Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Civilization rears her beautiful head at McCain event only to be garrotted.

I held some hope that this presented a change for the better, so to speak. But this occurrence is about the only positive note. It's considerably muted by the fact that the hero of the piece, the Islamic McCain staffer who shut down these hateful twits has been forbidden to speak to the media, according to the latest from CNN and Huffpo:

The aide, Daniel Zubairi, had been scheduled to appear on Sanchez's mid-day program after he was caught on video talking down an anti-Muslim protester outside a McCain rally in Woodbridge, Virginia. But, even after telling the network that an interview was "good to go," the McCain shop pulled Zubairi at the last minute, leaving Sanchez in limbo on live TV.

"Wouldn't you think they would have wanted him to come on?" the CNN host would later tell the Huffington Post. "What the guy did was courageous. I called him heroic. I'm mystified why they wouldn't embrace him for his actions. Maybe they didn't like the story, but I'll tell you. I thought it was presented it in a very transparent way, if anything I kind of gushed philosophically about how impressive and real his reaction was to the protester's hateful message. It seemed to show some of the best of McCain supporters, didn't it?"

It's a damn good question. But perhaps this New York Observer story holds the answer.

First, Representative Patrick McHenry cheered what he called the “biggest crowd John McCain has gotten in North Carolina” and emphasized that this was a critical election with a stark choice between the candidates.

“It’s like black and white,” someone in the crowd at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center yelled out, laughing. McHenry let the remark pass and finished his speech. He yielded the microphone to Representative Robin Hayes, who prefaced his comments by saying it was important to “make sure we don’t say something stupid, make sure we don’t say something we don’t mean.” Republicans, he reminded the crowd, were kind people. Plus, he added, the liberal media had shown itself eager to distort such remarks. With the crowd duly chastened and put on best behavior, he accused Obama of “inciting class warfare” and said that “liberals hate real Americans that work and achieve and believe in God.”

So to answer the confused Sanchez, they want to “make sure [he doesn't] say something ... we don’t mean.”

McCain campaign is relying more upon the America Blanca's [Spanish for "White America"] than the Daniel Zubairi's of conservatives.
Damn the Polls: McCain's Irreducibles Beg to Differ | The New York Observer: "“I don’t believe these polls,” said America Blanca, a 44-year-old small business owner from Miami who wore a red dress and was visibly pumped up by the rally. “Not one of them. Because it’s the kids answering the polls on the computers. Their parents are not home and they are answering and they will not be voting. I think if he is losing, it is only by a little spread. Very little.” She held the tip of her pointer finger about two inches from the tip of her thumb.

Asked if her business made more than $250,000 a year, the cap under which Obama has proposed cutting taxes, she said it did. Told about Obama’s proposal, she answered, “I don’t give a shit. I will never vote for a black man.”"
And if it's not Obama's race, it's false associations with his religion:

Daniel Varisco, anthropology chair at Hofstra University, said he wrote the "statement of concerned scholars" after seeing Islamophobia on the rise.

"The attempts to label Senator Obama a terrorist or rhyme his name with Osama (bin Laden) or accent his middle name (Hussein), as well as false claims about his being sworn into (U.S. Senate) office on a Koran, demonstrate how near to the surface anti-Islamic sentiment is in the United States," he said.

Circulating such falsehoods "avoids playing the race card directly but at the expense of Muslims," he said.

It troubles me that McCain and Palin have not taken this stunningly obvious opportunity to disavow all support from the false assocations and outright racism. While I do not think that race, per se, caused Colin Powell to support Obama - well, look to this statement:

"Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?" he asked on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion 'he's a Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists.' This is not the way we should be doing it in America," Powell said, while making clear such sentiment was not coming from McCain himself.

Racism and hate speech of this sort may not have told a rock-ribbed Conservative such as Powell who to vote for; but it surely had to influence who he was unwilling to be associated with publically, for reasons both obviously political and no doubt personal on a most visceral level.

Likewise, I would not be at all suprised to soon hear Daniel Zubairi disavowing his association with McCain. Were I in his place, I'd consider the actions of the McCain campain to be a disavowal of my public disavowal that racism and anti-muslum retoric is supported by the campaign.

While racist, anti-muslim words are spread by supporters, they should be taken as one person speaking on their own behalf - if they are not disavowed, they tend to spread. And there is no lack of evidence to suggest that people speaking on behalf of the campaign and attempting to influence more have little less restraint.

Via "BadAmerican"

..Dana Milbank highlights another incident from Monday:

Worse, Palin’s routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric’s questions for her “less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media.” At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, “Sit down, boy.”

Getting ugly out there,” says ABC’s Jake Tapper.

It is getting very difficult to evade the distinct impression that class and race warfare is in fact the keystone of the entire McCain/Neocon strategy. I'm going to take one speculative step beyond that - I'm beginning to suspect that McCain is positioning Palin as the new spokesperson for a resergant, racist right-wing movement. This is distinctly underlined for me by her ties to the Alaska Independance Party - a separatist movement with some disturbingly extremist positions.

But mostly, I'm just plain insulted by her suggestion that only rednecks from rural Amurika are "real americans." That everyone that has any appreciation of nuance, multiculturalism or good sushi is a "godless liberal."

In closing, I'm down with John Stewart: "Fuck Y'all!"

(From Canada, go here. Aside to BOTH comedy networks - this is a royal pain in the ass; fix it. All it takes is a simple redirect to the appropriate server, dudes.)

Frankly, I think that at certain points in time - and this is one of them - that a hearty "fuck you" is the only intelligent response to massive, visible stupidity.

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