Patterico's Pontifications

2/28/2008

Josh Marshall: McCain Plans to Run Bigoted Campaign Against Obama

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 7:33 am

Josh Marshall:

Hopefully, everyone can now see the McCain strategy for running against Barack Obama. Yes, we have some general points on taxes, culture wars and McCain as war hero who can protect us in ways that flash-in-the-pan pretty boy Barack Obama can’t.

But that’s not the core. The core is to drill a handful of key adjectives into the public mind about Barack Obama: Muslim, anti-American, BLACK, terrorist, Arab. Maybe a little hustler and shifty thrown in, but we’ll have to see.

Yes. Because McCain denouncing such tactics is clear proof that his strategy is to engage in such tactics.

Marshall says:

If McCain really wants to repudiate this stuff, he can start with the Tennessee Republican party which dished all the slurs and smears about Obama being a Nation of Islam-loving anti-Semite, just today. And once he’s done talking to the people who will be running his Tennessee campaign, we’ll have a number of others he can talk to, like the head of his Ohio campaign, former Sen. Mike DeWine, who gave that Cunningham guy his marching orders.

Never mind that the man Obama calls his “spiritual adviser” has praised Louis Farrakhan’s perspective as “helpful and honest” — an issue he managed to dodge in the debate. Any concerns about Obama’s connections to Farrakhan are manufactured. And never mind that DeWine didn’t actually tell Cunningham to use Obama’s full name, as Marshall’s “marching orders” comment suggests.

No wonder Josh Marshall is the winner of journalism’s prestigious Polk award. He has perfected the critical art of false insinuation, and ignoring inconvenient facts.

No, Josh Marshall, John McCain is not playing the race card. But in The New Republic, Sean Wilentz argues that Obama is.

55 Responses to “Josh Marshall: McCain Plans to Run Bigoted Campaign Against Obama”

  1. Don’t insult your intelligence or mine by pretending that John McCain’s plan for this race doesn’t rely on hundreds of Cunninghams — large and small — across the country, and the RNC and all the GOP third party groups, to be peddling this stuff nonstop for the next eight months because it’s what I would do if I were him.

    There. Fixed that for you, Josh.

    Pablo (99243e)

  2. Marshall was particularly idiotic with that post. He ignored rebukes by Rove, McCain and the RNC to the Tennessee GOP over their campaign materials that were easily accessible to him at the time. Willful ignorance or error, you decide.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  3. Marshall should not assume that all people are narrow-minded racists like he obviously is. Its a shame the left is so bound to race politics and its inherent weaknesses. I’m glad as a conservative I am far more progressive than that tired old meme.

    Dana (b4a26c)

  4. Marshall is pitching a fit because he was counting on McCain tacitly approving of racist tactics, so he and the other Brave Liberal Journalists could expose McCain’s quiet, coded racism during the campaign.

    Brave Liberal Journalists are all out to catch McCain doing something racist, just like certain right-wing idiots are out to catch Obama doing something Muslim. Even if there is no evidence, these idiots will find “evidence,” because if you’re looking hard enough for something, you will find it, whether or not it’s really there.

    Daryl Herbert (4ecd4c)

  5. Daryl has a point with the parallel

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  6. Josh Marshall is cunning, and in this, he’s the witting tool of the Obama campaign. This is a deliberate and cynical preparation of the battlespace designed to make any criticism of, or even serious questions about, Barack Obama off limits. It’s in the nature of a preemptive strike, demanding that the entire kingdom acknowledge just how splendid the would-be emperor’s new clothes are.

    It’s an easy strategy for them to implement. It’s going to be a hard strategy for McCain to combat.

    Beldar (098090)

  7. you forgot “former coke fiend”. i’m surprised someone in the hillary camp hasn’t yet gone forward with “our gal was working for the betterment of the citizens of arkansas while he was snorting white lady off the lid of a toilet tank.”

    assistant devil's advocate (fd2d78)

  8. Wow–Marshall is a partisan hack willing to use an old favorite from the Dems’ playbook. Who would have guessed it?

    M. Scott Eiland (b66190)

  9. It will be interesting to see Obama himself publicly denounce such racism and hate tactics from his campaign…

    Dana (b4a26c)

  10. Yes. Because McCain denouncing such tactics is clear proof that his strategy is to engage in such tactics.

    Two words: plausible deniability.

    Obviously, McCain’s denunciation isn’t ‘clear proof’ that this is his strategy–nor is that what Marshall is saying. The ‘clear proof’, or at least the strong evidence, that the Republicans are going to run this way is that this is exactly what they’ve done in every recent election. The Swiftboaters attack Kerry, and Bush issues a lukewarm denunciation; the damage is done, and Bush has preserved plausible deniability.

