T Nation

Smearing McCain as Racist

The attempts have already begun.

[i]Dog-Whistling Dixie
By JAMES TARANTO
April 3, 2008

Note: We’re getting a bit stir-crazy recovering from the broken leg, so we’ve decided to take tomorrow off and venture out into the world. Assuming we manage to avoid further injury, we’ll be back Monday.

Dog-Whistling Dixie
With Barack Obama’s “postracial” appeal having proved illusory but Democrats likely to nominate him for president anyway, the party faces a difficult problem: how to persuade Americans to vote for the spiritual protégé of a man who espouses crackpot anti-American and antiwhite views.

One response, born less of strategy than of reflex, is to claim that opposition to Obama is racist. A pair of recent posts by prominent Angry Left bloggers show just how intense is the desire to impute racism to the other side, and how far they are willing to depart from logic to do so.

The first post, titled “John McCain’s Racist Dogwhistle in Meridian, Mississippi,” ( http://openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=4838 ) went up last Friday on the blog of Matt Stoller. He faulted McCain for planning a speech ( this past Monday in the Mississippi town where, as the candidate said in his speech, “I was once a flight instructor . . . at the air field named for my grandfather during my long past and misspent youth.” ( http://thepage.time.com/full-text-of-mccains-remarks-in-meridian-mississippi/ )

According to Stoller, though, that wasn’t the real reason McCain went to Meridian:

Stoller was echoing his elders, including former Reagan adviser Paul Krugman, who have spent years smearing Ronald Reagan for giving a speech–a “racist” speech, Stoller baselessly calls it–seven miles from Philadelphia in 1980, when Stoller was 2½ years old. (We wrote about this in November: http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110010854 ) McCain’s planned speech, Stoller wrote before the fact, “clearly looks like a dogwhistle to racists within the Republican Party.”

Stoller suggests that it is invidious for a politician to give a speech within a 40-mile radius of Philadelphia, where the three civil rights workers were murdered; and that it is also invidious for a politician to give a speech in Meridian, because one of the murdered activists, James Chaney, was born there. By this logic, it would also be invidious for a politician to give a speech in any of the following places:

  • New York City, where the other two murdered civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, were born. (In fact, as David Brooks noted in November ( http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/09/opinion/09brooks.html ), that racist devil Reagan followed up his 1980 Philadelphia speech by flying to New York, where he addressed the Urban League.)

  • Within 40 miles of Memphis, Tenn., where Martin Luther King was assassinated 40 years ago tomorrow.

  • Atlanta, where Dr. King was born.

Actually, a politician would probably be well advised to steer clear of Mississippi altogether, since Memphis is right on the state line and Medgar Evers, another civil rights activist, was both born and assassinated in the Magnolia State.

Once McCain gave the speech, Stoller sheepishly updated his post: “I was probably wrong on this incident, it doesn’t look like a dogwhistle.” (Presumably he means it doesn’t sound like one.)

Some commentators have given Stoller credit for his honesty, but we’d like to dwell on the metaphor instead. A dog whistle is also known as a silent whistle, because it emits a tone at a frequency too high for humans to hear, although it is within the audible range for canines. A racist dog whistle, then, is a speech that sounds innocuous to the normal human ear but that racist “dogs” are able to recognize as an appeal to them.

What does it tell us about Matt Stoller that he is able to detect whether the “racist dog whistle” has been blown?

Wait, it gets worse. According to The Atlantic’s Matthew Yglesias ( http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/04/the_old_people_strategy.php ), McCain doesn’t even need to dog-whistle Dixie in order to be making appeals to racism. Yglesias opines that for McCain merely to talk about his military record is “the best way I can think of to try to take advantage of older people’s potential discomfort with the idea of a woman or a black man in the White House that doesn’t involve exploiting racism or sexism in a discreditable way” (emphasis his).

This is a bit confusing, since it implies that Yglesias believes there are creditable ways to exploit “older people’s” purported racial prejudices. Besides, as blogger Tom Maguire points out ( http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2008/04/matt-yglesias-t.html ), anyone who is disinclined to vote for Obama because he is black probably won’t have too much trouble ascertaining that McCain is a person of pallor.

