How Sarah Palin Exploits Right-Wing Racism

Palin is trying to get back in the headlines by accusing the president of racism.

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Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin speaks during the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition's Friends of the Family Banquet in Des Moines Iowa Saturday Nov. 9, 2013.

Once again, the curmudgeonly Sarah Palin didn't let a holiday pass without reminding us that she has Facebook page. On Martin Luther King Day, she posted a response to President Obama's New Yorker interview where she called on him to honor MLK by not playing the race card. The president had said that his approval rating suffers because some people don't like the idea of having a black president.

Now her post doesn't rival some of her other holiday harangues, such as her book "Good Tidings and Great Joys," a how-to-guide to fighting back against the War on Christmas, or her Veteran's Day appearance on the "Today Show" where she railed against the Affordable Care Act for the millionth time. But it was a gem just the same: an offensive exploitation of racism by accusing the president of racism.

Palin forgets that Republicans have made great use of race-baiting rhetoric over the last six years, attacking the president and his policies with coded language connecting poverty to racial stereotypes. During his 2012 presidential run, Newt Gingrich argued blacks should demand jobs and not food stamps. More recently, Heritage Action attacked food stamps and Head Start as two programs that promote a culture of dependency, code words that imply African-Americans are lazy.

[See a collection of political cartoons on Sarah Palin.]

Obama has also dodged numerous racist attacks from conservative protestors and personalities. Last year, a group sang "Bye Bye Blackbird" and waved signs reading "47 percent Negro" and "Impeach the half-white Muslim" at one of his speaking events. Sandy Rios, a radio host for the anti-gay hate group American Family Association, said that promiscuous black men like Obama are pushing abortion. In response to the president's personal remarks on the Trayvon Martin case, Fox News Radio host Todd Starnes tweeted "race baiter in chief," and Sean Hannity alluded to the black junkie stereotype, wondering aloud if the president said Trayvon could have been him 35 years ago because he smoked pot and did a little blow.

Palin's impolitic comments won't improve the GOP's standing with the public, 71 percent of which disapproves of the way congressional Republicans are doing their jobs, and a number of which say they'll vote blue in November. Current polls give the Democrats 41-to-37 percent advantage over Republicans if the midterm elections were held today. She's just pouring more kerosene on a long burning bridge.

Perhaps in an alternate universe, Palin is a leading personality in Amazing America, a Wonder Woman with superpower abilities to see Russia from her house, sharp shoot Caribou on mountaintops, and pilot an Apache helicopter while chugging a 7-Eleven Big Gulp. In this universe, her 15 minutes of fame were up long ago. It's time for her to exit stage right.

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