Category Archives: McCain Campaign

David Frum calls for retreat

In the Washington Post this morning, David Frum calls for a full scale retreat of conservatives from the McCain presidential campaign.  In his piece, “Sorry Senator.  Let’s Salvage What We Can,” Frum argues that all resources should be diverted to saving what the Republicans can in Congress:

There are many ways to lose a presidential election. John McCain is losing in a way that threatens to take the entire Republican Party down with him.

Frum cites a “senior Republican House member:”

There is not a safe Republican seat in the country.  I don’t mean that we’re going to lose all of them. But we could lose any of them.

Things aren’t better in the Senate where he cites 8 seats that could go down, including in such stalwart Republican states as Virginia (where Sen. John Warner’s seat … he’s retiring …. is almost a guaranteed loss) and North Carolina (where Elizabeth Dole will probably lose to Democrat Kay Hagan).  I’m getting almost daily emails about the GA race, where, extraordinarily, Republican Saxby Chambliss is in a death match against his Democratic opponent Jim Martin.  Democrats are not quick to forget the despicable campaign Chambliss ran against Dem Max Cleland last time around and the drag on Chambliss by the McCain campaign gives them just enough of a crack in the door to perhaps throw Chambliss through it. 

The Frum article takes a nasty turn when he begins to criticize “liberal Democrats” and MSNBC and the “left-wing blogosphere” for “a more militant style and an angry intolerance of dissent and criticism.”  That’s sort of a pot-meet-kettle argument.  The conservative media (think Limbaugh and O’Reilly for reference) has been, and continues to be, the most vitriolic voice on the airwaves.  The fact that Democrats are beginning to grow a collective spine should be threatening to the Republicans.  But militant?  Well, that’s a stretch.

Frum’s concern is that:

… this angry new wing of the Democratic Party will seek to stifle opposition by changing the rules of the political game. Some will want to silence conservative talk radio by tightening regulation of the airwaves via the misleadingly named “fairness doctrine”; others may seek to police the activities of right-leaning think tanks by a stricter interpretation of what is tax-deductible and what is not.

Angry?  Well, yeah, we’re angry.  We’re angry that the Republican administration has mucked about in our Constitution and tramped on our civil liberties.  We’re so angry, that we want stricter regulations to make sure that citizens are guaranteed free speech … even if we hate what they’re saying.  We want tighter controls to ensure that citizens cannot be surveilled without cause.  We’d like a strict interpretation of what is tax deductible so that folks going to church on Sunday won’t be subjected to political intimidation.  We’re angry enough to not want to silence conservative radio.  As much as we may hate the lies, the vitriol, the violence inspiring hate speech that can spew forth, we recognize that, too, is free speech and without it, this just wouldn’t be America. 

I encourage you to read the rest of Frum’s piece.  He lays out his opinion of what the Republican party should do at this point.  It’s a sort of cut and run strategy:  leave the McCain camp out to dry and focus on the Congress which will be your base for the next presidential election.  When leading conservatives begin calling for all support, both moral and financial, to be pulled from a presidential campaign, the writing is probably on the wall.

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Filed under constitutional rights, John McCain, McCain Campaign, Political Opinion

Joe the Plumber

I’ve stayed away from this … on purpose.  But a cartoon caught my eye this morning that just completely sums up the entire subject.

Robert Ariail, The State, South Carolina, 10.17.08

Robert Ariail, The State, South Carolina, 10.17.08

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Filed under John McCain, McCain Campaign, political cartoons

Olbermann takes it to McCain

Last night, I wanted to send Rachel Maddow champagne.  Tonight, it’s a bottle of scotch for Keith Olbermann.  Keith took it to McCain for the race baiting, hate and fear mongering campaign he is carrying on, while trying to make himself out to be the victim.  It’s clear, at least to me, that McCain is playing to the Klan element of his party by continuing to wholesale reject John Lewis.  Tonight, Keith did some yelling for those of us who are _ just _ so _ done.

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Filed under Barack Obama, John McCain, McCain Campaign, Political Opinion, Racism

Rachel Maddow takes down David Frum on her show

I watched this live last night and wanted to send Maddow a bottle of champagne.  I’m sure that conservatives will argue, but Maddow took Frum down.

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If you thought we were making it up: The McCain campaign in action

In case you thought we were all just making this shit up.  In case you thought this was all just some great big left-wing conspiracy.  In case you thought those of us in the South just hadn’t “gotten over it.”  In case you, like Rasmussen commentator Debra J. Saunders, thought that we were simply seeing things as “racially tinged” because we “see race in absolutely everything.”  Witness this:

H/T JJP:  From Karen Tumulty via Swampland at

John McCain’s new message about running a respectful campaign is not filtering out to the troops. Yesterday, I visited the field operations of both campaigns in Virginia, as part of a longer story that I am doing for dead-tree TIME. I arrived at McCain’s new field office in Gainesville just in time to witness this scene, which I wrote about in a dispatch for

With so much at stake, and time running short, [Virginia Republican Party Chairman Jeff] Frederick did not feel he had the luxury of subtlety. He climbed atop a folding chair to give 30 campaign volunteers who were about to go canvassing door to door their talking points — for instance, the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden: “Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon,” he said. “That is scary.” It is also not exactly true — though that distorted reference to Obama’s controversial association with William Ayers, a former 60s radical, was enough to get the volunteers stoked. “And he won’t salute the flag,” one woman added, repeating another myth about Obama. She was quickly topped by a man who called out, “We don’t even know where Senator Obama was really born.” Actually, we do; it’s Hawaii. 

