Leave it to Salon Editor and MSNBC analyst Joan Walsh to turn the government shutdown over funding for Obamacare into a racial issue.
Tuesday afternoon Walsh penned an eye-popping column for Slate that claims the GOP’s plan to defund Obamcare stems from members of the party’s inherent racism.
In her piece, which claims to tell “the real story of the shutdown,” Walsh claims that the GOP is purposefully trying to “destroy the first black president,” and the phrase “defund Obamcare” is really code for the N-word.
“You’ll read lots of explanations for the dysfunction, but the simple truth is this: It’s the culmination of 50 years of evolving yet consistent Republican strategy to depict government as the enemy, an oppressor that works primarily as the protector of and provider for African-Americans, to the detriment of everyone else,” Walsh claims. “The fact that everything came apart under our first African-American president wasn’t an accident, it was probably inevitable.”
Democratic members of Congress have called Republicans everything from arsonists to hostage takers in the last several days, but neither race nor racism have come up during the standoff. Yet Walsh claims to be able to read between the lines. Referencing a now infamous interview Republican strategist Lee Atwater gave in 1981, in which he claimed that language like “cutting taxes” and “states’ rights” are “abstract” terms for the word n****r, Walsh cross-applies Atwater’s decades old quote to the current political climate.
“And then you say “Defund Obamacare,” and everyone knows why,” she states.
Other racist dog whistles according to Walsh: “food stamp President” and dependency on government.
The journalist goes on to admit that most Republicans probably aren’t racists in the traditional sense, they are just ‘pandering’ to those who are, like “Ted Cruz and the House suicide caucus,” for political and electoral gain.
“But I’ve been waiting a long time for Republicans to do the right thing and repudiate their party’s lunatic fringe, particularly its racist fringe,” she writes. “I assume I’ll be waiting a while longer.”