The Anglo-Saxon Outrage Of The Day

Two words spoken by a Romney aide have led to a ridiculous firestorm on the right, while the rest of their comments are being ignored.

The blogosphere has been alight today thanks to remarks made by unnamed Romney advisers on the issue of the U.S.-British relationship that appeared in today’s edition of The Telegraph:

As the Republican presidential challenger accused Barack Obama  of appeasing America’s enemies in his first foreign policy speech of the US general election campaign, advisers told The Daily Telegraph that he would abandon Mr Obama’s “Left-wing” coolness towards London.

In remarks that may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity, one suggested that Mr Romney was better placed to understand the depth of ties between the two countries than Mr Obama, whose father was from Africa.

“We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” the adviser said of Mr Romney, adding: “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have”

Not surprisingly, the American news media, as well as many blogs have picked up on these comments with many on the left jumping to the conclusion that this was clearly some kind of racist “dog whistle” by the Romney campaign. One complaint I’ve seen, which Crooks & Liars makes in their post, is the idea that this is an example of Romney criticizing the President from abroad, which is generally frowned upon in American politics. The problem with that argument is that Romney wasn’t the one making the remarks, an adviser did. More importantly, though, the Telegraph byline or the story belongs to Jon Swaine, the paper’s Washington reporter. So the idea that this was something Romney or one of his campaign aides said after getting off the plane at Heathrow simply isn’t true. Pam Spaulding, meanwhile, clearly is pushing the idea that there’s something racial about this, as do Taylor Marsh, Josh Marshall, and Juan Cole, the last of whom somehow manages to bring the Nazis into the conversation.

Kevin Drum sees it differently, though:

I dunno, folks. That first paragraph was pure editorializing by the Telegraph reporter. Only the second paragraph comes from the Romney advisor. So why did he use the term “Anglo-Saxon”? At a guess, because he was talking off the cuff, wanted some kind of phrase that suggested the U.S. and Britain have a shared history — which we obviously do — and that’s what popped out. It was a mistake, but it’s the kind of trivial mistake that happens when you’re talking without notes.

As for the swelling tide of suggestions that this was a racial dog whistle, color me dubious. Does anyone seriously think that the Romney campaign decided that the best way to send a message to Southern whites was via a quote to a London newspaper? That’s a tough sell.

There’s plenty to criticize in the statements from this unnamed Romney adviser without having to make up ridiculous arguments about how this was a racial comment rather than the off-the-cuff remark that Drum describes. He repeats and idea that’s become common on the right that the Obama White House has somehow downgraded the “Special Relationship” with the United Kingdom when, in reality, the available evidence would suggest quite the otherwise. Yes, there is some current frustration among Brits that the U.S. hasn’t been more vocal about the simmering crisis over the Falkland Islands, where the Argentinians seems to be suggesting they are going to attempt to reassert sovereignty over the islands for the first time since the war with Great Britain. However, does anyone seriously doubt that it ever came to a shooting war (a war that would probably be started by Argentina just like the last one was) that the United States would be on the side of its long time ally?

More importantly, despite some odd diplomatic missteps early on in his Administration — such as giving Queen Elizabeth an iPod with Obama’s speeches on it and giving Gordon Brown a set of DVD’s that were incompatible with British televisions — it doesn’t strike me that there’s been any significant change in American-British relations in the past three years. Indeed, judging by David Cameron’s recent visit to the White House, things are as fine as they’ve ever been. It’s true that the Obama Administration has been pushing a more Pacific-looking vision of American foreign policy of late, but that’s not a slight toward the Brits, that’s a recognition of the reality that our interests to the West are just as important as our interests to the East.

These aides also goes back to an issue that has obsessed the right ever since Inauguration Day:

The two advisers said Mr Romney would seek to reinstate the Churchill bust displayed in the Oval Office by George W. Bush but returned to British diplomats by Mr Obama when he took office in 2009. One said Mr Romney viewed the move as “symbolically important” while the other said it was “just for starters”, adding: “He is naturally more Atlanticist”.

