Congressman, Call Me!

You may have seen the horrible, racist, sexist, absurd attack ad that the Republican Party is running in Tennessee.

This is not that ad.

Comments

  • sasha (unverified)
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    Is that the best the D's can do? A weak spoof? Proof positive that the Democrats are out of ideas.

    The Ford ad was hysterical. This is blandly amusing at best.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: sasha | Oct 31, 2006 11:15:19 AM

    (yawn)

    (scroll)

  • je (unverified)
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    Immitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

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    Yeah, I always find racist overtones funny, sasha!

  • Zak J. (unverified)
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    Glad you found the original so funny Sasha. Willie Horton got a lot of laughs too back in the day.

    Ken Mehlman, chair of the RNC, thought the ad was so funny he had it pulled--as soon as he admitted he had the power to do so.

    I'm not accusing you of anything, so don't get your hackles up, but I can tell you firsthand that when you're in the south it gets very hard to distinguish the principled conservative voter from the out-and-out white supremist. They keep very close company and the club where they mingle is called the GOP.

    The RNC knows that, and played on it in this ad.

  • Luke (unverified)
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    Pulling the racist card on this ad seems silly. The ad may be distasteful because it's satirical mudslinging, but it's not racist. When I first saw this ad I had no idea Ford was black. Couldn't for the life of me figure out why some posters were calling it racist. Then when I realized that he was black it became rather clear that pulling the racist card was a comeback, and not something presented in the ad.

  • (Show?)

    Luke, just because YOU didn't realize he was black, doesn't mean the people it was intended for--Tennesseeans--don't know.

    Maybe you need to have lived in the South for a while to understand the dog whistle being employed here to conservative white males in the state; a white woman being flirtatious with a black man is standard Rovian code.

    And this ad is nothing compared to Corker's own radio ad, which features jungle drums every time they talk about Ford.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Luke | Oct 31, 2006 12:03:49 PM

    You ever spend real time in TN or the south?

  • Luke (unverified)
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    Right... but nothing in the ad had anything to do with his "blackness." The ad was an attack on policy and conduct. Both of which are open to criticism as a member of the human race and especially as somebody running for office.

    Maybe you guys are right, that I am just a bit too color blind having been raised on the West Coast and in the Midwest, but I think we should be VERY careful ever pulling the race card for two reasons:

    1) It dilutes the power of legitimate accusations. 2) A false accusation of racism is racist, making you no better than what you hate.

    It is a logical fallacy to criticize the message because only because either the speaker or the audience may [hypothetically] be racist.

  • Luke (unverified)
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    Aaww crap. Never posted here before and I didn't realize my name would hyper-link to my email. If an admin sees this would you please delete my above comments so I don't get owned by spammage? Thanks a ton.

  • (Show?)

    Is that the best the D's can do? A weak spoof? Proof positive that the Democrats are out of ideas.

    Sasha -- this was created by a volunteer. A kid. Not the party, or a candidate.

    Maybe Rob can tell you about the difference between a professional and a volunteer. Go down the hall and ask him.

    Meanwhile -- yup, another Troll Fund Donation!

    Luke, I'll take care of that.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Luke,

    It wasn't that long ago that southern states enforced misogenation laws. There are lots of folks there who still bristle at the thought of a Black man having sex with a White woman. This is especially true for older people, who are the ones who vote in high percentages.

    The ad is clearly racially charged.

  • Luke (unverified)
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    Thanks Kari.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    Hi Sasha.

    Meet Rush. He's a rabid racist too. Like you.

    And he's ready to do a Meet and Greet with you, young cutie pie, just bring plenty of Vicodan and Viagra and... a crane.

  • Shane (unverified)
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    Totally off topic but over at "Right Wing Thinking," (I know, it's an oxymoron) the guy who hosts the blog has been going into my posts and changing what I've written. Perfectly legitimate posts I might add, unlike the trolls that are on blue oregon. The last post was an fyi to his readership that if you have an opposing view point he'll edit whatever you post. Now he's banned me from his blog. I just find it hilarious that the right is so scared of an intelligent argument that they'll just ban conversation all together. Oh, and I was stunned by the move so I just had to share it with you all.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Luke | Oct 31, 2006 12:37:55 PM

    Just so you know, if you put a website URL up, the comments use that as the hyperlink, not your email addy. A useful work-around when posting.

