Sarah Palin resorts to using Tucker Eskew's depraved tactics

Kevin Kamberg

I've been wondering when and where we'd see the grimy smudge of Tucker Eskew's fingerprints come to the fore in the Presidential campaign ever since McCain shocked former officials of his 2000 campaign by hiring Eskew to work for Sarah Palin.

You'll recall that in 2000 Tucker Eskew and pals propagated the depraved racist rumor that McCain's adopted Bengali daughter Bridget McCain was actually African-American, with the implication that she was the product of an extramarital affair McCain allegedly had with a black woman and which he should therefore be ashamed of. Eskew's ploy was a desperate attempt on behalf of George W. Bush to regain momentum from McCain after Bush's loss in New Hampshire by appealing to the racist views of South Carolina Evangelicals. But it was also a preview of the tactics Eskew would resort to post-9/11 as a communication strategist for the Bush/Cheney administration.

After withdrawing from the 2000 race McCain gave an interview to Dad Magazine in which he stated the belief that "there is a special place in hell for people like those" who resort to such tactics.

It was with a sense of grim irony that we finally saw the distinctive Eskew fingerprints yesterday in a Palin speech falsely claiming that Obama pals around with terrorists. The Obama campaign's response eerily echoes McCain's own denouncements after feeling the sting of Eskew's racist rumors in 2000.

"No wonder his campaign's announced a plan to turn a page on the financial crisis, distract with dishonest, dishonorable assaults against Barack Obama," the ad says. "Struggling families can't turn the page on this economy and we can't afford another president who's this out of touch."

Writing for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's reader blogs, Rand Koler succinctly describes the desperate situation McCain/Palin find themselves in.

The only course left to him is the road most traveled by his predecessors. His camp must forage in the past for bromides used by Reagan to rally support and engage in the sleazy practice of demagoguery, fear and hate mongering. The self described "mavericks" have leaped into perhaps the oldest political cesspool.

Sarah Palin this weekend has been shrieking that Obama associates with terrorists and is not a real American. CNN looked into these "charges" and found them utterly without merit. It seems a bit odd to dignify such things with inquiry but I applaud CNN's acceptance of the role of responsible medium and refusal to be a propaganda organ.

I trust that, as the McCain camp embraces its end justifying the means abandonment of integrity, that other media will follow CNN's lead and not give demagoguery the appearance of legitimacy by merely reporting its as news.

Tucker Eskew was Assistant Press Secretary for Reagan/Bush '84.

The Chicago Tribune's Mark Silva wonders whether this is merely a failed test-balloon by Palin "testing limits of campaign decency" or just the beginning of it. I suspect it's just the beginning of it.

Apparently John McCain intends to be serving Tucker Eskew iced tea in that "special place in hell."

Comments

  • (Show?)

    I agree it is a tactic of desperation in an attempt to connect to people's most base projections and prejudices. Watching the clip below, I was just as disturbed by the crowd's mentality and manner. It reminded me of the crowd chanting " USA, USA.." at the RNC. The chanting didn't come across as a show of unity or pride but rather as a menacing, foreboding foreshadow. Much like how the American public reacts to seeing large crowds of xenophobes in a middle east setting that we might see on the news.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6H3Xuk1T2w

    The McCain campaign should offer up an apology. Maybe he will suspend his campaign again? If only...

  • (Show?)

    Kevin, get your facts straight. Palin criticized Obama for "palling around" with Bill Ayers, who is white. Nowhere have I seen her accusing Obama of consorting with "black terrorists" as you allege.

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    Jack, are you arguing that there has been no concerted, organized effort to portray Obama as untrustworthy because " he is not like one of us..." ?

    Character is much easier kept than recovered. ~Thomas Paine

  • (Show?)

    My very conservative aunt who is a transplant from Chicago to the Dallas area just emailed me moments ago to inform that there is no way in Hades that she will cast a vote for McCain now due to Sarah Palin's outrageous statement from yesterday. If the McCain camp has completely lost people like my aunt, they are done. The AP may be right, This may come back to haunt the McCain Camp.

