Ugly Stuff

The McCain campaing has been pulling some really ugly stuff out of the old Rovian playbook in the past couple of days. The NY Times Editorial Board explains more:

The presumptive Republican nominee has embarked on a bare-knuckled barrage of negative advertising aimed at belittling Mr. Obama. The most recent ad compares the presumptive Democratic nominee for president to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton — suggesting to voters that he’s nothing more than a bubble-headed, publicity-seeking celebrity.

The ad gave us an uneasy feeling that the McCain campaign was starting up the same sort of racially tinged attack on Mr. Obama that Republican operatives, some of whom work for Mr. McCain now, ran against Harold Ford, a black candidate for Senate in Tennessee in 2006. That assault, too, began with videos juxtaposing Mr. Ford with young, white women.

Obama wasted no time in calling McCain on the ugly ploy, “saying, quite rightly, that the Republicans are trying to scare voters by pointing out that he “doesn’t look like all those other Presidents on those dollar bills.’’”

Then McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, “had a snappy answer. “Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck,” he said. “It’s divisive, negative, shameful and wrong.’’”

Um… Well… What’s ugly is the tactics the McCain camp is using, the Times Editorial Board says:

The retort was, we must say, not only contemptible, but shrewd. It puts the sin for the racial attack not on those who made it, but on the victim of the attack.

It also — and we wish this were coincidence, but we doubt it — conjurs up another loaded racial image.

The phrase dealing the race card “from the bottom of the deck” entered the national lexicon during the O.J. Simpson saga. Robert Shapiro, one of Mr. Simpson’s lawyers, famously declared of himself, Johnny Cochran and the rest of the Simpson defense team, “Not only did we play the race card, we dealt it from the bottom of the deck.”

It’s ugly stuff. How about we leave Britney, Paris, and O.J. out of this — and have a presidential campaign? 

Marc Ambinder says “it’s worth noting this stuff has worked in the past; theoretically, it pigeonholes Obama as a northern liberal with effete tastes.”

(Karl Rove loves to use the word “effete” against liberals).  It worked against John Kerry in 2004. It worked for Hillary Clinton in the primaries. It worked for Andrew Jackson against John Quincy Adams. (I know, Jackson was a Democrat…) It works not because of the fact of thing — windsurfing is not an elite sport — but because it allows partisans to feel superior and allows Republicans to begin to build an entire narrative around their opponents’ purported elitism. BTW: you can see the train of thought: Obama –> full of himself –> arrogant –> celebrity –> self-possessed –> doing things for himself, not for the country,  BTW: What type of shoes does McCain wear?

Somehow, I have a feeling we ain’t seen nothing yet from the McCain camp and the Republicans. It’s going to be a long, rough, rocky ride. Let’s hope Obama’s “high-mindedness” is enough to counter McCain’s attacks, because I remember damn well it wasn’t enough when Kerry used that tactic, although we all hoped it would be then. At some point, I am afraid Barack Obama will need to roll up his sleeves and play hardball with the McCain camp and hit them back with every dirty innuendo he can.

Is that the best you can come up with?” — May not be enough.

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11 Responses to Ugly Stuff

  1. archcrone says:

    This is nothing new from the GOP. We, in TN, watched the race card played out in the senatorial campaign between Harold Ford Jr and Bob Corker in 2006, some of which finally hit the national stage with the “call me” ad. But, believe me, that ad wasn’t all the race-baiting the GOP did in that race. Mailers that darkened the skin color of HFJ, ads with the soft sound of jungle drums in the background…This is SOP for the GOP, and it will remain that way as long as there are people afraid of anyone else with different skin color than them.

  2. John Stone says:

    There is absolutely no limit to to how low the Republicans will stoop. They have no scrupples about what they do. McCain is just like Bush, Cheney and Karl Rove. ( So much for the Straight Talk Express) For these guys the end justifies the means, they just want to get into office by any means possible to let the oil companies, drug companies and defense contractors continue to make huge profits while crushing the middle class. If anyone is elitists it is the Republicans and I don’t know why more people can’t figure that ou. They are the party of the rich!

  3. aaaa22 says:

    This is utterly ridiculous.  It’s unfortunate that race needs to be brought into the equation at all, but you can’t help but wonder if that is why late night comics are scared to joke about Obama and why the media is so supportive, surely something Clinton supporters can attest to.
    McCain cannot criticize Obama without being called racist, even as Obama has been criticizing him for weeks.  For a “postracial” candidate, he certainly is quick to bring up his race at every possible moment.
    I don’t think that McCain should have come back the way he did, but I am not impressed with Obama’s actions.

