On Wednesday, MSNBC host Martin Bashir accused President Barack Obama’s critics, who are focusing on the scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups, of using the IRS scandal in place of attacks on the president’s race.
Bashir scolded a variety of Republican commentators who he said “laid the groundwork” for presidential candidate Mitt Romney to make a “racist comment” in 2012 when he joked that no one ever needed to ask for his birth certificate.
“And now, the IRS is being used in exactly the same way as they tried to use the president’s birth certificate,” Bashir said. “For Republicans like Darrell Issa, who knows something about arson, those three letters now stand for something inflammatory.”
“Republicans are using it as their latest weapon in the war against the black man in the White House,” he insisted.
Bashir then referenced a portion of an interview by the late Republican political consultant Lee Atwater from 1981:
Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “n***er, n***er.”
“So, this afternoon, we welcome the latest phrase in the lexicon of Republican attacks on this president – the IRS,” Bashir said. “Three letters that sound so innocent, but we know what you mean.”
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