For some reason, this has big obsession for so many on the right. It’s true that Churchill has a following among American conservatives.  Indeed I’ve long considered him one of the most fascinating figures of the 20th Century myself, but I’ve never quite understood why the right has always been so obsessed over the President’s decision to return a bust of Winston Churchill that had only been in the Oval Office since 2001, especially since replaced it with the bust of Republican President Abraham Lincoln. After all, isn’t it better to have one of America’s greatest President’s represented than a foreign leader? Can someone explain that one to me?

So, there’s plenty to criticize in what these Romney aides said, but trying to turn it into some kind of racial thing is just silly.

Update: The Romney campaign is disavowing the comments that have aroused so much ire on the left:

Andrea Saul, Romney’s press secretary, disputed the comments and emphasized that they did not reflect the beliefs of the former Massachusetts governor.

“It’s not true. If anyone said that, they weren’t reflecting the views of Governor Romney or anyone inside the campaign,” she told CBSNews.com in an email. Saul did not comment on what specifically was not true.

So, there’s that.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Europe, Politicians, US Politics, World Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. sam says:

    “So, there’s plenty to criticize in what these Romney aides said, but trying to turn it into some kind of racial thing is just silly.”

    In remarks that may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity, one suggested that Mr Romney was better placed to understand the depth of ties between the two countries than Mr Obama, whose father was from Africa,

    You’re right. Africa is just chock-a-block full of white folks. Can’t imagine why anyone would find that remark suspect.




    0



    0
  2. al-Ameda says:

    The two advisers said Mr Romney would seek to reinstate the Churchill bust displayed in the Oval Office by George W. Bush but returned to British diplomats by Mr Obama when he took office in 2009. One said Mr Romney viewed the move as “symbolically important” while the other said it was “just for starters”, adding: “He is naturally more Atlanticist”.

    Imagine that – replacing a bust of Churchill with a bust of Lincoln. In the White House of all places. I’m sure that most sensible Americans did not see this as controversial, but then again we’re talking about a Republican Party opposition that does not consider Obama to be a legitimate American President.




    0



    0
  3. Mikey says:

    An off-the-cuff remark by an as-yet-unnamed “adviser” ignites a political firestorm. What else is new?

    Seems to me the left’s tendency to draw the most sinister and racist of inferences from any simple misstatement is a pretty close parallel to the right’s tendency to see a conspiracy in any noteworthy event.




    0



    0
  4. Scott says:

    I agree with the triviality of this; however, it was the right (some anyway) who called Obama a Kenyan Anti-colonialist. Can you blame the sensitivity? Or at least suspect dog whistles?




    0



    0
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I dunno, folks. That first paragraph was pure editorializing by the Telegraph reporter. Only the second paragraph comes from the Romney advisor. So why did he use the term “Anglo-Saxon”? At a guess, because he was talking off the cuff, wanted some kind of phrase that suggested the U.S. and Britain have a shared history — which we obviously do — and that’s what popped out.

    I think Drum has it largely right, tho I do want to point out the “soft” racism in the quote. When was the last you or any one you know referred to a black person as being of “Anglo-Saxon” descent?

    So when the aide said,

    “We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” the adviser said of Mr Romney, adding: “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have”

    He wasn’t just a woofin’, he was explicitly saying, “Obama and his people are not like you and me, they are different and they just don’t get it. Not because he is black necessarily but because he is…. well…. LOOK at him, isn’t it obvious?”

    Which is a much subtler form of racism that all people have within. It is not until I say something similarly stupid that I realize how far I have yet to go.




    0



    0
  6. DRS says:

    Wow, it’s a good thing that Romney has an experienced, well-run campaign team who’ve been running for the presidency for the past six years. Can you imagine what an untested amateur might have said? Yup, you just can’t buy that kind of professionalism.

    /sarcasm.

    Seriously, does he have a bunch of middle school students working for him or what? As if a major British newspaper was going to take a comment from the guy who was in the campaign office fixing the photocopier that day instead of a senior campaign staffer who was talking without attribution.




