The ``race card'' pre-emption

It seems to me that the McCain camp have borrowed the policy of
military pre-emption to political pre-emption. As I see it, in this case, this will serve two purposes.

1) It will give a freer hand later down the road for the McCain camp to play the ``race card''. And I do believe they will play it. Infact, he already played it today, talking about affirmative action.

2) Several Clinton supporters were angry/upset about accusations of Bill and Hillary being racists. This has the potential of opening up those wounds.

I think there is no easy solution for the Obama camp now. In my opinion, I think they have to risk it and smear McCain back. The defense ``we didnt play the race card'' is sounding weak and Axelrod defended it poorly this morning. I think the Obama camp has to say that McCain camp is being racist. That is the only way forward.

On a separate note, the current status of the Obama campaign is reminding me of the Lamont campaign. For the past week or so, McCain camp has been setting the agenda; be it that celebrity ad or the race card charge. If Obama has decided who is going to be the VP, it is high time to announce his choice. The VP can go on attack against McCain. In my humble opinion, ``McCain is practising old politics'' is not going to win the election for them.

Tags: race card (all tags)

Comments

15 Comments

Re: The ``race card'' pre-emption

I agree this was a pre-emptive move.  The line from the McCampaign "and they dealt it from the bottom of the deck" is a direct quote of Simpson lawyer Robert Shapiro, the implied message being 'don't let another black "celebrity" get away with murder.'  This accusation seeks to inoculate against any protest that they are playing on racial fears.  A brilliant and twisted way to pre-emptively blame the victim.

The response I would offer would be something like: 'Given the distortions and smears we've seen coming from someone who pledged himself to an issue-based and civil campaign, the chief engineer of the Low Road Express has sacrificed his credibility in an attempt to score political points.  When John McCain wants to recover the character that once led Americans of all stripes to admire him, his finger wagging and feigned 'disappointment' might count for something again.  Now is the time to discuss the solutions we  propose to the problems facing Americans, including a proper close to the Iraq debacle McCain helped orchestrate, a smarter and better effort to defeat terrorism, the economy, energy crisis, global warming, health-care, and the education of our children."

I'd recommend as many repetitions of 'Low Road Express' and 'sacrificed credibility to score political points' as possible over the next two weeks always segueing into discussion of issues in detail.

by Strummerson 2008-08-01 09:13AM | 0 recs
Great analysis

This "new" McCain campaign is not the joke it was a month ago. They are attacking on multiple coordinated vectors, with impeccable timing.

I have no doubt this racial thing was gamed out far in advance, they were just waiting for an opening.

by Neef 2008-08-01 09:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Great analysis

"I think the Obama camp has to say that McCain camp is being racist. That is the only way forward.

Of course it is, it's all they have left.  This was always the inevitable result of his campaign.

In my humble opinion, ``McCain is practising old politics'' is not going to win the election for them.

Obama can't claim moral high ground on that anymore, no.  In that you're absolutely correct.

Why in the hell didn't we nominate Hillary?

This is going to be a disaster.

by rankles 2008-08-01 11:10AM | 0 recs
omg, teh rankles!

You won't believe this rankles, but I say it in complete sincerity:

Be glad that you will remember the fighter Hillary could have been, without seeing her put through the meatgrinder this campaign will become, and dragged down to earth. Some may believe that she woud have been immune to this sort of coordinated attack, but I suspect you're smarter than that.

by Neef 2008-08-01 11:32AM | 0 recs
Re:

The problem here is that the BO campaign already called the clinton's racists multipe times and this always seemed to happen after HRC won a big primary.  Alot of dems like me are still very bitter and angry about this.  And working class voters (regean dmes) from states like PA, OH, and MI are very sensitive to this kind of attack.

The BO campaign cant now use the same attack against McCain because it looks like the boy who cried wolf.  BO has not stop saying and suggesting that the GOP is saying dont vote for BO because he looks different than the other guys on the $1, $5, $10, and $20 dollar bills.