But you can see where all this is going. If Obama is the Democratic nominee, the liberal message will be that a vote for McCain is a vote for racism. Our guess it that this will not be a winning campaign strategy: Most nonblack voters will be put off by this kind of crude moral intimidation.

If McCain wins, liberal mythmakers will insist it is because America is a racist country, and their logic will be as airtight as Stoller’s and Yglesias’s. Whether for political reasons or out of their own moral vanity, those who claim they want “racial reconciliation” are all too eager to practice divisive, if stupid, politics.[/i]

I cannot decide unless I know his tailors position.

You think this is bad, wait until the tape surfaces of McCain’s pastor saying “DAMN AMERICA, the black man invented…,well nothing really cool 'cept Peanut Butter.”

I take back my last post…

http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/bhistory/inventors/johnson.htm

These were cool as hell!

EDIT: I know, I know, blacks have contributed a lot of great ideas, I was only making a bad joke. Relax.

[quote]orion wrote:
I cannot decide unless I know his tailors position.

[/quote]

exactly.

He is racist…against Americans. We’re lazy and won’t do jobs the Mexicans will do.

I do not think Mc Cain a racist, but wait until it is dem vs rep

McCain is about as racist as Obama.

Voting for McCain is not racist. Voting for McCain because he’s white, however, is racist, and I guarantee at least SOME people will be doing that come November. He won’t win on it though…

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
McCain is about as racist as Obama.

Voting for McCain is not racist. Voting for McCain because he’s white, however, is racist, and I guarantee at least SOME people will be doing that come November. He won’t win on it though…[/quote]

Just as many will vote for Obama just because he’s black.

[quote]CappedAndPlanIt wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
McCain is about as racist as Obama.

Voting for McCain is not racist. Voting for McCain because he’s white, however, is racist, and I guarantee at least SOME people will be doing that come November. He won’t win on it though…

Just as many will vote for Obama just because he’s black. [/quote]

More people would vote for obama because he’s black then say mccain for being white. Minorites always “flock” together, whether they have anything besides skin color or not, this does not occur nearly as much in white culture.

Some will vote for him because he is black, and some will vote against him because he is black.

These people are shallow idiots.

Today racism has turned into a tool to beat down people who disagree with the politically correct philosophy.

If you do not fall into line, have 100% agreement with the proper thought, you are labeled a racist.

It’s actually quite effective.

[quote]Joe84 wrote:
CappedAndPlanIt wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
McCain is about as racist as Obama.

Voting for McCain is not racist. Voting for McCain because he’s white, however, is racist, and I guarantee at least SOME people will be doing that come November. He won’t win on it though…

Just as many will vote for Obama just because he’s black.

More people would vote for obama because he’s black then say mccain for being white. Minorites always “flock” together, whether they have anything besides skin color or not, this does not occur nearly as much in white culture. [/quote]

I dont think it has so much to do with him being black as it does with the chance of him being the first black president. Just as, with Clinton, many would vote for her simply because she’s a woman.

People always want to feel like they’re a part of something special, so there will always be a draw for the chance to think “I helped elect the first ______ president of the USA!”

[quote]CappedAndPlanIt wrote:
Joe84 wrote:
CappedAndPlanIt wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
McCain is about as racist as Obama.

Voting for McCain is not racist. Voting for McCain because he’s white, however, is racist, and I guarantee at least SOME people will be doing that come November. He won’t win on it though…

Just as many will vote for Obama just because he’s black.

More people would vote for obama because he’s black then say mccain for being white. Minorites always “flock” together, whether they have anything besides skin color or not, this does not occur nearly as much in white culture.

I dont think it has so much to do with him being black as it does with the chance of him being the first black president. Just as, with Clinton, many would vote for her simply because she’s a woman.

People always want to feel like they’re a part of something special, so there will always be a draw for the chance to think “I helped elect the first ______ president of the USA!”
[/quote]

I think race is a blind issue, I think the majority of Obama supporters are tired of Banks, Insurance companies and Oil companies F�??King the people. It may do no good electing Obama, but it is what most people call hope .Those three industries are running America.

[quote]Joe84 wrote:
CappedAndPlanIt wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
McCain is about as racist as Obama.

