With all the discussion of “Republican racism” taking place as a result of Obama’s claim that McCain’s “risky” adjective is based on looks, I thought I’d weigh in. I have been involved in GOP politics for 15 years, and in that time I have never – not once – been involved in a discussion of an opposing candidates race and how to exploit it.
Now the corollary to that is the number of election cycles in that time where I have seen Democrats throw out the racism charge as a way of shoring up their support. On that metric, the Democrats are batting .1000.
I cannot speak to what the GOP may have done in the 70s and 80s because I wasn’t there. I can, however, safely say that every conversation I have had about race in campaigns since 1994 was either a) how the Democrats were exploiting race at our candidates expense and b) how we write copy, produce ads, and develop messages with the specific goal of not providing an opening that let’s them do that.
From everything I have seen, the GOP is obsessively concerned with “not” using race as an issue. That’s not to say that the random nut doesn’t do something stupid, but there will always be examples of nuts saying and doing stupid things. That does not equate to the sustained campaign of racism the Democrats allege.
All of the evidence I have seen of systemic abuse of race comes from the other side, and their attempts to exploit “racism” not “race” for political gain.