    She won't be able to pin this on Katie Couric annoying her or a mean voter asking her a question. It was just her, talking to the American people, with a crowd that showed its true stripes. I think it will sicken many and force some other people, like my aunt, to do a gut check. I always knew my aunt had class.

  • Jack Webb (unverified)
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    Jack Roberts is right.

    Kevin's latest of many mistakes should be corrected.

    Editor?

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    Actually, Jack, she alleged "terroristS," as in the plural form of the word. So, your statement of the "facts" is itself factually challenged.

    The Weathermen were an overtly white group. But their stated premise was to be a catalyst within the white community with the goal of joining up with like-minded overtly black groups for what they believed was the imminent world-wide revolution.

    Of course, as Tucker Eskew's newest student, we wouldn't expect Sarah Palin to overtly place the race card. That's something that Eskew apparently prefers to obliquely infer, knowing that his audience will grasp the inference without him having to spell it out for them.

    Nevertheless, in the interest of factual correctness I have deleted the word "black."

  • Jack Webb (unverified)
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    Kevin,

    you made a mistake. just fix it. that's what good country folks do, doggone it.

    Editor?

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Is it that the Jacks don't know jack squat? They're parsing Palin's verbiage in the tradition of "it depends what the definition of 'is' is".

    Palin said that Barack Obama "is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country."

    This should be pretty straightforward to anyone not committed to rationalizing the McCain/Palin smear campaign. The black/white stuff is a nice distraction for the Jacks, however. I particularly want to congratulate Jack Roberts: he has now removed himself from the already small group of respectable Republican commentators and joined the Republican mainstream of those either engaging in gutter politics or making excuses for those who do.

    'Scuse me, I've got to go throw up now.

  • (Show?)

    Kevin, get your facts straight. Palin criticized Obama for "palling around" with Bill Ayers, who is white. Nowhere have I seen her accusing Obama of consorting with "black terrorists" as you allege.

    I don't see where Kevin alleges a "black terrorist" phrase used by Palin or anyone else. I do see where Kevin refers to "palling around with terrorists", which incidentally appears to be what Palin is saying about Obama.

    From the Associated Press:

    By claiming that Democrat Barack Obama is "palling around with terrorists" and doesn't see the U.S. like other Americans, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin targeted key goals for a faltering campaign.

    And though she may have scored a political hit each time, her attack was unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that John McCain himself may come to regret.

    First, Palin's attack shows that her energetic debate with rival Joe Biden may be just the beginning, not the end, of a sharpened role in the battle to win the presidency.

    "Our opponent ... is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country," Palin told a group of donors in Englewood, Colo. A deliberate attempt to smear Obama, McCain's ticket-mate echoed the line at three separate events Saturday.

    Which person would care to defend Palin's remarks? You, Jack Roberts? Or what about you, Jack Webb?

  • jack webb (unverified)
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    I'm not defending Palin's remarks. I'm defending BlueOeregon's commitment not to let Kevin make shit up.

    Carla, Kevin has already changed the erroneous statement, but he neglected to put a black line through the word he deleted, so you can't see where the original mistake was made. A bit of deception.

    This current sentence...

    "It was with a sense of grim irony that we finally saw the distinctive Eskew fingerprints yesterday in a Palin speech falsely claiming that Obama pals around with terrorists."

    used to say this...

    "It was with a sense of grim irony that we finally saw the distinctive Eskew fingerprints yesterday in a Palin speech falsely claiming that Obama pals around with BLACK terrorists."

    Weatherman David Gilbert may look unnervingly like Washington Post conservative kook Charles Krauthammmer, but I guarantee you that he and his co-horts are as white as the Pope.

    Make no mistake, I think Palin is a bobbleheaded ninny that makes George W. Bush look like Thomas Jefferson. Her nomination is a cynical insult to the country's collective intelligence. And I most certainly agree with you and kevin that she's playing a not-so-subtle "he's-not-like-'us'" race card.

    But I also think Kevin should restrict himself to criticizing her for what she actually said rather than just making up stuff that sounds even worse.

