Dean: Is McCain a Puppet … or a Racist?

I taped a MI political talking heads show this morning–if I don’t suck too badly, I should have a link to it tomorrow (just as a preview, though, the cameramen were apparently upset that I said "pissed" so often, six times … and here I was congratulating myself I avoided "fuck"). One of the Republicans was "pissed" that I brought up that McCain, a guy who married into a $100 million fortune, suggested that our economic problems were "psychological" so often.

One regret I have, though, is that we didn’t start talking about the NC Republicans’ race-baiting ad until after the cameras had stopped rolling. NPR had done a story on it while I was driving–and they credulously, sheepishly, accepted McCain’s and the RNC’s claims that they had asked the NC GOP not to run the ad. "Chumps!" I said to myself in the car. "Only chumps would believe the presumptive head of the Republican Party couldn’t get the NC GOP to withhold the ad if he wanted to." Digby says it better:

St McCain has written one of his patented sanctimonious letters saying that he doesn’t approve of these awful ads. He’s very upset and wants them to take them down. (Isn’t he awesome?) Sadly, they told him no. It’s really too bad the presumptive head of the Republican party he really can’t control what those terrible people are doing. C’est la vie! At least we all know where St. McCain stands on the issue and that his heart is totally in the right place.

So I was glad to see Howard Dean channeling Digby:

This is a test of leadership for John McCain. If he can’t pick up the phone and make members of his own party stop airing a television ad he claims to oppose, how can he lead our country through an economic crisis or the war in Iraq? After shifting his positions on gun control, immigration and tax cuts throughout this campaign, McCain should not equivocate on this issue. Making a show of releasing your emails to the press is not leadership. If he is serious, he will get this ad pulled.

And the DNC piles on, noting all the people involved in the ad that McCain has direct authority over.

While the McCain campaign made a show of protesting the ad, McCain made no mention of the fact that key officials in the North Carolina GOP are members of McCain’s state steering committee and McCain donors.

Nor did he mention the fact that the state chair who is bucking his leadership is a member of the arrangements committee of the Republican National Convention. Given his ties to state Republican leaders, if McCain is serious about making sure this ad never airs, he should have no trouble making it happen. If not, McCain should return their contributions, remove them from his campaign committees, and strip the state chair from her role on the GOP’s convention committee.

We need to hammer this hard. As Digby rightly predicted, McCain will try to have it both ways throughout this campaign, playing dumb with the very party he’s auditioning to run, all the while benefiting from its hate-mongering. As Dean points out, it’s quite simple. Either McCain is an impotent leader. Or he must pull this ad.

57 replies
  1. JimWhite says:

    Geez, can’t this guy learn? He should have followed Huckabee’s lead and called a press conference to show the ad he’s denouncing. That would have saved the Repbulicans in North Carolina a lot of money because then it would be the news programs showing the ad instead of it playing in paid slots.


  2. MadDog says:

    Shorter Corporate MSM:

    “St. McCain was the “tough as nails” warrior when he tut-tutted the NC Republicans’ race-baiting ad. We’d climb in a foxhole with him any day (or night)! Does he like Chanel # 5? Oh lawdy, We’re gonna git sum tonite!”

  3. JimWhite says:

    I think Obama should make an ad with this one running in the background and then go on to outline just what McCain could have done to make it stop immediately (or never to have been shown in the first place). He can finish with pointing out the hypocrisy of how McCain is now bringing to North Carolina the very strategy that Bush used to beat him in South Carolina in 2000.

    • brendanx says:

      I saw footage of McCain last night, taken with a hand-held camera traipsing around some dilapidated and seemingly abandoned shacks in Appalachia on part of his poverty tour. He looked like a ridiculous old gaffer. Even more ridiculous was the voice over about McCain “…reaching out to blue collar voters” — “blue collar” now means white, even if you’re the rural jobless.

  4. brendanx says:


    Ooh, “impotent”. McCain would call you a “trollop” if he heard that…again.

    • emptywheel says:

      As part of my training for my Haggis and Beamish pilgrimage next week, mr. emptywheel is actually training me to say c***, which is actually a civilized word in Scotland and Ireland (mr. ew uses it, for example, when he spills milk and the like, when we would say fuck). He says I can’t use trollop, because that’s a very bad word–to call your wife, anyway–in Ireland and Scotland.

    • emptywheel says:

      And now that you mention it, I should have used “impotent” in the title. That’s the kind of thing that’s likely to spur one of those legendary temper tantrums from McCain.

      We’re approximately 3 public temper tantrums and 5 more senior moments from a landslide.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      One, Ms. Dowd has a lock on the trollop thingy. Two, as for impotent, you thought McCain’s blue pills were for his migraines?

