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Oct 05 2012

Sununu Blows the Dog Whistle

John Sununu has been Mitt Romney’s most rabid attack dog in the press and he uses some good old fashioned racism in his attempt to sway voters, saying in separate interviews that President Obama is both stupid and lazy, playing into old racist stereotypes:

Sununu described Obama’s performance as “babbling,” “lazy,” and “disengaged,” and dismissed the possibility that he could do better in the future. “When you’re not that bright you can’t get better prepared,” he said…

During a separate interview on MSNBC, Sununu doubled down on the characterization. “I think you saw him admit it the night before when he delivered the pizzas. He said, you know, they’re making me do this work. He didn’t want to prepare for this debate. He’s lazy and disengaged.”

This is the same dog whistle Newt Gingrich has been using, that Obama is lazy and just wants to sleep in and hit the golf course. Could they be any more obvious about it?

33 comments

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  1. 1
    matty1

    Obama is lazy and just wants to sleep in and hit the golf course.

    I thought that was Bush?

  2. 2
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Now watch this drive.

  3. 3
    eric

    Yeah, Obama should work as hard as Bush.

  4. 4
    Ace of Sevens

    Is playing golf a black stereotype now? That would be awesome.

  5. 5
    pinkboi

    Lazy and just wanting to hit the golf course sounds like an old White guy to me. But I don’t understand this:

    “When you’re not that bright you can’t get better prepared”

    Really? There are valid things to criticize Obama about, but lack of intelligence isn’t one of them. I’m pretty sure even most of his critics would agree that he’s not exactly a dim bulb. To think otherwise probably does require an a priori belief that Blacks (and mixed individuals) are unintelligent.

  6. 6
    Michael Heath

    Ed asks rhetorically:

    This is the same dog whistle Newt Gingrich has been using, that Obama is lazy and just wants to sleep in and hit the golf course. Could they be any more obvious about it?

    It’s obvious enough that it has an effect, but not obvious enough the racists who are targeted are conscious they approve of such dog whistles because they’re racists. I suspect most of those successfully targeted would vehemently argue they’re aren’t bigots or racists, in spite of promoting both.

    It would be interesting to understand who the Republican pollsters find are positively responding to this type of rhetoric and why. I’m currently reading Chris Mooney’s mis-titled book, Republican Brain, but I haven’t yet reached this topic which I assume is included. Mis-titled because the science buttressing his book is really about America’s predominant form of religious-political conservatism, not necessarily Republicans in general though the ones that aren’t are shrinking as a share of the party.

  7. 7
    Gvlgeologist, FCD

    I’ve seen lots of comments on public fora such as FB and various TV/newspaper/”news” websites, etc., where conservatives state that liberals are STUPID!!!llll!!11, repeatedly, despite studies to the contrary (http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1968042,00.html). I don’t know whether it’s due to lack of information or misinformation by Rush/Beck/Faux Noise, to projection or jealousy, or simple tribal in vs. out, but it’s a common meme.

    Certainly a lot of conservative posts by my conservative FB friends are designed around trying to portray Obama and other* liberals as stupid. I don’t see the reverse among the liberal FB posts, possibly because I would agree with it. When I think of lib commentary on cons, I tend to see comments on educational levels, religiosity, or lack of empathy or honesty used as insults.

    * I wanted to put “other” in strikethrough because of the common lack of liberal behavior by our president, but couldn’t figure out how. Didn’t there used to be a guide to html code here somewhere?

  8. 8
    mikeyb

    Of course, it goes well with the boys comment in the last debate and of course the 47% monolog. Sometimes I think perhaps contrary to public opinion, Lincoln might have been our worst president. Had we let the south secede, perhaps we might have actually had a progressive nation, and joined the family of nations which have the decency to believe you can have both a prosperous economy and a strong social safety net regardless of your race, sex, sexuality, etc, etc. With the south, I’m not sure that is ever going to happen.

  9. 9
    busterggi

    They’d love to call Obama ‘uppity’ but so far that has been a bit too obvious for them.

    So far.

