Newsweek: Moderate Voice: “So what if Obama were a Muslim or Arab?”

Newsweek: Moderate Voice

“So what if Obama were a Muslim or Arab?”

I’ve got to say, Campbell Brown has impressed me with her willingness to say what other journalists have only been thinking this election season. First, she called out the McCain campaign for shielding Palin from the press “like a delicate flower who will wilt at any moment.” And her latest commentary addresses the bigotry against Arabs and Muslims popping up at McCain rallies.

Last week a supporter told McCain she didn’t trust Obama because he was an Arab, to which McCain replied, “No ma’am. He’s a decent family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. That’s what this campaign is all about. He’s not, thank you.”

Brown retorts:

Now, I commend Sen. McCain for correcting that woman, for setting the record straight. But I do have one question — so what if he was?

So what if Obama was Arab or Muslim? So what if John McCain was Arab or Muslim? Would it matter?

When did that become a disqualifier for higher office in our country? When did Arab and Muslim become dirty words? The equivalent of dishonorable or radical?

We’ve all been too quick to accept the idea that calling someone Muslim is a slur. We can’t tolerate this ignorance — not in the media, not on the campaign trail.

Few have been willing to address that issue directly, and as a consequence, slurring Muslims/Arabs has become an acceptable shield for racists who would never have voted for Obama in the first place. Racism against African Americans has become so taboo that most genuine racists are afraid express themselves in public. But slurring people from the Middle East? Well, hell, we’re at war and all. Nothing wrong with standing up in front of a large crowd with a microphone and spewing hatred for “those people,” right?

Jezebel: Just Say It: The Race-Baiting Tactics Of John McCain And Sarah Palin Are Reprehensible


Just Say It: The Race-Baiting Tactics Of John McCain And Sarah Palin Are Reprehensible

(H/T Feministe)

Most people in this country would like to believe that visceral hatred for one’s fellow Americans — including racism — is limited to a small number of radicals on either end of the political spectrum, or maybe to certain areas of the country. The truth is — as some of us are having to confront this week — that it’s simply untrue. So-called normal people can go wild-eyed and start spouting shit off the likes of which one would think would be confined to Arkham or parody, while others will holler things like “Kill him!” at political rallies because they feel like they’re safe to do so. And, if the behavior of John McCain and Sarah Palin (along with the mainstream media) this week is any indication, they are pretty safe from repercussion. 

UPDATE: McCain’s campaign has a response to their angry, race-baiting supporters: Obama just doesn’t understand them. No, for real, that’s their response. Senior [white people] adviser Nicole Wallace said, “[The African-American] Barack Obama’s assault on our [beloved white] supporters is insulting and unsurprising. These are the same people Obama called ‘bitter’ and attacked for ‘clinging to guns’ and faith,” because it’s always a good idea to remind angry, violent, racist mobs about their firearms. Spokesman Brian Rogers said, “Barack Obama’s attacks on [white, racist] Americans who support John McCain reveal far more about him than they do about John McCain. It is clear that Barack Obama just doesn’t understand regular [white] people and the [white] issues they care about [because he’s a black man. Black!].” 

Nashville Post Politics: Well, It’s True Isn’t It?

Nashville Post Politics

Well, It’s True Isn’t It?

There are limits, it would appear, to the respect John McCain is willing to afford Barack Obama:

Talking Points Memo: McCain: I’m Going To “Whip” Obama At The Debate

Talking Points Memo

McCain: I’m Going To “Whip” Obama At The Debate


Check out this latest gaffe from John McCain: He boasted that he intends to “whip” Barack Obama’s posterior at the debate this Wednesday.

“We’re going to spend a lot of time and after I whip his you-know-what in this debate, we’re going to be going out 24/7,” McCain told a crowd of volunteers at the campaign’s national headquarters in Virginia.

For the record, none of us here at TPM think McCain actually intended the potentially-nefarious alternative meaning of whipping Obama. We just think it was a painfully awkward and stupid thing to say.


