5 comments August 2nd, 2008at 05:31pm Posted by Eli

Bob Herbert calls out the McCain campaign and Republican party for their sadly-inevitable veiled racism:

Gee, I wonder why, if you have a black man running for high public office — say, Barack Obama or Harold Ford — the opposition feels compelled to run low-life political ads featuring tacky, sexually provocative white women who have no connection whatsoever to the black male candidates.


…The two highly sexualized women (both notorious for displaying themselves to the paparazzi while not wearing underwear) are shown briefly and incongruously at the beginning of a commercial critical of Mr. Obama.

The Republican National Committee targeted Harold Ford with a similarly disgusting ad in 2006 when Mr. Ford, then a congressman, was running a strong race for a U.S. Senate seat in Tennessee. The ad, which the committee described as a parody, showed a scantily clad woman whispering, “Harold, call me.”

Both ads were foul, poisonous and emanated from the upper reaches of the Republican Party. (What a surprise.) Both were designed to exploit the hostility, anxiety and resentment of the many white Americans who are still freakishly hung up on the idea of black men rising above their station and becoming sexually involved with white women.


Mr. Obama has to endure these grotesque insults with a smile and heroic levels of equanimity. The reason he has to do this — the sole reason — is that he is black.

So there he was this week speaking evenly, and with a touch of humor, to a nearly all-white audience in Missouri. His goal was to reassure his listeners, to let them know he’s not some kind of unpatriotic ogre.

Mr. Obama told them: “What they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, he’s not patriotic enough. He’s got a funny name. You know, he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills, you know. He’s risky.”

The audience seemed to appreciate his comments. Mr. Obama was well-received.

But John McCain didn’t appreciate them. RACE CARD! RACE CARD! The McCain camp started bellowing, and it hasn’t stopped since. With great glee bursting through their feigned outrage, the campaign’s operatives and the candidate himself accused Senator Obama of introducing race into the campaign — playing the race card, as they put it, from the very bottom of the deck.


…[I]t’s frustrating to watch John McCain calling out Barack Obama on race. Senator Obama has spoken more honestly and thoughtfully about race than any other politician in many years. Senator McCain is the head of a party that has viciously exploited race for political gain for decades.

He’s obviously more than willing to continue that nauseating tradition.

Joe Trippi accuses McCain of using what he calls a “Race? Not me!” campaign strategy, in which he raises race as an issue, thus inspiring a backlash from African-Americans (Look!  Angry black people!), followed by a sham appearance in front of a black audience to demonstrate how totally not-racist he is.

I may be mistaken, or maybe it’s just because Step 3 hasn’t happened yet, but that’s not quite how I see the “Race? Not me!” strategy playing out.  What I’m seeing is more like this:

Step 1: McCain makes thinly-veiled (and therefore plausibly deniable) racial attack against Obama.

Step 2: Obama calls him on it in the mildest of ways.

Step 3: McCain and the Republican noise machine go ballistic, “OMG he’s totally playing the race card did you see that OMG!!!1!11!”  In other words, they’re saying that Obama is so unscrupulous that he will not hesitate to accuse his opponents of racism to win an election.

I think my desire to see these slimeballs go down in flames is stronger than my desire to see Obama become president…

Entry Filed under: Elections,McCain,Media,Politics,Racism,Republicans


  • 1. Charles  |  August 3rd, 2008 at 1:13 am

    Yeah, this election will be a consolation in that one of them will lose. After the weaseling on offshore oil drilling, following the cave-in on FISA and the non-vote on Mukasey, my enthusiasm level is around that for Andy Griffith reruns.

  • 2. Eli  |  August 3rd, 2008 at 1:19 am

    You and me both. Mr. Change & Hope keeps going with the Republican flow rather than fighting it. That’ll really impress the undecideds and fire up the base.

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