Voting for McCain is not racist. Voting for McCain because he’s white, however, is racist, and I guarantee at least SOME people will be doing that come November. He won’t win on it though…

Just as many will vote for Obama just because he’s black.

More people would vote for obama because he’s black then say mccain for being white. Minorites always “flock” together, whether they have anything besides skin color or not, this does not occur nearly as much in white culture. [/quote]

Sure, but more people will vote AGAINST Obama, or will NOT vote for Obama because he’s a black man. I know at least 5 die-hard liberal men and women who have stated they will stay home election day if Hilary doesn’t get the nomination, purely because Obama is black. My grandmother is among these people. Granted, they’re all as old as she is, but I’ve only met one person who I felt was voting for Obama purely because he is a black man.

It’s a lot easier to find people voting AGAINST someone due to a racial issue than to find people who are voting FOR someone because of a racial issue.

(With the because meaning the SOLE reason for voting…)
No one is voting for, or against McCain because he is white. Few are voting for Obama because he is black. A decent number of people, however, will vote AGAINST Obama, or will ABSTAIN because he is a black man.

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
Joe84 wrote:
CappedAndPlanIt wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
McCain is about as racist as Obama.

Voting for McCain is not racist. Voting for McCain because he’s white, however, is racist, and I guarantee at least SOME people will be doing that come November. He won’t win on it though…

Just as many will vote for Obama just because he’s black.

More people would vote for obama because he’s black then say mccain for being white. Minorites always “flock” together, whether they have anything besides skin color or not, this does not occur nearly as much in white culture.

Sure, but more people will vote AGAINST Obama, or will NOT vote for Obama because he’s a black man. I know at least 5 die-hard liberal men and women who have stated they will stay home election day if Hilary doesn’t get the nomination, purely because Obama is black. My grandmother is among these people. Granted, they’re all as old as she is, but I’ve only met one person who I felt was voting for Obama purely because he is a black man.

It’s a lot easier to find people voting AGAINST someone due to a racial issue than to find people who are voting FOR someone because of a racial issue.

(With the because meaning the SOLE reason for voting…)
No one is voting for, or against McCain because he is white. Few are voting for Obama because he is black. A decent number of people, however, will vote AGAINST Obama, or will ABSTAIN because he is a black man.[/quote]

I’ve seen the same. In the predominantly black neighborhoods here, the focus is not on Obama being black or voting for him because he is black. I am wondering why so many people who aren’t black and associate so little with those who are think they have us all figured out so well.

I thought there was a word for that.

Hmm. I seem to remember some pretty noticeable demographic splits early on in this race.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Hmm. I seem to remember some pretty noticeable demographic splits early on in this race.[/quote]

Just because a black man may vote for Obama does NOT mean he is voting for him just because he is black. Why do you think the entire black community is that dumb but you and yours are clearly so socially advanced?

Please tell me, how many black men and women have you talked to about their possible voting choice?

I’ll wait.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Sloth wrote:
Hmm. I seem to remember some pretty noticeable demographic splits early on in this race.

Just because a black man may vote for Obama does NOT mean he is voting for him just because he is black. Why do you think the entire black community is that dumb but you and yours are clearly so socially advanced?

Please tell me, how many black men and women have you talked to about their possible voting choice?

I’ll wait.[/quote]

Yeah. I think the entire black community is dumb, and is voting for Obama based entirely on race. That’s exactly what I said. Ya got me!

All of this remains to be seen…since this is the FIRST TIME IN HISTORY that a black man has a true chance of being President.

Once it was realized that Obama had a good chance of becoming legitimate frontrunner for president,the true colors of people…and this country as a whole…are really showing. Hence the numerous “race” threads…and arguments.

All of this race stuff is taking front seat to the bigger issues concerning our current presidency and state of the union. Hmm…why is that??

[quote]Big_Boss wrote:
All of this remains to be seen…since this is the FIRST TIME IN HISTORY that a black man has a true chance of being President.

Once it was realized that Obama had a good chance of becoming legitimate frontrunner for president,the true colors of people…and this country as a whole…are really showing. Hence the numerous “race” threads…and arguments.

All of this race stuff is taking front seat to the bigger issues concerning our current presidency and state of the union. Hmm…why is that??[/quote]

Because we’re racists.