With friends like Sarah Palin and Richard Mourdock, Mitt Romney doesn't need any more enemies. Apparently Republicans like Palin and Mourdock didn't get Karl Rove's memo that the 2012 campaign was about the economy, stupid. Or maybe they got the memo and just didn't read it. After all, Sarah Palin is famous for not reading things. What unites Palin and Mourdock is their insensitivity to the needs and concerns of millions of Americans.
Yesterday, former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin used a term which many black Americans find offensive. She complained about "President Obama's "shuck and jive shtick." I don't think she, Andrew Cuomo, or anybody else should use words that offend millions of Americans.
Palin's play of the race card isn't an isolated incident in the Republican Party. Tea Party rallies in 2010 featured posters that portrayed the president of the United States as a witch doctor with a bone through his nose. During the GOP nomination campaign former Speaker Newt Gingrich went to New Hampshire and advised blacks to avoid dependence on federal programs. Gingrich apparently did not want older blacks to cash their Social Security checks or for black combat veterans to use the GI benefits they are entitled to by virtue of their service. Gingrich doesn't have the same qualms about white people, because he didn't say anything about the millions of white Americans who are dependent on federal entitlements. And he didn't object to big oil accepting $4 billion in federal tax freebies every year.
Two Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate, Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana, are taking sexism to new lows with their rants about rape. GOP party affiliation is falling and it's easy to figure out why. The two Republican candidates have done everything they can to offend women, tarnish the GOP brand, and allow Democrats maintain control of the U.S. Senate. Being pregnant is tough enough, and guys like Akin and Mourdock don't have a clue and don't care about the trauma a woman suffers from rape.
Mourdock said it's God's will that woman who has been raped should give birth to the child. Well maybe God intended to devastate New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina but I doubt he wanted Richard Mourdock to speak out in favor of the deaths and devastation there. I don't know about Mourdock's God, but my God wouldn't want women to suffer any more trauma after they had been sexually assaulted. Akin said that women's bodies didn't allow them to get pregnant in cases of "legitimate" rape. I would love to hear Akin tell a woman that the rape she endured wasn't really rape. And then there's Akins's buddy, GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan. Ryan sponsored House Resolution 3 with Akin in 2011—a bill that included an amendment that would only permit federal funding of abortions in cases of "forcible" rape. Like there's any other kind.
Romney did an endorsement ad for Mourdock. The GOP presidential candidate should have told the Indiana U.S. Senate candidate to pull the ad after his rant on rape, but Romney didn't. His tolerance of Mourdock and Palin coupled with his cruel remarks about 47 percent of the population demonstrate that the presidential candidate from a privileged background who made his fortune by being a callous and calculating corporate CEO isn't sensitive enough to represent a diverse nation of more than 300 million people.
Mom used to say that people judge you by the company you keep. Mitt Romney keeps very bad company.
- Read Susan Milligan: Richard Mourdock's Todd Akin Moment.
- Read Jamie Stiehm: American Democracy on Parade at Obama-Romney Debates.
- Check out U.S. News Weekly, available on iPad.