial superiority. (The Absolute Moral Authority of people who are minorities, like, say, Elizabeth Warren.)

And many will point out: But this is a base-stoking move, and must be evaluated on that level. True-- but it shouldn't be evaluated only on that level. It may stoke the nutters, but if it also alienates the non-wingnuts, it can wind up being a losing play.

Obama's racial appeal to voters is now (if it wasn't before) outright offensive and itself racist, filled with "dog whistles" for a sub-rosa campaign of Racial Identity and Racial Tribalism over all other considerations. It is a call for Racial Spoils for Racial Client Groups, no matter what the actual equities of such; My Race, Right or Wrong, in other words.

People often say independents are kind of dumb. People like you. People like... oh, me, for example.

But when I call them "dumb" I mean dumb in certain ways. Not necessarily all ways. Yes, they are more amenable to Received Liberal Pap than I'd like. Yes, they don't really seem to follow the news much at all, and so their understanding of politics is really only at the 10,000 foot level, at best.

But I don't think they're dumb people, overall. I think they're just regular people who are kind of dumb about politics for the usual reasons someone would be kind of dumb about a subject -- because they don't care about it, don't read about it, and don't think about it. The same reason I'm kind of dumb about, say, Model Railroading, or Art, or languages, or higher mathematics, or, well, lower mathematics, too.

But on a human level -- they're no dumber than anyone else, as a group. They have the same basic human factory-standard equipment of a bullshit detector, and the same human understanding of what is fair and what is out-of-bounds and what is self-servingly dishonest.

I'm watching the polls more closely than usual, at the moment, to see if this will be the tipping point I've long predicted. I think the formulation "It's racist to run against Barack Obama" is a possible point-tipper. I don't know it's a point-tipper; I just think it's one of those things that could cause a mass of people to finally say Enough.

And I do think they hear of things like this. Political back-and-forths where you need to know a lot of previous backstory and charges and counter-charges.. that stuff, I don't think they hear about, or care about. But simple stuff like this, where you can deliver the Hollywood ten-second elevator pitch -- "Romney gave his standard stump speech at the NAACP, and they booed him, and now they're claiming it was racist to even speak his opinions there" -- this stuff I do think they hear about, and understand, and care about.

Because it's not just about politics. It's about something more tangible, something everyone's interested in -- human-level ideas of fairness and straight-up demagoguery.

People don't like being lied to. Or, let me add some nuance: People love being lied to, so long as they don't understand they're being lied to.

But when it's obvious they're being lied to, in an especially crude and insultingly-obvious manner -- that, they don't like.

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posted by Ace at 08:08 AM

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