    0



    0
  7. mattb says:

    @sam:
    In defense of the Romney campaign (and point out poor sentence construction):

    In remarks that may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity, one suggested that Mr Romney was better placed to understand the depth of ties between the two countries than Mr Obama, whose father was from Africa,

    We do not know if the Romney campaign person specifically referenced Obama’s African father as a reason for the lack of understanding, or if that sentence is the result of some the Telegraph writers inserting the “whose father was from Africa” into the sentence to provide “context.” Remember that the Daily Telegraph is a very right leaning newspaper and this sort of editorializing in the text has a long history in the UK.

    If this had not been a meme since day 1 of the administration, and the entire Churchill bust thing and the attention to the other gaffes, I’d be more likely to think that this is a “race whistle” (and to be sure some of the Foreign Policy critique surely is). But this particular bit seems like a pretty standard line of Republican attack on a Democratic president.

    Now if it turns out that staffer volunteered the entire “From Africa” thing, that does change things a bit — but again, that reads to me as something added by the Telegraph. And to that degree, something racial or at least “othering” was at play.




    0



    0
  8. sam says:

    @mattb:

    We do not know if the Romney campaign person specifically referenced Obama’s African father as a reason for the lack of understanding, or if that sentence is the result of some the Telegraph writers inserting the “whose father was from Africa” into the sentence to provide “context.”

    Well you’re placing a lot on a comma, no? But it seems to me that this part, “In remarks that may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity” indicates that the aid did in fact make the reference to Africa.

    On the other hand, if the reporter did insert the Africa thing, then the Obama campaign is very lucky, since most readers won’t be bringing your sensitivity to the text, said reporter has set the Romney campaign up for the pig-fvcker gambit.




    0



    0
  9. Gustopher says:

    There’s plenty to criticize in the statements from this unnamed Romney adviser without having to make up ridiculous arguments about how this was a racial comment rather than the off-the-cuff remark that Drum describes

    I’m willing to believe that it’s an off the cuff racial remark…




    0



    0
  10. SKI says:

    @mattb:

    If this had not been a meme since day 1 of the administration, and the entire Churchill bust thing and the attention to the other gaffes, I’d be more likely to think that this is a “race whistle” (and to be sure some of the Foreign Policy critique surely is). But this particular bit seems like a pretty standard line of Republican attack on a Democratic president.

    Um, wouldn’t the fact that it has in fact “been a meme since day 1 of the administration” make you MORE likely to think it was intended as a “race whistle”?

    I’m pretty much with Kevin Drum on this one (that it is a huge “meh”) but the whole meme that Obama is an outsider and different and therefore scary is the essence of race whistling.




    0



    0
  11. sam says:

    @sam:

    See Dave’s update.




    0



    0
  12. Drew says:

    The convergence of ODS and OMS: Obama Desperation Syndrome and Obamaphile Media Syndrome.




    0



    0
  13. anjin-san says:

    We can’t fault Drew for trying to be clever, only for the repeated failures…




    0



    0
  14. Scott says:

    @Scott: I may not have been paying attention all these years but I don’t recall that the British-American “special relationship” that began in WWII ever called an Anglo-Saxon heritage.




    0



    0
  15. Mikey says:

    @SKI:

    I’m pretty much with Kevin Drum on this one (that it is a huge “meh”) but the whole meme that Obama is an outsider and different and therefore scary is the essence of race whistling.

    Maybe. But know quite a few people who oppose Obama, and none of them would change their tune a bit were he white.

    They do focus on his “otherness,” but it is entirely a cultural “otherness,” and I’ve heard one say he thinks Obama is the first President who is not “culturally American” because he did not spend his formative years living here. I don’t agree, but I understand what he means.

    (I understand my personal sample may not be representative; however, it does indicate that a blanket statement that a focus on Obama’s “otherness” is “the essence of race whistling” may not be entirely true.)




    0



    0
  16. Rafer Janders says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    When was the last you or any one you know referred to a black person as being of “Anglo-Saxon” descent?

    But the crazy thing is, Obama himself is of Anglo-Saxon descent. His maternal grandmother was a Payne and his maternal grandfather a Dunham, both solid English names, and his ancestry on his mother’s side is predominantly English. Obama is more “Anglo-Saxon” than the vast majority of other Americans. He’s certainly more Anglo-Saxon than I, and I’m a blonde white man.




