Dear New York Times

Dude, c’mon.  Citing National Review propagandist Andrew C. McCarthy as an ‘expert’ in an article on the future of  US terror detention policy under Obama? That Andrew C. McCarthy–the one who infamously labelled Obama’s political philosophy as being “more Maoist than Stalinist”?

Maybe it’s my deep-seated liberal bias, but, to me, saying that someone who gamely tried to peddle the not-quite-as-batshit-as-Obama-spawn-of-Malcolm-X rumour that Ayers  ghostwrote Obama’s memoir is merely “a former federal prosecutor who has generally supported the Bush administration’s approach to fighting terrorism” is rather misleading, to say the least.

I mean, really — imbuing this hacktacular right-wing conspiracy-theorist with anything resembling mainstream legitimacy would be akin to granting someone like, oh, say, William Kristol a prominent spot on the Times’ opinion page.

Oh, wait…

Well, at least this proves once and for all that there’s next-t0-nothing that one can be spectacularly, brilliantly so-wrong-that-it-fucking-stings about that will automatically disqualify them from ever being taken seriously by the puddle-deep gliberati of the MSM–just as long as one continues mingling at the right social events and dutifully paying his or her publicist.

cynically yours,

matttbastard

P.S. Here’s hoping y’all don’t pick Jerome Corsi to be Billy K’s token wingnut replacement.

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John McCain: “Be Respectful”

by matttbastard

I would like to sign up for Khaled Hosseni’s newsletter:

I prefer to discuss politics through my novels, but I am truly dismayed these days. Twice last week alone, speakers at McCain-Palin rallies have referred to Sen. Barack Obama, with unveiled scorn, as Barack Hussein Obama.

Never mind that this evokes — and brazenly tries to resurrect — the unsavory, cruel days of our past that we thought we had left behind. Never mind that such jeers are deeply offensive to millions of peaceful, law-abiding Muslim Americans who must bear the unveiled charge, made by some supporters of Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin, that Obama’s middle name makes him someone to distrust — and, judging by some of the crowd reactions at these rallies, someone to persecute or even kill. As a secular Muslim, I too was offended. Obama’s middle name differs from my last name by only two vowels. Does the McCain-Palin campaign view me as a pariah too? Do McCain and Palin think there’s something wrong with my name?

But never mind any of that.

The real affront is the lack of firm response from either McCain or Palin. Neither has had the moral courage, when taking the stage, to grasp the microphone, turn to the presenter and, right then and there, denounce the use of Obama’s middle name as an insult. Instead, they have simply delivered their stump speeches, lacing into Obama as if nothing out-of-bounds had just happened. The McCain-Palin ticket has given toxic speeches accusing Obama of being a friend of terrorists, then released short, meek repudiations of some of the rough stuff, including McCain’s call Friday to “be respectful.” Back in February, the Arizona senator apologized for the “disparaging remarks” from a talk-radio host who sneered repeatedly about “Barack Hussein Obama” before a McCain rally. “We will have a respectful debate,” McCain insisted afterward. But pretending to douse flames that you are busy fanning does not qualify as straight talk.

[…]

They may not have been able to hear the slurs at the rallies, but surely they have had ample time since to get on camera and warn that this sort of ugliness has no place in an election season. But they have not. Simply calling Obama “a decent person” is not enough.

DJ rewind:

The McCain-Palin ticket has given toxic speeches accusing Obama of being a friend of terrorists, then released short, meek repudiations of some of the rough stuff, including McCain’s call Friday to “be respectful.”

[…]

[P]retending to douse flames that you are busy fanning does not qualify as straight talk.

[…]

Simply calling Obama “a decent person” is not enough.

In other words: fuck that “credit where credit is due” bullshit. There’s a damn good reason why John McCain’s (largely mythical) “honour” has evaporated quicker than your 401k and his reputation is now mired in negative equity.

Glenn Greenwald breaks it down:

The mass accusations of “terrorist” and “Arab traitor” against Obama didn’t just get randomly blurted out by a few hard-core, isolated ideologues. Rather, that is exactly the message being spewed systematically from McCain and Palin themselves (“pallin’ around with terrorists”), their parade of ads, and the coordinated efforts of opinion-leaders on the Right. Even veteran campaign reporters for whom Balance is a religion have been acknowledging that the McCain/Palin rallies are unique in their mass-crowd vitriol and intense rage.

