"The surprise was some of the turnout, some of the turnout especially in urban areas, which gave President Obama the big margin to win this race,” Mr. Ryan said in an interview with WISC-TV back home in Wisconsin on Monday before returning Tuesday to Capitol Hill for the start of the lame-duck session."
This NYTimes article has been addressed in our community, but I finally read it and want to add to the conversation.
What gets me with this “coded racism” is why Ryan didn’t comment about the more remarkable statistic in the election, about how older white men overwhelmingly voted for Romney. Why didn’t he comment about how embarrassing it was to overwhelmingly win in Southern and rural areas and still lose the election. Why didn’t Ryan comment, “The surprise was some of the turnout, not that we lost the election, but that we lost in spite of all our support having turned out to support us as they promised.”
Let’s be clear about Ryan’s point of view. Does anyone believe he thinks his campaign work with Romney was aimed at the urban citizens likely to vote. Clearly, the answer is “No, he does not believe so.” Consequently, commenting on “urban areas” is nothing less than a racist and reactionary response. His comment should have addressed a salient fact of life for reactionary conservatives and their GOP. Capitalists and their careerist political class might no longer be able to valorize catering to racist zealots and their angry white male friends.
In the article, Ryan addresses Honda, the politician who first publicly insisted Ryan’s use of “urban” was racist code. Here’s how The New York Times frames the discussion:
Representative Michael M. Honda, Democrat of California, said that “urban” is “just another code word for people of color.”
“But a lot of people of color live in the countryside, too,” he added. “He is just grabbing at straws to justify his loss.”
In an interview broadcast Tuesday with ABC News, Mr. Ryan said he did not think that the nation’s voters had given Mr. Obama a mandate to raise taxes on the wealthy.
“I don’t think so, because they also re-elected the House Republicans,” Mr. Ryan said. “So whether people intended or not, we’ve got divided government. This is a very close election, and unfortunately divided government didn’t work very well the last two years. We’re going to have to make sure it works in the next two years.”
Ryan purposefully ignores how district geography tends to favor the conservative voter in much of the United States. Apparently half-heartedly, he unskillfully attempts to shift the discussion of his loss to the GOP pseudo-victory (their majority shrank, though persevered) in the House of Representatives. That’s just face-saving politics. More significantly, Ryan evades the question-at-issue. He doesn’t want to address the coded racism we can see in his comments. Instead, he asks us to recognize that we have a “divided government”. He caters to an absent populism. The only people in the US who believe the government division means what Ryan says it means are white men. That’s how I interpret the election. As bad as shit is, American voters—other than the white men—chose to keep problematic Obama over Romney/Ryan.
I don’t know why we let these white men get away with their patronizing discourse about inclusion and division. That’s some regressive racism for you. It’s a degenerate view of US history, too.