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Hoax: Attack on McCain Campaign Worker
Someone asked me about this story yesterday and I said, just wait a while and we'll see. Now the McCain campaign worker who claimed to have had a backward B carved in her cheek by attackers has admitted it was a hoax. Law enforcement officials did their job here. To their credit, many bloggers reserved judgment on this story, while relaying press accounts as they appeared. Story is here. (Hat tip Campaign Spot at NRO)
Police tell KDKA that a campaign volunteer has now confessed to making up a story that a mugger attacked her and cut the letter B in her face after seeing her McCain bumper sticker.

Ashley Todd, 20, of Texas, initially told police that she was robbed at an ATM in Bloomfield and that the suspect became enraged and started beating her after seeing her GOP sticker on her car.

Police investigating the alleged attack, however, began to notice some inconsistencies in her story and administered a polygraph test.

Authorities, however, declined to release the results of that test.

Investigators did say that they received photos from the ATM machine and "the photographs were verified as not being the victim making the transaction."

This afternoon, a Pittsburgh police commander told KDKA Investigator Marty Griffin that Todd confessed to making up the story.

The commander added that Todd will face charges; but police have not commented on what those charges will be.

Authorities are expected to release more details at a news conference this afternoon.

According to police, investigators working on the interview process detected several inconsistencies in Todd's story that differed from statements made in the original police report.

Pittsburgh Police Public Information Officer Diane Richard released a statement earlier today, saying: "Because of the inconsistencies in her statements, Ms. Todd was asked to submit to a polygraph examination which she agreed to do."

No photos of Todd are being released by Pittsburgh Police at this time.
Jane (mail):
That this is a hoax is going to get more air time that the fact that there was NO evidence that ANYONE yelled "kill him" at a Palin rally.
10.24.2008 3:49pm
Randy R. (mail):
I was kinda wondering what sort of moron would carve a backwards B into someone's face. But then, if you are doing it to yourself in the mirror, it would like correct.

This was a McCain campaign worker who pulled the hoax. Don't they have ANY ethics over there?
10.24.2008 3:53pm
lesser ajax:
Your post omits the fact that she claimed (and some reports emphasized) that the mugger was a black man. The racial element (black man assaults white woman) is key to understanding why this hoax is so repellent.
10.24.2008 3:57pm
astrangerwithcandy (mail):
Jane and Randy R. provide a useful summary of the soon to come comments on this post.
10.24.2008 3:58pm
lawyergirl:
Thesmokinggun.com has her picture and screen shots from her twitter.com blog. Her blog talks about the events of the evening. See it here:

Link to The Smoking Gun
10.24.2008 3:58pm
Commodore:
astrangerwithcandy wins the thread.
10.24.2008 4:00pm
Patent Lawyer:
lesser ajax-

Yes, that's the worst of many reasons this hoax is so repellent.

The generally supported idea when the Duke Rape case fell apart was that a person who knowingly files a false police statement should get the same sentence as the people she wrongly accused would have gotten. For a hoax this heinous, I'd aim for a double sentence--what is the going rate for robbery and aggravated battery these days?
10.24.2008 4:01pm
dr:

astrangerwithcandy wins the thread.


So soon? No way. This baby's going to be 150+ comments. Too soon to name a winner...
10.24.2008 4:04pm
Railroad Gin:
It is interesting that when this sort of thing happens on the other side (Duke Lacrosse, Tawana Brawley), the thing drags on for the better part of the year and no charges are ever filed. Even years later there will still be people who claim that something must have happened, and the hoaxer is seen as justified for "drawing attention to larger issues."

In this case, its exposed within 24 hours, everyone thinks she's a nut and apparently she will be charged with some sort of false reporting charge. No one argues she is nonetheless justifed. Which is how it should be. It would be nice if it cut both ways.
10.24.2008 4:05pm
whit:

The generally supported idea when the Duke Rape case fell apart was that a person who knowingly files a false police statement should get the same sentence as the people she wrongly accused would have gotten.


true dat. was she even charged? i remember hearing a lot of rubbish about her "mental state" being an impediment to charging her at the time. haven't heard anything since.

apparently, when you are a "rape victim" with a story full of holes, a dubious past (reporting the exact same gang rape by 3 in the past that never got prosecuted etc.) it's wrong to challenge that person's mental state.

when it turns out she's a false accuser the same peopel jumped over backwards to plea that her mental state was important.
10.24.2008 4:05pm
jas5 (mail):
Vice President of Fox News said yesterday, "If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain's quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting."

