Friday, September 19, 2008

McCain Campaign Hits New Low

Not that you haven't heard this before, but this is remarkable, even for this campaign.

First a caveat: There's already been a lot said about the lies in this year's campaign ads. Some expert recently said on the radio that the worst of the ads generally are shown in only a handful of local markets for the purpose of getting the media talking about them (for free) -- thus gaining more circulation than they would have had if they paid to air them nationally. That's been done in the past, but it is worse nowadays because of how circulation explodes once the ads hit the internet and get transmitted and shared through sites like YouTube.

So, I really hate to even mention this ad, but I cannot forget that someone who claims to place Country First and have that mean something good and noble would do this. I will not link to the video ad, but you get the gist from this photo in this CNN article. It features a photo of former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines (who happens to be a black man) overlaid with one of Obama, creating a visual of Raines speaking in Obama's ear. The ad suggests that Raines is an advisor to Obama on mortgage and banking policies. It then shows a photo of an elderly white woman who has been supposedly "stuck with the bill" as a result of "extensive financial fraud" at FannieMae. Needless to say, Raines is not and has not been an advisor to Obama or his campaign.

The full text of the ad reads as follows:
[I'm John McCain and I approve of this ad]

Obama has no background in economics.

Who advises him? The Post says it’s Franklin Raines, for "advice on mortgage and housing policy."


Under Raines, Fannie Mae committed “extensive financial fraud.” Raines made millions. Fannie Mae collapsed.

Taxpayers? Stuck with the bill.

Barack Obama. Bad advice. Bad instincts. Not ready to lead.
Of course the point of this has nothing to do with the "facts" that can be checked or considered. It's all about the image of two black men -- one supposedly ignorant, the other some kind of criminal, who together will snatch away money from poor, unsuspecting, elderly white women. It's not about economics or advice. It's about race and fear, the deepest, darkest kind.

This makes the Willie Horton ad in the 1988 presidential campaign look restrained. If this is what it takes to win an election in the U.S., God help us all.

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