[UPDATE: Is it on or off? John McCain clearly doesn't know how to control bigot eruptions in his own party -- first there was an announcement by Charlie Black that the ad was pulled by the NCGOP; state party chair Linda Daves says it's still a go for the color arousal show. A number of local stations are refusing to run it.]
Initial version cross-posted at Pam's House Blend.
As a native North Carolinian (and current Durham resident), I can tell you that the bottom-feeding video from the NC GOP, supposedly about Dem gubernatorial candidates Bev Perdue and Richard Moore (both endorsed Obama), is standard operating procedure for a state party in a death spiral.
That it is trying to link those candidates' support for Obama to Rev. Wright (how weak is this?) to generate color arousal is not only disgraceful, but a prime example of what kind of games we will see in the fall.
The bottom line is that the GOP wants Hillary Clinton as an opponent. They know they can run a successful campaign against her, so this is their attempt to stir the pot. And as Barack Obama said, all the race-baiting that the Clintons have tossed out there so far is just a warm up compared to what's coming from the Republican machine.
Well that time is now. Echoes of Jesse Helms tactics...
“Narrator: For twenty years, Barack Obama sat in his pew listening to his pastor.
Jeremiah Wright: And then wants us to sing God Bless America. No, no, no. Not God Bless America, God (censored) America.
Narrator: Now Bev Perdue and Richard Moore endorse Barack Obama. They should know better. He’s just too extreme for North Carolina
Chairman Linda Daves: The North Carolina Republican Party sponsored this ad opposing Bev Perdue and Richard Moore for North Carolina Governor.”
Extreme? Please. And it's not just Dems reacting with alarm to this ad. John McCain has told the NC GOP to cease and desist - and the wingnuts here in this state will have none of it.
McCain urged state party leaders to withhold the advertisement, calling it "offensive."
"This ad does not live up to the very high standards we should hold ourselves to in this campaign," McCain said in a letter e-mailed to state GOP chairwoman Linda Daves.
GOP spokesman Brent Woodcox argued that despite the ad's overwhelming focus on Obama, the spot is targeted at Democratic gubernatorial candidates Richard Moore and Bev Perdue, who have both endorsed the Illinois senator.
"We have a great relation with the RNC and we fully support John McCain for president," Woodcox said. "But this is an ad about two North Carolina candidates for governor. The ad is going to run."
All that said, this "outrage" by McCain allows him to distance himself from the race-baiting and smears, but the filth gets out there anyway. That's your preview playbook for the fall. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Here is the blather from Linda Daves of the NC GOP about the ad.
It is no secret that Barack Obama has also received scrutiny recently for his ties to controversial figures, such as his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, and former Weather Underground terrorist, William Ayers. This ad presents a question of patriotism and judgment. It is entirely appropriate for voters to evaluate candidates based on their past associations. The people whom a candidate surrounds himself with during a campaign are the same ones that will follow that candidate into office if elected. Unfortunately, in Barack Obama’s run for the White House, he has chosen to associate himself with the wrong people.
Likewise, Richard Moore and Beverly Perdue in their pursuit of the Governor’s mansion have not chosen their associations wisely. Beverly Perdue was linked to Thomas Betts, a member of the North Carolina Board of Transportation. Betts later resigned amid allegations that he was raising money for Perdue’s gubernatorial campaign. Richard Moore has been closely linked to Wall Street executives with whom he has formed ties while managing the state’s pension fund for N.C. government employees. These same executives and their employees have donated thousands of dollars to Moore’s campaign for Governor. These associations have brought stains on the character of both candidates. The Democrat candidates also show poor judgment and a lack of leadership by endorsing Barack Obama, a man too liberal for North Carolina and linked to extremist figures throughout his political career.
Come on, this is a ridiculous press release, but it is the kind of garbage you'd expect from this state's GOP.
The party is so off-the-rails extreme that Republican transplants to this area from other parts of the country don't know what to think of the bible-thumping flat-earth set that is firmly established and in control. The country club, pro-business set within the party detests the backward-thinking winger crowd because they know it's bad for business, but the Old South mentality in key positions of power is stunting any progress into the 21st century for the party.
As more folks from other metro areas move here, these fossils will be replaced.
One such fossil is House Minority Leader Paul "Skip" Stam (NC-37), a sponsor of the failed marriage amendment bill (check out his platform). He's in one of the fastest growth areas (Apex, Cary, Fuquay Varina, Holly Springs, New Hill, Willow Spring) in the state and it's fertile for change. Challenging him is progressive ally Ed Ridpath. This is a race to watch.
As I said in an earlier post on the Wright matter -- this kind of ad plays into racial discomfort/color arousal.
I think this episode with Rev. Wright exposed the whole "scary black revolution" primal fear here.
When I heard Wright, I heard a delivery not unlike the unhinged gay-bashing Rev. Willie Wilson (Wright is actually gay-affirming, btw). The delivery sounds so angry, so harsh to many. You get the feeling, based on the reaction out there, that people are afraid Barack Obama by association, is some sort of Trojan Horse of Black Anger waiting to be unleashed, prepared to exact revenge on white society by pulling their wool over their eyes by appearing friendly, "articulate" and non-threatening. In other words -- not that [Wright] kind of black guy.