  4. Obama has an ad running and it’s good !Just saw it playing on CNN. Appreciate that national security and energy indpendence of which the ad reinforces. If we don’t get that straight, who’s going to worry about  race card ? As we all pump gas and when you are, having thoughts about  nationality or what color someone is ? Much less a race card ! Main St. High Road ! Town Hall meeting and three black Americn men stood with a sign that said,”What about the black community Obama.” Rude and disruptive right  in the middle of his speech? What about Americans and all nationalities ? These three disruptive “Americans” were asked to sit down and allow Obama to finish his speech. We are all the color of a rainbow ! “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal……” Use your manners ! Obama handled that very well and call security for disruptive out bursts ! We don’t get to see and hear enough now on the speeches they’re giving and there is a time and place for your questions at town hall meetings. Be rude and disruptive and you’ll be escorted out ! Don’t interrupt our next American President speaking !

  5. CNN showing Obama’s response to this American black man’s question of which was heart felt, he asked. Obama was concerned to be sure he answered and the man began yelling back in the middle of Obama’s explanation to answer his question. Good heart felt question, just interrupted but let Obama respond. We were all worried about New Orleans and why are the donations still in storage rooms of which never got there to help support ? That was the direction of the man’s question in part and his pain with worry. CNN didn’t play Obama’s entire response and let’s hear it. What has Obama done for all the attacks this man’s question refers in reference to the black community as Obama is black himself ? Partial interpretion in all the sound bites of man’s question. It hurts to hear the support we sent as Americans ,all natonalities sent to support New Orleans didn’t make it and there are storage rooms full of supplies that never got there. Congress is investigating this and CNN flashed it yesterday. The interruption was heart felt and so was the question ! Fema’s leaders made mistakes and there is a special investigation unit on it ,CNN just showed.The supplies were mishandled. Send the rest of the supplies and coordinate with the states.  Kinda understand the sign,question and interuption better ? What was Obama’s response ? CNN cut it off !This black American’s question relates to  attacks by the govt. on the black community and refers part of his question to Fema. We never got to hear Obama’s response to this part of the man’s question.Right or wrong on the interruption he was given the opportunity to ask his question and did Obama answer his question ?

  6. CNN makes clarification to the question asked which refers to police brutality,Jena six and hurricane Katrina. What was Obama’s response ? The man that asked the question was interviewed and CNN flashed his opinion but viewers have not seen Obama’s response to the man’s question as of yet.

  7. There was a racial concern today in a question that Obama did stop to answer. If the media would just allow viewers to hear more to make their own minds up the confusion and racial tension may not be so confusing. Obama did a good job in his answer to a sensitive racial issue and question on the stump. School teachers deal with these sensitive racial issues every other day.The man that asked the question said he would not vote for Obama and does not feel Obama has done enough to support the black community on these sensitive racial issues. The govt. isn’t going to solve all the problems but as Americans working together,yes we will. Higher standards to live up to on a new generations govt. and that’s the change Obama’s campaign fights for.What’s right and what’s wrong ? Obama did speak out on Jena Six and currently our govt. is investigating the supplies that never made it to Katrina. Police brutality is also reviewed and there have been officers dismissed. There is a cell phone camera everywhere. Why are our miliary men dying in showers and getting electrocuted ? The govt. is on every problem that’s called to their attention by the American people because we the people hire them to be.What is this man’s solution to his own question asked and how can he help to better make a difference ? The govt. doesn’t have all the solutions on all the problems.

  8. Really hope after the disruption to ask the question the solutions will be identified and less blame placed to spend energy on helpful solutions. Good question ! What’s a positive solution ?

  9. Senator Obama what is your solution percentage on NCLB ? What will your budget allow beyond the 10% of which did not fund the law to begin with ?

  10. The Republicans continue to harbor an un-natural hate for ALL Democrats.  I am a long time registered Democrat, but I have on occassion voted for the GOP candidate, if I thought he was the better of the two.  The right wingers of today excemplify the title of Ann Coulter’s book:  “How To Talk To A Liberal, If You Really Must!”They hated Bill Clinton throughout his presidency.  They spent millions of tax payer money trying to impeach him for a “crime” whch was not impeachable.  They have nothing but distain for Hillary.  They waged a constant character assassination against VP Al Gore in 2000.  When they realized the election might be too close to call, they simply stole the election.  Next were the vicious verbal attacks against Sen. Kerry.  The “Swift Boaters” duped the public by turning Sen Kerry from a war hero into a traitor.  I have my fingers crossed, but do fear that the general publicwill once again be fooled into believing the mud slinging lies of “McBush”.  Buzz!! 

  11. John Stone says:

    William Stoddard, I certainly agree with what you said. I just hope that we can win this time by a big enough margin that the election fraud that Karl Rove used in 2000 and 2004 won’t work. I know we are in for the same dirty campaigning and dirty tricks by McCain that we got from Bush and Cheney.