WELP!
10.24.2008 4:07pm
Houston Lawyer:
At least in this case, the police did their job and quickly blew her story out of the water. She should maybe have blamed a frat boy for better effect.
10.24.2008 4:08pm
dr:

In this case, its exposed within 24 hours, everyone thinks she's a nut and apparently she will be charged with some sort of false reporting charge.


Dude, she carved the B backwards in the mirror. Even Michelle Malkin was suspicious out of the gate. The amazing thing here is that Drudge *didn't* see it coming.
10.24.2008 4:08pm
RobertJones:
Does anyone believe for a second that McCain told this young woman to do this? Whatever her motivation, her actions are her own. If the vermin in the media try to paint McCain and McCain supporters with the actions of a misguided young woman, then we need to go Donkey Kong on them.

Personal Responsibility. Start preaching it.

I am willing to bet that "tolerant" liberals will attempt to spin this. I can almost guarantee that the filthy vermin in the media will do it.

Whatever happened to holding people accountable for their own actions? Why are the actions of one individual suddenly reflective of an entire group of people?
10.24.2008 4:10pm
EH (mail):
Things do seem to be getting a little kooky on the McCain side. I can't imagine what kinds of things are going to happen over the next week and a half.
10.24.2008 4:10pm
jas5 (mail):
dr: Drudge probably saw it coming, but didn't care otherwise. I used to love going to that page 10 times an hour, now, I hardly click on it. I don't even think he cares anymore....
10.24.2008 4:12pm
RobertJones:
This was a McCain campaign worker who pulled the hoax. Don't they have ANY ethics over there?

I guess the "tolerant" homosexual likes to paint with a broad brush?

She was a McCain volunteer. Her actions are her own actions. I thought that homosexuals didn't like painting with a broad brush? I guess that only applies if they are the target. If a chance to smear McCain and Republicans comes along, you have to jump on that bandwagon. Right?
10.24.2008 4:12pm
Adam J:
RobertJones- "Why are the actions of one individual suddenly reflective of an entire group of people?" Yeah, guilt by association attacks are so unfair...
10.24.2008 4:13pm
EH (mail):
RobertJones:
Does anyone believe for a second that McCain told this young woman to do this?


I trust you have a consistent opinion regarding Bill Ayers.

dr:
The amazing thing here is that Drudge *didn't* see it coming.


One might think that Drudge didn't care whether it was true or not. You know, if one were cynical.
10.24.2008 4:14pm
jas5 (mail):
RobertJones: yeah, true, but still, it kinda makes one wonder who else is crazy in the volunteer-for-McCain department.

Are you trying to suggest we shouldn't talk about the fact that she was a mentally-unhinged volunteer for McCain?
10.24.2008 4:14pm
Constantin:
Dude, she carved the B backwards in the mirror. Even Michelle Malkin was suspicious out of the gate. The amazing thing here is that Drudge *didn't* see it coming.

What do you mean "even Michelle Malkin"? She's better than anybody in calling out these hoaxes when everyone else is worrying about fostering dialogues and candlelight vigils.
10.24.2008 4:16pm
salvatore:
RobertJones,

Actually, you're the first person I've heard mention the idea that McCain told her to do it. Do you know something?
10.24.2008 4:16pm
RobertJones:
RobertJones: yeah, true, but still, it kinda makes one wonder who else is crazy in the volunteer-for-McCain department. Are you trying to suggest we shouldn't talk about the fact that she was a mentally-unhinged volunteer for McCain?

There are mentally-unhinged Obama volunteers too. There are bad apples in every group. The fact that liberals are trying to spin this for their advantage is the height of hypocrisy.
10.24.2008 4:16pm
Snaphappy:
So what about McCain's brother calling 911 to complain about traffic...twice?
10.24.2008 4:17pm
RobertJones:
I trust you have a consistent opinion regarding Bill Ayers.

Did McCain personally instruct this woman to do this? Is McCain a close associate with this woman? Did this woman write McCain's book? Did this woman host parties for McCain in her house?

DID McCAIN EVER MEET THIS WOMAN IN PERSON?
10.24.2008 4:17pm
dr:
Nice, RobertJones -- way to go straight for the ad-hom.


If a chance to smear McCain and Republicans comes along, you have to jump on that bandwagon. Right?


I trust you shouted this same speech from your rooftop yesterday, when you presumably thought that an unhinged Obama supporter's unhinged actions was reflective only of his own unhingedness, rather than of Obama supporters in general? No need to respond, we'll take it on faith.
10.24.2008 4:18pm
RobertJones:
RobertJones- "Why are the actions of one individual suddenly reflective of an entire group of people?" Yeah, guilt by association attacks are so unfair...