To quote the good Jack and Jill Politics:

THIS is what the McCain campaign is doing OFFICIALLY, PEOPLE.


THIS is who they are.

Doesn’t surprise me.

Doesn’t surprise me, either.

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Filed under Barack Obama, John McCain, McCain Campaign, Racism

Sunday morning cartoons

Two cartoons for you this morning, because they seem appropriate.

This one, to go with all the pieces on the McCain campaign’s recent tactics:

Mike Keefe, The Denver Post
Mike Keefe, The Denver Post

 And this one, to go with my piece on the NSA listening in to just about everything:

Mike Lane, Baltimore, MD

Mike Lane, Baltimore, MD



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Filed under constitutional rights, McCain Campaign, political cartoons, Racism

Frank Rich: Call off the dogs

The calls for the McCain campaign to rein it in, to understand the violence they could be inciting, are growing from shouts to screams.  Frank Rich has an Op-Ed in the New York Times this morning raising the din.  He calls us to remember those ladies in the beauty shops in South Carolina who said before the primaries that they loved Sen. Obama, but couldn’t vote for him because they were afraid he’d be killed.  Their non-vote was to protect him; they’d pray for him instead.  He reminds us that Obama received secret service protection way earlier than any other candidate, in May 2007.  And then he reminds us how we all graduallly learned to accept that we had changed; that he was safe.

But that was then.  That was before the McCain campaign went racist.

From the start, there have always been two separate but equal questions about race in this election. Is there still enough racism in America to prevent a black man from being elected president no matter what? And, will Republicans play the race card? The jury is out on the first question until Nov. 4. But we now have the unambiguous answer to the second: Yes.

McCain, who is no racist, turned to this desperate strategy only as Obama started to pull ahead. The tone was set at the Republican convention, with Rudy Giuliani’s mocking dismissal of Obama as an “only in America” affirmative-action baby. We also learned then that the McCain campaign had recruited as a Palin handler none other than Tucker Eskew, the South Carolina consultant who had worked for George W. Bush in the notorious 2000 G.O.P. primary battle where the McCains and their adopted Bangladeshi daughter were slimed by vicious racist rumors.

And that was before the McCain campaign decided to try and convince the American people that Barack Obama, Democratic candidate for the Presidency of the United States, is a terrorist:

By the time McCain asks the crowd “Who is the real Barack Obama?” it’s no surprise that someone cries out “Terrorist!” The rhetorical conflation of Obama with terrorism is complete. It is stoked further by the repeated invocation of Obama’s middle name by surrogates introducing McCain and Palin at these rallies. This sleight of hand at once synchronizes with the poisonous Obama-is-a-Muslim e-mail blasts and shifts the brand of terrorism from Ayers’s Vietnam-era variety to the radical Islamic threats of today.

That’s a far cry from simply accusing Obama of being a guilty-by-association radical leftist. Obama is being branded as a potential killer and an accessory to past attempts at murder. “Barack Obama’s friend tried to kill my family” was how a McCain press release last week packaged the remembrance of a Weather Underground incident from 1970 — when Obama was 8.

The question now is what kind of country are we?  Are we the kind that rewards this kind of rhetoric?  Or are we the kind that shows we have, indeed, risen above?  I hope we are the latter.


Filed under Barack Obama, John McCain, McCain Campaign, Racism, Sarah Palin

What’s wrong with this picture?

Head over to BAGnewsNotes for a discussion of this photo:

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Filed under John McCain, McCain Campaign

Even today, John?

Even today, as the market is crashing down around us, McCain is focusing on this Bill Ayers stupidity.  Is this leadership?  Can he not find something more important, something more substantive to talk about?  This makes me very, very angry.  They talk about Obama’s judgement, but where is McCain’s?  We need him to show how he would lead us out of this mess and this is what he talks about.

Ta-Nehisi Coates says explicitly what I implied a few a days ago:

Let me be clear–This is the ghost that McCain Campaign is summoning. This is the Ring Of Power that they want to wield.  The Muslim charge, the “Hussein” thing is nothing more than today’s red-baiting, and it is what it was then–a cover for racists. You may say I’m overreacting, and I really hope you’re right. 999,000 out 1 million times we’ll go on like normal and proceed to Election Day. But if some shit pops off, the thug and thug-mongers will not be able to throw up their hands and say “How could I have known?” Ignorance will not save them. Their stupidity is a scourge on us all.

Even today, John is continuing this thuggish, irresponsible, dangerous line of attack instead of showing any kind of leadership which might help calm and lead us in what are increasingly frightening times.

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Filed under John McCain, McCain Campaign

What else we know

Ta-Nehisi Coates has this video up at his site:

You know what else “we know” about “candor?”  Lenore Annenberg, wife of Amb. William Annenberg, who founded the Annenberg Foundation on whose board Barack Obama and William Ayers sat, gave money to and endorsed Sen. McCain for President.  Does that mean that John McCain supports domestic terrorism since Annenberg chose Ayers for his board?  Of course not.  I agree with Rachel Maddow and Michael Scherer on this one:  all of this Ayers stuff is pure nonsense.

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Filed under John McCain, McCain Campaign