Feministe: Ridin’ Dirty


Ridin’ Dirty


Indeed. Several years back when McCain was at his maverickiest, I remember thinking that he would be the only Republican on the stage that I would ever consider voting for. He was purportedly a man of integrity who, for all his faults, appeared to break from the GOP’s platforms where they made fiscal sense. As a person, McCain vowed never to take the low road. He was different than that, he said, especially during his presidential campaign in 2000, where he was accused by supporters of George W. Bush, and arguably by the Bush campaign itself, of fathering an “illegitimate black child” — Cindy McCain adopted their daughter Bridget from Bangladesh — that his wife Cindy was an drug addict, that he was gay, and that he was a “Manchurian Candidate” who was either a traitor or mentally unstable from his North Vietnam POW days. But today, members of McCain’s campaign staff include the old guard that once attacked him on these charges. And ironically, although they try to dogwhistle Americans who hold onto racist caricatures when they watch Barack Obama take the national stage, they may be sounding the death toll for the effectiveness of the Southern strategy.

And it’s sad, really sad, that this man whose entire political career was based on the idea of a different, more transparent kind of politics, has fallen to the level where he will sit idly by as he benefits from painting Obama as an untrustworthy, sinister Other. His supporters get it, too:

But it goes further than boos and hyperbole. During this Palin campaign stop in Florida,

“Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers,” Palin said.

“Boooo!” said the crowd.

“And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, ‘launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,’” she continued.

“Boooo!” the crowd repeated.

“Kill him!” proposed one man in the audience.



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