Michael Moynihan of Reason magazine does a brilliant job compiling all of the ridiculous things said over the past week about John McCain’s “Celebrity” ad and distills this message: “the liberal blogosphere has become a virtual Bletchley Park of racial cryptographers.” In his otherwise terrific column, I find one area of disagreement:
It would be wise for the Obama campaign to either discourage or leave these schizophrenic, and often scurrilous, accusations to his legion of online and media supporters. And so far, it has done just that, responding that while the “Celeb” video displayed a deep cynicism, it didn’t suggest racist intent.
It’s true that Obama and his campaign have not yet pronounced the “Celebrity” ad to be racist. But Obama has already injected racial grievance into the campaign, last week telling an audience that “Bush or McCain . . . will make you scared of me. You know, he’s not patriotic enough. He’s got a funny name. You know, he doesn’t look like all those other Presidents on those dollar bills, you know. He’s risky. That’s essentially the argument they’re making.”
For all the negative attention the McCain campaign has been receiving over the past few weeks for his “childish” ad campaign, many liberals have equally, if not more so, sullied their reputations by evincing what can only be described as racial paranoia. Their all-too frequent allegations of racism on the part of McCain and his surrogates have been nothing short of shameless, a desperate attempt to legislate legitimate criticism of Barack Obama out of bounds and thus preempt future critiques.
For all those writers whose careers depend upon the notion that America remains an inherently and irredeemably racist country (with an important exception: America will be redeemable if Barack Obama is elected president), “it must be profoundly disappointing that McCain hasn’t submitted an updated ‘Southern strategy.’” Moynihan’s conclusion: “It is, therefore, vital that he is at least accused of doing so.”