Today’s Outrage: Anglo-Saxon-gate

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Here is the left’s outrage of the day, courtesy of the Telegraph:

In remarks that may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity, one suggested that Mr Romney was better placed to understand the depth of ties between the two countries than Mr Obama, whose father was from Africa.

“We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” the adviser said of Mr Romney, adding: “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have”

I dunno, folks. That first paragraph was pure editorializing by the Telegraph reporter. Only the second paragraph comes from the Romney advisor. So why did he use the term “Anglo-Saxon”? At a guess, because he was talking off the cuff, wanted some kind of phrase that suggested the U.S. and Britain have a shared history — which we obviously do — and that’s what popped out. It was a mistake, but it’s the kind of trivial mistake that happens when you’re talking without notes.

As for the swelling tide of suggestions that this was a racial dog whistle, color me dubious. Does anyone seriously think that the Romney campaign decided that the best way to send a message to Southern whites was via a quote to a London newspaper? That’s a tough sell.

I guess it’s nonetheless tempting to say that this is no more than Romney deserves, given his campaign’s continuing grim-faced mendacity over “you didn’t build that.” And in some cosmic sense, that’s true. But in every other sense it isn’t. This was, very slightly, a poor choice of words. Unless the Romneybots repeat it, that’s all it is.

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In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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