    0



    0
  17. The Q says:

    So wingnuts wouldn’t have their knickers in a twist if some anonymous aide would have remarked before Obama appearing at the National Convention of Christian Church’s meeting:

    “We are part of a Christian heritage, and he feels that the special relationship with Jesus and the Holy Trinity is special,” the adviser said of Mr Obama, adding: “Our Mormon opponent doesn’t fully appreciate the shared history of Christ we have”

    Oh, no it would be a glossed over as just an innocent, slip of the tongue, not worthy of all the strum and drang of the conservatives who are up in arms…

    In the immortal words of Jim Morrison…”Yeah, right”…..




    0



    0
  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    But the crazy thing is, Obama himself is of Anglo-Saxon descent.

    I appreciate the irony as much as the next person,Rafer, but don’t forget the “One Drop Rule”, they haven’t. And to some extent, neither have I. I don’t look at Obama and see a man of mixed racial heritage (which the vast majority of African Americans are also) I see a black man.




    0



    0
  19. Aidan says:

    This innocence shtick would hold a lot more water if it didn’t come within a stretch of Mitt Romney suggesting that Obama is taking American on a “foreign course” due to his “philosophy that does not comport with the American experience,” top Romney surrogate John Sununu suggesting that Obama doesn’t understand how the American system functions because he spent his youth in Indonesia and Hawaii (!) and needs to “learn how to be an American,” and prominent Romney supporter Suzy Welch suggesting that Obama singing Al Green in Harlem is indicative that he’s part of a “different America.” Seriously, you see no pattern here? Can someone give me one single reason to keep giving the Republican Party the benefit of the doubt on racial dog whistling in 2012?




    0



    0
  20. Rafer Janders says:

    @Mikey:

    They do focus on his “otherness,” but it is entirely a cultural “otherness,” and I’ve heard one say he thinks Obama is the first President who is not “culturally American” because he did not spend his formative years living here. I don’t agree, but I understand what he means.

    Well I don’t. Apart from a four year stint from ages 6 to 10, Obama’s lived in the US his whole life. Is that short period somehow meant to be disqualifying?

    Also, lots of cchildren of military and diplomatic families spend far longer than that living outside the US. I somehow doubt they’d have the same problems with that or believe that those children were not “culturally American”….

    Finally, to use an example of one prominent Republican, Arnold Schwarzenneger. Not only did he not spend his “formative years” growing up here, he didn’t even move to the US until he was 21 years old, didn’t become a US citizen until he was 36, and still speaks with a noticeable foreign accent. Yet I don’t hear a lot of Republicans voicing unease about his “cultural otherness.” One wonders why….




    0



    0
  21. Scott says:

    @Rafer Janders: Hey, I just realized that, as a Scotsman, I’m not not supposed to have a full appreciation of the heritage either!




    0



    0
  22. mattb says:

    @SKI:

    Um, wouldn’t the fact that it has in fact “been a meme since day 1 of the administration” make you MORE likely to think it was intended as a “race whistle”?

    The Churchill thing? No. Really don’t see that as a race issue. I think they would go after any Democrat on that. Churchill — at least in the mind of Neocons — is everything that they aspire to. Replacing him with Lincoln (and remember that Lincoln is not particularly loved in many conservative circles) speaks more to fears about Obama’s Liberal nature and (unfounded) beliefs about how he would weaken the US militarily.

    The entire subtext of the Obama “apology tour” and his “being more comfortable with a-rabs than our traditional (white) allies” — yes, that is my mind is easily racist because the attack is more or less completely based on his “otherness”, the fact he has an Arab middle name, the question of his father’s religion, you name it.

    The general question to ask is whether or not the same line of attack would be used on a White Democratic president (or alternatively does it heavily rely on the color of Mr. Obama’s skin).




    0



    0
  23. anjin-san says:

    I had a girlfriend once who’s father had served overseas for much of her life. They moved to the US when she was 18, so she had been here 4 years when we started going out. She struggled with the cultural adjustment quite a bit. She was very blonde with striking blue eyes.

    I’ve know her for decades now. In spite of the many years she lived overseas, and her challenge adjusting to life in the US, I am not aware that anyone has ever said or even implied that she is foreign, threatening, does not understand what it is to be American, etc.