    If that's a problem, maybe the editors should take it up with Kevin.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    If Bill Ayers is a 'terrorist' what does that say about the University of Illinois-Chicago where Ayers is a "distinguished professor" of education?

  • (Show?)

    I'm not defending Palin's remarks. I'm defending BlueOeregon's commitment not to let Kevin make shit up.

    I'm still missing where Kevin is "making shit up". The AP analysis piece I posted in comments in this thread definitely says that Palin's words have specific racial subtext. So the connection Kevin made is absolutely correct.

    Carla, Kevin has already changed the erroneous statement, but he neglected to put a black line through the word he deleted, so you can't see where the original mistake was made. A bit of deception.

    If that's the case, I agree Kevin should score out whatever was incorrect and make the correction. But the overarching point he's making in the post, even with the erroneous word, is fundamentally correct.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    And by the way, considering that The Jacks are so, so concerned people getting every word correct, there's this item from Sarah Palin, too:

    "At a rally on Saturday in California, Sarah Palin offered up a rather jarring argument for supporting the Republican ticket. 'There's a place in Hell reserved for women who don't support other women,' the Alaska Governor said, claiming she was quoting former Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

    "The statement came after Palin had recounted a 'providential' moment she experienced on Saturday: 'I'm reading on my Starbucks mocha cup, okay? The quote of the day... It was Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State [crowd boos] and UN ambassador. ... Now she said it, I didn't. She said, "There's a place in Hell reserved for women who don't support other women."'

    "Actually, Albright didn't say that. The accurate quote is, 'There's a place in Hell reserved for women who don't help other women.'"

    WTF, who cares. I mean, as Ronald Reagan said, Facts are stupid things.

  • RW (unverified)
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    inbf: are you reading this? Palin saying there is a special hell reserved for the women who do not support the women?

    Ugh.

  • RW (unverified)
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    inbf: are you reading this? Palin saying there is a special hell reserved for the women who do not support the women?

    Ugh.

  • RW (unverified)
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    inbf: you are reading this, right?

  • Jack Webb (unverified)
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    Isn't it awful how George W. Bush can never admit a mistake and instead gets all defensive. I hate that about him.

  • Jack Webb (unverified)
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    Isn't it awful how George W. Bush can never admit a mistake and instead gets all defensive. I hate that about him.

  • Jack Webb (unverified)
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    Isn't it awful how George W. Bush can never admit a mistake and instead gets all defensive. I hate that about him.

  • RW (unverified)
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    KARI!!!!! Please help us and remove all those extra comments -- type pad is stuttering horribly today and that makes people look like perseveratingly unkind fools jabbing their fingers at others.

    Also, yes, I am a writer. And was a health educator before moving on into another arena. [in answer to what someone asked or commented on earlier, thankfully kindly in response to another of my on the moment, unedited -scary way to do this stuff, as it makes you look like a real monkey quite often.. - post]

  • (Show?)

    Carla, citing Douglass Daniel's opinion piece for the Associated Press does not prove Palin's comments had a "racially tinged subtext" as he claims. It simply proves that some people are still determined to attribute every criticism of Barack Obama as racially motivated.

    One of the things I like about Obama is that he is very careful not to play the race card. He understands that his candidacy transcends race and that the last thing he wants is to be forced back into the racial "box" by opponents or misguided supporters.

    I personally don't think trying to tie him to Ayers or Wright is ultimately effective because Obama himself comes across as anything but radical or impulsive. By recharacterizing Palin's attack as racial rather than anachronistric, Douglass Daniel risks making a lame effort more effective.

    But then what do you expect from a guy whose claim to fame is writing the definitive biography of that scion of journalism, Lou Grant.

  • (Show?)

    Jack:

    So you're saying that Palin's accusations about Obama and Ayers are factually correct-- therefore the analysis by the AP/Daniel is just an oversensitivity to criticism of Obama?

    Interesting tack--if not bizarre.

