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Opinion: Learn To Be An American

The Buck Starts Here

One day after Rush Limbaugh called on W. Mitt Romney to use racist attacks against the President, Romney used racist attacks against the President.

Yesterday, Romney dispatched an attack dog of sorts, John Sununu, to deliver a message to the first African American President of the United States: we will teach you how to be an American.

So this is how Team Romney proposes to change the subject from what date Mitt Romney retroactively retired from Bain?

Rush has the answer: Dog whistle politics!

It was truly a retro day for the campaign that invented the term retroactively retired. Team Romney chose yesterday to look back to the days when Rush Limbaugh had not yet been to rehab or faced felony charges for the way he got access to his illegal drugs.

The days when George H.W. Bush was in the White House thanks in large part to the race bating Willie Horton ad and a campaign that played to white American's fears and racial stereotypes. A campaign masterminded by Lee Atwater who divided America with wedge issues and race-based politics and ran a campaign about flag factories and the pledge of allegiance to remind voters that the name Dukakis didn't sound very American.

So who better to dust off than George H.W. Bush's former Chief of Staff – the guy who eventually resigned in disgrace under the cloud of scandal – to talk about who is American and who needs to be taught to be American?

After all, there is nothing more American than abusing your access to military jets so you can go skiing. Sununu did that, and more, when in the White House.

Who better to put Rush's words to action and remind America that Obama is an un-American "Other" that the Havana-born former Bush aide?

And Sununu delivered, calling the President an un-American stoner and mocking him for living in Hawaii and Indonesia as a child. Sununu used the opportunity to drop racial stereotypes while telling his audience how foreign and un-American the President of the United States is.

It seems an odd choice for W. Mitt Romney, grandson of polygamists.

For all the talk about Swiss Bank Accounts and Cayman Islands and Bermuda tax havens – financial institutions favored by drug dealers and money launderers – it seems like a particularly stupid argument to make.

But this is what we get from Team Romney in Boston.

Coming on the heels of W. Mitt Romney's speech to the NAACP and his subsequent disparaging comments associating blacks and government handouts, it is clear that Romney is more comfortable playing the race card than releasing his taxes.

About Bill Buck

Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.


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