Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Last week Conservative Super PAC's revived the GOP Southern Strategy of race-bailitng.
Now the Romney campaign is reviving the GOP politics of resentment towards the poor (read minorities). What's next? The revival of Ronald Reagan's mythical Cadillac driving "welfare queen" from Chicago's Southside?
Greg Sargent writes at The Plum Line, The politics of resentment makes a comeback:
The new Mitt Romney ad attacking Obama over welfare is generating a lot of chatter this morning, as it was clearly designed to do. It hits Obama for supposedly “gutting” Bill Clinton’s welfare reform bill, by “dropping work requirements.”
“Under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work,” the ad says. “They just send you your welfare check.”
The ad is highly dishonest; Steve Benen and Arthur Delaney both do a good job taking it apart. The key point is that Republican-led states — Utah and Nevada — had led the request for waivers to the work requirement in the welfare reform bill, so they could experiment with ways to do a better job shifting people from welfare to jobs. The work requirement would remain; states would have more flexibility in implementing it.
To sum up, this ad is tantamount to claiming that Republican governors want to gut welfare reform and ensure that the government just sends people a “welfare check.”
The Romney campaign appears to be investing serious money in this attack. A Dem source tells me that it is going to run at 50 percent in all of Romney’s markets. That’s a real buy.
Which raises a broader point: For an election that’s supposed to be all about the economy, the Romney campaign is suddenly leaning very hard on a more traditional politics of resentment right out of an older GOP playbook.
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None of this should have been necessary by the lights of Romney’s own theory of the election. We were told for months that the Romney camp would focus relentlessly on the economy and on Obama’s mismanagement of it. Romney would win by portraying Obama as a nice guy who is just in over his head and just can’t get it done. But with the recovery remaining very, very slow but on track — and with Obama holding a small but persistent lead in national polls, and a slightly larger one in swing states — the Romney campaign has plainly decided that this won’t be enough.
Racial based politics. They just can't help themselves.
UPDATE: See Ezra Klein's WonkBlog for Ron Haskins, one of the architects of Clinton's welfare reform, who "enthusiastically supports the actual policy of the waivers. Waivers are what made welfare reform possible in the first place, he argues, by letting states experiment with new practices and they can be useful going forward." Welfare reform’s architect: You call that a gutting?
In sum, Haskins says, “The Republican alarm on welfare reform might be a little exaggerated.” Coming from one of the architects of the reform, that should cast some doubt on Romney’s attacks.
UPDATE: Pay attention, media villagers! Steve Benen presents the dilemna the media faces with the "Big Lie" propaganda campaign from Willard "Mittens" Romney. The scandal behind Romney's new attack ad:
The entire line of attack is simply insane.
And that brings us back to the test for the political world.
How are we to respond to a campaign that deliberately deceives the public without shame? This lie about welfare policy comes on the heels of Romney's lie about voting rights in Ohio, which came on the heels of Romney's lies about the economy; which came on the heels of Romney's lies about health care; which came on the heels of Romney's lies about taxes.
The Republican nominee for president is working under the assumption that he can make transparently false claims, in writing and in campaign advertising, with impunity. Romney is convinced that there are no consequences for breathtaking dishonesty.
The test, then, comes down to a simple question: is he right?
The cynical response to an ad like this is that the lies are routine -- it's just something "everybody" in politics does. That's wrong. An ad this dishonest is a genuine scandal and it's time for political observers treat it as such. Reporters within earshot of the candidate shouldn't ask, "What about the gaffes?" They should ask, "Why are you lying about welfare policy?"