The language of GOP racial politics is heavy on euphemisms that allow the speaker to deny any responsibility for the racial content of his message. The code words in this game are “entitlement society” — as used by Mitt Romney — and “poor work ethic” and “food stamp president” — as used by Newt Gingrich. References to a lack of respect for the “Founding Fathers” and the “Constitution” also make certain ears perk up by demonizing anyone supposedly threatening core “old-fashioned American values.”
One has to wonder then why Williams is hanging out at FOX News, arguably the number one source for disseminating these code words. I have zero sympathy for the guy, he made his choices and he has to live with them. But Kilgore immediately grasps the issue:
When Newt Gingrich turned Juan Williams into the perfect foil during the January 19 Republican candidate debate in Myrtle Beach, SC, ironic symbolism certainly abounded. Aside from the fact that Newt vaulted himself into the lead by beating up on an African-American journalist on MLK Day in the Cradle of the Confederacy, there was the additional fact that Williams is a Fox News panelist who briefly became a conservative celebrity after NPR fired him for on-air remarks deemed insensitive to Muslims. The debate audience didn’t know or care, presumably viewing Williams as just another “race-card” player who needed to be slapped down for suggesting anyone railing against the work ethic of food stamp recipients might be appealing to atavistic motives.
Now, I think Kilgore is on the right track, but my cynical side wants to move the grubby, Cheeto crud-covered GOP chess pieces forward a few moves and says Williams lobbed such a fat, tasty curveball over the plate of Gingrich in South Carolina for a reason, and that is to make a horse race out of the coronation of Marquis du Mittens as long as possible to keep the faithful glued to the primary noise machine. With Newt down in Florida and big by most accounts, he's pitched another juicy one right into Gingrich's ego wheelhouse with the primary just hours away.
Just the kind of scrum FOX excels at creating and running with. Williams knows damn well what he's doing now, just like he damn well knew what he was doing in South Carolina, people.
Like I said, zero sympathy for this phony simp's symphony.