Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkin carving fun for Republicans

Hey, remember that weird story out of Pittsburgh earlier this week?

Allegedly, a College Republican and McCain campaign volunteer named Ashley Todd made a wild claim about being robbed and assaulted at an ATM by a crazed black Obama supporter. The assailant allegedly took the $60 that she withdrew, noticed the McCain/Palin sticker on her car, and decided to cold-cock her in the eye and carve a large “B” in her cheek, demanding that she vote for “Barack” instead.

Well, this created a ton of buzz in the right-wing media. Matt Drudge was all over it before the mainstream media was, with big, screaming top-of-page headlines (minus the siren). Fox News was hyperventilating. Reactionary bloggers were drooling. They now had evidence of how nasty and hate-filled those evil librulz really were. To defile this poor 20 year-old college girl because she's a Republican! And to top it off, they had the perfect bogeyman to rile up the racist base – a big, hulking black man.

A big, nasty black guy roughing up an innocent white girl? Oh, the horror!
If true, it could sway voters away from Obama to the seeming security of the Republican ticket. If false, it could be one of the final nails in the McCain campaign coffin, or so claimed FOX News VP and talking points writer John Moody.

Unfortunately for them, it was all bullshit.

Unless that 'big, hulking black man' was wandering around town attacking young Republican women with a butterknife and eye shadow, the story didn't float. After intense scrutiny and a lie detector test cast doubt on Todd's story, she confessed that it was all a ruse. There was no mugging. There was no mutilation. And there was no big scary black dude. Yep, she made it all up.

Gee, I wonder what gave it away? The half-assed makeup job on her eye? Or perhaps the backward “B” carved on her cheek with what appears to be a very dull blade?
Anyway, Todd was arrested for making a phony claim by a rather pissed off Pittsburgh police force, who have enough problems on their hands without chasing down an imaginary mugger. Didn't she realize that this stuff never works?

The funny part of all of this? The right-wing media totally ate this up! They were convinced they really had something – a way to validate their long-held beliefs that liberals, Democrats and African-Americans were hatemongers threatening the security of those innocent, upstanding, God-fearing 'my shit don't stink' conservative Republicans. And they got rightfully punked!

Of course, it didn't stop there. Launching into spin mode, some were claiming that Todd was a Democratic plant from the get-go, or that she was yet another Code Pink member frolicking in campaign hijinks.

Sigh. Will they ever learn?

Anyone who thought last spring that this campaign would be less nasty than in years past and more focused on issues surely must be disappointed. What it has devolved into is a desperate Republican base throwing every nasty thing in their arsenal at Barack Obama to see what sticks. And we're seeing it all. They were adamant that Obama is a secret Muslim terrorist plant who went to a shady Islamic school. They claimed his birth certificate was a forgery. They accused him of running around with hippie terrorists as a young third grader, blowing up government buildings. There were radical militant preachers. Terrorist fist-bumps. His willingness to meet with enemies. And now, they've been claiming him to be a (gasp!) socialist. Damn, they really are desperate.

Of course, like Ashley Todd's shoddily-carved pumpkin head, it's all bullshit. Obama was born in a Honolulu hospital. He went to a Catholic school before attending seditionist colleges like Columbia and Harvard. He and Bill Ayers weren't very close. The religious figures Obama hung around were far less radical than the array of right-wing preachers the Republicans have been coddling for three decades. And considering that McCain wants to buy out home mortgages and even establish an X Prize-type award for ways to fix the economy and establish energy independence, it sounds rather funny for him to call the other guy a 'big government socialist.'
Suffice it to say, the Republicans have retreated once again to the tried-and-true fear tactics that have served them well over the years. And that means scaring the hell out of isolated white voters with lowest-common-denominator schemes. Think Joe the Plumber would be name-dropped ad nauseum by McCain if he was Jamal the Plumber? I don't think so.

Sadly, these people have no shame in their desperate attempts to win in ten days. And here's hoping that these scummy tactics will drive the final nail in the coffin of intolerance and hate.

The party of Lincoln has devolved into the party of paranoid, self-absorbed white people.


jenn said...

I love this post! Thank you so much for writing and let's hope that you are right "that these scummy tactics will drive the final nail in the coffin of intolerance and hate."


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