    As to the issue of the race-bating in the ad by Corker, as Shane correctly notes, the ad by Corker does play to racist fears which are all still too prevalent in TN and the south. Nor is whipping up "black man having sex with white woman" allusions in any way a legitimate policy issue or subject, so your claim that it is, is wildly off the mark.

  • (Show?)

    I'm tickled that the Repubs are showing their desperation.

    So I've got this mental image from "O Brother where art thou", of a bunch of Klan square dancers arguing about the merits of supporting Ford, while sipping corn likker on their rest break...........

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    A more likely outcome is further alienation of those "moderate" soccer moms and dads in the Knoxville burbs.

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    Karl, you da man.....

  • peter (unverified)
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    to those who suggest that the rnc ad against ford did not have racist undertones, i would like to remind you of emmitt till (warning: graphic image), the young teen from chicago who was brutally murdered for flirting with white woman.

    in the south there is a historical context, that goes back to slavery, to the issue of the "sexual" black man seducing the white woman that is just not prevalent elsewhere. it is not surprising that many people don't see the ad as being racist; this is where it is effective; it is a dog whistle--like biblical keywords for evengelicals--aimed specifically at those who would understand it.

    that said, i think that today there are enough people in tennessee who are beyond those issues that the backlash against the ad was stronger than any intended effect.

  • Garrett (unverified)
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    Funny commercial. How old was the kid who made it?

    I'm from the South. It's easy for a person from the North or West coast not to understand what the Ford commercial was all about. Oh yeah they'll tell you it's not racist but let me assure you that virtually everyone in the South over the age of 60...be it your grandparents or just people you know well...as a white guy or white girl you tell them you're dating an African American and watch their spines stiffen. They may not say anything about it but just try it sometime and you'll notice a visible change in the way they act and in their demeanor. It's just the culture they were raised in. Most of them know it's wrong it was just naturally taught to them when they were kids by their parents. So Sasha...laugh away at the Ford commercial. I'll send you a copy of Roots, maybe you'll find the scene when they club Toby funny too.

  • je (unverified)
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    This is old news, folks. What is news is John Kerry's remarks about what will happen if you don't get an education: "...get stuck in Iraq." Discuss? An insult to our troops? Part of a Kerry pattern? Didn't sound like it was joking about Bush. But you are the judge.

  • Luke (unverified)
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    Posted by: peter | Oct 31, 2006 1:27:43 PM

    Isn't using terms like "undertones" and "dog whistle" dangerously close to admitting that racism in this ad is only there in your mind?

    One can always try to paint the extremes of both parties as dominant, which they aren't; I have yet to meet somebody under 50 with the kind of racism you seem to think is everywhere. Assuming without any objective evidence that this was created with racist motives in mind isn't any different then if a Republican accused you guys of being Communists for wanting to beef up social welfare. If you don't like it, don't do it. Based on what I'm hearing so far you guys wouldn't consider the ad racist if the women was black? Good grief.

    Besides, it still misses the broader point. Even if the republicans ARE racists (which they aren't), it's still an ad hominem to attack the ad as racist because you don't like the people who made it.

    It really isn't any different than if the Democrats ran an ad with all black people in it, and the Republicans pulled the reverse racism card because "well the Northwest is known to be a bastion of reverse racism" blah blah blah. Isn't fair for either side, don't do it.

    Employing terms like "underground," "undertones," "dog whistle" kind of shows how much times actually have changed. Living in the 60's probably isn't the clearest way to grasp the needs of the present.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: je | Oct 31, 2006 3:07:03 PM

    Kerry was talking about Bush not doing his homework, being smart, not the troops. Stop playing stupid.

