Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sifting Through The Sewer For Votes

Over the years, we’ve had our complaints about some positions by U.S. Rep. Harold Ford, but if there are any lingering doubts about who to vote for in this year’s Senate race, they should end with the most recent ad by the National Republican Committee.

And it's rare for us to even comment on campaigns, because our primary interest is policy, not politics, but at this point, to us, a vote for Congressman Ford has become quite simply a vote for common decency and repudiation of slick racism delivered in a recent ad.

At a time when we thought it was impossible to imagine that the Republican Party could go too far in its hysterical quest to hold onto the Senate, the RNC managed to show just how despicable it can be.

We now know with complete certainty that there’s no fear that’s too out of bounds to manipulate, there’s no innuendo too crass to whisper, and now, we know, there’s no racism too tempting to exercise.

Klan Mentality

That became clear in the RNC’s most recent advertisement. In it, the Republican strategists show no hesitation in summoning up the ghosts of Southern racism in hopes of appealing to the Klan mentality that shudders at the thought of a white woman defiled by the wandering eyes of a black man.

And yet, that’s the message of the most recent “I met Harold at the Playboy Party” ad inflicted on Tennesseans by the Republican National Committee. The blonde woman – who hardly measures up to the standards for a job at Hooter’s much less the Playboy Club – ends the ad suggestively, “Harold, call me.”

Anyone with even a moderate level of emotional intelligence gets it.

It’s all about black men and white women. Emmett Till was killed 51 years ago for whistling at a white woman in the Mississippi Delta, and apparently, we’re to get the message that Rep. Ford deserves a political lynching, because we know that he’s been cavorting with white women at a Playboy Club (only inside-the-beltway thinking could imagine the club as anything as a meaningless anachronism of another time).

Strom, Where Are Ye

Where is Strom Thurmond when his party needs him? Even under the influence of three years of embalming fluid, a smile must be flickering across his face.

The real merit of a person or an organization is measured when under the greatest stress. It’s always a unfailing indication of their real character. With this ad, the Republican Party delivers prima facie evidence of how bankrupt it is, morally and politically, and how it will do absolutely anything for power.

In the wake of this ad, we think of Joseph Welch, counsel for the Army, who finally faced down the demagoguery of Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy with the words: “Until this moment, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness…You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of dencency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

We are convinced now that we have the answer from the Republican National Committee. As for former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker, he sullies his reputation by leaving it up to surrogates to distance him from the ad’s vile content. Of course, the cynical among us see it as a “two-fer” for Mr. Corker - he gets credit for criticizing the ads while benefiting from the racism that it delivers relentlessly to our living rooms.

Racial Slime

And yet, there is nothing in Mr. Corker’s past that indicates that he agrees with this kind of racist campaigning. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, if he is elected senator, he’ll need to be sandblasted to get the racial slime that’s attached to him as a result of this campaign. And that’s unfortunate for him as well as Tennessee.

Sometimes, we have to take a stand for our own values and our sense of morality. We hope this isn’t a battle for his political soul that Mr. Corker loses.

This advertisement appeals to the basest nature of our Southern culture, and all of us should condemn it. And it gets most effectively delivered in a message on Election Day to the Republican National Committee that we’ve simply and completely had enough.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to figure out what is more tacky....the RNC commercial that implies miscegenation on behalf of Harold Ford, Jr., or the postings of Smart City Consulting, saying "Even under the influence of 3 years of embalming fluid", speaking of Sen. Strom Thurmond. Please know, your liberal angst is showing! Your own hatred and contempt of everything in Memphis is so hypocritical. You bitch and never offer any solution. It must be nice to sit in your ivory tower and write your postings all day. You're no better than any RNC ad writers.

"I will let no man drag me down so low as to make me hate him". Booker T. Washington.

Anonymous said...

Um, a solution was offered....vote Democratic.

BraveCordovaDem said...

I consider myself a moderate Democrat and do not necessarily subscribe to the DLC line. One thing that keeps me in the “D” column is that Democratic candidates tend to run on issues more. Although Ford is no angel, most of his ads focus on Corker’s issues stances where Corker’s ads either are personal or they distort Ford’s record.

Corker should be more issue oriented. He should more strongly voice his objection to these sleazy ads. The stations also should refuse to air them. I am sure that they can fill up the air space adequately with out the sleaze.

Smart City Consulting said...

Actually, we didn't think it was liberal or conservative to recognize Strom Thurmond for what he was. And if we believed it in life, we sure believe it in death. Gosh, this is an ivory tower? Now go take that blood pressure medicine.

Larry said...

Let's see ... your solution for muckraking by one candidate is vote for the other muckraking candidate?

I would suggest you vote for neither.

Socialists can vote for the Green Candidate Chris Lugo while others can vote for David "none of the above" Gatchell.

I think Ford supporters are grasping for straws after his Memphis Meltdown to call the ad racist. Would you have preferred a black bimbo to the blonde bimbo? Oh but wait, you would have called that racist too for protraying a black woman as a bimbo.

Using a black woman would have been misleading since it is well-known that Junior has shown a preference for white women.

I don't have an issue with Junior going to a Playboy party. Heck, he's a young, single man. Does it illustrate he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and leads lifestyle out of sync with most of constituents? I don't know and I don't care because that is from the politics of envy.

Of course, Junior hypocritically plays the politics of envy too even tho he inherited his position.

BraveCordovaDem, what color is the sky on your world? The thing that keeps me out of the D column on most elections has been lack of focus by the dems on issues. I hear a steady stream of Hate Bush, Impeach Bush, Bush Lied, Blame Bush for everything.

The democrat who does talk about issues is Cohen ... and Junior refuses to endorse him. If Ford can't be loyal to a fellow democrat, then why should other democrats be loyal to him?

Smart City Consulting said...

We've cast some votes for lost causes and others that were symbolic, but this time around, the stakes are too high to waste a vote on an exercise like that. We've got to get in the fight to change things, and right now, the Green Party just doesn't factor in that equation, sadly.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Smart City Consulting said...

Sorry, anonymous, but you just make us tired, and so we've deleted you for now. Your ad hominem, largely juvenile comments never advance a discussion.

Larry said...

The Green Party, the Libertarian Party, etc., will all continue to be a non-factor until Instant Runoff Voting is instituted.

Too many people are casting "defensive" votes in that they aren't voting for a candidate they support but voting against a candidate they dislike.

With IRV, they wouldn't need to fear "throwing away" their votes.

Sam said...

ITS JUST SO REVOLTING, SUCH AN INSULT, TO SEE THIS ON TV. WE NEED TO GO OUT ON THE STREETS AND SEND THE REPS. A MESSAGE THAT THIS STUFF DOES NOT WORK.
GO HERE FOR VOLUNTEER IDEAS
http://domorethanvote.org/

Anonymous said...

I saw the commercial and felt absolutely no racial undertones. I did not feel the need to perform a "political lynching". I took it for what it was - Harold goes to Playboy Club parties. So what. Not a factor in my vote. It is certainly better than IMing pages!

Maybe you should look at yourself - if you saw the ad and immediately thought 'white woman, black man' then maybe the racism is inside your own mentality, because I only considered something like that after other people suggested it. Perhaps you are just from a different generation where racism was more ingrained.

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