Romney/Ryan Going Full ‘Southern Strategy’ With Welfare

Dave Johnson

After all the fact-checkers and many in the media denounce the Romney campaign’s blatant fabrication that Obama is “gutting” the welfare work requirement, Romney/Ryan doubled down, going full-on Angry White Male. The campaign says they are doing this because “it’s working” and declares “we are not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.” Clearly not.

Romney Goes All “Old South”

Mitt Romney yesterday said that Obama’s “base” consists of welfare recipients, and that Obama is making it easier to get welfare to get them to go vote.

Here is Mitt Romney speaking on, of course, FOX News, reported by Luke Johnson and Sam Stein at the Huffington Post, in, Mitt Romney Suggests Obama Welfare Waivers Are A Tactic To ‘Shore Up His Base’

“Well, I’m not sure exactly what President Clinton will say, but there’s no question that President Obama’s decision to say that we’re going to allow waivers or excuses from work requirements in welfare was designed to shore up part of his base that may not be inclined to go out and vote in the same kind of energy and passion as they did four years ago.

“And, I think putting a measure that would take work out of welfare and waiving the work requirement in welfare is an extraordinary political move on his part, and one which I disagree with. My own view is that we should have greater work requirements with welfare, not less.”

Yes, he said that. This is not “dog-whistle politics” this is flat-out race baiting.

This followed running-mate Paul Ryan, as reported in the Washington Post, saying Obama was “rolling back welfare reform.”

“And by the way, under President Clinton, we got welfare reform … which moved people from welfare to work, to get people out of poverty. President Obama is rolling back welfare reform.”

Suppressing Minority Voters

At the same time as the campaign is using race to appeal to bigoted white male voters, several Republican-dominated states are engaging in efforts to suppress the votes of Hispanics and African-Americans. Ari Berman,writing at the Nation in, Voter Suppression: The Confederacy Rises Again explains, (click through for complete list, and links)

Eight of eleven states in the former Confederacy have passed restrictive voting laws since the 2010 election, as part of a broader war on voting undertaken by the GOP. Some of these changes have been mitigated by recent federal and state court rulings against the GOP, yet it’s still breathtaking to consider the different ways Republicans have sought to suppress the minority vote in the region.

• Laws mandating strict forms of government-issued identification to cast a ballot were passed in Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Virginia tightened a looser voter ID law. A federal court blocked Texas’s discriminatory voter ID law last week and will rule on South Carolina’s law shortly. …

• Laws requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote were passed in Alabama and Tennessee. Restrictions on voter registration drives were enacted in Florida and Texas. …

• Early voting periods were reduced in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. African-Americans in states like Florida were twice as likely to cast ballots during early voting as white voters. …

… • Only three Southern states—Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina—did not pass restrictive voting laws since 2010. North Carolina Democratic Governor Bev Perdue twice vetoed efforts by North Carolina Republicans to pass a strict voter ID law before the 2012 election. …

• In conjunction with these new voting restrictions, Republicans all across the South used their control of state legislatures following 2010 to pass redistricting maps that will lead to a re-segregation of Southern politics. …

The consequences of these changes will be to make it harder for growing minority populations to be able to cast a ballot in much of the South and to make the region more segregated politically at a time when it is becoming more diverse demographically.

Berman has much more at The Nation.

Legitimacy?

If Romney “wins” the election with a campaign of race-baiting, lies and voter suppression, many people may not consider his election to be legitimate. They are likely to feel that the public was bullied and tricked, and that the purpose of the bullying and trickery was to hand the country over to corporations and billionaires for plunder. The Romney/Ryan plan is to drastically cut the taxes on billionaires and their giant corporations, and severely cut back the things that our government does for We, the People.

If they do gain power with these tactics, especially after there were so questions about the way George ‘W’ Bush gained power, it could lead to a perilous civil situation.

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