    http://www.johnkerry.com/video/flash/103106_pressc_landing.html

    Below is a transcript of Kerry’s remarks, as delivered: SENATOR KERRY: Let me make it crystal clear, as crystal clear as I know how: I apologize to no one for my criticism of the president and of his broken policy. If anyone owes our troops in the fields an apology, it is the President and his failed team and a Republican majority in the Congress that has been willing to stamp -- rubber-stamp policies that have done injury to our troops and to their families. My statement yesterday -- and the White House knows this full well -- was a botched joke about the president and the president's people, not about the troops. The White House's attempt to distort my true statement is a remarkable testament to their abject failure in making America safe. It's a stunning statement about their willingness to reduce anything in America to raw politics. It's their willingness to distort, their willingness to mislead Americans, their willingness to exploit the troops, as they have so many times at backdrops, at so many speeches at which they have not told the American people the truth. I'm not going to stand for it. What our troops deserve is a winning strategy. And what they deserve is leadership that is up to the sacrifice that they're making. Sadly, this is the best that this administration can do in a month when we have lost 100 young men and women who have given their lives for a failed policy. Over half the names on the Vietnam wall were put there after our leaders knew that our policy was wrong. And it was wrong that leaders were quiet then, and I'm not going to be quiet now. This is a textbook Republican campaign strategy: Try to change the topic; try to make someone else the issue; try to make something else said the issue, not the policy, not their responsibility. Well, everybody knows it's not working this time, and I'm not going to stand around and let it work. If anyone thinks that a veteran, someone like me, who's been fighting my entire career to provide for veterans, to fight for their benefits, to help honor what their service is, if anybody thinks that a veteran would somehow criticize more than 140,000 troops serving in Iraq and not the president and his people who put them there, they're crazy. It's just wrong. This is a classic GOP textbook Republican campaign tactic. I'm sick and tired of a bunch of despicable Republicans who will not debate real policy, who won't take responsibility for their own mistakes, standing up and trying to make other people the butt of those mistakes. I'm sick and tired of a whole bunch of Republican attacks, most of which come from people who never wore the uniform and never had the courage to stand up and go to war themselves. Enough is enough. We're not going to stand for this. This policy is broken. And this president and his administration didn't do their homework. They didn't study what would happen in Iraq. They didn't study and listen to the people who were the experts and would have told them. And they know that's what I was talking about yesterday. I'm not going to be lectured by a White House or by the likes of Rush Limbaugh who's taking a day off from mimicking and attacking Michael J. Fox, who's now going to try to attack me and lie about me and distort me. No way. It disgusts me that a bunch of these Republican hacks who've never worn the uniform of our country are willing to lie about those who did. It's over. This administration has given us a Katrina foreign policy: mistake upon mistake upon mistake; unwilling to give our troops the armor that they need; unwilling to have enough troops in place; unwilling to give them the Humvees that they deserve to protect them; unwilling to have a coalition that is adequate to be able to defend our interests. Our own intelligence agency has told us they're creating more terrorists, not less. They're making us less safe, not more. I think Americans are sick and tired of this game. These Republicans are afraid to stand up and debate a real veteran on this topic. And they're afraid to debate -- you know, they want to debate straw men because they're afraid to debate real men. Well, we're going to have a real debate in this country about this policy. The bottom line is: These Republicans want to distort this policy. And, this time, it won't work because we are going to stay in their face with the truth. And no Democrat is going to be bullied by these people, by these kinds of attacks that have no place in American politics. It's time to set our policy correct. They have a stand-still-and-lose policy in Iraq and they have a cut-and-run policy in Afghanistan. And the fact is, our troops, who have served heroically, who deserve better, deserve leadership that is up to their sacrifice, period. QUESTION: Senator, John McCain said that you owe an apology to the many thousands of Americans serving in Iraq, who answered this country's call because they are patriots. To those people who didn't get your joke, who may have misinterpreted you as saying the undereducated are cannon fodder, what do you say? KERRY: I never said that, and John McCain knows I've never said that and John McCain knows I wouldn't say that. And John McCain ought to ask for an apology from Donald Rumsfeld for making the mistakes he's made. John McCain ought to ask for an apology from this administration for not sending in enough troops. He ought to ask for an apology for putting our troops on the line with a policy that doesn't have an adequate coalition, that doesn't have adequate diplomacy, where we don't have a strategy to win. And what we need is to debate the real issues, not these phony, sideline issues that are part of the politics. Americans are tired -- sick and tired of this kind of politics. They know my true feelings. They know I fought to provide additional money for veterans. They know I fought to provide money for combat for veterans. They know I've fought to put money for V.A. They know I've honored those veterans. They know that this is the finest military -- and I've said it 100,000 times -- that we've ever had. They know precisely what I was saying. And they're trying to turn this because they have a bankrupt policy and they can't defend it to the nation and they can't defend it to the world. KERRY: And I'm not going to stand for this anymore; period. That's the apology that people ought to get. QUESTION: Do you need to go to joke school? KERRY: Sure. QUESTION: Senator, do you regret saying the remark? And what were you trying to say? KERRY: Very simple: that those who didn't study it properly, those who made the decisions, they got us into Iraq. Very simple. The fact is they know that. The administration knows that. And they're simply trying to distort this. They're trying to play a game. And, again, I'm not going to stand for it. This is the kind of thing that makes Americans sick. People know -- I mean, there ought to be some level of honor and trust in this process. I have fought a lifetime on behalf of veterans. We have the finest young men and women serving us in the United States military that we've ever had, and I'm proud of that. But this administration has let them down, and that was clearly a remark directed at this administration. They understand it. They want to distort it. It's a classic Republican playbook. They want to change the topic. We're not going to let them change the topic. The topic is their failed policy in Iraq. The topic is that they don't have a strategy, they don't have a way to be able to win. You got Dick Cheney saying everything's just terrific in Iraq only a week ago. John McCain ought to ask for an apology from Dick Cheney for misleading America. He ought to ask for an apology from the president for lying about the nuclear program in Africa. He ought to ask for an apology for once again a week ago referring to Al Qaida as being the central problem in Iraq, when Al Qaida is not the central problem. Enough is enough. I'm not going to stand for these people trying to shift the topic and make it politics. America deserves a real discussion about real policy. And that's what this election is going to be about next Tuesday. One more question, then I got to run. QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) KERRY: Let me tell you something: I'm not going to give them one ounce of daylight to spread one of their lies and to play this game ever, ever again. That is a lesson I learned deep and hard. And I'll tell you: I will stand up anywhere across this country and take these guys on. This is dishonoring not just the troops themselves by pointing the finger at the troops, it's abusing the troops. They're using the troops. They're trying to make the troops into the target here. I didn't do that, and they know that. KERRY: And for them to suggest that somebody who served their country, as I did, and has a record like I have in the United States Congress of standing up and fighting for the troops would ever, ever insult the troops is an insult in and of itself. And they owe us an apology for even daring to use the White House to stand up and make this an issue again. Shame on them. Shame on them. And may the American people take that shame to the polls with them next Tuesday. Thank you all. QUESTION: What do you say to the men and women fighting in Iraq if they hear this in passing, that may be confused on the issue, sir? KERRY: They will hear what I just said. I honor their service, and I always have.
  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Luke | Oct 31, 2006 3:13:21 PM