    So in that context, McCain’s ‘denunciation’ is all part of the game. If you honestly believe it means he doesn’t want crap like this to happen, then I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

    Tom Hilton (1f197f)

  11. 1. Obama is black.
    2. Obama is running for president.
    3. McCain wants to beat Obama and become president.
    4. Therefore, anything McCain says is racist.
    QED

    Attila (Pillage Idiot) (b6cc49)

  12. Obama meets the political and racial criteria for “blackness” without the whiff of corruption that emanates from Jesse Jackson or the outright clownishness of Al Sharpton. Therefore, any criticism of him or, indeed, withholding a vote from him, will be denounced as racist. Nothing can be done about this, so get used to it.

    Person of Choler (d8a2aa)

  13. Some of the lefties see this and are calling out Obama for playing the race card. It will be interesting to see if they can get back together for a united campaign in the fall, no matter what they say about McCain.

    Mike K (7e0874)

  14. Excuse me but what’s the problem with someone using Obama’s full name? How is that “racist” or bigoted?

    I saw the tape and don’t see what the big deal is. Bush has been called all the names in the book, from “Shrub” to worse things and no one is called on the carpet for not calling him “Mr. President”. Then someone uses Obama’s full name and the MSM go nuts. So what?

    John (8b0d4f)

  15. John, it’s because of the letter behind his name.

    “-D” = off limits.

    Techie (ed20d9)

  16. IT is perfectly obvious that Obama is willing to call anyone who doesn’t support him a bigot.

    Cunnigham was too selfish (for ratings or attention) to not give Obama his badly neede ammo.

    Thing is, for people with common sense, there is no reason to vote for Obama. He’s never accomplished or led anything, he is wrong often, he seems pretty ignorant or the world. But there are reasons to vote against Mccain. Obama’s only path is to be as dirty as mudslinger as there every was, and Mccain’s only path is to be the cleanest and more gentlemanly candidate of our lifetimes.

    Mccain is obviously not making this about race, but if the liberals bring it up over and over and over again, there is 100% certainly that Mccain supporters will respond “well, it’s a legit issue! his dad was an arab, he goes to a wierd church, etc”. They are betting on the talking heads being totally diverted by a red herring. And once we talk about race, it doesn’t matter if we win that argument or not… the election has become about race and not about Obama’s stunning lack of qualification and stunningly awful grasp of the world, and stunning dishonestly in his rhetoric.

    Jem (4cdfb7)

  17. Will Josh Marshall share whatever drugs he is on ?

    Neo (cba5df)

  18. I feel a little “deja vu” reading the story over at LGF about “KosKids” saying nearly the exact same thing as Josh Marshall.

    Easy to spot the “talking points” for today.

    Neo (cba5df)

  19. I have a question about the TNR/Sean Wiletz article at Patterico’s last link. Here’s an excerpt:

    “To a large degree, the [Obama] campaign’s strategists turned the primary and caucus race to their advantage when they deliberately, falsely, and successfully portrayed Clinton and her campaign as unscrupulous race-baiters–a campaign-within-the-campaign in which the worked-up flap over the Somali costume photograph is but the latest episode.”

    Wiletz never provides evidence for this claim and it seems to me that he simply states it as fact. It may be true — I haven’t been following the Clinton-Obama race closely enough to know — but what is the basis for saying that Obama’s campaign and not Clinton’s is responsible for race-baiting?

    DRJ (d8934e)

  20. John, it’s stupid. That’s why Mccain should repudiate the argument that Hussein as a middle name is a relevant reason not to vote for Obama.

    You can rpetend you’re just saying his name, but you’re really saying his name and heritage are legit reasons to vote against him. That’s really, really dumb, especially when there are so many excellent reasons not to vote for Obama. From a purely cynical perspective, it’s not as effective an argument to call out his name, but it’s also unAmerican as hell.

    You aren’t talking about Mccain’s middle name, of course.

    But it’s too late, for all I know you’re a Moby liberal just stirring shit up (of course this is extremely unlikely, but in a few months that won’t be the case). Liberals want us to focus on Obama’s race because it’s such a dumb argument and certain to have enormous backlash. Obama’s single good argument is that voting for him would overcome the idea that America is bigoted. I don’t buy that, but millions do. And this crap ain’t helping.

    Jem (4cdfb7)

  21. You can rpetend you’re just saying his name, but you’re really saying his name and heritage are legit reasons to vote against him.

    That might be the dumbest thing I’ve heard this week…

    So are the lefties bad people for calling President Bush “Dubya”?

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  22. “1. Obama is black.
    2. Obama is running for president.
    3. McCain wants to beat Obama and become president.
    4. Therefore, anything McCain says is racist.
    QED”

    – Attila (Pillage Idiot)

    I’ll do you one better:

    1. Obama is a black man.
    2. McCain will do anything in his power to prevent Obama from becoming president.
    3. Therefore, McCain will do anything in his power to prevent a black man from becoming president.

    What a racist POS John McCain is. I hate him.

    Leviticus (43095b)

  23. Scott Jacobs – ‘course not. See above, “-D” after name.

    I do know if *I* was running for prez, and shared a name with a mass murderer, I’d change my name. Or give a really good speech about how said murderous SOB had slandered the name I got because (insert great emotional reason I’m NOT changing my name.)

    Foxfier (74f1c8)

  24. If campaigning against Obama is racist, imagine what will happen if Obama is defeated by ‘the white man’ especially if ‘the white man is an extention of McChimpneoconnazihitler whose bigoted, racists, homophobic, rich rethuglian regime is imperializing the world for oil by creating an Osama bin Laden to fly airplanes into civilian buildings’.

    Either way McCain is screwed and in the end it will be Conservatives who will be blamed anyway.

    syn (1017f1)

  25. JOSH MARSHALL should go stand in back of a horse and watch the same kind of malarkey he,s spewing comming from the back of the horse

    krazy kagu (522a1c)

  26. I do know if *I* was running for prez, and shared a name with a mass murderer, I’d change my name.

    Right, and of course the Cunninghams of the world would never make an issue of the fact that your full name used to be … blah blah blah. It’s one thing if your name is Fred Hitler; it’s quite another if your name is Joe Smith, and one of the world’s worst tyrants was also named Smith.

    Xrlq (b71926)

  27. Marshall ties with Yglesias in my book for the most pathetically disappointing blogger. They’re both smart guys who quite regularly lie–let’s not sugar-coat the truth with terms like “intellectual honesty”–in order prop up their side. Anything for the cause, I guess.

    T-web (022058)

  28. Scott, Bush himself is the basis for the “W”. And “W” is not deliberately meant to imply that Bush is part of a different racial group. The Arab origin of Hussein is precisely why folks are saying “Hussein”. White folks who are generally idiots and admit they would never vote for a Muslim.

    And you call me dumb? Who do you think you’re kidding? Bush uses W, and liberals make fun of it. Does that make them bad people? No. You think that’s proof that obnoxiously repeating Hussein a million times, which, unlike Bush, Obama is not underlining, and doing so because it’s an arab name, is exactly the same thing? Wow.

    I recall handing out thousands of W stickers when I worked for the Bush campaign. Your argument is stunningly empty. Oh, and Bush’s middle name is Walker, not W. Imagine if the liberals were desperately arguing that they needed their candidate to endorse their use of “Sidney” (Mccain’s middle name). Would you not realize this is really, really stupid? I would note that if this is the best they’ve got, they’ve got nothing.

    Further, all the dumb nicknames about Bush(such as Dumbya, Chimp, etc) are incredibly stupid ways to criticize Bush, and had a GOP favoring impact in 2004 when KErry’s supporters had little to stand on but their irrational hatred of Bush.

    You want to copy losers, only you’re throwing in race-baiting. And pretending that the accuracy of his middle name is somehow relevant. Why? Nobody gives a shit, and you’re getting in the way of the real arguments against Obama? Why? Are you too stupid to realize that Obama wants to paint Mccain supporters as racist and this is obviously racist? Are you too stupid to realize that there are much more important arguments that are being snuffed out by this stupid discussion?

    Reconsider. Hussein is not like “W”. Obama’s heritage as an Arab (if he is one), or from a muslim upbringing that he has walked away fromt o become a Christian are great. America is a melting pot. You don’t see that in Germany or Japan or Russia. Even if his race and religion were fair game, they are just the dumbest arguments available. We’ve got M1 tank quality arguments against Obama, and you are stubbornly defending the use of water guns. Why?

    Jem (4cdfb7)

  29. I made my position on this abundantly clear previously. But, I would like to know the rules for criticizing Barry O. So farm using the primaries as a guide, almost every criticism has led to overt charges of, or subtle insinuations of racism. Can we point out how stoopid the baning of fissile materials is? Can we point out that he tends to not vote on tough issues? Can we point out that ge lied to Russert when he said he was not going to run for Prez? Can we point out that he has not one day of executive experience anywhere? Can we point out that the positions he does take are socialist in nature?