One half-hearted, insincere attempt by McCain to restore some of the lost moral capital with his original base (a divestment that, according to Jamison Foser, has been greatly exaggerated) should not be immediately rewarded with a plate of cookies and a pat on his balding pate.

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More on Bill Ayers and Guilt by Association

by matttbastard

Gail Collins FTW:

The McCain folks have been obsessed with William Ayers, a neighbor of Obama’s who is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Back in the 1960s, Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, were leaders of the Weather Underground, an antiwar group whose penchant for violence was exceeded only by its haplessness. Ayers has since become an education expert and was named Chicago’s Citizen of the Year in 1997. He gave Obama a house party when Obama was running for the State Senate.

In my experience, most State Senate hopefuls are so thrilled at any sign of interest that they would happily attend a reception given by a homeless couple in their cardboard box. But even though Obama was 8 years old at the time the Weathermen were in the news, that house party puts all their misdeeds on his platter. Sarah Palin has been telling her increasingly scary rallies that he is somebody “who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists.”

[…]

Before we go any further, I have a confession to make. When I was a college student, I believe I attended a party with Bernardine Dohrn. This was pre-Weather, when Dohrn was a leader of the Students for a Democratic Society, better known as S.D.S. Some of my friends wanted to meet her because they were interested in establishing an S.D.S. chapter at our campus. I was opposed, under the presumption that S.D.S. meant Students for Decent Styles, a group that had been active in fighting spaghetti-strap dresses at my high school.

Still, under the new rules, I believe I may now be held partly responsible for all of Dohrn’s misdeeds, including aggravated battery, bail jumping, the Days of Rage and unreadable political tracts.

McCain’s favorite supporter, Senator Joseph Lieberman, recently called the Obama-Ayers connection “fair game.” This reminded me that Lieberman once came to a party at my house. It was years ago, when he was still a Connecticut state senator, and we have already established that state senators will go to anything. Still, I can’t help but feel that I am not only a potential victim of the new guilt-by-association standard, I am also somewhat complicit in establishing it.

As they say, read the whole damn thing.

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John Sidney McChickenshit III.

by matttbastard

Josh Marshall:

McCain’s moral cowardice has been one of the subtexts of this campaign ever since he wound up the nomination and turned his attention to Barack Obama. But I did not realize it would reveal itself in such a physical dimension.

The tell came this week as McCain unearthed the Ayers story which, for whatever its merits, was fully aired months ago and has no clear relation to the particulars of October other than McCain’s collapsing poll numbers. He’s on it. Palin’s on it. He’s releasing slashing new TV ads like this one. Both of them are ginning their crowds up into spiraling gyres of right-wing delirium — a ready-made Lord of the Flies (and let’s admit that’s a gentle allusion, given the tone of these barnburners) if Obama happened into one of the auditoriums at the wrong moment.

He ever swaggered on for a couple days about how he was going to ‘take the gloves off‘ when he met up with Obama in Nashville. But when the two of them were there in each others physical presence … nothing. By a myriad of gestures and reactions Obama owned him.

Nor is it a matter of shifting off the tactics, because as soon as McCain made his hasty retreat from the stage at Debate #2 he was right back at it. In every other aspect of life, high and low, refined and unlovely, we have a word for that kind of behavior: cowardice.

And now Obama can lightly taunt McCain with that very cowardice, his inability to just say it to his face. And if my take on the inner workings of McCain’s mind at the moment is right that should simply unhinge him even more.

Ta-Nehisi Coates:

Frankly, I’ve always believed that the quickest way to show you’re a chump is to run around telling everyone about that aren’t one. You want to prove to the American people that you aren’t shook? Don’t talk them to death. Get in the ring and kick the other guys ass. It’s that simple. Screw all this talk about who’s tougher than who. Here is what I know: McCain will talk that shit about Ayers and brag about taking the gloves off. He will send his wife and Sarah Palin out to do his dirty work. But when faced with the man who he believes “palls around with terrorist” he played his position.

Joe Biden:

“All of the things they said about Barack Obama in the TV, on the TV, at their rallies, and now on YouTube … John McCain could not bring himself to look Barack Obama in the eye and say the same things to him,” Biden said this morning. “In my neighborhood, when you’ve got something to say to a guy, you look him in the eye and you say it to him.”

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