Thursday, October 09, 2008

Some More Gutterballing

From Cindy McCain:

“The day that Senator Obama decided to cast a vote to not fund my son while he was serving sent a cold chill through my body, let me tell you,” Mrs. McCain said. “I would suggest that Senator Obama change shoes with me for just one day.”
Ummm ... let's remember, Mrs. McCain, that Obama was the only candidate in this election that said that your son shouldn't be risking his life in an unnecessary war in Iraq. If you're worried about your son's safety, I suggest you have a frank discussion the next time you and your hubby have a chance to chat about the war that he supported and which your son is now thrust into. I find it funny that a "cold chill" wasn't sent through your body the moment your husband voted to authorize war in the first place, because that's when the real danger to your son's life was born. I guarantee you, Mrs. McCain, that more parents of soldiers were "chilled" that day, than on any other. And what was Obama doing on that "chilly" day? Arguing against sending your son into harm's way. And that's not even considering that the vote Mrs. McCain is referring to is the ONLY vote Obama cast against funding for troops, and ONLY because the measure didn't include a timeline for withdrawal that would have warmed the hearts of most parents of soldiers.

And at the very event where Cindy McCain spewed such nonsense, we get Lehigh County Republican Bill Platt "warming up" the crowd for McCain by referring twice to "Barack Hussein Obama":

You want to know why this matters? Watch this:

If you think Bill Platt isn't consciously and purposefully referring to Obama as "Barack Hussein Obama" with the specific intent of tapping into this grossly ignorant and racist segment of the population with the intent of winning this population's support, then you are being wilfully blind and naive. This is not some GOP hack at some local event spouting off at the mouth. No, siree! This is happening at events orchestrated by the McCain campaign where McCain is being introduced! And if you don't think the introductory remarks by these "crowd warmers" aren't carefully crafted, reviewed, and sanctioned by the McCain campaign, then your blindness and naivete is approaching ostrich territory (i.e. head in the sand). And though the McCain campaign repudiated this tactic by Bill Platt, I don't believe for a moment the sincerity of their rejection. It comes after the damage is done, and it happens repeatedly at events like this. It's like: "Oopsie! Sorry about that! Uncalled for." (wink, wink).

But then there's the icing on the cake. McCain's campaign has released a statement from a person named John M. Murtagh that takes the Obama/Ayers connection to a whole new level. In essence, the McCain campaign is propagating the idea that Obama is a terrorist killer by association. Here's how this smear ends: "Barack Obama's friend tried to kill my family." How does one try to unpack this despicable and reprehensible smear? Where is McCain's dignity and honor?

I said it before and I'll say it again: It's unconscionable for any decent person to support the McCain/Palin ticket.


Eric said...

It would be quite interesting to see the Democratic reaction to a Republican candidate named Adolf who had worked with and been supported by a Nazi war criminal.

I'm sure it would be completely conscionable.

I'm not saying the McCain campaign doesn't need to grow up. It does.
I'm just saying that these tactics shouldn't be elevated above the ideological differences between McCain and Obama when people are deciding who to vote for. If you agree with McCain's policies but don't vote for him because he was too mean to poor little Barack Obama... well, that's sort of unconscionable too.

For the record, I think pulling out Ayers name is completely above board. Likewise, Obama has pulled out McCain's shady associations as well in an attempt to make people question his character, and I am fine with that. There is nothing wrong with transparency when it comes to past associations. Our associations do say something about who we are, and who we have been.

Emphasizing Obama's middle name is childish. Not dangerous or devastating. It's just below the level of discourse we need in this country right now. That said, if using his middle name in public would keep him from getting elected, I'd go out right now and start shouting it from the rooftops.

So you are right about the name calling: it is a desperate reaction to Obama's surge in the polls, but that's because a lot of people are desperately afraid of an Obama presidency.

Huck said...

Eric - It's not questioning Obama's association with Ayers, it's the wilfull misleading nature of that association with the intent to rile up a reaction that thinks Obama's danger to the US is not just his economic policies, but the likelihood of his being a terrorist killer of American families. Again, here's the measure to judge the purpose of bringing up shady associations: McCain brings up Obama's association with Ayers to convey Obama as a violent terrorist sympathizer. If McCain is successful in convincing folks that Obama is a dangerous radical islamist terrorist, what is a patriotic citizen's obligation? Simply to not vote for Obama? Or should we be demanding that Obama be detained as an enemy combatant, have his right to habeas corpus suspended indefinitely, and sent to Guantanamo for enhanced interrogation? I mean, really, what's the purpose of making Obama out to be this kind of person? The McCain campaign is playing a dangerous game of lynch-mob agitation with peoples' fears of things that Obama most certainly is not. Obama brings up McCain's shady dealings with Keating or his coziness with lobbyists to question his judgment, not to question his patriotism or even his basic citizenship. Obama's criticisms never call into question McCain's rightful place as a member of the American polity. McCain's criticisms, though, call into question Obama's fundamental identity as an American and as a person who is the anti-thesis of the values that constitute our American polity. That's what gets me about all this. That's what I find unconscionable. I can take as part of the nasty reality of electoral politics attacks that question judgment, character, motivation, etc. It is only with this nasty turn in the McCain campaign that I have questions with, not the questioning of Obama's character in any context before this.

