Republican Smears – Racism and Xenophobia

In her column in the July 18, 2012 New York Times, Maureen Dowd takes the right wing to task for a series of ostensibly unrelated McCarthy-style smears on the President. Citing John Sununu’s claim that the President is not American enough, or Rush Limbaugh’s claims that the President hates America, that he was indoctrinated by his father (“a Communist”) and mother to do so, or Michelle Bachmann’s ludicrous claims about the Muslim Brotherhoods connections of one of Hillary Clinton’s aides, she winds up commenting on the prospective nominee, Mitt Romney:

“Campaigning Tuesday in Pennsylvania, Romney called Obama’s course as president “extraordinarily foreign.” But it is the Mitt-bot who keeps getting caught doing things that seem strangely outside the norm to most Americans.

Americans have been trained to be wary of Swiss bank accounts and tax shelters in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. Guys who have those in the movies are always shady and greedy.”

Yesterday on his Hardball program, Chris Mathews commented on the same incidents, and pointed out that neither Carter nor Clinton was ever accused of being un-American. The significance of this is unmistakable. Policy-wise, Obama is not different from these Democratic presidents in any significant way. What is different about Obama is the color of his skin.

And of course these claims by Romney and extremist Republicans are false. Obama is a down-to-earth, American family man, devoted to his country, having sacrificed the opportunity for a fabulous income as a lawyer to work to help other Americans, and ultimately rise to the top in politics, using a strategy of small contributions from ordinary Americans to fund his campaign. Contrast this with Romney, who hides his income behind the technicalities of the law, and relies on the outrageous Citizens United decision to fund his campaign with secret contributions from wealthy special interests.

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