The McCain Mob Exposed (Part 2)

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If you missed Pete Abel’s post Thursday (he has part 1), go back and read it. When I read Andrew Sullivan’s Weimar America post on Tuesday I thought the reader was stretching. I went back and reread it today.

These are scary times.

McCain and Palin are playing with fire. And I’m not giving McCain a pass (even as I understand why Obama must).  I’ve not forgotten that just about a year ago when a female supporter at one of his vaunted town hall performances asked him of Hillary Clinton, “How do we beat the bitch?” He responded, “That’s an excellent question.”

When McCain supporters ask Who is Barack Obama? What is it they don’t know?

Although a bunch of people have spent the better part of a year coming up with new ways to call Barack Obama “exotic,” someone who “grew up eating moose burgers” is a quintessential American story and is accepted as such right out the box. And that just struck me, because that’s it right there, y’know? Everyone talks about “fill in the blank” is the new black, but all black ever strives to be is the new normal.

In a bit of cosmic confluence… I had one of the DVDs from the second season of The Cosby Show playing in the background, and if there was ever a study in black people trying to posit their existence in normative terms, that was it. I’m on record a couple of times showing my huge love for Bill Cosby’s masterpiece in its entirety, but those first two seasons in particular are a fascinating study in sitcom structure, because there aren’t really plots, per se. Each episode was just 26 minutes of this family’s day to day routine: the first day of school, Denise gets a new car, the family makes plans for the grandparents’ anniversary, etc. In some ways, these early episodes take an almost cinéma vérité approach to family’s life, depicting simple moments in daily existence to point toward a broader truth: that the African-American Huxtable family was a normal one with middle of the road, middle-class values. The fact that The Cosby Show was seen by many critics, black and white, as unrealistic pretty much tells you all you need to know about the manner in which black folks were seen in the ’80s.

But 20 years later, we’re looking at the Obama family, and looking hard. I’ve been sort of bitterly amused by some of the strategies Team Obama has had to employ over the last few months. In some ways, I’m impressed that Obama and his surrogates have been able to say that “the American people just have to get to know him” with a straight face. What else is there to know? Seriously, when’s the last time we’ve known as much about any politician as we have Sen. Obama? Pop quiz: Anyone know where Ronald Reagan went to church? How about what Roslyn Carter did for a living? No, any information anyone needs about the candidate is out there, so it’s never been about “getting to know” him; it’s been about “getting to accept him as one of us.”

I’m on record as saying again and again that we are not as racist as we’re afraid we are. With the electorate whipped into a mob frenzy, now I’m just plain afraid.

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  • jdave

    I've been reading this site for 6 months now and I think you folks are great.

    However, the interviewer in this video is terrible! He is deliberately baiting and antagonizing these people, putting words in their mouths. This video is far beneath your normal high quality analysis. Please do better.

  • CStanley

    thank you, jdave, for the sanity break.

    The only disturbing thing on that entire video was the little kid's comment- if that indicates what he is hearing in his home/family environment then that's a problem.

    But can anyone dispute that the interviewer was obviously looking for the worst comments he could possibly get, and as jdave points out, baiting every person and putting words in their mouths? (How many times did he repeat “so you think Barack Obama is a terrorist?” only to have people respond “No, I didn't say that” or “I think he associates with terrorists” and then the interviewer again repeats “Oh, so you think Barack Obama is a terrorist?” It's ridiculous.

    And other people there were clearly laughing at the guy and putting him on.

    Honestly, does this scene match with the angry hysterical mobs that are being reported? Really?

    Joe W, does it occur to you at all that just as you feel that the GOP is fearmongering about a candidate and his supporters who are not “one of us”, that what is happening here is the flip side of that coin and you too are being fearmongered? Look at your last few paragraphs again and then answer that. It's working, isn't it?

  • CStanley

    Here's a bit more to prove my point about racial fearmongering:

    http://www.politico.com/arena/perm/John_Lewis_C

  • JSpencer

    CS, from your link :

    “As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all. They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better.”

    I couldn't agree more.

  • Jimmy_the_Saint

    This isn't the best example of the mob ugliness of the McCain-Palin rallies. But do check out Part 1. The apparently drunk/tweaking blond woman who won't go away is hilarious. You might want to look at “<h ref=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itEucdhf4Us>”the sidewalk to nowhere.”</h> Don't miss the part where they call the Obama supporters communists and tell them to “go to Russia.”

  • Jimmy_the_Saint

    “These are scary times.”? “Weimar America”? I realize that it may be more interesting to be living in “scary times,” but you and Andrew Sullivan seem not to be aware that the side these people are supporting is losing the Presidential election and the Democrats will have comfortable majorities in both houses of Congress.

  • casualobserver

    Righties boo and name call………..lefties throw molotov cocktails………

    PORTLAND, Ore. – Authorities have arrested two men after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a 4-foot by 8-foot campaign sign for Republican presidential candidate John McCain in a southeast Portland yard.

    Karen Scrutton said she was asleep inside her home at 7956 S.E. 17th Ave. in the Sellwood neighborhood when she saw her sign go up in flames after 1 a.m.