Racism and the Anti-Barack Obama Attacks From Camp Clinton

I saw this posted over at Mirror on America, and I have to agree. We should not be so naive as to think that people in the Clinton campaign are not directing their surrogates to play on racist and Islamophobic stereotypes of Barack Obama.

First, we have one of Clinton’s New Hampshire campaign leaders (now ex-campaign leaders) insinuating that Barack Obama is, was, or would be a drug dealer. Fortunately, Rikyrah is not afraid to call out the racial double standard:

Now, numerous previous candidates have admitted to drug use. George W. Bush spent the better part of TWENTY YEARS under some sort of influence, be it booze or drugs, and nobody EVER ASKED HIM THIS QUESTION.

But, THE BLACK MAN, who has TWO Ivy League Degrees, is ASKED IF HE’S A DRUG DEALER?

But, if Sheehan was ‘acting solo’/ ‘going rogue’, then what the hell was Mark Penn doing on Hardball with the same slime, not an hour AFTER the debate was over.

Thanks to our friend, sagereader, over at Think On These Things, breaks it down in this post: Evidence That Clinton Camp’s Attack On Obama’s Drug Use Was Deliberate (Make sure to check out this link, which sites evidence, suggesting the Clinton camp planted the drug dealer line.)

I‘d go further than Rikyrah. George Bush is certainly a great example, but we also shouldn’t forget President Bill “I Didn’t Inhale” Clinton. I don’t remember anyone suggesting that he was going to slang pot and try to turn the white house into the dope house. This playing off some of the most sinister stereotypes of black men, and it is a below the belt tactic. (Reminds me of John McCain’s black child.) And it seems like the media coverage I‘ve seen of these comments routinely ignores the drug dealer line, instead they just say Sheehan questioned Obama’s past drug abuse. ((The post also goes into a discussion of Hillary Clinton’s views on drug sentencing and how they may affect African Americans, which is worth the read.)

The other issue that keeps coming up is the accusation that (Gasp!) Obama is Muslim, and that seems to be coming from everywhere including from Clinton associates. Obama is not Muslim, but folks just can’t seem to accept that.

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22 Responses to Racism and the Anti-Barack Obama Attacks From Camp Clinton

  1. 1
    Les says:

    The part of this that makes me want to bang my head against my keyboard is the idea that being a muslim is somehow equivalent in trying to hook school kids on junk. Because when we hear drug dealer, we think a creepy dude hanging around a playground. And somehow that’s equivalent to worshiping in one of the largest religions on earth.

    Gah, I hate everything about elections and politics and people.

  2. 2
    Charles says:

    I think it is actually a good thing that the media has been describing Shaheen’s slur in only vague terms. The point of sacrificing a campaign manager in a vicious attack like that is for the slur to get spread all over the media in the form of the media reporting what was said. If the media refuses to report the details of the slur, but merely mentions that it had something to do with Obama’s past drug use, then the slur doesn’t get transmitted. Merely having the media repeat the fact that Shaheen suggested that Obama might have been a [kitten eater] is sufficient to lodge the “Obama is a [kitten eater]” idea in people’s brains, and Shaheen wins.

    Just imagine the difference it would have made for the swiftboating of Kerry if the media had only reported that an ad had been run that made baseless attacks against Kerry’s Vietnam performance, instead of repeating the contents of the ads ad naseum.

  3. 3
    Robert says:

    The Clintons are not nice people. They never have been. At best, when your interests line up with theirs, they won’t eat you.

    I don’t have any reason to think that they are personally racist or anti-Muslim; I also have no reason to think that they would refrain from using racism or xenophobia to win an election. I have no reason to think that they would refrain from climbing into the White House on a pile of dead orphans and kittens.

  4. 4
    Mold says:

    Hi,

    Welcome to hardball politics. We all like to win, some more than others. If players will dope up with mysterious substances to gain an edge in a pointless pastime like baseball, what will some do to obtain political power?

    I feel not sorry for Obama. He knew, being a bright fellow, what he would face in a campaign for president. He has the rather talented Michelle to advise him and many others to help him chart the waters of Merican racism.

    Hate to mention this but only about 1% of Mericans are the smart ones. Most of the rest had to learn the hard way. Guess what, Hillary isn’t worried about the folks that read Kant for fun. She’s playing to the “C” as they are the most numerous votes. Every politico does.

  5. 5
    Nan says:

    Right on, Robert. Dead kittens is an understatement. I think Hillary would shove Chelsea in front of a bus if she thought it would help her win.

