[Ed. note: Today’s sadder, sadder Joan Walsh]
I’m getting a lot of attention, even outside the wingnut blogosphere, for explaining on MSNBC that Sarah Palin’s equating the national debt with slavery is another example of “the white grievance industry” manufacturing and peddling new widgets of rage to the GOP base. I’m not sure what’s noteworthy there. Palin is indeed part of a vast white right-wing anger machine mostly run out of Fox News, though its unrivaled leader is Rush Limbaugh. It’s powered by the paranoia among too many Republicans that white people are somehow oppressed by our first black president.
You’re forgiven if Palin is on your ignore list. In case you missed it, the half-term former Alaska governor riled up an Iowa crowd this weekend by declaring what she was about to say “isn’t racist,” then immediately complaining that liberals (presumably) would “try anyway” to make it seem racist, and then making her ignorant comparison between the national debt and chattel slavery, which is at best deeply dismissive of slavery’s cruel and persistent legacy in American society, if not actually racist.
Railing against Democrats’ luring voters with offers of “free stuff” (like healthcare), Palin went on: