Monday, November 03, 2008

Chris Matthews: McCain Has Refused to Play the Race Card.

I think Chris Matthews has actually had a rather good election this year, but his statement that McCain has "refused to play the race card" is simply wrong.

The Republicans have been playing the race card, albeit never overtly and just below the radar, from day one.

David Gergen did a very good job of describing how the McCain campaign have done this.

And the views expressed at some Republican rallies have been truly shocking.

Where do they get these opinions? How can their supporters be so woefully misinformed?

And then there were his ads which featured Obama as a "celebrity" but the underlying message was there for anyone who was paying attention.

Bob Herbert:

Now, from the hapless but increasingly venomous McCain campaign, comes the slimy Britney Spears and Paris Hilton ad. The two highly sexualized women (both notorious for displaying themselves to the paparazzi while not wearing underwear) are shown briefly and incongruously at the beginning of a commercial critical of Mr. Obama.

The Republican National Committee targeted Harold Ford with a similarly disgusting ad in 2006 when Mr. Ford, then a congressman, was running a strong race for a U.S. Senate seat in Tennessee. The ad, which the committee described as a parody, showed a scantily clad woman whispering, “Harold, call me.”

Both ads were foul, poisonous and emanated from the upper reaches of the Republican Party. (What a surprise.) Both were designed to exploit the hostility, anxiety and resentment of the many white Americans who are still freakishly hung up on the idea of black men rising above their station and becoming sexually involved with white women.

Race was behind the whole notion that there was something "other" about Obama, that he didn't see America the way most folks did, which was a favourite Palin insinuation.

Indeed, McCain first introduced race into the campaign by bizarrely accusing Obama of playing the race card.

So, whilst I actually think Chris Matthews had a very good election, on this I think he is utterly wrong. The McCain camp might have steered clear of Jeremiah Wright, perhaps because they realised that Hillary got nowhere with that line of attack, but one would have to be deaf, blind and dumb not to have caught the undercurrents which have ran right through McCain's campaign. The notion that Obama was not like the rest of us, that he was "uppity", that he simply didn't know his place, was there for all to see.

But the one thing which I have found truly inspiring is the fact that most Americans have simply refused to be swayed by such nonsense.

No comments: