Stay Classy, GOP.

(via Jonathan Martin)

Steve Conn at Rustbelt Intellectual:

The vicious Brown-shirt displays we have seen in the last week at the McShame/Moosehead rallies aren’t the kooks – it is the Republican party – heart and soul – unabashed, unashamed, unhinged. It may make it easier for died-in-the-wool Republicans like Buckley to vote for Obama if they tell themselves that their party has been hijacked by the kooks. In fact, the Republican party has been the party of kooks for a long time.

After John Lewis’s remarks yesterday, John McCain called on the Obama camp to “to immediately and personally repudiate these outrageous and divisive comments that are so clearly designed to shut down debate 24 days before the election.”

It’s a completely tone-deaf response, sure. But it should also cast some skepticism on McCain’s supposed attempts to walk the nutjob contingent back from the ledge. He has a problem with the vitriol insofar as it is politically damaging to him, and as the most prominent member of his party, it’s likely that this mess is hurting Republicans in competitive races around the country.

13 thoughts on “Stay Classy, GOP.

  1. Ananse October 12, 2008 at 2:51 pm Reply

    Question: What has McCain done since casting a vote against the MLK holiday in Arizona to demonstrate, let me repeat, demonstrate a change of perspective? Can anyone answer that question? None of my Republican friends can answer yet they seem content to explain that away, which makes me increasingly uncomfortable. My point? Although implied, I think at his core, McCain and many other Republicans are just like the man in that video. Sans the political veneer, how are we to know that the McCain of 2008 is different from the McCain of 1983?

  2. Big Word October 12, 2008 at 8:42 pm Reply

    I happen to believe that Lewis’ remarks were completely appropiate given the what was going on at those rallies this past week. I don’t see the rationale behind McCain’s call for a denunciation on the part of the Obama campaign.

  3. What Racism? « PostBourgie October 13, 2008 at 7:47 am Reply

    […] it? Anyone taking issue with McCain-Palin supporters wielding monkey dolls or calling black news photographers “uppity Negroes” is just hypersensitive. That […]

  4. scott October 14, 2008 at 9:42 am Reply

    Let me see if I understand this, b/c one member of a group exhibits a trait then all the other other members of that group must exhibit the same trait. One guy at a McCain rally appears to be racist so all Repubs are racist. Sounds like stereotyping to me. However, if the logic holds then are all African Americans anti-Semites based on the statements made by Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrahkan?

  5. LH October 14, 2008 at 10:17 am Reply

    Scott, no one stated or suggested that the behaviour (“trait” is your word) on display at McCain’s recent rallies is indicative of all Republicans, but your “one guy” hypothetical ignores the fact more than one guy “appears to be racist.” It takes real talent to overlook the fact that men and women alike have branded Obama as an Arab and a terrorist, and likened him to, of all things, a monkey–on and offline. All Republicans aren’t racist, but I doubt that even Pat Buchanan would argue against the idea that conservatism in its present form coalesced around the issue of race.

    As to your question about blacks and anti-Semitism, does the name Andy Martin mean anything to you? He’s the man responsible for the Obama-is-a-scary-Muslim rumour and, it so happens, known to file lawsuits that include anti-Semitic slurs. Are all whites ant-Semites based on the statements made by Andy Martin?

    Do better, Scott.

  6. scott October 14, 2008 at 10:20 am Reply


    Funny thing, the title of this thread is “Stay Classy GOP,” not that one guy is a racist.

  7. LH October 14, 2008 at 10:48 am Reply

    Scott, were you aware of that when you responded initially?

  8. scott October 14, 2008 at 10:53 am Reply


    Yes I was and it is why I said something. Perhaps I should have referenced the title in my post but I thought it was obvious.

  9. Big Word October 14, 2008 at 12:02 pm Reply

    So, the GOP adopts a strategy that played to the nutjobs in their party and is summarily called on it. But that’s supposedly wrong because all Republicans aren’t nutjobs? Do I follow you Scott?

  10. quadmoniker October 14, 2008 at 1:22 pm Reply

    This is a party that has catered to the racist vote in an explicit way at least since Reagan’s support of “state’s rights” in a Philadelphia, Miss. speech. If you don’t understand the significance of that, then you should study history.

    McCain is at the top of the Republican party right now, and has much more power to set the agenda than he would like you to know. Rather than force the Republican platform to adopt his moderate views on things like immigration, he has shifted dramatically to the right for his own personal gain. And he has adopted the use of coded, and not-so-coded, racist language. When he and Palin make speeches in which they say Obama pals around with terrorists, they don’t spell out that the terrorist they mean is a white guy who did things in the 70s and is now an education reformer. They want people to think of another kind of terrorist. They create the rhetorical space for people to yell racist things in a crowd, and they engender a mob mentality. The responsibility for that lies beyond any individual in the crowd.

  11. scott October 14, 2008 at 2:28 pm Reply


    So you are saying that all people in the GOP are racist? That seems to be a very broad statement.
    The Washington Monthly wrote a piece on the subject and was more fair to Reagan than you are.

    Big Word:

    No, I do think think not all Repub are nutjobs just like I don’t think all Dems are baby killing bleeding heart liberals.

  12. shani-o October 14, 2008 at 2:40 pm Reply

    Hey Scott, where’ve you been?!

    Not to speak for QM, but I think what she’s getting at is this: the MO of the GOP leadership is to use coded language and create a space which fosters racism and other bigoted behavior within the party. Obviously not all individuals within the party are racist/sexist/whackadoos, but the party leaders and the way it generally operates lend to that environment.

    Conversely, the Democratic party, which shoots for an inclusive environment from top-level down (or, at least tries to, considering all the party leaders save Obama are white) and does not suffer or encourage the same sort of hateful rhetoric, still manages to have more than a few racists, sexists and bigots affiliated within it.

    It’s not about all the members of a group behaving badly, it’s about the kind of discussion the group itself encourages and discourages. So, in sum, when telling the GOP to “stay classy,” it’s not about every single member of the party, it’s about the behavior of the party leaders and the record the party itself has.

  13. ladyfresshh October 14, 2008 at 3:29 pm Reply

    Scott – Where are these appalled republicans who are not represented by these extremists? I’ve heard more silence and more than a few titters than i have protests against the people are continue to represent the republican party in this poor light. If you do not wish to be represented and viewed in this way you and they will have to do a harder job of battling this and less towing the party line because quite frankly they are winning.

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