  6. 6
    Barbara says:

    The measure of people is not how nice they are when times are good, it’s how ethically they behave when someone is standing in their way. Many men who “aren’t personally sexists” learn nonetheless to disparage their female co-workers in order to smooth the way to promotions. And so the Clintons, who are not personally racist, somehow justify subtly racist attacks on a Black man who challenges their aspirations. Don’t get me started on Hillary Clinton hugging the coattails of her dear hubby even as she tries to convince the nation that we are in need of a strong feminist president. Her lack of self-understanding regarding the source of her achievement and recognition in the world alone disqualifies her to be president, IMHO.

  7. 7
    defenestrated says:

    Hooboy. On the one hand, this is nothing next to allegations that Politician X had his friend murdered. On the other hand, I have to say that I almost saw more plausibility in those old allegations.

    Don’t get me started on Hillary Clinton hugging the coattails of her dear hubby even as she tries to convince the nation that we are in need of a strong feminist president.

    That’s about where I stand. I love the basic idea of a female president, but this isn’t the way to do it.

    In any event, I heard that Mitt has a whole cookbook of kitten recipes.

  8. 8
    RonF says:

    Hillary’s campaign’s behavior in this regard is simply confirming the opinion that a lot of people already have of her. Get in her way and she’ll run you over. She won’t be offering you any alternatives or a chance to get out of the way either. Bill at least gave you the impression that he’d be a fun guy to go out and have a drink with. Hillary’s got a different personality. And overall, the players who have a race or gender differentiation from the other candidates are playing the race and sex cards; some more cleverly than others.

    It’s amazing to me in a way that the endorsement of someone like Oprah would be valuable; that anyone would pay any attention to who she or any other entertainer would endorse for President. And it’s going to be quite interesting to see the exit polls after the voting to see who might have voted for or against Obama because he’s black, or Hillary because she’s a woman, or Huckabee or Romney because of their religious convictions. There’ll be some bias in the reports, though. The “for”s will be a lot more likely to admit their actions than the “against”s will be, I suppose. Perhaps not so much on the religious basis, but most likely more on the basis of race or sex.

  9. 9
    jd says:

    This sort of thing is beyond dirty politics, IMHO, because it plays on stereotypes that hurt lots of Americans beyond just her target, and that calls into question her ability to balance the needs of the whole country, if she’s so willing to throw a whole part of it under the bus.

  10. 10
    Robert says:

    At the same time, I’d avoid identifying this as a HILLARY problem. Sure, she’s evil personified; no reasonable person can disagree. ;)

    But it’s not as though she invented any of this stuff. All it really says about her is that she’s no better than anyone else on the political scene.

    And I hear that Fred Thompson eats a puppy smoothie every morning, out of a cup made from the skull of Flipper.

  11. 11
    RonF says:

    I must say that if I were to bet on who the kitten-eater in the campaign was, my money would be on Hillary not Obama.

  12. 12
    BananaDanna says:

    *suppressing mental image of Obama with a fluffy kitten tail poking out of his mouth*

  13. 13
    Robert says:

    I can haz nomination?

  14. 14
    Myca says:

    I’m not generally a big fan of Hillary’s politics or her compromises, but I do think she’s got a point when she claims that, though the system isn’t a good one, she is better able to work within it than her opponents. I mean, in a system that’s about compromises and wielding power, saying that someone compromises a lot and is good at wielding power isn’t precisely a criticism.

    It’s like calling someone a ruthless capitalist when you’re all playing Monopoly. Yeah they’re a ruthless capitalist. Because that’s how you win.

    On the other hand, this may be our best chance within a generation to actually change the system (and play something other than Monopoly, or at least add some house rules), and I doubt Hillary will be the one to do it.

    Now, those are just general Hillary comments.

    As for this specific Willie-Hortoning of Obama?

    Fuck that racist noise. I didn’t like her much before and I like her less now. I’ll vote for her in the election if I need to, but I’m voting Obama in the primary. If she specifically repudiates these claims and makes it clear that those who intimate such things do not represent her, my opinion might change, but for now, screw that.

    —Myca

  15. 15
    Radfem says:

    Clinton never had my vote and certainly doesn’t have it now. But I don’t view her really seriously as a nominee and doubt she’ll get the votes. But while I might vote Democrat in the primaries, probably not in the election b/c I believe that whoever wins the nomination will be a White male, probably Edwards if Gore doesn’t jump back in somehow who embraces a platform that doesn’t have much or anything in common with my political beliefs, yet being a registered Democrat, I’ll still be called on to prove my loyalty to the party and what it used to stand for by being called to stand behind the candidate even if it’s just the usual “lessor of two evils” argument.