    Well, like I said, she is blonde with blue eyes – she belongs to the club.




    0



    0
  24. Nikki says:

    @Mikey: So now one has to spend one’s childhood on American to escape being declared “other”? I seem to remember calls for changes to the Constitution so that Arnold Schwarzenegger would be eligible to run for president. And he still speaks with a heavy foreign accent.

    So…what else can you come up with to define Obama’s “otherness”?




    0



    0
  25. Nikki says:

    @Rafer Janders: Guess I should’ve read further down before I commented to Mikey. Thank you.




    0



    0
  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @mattb:

    The general question to ask is whether or not the same line of attack would be used on a White Democratic president (or alternatively does it heavily rely on the color of Mr. Obama’s skin).

    BINGO!
    Mr Nail? Meet Mr Hammer.




    0



    0
  27. mantis says:

    @Mikey:

    Maybe. But know quite a few people who oppose Obama, and none of them would change their tune a bit were he white.

    If he were white, they wouldn’t need to change their tune. It would have been different from the beginning.




    0



    0
  28. Nikki says:
  29. mantis says:

    Maybe they are chattering on about Anglo-Saxons because they don’t know what century it is. We know they don’t know what decade it is.

    A foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney’s campaign warned against policies that would aid “the Soviet Union” Wednesday, making him at least the third person from Team Romney — including Romney himself — to refer to a country that hasn’t existed since 1991 in the course of attacking President Obama’s foreign policy.




    0



    0
  30. jukeboxgrad says:

    lots of children of military and diplomatic families spend far longer than that living outside the US

    Mitt spent 30 months living in a French palace, with servants (link). Sounds pretty un-American to me.

    Also, his daddy was born in Mexico. The family had fled there so they could be polygamists. I guess that makes Mitt an anchor baby. Also un-American.

    Obama himself is of Anglo-Saxon descent.

    Yup. See here:

    Obama’s roots trace back to Plymouth … [Obama] is a direct, 13th-generation descendant of one of the Plymouth colony’s earliest settlers, Thomas Blossom. … Blossom didn’t arrive in New England in 1620 … He and his wife, Anne, came to the New World nine years later




    0



    0
  31. The Q says:

    How anyone can be naive enough (or willfully ignorant) to think that Obama’s blackness doesn’t play a prominent role in some white folks opinion regarding Obama is brain dead,

    I know many of my white male friends who are from “liberal” southern california who have a problem with his blackness.

    Again, that’s in the westside of LA, a liberal bastion.

    I can only imagine what the attitude is like in more conservative areas (basically the rest of the country.)




    0



    0
  32. Ron Beasley says:

    Romney doesn’t understand our Celt and Jute traditions.




    0



    0
  33. Rafer Janders says:

    @mantis:

    We know Romney has the power to retroactively resign from a job years after he actually held it. Maybe he’s just retroactively engaged in the Cold War.




    0



    0
  34. Terrye says:

    Just another example of the lefty media doing Obama’s dirty work for him. They do not even know who this guy is or if the remark was actually made.

    I think Jennifer Rubin had it right when said:

    It is so blatant that sometimes the reporters forget to hide their trail. Every once in a while a journalist neglects to delete the part of the e-mail string from the Democratic National Committee prompting him or her to ask certain questions before they route it over to the Romney camp. Yeah, major “oops.”

    Repeating an unsourced quote at the behest of one campaign without verification, and with zero evidence that anyone in the campaign said it, isn’t journalism. It’s political propaganda. And reputable news outlets should stop it.




    0



    0
  35. mantis says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Maybe he’s just retroactively engaged in the Cold War.

    Let’s hope he doesn’t retroactively lose it for us.

    Hey, maybe he’s hoping to retroactively win the Battle of Hastings!




    0



    0
  36. Rafer Janders says:

    @Terrye:

    Just another example of the lefty media doing Obama’s dirty work for him.

    The Telegraph, the paper which printed this, is British, and is widely known as a Tory, i.e. conservative and right-wing, newspaper. There is no conceiveable way that The Telegraph could ever be characterized as part of the “lefty media”.




    0



    0
  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Terrye: Terrye!!!!! We MISSED you SOOOOOOOO much!




