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Hoist by his own petard

See, this is what happens when you use hate as a strategy. No, not a tactic, a strategy.

John McCain on Friday moved to calm rising anger among his supporters at rival Barack Obama, calling him a decent man and at one point taking the microphone away from a woman who had called Obama an Arab.

Their anger apparently still at flash point, McCain’s supporters then booed him for his conciliatory words about Obama.

I’d feel sorry for him, if I weren’t so busy enjoying the schadenfreude. Did McCain really think he could keep that kind of evil neatly reined in once he unleashed it?

Addendum: Saw this op-ed column today, doing a more in-depth analysis and linking some stuff I hadn’t heard about (e.g., a black reporter being booted from a McCain rally because, AFAanyoneCT, he was black).

20 thoughts on “Hoist by his own petard”

  1. ej says:

    And now he has the nerve to defend the racist behavior of his supporters. Disgusting.

  2. Asada says:

    CNN had the audacity to say McCain was “defending” Obama. What he did was simply tell the truth. The man in not an Arab, Muslim or a terrorist. His career was not launched in the room of a suspected terrorist. If some deluded old bat says you have red hair and I say no, its actually brown then I’m not defending your I’m telling the truth! Dont get me started on the fact they used a faceless old WOMAN to make this statement.

    It was wrong on so many levels.

    They say its just starting now , but its just rearing it ugly head for the new media to stop ignoring it. This started with Emails and false information on youtube. Goodness help this country when it cant even think for itself and is too stupid to do its own research. Most parents are homeschooling thier kids b/c the school system is horrid, this will make the USA even less proficient, just give it a generation or so.

  3. Asada says:

    This is a scary time for PoC in the USA! I cant wait for the election to be over! I don’t even know if I care who wins, because they both don’t have what it takes to solve decade and century old problems!

  4. Elusis says:

    The non-parallel nature of McCain’s “defense” did not escape me.

    “He’s an Arab.”
    “No, he’s a family man and a citizen.”

  5. GallingGalla says:

    From Bérubé’s article:
    We will spend $500 trillion and create 150 million new, high-paying jobs creating an alternate reality for you. In a state of your choosing—but preferably Utah, Oklahoma, or Alaska—we will construct a massive VR installation complete with all your favorite obsessions and catering to your every resentment.

    Utah and Alaska are very pretty. Why ruin them? I’d suggest creating this VR installation at … Guantánamo.

  6. Angie says:

    This makes me wonder whether the point all along wasn’t to stir up hatred and threatened violence, then have McCain come along to play moderate and peacemaker and look all leaderish and statesmanlike. :P


  7. Erica says:

    @Angie — Or at least something similar — e.g., he’s obviously calm and level-headed and willing to pretend to be friendly to THAT ONE.

    I used to have some respect for the man, but that vanished long ago and I’m getting angrier and more afraid by the day. If McCain wins, I’ll be terrified. (And I’m white :-P )

  8. SunlessNick says:

    I find it interesting that this is coming right after Obama made his veiled challenge to McCain to bring it up at the final debate; McCain can’t afford to play on the issue right up until the day and then not say it, so he has to tone down and try to be all “moderate” for a few days.

    Unless of course he has the courage to actually go there in a public venue when he can actually be answered by non-disciples. But courage doesn’t seem to be something he has any more.

  9. Renee says:

    After watching the video on CNN, I laugh me ever loving ass off. McCain attracted just the sort of people that he was looking to attract to his campaign. It also caught the attention who are not brave enough to display their racism publicly but will vote for him now because he is clearly down with their agenda. Now it just looks like he is backing down because the so-called liberal media pressured him into doing it.

