May 8 , 2008
Swiftboating Barack Obama
The smearing of H. Carl McCall may show how the
corporate media plans to undermine the probable
Democratic candidate for president
Back in 2002 we had a chance to bring the State of New York back to life by electing a new governor. After eight years of that spineless Republican wimp George Pataki, we were afflicted with legislative deadlock, outrageous corporate welfare, rampant patronage appointments, and runaway privatization with its resulting higher taxes and out-of-control spending. Anyone who lived in upstate New York could observe the steady economic decline all around.
The Democratic candidate for governor, then State Comptroller H. Carl McCall, appeared to be an excellent choice to undo the damage done by Pataki and his party. He was strong willed, competent and very experienced with financial management. And four years earlier, when he was running for comptroller, Mr. McCall racked up a higher vote total than did Pataki.
Unfortunately, Mr. McCall went into the Governors race with what turned out to be a fatal handicap. You see, he is black.
H. Carl McCall
It was astonishing to watch Mr. McCall’s campaign collapse after his nomination. Since Republicans are the party of white supremacy, it was no surprise that those people rallied around their spineless white boy Pataki. But the real surprise was how many Democrats, who are a majority in this state, refused to vote for a black man.
The high profile defections within the Democratic Party are a matter of record. For a local example, Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings vigorously supported Andrew Cuomo for Governor. But after Cuomo lost the nomination to Mr. McCall, Jennings undermined his own party and endorsed Pataki.
Jennings initially supported Cuomo because the two of them had a long standing working relationship. But from what I’ve heard, his refusal to endorse Mr. McCall after Cuomo’s defeat left the black community in Albany with the distinct impression that Jennings is an old boy racist. Whatever the short term advantages he accrued by endorsing Pataki, Jennings has been scrambling to repair the damage it caused to his reputation right up to this present day.
Jerry Jennings by himself did not and does not have the power to sabotage a State election, his power has been waning even inside the City of Albany. I think that Jennings, by any account a smart politician, sensed the widespread quiet white backlash against a black Governor. His political error was that he climbed onto the wrong bandwagon, one that did not include the people that he has to deal with on a daily basis.
The Mayor was not the only public persona to sense the white backlash against Mr. McCall. After all, if there had been wide public support for Mr. McCall then even the corporate media would have been reduced to grumbling and spitting. The media owners and managers hate losing control of the public, particularly at election time.
The white reluctance to vote a black person into executive office was quite real. Naturally, the Republicans snickered and sneered about “mud people” or “Canadians” or whatever racist euphemism was current among those people at the time. But Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one in this State, so that should not have mattered.
Diesel Sweeties by R. Stevens. Get The Punchline?
Unlike Republicans, white Democrats are not supposed to hate black people. They are expected to believe that a black person can do anything a white person can do. That would include putting a black person in charge of running the State. Or the country.
That put the white Democrats into a quandary. The problem was that H. Carl McCall was a squeaky clean guy with an excellent record of accomplishment, clearly the better candidate. They had no reason to not vote for him.
Ah, the corporate media came to the rescue of the queasy white Democrats. The information manipulators didn’t have much to work with, the crap they came up with was embarrassingly lame. But it was enough for the quiet racism to translate into lost votes.
The handle they used was letterheads. It seems that Mr. McCall had written a bunch letters of recommendation for some folks back home using State of New York stationary.
Never mind that this is a widespread practice among State elected officials, and quite legal. Let’s not compare this to such nonsense as incumbent Governor Pataki’s use of State aircraft and taxpayer money to go on extended vacations all over the world. The scandal slot was empty and this baloney would work well enough.
The local corporate media worked, as usual, in lockstep. The Hearst Times Union, the TV “news,” the AM radio talk show announcers all blathered noise about the “letterhead scandal” at every opportunity. The coordinated propaganda was so intense that I heard some people wonder if Mr. McCall was heading for prison.
Of particular note locally was Alan Chartok, the lord high owner of FM radio station WAMC, and CEO of the Northeast Public Radio Network. Chartok threw himself head over tongue into the task of reminding his listeners about the stupid letterheads.
In the weeks before the election I recall checking in with WAMC throughout the day to play a little game. I would listen to see how much time would pass before Chartok or one of his minions would mention the letterheads. The longest time I caught was not quite fifteen minutes. They even interrupted programmed segments to mention the letterheads.