  10. 10
    ewanmacdonald

    Of course, it goes well with the boys comment in the last debate and of course the 47% monolog. Sometimes I think perhaps contrary to public opinion, Lincoln might have been our worst president. Had we let the south secede, perhaps we might have actually had a progressive nation, and joined the family of nations which have the decency to believe you can have both a prosperous economy and a strong social safety net regardless of your race, sex, sexuality, etc, etc. With the south, I’m not sure that is ever going to happen.

    A tiny flaw being that this would have left slaves to the mercy of a sovereign south which would have continued to view them as property and not humans.

  11. 11
    eamick

    They’d love to call Obama ‘uppity’ but so far that has been a bit too obvious for them.

    So far.

    It happened during the first campaign.

  12. 12
    NitricAcid

    People often see their political opponents as stupid. They consider their own positions to be intelligent and well-thought-out, even obvious. The most obvious reason to disagree with something intelligent and obvious is that the disagreer is too stupid to see that it’s intelligent, well-thought out and obvious.

    Duh.

  13. 13
    naturalcynic

    @ Michael Heath

    Chris Mooney’s mis-titled book, Republican Brain
    Incoplete, not mistitled. Should be Republican Reptilian Brain

  14. 14
    NitricAcid

    Mikeyb- if the south would have won, you wouldn’t have had two nations, but multiple ones. Texas would have split from the CSA first (I seem to recall that Texas never actually joined the CSA, but decided to ally with it in order to have its own independence); the remaining bits would have quickly split off into countries- possibly bigger than the states were, but certainly smaller than CSA/USA.

    At the same time, Canada probably would not have confederated- the real push behind confederation was the idea that the very well-armed USA, having just purchased Alaska, might decide to collect some of the other bits of North America.

    So the continent would have been full of multiple nations, each with their own armies and disagreements- just like Europe was in the 1800 and 1900s. I don’t think things would have turned out nearly as well for anyone.

  15. 15
    =8)-DX

    Yes, because the Republicans are really pushing to make sure lazy and studpid people don’t get in power and instead make way for the intellectual, educated elites. Wait what?

  16. 16
    baal

    Did the MSNBC host call out Mr. Sununu for using the adjective ‘lazy’ to describe a black (mixed race) man? I might have to go write an email.

  17. 17
    tubi

    @#12

    People often see their political opponents as stupid.

    One of my conservative FB friends posted this list the other day, “12 Reasons to Vote Democrat”. The tag says that if any of your friends voted for a Democrat, and can’t quite figure out why, have them pick from one of these options:

    1. I voted Democrat because I love the fact that I can now marry whatever I want. I’ve decided to marry my German Shepherd.
    2. I voted Democrat because I believe oil companies’ profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene, but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn’t.
    3. I voted Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending the money I earn than I would.
    4. I voted Democrat because Freedom of Speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.
    5. I voted Democrat because I’m way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves.
    6. I voted Democrat because I believe that people who can’t tell us if it will rain on Friday can tell us that the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don’t start driving a Prius.
    7. I voted Democrat because I’m not concerned about millions of babies being aborted so long as we keep all death row inmates alive.
    8. I voted Democrat because I think illegal aliens have a right to free health care, education, and Social Security benefits, and we should take away the social security from those who paid into it.
    9. I voted Democrat because I believe that businesses should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as the Democrats see fit.
    10. I voted Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters.
    11. I voted Democrat because I think that it’s better to pay billions to people who hate us, for their oil, but not drill our own because it might upset some endangered beetle, gopher or fish.
    12. I voted Democrat because my head is so firmly planted up my ass, it’s unlikely that I’ll ever have another point of view.

    After her friends finished lolling and guffawing and yelping, “Sing it sister!”, I replied, “Thanks for equating my gay friends with a common dog.”

  18. 18
    Jordan Genso

    @16 baal:

    Did the MSNBC host call out Mr. Sununu for using the adjective ‘lazy’ to describe a black (mixed race) man?

    Yes, and no. Andrea Mitchell (the interviewer) was obviously shocked by his statement when he said the President was lazy, and so she asked him if he wanted to take that back.

    Instead, he doubled down, and Andrea was clearly disturbed by it. But she didn’t “call him out”, depending on how you interpret that phrase.

  19. 19
    Ichthyic

    I suspect most of those successfully targeted would vehemently argue they’re aren’t bigots or racists, in spite of promoting both.

