Friday, August 01, 2008

The Race Card and other falsehoods

This "catchy" phrase, a favorite with conservatives is frequently used when one doesn't want to acknowledge the existence of racial inequality. They look at it as an "excuse". This tactic raised it's ugly head again yesterday when a Mr. Wise, a McCain operative accused Mr. Obama of injecting "race" into the campaign when he said that he didn't look like any of the presidents on dollar bills. The media had a field day with this one. It was the talk of the pundits and given ample print in almost every major US newspaper. The fact of the matter is that Obama, could have been mentioning his youth, or his attire, or even his hairstyle. A "whining" Mr. Wise came to the conclusion that it could ONLY mean race. With the serious issues that presidential candidates are confronted with in this campaign it seems incongruous that this is the "issue?" that gets all the coverage.
Once again the Republican/Swiftboat/Atwater-Rove school has injected itself in yet another political campaign. I am certain that John McCain has never said anything that could be considered racist, (even with that "gorilla" joke he made a while back, I am still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt), but he doesn't have to, his operatives are doing that for him. Rarely have I seen him refute these caustic statements. Obama has had a simple fist bump be reported as a terrorist ritual. He has had his wife characterized as a participant in a hate whitey rally. He has had reporters publicly say that they wished he were dead.He
been held responsible for statements made by his pastor and by the rapper Ludicris. McCain on the other hand is given a free pass when it comes to his connections to the religious bigot John Hagee and his connections to Bob Jones University (that has displayed numerous examples of intolerence). McCain is a man who has changed his positions on so many issues, yet the press doesn't pin that "flip-flop" tag on him the way they did John Kerry. McCain was against torture, now he is for it. McCain was in favor of a woman's right to choose, now he is against it. McCain was for affirmative action, now he is against it.
Obama brushed aside Mr. Wise's comments by just saying that McCain is taking the "low road". This is true but he has to realize that the U.S. public is greatly influenced by what they see on television and what they see in print. The so-called "low road" can play a vital role to the road to victory. Look at what happened to Harold Ford Jr. (an African-American) in Tennessee. All these ethically challenged Republican operatives had to do was have a beautiful young blond say that she wanted to see Ford again. Ford was leading before that promotion hit the TV screen. The late racist senator from North Carolina Jesse Helms used a similar tactic in his campaign against another African-American opponent. His tv spots claimed that qualified white people were losing their jobs because of minorities. Nothing could have been further from the truth. There were no statistics that could verify this statement, yet Helms won.
Obama is making a serious mistake if he just lets this one go. John Kerry, like John McCain is a decorated war hero. In fact, I believe his heroics were even more substantial because his actions saved the lives of U.S. soldiers. The swiftboaters said that he was not a hero and implied that some of his wounds may have been self-inflicted. George Bush never said this, but he didn't have to, he had the swiftboaters to say it for him. Every time a McCain operative makes an outrageous statement Obama should deal with him or her immediately. Obama had to apologize for the statements of Rev. Wright, but McCain didn't have to apologize for the statements of
Rev. Hagee. Obama had to retract statements make about the working class people of Pennsylvania and even after doing so he still lost the state in the primary. Obama is going to have to realize that the Republicans have a history of fighting dirty and if he wants to win besides confronting electoral skullduggery he is also going to have to take the gloves off because the press is solidy behind McCain.

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