    Get real. It isn't an issue that we are living tin the 60s, but the real fact that there are sizable portions of the electorate in TN and the south which still have that mindset. Yes, the south has come a long way in the 30+ years since the Civil Rights Act, but still has a ways to go and that ads like Corkers racist ad do nothing but play to those lingering prejudices and attitudes. You can pretend all you like but it is real and that is what the ad played to.

    You can try and dismiss it as being imagined all you like, but you are only fooling yourself instead of actually looking at the reality of the lingering prejudices and attitudes which the Corker ad plays to which really do exist (albeit slowly dying off).

  • (Show?)

    Correction and clarification to my comment upthread:

    Kerry was talking about Bush not doing his homework, being smart, not the troops.

    Should read:

    Kerry was talking about Bush not doing his homework, not being smart, he was not talking about the troops not being smart.
  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    "Kerry served, W swerved"

    into a Biloxi bar for a much-needed drink after all that cocaine!

    Mountains and mountains of the very finest Colombian Marching Powder, according to W's colllege roomie and business partner, James Bath.

    His words, not mine.

  • je (unverified)
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    lestatdelc,(I read the entire above transcript.) Senator John Kerry can say whatever he likes after the fact, but what is crucial is what he said at the time. There was no mention of President Bush at all, period. At best, it was a lame joke about president Bush's Iraq policy(not a good topic to joke about during a tooth and nail campaign). At worst, the statement revealed a mindset insulting to our troops, "Ya, only knuckleheads go into the Military."(Ya, I'm willing to do a putdown joke about our troops.) Frankly, I hope it was a bad joke, because it hurts the morale of our troops and they need our support.

  • Ross Williams (unverified)
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    There was no mention of President Bush at all, period.

