‘Reparations’

‘REPARATIONS’…. Over the weekend, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, launched into a nutty tirade. Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh managed to make it even more offensive.

Sessions insisted that President Obama is deliberately trying to increase unemployment and weaken Wall Street as part of a “divide and conquer” strategy to consolidate power. Sessions, who recently said he’d like to see the GOP emulate the insurgency tactics of the Taliban, added that the president intends to “inflict damage and hardship on the free enterprise system, if not to kill it.”

As truly nutty as this is, Limbaugh’s version is actually more nauseating.

“The [economic] deterioration reflects lower tax revenues and higher costs for bank failures, unemployment benefits and food stamps. But in the Oval Office of the White House none of this is a problem. This is the objective. The objective is unemployment. The objective is more food stamp benefits. The objective is more unemployment benefits. The objective is an expanding welfare state. And the objective is to take the nation’s wealth and return to it to the nation’s quote, ‘rightful owners.’ Think reparations. Think forced reparations here if you want to understand what actually is going on.”

Kevin Drum replied, “Limbaugh’s message could hardly have been more obvious if he’d donned blackface and performed a soft-shoe in his studio.” Andrew Sullivan added, “I guess no one ever accused Limbaugh of keeping his racism under wraps.”

Quite right. The “substance” of Limbaugh’s argument is obviously insane, but the racism of his attack is hardly subtle. It’s almost hard to believe — the nation’s leading conservative argued, in all seriousness, that the president of the United States is trying to destroy the economy, on purpose, as part of a “forced reparations” campaign.

I realize several far-right voices get angry over what they consider “cheap liberal accusations of ‘racism,'” which they consider common. But if conservatives would express at least a modicum of disgust for tirades like Limbaugh’s, instead of ignoring his frequent race-driven tirades, it’d do wonders for the discourse.