This morning, Politico runs a big piece called "Race baiting hooks 2012 campaign."
The piece -- and the topic itself -- reminds me of a line in Ann Romney's speech
last night. She said this:
And let's be honest. If the last four years had been more successful, do we really think there would be this attack on Mitt Romney's success?
Here's the corollary: And let's be honest. If the last four years had been more successful, do we really think there would be this focus on race?
Of course not. There is no upside for the GOP in invoking race. The backlash is much bigger than any potential upside . . . after all, anyone who is going to vote against Obama for racial reasons alone already did so in 2008, and will do so again. Does anyone think that the GOP is trying to bring former Obama voters over to vote for Romney through appeals to racism? How silly. How completely irrational (aside from just being plain wrong). Obviously (thank heaven!) there are not enough bigots in America to tip the race to Republicans, given that in 2008 Obama won the largest vote share garnered by a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
In contrast, there is, of course, a two-fold upside for the Democrats in making the race about race. First, it helps generate turnout among a largely dispirited base (dispirited because of the President's failures!). Second, it's another distraction from a substantive discussion of the President's manifold failures and broken promises.
Ironically, every time an Obama supporter plays the race card, it only reminds everyone of just how completely the implicit promise of a post-racial America -- a big part of Obama's 2008 appeal -- has been broken over the course of his term. We're hearing more about racism in 2012 than we did four years ago . . . before we knew that Americans would happily vote for an African-American candidate.
So when the MSM starts trying to talk about race, let's identify it for the false issue and distraction that it really is. It's just one more way to try to distract voters and intimidate those opposed to the President from pointing out what an abject failure his term in office has been.