    This is still a racist and sexist country on both sides of the aisle.

    This sort of thing is beyond dirty politics, IMHO, because it plays on stereotypes that hurt lots of Americans beyond just her target, and that calls into question her ability to balance the needs of the whole country, if she’s so willing to throw a whole part of it under the bus.

    It’s also a commentary on this country’s voters that politicians continue to operate under the assumption that these tactics work and the fact that too often they do. California’s a good example of how xenophobic campaigns can get and keep a governor in office, for example. I saw an example locally during this past election.

    Politicians do and say what they need to get elected, then you have to see what they’ll actually do. But if they behave this repugnantly during the campaign, their behavior’s not going to improve if they do get elected. And you have to take what politicians say with a grain of salt because a lot of what they say is about self-interest. If I believed my city representative, then I’m a racist with a horrible blog and no ethics or something to that effect.

    Myca, I do agree that this generation could make some impact on changing the system that is in place (although I don’t think it excuses atrocious conduct), but will it?

  16. 16
    Dianne says:

    The Clintons are not nice people. They never have been. At best, when your interests line up with theirs, they won’t eat you.

    Nope, they’re not. What do you want/expect from politicians? George Bush tortured animals as a child (and bragged about it as an adult), implied that McCain had an unacknowledged illegitimate child, and is the origin of the term “swiftboating.” Compared to him, the Clintons are pretty mild. I don’t much care for either Clinton and seriously doubt that I will vote for HRC in the primary, but it’s not as though this sort of behavior is unusual for early 21st century politics.

  17. 17
    RonF says:

    Radfem:

    It’s also a commentary on this country’s voters that politicians continue to operate under the assumption that these tactics work and the fact that too often they do.

    Hear, hear! P.T. Barnum was reputed to have said “No one ever went broke underestimating the American public.” There has to be an analogy there for how one gets and stays elected to public office. I personally find it very discouraging.

  18. 18
    defenestrated says:

    Politicians do and say what they need to get elected, then you have to see what they’ll actually do. But if they behave this repugnantly during the campaign, their behavior’s not going to improve if they do get elected. [...]
    Myca, I do agree that this generation could make some impact on changing the system that is in place (although I don’t think it excuses atrocious conduct), but will it?

    One can only hope that these kinds of campaign tactics will backfire and, in the long run, be phased out as ineffective. Unfortunately, Kerry’s swiftboating and Edward’s bloggers’ Catholicboating don’t pose strong precedents.

  19. 19
    Radfem says:

    Yeah. One can hope but if it’s ever phased out, it’s going to take a long time. I’ve seen local and state campaigns run on racism and xenophobia be very successful, even if that’s their only thing they focus on.

  20. 20
    BananaDanna says:

    As a direct result of the Clinton camp passing on rumors about Obama’s ties to Islam, my father — a lifelong, particularly dogmatic democrat who votes religiously — has flatly refused to vote for Hillary if she becomes the candidate. We’ll see if he actually won’t, but if it happens, it’ll be the first time he’s abstained from voting in a presidential campaign in decades. She has no chance of appealing to moderate republicans, independents and “undecided” types, so alienating the base is tantamount to political suicide…. and this isn’t even the big show!

  21. 21
    Kevin Moore says:

    One of the stupid things about the ex-campaign aide’s remarks is that Obama has written about his teenage drug use in Dreams From My Father, a national best-seller. So it’s not like it wasn’t already well known. Insofar as the primaries go, it should be a non-issue (because if you asked for a show of hands from the candidates about past drug use, Clinton may be the only one whose hand is down.) And for the general, the only ones who are going to care about such bullshit are never going to vote for him anyway. Bush may have gotten a pass because he has a “Story of Redemption” that hoodwinks the gullible of faith (cf. Huckabee vis-a-vis Wayne Dumond.)

  22. 22
    Rita Street says:

    This is the most racist cartoon I have seen in a while. Brought to you by Channel Frederator (run by the former head of Hanna Barbara) and partners with Nickelodeon.

    ChannelFrederator http://www.channelfrederator.com/methminute39/episode/TMM_20071220 produces The Fairy Oddparents.

    This is a heads up. Most of Hollywood feels very frightened by uppity blacks.

    There have been a lot on this site – stay tuned.