If you think that they are, then why would you engage in them now? You only demonstrate your hypocrisy if you do.
10.24.2008 4:18pm
Lucius Cornelius:
I remember reading that cases where an alleged victim is covered with feces or scratched are likely to be hoaxes. Whenever I see a story involving those facts, I wait a while.
10.24.2008 4:19pm
Kelly (mail):
So what about McCain's brother calling 911 to complain about traffic...twice?

He was worried about not being able to drive away should the North Virginia communists try to attack his car on 495?
10.24.2008 4:20pm
Snaphappy:
So now the story from the right will become: "It is OUTRAGEOUS that Obama has failed to apologize for those that have linked the McCain campaign worker's actions to the McCain campaign. Obama should apologize and that should be the end of it."

That worked pretty well the last time they tried it. The funny thing is that this will not be big. The democrats don't need it to be big. It's just a symbol of how pathetic McCain's campaign has become. And by symbol I don't mean McCain condoned it (though he and Palin both called the hoaxster personally, so had it been true, well ...)
10.24.2008 4:21pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
This, as in other hoaxes, demonstrates the perceived moral authority of being a victim.
It's so good, faking it looks like a plan.
10.24.2008 4:22pm
RobinGoodfellow:
Whit,

The "victim" in the Duke rape case has just published a memoir. According to an ABC story she is unrepentant.

What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted.
Thrice-armed is he who hath his quarrel jut,
And he but naked, though locked up in steel,
Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.


I suppose good legal representation helps, too.
10.24.2008 4:24pm
Magic Dog (mail):
This was entirely about the "black threat." It is straight out of Lee Atwater's playbook. They were makin' themselves a Willie Horton, and they done got caught. This is going to blow back in a major way, as it well ought to.
10.24.2008 4:26pm
byomtov (mail):
Personal Responsibility. Start preaching it.

I am willing to bet that "tolerant" liberals will attempt to spin this. I can almost guarantee that the filthy vermin in the media will do it.

Whatever happened to holding people accountable for their own actions? Why are the actions of one individual suddenly reflective of an entire group of people?


Amazing. Truly amazing. This campaign worker tries an obvious hoax, and everyone here is mad at what they think the media are going to say about it.

You want to talk about responsibility? Let's hear what Drudge and Powerline and the other sites who were making hay of this not so long ago have to say. What about Instapundit, who expressed just enough reservations to cover himself, but was basically pushing the story? Do you think they should admit their mistakes? While commenters here complain that McCain will be unfairly blamed (yes, I agree it would be unfair), Powerline can write

But I also think that a great many voters, some of them heretofore uncommitted, will see this incident as symbolic of a race in which every voter who has not jumped on the Obama bandwagon has been subject to various forms of harassment and bullying.

Who thinks that's OK?



Even Michelle Malkin knew this was a hoax, and credit to her for calling it, but there were too many who couldn't resist.
10.24.2008 4:26pm
cboldt (mail):
-- So what about McCain's brother calling 911 to complain about traffic...twice? --
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I don't care who you are, that story is funny. I LOL at the call transcript. "There's traffic coming the other way, but it's been stopped in this direction for 10 minutes" "Did you call about an emergency?"
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Should have taken the black helicopter.
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I wonder which campaign the runaway bride, Wilbanks, will take up with.
10.24.2008 4:27pm
EH (mail):
RobertJones:
Did McCain personally instruct this woman to do this?


Hah, so you're implying that Obama instructed Ayers to do his thing. A neat trick that would be!
10.24.2008 4:28pm
Whadonna More:
A+ for the cry for attention. TAMU may want to increase the mental health budget a little - that's a whole lot of self-mutiliation to endure (black eye, carved letter) and consequences to face (initial report of robbery and assault, subsequent report of rape) for the usual college freak-out. One suspects there were prior warning signs missed.
10.24.2008 4:30pm
Adam J:
Robert Jones- Dude... look in the mirror before you call anyone a hypocrite. (Just don't try to carve anything on your face when you do so).
10.24.2008 4:31pm
Adam J:
Seriously Jones, at least appreciate the irony here, she perpetuated this hoax in order to reflect badly on hardcore Obama supporters, and as a result of the hoax being caught it now reflects badly on hardcore McCain supporters.
10.24.2008 4:34pm
cboldt (mail):
-- (though he and Palin both called the hoaxster personally, so had it been true, well ...) --
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If one was charitable about it, McCain and Palin got wind of a national story about a campaign volunteer being robbed, then beating on account of favoring the GOP ticket. Bit of a tight spot, not calling makes them thoughtless/careless, and calling to express sympathy and "thanks for being a volunteer" is at least a thoughtful gesture. My guess is they hoped it wasn't a politically-motivated attack.
10.24.2008 4:35pm
mlstx (mail):
Well, I guess the campaign is over -- so says Fox's executive Vice President for News, John Moody:

If Ms. Todd's allegations are proven accurate, some voters may revisit their support for Senator Obama, not because they are racists (with due respect to Rep. John Murtha), but because they suddenly feel they do not know enough about the Democratic nominee.

