It's challenging to stand out as a bigoted crackpot this campaign season, but Sharron Angle deserves a gold star, says Rachel Maddow, for having the most "overtly racist" ad this year. Is she also the most bigoted major-party nominee?
The evidence is growing. Here is Angle's spokeswoman's defense against these charges, given to The Daily Caller:
"Sharron is a proud grandmother of beautiful Hispanic children –- she loves them dearly and wants only the best for them, and these are some of the motives that inspire her to run for office. Sadly, It's Harry Reid who divides; whether it concerns skin color or dialects of somebody running for political office, or questioning the political affiliation of patriotic Hispanics, it's Harry Reid's very own comments which prove that it is Harry Reid himself who is out of touch with our community," Stacy concluded.
She lost us when she started talking about "dialects." (Well, she's lost us a few times.) But it's all of a piece with Angle's M.O. on ethnicity and immigration: take a hardline stance, play on fears, and then when questioned ramble about how ethnicity and race don't exist the way these paranoid liberals think they do. To wit:
1) If you re-elect Harry Reid, he will let scary brown men take over colleges using government money. Maddow was talking about an ad called "Thanks, Pal." It was pulled off YouTube — but only because of a copyright claim from a photographer who was pissed that his image of farmers in southern Mexico was being taken out of context. (It was being contrasted with white college graduates in robes.)
That photo might have popped up when both Angle and Louisiana Senator David Vitter's aides Googled "scary brown men," since both politicians used it in their ads. At the time, Think Progress noted the contrast between the images Angle used and the actual ones of students advocating for the DREAM Act, to whom she was apparently referring.
2) Did she mention scary brown men, crossing fences? Angle is still unapologetically airing ads like this:
She claimed in a meeting with Latino students who objected to the ad, "I'm not sure that those are Latinos in that commercial. What it is, is a fence and there are people coming across that fence." She claimed the northern border was just as bad when it came to letting terrorists across. Too bad her ad showed a map of Mexico. The students basically laughed in her face.
3) She's not racist, because she looks Asian, and so do you. Angle took another opportunity to alienate Latino voters when she told a gathering of a high school Hispanic Student Union, "Some of you look Asian to me."
It kept getting worse: She said,
"So that's what we want is a secure and sovereign nation and, you know, I don't know that all of you are Latino. Some of you look a little more Asian to me. I don't know that. What we know, what we know about ourselves is that we are a melting pot in this country. My grandchildren are evidence of that. I'm evidence of that. I've been called the first Asian legislator in our Nevada State Assembly."
A Las Vegas Sun blogger asked what she was talking about when she said she was the first Asian legislator and was told by Angle's people that "a reporter thought she looked Asian." Meaning, if white people look "Asian," and Latinos look "Asian," then no one is racist ever! Especially not Sharron Angle, crazy white lady extraordinaire.
4. Some of her best friends are racists. Back when Angle won the nomination on the strength of Tea Party Express support, Mother Jones wondered whether Angle would repudiate that organization's leader, who was drummed out after a rather inconvenient blog post that was more openly racist than usual. He'd already called President Obama an "Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug." Angle's response was that Harry Reid is just as racist than that guy:
"Mrs. Angle readily condemns the use of the type of inflammatory language used on somebody's private blog just like she condemned the language used by Majority Leader Harry Reid when he referenced our President as being a 'light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.'"
I see what you did there.
The scary thing of all is that she might actually win.
Update: Angle just released this ad which shows that her people know where to find even more photos of supposed Mexican illegal immigrant gang members. "It's clear whose side [Reid] is on, and it's not yours." Latino voters, she's not talking to you. Unless she is, but she was talking about those Canadian gang members overseen by the president of Mexico.
Angle To Hispanic Children: Some Of You Look A Little More Asian [Las Vegas Sun]
Sharron Angle's Critics Resort To Accusing Her Of Racism And Playing Racial Politics [Daily Caller]
Sharron Angle 'Not Sure' If Immigration Ads Feature Latinos [HuffPo]
Rachel Maddow: Sharron Angle Ad 'The Most Overtly Racist' Of 2010 [HuffPo]
Photog Charges Infringement, Distortion Over Anti-Immigration Campaign Ads [PDN Pulse]
Sharron Angle Adds Insult To Injury With New Racially-Tinged Immigration Ad [Think Progress]