Put away the dog whistles. The McCain campaign and its supporters are coming right out and playing the whole deck of the race cards.
First, Josh Marshall summarizes it neatly:
Stripped down to its components McCain’s message to voters is this: “Don’t forget. He’s definitely black. And he may be a terrorist.” That’s the message. The nuts and bolts is a concerted effort to keep Democrats from voting — through intimidation, by striking new voters from the rolls, which is going to happen to lots of them, clogging polling stations to create delays that keep late day (predominantly) Obama voters from voting altogether. Smears in the air and voter suppression on the ground.
Notice also that the McCain campaign has been calling Sen. Obama’s tax plan to cut taxes on the middle class “welfare,” a loaded word to the right wing that harks back to Reagan’s railing against “welfare queens” in their Cadillacs and who were invariably black. But brace yourself for the predictable response when you call them on it: “class warfare!” Yeah, they light the fuse and are so surprised when the bomb goes off.
And then there’s the response to the endorsement by Colin Powell. Both George F. Will and Pat Buchanan boil it down to the obvious fact that the only reason he did it was because he’s black. Mr. Will made his pronouncement on ABC:
And I think this adds to my calculation — this is very hard to measure — but it seems to me if we had the tools to measure we’d find that Barack Obama gets two votes because he’s black for every one he loses because he’s black because so much of this country is so eager, a, to feel good about itself by doing this, but more than that to put paid to the whole Al Sharpton/Jesse Jackson game of political rhetoric.
Yeah, lumping Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson in with Colin Powell makes sense because, y’know, they’re black.
And Pat Buchanan can always be counted on for hitting it out of the park:
Alright, we gotta ask a question, look would Colin Powell be endorsing Obama if he were a white liberal democrat…
I suppose we should be amazed that people like Mr. Will and Mr. Buchanan would completely overlook the reasons Sec’y Powell stated he wasn’t supporting Mr. McCain — his indecisiveness and his questionable judgment in choosing Sarah Palin — and his reasons for supporting Mr. Obama; by their reasoning, the only thing that matters is that he’s black. But not really. Desperation can do that to you.