    I don't see how race can be avoided in this case, given Ayers' previous activities. Race is an issue in the U.S. Palin and her handlers are cynically attempting to exploit it.

    Daniels makes a reasonable and informed analysis of Palin's statement. If you have evidence to add that Daniels is incorrect, please share it. Just saying "he's wrong" doesn't do much to add to the discussion.

  • wharf rat (unverified)
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    Hi Folks,

    I guess you could also fault Obama for participating in the same political system that allowed Bobby Rush to participate. Same for allowing Sarah Palin and her husband to participate in a movement advocating independence from the United States by "...any means necessary."

    Best Regards

  • (Show?)

    I don't see how race can be avoided entirely given Tucker Eskew's previous activities and his "senior" role with the Palin/McCain campaign.

    The guy is an unapologetic sleezebag and McCain hired him.

  • (Show?)

    So you're saying that Palin's accusations about Obama and Ayers are factually correct-- therefore the analysis by the AP/Daniel is just an oversensitivity to criticism of Obama?

    No, I'm not saying that at all, Carla. I think the allegation that Obama is "palling around with terrorists" is ridiculous. But tying Obama to Bill Ayers smacks more of modern day McCarthyism, not racism.

    I don't see how race can be avoided in this case, given Ayers' previous activities. Race is an issue in the U.S. Palin and her handlers are cynically attempting to exploit it.

    Sorry, I don't get this. Bill Ayers was a white, anti-war terrorist. I don't see what this has to do with race. In fact, I don't know anyone who has ever suggested that there are "black terrorists" and that makes the argument that Palin's statement about terrorists must be implying black terrorists a bit bizarre.

    Daniels makes a reasonable and informed analysis of Palin's statement. If you have evidence to add that Daniels is incorrect, please share it. Just saying "he's wrong" doesn't do much to add to the discussion.

    He didn't ofer a "reasonable and informed analysis of Palin's statement." He offers no evidence and frankly does not even make an intelligent argument why we should interpret her statement as racial. He makes a bald, unsubstantiated assertion.

    I think you guys are so obsessed with your stereotypes of conservatives that you miss some of your best arguments by simply getting caught up in your own knee-jerk reactions.

    I don't see how race can be avoided entirely given Tucker Eskew's previous activities and his "senior" role with the Palin/McCain campaign.

    Kevin, the guilt by association argument you are trying to make against Palin is every bit as ridiculous as the one she is trying to make against Obama.

    I don't know Tucker Eskew, but even if he played the race card against McCain in 1980, it doesn't mean he's playing that card now. It's more accurate to say they are playing the "disloyal to America" card; that is, a different kind of sleeze.

    After all, they don't need accuse Obama of being black. I think everyone pretty much knows that by now. And I think he's already demonstrated that won't stop people from voting for him.

  • (Show?)

    Sorry, I obviously meant "played the race card against McCain in 2000," and not "1980" above.

  • johnnie (unverified)
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    My liberal Aunt from Chicago just told me that she'd never vote for Obama because of Palin's reference to the NYT article. She knows that corrupt people and corrupt politicians started Obama's campaign and form his organization. She said there is a reason why Cook County is called Crook County by residents of Illinois. She also told me he's no Lincoln.

    Palin was referencing Albright. Who's right, both or neither?

    It says a lot about Univ. of Illi - Chicago, but nothing new. There are far leftists who "educate" students at universities across the nation. People here should like Ayers view because he advocated "progressive education" under the reform techniques of Alinsky.

    If you here Obama, he says he doesn't take advice from Ayers...."on a regular basis". Very Clintonesque in his choice of words.

    How many ACORN member's have been put in jail and recieved Millions of funds that are now being investigated.

    If McCain had half of these similar extremeists "associationsa" he'd be disqualified by the electorate.

    Imagine this site's reaction if a Republican candidate lived near, talked with, worked on a board with a person like David Duke.

    David Duke is the appropriate right-wing analogy for Obama's associations with Ayers, Rezko, Wright and other's in Crook County. Both extreme sides are abhorrent.

  • (Show?)