    People will conveniently forget that when it comes to race, the media is no friend to POC. What I am most bothered by is not that McCain has racist supporters because lets face it racism is alive and well. I am most bothered by those so called progressives that claim to be shocked at the level of racism in America….puuhleeze or the ones that have the nerve to ask if race should be an issue in the election. They are so busy tripping over themselves that they don’t see their own racism and the fact that the race issue they are concerned with is the blackness of Baracks body and not the whiteness of McCains. It’s all just business as usual in the good all white supremacist, capitalist, misogynistic red white and blue U.S.A.

  10. SunlessNick says:

    Renee, I have to thank you here: I just followed the links in your post, and the subsequent ones, and it gave me enough of a jolt to realise the implication of “McCain can’t afford to play on the issue right up until the day and then not say it.” That Obama being “scary black” was an issue rather than McCain and/or his campaigners being racist was the issue; that was not well said.

    So I guess, in honour of one of the posts, I should point out that your vinegar caught a fly that honey probably wouldn’t have.

    And I can’t say I’m surprised by the amount of racism that’s been shown here; I did think more of it would be veiled, but I guess racists feel safer than I expected.

  11. nojojojo says:


    Yeah, I noticed that too. No attempt whatsoever to point out that Arab =/= Evil Incarnate. That kind of racism is A-OK, apparently.


    I think that, in his own pathetic, stupid way, McCain actually was trying to defend Obama. The problem is that he was trying to defend Obama from the irrational, funguslike growth of the racist seeds he planted, and he had no idea what the hell he unleashed. He was Pandora, trying to put chaos back in the box, when he shouldn’t’ve opened the box in the first damn place.

    On some level, I suspect McCain himself is appalled. Once upon a time, he deliberately tried not to appeal to this face of the Repub party. He used to be the champion of the fiscal-but-not-social, not-ignorant-redneck conservatives, but that wouldn’t’ve won him the big house, because they’re all big-city elitists of the type that he’s been ridiculing. So now he’s started trying to use these Middle American morons, but he really doesn’t understand them or even like them, and it shows. He probably hates having to appeal to them for votes. It’s like appealing to the biggest, dumbest, meanest kid in your school for protection from bullies — it might work, but it’s humiliating.

    Like I said, I would feel sorry for him, if I were a nicer person. (And I’m pretty damn nice.)

  12. nojojojo says:


    Actually, Guantanamo’s kind of pretty too, aside from the prison. Why don’t we just go whole hog and stick ’em in Antarctica? There’s still a little ice left.


    I wonder the same thing. But I don’t think it worked, in this case. Scratch that; I think McCain is successfully appealing to those redneck voters, and he made a decent show of having to cater to the “liberal media” to impress them. But I think that by appealing to this set, he’s reinforced the notion of the intellectual/fiscal conservatives that he’s just like Bush. Several of the links in that Berube article I mentioned point to big-name conservatives who are freaking out now, horrified that McCain has transformed himself into a moron in order to appeal to morons. I think he’s made 2 steps forward, but at least 1.5 back.

  13. Michael says:

    Maybe he’s an out-of-touch member of the élite, and doesn’t realise how many angry white guys there are out there—I mean, he and everyone he knows has it pretty good, and is relatively sophisticated so maybe they just don’t understand that with which they’re playing.

    Or maybe he’s a man of real integrity and honour mixed with a spoiled brat who never cottoned to the fact that you can’t always get what you want, even after you get out of the camp, even if you’ve got a lot of money.

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  16. Bree says:

    I live in a mostly Republican, pro-military, pretty religious conservative county. The McCain/Palin signs outnumber the Obama/Biden signs. And I also know we have a lot of people who don’t think McCain is conservative enough, but they are only voting for him because Sarah Palin has the radical fundamentalist mindset quite a few in the area can’t get enough of. And I think that is exactly what he is counting on come November 4, that by picking Palin, his pandering to the radical conservative religious folk will put him in the White House.

    But that pandering and playing on fears of that group is what got us into another nightmarish four years of Bush, and I think—no, I hope—-that the majority of Americans will see that many of McCain’s supporters are like that old lady in that clip and realize that we can’t have another four years of catering to one population while ignoring everyone else.