What the continued pounding on the association is trying to reinforce is attention to Obama's blackness. Many progressives have idealized him as a "post-racial" candidate, however in order to be post-racial, our society has to be over racial conflicts and lack of communication about difference. As we all have seen, no conversations of substance occur in the MSM, and until Obama's speech that was specifically about race, no one was challenging people to think about what hasn't been discussed, because the topic is so uncomfortable.
The GOP has no problem tapping into primal fears that we don't want to talk about.
Speaking of bias, regarding the state of the NC GOP, Besse believes that it's a party in crisis, illustrated by the gubernatorial primary, as the Republicans decide whether to circle the wagons around Pat McCrory, who's no friend of the gays, but is a more business-friendly Republican, and homophobe Fred Smith, who is backed by the fundies.I think there is an element, as in many states of course, for whom that kind of explicitly unwelcoming, unaccepting and intolerant spirit is a selling point. And he will win some votes, certainly in the primary and lesser percentage in the general election if he makes it, on that basis...I think our state has changed enough for the good that we will have as many people who would vote against him as those who would vote for him in the election...An element of the business-based Republicans is worried about that, and rightly so, that it's bad for business, and that's the only thing they care about. They would rather have someone who has the image of being moderate on social issues.
I mean, take a look at the insane party platform. Forgiveness for divorce is kindly offered, but no mercy for the homos.
The ideal environment for raising children is a two-parent family where a husband and wife live in harmony in one home.We praise the courageous efforts of single parents who work hard to provide stable homes.We recognize that single parents often succeed and that two-parent families sometimes fail.
...Homosexual behavior is not normal and should not be taught as acceptable in public education or in public policy.Public schools should not be used to teach children that homosexual behavior is normal.Taxpayers should not fund benefit plans for unmarried partners.We support federal and state constitutional amendments to ensure that marriage is limited to the union of one man and one woman.We oppose the adoption or foster parenting of children by same sex couples.
...Government should treat all citizens fairly and impartially and should assure equal opportunity without regard to wealth, race, religion, sex, or national origin.We oppose all forms of invidious discrimination.We oppose efforts to include sexual orientation as a category under civil rights laws.
Womb control is part of the agenda as well.
We also support the adoption of a human life amendment to the constitution. We stand with the overwhelming majority of Americans who oppose efforts to mandate legalized abortion or to fund local, national, or international organizations that provide or promote abortion services.
Mind you, our legislature is Dem-controlled, so these Neanderthal beliefs have been held in check for several cycles. This is why the state party has to go to extreme measures to rally the Base. Unfortunately, the GOP here has nothing to offer voters. It's nice to see that party draw national attention for its bigotry, pettiness and narrow thinking. It's all good.
Now let's take a trip in the time capsule and let Jesse show you how it's done. In his 1990 "Hands" ad. Dem Harvey Gantt had a lead in the polls and watched it evaporate when this started airing:
"You needed that job, and you were the best qualified, but they had to give it to a minority, because of a racial quota. Is that really fair? Harvey Gantt says it is. Gantt supports Ted Kennedy's racial quota law that makes the color of your skin more important than your qualifications. Your vote on this issue next Tuesday. For racial quotas, Harvey Gantt. Against racial quotas, Jesse Helms."
The NC GOP clearly wasn't invited to the below RNC strategy session that was brainstorming about how to handle the Nouveau Southern Strategy -- it straight for for lowbrow "undisciplined messaging." (see below). That or they are simply willing to be the patsy bigot brigade for McCain and the RNC.
GOP fears charges of racism, sexism
The Republican National Committee has commissioned polling and focus groups to determine the boundaries of attacking a minority or female candidate, according to people involved. The secretive effort underscores the enormous risk senior GOP operatives see for a party often criticized for its insensitivity to minorities in campaigns dating back to the 1960s.
The RNC project is viewed as so sensitive that those involved in the work were reluctant to discuss the findings in detail. But one Republican strategist, who asked that his name be withheld to speak candidly, said the research shows the daunting and delicate task ahead.
..."Being an African American at the top of the ticket, if he makes it, is such a great statement about the country," he added, "Obviously you have to be sensitive to issues that affect urban America. ...You have to be careful."
GOP operatives have already coined a term for clumsy rhetoric: "undisciplined messaging." It appears as a bullet point in a Power Point presentation making the rounds among major donors, party leaders and surrogates. The presentation outlines five main strategic attacks against an Obama candidacy, with one of them stating how "undisciplined messaging carries great risk."
..."Fair or unfair, but that’s going to be a reality," said GOP strategist John Weaver, a longtime confidant of John McCain. "The P.C. [politically correct] police will be out and the standards will be very narrow."
And do you think Liddy Dole has denounced the ad? Please. Don't hold your breath for a response to the letter sent to her office by the NCDP.