It was inevitable that the issue of race was going to reemerge in the presidential election. Personally, I thought it would happen after the conventions, but Republicans, undoubtedly scared by the polling that showed Barack Obama opening a large lead on McCain (yes, this happened) after his overseas trip, have decided to come out guns blazing.
So far they are doing a good job. The media, led by Drudge, is letting the McCain camp’s relentless assault define the public agenda. Race, Jeremiah Wright, Michelle Obama are all coming back for sure. McCain is a lying creep, of course, and his championing of civility is merely a pose. They are going to throw the kitchen sink at Obama.
So it’s time for Obama, not merely to play strong defense, but to go on offense. And the first place he should go (through surrogates), is to find some footage of John McCain calling the Vietnamese “gooks” and contrast it with the apology he made for doing so. Why, the commercial will ask, would John McCain apologize for something that isn’t racist?
From an earlier post on this issue:
“I hated the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live.”
John McCain was using the g-word unapologetically as late as the 2000 campaign. Then, heading into the California primary, he issued an apology. California, of course, has a large Asian population. Now, some of people might be willing to excuse this because McCain was tortured in Vietnam, but many people won’t.
His defenders will say that this is old news and that he apologized, but why did it take him so long? And why wait until it’s politically expedient? Imagine a man held hostage and tortured by Africans. Then imagine him using the n-word to describe them right up until, say, the South Carolina primary. It’s unimaginable, and deeply offensive. John McCain has every right to hate his former captors, but it is nothing – nothing - to change the word you use to describe them from one that characterizes their race to one that characterizes their morality. I suggest f**kers.
Now here’s another thought experiment. Imagine a black woman, say Michelle Obama, heard stories from her great-grandmother about slavery. Crackers, her great-grandmother called them. Now imagine out of a sense of love and outrage (and personal experience, let’s say, hypothetically, down south), Michelle Obama continued to use the word cracker to refer to certain white people up until the big Iowa primary, and then apologized.
Who here thinks Barack Obama would be the Democratic nominee?
He wouldn’t, because she would be tarnished as a racist. And rightfully so.
The media is desperate to make race an issue in the presidential campaign. They are taking the press releases and emails of the McCain campaign and turning them into news. But here’s a story just waiting to be revisited. Where are all the journalists on this one?
John McCain is a racist and he is getting a free pass.
P.S. It would be perfect if Jim Webb would reconsider being Obama’s VP. His “gook” wife would surely be an asset.