Walsh uses race to distract GOP base from wealth gap

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In an interview with Brent Bozell of the conservative Media Research Center this week, Congressman Joe Walsh (Republican of Illinois) invoked President Obama’s race in an attempt to explain what he views as the media’s refusal to expose the “dishonesty” in President Obama’s deficit reduction plan; the dishonesty being, of course, the president’s recently-stated policy — the so-called “Buffett Rule” that millionaires should not pay a lower tax rate than those in the middle class.

Walsh has a history of disrespectful behavior toward, and of making insensitive racial remarks about, President Obama. He recently claimed that Obama was elected only because he was an articulate black man and appeased “white liberal guilt.”

While the above statement is pernicious because of the racism alone, Walsh’s latest claim, that the “liberal media is vested in protecting our first black president” is more damaging. Not only is it racist, but it also encourages a complete disregard of facts in favor of debunked Republican myths about job creation and trickle-down economics, which have the US economy teetering on the brink of ruin.

During the interview, Bozell cavalierly states that President Obama is engaged in class warfare — as if such a statement were indisputable fact — and asks Walsh why the media is aiding and abetting the dishonesty. Walsh’s response is jaw-droppingly stupid:

“This guy pushed every one of the media’s buttons. He was liberal, he was different, he was new, he was black. Oh my God, it was the potpourri of everything. They are so vested in our first black president not being a failure that it’s going to be amazing to watch the lengths they go to protect him. They [the media], I believe, will spout this racist line if some of their colleagues up here aren’t doing it aggressively enough. There is going to be a real desperation.”

[youtubevid http://youtube.com/watch?v=a1u8aEXbtjE]

As an initial matter, Walsh’s statement that the media is vested in President Obama not being a failure because he is black is eye-opening. We — as Americans — should all be vested in the success of our government, irrespective of party. The success of a president determines the success of this nation, and while we may not agree with the policies of a sitting president at any give n time, rooting for the failure of that president is rooting for the failure of the United States.

Accordingly, the fact that Walsh couches his response to Bozell’s question in terms of the “success” or “failure” of President Obama not only exposes Walsh as racist, but also raises questions as to whether Walsh is so driven by racism that he stands among those Norquist-beholden Republicans who seem willing to push the economy over a cliff all in an effort to make Obama a one-term president.

More importantly, however, Walsh’s claim is spurious.
Walsh claims that the media’s failure to highlight the president’s dishonesty is damning proof of the media’s pathological need to protect the president, when it is more likely proof that, in this instance, the non-Fox News media refuses to report information that has no factual basis.

The fact of the matter is, the transfer of wealth in this country from the poor and middle-class to the rich is nothing short of grotesque. And in Obama, we have a president who is willing to tell the American people the truth: that requiring the rich to pay their fair share is not “class warfare; it’s simple math.”

But Rep. Walsh doesn’t want to discuss the math or facts. To him, facts are merely opinions to be shaped and spun into a narrative that casts the top 2 percent wealthiest Americans as victims of the huddled masses that comprise the bottom 98 percent. Math and facts cut against Walsh’s argument, and he knows it. So he blames the media for “protecting” the president.

What Walsh willfully ignores is that a class war is already being waged — by the wealthy against the middle class.

Walsh is desperate to ensure that uninformed voters never confront the cold hard reality that they will never be rich, and will never benefit from the unfair tax policies which the “Buffett rule” seeks to ameliorate. And because he cannot dispute facts, he drags their attention away from “simple math” and exploits their economic and racial fears.

For Republicans to succeed, their constituents must be uninformed, misinformed, and afraid. And what better way to do that than by pointing out to scared voters that President Obama is black and wants to take your hard-earned money and give it to undeserving poor people and “illegal aliens.”

Ultimately, Walsh is a good Republican foot soldier, selling a distorted version of the American Dream that “you should get to keep all of your hard-earned tax dollars because someday you too, will be rich. You may think the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, but that’s what the Obama-owned media wants you to think. They’re lying to you. By the way, did I mention Obama is black?”