Critical Sunday Show Race Theories For The 2022 Midterms!
This is arguably how Glenn Youngkin won the governorship of Virginia over Terry McAuliffe, no?
So despite the fact that "Infrastructure Week" finally happened and Democrats kept the New Jersey governorship and those stellar job numbers Friday, the Sunday shows (and other media) kept highlighting Dems' Virginia loss, casting around for blame and trying to divine what it means for the 2022 midterms.
Take Dana Bash on CNN's "State Of The Union." She was interviewing Democratic former Virginia governor and current Senator Mark Warner about what happened on Tuesday.
Bash began by quoting another moderate Democrat's assessment on the Virginia election, and then asking Warner for confirmation:
BASH: I just want to take it up to sort of 10,000 feet and ask you about something that your fellow Virginia Democrat Abigail Spanberger had to say. She said that President Biden and his agenda -- about this. She said: "Nobody elected him to be FDR. They elected him to be normal and stop the chaos." So are you misreading what Americans wanted out of this president, out of the Democratic Caucus -- Democratic Congress that is now in control?
WARNER: I think what the American people wanted was to do rational, pragmatic things. That's what I tried to do when I got elected governor 20 years ago, when Virginia was a very red state.
There is so much wrong here. Things are very different today from how they were 20 years ago. Then, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was number one at the box office. Now we know J.K. Rowling is a huge TERF. Hell, we live in a post-Vice President Kamala Harris teaching us how to make a proper tuna melt world.
A lot has changed.
But the part that really bothers me more is Bash giving more oxygen to Spanberger's quote. How is that quote any different from cowardly Republicans putting up with Trump's crazy shit to get their GOP agenda done for four years (a la "We didn't elect him to be a role model" or "He got SCOTUS, ignore the other stuff")? Or Grover Norquist's infamous "We only need someone smart enough to hold a pen" speech?
It actually minimizes the effect a president can have for good (Biden/Obama) or evil (Trump/George W. Bush), while also ignoring the huge constituency that voted for them because of the policies they ran on. Biden was elected nationwide on his policies much the same way Trump rode racial resentment to victory like Youngkin arguably did on Tuesday. The status quo may be what Spanberger and "Never Trump" Republicans wanted, because it benefits them, but Biden would have lost if that was what he ran on in 2020, much like McAuliffe just did and for similar reasons.
If you thought Bash was done blaming progressives, she decided to share this quote from sentient bayou skeleton James Carville a few days ago, complaining about "stupid wokeness" and "defund the police lunacy":
Bash then asked a totally stupid question, followed by a stupid answer from Warner. But I'll let Pulitzer Prize-winner Nikole Hannah-Jones explain why:
This is how propaganda works. Mainstream media normalizes murky, dog-whistle terminology that is used to stoke white resentment. What is woke here @DanaBashCNN and how was the extremely moderate candidate who did not run on CRT "too woke"?https://twitter.com/therecount/status/1457358348454711296\u00a0\u2026— Ida Bae Wells (@Ida Bae Wells) 1636307465
Journalists -- do not use this word. Say what you mean, and more importantly, make the people you are interviewing say EXACTLY WHAT THEY MEAN. Do your jobs.— Ida Bae Wells (@Ida Bae Wells) 1636307756
The brilliant Nikole Hannah-Jones is correct. Much like the term "Karen" was co-opted from people of color on social media, and its original meaning -- a white woman who abuses use of authority on people of color -- changed by misogynists to mean ANY woman they hate, "woke" has been turned into a catch-all phrase for anything conservatives and/or bigots hate.
Instead of ceding ground to Republicans and lazy journalists by accepting the premise of these questions, Democrats need to have the person bringing it up define it. Have them explain why Democrats should ignore bigotry and sexism to win over the ever-elusive "white working class." Make them realize the subtle racism they help disseminate when they only talk about the "middle class' or "working class" or "suburbs" as codes for white voters, as if people of color aren't also working/middle class people who live in the suburbs.
I mean, just look at this group of "suburban moms" CNN gave airtime to:
So much "diversity" on this panel. Everything from alabaster to ivory to bone and eggshell!
You'd think with people of color making up 28 percent of the suburban population nationwide in 2018 that we could get ONE person of color in these panels.
Have a week.
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Pop Culture observer & Comics fan. Amateur Movie Reviewer. Political Freelance Writer @wonkette. Marine, Husband & Dad. Opinions are mine only.