AmericaBlog: McCain says he will “whip” Obama in debate


McCain says he will “whip” Obama in debate

And then he says goes on to talk about conducting a respectful race. Could McCain be any more clueless? While this is sure to be a crowd pleaser in the same halls that yell out “kill him” and make racist taunts but for everyone else, this is more of the same strange McCain that we’ve watched unravel in recent months. ( front page headlines toned down what McCain actually said and changed it to “crushed” rather than “whip” though at least the AP used the real words. There was even laughter on CNN about the choice of words.)

Republican John McCain vowed Sunday to “whip” Democratic rival Barack Obama’s “you-know-what” when the two presidential candidates meet Wednesday in their final televised debate. 


Huffington Post: Obama Predicted GOP’s Nasty Turn (VIDEO)

Huffington Post

Obama Predicted GOP’s Nasty Turn (VIDEO)

Nashville Post Politics: Al Gore Is To Willie Horton As Hillary Clinton Is To…

Nashville Post Politics

Al Gore Is To Willie Horton As Hillary Clinton Is To…

Ankle Biting Pundits: McCain: Investigate ACORN

Ankle Biting Pundits

McCain: Investigate ACORN

NY Times: Maureen Dowd: Mud Pies for ‘That One’

NY Times: Maureen Dowd

Mud Pies for ‘That One’

John McCain has long been torn between wanting to succeed and serving a higher cause. Right now, the drive to succeed is trumping any loftier aspirations. He cynically picked a running mate with less care than theater directors give to picking a leading actor’s understudy. And he has been running a seamy campaign originally designed by the bad seed of conservative politics, Lee Atwater.

It was adapted in 2000 in Atwater’s home state of South Carolina by Atwater acolytes in W.’s camp to harpoon McCain with rumors that he had fathered out of wedlock a black baby (as opposed to adopting a Bangladeshi infant girl in wedlock). Sulfurous Atwater-style rumor-mongering by Bush supporters — that McCain had come home from a Hanoi tiger cage with snakes in his head — aimed to stop him during that primary after he had zoomed in New Hampshire.

Atwater relished teaching rich, white Republicans to feign a connection to the common man so they could get in office and economically undermine the common man.

Campaigning last weekend, Palin cast their Democratic rival as “someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

The woman is sounding more Cheney than Cheney. Palin said that Obama’s relationship with the former Weatherman William Ayers proved that he did not have the “truthfulness and judgment” to be president. Asked by William Kristol if the Rev. Jeremiah Wright should be an issue, she said, “I don’t know why that association isn’t discussed more.”

Atwater gleefully tried to paint Willie Horton as Dukakis’s running mate. With a black man running, it’s even easier for Atwater’s disciple running McCain’s campaign to warn that white Americans should not open the door to the dangerous Other, or “That One,” as McCain referred to Obama in Tuesday night’s debate. (A cross between “The One” and “That Woman.”)

NY Times Caucus: Diamonds, Daisies, Snowflakes … That One

NY Times Caucus

Diamonds, Daisies, Snowflakes … That One

Did “that one” win last night’s debate?

We’re talking about the phrase, which has burst through the clutter of debate chatter to be one of the most talked-about moments in the 90 minutes from Nashville.

“That one” was the way Senator John McCain referred to Senator Barack Obama at one point last night. Angry reaction has emerged on the Internet today and lit up black-oriented radio stations, with commenters and callers saying that Mr. McCain was demeaning a fellow Senator and the presidential nominee of a major party.

Warren Ballentine, an African-American radio host in Atlanta and a strong Obama supporter, had a different take.

“It was totally disrespectful,” he said in an interview. “If you disrespect someone who is your equal, how will you treat me as a citizen?”

Mr. Ballentine saw other moments in the debate that troubled him as well, including Mr. McCain’s reference to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in response to a questioner who was black. “I’ll bet you, you may never even have heard of them before this crisis.”

Mr. Ballentine said that in the first debate, he had not perceived anything from Mr. McCain as particularly racial. “But now,” he said, “McCain’s back is up against the wall and he’s playing into stereotypical fears to get people to vote for him because people have a problem with blacks.”