This morning’s dose of right-wing crazy: Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster has been forced to issue a public apology after his bizarre allegations that “dozens [and] dozens of Black people [came] in and voted on Election Day.” Webster implied that this could have tipped the state’s vote to President Obama.
"Everybody has a right to vote but nobody in [these] towns knows anyone who's Black,” Webster said on Thursday. “How did that happen? We’re going to find out.”
Webster’s preposterous comments were not satire for “The Onion." The remarks were made to Portland’s NBC affiliate WCSH-TV and represented the latest in a series of racially-charged post-election commentary by the Republican official. Webster made similar comments the previous day and “refused to provide specifics” or proof, reports the Portland Press Herald. “I'm not talking about 15 or 20. I'm talking hundreds. Maybe I shouldn't have said these voters were Black, but anyone who suggests I have a bias toward any race or group, frankly, that's sleazy.”
The nearly two weeks since President Obama’s historic re-election have witnessed a rapidly re-calibrating post-election narrative from the Republican Party. Initial blame focused on the GOP’s “arithmetic problem”—their refusal to heed massive early voter turnout, as well as dozens of polls and trends leading up to Election Day. The pre-election polling was dutifully chronicled by statistician Nate Silver at the New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight—and apparently everyone was paying attention except for the GOP.
“The [Republican] party’s campaigns, committees and super PACs [believed] internal polling [that] gave an overly optimistic read on the electorate,” reports Politico’s Alexander Burns. “‘It was a colossal disaster and it wasn’t confined to the presidential campaign,’ said GOP media and polling strategist Curt Anderson.”
What’s the “colossal disaster?" It’s standard operating procedure among many social conservatives to routinely ignore facts, science, math and data to reach many of their “conclusions.”
The latest post-election meme to emerge from the FOX News and the GOP spin machine perfectly illustrates their cognitive dissonance. The President gave “extraordinary financial gifts” to “his base coalition” of youth, Blacks, Latinos and women, Romney told reporters last week. The failed GOP candidate has blamed the voters instead of acknowledging that his campaign failed to appeal to a wider cross section of Americans.
Ann Coulter amplified Romney’s messaging with a louder dog whistle: “More White people voted for Mitt Romney this year than voted for Ronald Reagan,” she claimed in her weekly column. “If the same country that voted in 1980 had voted in 2012, Romney would have won a bigger landslide than Reagan did.”
Here’s a status update for Ann Coulter and the GOP: This is not the same country as it was in 1980. The demographics are wildly different. The nation’s population is younger, more people are biracial or multiracial and Latinos “account for more than half of the nation's [population] growth over the past decade,” according to Census data reported in the Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, many Blacks are leaving big cities in the North and Midwest and “returning to fast-growing states in the once-segregated South,” adds USA Today.
Maine’s racial demographics have not changed significantly in recent years. It’s a fairly homogenous state and is entirely white. More than 95.5% of Mainers are white—the second highest percentage after Vermont. It’s very likely that many Mainers, especially those in rural areas, do not have any have Black neighbors. It’s also likely that “dozens and dozens” of Blacks were trying to vote in Maine on Election Day—probably the very few Blacks who actually live there.
The thought of “hundreds” of mysterious Black voters from Brooklyn or New Haven trying to claim residence in Penobscot to “swing the vote” for Obama is pure comedy. Why would it be necessary? “Obama ultimately carried Maine 56 percent to 41 percent over Romney,” reports the Bangor Daily News.
Fifty-six to forty-one percent? LOLz. Romney couldn’t even get "47 percent " of the vote.
Rod McCullom has written and produced for ABC News, NBC and FOX, and his writing has appeared in EBONY, The Advocate, OUT, The Los Angeles Times and many others. Read his award winning site Rod 2.0. Follow him on Twitter: @RodMcCullom