Category Archives: campaigns

Bob Johnson, Please Shut Your Fat Mouth

Now, I know you all don’t watch the news, ‘cuz you ignant, so I’ll just give you the rundown. We try to stay away from politricks here on the main page, but there are certain stories that jump out and grab our attention, forcing us to comment on the issues at hand. Bob Johnson (former BET owner and first black billionaire) recently came out in support of Hilary, for the first time in his sorry life playing the quote-unquote “race card.” He made a statement attacking Obama’s campaign saying in support of Hilary Clinton that the Clinton’s have been emotionally involved in “black” issues from day one and that Obama was insulting the black community somehow. Instead of me just telling you, here it is from the hoss’ mouth:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbq9_g-WfFk&feature=related[/youtube]

I just wanted to clarify one thing, Bob Johnson, you Willie-Lynch-ass backwards evil ninja, you are NOT a voice for the black community. Just because you have a billion dollars doesn’t mean you can get up there and say whatever the hell you want. We all know the truth about you, so do us a favor and SHUT YOUR FAT MOUTH. This is not about Barack or Hilary, my friend. This is about YOU and your lying ass. You know nothing about anything, and you need to can it. Stop lying to these white people. This has been a public service announcement.

And just to further illustrate my point:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5gcgP3N3zc[/youtube]

This is Black Octagons and I approve this message.

David Broder is the man.

David Broder

Note: from now on I am going to try and post after every David Broder opinion column from the Washington Post. You should all read it anyways because the man is good.

Case and point: Today’s article (12/5) highlights the most important events of the international community according to how they might affect the U.S. Broder tells us that things are different than they were two weeks ago. Now, his near perky article must have been a result from this weeks BIG STORY: the NIE report on Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

Anywho, he got me thinking about how much I want a Democrat in the White House, AND a Democrat controlled Congress. This would be the ill na na, ninjas. Actually … f*ck that, I just don’t want Giulliani or Romney-Bushified chuckle heads. If the Reps cared about themselves they would rally around McCain with Huckabee as the VP. Huckabee is ill because he’s the Republican I could see stabbing the neo-cons right in the heart and letting the blood drip all over him. Interesting guy.

The point is, ninjas, change is on the horizon. If you live in a swing-State, I plead with you: don’t vote for an asshole. Take the time to listen to how these candidates talk, what they talk about, their demeanor, their grace or lack their off … In all sincerity, I think Hillary Clinton should get the nod.

Ninjas, the war on terror needs to end. Because it’s not really a war on terror, this government seems to be all too pleased to feed this fire.

2 For the Price of 1?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfkRjvAYuOc[/youtube]

Charles Krauthammer‘s Op-Ed piece in the Washington Post today got me thinking.

Should Hillary Clinton find her way into the White House because of the 2008 elections, guess who comes with her: PRESIDENT Bill Clinton. Clinton had a great Presidency compared to Bush (and that really pisses some people off). He also had a wife back then, and as much as he’s already been there and done that, she was looking over his shoulder. So, do we, the people, benefit from this? Honestly, I’m gonna go ahead and say yes on this one. Ninjas, if we had foresight of what was to come with the Bush Administration we would have been saying, “Damn, Bill. Go ahead, get some ugly p@$@@, whatever. Just don’t do what this dude’s gonna do.”

And however you look at the f*cked up marriage he and Hillary have, he’s still going to be an enormous influence on this Presidency, if it were to happen… Don’t forget, Hillary has lived in the White House for 8 years. She might know what’s up. And, not that it has anything to do with the U.S., but in Argentina, the out-going President’s wife was just elected President. Things that make you go “Hmmm…”.

I’d say the fact that these two have both lived in the White House for eight years should be a significant thing for voters when considering Hillary Clinton.

The Straight Talk Express in All Its Glory

The newest bit of controversy on the campaign trail has been provided by the McCain campaign (really, he’s still running, don’t let the 3rd or 4th-place standing fool you). Let’s go to the clip:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLQGWpRVA7o[/youtube]
Note that the reaction of this noble, upstanding war veteran is not to admonish his supporter for insulting one of his fellow Senators, but rather to laugh and then discuss his numbers against Hillary Clinton (with a nice little reference to the “Democrat” party thrown in, which I won’t go into here, but may later). Consider this for a moment.

There are two potential ways I could address this. One would be to simply decry the overall descent of political discourse into name-calling and mudslinging. That seems too easy, though, and it’s not like today’s campaigns are any worse than the campaigns of the early Republic. Indeed, at least modern campaigns have the theoretical restriction of slander laws.
No, I think I’ll try to imagine a similar incident in which another candidate was insulted in an equivalently crude manner, and what would happen. And I don’t mean something along the lines of asking a Democrat “how do we get this asshole out of office?” in 2004. Asshole isn’t a charged enough word. But say that either Richardson or Obama were the Democratic frontrunner, and a voter asked McCain or Romney “How do we beat the (insert ethnic slur here),” followed by said candidate giggling and calling it “an excellent question.” One imagines the fallout would be rather substantial, even campaign-crippling. Remember this guy?