    JD (388d32)

  30. We know certain facts.
    1) Obama belongs to a self described ” AfroCentric” Church will publicly declares its loyalty to Africa on is website.
    2) Obama belongs to a church and follows a pastor who just made Louis Farrahkan their Man of the Year.
    3) Membership in such a church is VOLUNTARY.

    Lets see John McCains church make David Duke their ” MAN OF THE YEAR” and see what happens.

    Dennis D (aacd7f)

  31. Dennis D, that church Obama is in right now is indeed quite weird. Unlike his Middle name or Islam, which were not Obama’s adult choices and obviously things Obama is not responsible for, this Farrakhan business is something I want to hear more about.

    Too bad the issue is getting too cloudy with all the stupid riff raff abour Hussein that Obama has a lot of cover now, and can point to Cunningham and say “I’m not going to dignify this disgusting trend of bigotry as they move from one to the next”.

    We definitely need to hear Obama explain his position on Black supremacy, more about Farakhan than his half hearted comments thus far, etc. We do not need to talk about what his mommy named him.

    Jem (4cdfb7)

  32. Jem – But you know that any questioning whatsoever will simply lead to cries of racism. Hell, JMM is accusing people of racism for absolutely denouncing language they found inappropriate.

    JD (388d32)

  33. This Marshall memo sounds exactly like something Howard Dean or the DNC would write or issue.

    When a journalist – even one with an open agenda – sounds like a party hack – either party – he’s not doing a very good job of analysis.

    Sure, it’s fine to have a politically-oriented blog or view; it’s another to sound like one is completely in the tank for a party.

    Marshall’s a talented journalist. This isn’t one of the example of it.

    SteveMG (2afc3e)

  34. This Marshall memo sounds exactly like something Howard Dean or the DNC would write or issue.

    What are the odds that they didn’t? Or at least “raise questions” in the vicinity of Marshall or is friends?

    Or did it, like Topsy, “just growed” without being seeded? Could have, I guess.

    Uncle Pinky (5ba4c8)

  35. Those of you out there who feel compelled to point out that Barack Obama’s middle name is Hussein… why?

    If your intentions aren’t racist, what’s the point? As someone above noted, John McCain’s middle name is Sidney. By the same token, Mike Huckabee’s is Dale. Hillary Clinton’s is Diane. Ron Paul’s is Ernest. No one is making political hay there.

    DubiousD (a60e53)

  36. If your intentions aren’t racist

    Racist?

    No, it’s motivated by playing on religious fears. E.g., he’s some type of Manchurian candidate.

    If race is involved, it would be racialist and not racist. Most folks mean the former when they use the latter. But this is my lost cause. Everyman has to have one.

    SteveMG (2afc3e)

  37. “Ron Paul’s is Ernest”

    Is that why his campaign often went to camp?

    LYT (3419ec)

  38. DubiousD – What “race” is Hussein?

    JD (90efaf)

  39. OK, let the mudslinging begin in earnest.

    What’s with McCain and Pastor href=”http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/02/john_hagee_post.php” target=”_blank” title=””>Hagee?

    Psyberian (d18acc)

  40. OK, let the mudslinging begin in earnest.

    What’s with McCain and Pastor Hagee?

    Hagee’s comments about world affairs can make Farrakhan seem pedestrian at times: He eagerly awaits the Armageddon, considers the Catholic Church to be the Anti-Christ, and has said that Jews brought their own persecution upon themselves.

    Psyberian (d18acc)

  41. Josh Marshall, and all of the other bloggers on the Left, should be signed up for membership in IATSE. They’re the biggest bunch of projectionists that anyone will ever find.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  42. Black super delegates sticking with Clinton and not switching to Obama have received, Politico is reporting, threatening messages (Link).

    Under the Marshall Doctrine, this must be part of Obama’s strategy. He must renounce it immediately.

    I’ll await Marshall’s fevered posting on this.

    SteveMG (2afc3e)

  43. “Ron Paul” is “Earnest T. Bass”

    WLS (68fd1f)

  44. Obviously, McCain’s denunciation isn’t ‘clear proof’ that this is his strategy–nor is that what Marshall is saying. The ‘clear proof’, or at least the strong evidence, that the Republicans are going to run this way is that this is exactly what they’ve done in every recent election. The Swiftboaters attack Kerry, and Bush issues a lukewarm denunciation; the damage is done, and Bush has preserved plausible deniability.

    So basically what McCain says or does is irrelevant; you have your narrative and you’re sticking to it.

    Such a horrible attempt at spinning your blatant disregard for reality in preference of your political fantasies, too, by the way.

