International Herald Tribune: Al Hunt: Little but a national security crisis might help McCain now

International Herald Tribune: Al Hunt

Little but a national security crisis might help McCain now

The McCain camp has signaled it will escalate its personal attacks on Obama, including the Democrat’s tenuous ties to William Ayers, a one-time radical, and to his former pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr. It’s not McCain’s instinct to play the race card, which is at the core of the Wright issue. It would be red meat, however, for some of the Karl Rove acolytes populating the Republican presidential campaign team.

A case in point: The television commercial linking Frank Raines, the former Fannie Mae chairman, to Obama. It’s totally bogus; Raines has played no role in the campaign. He is, however, black, and the visual of two African-Americans on the screen with implications of seedy conduct was not subtle.

Still, most of the closet-bigot vote is already settled. Obama isn’t a radical, either in temperament or ideology. Going back to his Harvard Law School days, he has worked to bridge racial divides.

AmericaBlog: “Keep The N*gger Out Of Office”


“Keep The N*gger Out Of Office” 

After a week of McCain supporters being incited to shout “kill him!” and “terrorist!” and “treason!“, a man in Louisiana was arrested for threatening to kill election officials. The Smoking Gun has his arrest report and mug shots. It seems his voter registration card was delayed, and he was insistent that he would bring his shotgun to their office and kill them if they didn’t hurry up because he needed to “keep the n*gger out of office.”

Look at the photo. Does America really want to be that one?

Right Wing News: Racist Americans

Right Wing News:

Racist Americans

You have read here before my supposition that if Obama loses, America will be proclaimed racist. It is not, of course, racist if a person votes for Obama only because he’s black.

Shrinkwrapped wrote an excellent post titled “Some Thoughts on Race, Racism, Capitalism, and Paradigm Shifts” and you MUST read it:

I do not think America is a racist country yet that is a subtext of Barack Obama’s candidacy. Every criticism of Obama is immediately attacked as racism and we have already been told that if Obama is repudiated it will be because Americans are racist. Only by electing Barack Obama can we prove to the world and to ourselves that America is no longer a racist country. Beyond the “boy who cried wolf” quality of the charge, I suspect a great many Americans resent being called racist for opposing a candidate who is not only as far to the left as any candidate in memory but also uses race to further his political interests.

It’s not skin color, it’s ideology. Beliefs matter. If Obama loses, it won’t be his skin color that decides it. It will be the fact that he’s a liberal who doesn’t seem to like America very much.

RacismReview: As Economic Crisis Worsens, is Racism a “Luxury” Whites Can No Longer Afford?


As Economic Crisis Worsens, is Racism a “Luxury” Whites Can No Longer Afford?

As the economic crisis worsens (and the forecasts look pretty gloomy), some people are speculating thatundecided racists may no longer be able to afford the “luxury” of racism (image source).

I wish I could share Coates’ (and others’) optimism.  However, there’s lots of evidence that the McCain/Palin campaign is pandering to the lowest (racist) common denominator in ways that are both overt and intentional, as well as in ways that are practically subconscious they’re so automatic.   For example, at last night’s presidential debate, John McCain referred to Barack Obama as “that one” and at the close of the debate refused to shake his hand (opens video link).  I doubt seriously that McCain or his handlers planned either of these. Rather, McCain’s rhetorical choices and his body language suggest a deep disgust for Obama.  This may be merely personal disdain and might have been directed at any political opponent of McCain’s, but one suspects that it reflects a deep well of racism (recall, McCain for years opposed the King holiday in Arizona and until very recently publicly used the term “gook” to refer to just about any one of Asian descent).

The verbal and non-verbal cues coming from McCain are easy-to-latch-on-to forms of symbolic racism for those inclined to interpret them in that way.  And, once again, it’s clear that the campaign’s strategy is to leave the more overt signaling of this racism to Palin.  For instance,  witness the kinds of vocal responses from crowds at a recent Palin rally when supporters shouted “terrorist” and “kill him” at the mention of Obama’s name.  This kind of irrationality is a powerful reminder that historically whites have voted (and acted) in ways that were not in their economic interest in order to maintain white privilege (and not only working-class whites).  Choosing a political leader (indeed, choosing a team) based on who is best equipped to deal with the economic disaster at hand makes logical, rational sense.  Unfortunately, for many whites, this may well be the last luxury they learn to do without.

