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Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:53 AM

Republicans just don’t get it - by Joan Walsh



Hours after Stuart Stevens insults most Americans, Tom Davis credits Obama's victory to the "underclass"

BY JOAN WALSH

On Wednesday I finished my piece on Mitt Romney strategist Stuart Stevens boasting that President Obama “only” won the votes of Americans who earn less than $50,000 – that’s most people, by the way – and rushed to MSNBC’s “Hardball” to discuss the GOP’s diversity problems with supposedly moderate former Congressman Tom Davis of Virginia.

It was a calm, respectful conversation, until Davis volunteered that Romney lost because of Obama’s voter turnout operation – specifically, his ability to turnout “underclass minorities” and “particularly those who orient toward the city” who were “pulled out of the apartments.” Since we had been talking about the GOP’s problems with women and people of color, I respectfully offered Davis some “free advice” – that it might be time to retire the term “underclass.” It got worse.

Davis mumbled about the term not being “politically correct,” and when I referenced Stevens’s slur against people who make less than $50,000 a year, many of whom are actually middle class, Davis jumped in: “That’s not where the voter turnout came, if you know your voter stats, it was really people who were making even less than that, pulled out of the apartments…groups that traditionally haven’t voted.” (Yes, I caught the condescending “if you know your voter stats.”)

Davis’s “underclass minorities” remark has gotten a lot of attention – Salon flagged it and posted the video here – but I want to spend a moment on his concern about “groups that traditionally haven’t voted.” To be fair, Davis wasn’t accusing Democrats of voter fraud, the way other Republicans have. But he still seemed unsettled by the fact that the president turned out people who “traditionally haven’t voted” – who were “pulled out of the apartments” even! Yes, there are all sorts of hoary racial stereotypes jumbled up in those words, and class stereotypes as well.

Full article:
http://www.salon.com/2012/11/29/republicans_just_dont_get_it_2/

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:03 PM

1. Davis should be jumping up and down that so many people that don't

usually vote finally got excited enough to vote
for that is what democracy is and the reason he wants to help solve the problems of this country
or maybe he does not want democracy .............. I think it is the latter

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:15 PM

3. You need to get out more Davis

You and clueless Mitt.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:47 PM

4. WTF? My neighborhood is mostly apartments and the average income is way over $50k/yr.

What a moron.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:53 PM

5. He is a moron. Romney lost this election when he would give the rich a 20% tax cut over

keeping big bird.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:01 PM

6. I am ashamed to be an American after reading Stevens and Davis' comments.

How do we come together as a nation when these racist scumbags are fanning flames of hatred. May the GOP die a long and painful death and never be resurrected. I'd rather have a dictatorial government ushered in than have to live with these assholes making decisions about the fate of this nation.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:07 PM

7. I saw that exchange..

she was extremely polite, as was he (all things considered). If the Republican policies were not such anathema, then it wouldn't matter that non-traditional voters came out: they would consider voting Republican just as much as Democrat.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:19 PM

8. Joan is so much easier to read than listen to. I can't stand her whine all the time.

I hope someone has told her and she just can't help it but either way, its fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

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Response to Hamlette (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:38 PM

10. You, I believe, are alone on this one.

I love it when her face and voice pops up on the tube. Everything about her is wonderful. Do you prefer more of a Bea Arthur voice or a Marsha Blackburn? Maybe Trisha Paytas? http://lybio.net/trisha-paytas-why-im-voting-for-mitt-romney/people/

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Response to 12AngryBorneoWildmen (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:54 AM

18. I love what she says. I don't know whether she whines all the time or just on TV

and even if I am alone in this, doesn't mean I'm wrong

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:27 PM

9. K&R nt

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:41 PM

11. Another Angle

Well, if they want to say they're proud that the wealthier people voted for Romney, we can show them another angle. I saw some statistic that showed the top ten states in the U.S. that have the most college graduates, voted for Obama. The lowest 10 states that have the least amount of college graduates, voted for Romney. So, there!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:41 PM

12. Go on Stuey baby...

...keep thinking and talking just like this and see how far you get with the diverse majority election after election. Bring on the inane rhetoric while Dems run the country!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:46 PM

