According to MSNBC host Martin Bashir, Republican criticisms of the Internal Revenue Service are little more than thinly-veiled racist attacks on President Obama.
“This strategy is nothing new, and it was explained way back in 1981 by Lee Atwater, who was Bush 41’s chief strategist,” Bashir said on the Wednesday broadcast of his television show. “In a tape recording, Mr. Atwater revealed how Republicans evolved their language to achieve the same purpose. He said, ‘You start out in 1954 by saying ‘n-word, n-word, n-word.’ By 1968, you can’t say ‘n-word.’ That hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like ‘forced busing,’ ‘states rights’ and all that stuff and you’re getting so abstract. Now you’re talking about cutting taxes. ‘We want to cut this’ is much more abstract than even the busing thing and a hell of a lot more abstract than ‘n-word, n-word.'”
“So this afternoon, we welcome the latest phrase in the lexicon of Republican attacks on this president — ‘the IRS,’ three letters that sound so innocent, but we know what you mean.”