Tom Edsall nails it:

The Republican ticket is flooding the airwaves with commercials that develop two themes designed to turn the presidential contest into a racially freighted resource competition pitting middle class white voters against the minority poor.

Read the whole thing. Edsall lays out the argument in detail, and with lots of supporting facts. Of course the Birther non-joke fits in nicely.

No, you don’t have to be a racist to vote Republican, any more than you have to be Jewish to love Levy’s Rye. But you can’t vote Republican this year without ratifying the most brutally racial campaign since the Willy Horton ad in 1988.

Also note that there are two ways in which Republicans benefit from the largely successful efforts of their Congressional wing to tank the economy: directly when voters blame the bad results on Obama, and indirectly by deepening ethnic and class tensions.

Update More analysis and video here.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-based Community]

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Mark Kleiman

Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the New York University Marron Institute.