  5. LabDancer says:

    & after the tall Illinois lawyer had debated the stumpy little hawkish senior Senator …wha’ happened?

    I would state that I am shocked that the Party of Lincoln is about to run a national surrogate campaign as the Party of Apartheid but it would not be true.

    Ach…its all part of the Transformative Candidacy I ’spose.

    And maybe the worst that happens is the Dems keep the White House & Congress for a generation or two until conservatives reorganize themselves around the philosophy of Ron Paul.

    Its getting ugly out there.

  6. drational says:

    While the Obamaphile and Clintonite children are ripping each other’s throats, McCain is in their house seducing their parents….

    His core constituency doesn’t need to see him make the race-baiters stop, and your mom and grandma are satisfied that he “distanced himself” from the ads, Howard Dean be damned.

    Plus the fact that he is headlining Bloomberg with this

    “Never again will a disaster of this nature be handled in this terrible and disgraceful manner,” McCain said after a walking tour of the Lower Ninth Ward, a predominantly black neighborhood that was devastated by Katrina. “History will judge this president,” he said. “This was an unacceptable scenario.’

    There is no doubt that McCain is after the middle and will get it until the Clinton/Obama death match is over.

  7. behindthefall says:

    What is this? I drive over to the office and there are four new posts up! How’s a guy to cope?

  8. LabDancer says:

    per Ms E Wheel @ 13:

    Maybe we need something like those old industrial workplace signs [”123 days without an accident”] that Reagan de-regulation rendered obselete. But with something more eye-catching & alarmist, like the Homeland Security Terror Alert color bar. Just count back to the incident with the woman reporter on…what March 7?… on McNasty’s Straight Trashtalk Exhaust for the first number: ”38 DAYS SINCE LAST OUTBURST”.

    Then you have to get it on cable TV via the Vast Left wing Comedy Conspiracy of Democrats & Liberals Progressive [the Brothers for the brother being respectively Stewart & Olberman & Colbert].

    Then that dickless CNN half-twit John King raises it with him while administering his next massage to the old Cap’n McHook, while an Obama-face attached to a crocodilian body is flashing the pearlies & slowing easing up from underneath …tick tick tick…


  9. zAmboni says:


    I am wondering if the McCain and the RNC is actually a step ahead of everyone. I have nothing against Dean and everyone else here about making sure that McCain has the ad pulled…It is the right thing to do.

    The gist of my point is that it is possible that the ad was never meant to air. They already have gotten the cable outlets and people in the blogosphere to decry the ad, and, of course, gotten the ad plenty of FREE air time by doing so. That was part of the strategy, and they may have thought a step ahead and planned for the outrage, and planned for that also.

    That is why McCain did a feeble attempt at telling them to pull the ad. This makes it look like McCain is taking the high road (while effectively doing nothing). But, the outrage continues, with people saying that McCain is ineffectual…blah blah blah.

    But…guess what then happens….the RNC then does an abrupt about face, and says….Oh McCain is right we will not run the ad. Net effect:

    1) Smear Obama
    2) Outrage
    3) McCain takes the high road
    4) Claims that McCain in ineffectual
    5) Ad “pulled” and although the people who wanted to get the ad “pulled” gets what they want….the RNC gets what they want and more. Controversy, free air time for their ad…but more importantly, the smear is out there and they can claim that McCain IS effectual because the ad was pulled, and as a bounus, they can claim his detractors were wrong about him not being able to do anything about it.

    All of this, probably, because of an ad that was not going to air (or air limitedly). The point of the ad was 1) to smear Obama, and 2) to elicit the exact response that it got.

    Ultimately, I think what needs to be hammered hard is — not the ad itself, or McCain and his ineffectualness — but THE TACTICS OF USING ADS TO SPARK OUTRAGE, GET FREE AIR TIME, WHILE TRYING TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE MCCAIN IS TAKING THE HIGH ROAD. We need to press that BOTH McCain and the RNC is explicitly using these tactics to smear an opponent. McCain is in the gutter with them and we cannot let him skate away from the stink, when his campaign is involved in the implementation of this strategy.

    • emptywheel says:

      This is absolutely, utterly off topic. But important nonetheless.

      But what was the name of the cheese steak place on Michigan, again? I told mr. emptywheel about it and we’re itching to do a Corner Brewery/Cheese steak drive cross-county.

      • zAmboni says:

        But what was the name of the cheese steak place on Michigan, again? I told mr. emptywheel about it and we’re itching to do a Corner Brewery/Cheese steak drive cross-county.

