Posted by: Randy Allgaier | August 16, 2008

Gotta keep a sense of humor? McCain has a warped one!


The presumptive Republican presidential nominee was asked by a reporter if he had a response to the best-selling “Obama Nation” by Jerome Corsi, which repeats discredited allegations about Obama and portrays him as a stealth radical with extensive Muslim ties’ McCain stepped toward the reporter, and the journalist repeated the question: “The Jerome Corsi book? That book, ‘Obama Nation,’ Jerome Corsi, that some people are asking . . .”

The senator replied, “Gotta keep your sense of humor,” and the media were escorted from the room as scheduled at the end of a breakfast meeting.

I guess Mr. McCain has a warped sense of humor. After all- he loves jokes about beating his wife and that make fun of Chelsea Clinton’s looks. Boy he’s a laugh riot! And then there is that hysterical little ditty- “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” or his knee slapper about cigarette imports into Iran.
Mr. Corsi’s books and articles are nothing but lies and innuendos. Did Mr. McCain think it was funny when Mr. Corsi wrote an article in February of this year where he linked McCain’s campaign to the Russian mob?

Eight years ago John McCain took the New Hampshire primary and was favored to win in South Carolina. Had he succeeded, he would likely have thwarted the presidential aspirations of George W. Bush and become the Republican nominee. But Bush strategist Karl Rove came to the rescue with a vicious smear tactic.

Rove invented a uniquely injurious fiction for his operatives to circulate via a phony poll. Voters were asked, “Would you be more or less likely to vote for John McCain…if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?” This was no random slur. McCain was at the time campaigning with his dark-skinned daughter, Bridget, adopted from Bangladesh.

I guess McCain went into guffaws of laughter about that one! Yeah smearing someone with lies and innuendo is quite the joke isn’t .

According to McCain’s press aide, Brooke Buchanan, the Senator didn’t hear the remark. My response to that is “Bull Cookies” or the poor guy now needs a hearing aid. But we know how vicious Mr. McCain can be- so I am sure he heard EVERY word.

One of Corsi’s claims in his book is that “Obama wants to will all the white blood out of himself so he can become pure black “. It is so absurd maybe it’s laughable in that regard- but there are some red neck yahoos who believe such nonsense. Oh yeah- they also believe that the moon landing was staged in a television studio too.

But for some reason a lot of this election is hinging on the support of the downscale white voter. They are sometimes disparagingly called “lunch bucket” Democrats. I have shied away from this phrase thinking it was rather condescending. But then I saw some of these people being interviewed in West Virginia and Kentucky. They’d never vote for Obama because he’s Islam- his middle name is Hussein. As one of them said- “We’ve had enough with them Husseins!” Well- I’ll now take the “lunch bucket: phrase and call these people what they really are- a bunch of ignorant white trailer trash. Senator Webb can be as diplomatic as he would like as he tries to explain the culture of the “Scots Irish” – but the bottom line is they are ignorant.

We have our own education system and depressed economy in Appalachia and other areas in the rural South to thank for this ignorance. Maybe a little investment in education would be useful but none the less these people are incredibly ignorant- and they seem to be key in this election. I think that democracy relies on an informed electorate, not an uninformed one.

I have no illusions that much of the audience to whom Corsi’s book is aimed at won’t read it. Watching professional wrestling, a demolition derby or NASCAR with a six pack of beer and a TV dinner is the more preferred way to pass the time for these folks that reading a book.

Nevertheless- the book will make it into the ether and bits and pieces of it will make their way into these folks’ heads through the ranting of the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, G. Gordon Liddy and other right wing talk radio blowhards.

The publisher of Corsi’s trash talk screed is Threshold Editions, a division of Simon & Schuster whose chief editor is Mary Matalin, the former Republican operative turned publisher-pundit. And it is a significant, early success for Ms. Matalin’s three-year-old imprint, which is also planning to publish the memoirs of Karl Rove, President Bush’s longtime political guru. Threshold says it has undertaken an extensive printing effort for anticipated demand, with 475,000 copies of “The Obama Nation” produced so far.

According to an August 13th New York Times article about the book, Ms. Matalin said in an interview that the book “was not designed to be, and does not set out to be, a political book,” calling it, rather, “a piece of scholarship, and a good one at that.”

In a piece about the book on the Huffington Post.com, Richard Silverstein gave Ms. Matalin a huge benefit of the doubt when it came to this inane statement. Silverstein wrote in an August 13th piece, “Given that she’s married to James Carville, I assume the woman has his rather impish sense of humor and that she held her hand over her mouth to conceal her laughter while she made this comment. Otherwise, perhaps she was on drugs.”

I decided not to be so generous and to see what gives Ms. Matalin the credibility to judge a piece of scholarship. Did she write a doctorate dissertation on political theory or even political operation? What is her experience with scholarship? As it turns out- not a whole lot. Ms. Matalin went to Western Illinois University and then went to Hofstra University Law School only to drop out after a year. Yes she has a college education but it is not exactly an educational pedigree that gives her scholar credibility to truly judge. She’s nothing more than a political operative.

The Obama campaign has brilliantly reacted forcefully but not defensively. They don’t want to repeat the mistake Kerry made by ignoring Corsi’s Kerry-bashing book “Unfit to Command”.  In the Obama campaign’s 41 page treatise “Unfit for Publication” which exposes Corsi’s “The Obama Nation” for what it is; the campaign address Ms. Matalin’s claim that it is “good scholarship in the preface:

“Corsi’s falsehoods about Barack Obama have been discredited by numerous news organizations, which have questioned his “scholarship,” his conclusions, and his ideological bent. This report will take you through the allegations point by point. Despite Corsi’s high opinion of his own scholarly abilities—he childishly touts the number of footnotes it contains, for example—he gets many of even the most basic facts wrong, like the year the Obamas got married.”The preface also pulls no punches about Corsi.

“Of course, the lies in “The Obama Nation” almost pale in comparison to the bizarre, conspiratorial views that Jerome Corsi has advocated in his broader work. He believes that President Bush is trying to merge the United states with Mexico and Canada. He believes that there is a literally unending supply of oil beneath the ground. And in perhaps the gravest sign that his views can’t be trusted, he alleges a government cover-up of the 9/11 attacks and denies that airplanes were to blame for the towers’ collapse.

And it doesn’t stop there. Corsi has penned a litany of bigoted, hateful comments—crossing the line so thoroughly that even the right-wing operatives behind Swift Boat Veterans for Truth disavowed him. This is a man who smears the Catholic Church, calls the Pope “senile,” and regularly demeans public servants in vile sexual and racial terms. In short, his record of attacks is disgusting and false, and so is this book.”

That about says it all, but there is one more little tidbit that seals the deal about Mr. Corsi’s hate spewing pen. Sunday, he is set to make an appearance on the well-named “The Political Cesspool” – which, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, is “an overtly racist, anti-Semitic radio show hosted by self-avowed white nationalist James Edwards.” In the past, the show has welcomed some marquee names in the hate movement, including “Christian Identity pastor Pete Peters, Holocaust denier Mark Weber and former Klan boss David Duke.”

My message to Mr. McCain, this book isn’t funny. It is destructive and it is counter to the sort of campaign that you said you wanted to wage. You have repeatedly stated you want a campaign focused on issues, but you and your lap dog Joe Lieberman use innuendo and sleazy tactics to attack Mr. Obama’s character and patriotism. Now you find it funny that someone has written a book which is a pack of lies – Boy have you changed your tune. How would you feel if someone wrote a book that alleged your imprisonment in Viet Nam was part of being a Vietcong operative?

If anyone is interested in reading the truth read “Unfit for Publication”.

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