    0



    0
  38. The Q says:

    Andrea Saul, Romney’s press secretary, disputed the comments and emphasized that they did not reflect the beliefs of the former Massachusetts governor.

    “It’s not true. If anyone said that, they weren’t reflecting the views of Governor Romney or anyone inside the campaign,” she told CBSNews.com in an email. Saul did not comment on what specifically was not true.

    @Terrye, Geez Obama is so powerful he can induce even Romney’s press secretary to do the lefty media’s dirty work.




    0



    0
  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @anjin-san: Heh… My wife is from Spain, moved here in her early 20’s. She is so Americanized that she has no desire to move back. She finally naturalized 4-6 yrs ago. (I had to tug a little bit) She did something so American, and yet a thing so few Americans actually do….

    She immigrated to here. Just like my Grandparents on one side and my great-great grandparents on the other side.




    0



    0
  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: OK ok…. not really.




    0



    0
  41. Mikey says:

    @Rafer Janders: @Nikki: Hey, I’m not trying to justify this whole “cultural otherness” thing. I think it’s not at all accurate, for all the reasons you both state. My daughter spent a good chunk of her younger years living overseas, and my wife was born and raised in Germany, and neither of them is any less “culturally American” than I.

    Yet at the same time it just cheeses me off to no end that every time someone on the political right states some opposition to an Obama statement or policy, there’s an instant knee-jerk accusation of racism from the left. Even when I offer an example of another motivation for disagreement, it’s just asserted to be another veiled kind of racism.

    The problem I have with this is two-fold: one, it instantly turns the discussion away from substance and into an attack on the speaker; two, it is itself a form of prejudice, a statement that it is not possible to oppose Obama on the merits if you are on the right.




    0



    0
  42. C. Clavin says:

    Was’t Doug defending Romney against the xenophobia charge just the other day? Now he’s doing it again? What does water weigh? About 8#/gal? Clearly not too heavy for Doug to carry.




    0



    0
  43. Nikki says:

    …every time someone on the political right states some opposition to an Obama statement or policy, there’s an instant knee-jerk accusation of racism from the left.

    Every single time, Mikey? Could it just be possible that the stated opposition was called out because it was…you know…racist? Doug Mataconis will occasionally take a position I find repugnant and I will take him to task for it. Yet I’ve never felt the need to castigate him on perceived racism. Why? Because the positions he takes don’t embody racism.

    Basically, don’t start none, won’t be none.




    0



    0
  44. Me Me Me says:

    If I read one more post or comment that says Obama is a bad president because he returned a bust of a foreign dignitary to the embassy that loaned it to a previous president and replaced it with a bust of the American president who preserved the union in the hour of its greatest peril, I’m going to stab it with an ice pick.




    0



    0
  45. Mikey says:

    @Nikki:

    Could it just be possible that the stated opposition was called out because it was…you know…racist?

    It could be. But I don’t see anyone on the left, besides Kevin Drum, also accepting the very real possibility it was just a clumsy misstatement with no racist intent at all.

    I know some of the opposition to Obama is racist, because I’ve heard it with my own ears. So I’m always aware it may be present. I just don’t assume it is from the get-go.




    0



    0
  46. jukeboxgrad says:

    the very real possibility it was just a clumsy misstatement with no racist intent at all

    This would be more reasonable interpretation if Mitt and his campaign hadn’t spent the last few days making similar statements. As Aidan explained.




    0



    0
  47. Mikey says:

    Can someone please release my comment from OTB purgatory?




    0



    0
  48. Drew says:

    Mikey: in addition to Drum, there was Adam Serwer, PlumlineGS, and hell, even Paul Begala expressing skepticism/poo-pooing it.




    0



    0
  49. Stephen1947 says:

    Dog whistle – a sound device which produces frequencies too high to be heard by human ears, but not by dogs. Racist dog whistle – words or phrases that seem innocuous to most listeners but are heard as racist comments by those who would by in sympathy with racism. The most common usage of ‘Anglo-Saxon’ for a very long time in American discourse was in KKK screeds. I have no inside information about whether or not this was intended as a racist dog whistle, but I have no doubt that it was heard as one.