    Michael, that doesn’t mean they AREN’T racists, it merely means that generations of white privilege and growing up not exposed to overt public racism have done a good job of convincing them they aren’t.

  20. 20
    Ichthyic

    then again, I might be reading you incorrectly, and you’re actually saying the same thing.

  21. 21
    NitricAcid

    @tubi

    That list was posted by a conservative. What do you expect? Conservatives are stupid.

  22. 22
    tubi

    That list was posted by a conservative. What do you expect? Conservatives are stupid.

    I see what you did there…

  23. 23
    twincats

    Seemed more like a vuvuzela than a dog whistle when I heard it, but some of the shock has worn off. Still, seems like Sununu has pitched his newspaper and dog whistle in favor of a baton and a police whistle.

  24. 24
    Chris from Europe

    @tubi
    As that picture floating around the web says: “Facewall … when a facepalm is not enough”

  25. 25
    democommie

    John E. Sununu could not get re-elected in the state where his father was a three term governor. What’s that about people being lazy and stupid? Yeah, dumbfuck johnny, I’m lookin’ at you.

  26. 26
    Chris from Europe

    @democommie
    I think this is about the Sr.

  27. 27
    dan4

    @25: What Chris from Europe said (except replace “think” with “know”). Look who the “dumbfuck johnny” is now.

  28. 28
    sharonb

    If one of my “friends” had posted a bigoted list like that, it would earn them a hurried and permanent status change to ex-friend.

  29. 29
    democommie

    Chris from Europe:

    I stand corrected. It’s hard to tell which of those scumbags are up to what at any given time. John, Sr. is the one who was caught with his fucking hand in the cookie jar when he was Pappy Bush’s chief of staff. Like fuckweasel father, like fuckweasel son.

    dan4:

    Still pissed from last time you said something fucking stupid and got called on it? Yeah, I didn’t forget that, you pathetic mewling, piece of shit.

  30. 30
    Michael Heath

    democommie,

    Sununu Sr. made a contribution to the nation’s interest that I think far exceeds his running up the tab on jet travel as Bush Sr.’s Chief of Staff. That was his helping Sen. Warren Rudman sell President H.W. Bush on nominating David Souter to the SCOTUS.

    Those were the days prior to Republicans using Scalia/Thomas as a litmus test from which must never veer left; so how ignorant or naive Sununu and Bush. Sr. were on Souter’s jurisprudence is a reflection of those times.

  31. 31
    scienceavenger

    To many conservatives, even some very intelligent ones, racism has to be conscious, direct hatred of blacks for being black, or it isn’t racism. Means well? Isn’t racism. Just describing reality as they see it? Not racism. Likes blacks just fine, but recognizes their general inferiority? You’re the racist if you say that’s racist.

    The fact is there are, and have always been, very intelligent, educated people in both political parties, and brick stupid ones as well. It’s extremely lazy, and damaging to our body politic, to evade the discussions we ought to be having by implying that everyone on the other side is too stupid to take seriously. It so happens right now this view dominates the GOP, which ironically, in the long run, could lend itself to the democrats as a result. Bubble thinking that the other side is stupid makes you stupid.

  32. 32
    scienceavenger

    One addendum, I happen to think the argument that pointing out racism is itself racism, might just be the dumbest political argument out there, with the possible exception of the denial of global warming on the basis of Mars’ supposed warming, or the argument that Islam isn’t a religion.

  33. 33
    democommie

    Michael Heath:

    “Sununu Sr. made a contribution to the nation’s interest that I think far exceeds his running up the tab on jet travel as Bush Sr.’s Chief of Staff. That was his helping Sen. Warren Rudman sell President H.W. Bush on nominating David Souter to the SCOTUS.”

    Michael, if anyone was fooled into helping get Souter on the SCotUS it was Sununu. Having lived in NH or northeaster MA during his tenure as governor I can assure you he was an inflexible reactionary RWA asshole. He would never have recommended Souter if he had any idea that the man was a reasonable jurist and not an ideologue.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1990/07/25/us/bush-s-court-choice-sununu-tells-how-and-why-he-pushed-souter-for-court.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

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