Thumper the Rabbit's parents always taught him, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all." If the left's self-appointed Omniscient Diviners of True Meaning have their way, conservatives in the public square won't be left with anything at all to say. Ever.
It's a treacherous business exercising your freedom of speech in the age of Obama. As a public service, I present to you: "The 2012 Condensed Liberal Handbook of Racial Code Words." Decoder rings, activate!
--Angry. On the campaign trail this summer, President Obama has become -- in the words of the mainstream Associated Press -- more "aggressive." But don't you dare call him "angry." According to MSNBC host Toure, that's racist!
"You notice he said 'anger' twice," Toure fumed in response to a speech last week by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. "He's really trying to use racial coding and access some really deep stereotypes about the angry black man." Or maybe Romney is just accurately describing the singular temperament of the growling, finger-jabbing, failure-plagued demagogue-in-chief. It's about the past four years, not 400 years. Sheesh.
--Chicago. The Obamas and their core team of astroturfers, pay-for-play schemers and powerbrokers hail from the Windy City. This is a simple geographic fact. But in progressive of pallor Chris Matthews' world, it's an insidious dog whistle. The frothing cable TV host attacked Republicans this week who have the gall to remind voters of the ruthless Chicago way.
"(T)hey keep saying Chicago, by the way. Have you noticed?" Matthews sputtered. "That sends that message: This guy's helping the poor people in the bad neighborhoods and screwing us in the 'burbs."
Actually, it's a pointed reminder that the radical redistribution politics of Chicago-on-the-Potomac have done little to alleviate the suffering of impoverished Americans in violence-plagued, job-hungry inner cities everywhere. Racist!
--Constitution. Fox News contributor Juan Williams, who proudly calls himself a "real reporter," has apparently added real telepathist to his curriculum vitae. Earlier this year, he read the minds of Republicans and conservatives whom he accuses of deep-seated bigotry when they show any public reverence for our founding principles, documents and leaders.
"The language of GOP racial politics is heavy on euphemisms that allow the speaker to deny any responsibility for the racial content of his message," Williams wrote. "References to a lack of respect for the 'Founding Fathers' and the 'Constitution' also make certain ears perk up by demonizing anyone supposedly threatening core 'old-fashioned American values.'"
So, if you ever find yourself wanting to hum the "Schoolhouse Rock" version of the Preamble, heed these three words: Stop the hate!
--Experienced. A significant population of American voters believes that qualifications actually matter when running for the highest office in the land. Chilling, isn't it? They might as well sport KKK hoods. In the judgment of one Basil Smikle of The Century Foundation, "experienced" is a dreaded "racial code word."
Intoned Smikle: "Experienced? Does it really mean the time that he spent in the Senate, or does it mean, 'Well, does that guy have the same kind of experience in life that I have?' ... What does inexperience really mean?"
Maybe it just means what critics meant it to mean: "Does this guy have experience beyond the measly 304 days he served when the U.S. Senate was in session before he announced his first presidential bid?" I know: Racist!
--Food Stamp President. At the dawn of the modern federal food stamp program, one in 50 Americans was enrolled. This year, one in seven Americans is on the food stamp rolls. The majority of them are white. Obama's loosening of eligibility requirements combined with the stagnant economy fueled the rise in dependency. "Food stamp president" is pithy shorthand for the very real entitlement explosion.
Democrats fumed when former GOP candidate Newt Gingrich bestowed the title on Obama and decried its purportedly racist implications. But who are the racists? As Gingrich scolded the aforementioned race troll Chris Matthews last week: "Why do you assume food stamp refers to blacks? What kind of racist thinking do you have? You're being a racist because you assume they're black!" Time to find a new code word.
--Golf. This one's a gobsmacker. Beltway barnacle Lawrence O'Donnell appeared on cable TV to decry Republicans who mention Obama's frequent golf outings. He singled out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's convention speech Wednesday night, which joked that Obama "was working to earn a spot on the PGA tour." The warped racial radar of pasty Lawrence O interpreted this golf joke as "Obama equals Tiger Woods equals RACISM."
Huh? "These people reach for every single possible racial double entendre they can find in every one of these speeches." O'Donnell expertly explained. "Things are getting lower and lower by the day," host Martin Bashir agreed.
I'd say this is all Greek to me. But that's probably racist, too.
--Holding down the fort. Obama's State Department diversity officer now advises us, based on admittedly dubious history, that "holding down the fort" is an anti-Native American idiom that has no place in U.S. discourse. Example: "I know you guys have been holding down the fort." Oops, that was Obama at a Tampa rally in 2008. Next...
--Kitchen cabinet. Radio talk-show host Mark Thompson jumped on Romney for using this phrase -- coined to describe Andrew Jackson's administration in the 1800s -- at the NAACP convention in July. Romney was referring to a close member of his staff during his tenure as Massachusetts governor.
"To talk about being in the kitchen and not talk about an African-American actually being in your cabinet is really not a good metaphor to use with African-Americans," Thompson blasted. Is it racist to ask: Huh?
--Obamacare. Left-wing Daily Beast columnist Michael Tomasky accused Romney of "race-baiting" by wielding the term "Obamacare." The Beltway shorthand for this behemoth federal spending program exposes Romney as a "spineless, disingenuous, supercilious, race-mongering pyromaniac" because it is a "heavily loaded word," Tomasky railed.
How then to explain the use of the Bull Connor-channeling epithet by none other than the Obama campaign, which peddles "I like Obamacare" T-shirts on its website? Logic is racist.
--Privileged. Stay with me here. Washington Post writer Jonathan Capehart has a problem with Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry calling Obama "privileged." Spotlighting his elite education is tantamount to racial bigotry because it insinuates that "he took the place of someone else through affirmative action, that someone else being someone white."
And here I thought it was a simple description of an out-of-touch academic whose crony Chicago ties of all colors gifted him with access, money and power that the vast majority of Americans don't have.
--Professor. Several progressive black intellectuals excoriated 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin for this statement: "They know we're at war, and to win that war we need a commander in chief, not a professor of law standing at the lectern."
"Professor," professor Charles Ogletree said, was code for "uppity." This translation service is available only to credentialed Ivy League eggheads. A saner criticism would be that Obama was never a professor of law, but an untenured lecturer. Racist? Tell that to Hillary Clinton, whose 2008 campaign made that very point.
--You people. Asked last month whether her husband would release more tax returns, Ann Romney told a pack of reporters: "We've given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and about how, you know, how we live our life."
A chorus of faux-ragers from the Huffington Post to NBC's Andrea Mitchell hammered Mrs. Romney for her double-whammy sandwich of elitism and racism. Apparently, "you people" is the verbal equivalent of putting black people back in chains. One little, teeny-tiny problem: ABC News admitted: "Our ruling after reviewing the original audio is that she did not include the 'you.'"
In other words, it was manufactured out of whole cloth. Give the dog-trombone media another black mark for ridiculous bias denial. "Black mark"? I know: Raaaaaaaaaaacist!