If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain's quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting.


How 'bout that -- another woman to blame for McCain's loss! Palin and Todd must be feeling like Eve . . . .
10.24.2008 4:36pm
JB:
I would join in the chorus of berating Robert Jones for holding up the flag of "no guilt by association" while his side's campaign focuses entirely on "guilt by association," but that would be guilt by association on my part.
10.24.2008 4:38pm
cboldt (mail):
-- she perpetuated this hoax in order to reflect badly on hardcore Obama supporters, and as a result of the hoax being caught it now reflects badly on hardcore McCain supporters. --
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I wonder if her friend in the PIT area was aware of the hoax, and facilitated presenting the false report to police.
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There's speculation that the hoaxer is a Ron Paul supporter. I haven't figured out how that angle would work into a motive, but on it's face she's obviously trying to impugn black and anti-McCain forces with her lie. Clearly, she's "got issues." I hope she finds a hobby or some other way to burn off all this energy, outside of politics.
10.24.2008 4:41pm
theobromophile (www):
I'm glad that the hoax was called out for being a hoax. I'm deeply ashamed of this young woman, and know that whether or not the scar on her face fades, she'll be known as the "McCain fake victim" girl - or the "Crystal Magnum of the Republican Party" - for a long time.

As for reflecting badly on our party... IMHO, it's kind of like calling a woman a "b-tch" or an African-American another name. Members of the group get away with doing it; outsiders look slimy when they try. Hard-core McCain supporters have every right to be pissed off at her for her actions and their reflection upon us, but it's a little rich for Obama supporters to imply that McCain - who is a truly decent man - had anything at all to do with this.

FWIW, I don't think that people who make up b.s. about being assaulted at McCain rallies for being Obama supporters reflect, at all, upon The One, even though I would dearly love to believe it did. The only thing it does is to provoke a "who is the bigger victim" pissing contest.

Michelle Malkin lead the charge, and others quickly followed; no need to think that this young woman will "get away" with anything - at least if conservatives have anything to say about it. Reprehensible, disgusting, and a terrible way to go about showing one's support and gathering attention for a candidate.
10.24.2008 4:43pm
dr:

it's a little rich for Obama supporters to imply that McCain - who is a truly decent man - had anything at all to do with this.


I agree, but it seems like a bit of a strawman — the only person I've heard suggesting that McCain had anything to do with this was RobertJones.
10.24.2008 4:47pm
ROgi (mail):
A good addendum to the story would've been a parting statement by the mugger that the money he just took from her will be promptly donated to the Obama campaign.
10.24.2008 4:47pm
Phil Smith (mail):

I wonder which campaign the runaway bride, Wilbanks, will take up with.

I'm voting for McCain, but that's just plain funny.
10.24.2008 4:48pm
Republican (mail):
Bill Ayers was strongly opposed to the draft during the Vietnam War.

As a libertarian, I don't find his views or his actions during Vietnam to be so repulsive. All libertarians should be against the draft!

Ayers is not a terrorist. If he was, why hasn't McCain called on him to be arrested or sent to Guantanamo or killed? I thought we were hunting down terrorists everywhere?

(I know why Obama hasn't - he's friends with him).
10.24.2008 4:58pm
Magic Dog (mail):
The "attack" fit nicely with McCain's strategy-of-the-week, which was to revive his campaign by pitching to the rednecks of western Pennsylvania.

The victim? A McCain operative with a history of dirty tricks. The attack was right out of the white lizard brain. Big, bad black man. Robber. rapist, mutilator, savage, Obama supporter. The message: Elect Obama, and this is what black savages will do to the white women of America.

As soon as she comes up with the story, both McCain and Palin call her. They let it be known to the media that they've called her, which insures that the fake "event" gets lots of play. Then the right-wing blogosphere goes into overdrive with the black savage Obama idea.

What no one counted on was that they'd be caught at this. Well, guess what? Life has its little surprises.
10.24.2008 5:00pm
EH (mail):
Magic Dog:
They were makin' themselves a Willie Horton, and they done got caught. This is going to blow back in a major way, as it well ought to.