  17. Foxessa says:

    The Cuban people really don’t need any more unreality foisted upon them by US than they’ve already been burdened with via our Guantánamo prison. Where the prison’s located isn’t pretty at all, but the just a ways away from the desert coast and up into the mountains of Guantánamo it’s just beautiful. The towns are pretty too. The fish is delicious. I’ve never been to the prison, of course, but I’ve been in the mountains.

    The thing is none of Them are thinking other than must win, must win. The mavrik team really does know how evil this is, and that They were stirring it up. After all this is the same strategy and the same tactics that were used against McCain and their adopted Bangladeshi child back in 2004 in South Carolina. He knows how devisive it is, how much hatred it unleashes. And since 2004 this nation has had 4 MORE years of 24/7 non-stop coded racist language and hate speech out of talk radio and Faux News. They deliberately played it. But it comes naturally to his Alaskan running mate, and she enthusiastically endorses it. He is rather more uncomfortable with it — when his temper isn’t running him.

    It seems that now his campaign is running him, he’s not running the campaign. The campaign and his running mate are ignoring anything he wants.

    The real problem is the same as it was all along. He has nothing to offer, other than his desire to be POTUS. He has no ideas, so he can’t even counter his own campaign staffers and running mate who want hatred and divisiveness.

    We are going to need to protect and defend Obama and his family with everything we’ve got. This is so much like the Civil War. The assassination of Lincoln was merely a continuation of it by other means once the military left the field. It wasn’t a lone aberrant mentally ill person, but a full fledged conspiracy, that targeted many other figures, including General Grant, who was en route by train with Mrs. Grant that night. He was surrounded by loyal staffers, his army and on a train, but they re-routed and kept it secret when they learned of the plot — this was prior to Lincoln being killed. I’m not making this up. You can read about it in more places than one, including Grant’s own Memoirs. But they just don’t teach what really happened in school, but the nation knew.

    And the consequences are we got his running mate, Andrew Johnson was nearly impeached for NOT carrying out Reconstruction as Lincoln intended, and the consequences of that are still with us.

    This country, this country, this country. We have had more assassinations, I think than anybody in the ‘developed world.’ Why do our teachers, our writers of history (well, some of us do), make more of this?

    Love, C.

  18. SunlessNick says:

    It seems that now his campaign is running him, he’s not running the campaign. The campaign and his running mate are ignoring anything he wants.

    I’m not that generous to him. He hired the very people who threw racism at his adopted daughter in order to keep him from office. He knew exactly what they’d do when he set them onto Obama.

  19. Foxessa says:

    I have no feelings of generosity for him at all. As you said, these were his choices, in the end. He didn’t have to choose to sell his soul — though there was clearly very little of that soul left unsold since he chose to take the paths he’s taken.

    Love, C.

  20. brownstocking says:

    cosign on SunlessNick and Foxessa: he knew what he was doing, he wanted to do it, that’s why he picked Palin, that’s why Steve Schmidt runs things, and that’s why you see Aryan Nation and other supremacist groups at every rally they have.

    They want to bring on race wars. I’m very afraid.

  21. Westerly says:

    Renee – here’s someone else thanking you for the links. (I’ve tried posting comments on your site but they don’t get through.)

    I couldn’t agree more with your observations about McCain’s whiteness being normalised and ‘disappeared’ rather than having the implications of his glaring whiteness (and that of many of his supporters) discussed, and how Obama’s blackness is always problematised whether it’s perceived as giving him some mythical advantage (which isn’t fair to his white opponents and is thus, problematic) or whether it is a hindrance to him. Your posts that dissect the whole ‘catching flies with honey’ resonated with me, because I very recently argued with someone about that…

    As for McCain – I’ve stated in other places that I just don’t care about whether or not he’s genuine or not in his attempts to tone it down, since he is privilged and never going to have to have to suffer the fall-out of his vile actions.

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