Tuesday, August 28, 2012
The Ugly Americans
(Update: This morning, two of the four independent reports I gleaned this story from are retracting it and saying that the chants of "USA!" had everything to do with the Paulbots, which I referenced briefly, and nothing to do with the functionary from Puerto Rico on the stage. I do my damndest to be fair and stick to the facts, so I want to make that clear. I've accused the right of simply and shamelessly making stuff up lately, which it has, and I certainly don't want to do the same.)
I've purposely avoided bringing up the RNC over the past day or so because, well, why bother? We already know exactly what's going to come out of it: At best it's political Kabuki, at worst, since we're dealing with the modern Republican party, it's going to be a lot of firebreathing, red meat chewing and the indefensible demonization of vast swaths of the American electorate.
But on that last point, I guess it really is possible for an unscripted moment of Neanderthalic nativism to take even me by surprise. So grab your popcorn, sit back and behold what happened when Zoraida Fonalledas, a Puerto Rican party functionary, was introduced, approached the podium and began to speak with a heavy Spanish accent.
Granted, the mindless Paulbots have been causing a lot of trouble at the convention so far, but Reince Priebus's very obviously astringent reaction should lead anyone watching it to assume that what he or she thinks was happening was actually happening: a bunch of delegates were shouting down a Latino woman with chants of "USA! USA!"
This is where I mention that Puerto Rico is part of the USA.
I can't even believe I need to do that.