13. Saw it!!

I don't know why everybody trippin' on Stevens. why is it so hard to believe that irrational people make sense to themselves. Personally I love all the colorful terms and excuses as to why the President won re-election. This lets me know they are as stupid as ever. it also lets me know that they have gained no knowledge. I don't want them with any. It shrinks the base. I don't want them engaging with any of this electorate except to pass legislation. They don't want minorities unless they can pick and choose which ones they deem acceptable. They really and truly don't like women, blacks, latinos,asians, middle easterners,college kids,single mothers,teachers,fire,police,farmers,environmentalists democrats,and independents. Republicans don't want us so why would we want them??? Republicans have all but said that they will have it their way or the Country bust. And proved it during Dubya/Shooter Administration. They will not respect any democratic proposition no matter how good or intelligent the idea will be. Republicans do not want to serve all of America, just old rich white men. They are mistaken about the Country and I prefer to keep it that way. They won't be in power for awhile with their way of reasoning. Works For Me. After everything that Republicans have done and said, why am I supposed to be so forgiving and wasting my time trying to get them to see the error of their trifling ways. Won't be me.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:48 PM

14. Still spouting the same nonsense.

It's gonna be a while before they run things again, I think.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:55 PM

15. I saw this on TV yesterday and Walsh was not out of line at all, in fact very polite

Davis's remarks smacked of old racism, dragging the "underclass" out of "their apartments". It was disgusting. Seems the only reason he's on Chris Matthews is they seem to be friends.
I was happy to be dragged out of my "cheap" 5th Avenue apartment in NYC to vote for the representative of the underclass. <sarcasm>

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:59 PM

16. What was really appalling was Matthews response to Joan Walsh

I happened to watch this on Hardball last night--a show I never watch because I find Matthews so loud...

What I found really appalling was when Joan Walsh very politely corrected Davis' language. He used the term "underclass" and also mentioned that the election had been lost due to those "voters being pulled out of apartments" that don't usually vote. Matthews leaped in and kept telling Joan to back off because Davis is "one of the good guys"... In fact, he kept repeating that. Then he mentioned that Davis had been nice enough to come on the show while Joan is a constant guest (that's a paraphrase, the others are attempts at real quotes).

And that's the problem.

While Davis is the closest thing we have to a moderate Republican right now it seems that we have to treat these folks gently even when they use language that is groaning with code words and weighted down with class contempt. In fact, Joan (who was very nice and very gentle) was just trying to point out to him that he'd just uttered something that wasn't too far from terms like "legitimate rape" and the "47% who don't take any responsibility for their lives"...

This was a teachable moment for Davis, but Chris Matthews jumped in to save him from the gentlest form this lesson was ever going to take. I'm not sure how much nicer Joan Walsh could have been.

I would have found Davis' words shocking if I was still capable of shock. But, hearing these words come out of the mouth of a very genial man, was jarring. It was clear that this is what the current thought is in the Republican party. They lost, not because of their policy positions, but because of all those shiftless poor people that don't pay taxes and just want stuff. Since so many of us that voted for Obama don't really fit this particular stereotype this is a big problem for the Republicans.

Until the Republicans become capable of understanding that this loss was due to them, due to their exclusionary world view, due to their sheer negativity in writing off a huge chunk of the electorate (which seems to be around 53%), due to their policy choices that offer a bleak future to the majority...well, they'll continue to lose.

That Davis is one of the best they have to offer and he still is reflexively reactionary bodes ill for the GOP. But it also bodes ill for us as well. The Democratic party swims in these circles and drinks from the same fountain. Most of our representatives are also wealthy and probably find the idea of "people in apartments" foreign. It is not an accident that the Democratic party has lurched to the right in the last 30 years.

When you are constantly surrounded by the same set of ideas it a rare person that can come up with their own ideas. We, as citizens, have a lot to do in the coming years. We need to be far less passive and far more vocal to those that are supposedly on our side, but often don't seem to be.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:03 PM

17. My upset was with Chris Matthews

He practically told Joan to shut up when she "dared" to question who is apparently a good friend of Tweety. He got her off the air quickly and was so very flustered that this strong woman dared to insult a very important guest he had on his show. Shame on him. Joan Walsh did a great job until she was silenced.

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