Friday, September 12, 2008

McCain's Racist History

You may have heard about the latest lie in the McCain campaign. They are now saying that Barack Obama called Sarah Palin a pig. The reality is that Obama used the expression “you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig” in reference to McCain’s addition of the word "change" to his own campaign. Obama’s point was that McCain is saying change but the reality is that McCain voted along with George Bush 95 percent of the time. Here is the video that caused the stir.

McCain is now running campaign ads perpetuating the lie. This is not surprising but it does raise concerns as far as just how damaging this might be for the Obama campaign. The same people that are most likely to get their news from watching TV alone are the same ones that are likely to have racist views and take offense at a black man calling a white woman a pig.

The McCain lipstick ad is no longer available on YouTube due to CBS demanding it’s removal. There is another McCain ad that says that Obama is not respectful of Sarah Palin. I am not understanding why Palin deserves so much respect. Was Hillary Clinton shown more respect than a male running for president? If so, I am not aware of it. I almost hate to suggest it but it’s starting to feel like McCain/Palin are planting the seeds of racism.

John McCain has had some issues with racism in the past and I would think that he would be reluctant to do anything to draw attention to that. As everyone knows, John McCain is quick to utter “POW” given half a chance. He is so prone to this in interviews that at times it almost seems like a tic, “POW”, cough, “war hero”.

Since I have been doing research on McCain, I came across his account of being held prisoner. I was shocked to read that he referred to his captors as “gooks.” I was further shocked by the sheer number of times he used the clearly offensive term. He used the term a total of 13 times. Here's an except.

"After I had been there about 10 days, a "gook"—which is what we called the North Vietnamese—came in one morning."

John McCain continued to feel free to use the derogatory term until as recently as 2000. Prior to this McCain had some other issues with inappropriate comments. In a book titled “The Real McCain”, an incident between John and Cindy McCain was witnessed by reporters.

Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity, also let me in on another incident involving McCain's intemperateness. In his 1992 Senate bid, McCain was joined on the campaign trail by his wife, Cindy, as well as campaign aide Doug Cole and consultant Wes Gullett. At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain's hair and said, "You're getting a little thin up there." McCain's face reddened, and he responded, "At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt." McCain's excuse was that it had been a long day. If elected president of the United States, McCain would have many long days."

I think we all should be concerned. If that wasn't enough, here is Palin being interviewed by ABC's Charles Gibson. You've just got to love the way she tries to hide the fact that she has no clue what he's talking about.



5 comments:

Bulldog said...

Lisa,

McCain used a derogatory term for the people who held him prisoner and tortured him for five years, and that makes him a racist? That seems grossly unfair to me.

On the Charlie Gibson question, he didn't know what he was talking about either. Charles Krauthamer invented the term "Bush Doctrine," and it actually applies to four different policies. That's why Palin asked him to clarify. He had one of the policies in mind she addressed another.

The parts, which developed over time are:

1. If a country harbors terrorists, it will be treated as a terrorist.

2. The US has the right to preemtive action to prevent terrorism.

3. Democracy around the world will be supported.

4. The US will act unilaterally if it is in its best interests.

Just supplying another view. If you would rather I not comment your political posts, just let me know.

Jack

Lisa said...

Jack- I enjoy your comments. We will never learn anything if everyone has the same perspective, so please continue with your comments! I am open-minded (believe it or not) and maybe you will change my mind on a different issue at some point.

I do have to point out that McCain's "gook" reference was not directed specifically towards his captors. Even if that were the case, it does not excuse him from any accountability for his choice of words. I think we both know that had McCain's traumatic past involved any OTHER race this would be inexcusable. If he had been beaten by black men, would it be ok to use the "n" word to describe his assailants? I don't think so, particularly in one with political aspirations. This should not be ignored just because the Asian population is not as vocal as other minority groups.

Just to keep the lively debate going, (unless I'm starting to really irritate you) could you please tell me your thoughts on the McCain ad regarding the pig comment? Is that even logical that they thought he was referring to Palin?

My last statement for now is just that I honestly did not know anything about the "Bush Doctrine". I can not remember hearing that precise phrase in the past. I can tell you, however, that I would have brushed up on anything and everything before someone had the opportunity to expose me for a fraud. I mean, that's pretty much how I ended up with a graduate degree....

Would you be willing that she was caught in the hot-seat and she was squirming? I can't wait to talk about the Mexican border....

84thProblem said...

While this is certainly a digression from you usual topics, I think it's really important and helpful for you to look at what's going on in this race and give your perspective. I hope it will help more people start to question the thoughtless statements that abound currently, and maybe even look into their veracity themselves.

Bulldog said...

Lisa,

A well-known and documented part of the psychology of war is that it is a necessity for the combatants to dehumanize the enemy. It happens on both sides. and it's about the only way soldiers have to disassociate themselves from the horrors of killing. That's why the North Japanese were "Japs," Koreans and Vietnamese were "Gooks," and current combatants in the mid-east are "Hajis" or "Towelheads." When you consider the atrocities that those people committed, it may not be pretty after the fact, but who are we to judge until we've looked down the barrel of an AK-47, or had a knife at our throats?

My father was in WWII, and a cousin's husband was on the Bataan death march. They did not use derogatory terms for all Japanese, but those who harmed them were *censored* Japs.

Finallly, it was not that he was just beaten. He was brutalized for 5-1/2 years. I can't conjecture what he would say had we been in a war with an African nation, comprised mostly of blacks, but I think under the extant circumstances calling McCain a racist is unfair.

Besides, a few years ago, Democrats were constantly hailing the virtues of John Kerry's questionable service in Vietnam, and his behavior afterwards.

Now, in matters porcine . . . :o)

Do I think the commercial is appropriate? Probably not. Is it a lie? That may be a stretch.

Bear in mind that Obama is a penultimate wordsmith, and has very smart advisors. If he was unaware of Palin's use of the "pitbull with lipstick" metaphor, someone missed the boat.

Also, consider the huge response Obama got when he invoked the pig. Could he possibly have been thinking that that tired old saw would bring the audience to it's feet? I'm skeptical, and he's smarter than that. It's easy to see why many folks feel he knew exactly what he was doing. It's a standard political tactic to turn an opponent's words back on him/her.

Squirming? Probably. She's been on the ticket for a few weeks. Her focus has been Alaska, not foreign policy. There are bound to be things she doesn't know yet, and it was obvious that Gibson was in ambush mode.

I also had to take a comprehensive exam on everything I studied in grad school. I had to defend my thesis before a board of PhD professors. I've testified in court and in complicated depositions. I can't say I always knew the complete answer to every question posed, and I'll admit to more than a little "squirming."

Now, add in a combative interviewer, 20 million viewers, and a herd of strategists waiting to pounce on every off-sylable, and I'm not particularly off-put by her performance.

All that being said, I think the media and the talking heads are all spending way too much time on irrelevant issues, and not enough time on what's important in an election.

By the way, I'm not trying to change your mind on anything - just contributing a different viewpoint.

And, I'm not looking for fair and balanced. Fair is good enough for me.

Bambi said...

I love everything you have to talk about. I plan to follow your blog. Thank you for the smile and the interesting facts of McCain. He looks like a snake to me... his beedy little eyes and pointed nose... too bad it wasn't him you ran over with the lawnmower. Bambi