And it worked. The middle aged upper middle class pseudo-liberals who comprise a large part of Chartok’s audience trust and adore him completely. He rewarded their faith by providing them with a justification for their secret fear of a black man in high public office.
Yes, I listened to these so-called liberals repeat Chartok’s line about how the “scandal“ damaged Mr. McCall’s “electability.” “This is a terrible error of judgment on his part,” I heard one woman say. “This raises questions about his ability to handle the job,” was another dumb comment repeated off the radio. “I don’t think I can vote for him after this,” they all said.
Mr. McCall lost to Pataki by a two to one margin. If you figure that Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one, and most Re-pub radicals obediently vote for their designated candidate, then it turns out that fully half of the registered Democrats in this State did not vote for H. Carl McCall.
If Barack Obama is chosen as the Democratic Party candidate for President of the United States, will we see a repeat of what happened to H. Carl McCall in New York State in 2002 on a national scale?
Hearst Does It's Part
The corporate media has been doing its part. The swiftboating of Mr. Obama has already begun. And I’m already hearing noises from various people who are apparently happy to incorporate the propaganda into their media damaged minds.
I’m referring, of course, to the staccato blather about Mr. Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright of the Trinity Unity Church of Christ in Chicago. I admit that I’m not following the nonsensical details, I don’t have to. I’m mostly interested in the reactions of people who are allowing themselves to absorb the swiftboating.
Now, let me stop a moment and clear up one thing. I do not enthusiastically endorse Mr. Obama as the best possible person for the job of president, nor do I think that he can automatically repair the tremendous damage that the Republican traitors have deliberately inflicted upon our once proud nation. I don’t think that any one person is capable of rebuilding our country, that job is up to you and me.
Barack Obama Campaigning
I do support Mr. Obama as the best of the three presidential candidates that the corporate media has allowed us to consider. Admittedly that’s not saying much. Ms. Clinton has been acting an awful lot like Jerry Jennings lately, digging herself a deep latrine pit and climbing inside. And as for Insane John McCain...
My god, why would anyone vote for someone who’s prone to out of control tantrums? Who would want him near the nuclear launch button? There are few things uglier than an elderly person who never grew out of being a spoiled rich kid.
As if that wasn’t enough, McCain has already made it clear that he wants to continue the War Against Iraq, and expand it into Iran. If you think Cheney and Bush are doing a good job, and you hate America, then McCain is your boy.
As for this nonsense about Mr. Obama’s former pastor, is it really about attitudes and beliefs? No, of course not. If it was, then we would hear all about McCain’s bizarre and scary religious leaders, the ones who define exactly what he is, and what he and his kind want to do to this country..
Take this guy Rod Parsley, who McCain has called a “spiritual guide.” This head of a “megachurch” in Ohio maintains that it is our country’s destiny to fight and destroy Islam. He calls Allah “a demon spirit.” And oh yeah, he thinks all the problems with our country are caused by homosexuals.
McCain With Rod Parsley
Or John Hagee, head of another “megachurch” in Texas. He doesn’t like Catholics very much. He calls the Catholic church “the whore of Babylon” and “a false cult system.” He also blames all our problems on gay folk.
No, the whole media thing about Mr. Obama’s former pastor had nothing to do with "values." It was simply the first round of swiftboating, the negative branding of the likely Democratic candidate.
This first round is meant to remind all the white people that Mr. Obama is black. The message is that he is black black black black and nothing else. No thoughts, feelings, political positions, experience or competency. He’s just plain black.
I can’t say exactly what will come next out of the corporate media’s butthole. I’m sure the slander will be long and relentless. And it will be calculated to isolate voters according to race.
But I know one thing about the upcoming swiftboating of Mr. Obama. The corporate media will be scratching around to provide an excuse for secret racists so that they don’t have to vote for a black person. And when they find that excuse, they will ram it into all of our heads until all other thoughts about the campaign are completely forgotten.
This media bombardment defeated H. Carl McCall in New York State in 2002. And I see no reason why it will not work again five years later across the nation. And if it doesn't work, I've already been hearing people say, "They'll never let Obama get to the White House. They'll shoot him first."
Yes, "they" may very well decide to do so.
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