    What’s with McCain and Pastor Hagee?

    Who cares? Pastor Hagee’s view of the Armageddon is relevant to anything how? He can believe that Russia will invade Israel and God will destroy the Red Army then China will invade Israel and the US/UK will fight the PLA all he wants. I don’t see him pushing any particular policies on McCain based on that view, or McCain speaking or acting based on that view, or McCain having had a history of being involved with that view, the way Obama does with domestic terrorists like Ayers and black nationalist types like Farrakhan and his (Obama’s) church.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  45. So basically what McCain says or does is irrelevant; you have your narrative and you’re sticking to it.

    Such a horrible attempt at spinning your blatant disregard for reality in preference of your political fantasies, too, by the way.

    Chaos – We’ve seen this approach from the left before, particularly with the Iraq war. Damn the evidence, full meme ahead!

    daleyrocks (6e555e)

  46. Okay, so you argue your prejudice is based on religion, rather than race. Fair enough.

    I don’t hate you because you’re non-white, I hate you because you might be a Muslim.

    Progress!

    DubiousD (243444)

  47. Calling the Prez “Dubya” is an attempt to paint him as some kind of southern yokel; only thing is, it went on for some 8 years, AND the folks who support him are in the habit of taking attempted insults and turning them into pet-names. (“Dittoheads,” anyone? How about “vast right wing conspiracy”?)

    Foxfier (74f1c8)

  48. I think there are more fools who will vote for him because he’s for change than the fools who won’t because his middle name is Hussein.

    Beating Hillary will be Obama’s super bowl. His peak will be in place, never to be surpassed.

    PLC14 (f74534)

  49. If your intentions aren’t racist, what’s the point?

    Oh, I dunno. It could be referencing that Saddam fella by the same name. I think it would be far less of an issue if it evoked thoughts of this Hussein.

    Personally, I think it’s silly to harp on and that Cunningham is a meathead, but Barry has the Mother of all Middle Names, and an oft stated position that says his Iraqi namesake ought to still be in power.

    Pablo (99243e)

  50. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that the McCain campaign wants to play the race card, so that everyone knows Senator Obama is a Negro. Thing is, he doesn’t have to do a thing; the Usual Suspects in the media will be writing, ad infinitum, articles on the general theme, “Can a black candidate win the presidency?” By the time they’re done, the McCain campaign will never need to have said a word, and every voter in the country, except the most retarded — who will vote Democrat anyway — will know that Mr Obama is black.

    The “Hussein” card will require just a little bit of help; one guy like Bill Cunningham (?) runs off at the mouth, Senator McCain and his campaign quickly denounce it, and, once again, the Usual Suspects, unimaginative lot that they are, will have articles about some wicked conservative using Senator Obama’s middle name, and by the end of the campaign, again, everyone but the most out-of-touch voters — who, again, vote Democratic, because they don’t know any better — will know that the nominee is “Barack Hussein Obama.”

    The key to all of this is the lack of intellectual curiosity and imagination among the professional media — and that’s pretty much a lock.

    Dana (3e4784)

  51. I think it is less about a lack of intellectual curiosity and more about them simply liking to call people that disagree with them racists.

    JD (75f5c3)

  52. “DubiousD – What “race” is Hussein?”

    – JD

    Muslim, duh!!!

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  53. Muslim’s a race now?

    chaos (9c54c6)

  54. Obama is starting to lose the polish off his halo. (H/t: Romenesko)

    Several months before Obama announced his U.S. Senate bid, Jones called his old friend Cliff Kelley, a former Chicago alderman who now hosts the city’s most popular black call-in radio program.
    I called Kelley last week, and he recollected the private conversation as follows:
    “He said, ‘Cliff, I’m gonna make me a U.S. senator.'”
    “Oh, you are? Who might that be?”
    “Barack Obama.”
    Jones appointed Obama sponsor of virtually every high-profile piece of legislation, angering many rank-and-file state legislators who had more seniority than Obama and had spent years championing the bills . . .
    . . .So how has Obama repaid Jones?
    Last June, to prove his commitment to government transparency, Obama released a comprehensive list of his earmark requests for fiscal year 2008. It comprised more than $300 million in pet projects for Illinois, including tens of millions for Jones’ Senate district.
    Shortly after Jones became Senate president, I remember asking his view on pork-barrel spending.
    I’ll never forget what he said:
    “Some call it pork; I call it steak.”

    Bradley J Fikes (1c6fc4)

  55. “Muslim’s a race now?”

    -chaos

    Sarcasm, buddy… I was wondering how long it would take, though.

    Leviticus (43095b)


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