Let’s be clear: Going to the NAACP and sneering derisively at “Obamacare” was an act of disrespect. There was a way to frame his opposition to Obamneycare – I mean, the Affordable Care Act – in policy terms. By using the right’s term of choice, “Obamacare,” which serves to underscore that it’s our first black president’s signature achievement, Romney was being deliberately provocative – and he got the boos he wanted, so now he can boast of his ability to speak truth to the not terribly powerful. (Although the group gave him a standing ovation when he left, a sign that they have more class than the gazillionaire who wants to lead the nation.)
In case you’re not clear about his motives, Romney later told Fox News, regarding the boos: “I completely expected that, of course, but I’m going to give the same message to the NAACP that I give across the country, that it’s killing jobs.” He got nastier at a fundraiser in Montana Wednesday night, according to a pool report, telling supporters about his NAACP critics: “Remind them of this, if they want more stuff from government tell them to go vote for the other guy -more free stuff. But don’t forget nothing is really free.” Some Romney supporters are even more vicious in making political use of his NAACP reception: Rush Limbaugh is now saying the Republican candidate was booed “simply because Romney’s white.”
Romney’s disrespect confirms what we already know: He’s content to be the leader of a party that gets almost 90 percent of its support from white voters alone. They can only get away with it, in a country that’s only 64 percent non-Hispanic white (and dropping) by making it tougher for non-whites to vote. So that’s what they’re doing.