    Sorry, I don't get this. Bill Ayers was a white, anti-war terrorist. I don't see what this has to do with race. In fact, I don't know anyone who has ever suggested that there are "black terrorists" and that makes the argument that Palin's statement about terrorists must be implying black terrorists a bit bizarre.

    I think Daniels has it about right, Jack. Here's what he said:

    Palin's words avoid repulsing voters with overt racism. But is there another subtext for creating the false image of a black presidential nominee "palling around" with terrorists while assuring a predominantly white audience that he doesn't see their America?

    In a post-Sept. 11 America, terrorists are envisioned as dark-skinned radical Muslims, not the homegrown anarchists of Ayers' day 40 years ago. With Obama a relative unknown when he began his campaign, the Internet hummed with false e-mails about ties to radical Islam of a foreign-born candidate.

    Whether intended or not by the McCain campaign, portraying Obama as "not like us" is another potential appeal to racism. It suggests that the Hawaiian-born Christian is, at heart, un-American.

    In a bubble, you might think Daniels is just cage-rattling. But when you look at it in the context of a recent column by Bobby May, a GOP County Party Treasurer in Virginia, its pretty striking. May wrote what he described as a satirical platform for Obama, which included painting the White House black and hiring rapper Ludacris.

    Another piece of the perspective, the lynching in effigy of Obama at George Fox.

    Race is in play here, Jack. And Palin is trying to work it, whether you wish to see it (or admit it) or not.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    I don't know Tucker Eskew, but even if he played the race card against McCain in 1980 (sic), it doesn't mean he's playing that card now.

    But it's a good bet he'll do that and more sleazy business whenever it suits him. His model, Lee Atwater, didn't get a conscience until a short time before his death. We shouldn't expect anything better from Eskew.

  • (Show?)

    I don't know Tucker Eskew, but even if he played the race card against McCain in 1980, it doesn't mean he's playing that card now.

    Oh please, Jack. You are a known political quantity. You haven't been living under a rock for the last decade and we all know it.

    The attempt to portray yourself as not knowing who Tucker Eskew is or what he does (although you neatly avoided exactly saying that, now didn't you? Plausible deniability works better around the non-politically aware!) is laughably absurd on it's face.

  • RW (unverified)
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    Intended or not, it's a cute kinda trick: let's get the sex candidate to place the ugly race cards out there. That way, any direct attack-back on her will net us endless wrangles over gender politics, sexism.... and she gets away with going racial.

    God this is an ugly, ugly campaign. It's about time it happened. OF interest to me as the confusions rise and fall: will we be able to disentangle what is merely politics, and what is specifically NOW, and what is history and culture?

  • johnnie (unverified)
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    Race card? You gotta be kidding. Real racism does exists in this world - but calling this saying not voting for Obama racist does significant disservice to everyone who is subject to racist behavior.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Talking of terrorists and people who associate with them there were:

    (1) Menachem Begin was a member of the Irgun considered at the time to have been a terrorist organization. He later became Prime Minister of Israel, a guest of a number of U.S. Presidents and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

    (2) Yitzhak Shamir became another Prime Minister of Israel and a guest of U.S. presidents. He, too, was a member of the Stern Gang considered a terrorist organization.

  • (Show?)

    Carla, Daniels argument comes perilously close to saying that any criticism of Obama before a predominantly white audience is racism.

    If tying him to terrorists is racist, then I assume tying him to liberalism must be racism, tying him to higher taxes and more government spending must be racist, tying him to wanting to pull out of Iraq must be racist, and tying him to supporting labor unions must be racist.

    In fact, since some people are making racists attacks on Obama, then anyone who criticizes Obama are therefore ineviably associated with them and must also be racist.

    So THAT explains why Bill and Hillary Clinton were considered racists during the primary! I was sort of confused by that at the time, but now its all clear.

    The best thing that could happen to John McCain is for voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania to be told that it is racist to criticize Barack Obama.

  • (Show?)

    Carla, Daniels argument comes perilously close to saying that any criticism of Obama before a predominantly white audience is racism.