Yet weirdly, not only has McCain’s campaign not suffered in the polls (though it’s early, we’ll see what happens), they’re using the incident as a fundraising tool. You read that right. They’ve decided that CNN’s coverage shows their inherent pro-Hillary bias. After all, why run that clip unless they’re afraid that McCain would beat Clinton? As such, you should give lots of money to the McCain campaign, so that he can win the Republican nomination and put that uppity Democratic bitch in her place.

A few weeks ago I posted about the recent history of subtle Republican appeals to racial hatred. So it’s not exactly surprising to me when they go for this sort of lowest-common-denominator tactic. It is striking, though, how blatant they’re being about this one, and how easily they’re getting away with it. Surrogates of the Clinton campaign may well have been overstating a bit when they implied that the other Democratic candidates were ganging up on her at the debate because she was the only woman on stage, but the underlying point was no less true. Nowhere have I yet read any prominent reporter or columnist calling McCain for being sexist, only “too candid.” How much of this is due to underlying misogyny, as opposed to the media’s bizarre crush on McCain or their astonishing inability to ever call Republicans on their bullshit is hard to say. Most likely it’s a bit of each.
For a nice way to finish this off, let’s turn it over to CNN. I’d give you a bit of a preview, but I really can’t do justice to how gawdawful this is.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BnA_uPz7d8&feature=user[/youtube]

There you have it, folks. For a man running for President to tell one of his supporters to refer to a fellow Senator with respect is not a sign of character, it would be “buckling,” and “would look ridiculous.” It’s going to be a very long election year.

A sojourn into the land of smears

It strikes me that I’ve been pretty heavily verbal lately, so I’ve decided to go for the visuals today. In this post, we’ll explore the wonderful world of campaign advertising. Now, I’ve written quite extensively here about the use of fear in politics, mostly in the realm of foreign policy. For example, this little gem, released in the final weeks before the 2004 election:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MU4t9O_yFsY[/youtube]

However, I’d like to spend today’s post discussing another sort of ad that’s been a winner for the GOP over the years: the sort that plays on racial fears. Here are two ads, from two different races in the 2006 cycle, both run by the supporters of white Republicans running against black opponents.

The first, run by supporters of Bob Corker against Harold Ford Jr. in the Tennessee Senate race:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vZF5ZTu2Go[/youtube]

And the second, run by the Kerry Healey campaign against Deval Patrick in the Massachusetts gubernatorial race:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2b64RSE26w[/youtube]

Now, aside from the traditional, almost cartoonish “the Dems’ll raise your taxes and take your guns” stuff in the Corker ad, the message running through these ads is pretty straightforward if you’re paying attention. Namely, “hey, white folks, you’d better vote for me, because otherwise that black fella and his friends are going to come after our women.” It’s not exactly a new tactic, this sort of imagery has been around for centuries, in contexts as varied as George Wallace’s warnings about “race-mixing” and King Kong (I’m serious, there’s a brief mention of it here). What’s surprising and saddening is how well it still works.

Bob Corker wound up winning his Senate race against Harold Ford by a slim margin, and it’s not absurd to think that this ad may have made the difference. Kerry Healey lost her race, but the “Deval supports rapists” tactic did gain her a bit of traction, and was just about the only time the Patrick campaign lost control of the public debate. And that was in Massachusetts, bluest of blue states.

The reason I bring this up is twofold. First, to get y’all ready for more of the same. There’s a pretty decent chance that the next Democratic nominee for President will be Barack Obama, and if that’s the case, I daresay we’ll be seeing more than a few appeals to our racist demons. Secondly, understanding these tactics can help us to put an end to them.

People use advertising that appeals to the worst in us because it works. The first President Bush got a huge boost from the Willie Horton ad. The 2000 whisper campaign about John McCain’s daughter in South Carolina arguably cost him the primary, and ultimately the Republican nomination. Why abandon a tactic that’s been proven to so consistently get results?

The only way that this sort of advertising will stop is if it stops working, and it’ll only stop working if we learn how to resist it. So when that latest campaign ad comes on the TV, stop and pay close attention. Political parties pay advertisers lots of money to find the weak points in voters’ psyches and exploit them. It’s not enough to listen to what they’re saying. You have to figure out what they’re trying to get you to think. Are they really addressing an issue, or just trying to make you afraid or angry? And if it’s the latter, why? We need to ask these questions. If we don’t, we’re just going to get more wolves, bunnies, and darkened garages, and democracy will be the worse for it.