Let me ask you, Eric. Are you afraid of an Obama presidency because he will sic some radical islamic terrorist cell on your neighborhood and condone firebombing your house, or because you fear his economic policies? Are you afraid he's going to be an Osama bin Laden surrogate in the White House? That's what the McCain campaign is trying to do. And there is absolutely nothing about Obama's life that warrants that kind of campaign against him.

I'm more terrified by the forces of hate and viciousness being unleashed now by the McCain campaign than I would ever be by a Presidency, Congress, and Supreme Court fully controlled by true small government conservatives. And McCain is showing that he's not above unleashing these forces on us.

Eric said...

I disagree with you that by simply pointing out these associations, McCain is deliberately trying to paint Obama as a terrorist. I think he is trying to do the same thing that Obama is trying to do w/ the Keating association, call people to question his judgment.
Even if McCain was devious enough to play the game you are accusing him of, I think he'd be smart enough to know that most Americans aren't going to look at the fact that Obama once worked with and received political support from Ayers, and take that as a sign that Obama is secretly a muslim terrorist plotting to destroy America.

The fact is, since the beginning of his campaign there has been a small group of people convinced Obama is secretly an America-hating Muslim (mind you, Hillary had a hand in making the original associations). I know some of these people, and they aren't making rational judgments about Obma, and they won't start making rational judgments about him just because McCAin stops pointing out his nefarious acquaintences from the past. If some lunatic actually does something horrific, placing the blame on McCain would be like blaming the song Helter Skelter for Charles Manson's actions.

And let us not forget, years ago, if Obama would have had the common decency that most Americans share to tell Bill Ayers where he could shove his support, none of this would be an issue for him.

Huck said...

Eric - Why Ayers and not Rezko?

Eric said...

Well, they should be hammering him over both, and I'm not sure they haven't been (I have paid very little attention to either campaign since the bailout).

But come on, Ayers is a bigger fish by a few degrees of magnitude, politically speaking.

Huck said...

Politically speaking, Ayers can be used to convey that Obama, with that funny name, is a terrorist sympathizer out to kill American families. Rezco can't. If that's what you mean by a bigger fish by a few degrees, perhaps you're right.

But Rezco, it seems to me, is the much better case with which to question Obama's character. But Rezco isn't able to inflame the hatemongers as much. Rezco's just another run of the mill corrupt, influence peddling full-on Amreican real estate investor. Now, given the housing mortgage roots of our current financial catastrophe, why would anyone think a connection to a corrupt real estate investor these days is not a "bigger fish by a few degrees of magnitude, politically speaking"?

You know as well as I do, Eric, that the ONLY reason to link Obama to Ayers, in spite of the non-existent evidence that Ayers had any influence at all over anything Obama stands for and does, is that Ayers can be wrapped with the "terrorist" blanket, and hence so can Obama simply by association.

I don't think there's any doubt about this.

Eric said...

Huck, did you watch the redneck clip all the way through?

What were your thoughts about the scary redneck lady screaming "HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT!"?

Sounds like she's one of yours, bud.

Eric said...

That's not what I meant by bigger fish, I meant that if you are trying to make somebody's judgment look questionable by pointing to people they've associated with throughout their life and career, you point the worst association you can find, and Ayers is a much worse association than Rezko, because, you know, he tried to kill people. Sorry, but even in today's crazy world, being a corrupt real estate investor doesn't hold a candle to trying to blow up the US Capitol building and the Pentagon.

Huck said...

Eric - I did watch that clip all the way through, and I certainly did hear and see her raise her arms and voice cheering Hillary. But I can tell you she's not one of "mine" anymore than David Duke is one of "yours."

No matter what these idiots claim as their party affiliation, what McCain is doing is going after their votes by playing into their racist fears.

And when Hillary Clinton tried to tap into that same sentiment during the primary campaign, I found it (perpetrated by one of "mine") as equally reprehensible and disgusting. And I may have even said as much on my blog.

The only thing that's partisan here is that it's the GOP (via the McCain/Palin ticket) that's trying to play this game. That this group of reprobates cheers for Hillary doesn't diminsh at all what the McCain campaign is doing.