Rise Up, White Male Landowners!

Rep. Steve King of the Crazy Caucus yearns for the days when only white male landowners could vote:

KING: As I roll this thing back and I think of American history, there was a time in American history when you had to be a male property owner in order to vote. The reason for that was, because they wanted the people who voted—that set the public policy, that decided on the taxes and the spending—to have some skin in the game.

Now we have data out there that shows that 47 percent of American households don't pay taxes, 51 percent of American wage-earners don't have an income tax liability. And it's pretty clear that there are a lot of people who are not in the workforce at all. In fact, of our unemployment numbers—that run in the 13 or 14 million category—when you go to the Department of Labor Statistics and you look at that data, you can add up those that are simply not in the workforce of different age groups, but of working age, add that number to the number of those who are on unemployment and you come up with a number that was just a few months ago 80 million Americans. Just over a month ago that number went over 100 million Americans that aren't working.

Now I don't think they're paying taxes. But many of them are voting. And when they vote, they vote for more government benefits.

King is clearly setting off a chorus of dog whistles here, beginning with his clever use of "skin in the game." Joan McCarter, meanwhile, notes that this tax lie has been thoroughly debunked. But that aside, this is basically the "welfare queen" argument with an added feature: welfare queens shouldn't be allowed to vote. Anyone who claims that the Republicans, and specifically the tea party Republicans, have stopped using the Southern Strategy is lying or simply not paying attention.