This week, John McCain immediately disavowed inflammatory comments by Bill Cunningham made during a campaign appearance introduction, both McCain and Karl Rove have counseled fellow Repubs to stop throwing Obama's middle name around, and the RNC has apparently issued a stern warning to the Tennessee GOP for a press release in which Obama's middle name was used:
"The RNC has notified the Tennessee GOP that they do not support or agree with their approach," said this source, requesting anonymity to discuss the private conversation between a staffer in the national committee's political department and a top aide at the state party. "If they don't refrain from doing so again, they will be publicly repudiated by the Republican National Committee."McCain's campaign publicly repudiated it too, in strong terms:
McCain spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker noted that her candidate condemned the press release and apologized to Obama. It was the second time he had to do so in as many days.Huh.
"There will be times in this campaign where people do and say stupid things," Hazelbaker said. "It's a fact and it's beyond our control."
"We will continue to condemn [such comments] in the strongest language possible and reitterate our commitment to running a positive campaign based on the issues."
Why do you suppose that the GOP would all of a sudden be concerned about whether the world views them as bigots and racists? Never seemed to bother them before.
Hmmmm. Let me see . . . .
Oh! I think I know what it might be . . . . . . maybe . . . .
See, maybe the GOP is figuring out that when you use sexist and racist dog-whistles (by consistently referring to Sen. Clinton as "Hillary" or to Sen. Obama as "Barack Hussein" Obama) you look . . . . . well . . . . uh . . . .
And maybe they're figuring out that people are tired of that shit -- especially people in the middle. Who they need. Badly.
As I said in comments recently: "See, it doesn't matter whether you think the complaints of queers, women, and liberals who are offended by Obama's choices are "petulant" or not -- his actions are losing him votes."
The same goes for Clinton's race-baiting tactics. It doesn't matter whether you think that the complaints about her campaign's choices are "reasonable" or not -- it doesn't matter if you consider voters who take offense at "shuck and jive" to be "over-sensitive" or not -- it doesn't even matter that she didn't say it, that Kuomo did -- it's pissing off voters who might otherwise vote for her.
And that's just stupid.
McCain seems to be getting that. He didn't make the remarks, Cunningham did -- but he knows that these remarks will stick to his campaign, unless he distances himself from them -- swiftly, and surely.
The GOP seems to be catching on that when you fuck up and turn off some of your potential base, the best thing to do is to . . . . . do something about it.
I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but: I wish the Democrats would steal that particular page from the RNC's playbook about now.