    No, Jack. Daniels argument is that when they toss around the "terrorist" label and try to associate Obama with a radical fringe guy and his group--there's a mindset they're trying to tap into. That mindset is overtly racist--and there's ample evidence to demonstrate that it exists.

    "Terrorism" in this country wears a very racial mask. Its completely different than using the word "liberal" or the other labels/phrased you cited. This isn't just criticism of Obama..and I'd appreciate it if you'd stop insulting my intelligence by that inference.

  • RW (unverified)
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    Jawnee - you are exhausting! I am talking about Sarah Palin's campaign utterances and the subtle linkages therein. I am talking about the adroit useage of the various -isms in the strategic campaign maneuverings at hand, not whether you yourself vote for Obama.

    Egad. Get a grip, man.

  • (Show?)

    To follow up on Carla's excellent comment viz race/terrorism...

    White conservative terrorist like McVeigh have typically been referred to as being members of a militia or simply militants. Pro-Lifer terrorists have typically been referred to as extremists.

    It's typically only those of different skin color and/or those on the Left that get referred to as "terrorists."

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Bill Bodden: Not to put too fine a point on it, but Begin and Shamir were terrorists in the same sense as Yasser Arafat. Begin and Shamir were fighting to end the British occupation of Palestine and establish an Israeli state. Context, please. While we're at it, maybe we should discuss John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry. He wanted to set off an insurrection and end slavery, a worthy goal, right? But what about the US soldiers who were killed? Collateral damage?

    One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist. We would all be wise to be aware of our biases.

    johnnie sez: "My liberal Aunt from Chicago just told me that she'd never vote for Obama...She also told me he's no Lincoln."

    And here I thought I was voting for the Second Coming of Abraham Lincoln. DAMN! Thanks again, johnnie! And I KNOW that all Blue Oregon readers thank you and are busily ripping up their Obama yard signs and planting McCain/Palin signs.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist. We would all be wise to be aware of our biases.

    I agree. If you re-read my post note that in reference to Begin's and Shamir's organizations I said they were considered to be terrorist organizations - and they were by many authorities and newspapers prior to the establishment of Israel as a state in 1948. I didn't say that I considered them terrorist organizations. However, if you re-read the article on Shamir's gang and the assassination of Count Bernadotte it would be difficult for an impartial observer to deny this was an act of terrorism. Here is another article on The Killing of Count Folke Bernadotte.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist.

    That was essentially my point in citing Begin and Shamir in the context of the McCain-Palin-Eskew tactic of trying to smear Obama with William Ayers. Perceptions and conduct do change significantly after time measured in decades has passed, and Begin and Shamir were two very obvious examples of this.

  • (Show?)

    Jacks and Jonnie,

    Kevin's specific verbiage aside, you bet your ass that racism is a tool in the Republican box. To deny that is delusional. Here are a couple of examples from the past couple of weeks.

    In northern Virgina, Obama lawn sing hosts are receiving this gem:

    Please don’t take this the wrong way, but a friend has recommended that I reach out to you about a problem that you may be having but may not be aware of: Have you ever considered whether your ostentatious support for Senator Barack Obama is really a disguise that hides a deeply anchored form of racism towards Black-Americans?

    Racism comes in many forms, and there is a significant possibility that your sponsorship of Senator Obama is really an obsessive compulsion to prove to yourself, and to others, that you are not a racist. Have you looked within yourself and examined your motives?

    Sure, we can turn it all into a joke, like some have: an Obama lawn-sign is the yuppy status-symbol du jour; a hip and shiny accessory, this season’s iPhone. “But dear, every Volvo in the Whole Foods parking lot has an Obama sticker on it!”—that’s yet another parody of White property-owning affluence as described by stuffwhitepeoplelike.com

    Have you really considered why you are so fixated by Senator Obama? How important was the pigmentation of Obama’s skin in spurring your interest? Do you really believe that he, or anyone else for that matter, is more qualified to run for the presidency than Senator Hillary Clinton? C’mon, let’s be honest with ourselves; that’s the first step in the healing process. and it goes on from there......

