Tuesday, September 23, 2008

NY Times on McCain Racism

Here's a good editorial on the racism of John McCain's campaign rhetoric. It gives the historical background to the McCain campaign charging that Obama is being disrespectful to (white woman) Sara Palin.

Any media outlet that does not criticize this form of racism (or that of showing Obama montaged next to Britney Spears etc) is complicit in the racism. As are all those TV shows where they'll debate the issue from a "fair and balanced" point of view (one extremist right-winger against someone who points out this obvious racism) - thus giving the impression that this may not be racism but legitimate politics.

The editorial goes with George Will's editorial quoted below in that they both point to John McCain's absolute lack of leadership: he's willing to sell any position (immigration reform, tax cuts for the wealthy, drilling) in order to appease the "base", he's willing to go to racism to get elected president, he's temperamental like a tantrum-prone child. Most talk about "leadership" and "is he presidential" have generally struck me as a way to avoid the issues, but it is highly relevant here. McCain is a guy we do not want to have leading the country for the next 4 years. The idea chills me.


Blogger Fran├žois said...

After Andrew Sullivan, George F. Will comes against McCain? Maybe there is hope somewhere.

11:06 PM  
Blogger Max said...

That's what makes this type of racism so pernicious, the fact that, if called on it, it can be reasoned away as legitimate criticism. I think a lot of people on the right, and in the McCain campaign, definitely do want to dredge up this bogeyman of Obama as the "disrespectful black boy," but the accusation is so subtle that it can always be reasoned away. And moreover, calling them on it only gives them an opening to decry the left for playing the race card. It's like somebody whispering "boy" under their breath. Who heard it? Probably only those who wanted to hear it. If it suits you not to have heard it, then it didn't happen ... what are you talking about? ... are you playing the race card?

I think the only solace we have is that such appeals only really gain McCain ground with those who were already going to vote for him, just like the Palin VP pick. And just like pretty much every decision McCain has made up to this point. He seems to think that he's making some sort of shrewd play for Obama voters, but he's really only piling up (unnecessarily, btw) reasons for diehard republicans to vote for him.

Also, I just saw a story today about how McCain is only now revving up his campaign in Indiana. It looks like Obama's gains there have only just come to his attention, and now he's scrambling, dumping a lot of funds into the state, probably dipping into funds that would better be used in more mainstream battleground states. Obama is really giving him a run for his money at this point, and I think the ground game is going to be too much for McCain to handle when it comes down to the wire. He's having to spread his funds over too many states. As it stands, the democrats have already essentially flipped two states that went red in '04 (New Mexico and Iowa) and are setting up to win another (Colorado). The republicans, on the other hand, haven't flipped any states that they didn't win in '04, which means that they have to pour money into a few states that they should have won easily, and try to take them back from the dems. It's not looking good for McCain with 5 weeks left to go.

1:11 AM  

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