        EW. It is Gabriel’s cheese steaks. I didn’t know but they actually have a website now. A no frills website, but it sorta fits their shop. The food speaks for itself

    • TLinGA says:

      I think it is more important that the DNC pushes the idea that the NCGOP refused initially and it was not until the DNC highlighted it that McCain was able to finally convince the state to cave. McCain the whiner was finally able to beg the state to play nice for the good of the party.

  10. MadDog says:

    “Dean: Is McCain a Puppet … or a Racist?”

    Howard, let’s split the difference and address St. McCain as a “Racist Puppet”.

    Works for me. How about you?

  11. brendanx says:

    I think Democrats should use one word to sum up McCain: Unfit

    I guess “impotent” would go along with this.

  12. MarieRoget says:

    …just viewed the ad on youtube. Slime time. Scurrilous, & putting Linda Daves in her most school marmish outfit @ the tag end doesn’t make it any less so. I recommend scrapping it & Linda doing a short voiceover instead- “The NCGOP approves this message & the rest of y’all can bite me.”

    (Taking an evening flight to Charlotte NC on business; be staying there, plus back & forth to Greenville SC until next Thurs. Will post whatever response to the ad I pick up on, if it does in fact make it onto local tv.)

        • emptywheel says:

          Every time I go on teevee I remember being at my bro-in-law’s Baptist wedding in W. So Carolina. Me and my other bros-in-law (two Irishmen in a foreign Church) were cataloging our blasphemy. I was far and away the most proper–but then “jesusmaryandjoseph” is pretty much a punctuation mark for the Irish.

          But, yeah, I worked hard on the “fuck” thing and apparently it wasn’t good enough.

          • MarieRoget says:

            Camera guys can be so sensitive. It would be hilarious if they bleeped a word like “pissed,” wouldn’t it…Of course they themselves usually swear like sailors, but in front of the sacred lens, OMG.

            They’ll get over it.

            • emptywheel says:

              They’re students (public TV at MSU), and seem like they might not be Varsity swearers.

              BUt just as we were leaving the studio everyone told me there WERE going to bleep it. I think they were just [bleep]ing me, but still.

              • MarieRoget says:

                Oh, those college kids… I guess we’ll have to wait for the vid to see if they were funnin’ w/you.

                Have to pack it up & head over to LAX, so TTFN.

              • Rayne says:

                That’s a load of crap.

                This is the same MSU that’s permitted world-class haters like Nick Griffin to propel their hate speech on campus at the invitation of the only Young Americans for Freedom chapter identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

                Using the word “pissed” is pretty damned tame compared to allowing white supremacists/nationalists to speak on campus in MSU facilities under protection of MSU campus security.

  13. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    FWIW, this reads like:

    McCain: “The fix is in; the money guys are backing Obama and it’s only a matter of time before Hillary concedes. In PA, **some** white voters won’t want to vote for a Black Man. I’ll let my sheepdogs go after those votes on my behalf while I make myself appear as a Sanctified Shepherd.”

    Dean: [a la MEN IN BLACK, where Tommy Lee Jones stops that ‘pseudo illegal alien’ who’s trying to sneak across the border, rips his fake head off and stares right into the face of Mr. Eight Eyeballs]
    “I call bullshit. Pandering is pandering; this year, you don’t get to have it both ways. Consider yourself On Notice.”

    Damn, this is refreshing.

  14. Loo Hoo. says:

    From Huffpo:

    Reid said he would consider writing a joint letter with Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) demanding that superdelegates make their endorsements public.

    “The three of us, we may write a joint letter [to superdelegates],” said Reid. “We might do individual letters, we are in contact with each other.”…

    However, when asked by a reporter if he would be forced to intervene if the undecided superdelegates did not make up their minds, Reid replied “I might have to.”

  15. BooRadley says:

    IMHO, the term “racist” has lost a lot of the jolt that prejudice carries. It may be politically incorrect, but I hope some European American Democrats start using the term “white supremacist.” In the US, that’s the strain of “racism” that does most of the damage.

    Democrats who are not 100% European American cannot say a thing. If they do, they’re “playing the race card.”

    • bobschacht says:

      IMHO, the term “racist” has lost a lot of the jolt that prejudice carries. It may be politically incorrect, but I hope some European American Democrats start using the term “white supremacist.” In the US, that’s the strain of “racism” that does most of the damage.

      Democrats who are not 100% European American cannot say a thing. If they do, they’re “playing the race card.”

      But the real question is, is Hillary’s campaign playing the race card by questioning Obama’s ‘electability’ in rust belt states (such as Ohio-PA-NJ-NY) because he doesn’t draw enough “White Male” voters? Is she really reduced to arguing that she should be the nominee because White Male bigots will vote for her but not for Obama?

