The McCain-Todd Ticket
The responses to my unapologetically pro-Obama pieces on this election have come in two varieties; The first is where some Cro-Magnon, usually a pro-life lunatic or a Republican operative, vents their spleen:
“So let me get this.. about people of color....yes, because if this election has taught us nothing else it's that any comment made, no matter how true, must be motivated by racial hatred unless it equates to fawning over a candidate. Truly pathetic.”Actually, that’s not what I’m saying. I don’t think the motive is racism, I think the motive is victory; I think racism is merely one of many tools in the Republican hardware store, and, as I said earlier today, probably not the most important one, because there’s no need for Republicans to remind voters that Obama is black. In fact, most times, the victims of straw men like the ever popular welfare_queen are white candidates receiving a Republican makeover to render them into pigments of the voters’ imaginations.
The second type of hostile response is when some stupid leftist (is that redundant) whines that one of my insincere token efforts to convey an impression of fairness and balance, the better to ease the way for sticking the knife in, is actually some unhelpful deviation from the party line.Yet, sometimes such deviations do seem tempting. More than once in the last couple of months, I’ve watched in mild disgust as Michael Bouldin reprinted a picture of some repulsive crap he found on the web published by some psychotic lunatic and declared we should hold each and every Republican responsible for it. Bouldin even demanded that some outraged Republican who protested such an assertion apologize for those nauseating expressions of hatred. Well, I don’t know about Michael, but I had nothing to do with the disgusting Sarah Palin effigy erected by an “artist” in West Hollywood, and therefore, I ain’t apologizing for it.
At some level, Bouldin is right. Not so much about the racist stuff, but about the atmosphere of hatred and fear generated by this year’s Republican campaign. The fires of lunacy are burning bright on the right because they’ve been stoked, and McCain’s campaign is the one which has stoked them.
It has gotten to the point where it now appears that the lunatics are running the Republican Asylum. If I had to pick one incident involving a nutcase which has become emblematic of this year’s entire Republican effort, it would be the Ashley Todd story.
For those who’ve forgotten, Ashley was the 20 year old woman from Texas who, while volunteering for the McCain campaign in Pittsburgh, claimed to have been mugged by a six foot four black man; further, she asserted in a police report that, when her assailant saw the McCain bumper sticker on her car, he concluded she was working in McCain’s campaign and flipped out, taking his knife and carving a “B” into her face.
Pictures of the victim immediately raised questions, as the “B” had apparently been carved by a dyslexic, backwards, and so lightly that it looked like lipstick which had been applied to a pig. The story kept unwinding under questioning by Police, and eventually Ms. Todd admitted that she had made the whole thing up. But by then, McCain’s local campaign’s press operation had aggressively ensured that it had become was a national story.
This had a familiar ring to it; like Sarah Palin and “Joe the Plumber,” the McCain campaign had failed to adequately vet Ms. Todd before deciding they were going to transform her into another national nightmare.
A visitor to Ms. Todd’s Facebook page would have found her favorite quote was "Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her cloths (sic) off, but its (sic) better if you do." Having seen Ms. Todd’s picture, I’m inclined to believe that this may have been wishful thinking on her part, a conclusion amplified by the fact that Ms. Todd’s police report included an interlude of psycho-sexual fantasy where her imaginary large black man copped a feel during the attack---like Janis Ian, she was “inventing lovers on the phone”, or in Ms. Todd’s case, her Twitter. In this way, Ms. Todd morphed the Willie Horton story into a 21st Century version of “My Secret Garden,” by means of Twitteral stimulation.
But for McCain’s campaign, the temptation to go with it without first doing a reality check, was just too strong because it was so “on-message.”
The Republican narrative has now devolved into an effort to create an imaginary and scary black man who is going to take away our money and hurt us, even if, in the process he does attempt to give us a thrill up our leg.
Barack Obama, a man whose domestic policy agenda is slightly to the right of that of Richard Nixon, is portrayed as being to the left of a socialist. The strongest evidence of such Marxist tendencies turned out to be an old analysis by Law Professor Obama of some Supreme Court jurisprudence, which would not have been uncomfortable emanating from the mouth of Robert Bork.
Obama is portrayed as trying to steal an election from a party whose own efforts have seemingly handed it to him on a silver platter.
Obama is portrayed as an associate of anti-Semites for having a cordial relationship with an Arab academic at the school where he once taught, whose views he claims not to share. This is notable for the fact that, since Obama taught at the conservative University of Chicago, virtually all of his contacts with his colleagues involve cordial relationships with those whose views he decidedly does not share. Moreover, the Arab academic unsurprisingly shares with Obama the trait of getting along with those he decidedly disagrees with, to the point where he maintains a cordial relationship with publisher Marty Peretz (a leading American Zionist not known to have particularly dovish tendencies), and received funding from the International Republican Institute, which required the personal approval of its Chair (as he was then), John McCain.
Obama is portrayed as palling around with terrorists on the basis of a minimal civic association with an educational policy expert of such academic reputation that a letter in the academic’s defense attracted the signatures of such non-leftist academics as Deborah Meier, who’s worked in partnership with the conservative Manhattan Institute.
[I note this in spite of finding the educational policy expert a moral imbecile, and believing that the letter written in his defense contains at least one indefensible distortion of history. It does not please me to note this, but to paraphrase the sparkling prose-poems of Professor Ayers, "Truth is a Motherfucker" (guess he's not a Professor of English). In fact, the letter's attractiveness to its signatories, in spite of its contents (couldn't they just have defended his academic record without equating his history as a violent radical with the noble efforts of those who made their protests without putting others in harm's way?) itself speaks volumes about the elevation of academic collegiality above academic honesty.]
As portrayed by McCain and his surrogates, Obama is the candidate of the parts of the country which are not “pro-America,” (Sarah Palin), of having “anti-American views” which require investigation (US Rep. Michelle Bachmann), and of being one the “liberals who hate real Americans that work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God.” (US Rep. Robin Hayes).
These slurs concern a man whose whole life almost embodies being an American who has worked and accomplished and achieved and believes in God.
I’m not sure each and every Republican owes Barack Obama an apology for what their party has done, but the Party itself owes an apology to Barack Obama and, more importantly, to each and every American for falsely and treasonously giving aid and comfort to our enemies by portraying Americans as imbecilic hicks susceptible to false and ignorant demagoguery.
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