    There was no mention of soldiers at all either, period.

    Its pretty obvious what the joke was and the President owes the soldiers in Iraq an apology for trying to redirect an insult that was clearly directed at him onto them.

  • je (unverified)
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    Thats the problem, it wasn't obvious, although, you are right,"troops" was not mentioned and at this point, I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to Kerry and moving on.

  • Ross Williams (unverified)
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    I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to Kerry and moving on.

    But what kind of commander-in-chief turns an insult directed at him personally onto his troops? I know its politics, but if he was really a leader, Bush would have given Kerry the benefit of the doubt. This message that Americans who want a change of direction in Iraq don't support the troops is exactly how Vietnam vets came to feel like they were targets of the hostility directed at the political leaders.

    This crass use of the troops for political gain has a cost. And the Republicans need to be called on it.

  • Garlynn (unverified)
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    Somebody care to dig up a transcript of the actual joke (or non-joke, as the case may be)? Soundbytes are so easily taken out of context. I'd just like to read the original paragraph surrounding the soundbyte.

    And thanks for the transcript of the rebuttal. I have no doubts as to John Kerry's integrity. I'm just curious as to which direction his sense of humor went, having an off-color sense of humour myself.

    cheers, ~Garlynn

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    Posted by: je | Oct 31, 2006 4:31:55 PM

    Sorry but you are willfully misreading what was said. Anyone who thinks that Kerry was saying what you falsely claim, that he was insulting troops is crazy. It was a direct slam on Bush being an idiot hence getting the troops stuck in Iraq because Bush is a bonehead. To read it any other way is to willfully, and intentionally read into it the exact opposite of what was said and meant. Stop being an idiot.

  • Zak J. (unverified)
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    Luke says "I have yet to meet somebody under 50 with the kind of racism you seem to think is everywhere."

    You need to get out more, buddy. Take a road trip down I-10 and listen in on the chatter in the truck stops.

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    Folks,

    A few corrections are in order. First, the Corker campaign didn't make the ad--a group loosely affiliated with the RNC did.

    Second, for those who say that there still is not a social stigma attached to interracial relationships, I point you to these figures: in 1997, 33% of Americans "disapproved" of intermarriage and 13% endorsed laws against racial intermarriage (all figures are from the General Social Survey, publicly available at sda.berkeley.edu). The differences between Northern and Southern respondents is about 15 points on both measures.

    Those who created the ad purposely chose an attractive young white woman, and filmed her in such a way that the top of her dress was not visible. They could have chosen a black woman, but chose not to.

    As Barack Obama put it, the ad was already offensive. Making is racial just put "mustard on the hot dog."

  • Zak J. (unverified)
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    Paul writes: "...the Corker campaign didn't make the ad--a group loosely affiliated with the RNC did."

    That's true--kind of like the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" were "loosely" affiliated with the Bush campaign and "Friends for Safer Libraries" is only "loosely" affiliated with Karen Minnis.

    I'm sure you see the pattern here. Don't fall for the RNC b.s.--they got those ads pulled as soon as they wanted them pulled.

  • je (unverified)
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    lestatdelc, your "quote" is laughable. I actally said at Oct. 31 5:30:08, that I would give Kerry the benefit of the doubt. Although, I certainly did raise the issue, and what an issue it has been. All hell has broken loose. People can read what I actually wrote at Oct. 31 4:31:55. It speaks for itself. Your parody is flattering, but rather unintelligable. I suppose your rage has left you sputtering. It seems the "smart" Democrats have called the remarks "inappropriate." Maybe, you should quit while you are behind, and get with the program. I will, because while awkward and grudging, Kerry has apologized.

  • Jessica (unverified)
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    Bush should apologize to America for the death of 2,818 of it's citizens.

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    For those who want a blast from the past, here is the infamous 1988 "Willie Horton" ad: http://www.pbs.org/30secondcandidate/timeline/years/1988.html

    and the 1990 "Hands" ad (the latter from the Helms/Gantt race): http://www.pbs.org/30secondcandidate/timeline/years/1990.html

  • Zak J. (unverified)
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    Jessica, Don't forget the additional 650 deaths of "contractors" doing jobs that used to be done by the military. These people's deaths are not included in the tally of military casualties though they perform many of the same functions, e.g. truck driving, security.

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