Plausible Deniability – Ur Doin It Wrong

3 comments October 12th, 2008at 05:58pm Posted by Eli

So much for the McCain campaign saying that it’s not their fault if some of their supporters get a little worked up and call Obama a terrorist…

According to Time, McCain campaign staffers in Virginia are teaching volunteers to see Barack Obama as having terrorist ‘friends,’ and then providing these volunteers with arguments for persuading voters that Sen. Obama, like Osama Bin Laden, shares responsibility for bombings of the Pentagon.

The report from inside the McCain campaign brings to light an alarming fact: while McCain tells his supporters publicly to refrain from violent rhetoric,  he continues to teach his volunteers rhetoric designed to elicit violent responses.

In the article, Time’s Karen Tumulty recounts her visit to a campaign training session in Gainesville, VA, a strategic center for the McCain ground game in Prince William County.   What Tumulty describes is a training session hosted by by Virginia’s state GOP Chairman Jeffrey M. Frederick in which volunteers were being trained to see Barack Obama as a terrorist.  Tumulty writes:


With so much at stake, and time running short, 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.”… “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. (link)

The report from inside the McCain campaign is disturbing on several levels.   While McCain has begun chiding his supporters at public rallies for using violent rhetoric, his campaign has taken the opposite tack behind closed doors.   Despite the public image of a campaign not responsible for the violent outbursts of a few followers, the Time report reveals a ground operation actually training its volunteers to elicit violent responses in voters–specifically by making false claims about Barack Obama’s connection to terrorist attacks on U.S. military buildings.

The report confirms that the McCain campaign has staked its chances of winning the Presidency on convincing the public that Barack Obama is on the wrong side of the ‘War on Terror’ and, therefore, his victory in the Presidential election would put the power of the White House in the hands of terrorists.

Tumulty’s report raises serious questions about whether or not John McCain is using campaign rhetori that not only depart from recognized moral boundaries, but risk igniting actual violence.

In particular, by teaching his volunteers to see Barack Obama as similar to Osama Bin Laden–and by training his volunteers to convince voters of the same–McCain is using his presidential campaign to tie his Sen. Obama to the mass murders of September 11, 2001.  In this way, McCain is effectively teaching his suporters to believe that Sen. Obama is not only connected to terrorists, but that Sen. Obama deserves the same punishment as terrorists.

In addition to being despicable and dangerous, I just don’t see how this strategy translates into anything but resounding defeat for McCain and the Republican Party.  Yes, it will probably energize the Limbaugh/Coulter/Savage base, but it will repulse everyone else.  How can they maintain their pose as the salt-of-the-earth family values party after everyone gets a good long luck at the fear and hate gibbering behind the mask?

(Let us not forget that VA is also the state where Bobby May served as a county campaign chair up until recently – is there something in the water?)

Entry Filed under: Elections,McCain,Palin,Politics,Racism,Republicans,Terrorism,Wankers


  • 1. Charles  |  October 12th, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Well, it certainly wouldn’t do for a future president of the United States to be seen to be spreading hate and division, even if that’s exactly what he’s doing.

  • 2. Ol'Froth  |  October 13th, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    Congrats on making Orcinus!

  • 3. Eli  |  October 13th, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    Well, it certainly wouldn’t do for a future president of the United States to be seen to be spreading hate and division, even if that’s exactly what he’s doing.

    He’s *supposed* to be doing it so that no-one notices. Epic Fail.

    Thanks, Froth! I was kinda surprised myself.

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