So I just heard McCain spokeswoman Nancy Pfotenhauer on MSNBC. The host asked her to respond to Joe Biden’s assertion on the Today show this morning that Sarah Palin, or any candidate for VP, should stop what they’re doing and call out any audience member who is yelling out obscenities about another candidate. Instead of addressing that issue, Pfotenhauer repeated the false accusations Palin made about a “close” relationship Obama allegedly has with Bill Ayers and then went on a bizarre rant about Ayers radical education agenda. This was a new one, as far as I could tell.
As we discussed yesterday, it is highly irresponsible for the McCain camp to be carrying on a campaign of dangerous rhetoric which appears to be on the verge of inciting violence. One of the commentors on this blog yesterday described a Palin rally as a “lynch mob,” not using the term lightly. The New York Times calls their campaign one of “race-baiting” and “xenophobia” and Radar is reporting that the Secret Service is investing a threat on Sen. Obama issued at one of Palin’s rallies. Still, in despite of all of this, Pfotenhauer ducks the question and continues the attacks. McCain couldn’t bring himself to confront Obama with this misinformation in person at the debates last night. What does that tell you?
**Update: I heard Ron Christie on public radio around lunchtime doing the same stick-to-the-Ayers thing. The discussion was on whether or not the candidate speaking has the obligation to put a stop to racist or vicious (i.e. violence inducing) language coming from the audience he or she is addressing. Christie didn’t have the backbone to stand up for what is right, instead holding the party line in perpetuating the Ayers myth.
Or maybe, just maybe, he and his buddy Karl Rove had lunch:
Karl: “Johnny’s down in the polls. The people who listen to your show will believe anything. What have we got that we haven’t used yet?”
Rush: “Kenny and Monica used this one, but I haven’t. See, Obama’s not really black.”
Karl: (laughing) “That’s a stretch even for us. Who’s gonna believe that crap?”
Rush: (feigning astonishment) “No! It’s true! He’s not black. He’s (looks around conspiratorially … whispers) A-rab.”
Yeah, I bet it went pretty much that way. Here’s Rush on his show yesterday. (Thanks, Media Matters.)
These polls on how one-third of blue-collar white Democrats won’t vote for Obama because he’s black, and — but he’s not black. Do you know he has not one shred of African-American blood? He doesn’t have any African — that’s why when they asked whether he was authentic, whether he’s down for the struggle. He’s Arab. You know, he’s from Africa. He’s from Arab parts of Africa. He’s not — his father was — he’s not African-American. The last thing that he is is African-American. I guess that’s splitting hairs, I don’t — it’s just all these little things, everything seems upside-down today in this country.
My favorite line is the last one: “…eveything seems upside-down today in this country.” Side splitting. Because to Rush, if a black man (yeah, Rush, he’s black) is on the verge of running the country instead of shining his shoes, the whole world is just upside-down. Lord.
I’m late to the party on this one (thanks, Sherry) and honestly just too pissed to be coherent, so I’m gonna send you to Alternet.org for the details. The details are really, really, really good. Really. Go read.
I watched Larry Sabato, the well respected political analyst and professor from UVA, on TV last night. I don’t remember what channel he was on or who was interviewing him. It doesn’t matter. What he was saying is that the lies the McCain camp is perpetuating about Barack Obama will work, especially with the party faithful, as long as they’re not too outlandish. Sabato knows what he’s talking about. He’s one of those gurus of politics everyone goes to when they need to ask an expert. If he says the lies work, they work.
It’s clear that the more outlandish ones work more in this election than ever before because it’s easier for white folks to believe that crap about a black man. Take the sex ed ad. This is, of course, the most outlandish yet. The thought that Barack Obama, by all accounts a dedicated father of two young girls, would want to teach Kindergarteners how to use condoms is beyond absurd. But when the McCain folks flash up that nonsense beside a not so flattering picture of Obama with a grin on his face looking down at, we suppose, someone shorter and smaller, white folks think, “uh oh.”
Yes, the ad was outlandish and most people clearly understood that the McCain camp was distorting the truth. But the ad served its purpose: it made white people think Obama isn’t safe.
While researching some info for this post, I ran across a great site: BAGnewsNotes. Don’t ask me where I’ve been. This is a great site nominated for a Webby in 2006 for political blogging. For their take on other racist ads out of the McCain camp see:
McCain Ad Ties Sex With Race
The Wolves Den: McCain, Schmidt Fully Playing the Race Card Now
Celeb #1: Obama as Sexual Predator
And, finally, a slideshow presentation from these folks at NetrootsNation this year: ObamaPhobia. There’s more there. Go have a look.