In a 20-page memo on GOP electoral woes, Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) repeatedly misspells Barack Obama's name – it’s one R, congressman, not two -- and then manages to use the racially charged term "tar baby" in a paragraph about Obama and immigration.Cue the usual excuses about how Davis "didn't know" and "didn't intend" and blahbity-blahbity-blah. Except that Davis really, really, really should have known, given that almost exactly two years ago to the day, Tony Snow made his grand entrance as White House Press Hack by using the term tar baby not once, but twice, to a resulting shitstorm. Snow was followed soon thereafter by Mitt Romney using the term and being forced to apologize. And, if that weren't enough, the GOP nominee, John McCain, found himself apologizing for using the phrase just over a year ago.
"Remember," Davis writes, "Hispanic voters are a swing group in this election and future elections. John McCain, being from a border state, may be out of sync with many Republicans but he has standing among Hispanics. Barrack Obama has not made the sale to Hispanic voters. Thus, this issue is a tar baby for anyone who touches it, with land mines everywhere."
So, unless Davis is completely and utterly detached from what's going on with prominent members of his own party, he ought to have, at some point, gotten the memo that "tar baby" is not a turn of phrase that has any place in public discourse in modern America. (Or private discourse, quite frankly.)
As for his intent, well, we all know that just doesn't matter, now, does it? He transmitted the slur, and now he needs to apologize. Big time.
And possibly send out another internal memorandum to the rest of his party that informs them to strike "tar baby" from their collective lexicon once and for all. Yeesh.
Obama Racism/Muslim/Unpatriotic/Scary Black Dude Watch: Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen, Nineteen, Twenty, Twenty-One, Twenty-Two, Twenty-Three, Twenty-Four, Twenty-Five, Twenty-Six, Twenty-Seven, Twenty-Eight, Twenty-Nine, Thirty, Thirty-One, Thirty-Two, Thirty-Three, Thirty-Four, Thirty-Five, Thirty-Six, Thirty-Seven, Thirty-Eight, Thirty-Nine, Forty, Forty-One, Forty-Two, Forty-Three.