      Bob in HI

      • BooRadley says:

        Yeah, I think she is.

        With that said, I’ll still vote for her if she’s the nominee.

        AFAIK, Joe Biden initiated the most recent Democratic wave of what I call “refined” white supremacy with his description of Obama as “clean and articulate.” When that didn’t hurt Biden, JoLie knew the coast was clear to ask, “are you a Bill Clinton Democrat or a Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton Democrat?”

        I think the code word for voters who have ancestors who were slaves is “universal health care.”

  16. LabDancer says:

    Mental Health Self-Examination, Question #43:

    Here are two examples in which the rhetorical device of ”repetition” has been used by a public figure.

    Which one appears more likely to have been chosen by a speaker who is in control of his temper employing a measure of sarcasm as a strategic tool in response to his opponent’s having attempted an emotional appeal?

    Which one appears more likely to have been produced by a speaker who has lost control of his temper caught up in barely restrained insensibility in response to his having been questioned on something for which he has no meritorious response?

    [a] Madness! Madness! Madness!

    [b] It’s nonesense – it’s nonsense – it’s nonesense – it’s nonesense – it’s nonesense. I don’t have anything additional to say. It’s nonesense – it’s nonesense – it’s nonesense. I don’t have anything more to say. It’s nonesense.”

    Per @ 27 – Ms E Wheel: May I suggest that if in fact you do choose to feature the Days Since Last Tantrum sign described above starting today it appears reasonable to set the same at ”zero”.

  17. radiofreewill says:

    OT A guy walks into a crowded bar in Manhattan, works his way to the bartender and orders a Black and Tan.

    While he’s waiting, he overhears an animated conversation behind him.

    “Say, I fancy by your brogue that you’re from the Emerald Isle? Is that so?”

    “Why, yes! That I am! Dublin, actually, Cheers!”

    “No! So am I! Cheers! I’m from a small section of our Sainted town that you’ve probably never heard of, Kilkinney! Cheers!”

    “What? Kilkinney did you say? Well, the little one, Mary and Joseph, too! Not only am I from Kilkinney, I lived on the clover covered lane called McCorkandale! Number 62! Cheers!”

    “62?! Well then, this must have been meant to be! Hooray! Me too! Cheers!”

    About that time the bartender returns with the BnT and the guy says, “How about that? That’s unbelievable! Only in Manhattan could two guys discover that they had lived in the same house – half a world away!”

    The bartender looks over at the two Irishmen, now dancing a jig, and says, “Oh them, that’s just the Clancy Twins – they’re drunk again.”

  18. JohnLopresti says:

    It is unsatisfying to say banned four-letter words in a foreign language. Also, when in a foreign land, it is difficult to show the appropriate scintilla of excitement when local cursewords reference some pious tract or sectarian legend; they know a visitor is alien by the absence of primitive response. And Phoenician expletives serve for naught in most situations, though the deities may be listening and understand the concomitant frustration in the human condition in such moments. I suspect the cameramen at NPR were transplants from the NoNewsIsXNews event where ew also was riled. Way OT, our town’s pub has top flite cuisine and Beamish. We could pretent we had only blogged and did not know each other at all; but it is way on the other side of the nation to drive there, should the two of you be interested, and if the addition on the house is constructed on schedule; a chaotic year in these parts.

  19. JohnLopresti says:

    Oh, and Dean can lecture McAuliffe at the convention in one of those smokefilled backroom events about credentials of the MI delegation.

  20. masaccio says:

    Obama should make a speech saying that if he hears that someone is making a commercial calling McCain a misogynist because of the way he treated his wives, then Obama will demand that they stop, and will fire anyone who makes such a commercial. Same if he hears that there is a commercial saying McCain is too old to be president, or that he has anger management issues.

  21. 4jkb4ia says:

    This is EPUd from last thread. No one will read it anyway.

    Olmert is talking about returning the Golan Heights. This essentially means IMHO that the Palestinian peace process is entirely stalled and he wants to have something positive to talk about.

    Even under the various Clinton plans, Israel would keep some of the West Bank, especially near Jerusalem. Bush was trying to say in the letter that he is making room for organic growth in the settlements that already exist. However perhaps EW was too diplomatic to point out that the illegal “outposts” are certainly a result of market demand *g*

    • radiofreewill says:

      Olmert might be talking about returning the Golan as a ‘give-back’ for that rude little bombing Israel put on Syria.

      It may be a separate issue from the Palestinian Peace Process, or at least it could be.

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