BO is ahead and he needs to stay away from this kind of message and stay on his change message.

david

by giusd 2008-08-01 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re:

From a different perspective, the Clinton campaign and its supporters accused Obama of 'playing the race card' to fan the flames white working class resentment, which turned out to be quite effective in Ohio, PA, IN, and several other battlegrounds, inspiring the McCain camp top adopt a similar strategy.

I do not mean here to instigate the 1,000,000,000,000th debate over 'who injected race into the primaries.'  Opinion on this has to do with which narrative you find more compelling, which generally lines up with which candidate you find more compelling.  Both narratives have traction.  I think the McCain campaign is actually working off of the one I propose here.  Notice that they are already invoking the Clintons.

by Strummerson 2008-08-01 09:34AM | 0 recs
Re:

Well i agree and you make a great arguement for you view on this.  And i agree and i hope it is water under the bridge for democrats.  And you are right that the McCain camps is working off the one that you suggest here.

If i was advising the BO campaign i would remove any mention of race from his campaign and stay on change, etc.  

david

by giusd 2008-08-01 09:41AM | 0 recs
Re:
I largely agree with this, except for one caution.  What makes race-baiting so insidious is both the subtle ways it plays on often private anxieties, and the fact that one can race bait without being personally a racist.  It's a way to play on racists, not the profession of racism itself.  The biggest problem is that it's despicable to accuse someone who is not a racist of racism.  So if someone who is demonstrably not a racist (Clintons and McCain) doe in fact stoop to race baiting, they often use the
'I'm no racist, how dare you call me one' as both an avoidance of responsibility and an attack.  The fact that one's personal attitudes toward people of other races do not determine whether or not they are capable of fanning racial tensions to there advantage gets lost.  But this is EXACTLY what the conductors on the Low Road Express are doing pre-emptively here.  Obama needs to be able to confront that, and it's not easy at all.
by Strummerson 2008-08-01 10:20AM | 0 recs
Unfortunately

our opponents have a long history of using just such attacks. They've used them against white Democrats. They've used them against Republicans of various races.

Is it irrational to assume they will NOT use them against a Black Democrat? is it unfair to even issue a warning (which is all Obama did)?

When paraphrasing "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", remember the entire story.

At the end, a wolf shows up.

by Neef 2008-08-01 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Unfortunately

...the boy gets eaten.  Don't forget that part.

Enjoy the Inevitable One's campaign.  It's going to get worse.

by rankles 2008-08-01 11:17AM | 0 recs
Fiend

for turning my bon mot against me. Touche.

We will endeavor to make THIS version of the fairy tale G-rated.

by Neef 2008-08-01 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Fiend

heh!

by rankles 2008-08-01 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: The ``race card'' pre-emption

One way to deflect this would be to get McCain's late June ad where he photoshops Obama onto the 100$ bill into the media narrative (the media loves video evidence):
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/channel-0 8/2008/06/mccain.html

This nicely deflects the whole controversy since McCain's campaign literally did what Obama was joking about to the audiences.

Also, today's new web ad, "The One" is so completely vacuous, misleading and off the wall that hopefully any residual sympathies some in the media have for McCain will evaporate.

by moreperfectunion 2008-08-01 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: The ``race card'' pre-emption

Oops, I had an extra space in the URL.  Here's a working link:

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/channel-0 8/2008/06/mccain.html

by moreperfectunion 2008-08-01 11:05AM | 0 recs
Re: The ``race card'' pre-emption

There is a whole world taking place in this campaign outside political commercials.
The lists my wife and I are being given to call
are incredibly detailed in regard to voting history.
All of our work..and literally ten's of thousands of others nationwide right now, is just the next layer of a GOTV unprecedented.
Everything will be in place (at least here in Colorado)to go full tilt by Labor Day.

"This ain't no Party.
This ain't no Disco.
This ain't no foolin' around!"

by nogo postal 2008-08-01 11:51AM | 0 recs

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