    In predominately black neighborhoods in Philly, they are circulating false intimidation fliers alleging that police will be out in force to arrest people with unpaid traffic and parking tickets to suppress black voter turnout.

    Racial politics combined with effort to bring forward any source to discredit Obama as a radical, including Jonnie's laugh out loud characterization of the University of Chicago (home of Leo Strauss and the neo-conservative movement as well as Milton Friedman's simplistic Right wing financial theories) as a hotbed of liberalism; Attempts to paint Obama as a contemporary "friend" of people long dead or mature during Obama's childhood pretty much outlines the whole attack going forward.

    It is in fact based on a tissue of lies, and any objective observer would so conclude.

  • (Show?)

    I'm neither black nor low-info enough to be swayed by these ridiculousnesses, but something just tells me that the VAST majority of African Americans intending to vote next month won't be stopped by any flier, phone call or threat trying to stop them. They might have sat at home when it was an effete Massachusetts windsurfer running...not this time.

  • (Show?)

    "I'm defending BlueOeregon's commitment not to let Kevin make shit up. "

    Good luck with all that. He was brought on board to be a hatchet man for Merkley, and was allowed to violate posting rules repeatedly, without sanction or even apparent threat of sanction. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for BlueO to rein Kevin in.

  • Jiang (unverified)
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    You all are too nice. And you have a goatee too.

    Cut the PC "It's the behavior not the person". Sarah Palin is depraved. Don't let words fool you. The evangelicals have stood it all on it's head. They are the evil they describe.

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)
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    Re: "It's 'typically' only those of different skin color and/or those on the Left that get referred to as 'terrorists.'"

    It's also "typically" only the U.S. and its client states, e.g., Israel, which are not referred to as "terrorists" (in the U.S. MSM) when they commit terrorist acts. Of course, we and our allies, in all of history, are the exceptions because of our clearly moral intentions.

  • Nigel Nicholson (unverified)
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    With all the new legislation since 9/11 defining "protected peoples" and the like, and all the executive orders, is there a university or college somewhere that is keeping up and has something like a "new law" course on offer?

  • (Show?)

    Gotta agree with Jack Roberts mostly on this one. This attack is McCarthyism mixed with anachronism. However, I think the anachronism points to reinforcing anti-Muslim smears, which Jack doesn't mention, rather than anti-black racism.

    Anti-abortion terrorists often are referred to as terrorists in opinion media. "Domestic terrorism" laws have primarily been used to prosecute white arsonists associated with the Earth Liberation Front or animal rights organizations. If people understand Palin's comments in terms of Bill Ayers, they will think white.

    The McCarthyism comes with "palling around." It's a plain, simple, deliberate mischaracterization of the relationship, i.e. a lying smear.

    IMO the implication of the anachronism is less racial than an extension of the anti-Muslim anti-Obama smears. Unlike say in the U.K. where terrorists can be both Muslim and "home-grown," perhaps because of the I.R.A. experience (and U.D.F. within Northern Ireland), American Muslims prosecuted for terrorism tend to get exoticized and associated with countries of ancestral origin even if born in the U.S. So if people don't recognize the reference to Ayers, his wife Bernardine Dohrn and the Weather Underground, they will most likely think Muslim, which I would argue is the most common association of "terrorist" in U.S. mass culture today.

    "Muslim" in turn may invoke some of the rising racisms which, while not exactly new, especially in the West & Southwest vis a vis American Indians, Latinos & Asian-Americans or Asian immigrants, are eroding the older dominance of black-white polar frameworks about race (along with moves to claim/recognize multiple racial identities, whose progress and limits Barack Obama embodies in interesting ways). The dominance of black vs. white polar framings derived from older Eastern dominance in terms of population, wealth, and location of cultural and media institutionas and organizations, and the influence on them of conflicts over slavery, Civil War & Reconstruction Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights movement.

    The central underlying trope in this smear is "unAmerican," IMO, in both a McCarthyist and anti-Muslim sense.

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