24Ahead: The Cenk Uygur Race Card Play-O-Matic (John McCain, Fannie Mae)


The Cenk Uygur Race Card Play-O-Matic (John McCain, Fannie Mae)

The new first rule of the Democratic Party is: “Twist anything an opponent of Barack Obama says in order to play the race card”. If BHO wins the presidency, expect them to abide by that rule endlessly.

The latest example comes from multiple “liberals” who are trying to racialize John McCain referring to Barack Obama as “that one” at last night’s “debate”. About that, Air America host (“Young Turks”) Cenk Uygur says (, also at

Some questioned if it had racial implications.

Expect to see lots of references to what “some say” should BHO become president.

But, seeking to explore new frontiers in racial divisiveness, Uygur also says:

For me, the more worrisome moment of the debate came when McCain told a young, black questioner, “You’ve probably never heard of Fannie Mae.” We were doing play-by-play of the debate on our website and I shouted out, “Why not? Why wouldn’t he have heard of Fannie Mae?”

Now, let’s go to the transcript (link):

But you know, one of the real catalysts, really the match that lit this fire was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I’ll bet you, you may never even have heard of them before this crisis. But you know, they’re the ones that with the encouragement of Senator Obama and his cronies and his friends, in Washington, that went out and made all these risky loans, gave them to people that could never afford to pay back.

Note that Uygur is leaving off the important “before this crisis” bit. And, considering that, in 2007, according to this perhaps biased poll, only 69% of Americans could name the VP and less than half could identify Nancy Pelosi, I think it’s safe to assume that a very large number of Americans had never heard of Fannie/Freddie before now. (Other polls here and here). I have no doubt that McCain would say the same thing to anyone who was not connected to politics in some way.

Someone needs to keep track of all the instances of BHO supporters trying to racialize things like this.

Jezebel: Donna Brazile Is Not Going To The Back Of The Bus


Donna Brazile Is Not Going To The Back Of The Bus

We’ve been waiting three days for this moment. This morning, the New Yorker finally posted video from “If I Were Running This Campaign,” the Saturday morning panel featuring NY’er staff writer/moderator Jeffrey Toobin (swoon), and a bevy of his CNN colleagues, including Ed Rollins, Alex Castellanos, and Donna Brazile. Topics discussed: The GOP leadership, Bill Clinton, and Sarah Palin. As the 80-minute discussion wound down, Toobin raised the specter of race in the campaign, and Brazile, 48, let loose with an impassioned, ad-libbed exhortation that could be seen as a prescient, preemptive strike to the race-and-religion baiting tactics (“strategies”?) employed by the increasingly-ugly McCain-Palin campaign. Donna’s remarks above; you can watch the entire video here.

Booker Rising: James Collier on The Perfect Lie

Booker Rising

James Collier on The Perfect Lie

The moderate-conservative blogger opines: “‘John McCain has an illegitimate black daughter!’ When the George Bush campaign of 2000 made this claim, they set the standard for the ‘perfect lie’. A perfect lie stops a voter dead in their tracks, via some minuscule measure of truth. Indeed, Senator McCain has an adopted daughter, not borne by either of his wives, and whose skin is dark complected (making African ancestry plausible). Beyond this, all lies. Bush made this up and sank McCain with it. Now McCain is desperately searching for his perfect lie to sink Obama. But he has two problems. He has not found the lie and his delivery/deliverer, Sarah Palin, is all wrong.”

He adds: “Perfect lies must be whispered under the radar of the press, those pesky fact checkers. Bush used telephones, hundreds of thousands of them, while publicly denying their smear effort. Palin is openly accusing Obama of ‘palling with terrorist[s]’, while the press repeats ‘not true, not true’. This is nothing but sloppy dirty-campaigning on McCain’s part. It is the same as McCain getting shot off his horse by his Republican peers when he suspended his campaign to save us from the economic crisis.”