    0



    0
  50. Ron Beasley says:

    @Stephen1947: Well said Stephen. Since Lee Attwater the Republicans have become some of the best dog whistlers around. Some if not most of the Republicans may not know they are dog whistles but it’s part of the Republican message for 40 years.




    0



    0
  51. Jeremy R says:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57479578-503544/romney-camp-denies-anglo-saxon-heritage-comment/

    Later on Wednesday, Romney elaborated on her response, asked about the quotes in an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams.

    “I’m generally not enthusiastic about adopting the comments made by people who are unnamed. I have a lot of advisers,” he told Williams. “Actually we’ve gone from calling the rope line where I shake hands every day to the advice line. Because you have a lot of people that offer advice. So I’m not sure who this person is.”

    Romney added: “But I can tell you that we have a very special relationship between the United States and Great Britain. It goes back to our very beginnings — cultural and- and historical. But I also believe the president understands that. So I- I don’t agree with whoever that adviser might be.

    According to the Telegraph the background sources were two advisers on Romney’s foreign policy team. My take on Romney’s interview answer is he knows who it was and he’s already spinning what they said to pretend it was more benign since it got general media attention.




    0



    0
  52. al-Ameda says:

    @Terrye:

    Just another example of the lefty media doing Obama’s dirty work for him. They do not even know who this guy is or if the remark was actually made.

    So, the Romney aide make the remarks, it’s reported in a right-wing UK publication, and somehow it’s the fault of the “lefty media” that this is brought to our attention? Beautiful.

    Wow, conservatives are the single most victimized class of people in America today.




    0



    0
  53. Jeremy R says:

    The same two foreign policy advisers seem to be complaining/whining about Cameron to the Telegraph:

    David Cameron ‘angered US conservatives’ with ‘unprecedented’ election-year embrace of Barack Obama

    David Cameron has failed to build alliances with the Republican Party and angered American conservatives with his “unprecedented” election-year embrace of Barack Obama, advisers to Mitt Romney have complained.

    A second foreign policy adviser to Mr Romney said: “Cameron’s contacts with Republicans are really quite limited, and have been going back to when [George W.] Bush was president.” The adviser added: “In many respects Cameron is like Obama.”

    Nile Gardiner, another foreign policy adviser to Mr Romney, previously described the Prime Minister’s behaviour in Washington as a “sad exercise in hero-worship before an extremely liberal White House” … “David Cameron’s wholehearted support for Barack Obama has significantly harmed the image of the British Conservative Party among US conservatives, who revere its greatest figures: Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill,” …

    Kind of rude to be attacking your host on the eve of a foreign visit, you’d think.




    0



    0
  54. Fiona says:

    This latest remark seems part and parcel of the Romney campaign’s attempt to portray Obama as “other,” somehow not really American because of his (insert your favorite reason here) color, religion, political views, or education. They tried to do the same to John Kerry if memory serves–all that flap about his alleged “Frenchness.” For Republicans, it seems that the very act of being a Democrat is somehow unAmerican and unpatriotic. Only they, with Sarah Palin as their leader, are the real Americans.

    There’s a certain amount of irony here–how Romney, an uber-rich Mormon who’s clearly unaware of how most Americans live–can make the “otherness” case as he’s probably even more “other” than Obama.




    0



    0
  55. DRS says:

    Aaaaand what have we here? Looks like the Mittster is tired of delegating piss-off-the-yobs duty to underlings and is taking it on himself. Mr. Olympics has dissed the London event, the Brits themselves and is discovering that British newspapers don’t really care if politicians (especially foreign ones) like them. Way to strike that Churchillian pose, Romney:

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/romney-london-criticizes-olympic-preparations-033929410–oly.html




    0



    0
  56. Moosebreath says:

    “In many respects Cameron is like Obama”

    And it is telling that the head of the Conservative Party in Britain is politically in roughly the same place as a man routinely called a Marxist here.




    0



    0
  57. G.A. says:

    mantis, that new pic is awesome:)




    0



    0
  58. anjin-san says:

    Watching Romney and his surrogates blunder around London pissing off their hosts does have some entertainment value…




    0



    0