I know others have brought up the runaway bride, but those a little older may remember the modern originator being very much in the news. This woman may have something to worry about in the future.
10.24.2008 5:03pm
Sarcastro (www):
I, for one, blame McCain himself for this! This is so clearly a campaign tactic! McCain himself probably did the carving! (I hear he can barely write B's anymore, after his time as a POW.)
10.24.2008 5:07pm
Hoosier:
When I saw the backwards "B," I became suspicious due to memories of the Morton Downey Jr. swastika hoax.

Magic Dog: Lay off the Magic Mushrooms.
10.24.2008 5:08pm
Magic Dog (mail):
Hoosier, the whole thing fit just a little too neatly into the McCain/right-wing narrative to allow your side to simply slink away from this dirty trick. Let's hope it gets close examination by the major media for the next several days.
10.24.2008 5:10pm
Joe Izusu (mail):
Hi! I'm Joe Izusu and I'm a College Republican and I was attacked in the back seat of this lovely car I'd like to sell you.
10.24.2008 5:13pm
Dan Weber (www):
At least she wasn't attacked by some Puerto Rican guy.
10.24.2008 5:14pm
Sarcastro (www):
Magic Dog isn't being paranoid, people! That backwards "B" is secret code for"I'm JOhn McCain and I approve this message!"

Only the campaign itself could possibly think of using race to try to get people to be afraid of Obama!

And that women is just some poor Ron Paul supporter they drugged up!

SEE IT ALL FITS!
10.24.2008 5:16pm
Elliot123 (mail):
This wasn't hard. Anyone who had a "B" carved into their face would surely need medical attention. She refused it.
10.24.2008 5:17pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
robert:

She was a McCain volunteer. Her actions are her own actions. I thought that homosexuals didn't like painting with a broad brush? I guess that only applies if they are the target. If a chance to smear McCain and Republicans comes along, you have to jump on that bandwagon.


It's kind of entertaining to review some of the posts that appeared over at Ed Morrissey's place. Certain people did indeed indulge in some "painting with a broad brush." The following are all separate comments:

A 20-year-old. Mutilated because Obama won't control his lunatics. He IS inciting this, the MEDIA is inciting this by lying about the polls and calling for riots.

This was definitely politically motivated and the Obama campaign is responsible for telling their supporters to get in the face of others, because some people definitely go too far

What this says about one candidate is that he has energized his followers to treat people voting for the other candidate as unter-mench. By rationalizing that anyone voting for McCain is a racist, Obama has resonated with the same evil intentions that one would find in Zimbabwe or Kenya against an opposing party. There seems to be a rash of women being beaten for being supportive of McCain. Just imagine the results when "O" loses.

I just went to the McCain web site and wrote a letter urging McCain to get on TV immediately and demand that Obama call off his goons. The country needs to be made aware of what kind of people support Obama, and what kind of people will be running the country if he wins.

I will be happy to tolerate all the violence if McCain wins. The alternative is awful. These people are not only violent but they are dangerous. Everybody better break out their 45's if they want to be safe.

Obama told them to get in our faces. He incited his followers, his truth squads, his shutting down radio stations. All have led us to this time this place. Obama and his words and his campaign are directly responsibile for this hate crime.

Obama himself has not done anything to rein these people in--if anything, he's given tacit consent for this behavior. This has to stop and and it has to stop NOW!
10.24.2008 5:17pm
Sarcastro (www):
jukeboxgrad. Thanks for the advice.

I guess only a .45 will do, since blacks are so big!
10.24.2008 5:22pm
Puts things into a little perspective about being a patriot:
10.24.2008 5:26pm
Magic Dog (mail):
Yesterday, the McCain campaign put out a press release in which they declared themselves "shaken up by this," and calling it "sick and disgusting."

You know, the black savage theme. Today, the McCain campaign is more muted. I wonder if they will put out a statement about how "shaken up" they are about their staffer's attempt to stir up racial hatred, and how "sick and disgusting" her attempt was.

Somehow, I doubt it.
10.24.2008 5:26pm
WilliamWallace:
Yesterday, the McCain campaign put out a press release in which they declared themselves "shaken up by this," and calling it "sick and disgusting."


Uh, So did Obama.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the young woman for her to make a speedy recovery, and we hope that the person who perpetrated this crime is swiftly apprehended and brought to justice," the Obama-Biden statement said.
10.24.2008 5:29pm
Magic Dog (mail):
And her I had thought that the "B" was for Bill Ayers. Oops.
10.24.2008 5:29pm
cboldt (mail):
-- Let's hope it gets close examination by the major media for the next several days. --
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Yeah. I'd like to hear her story/excuse/motive too. Although the wild speculation is entertaining of its own right.
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Thank goodness this drama-queen nutcase wasn't as successful as whoever it was that duped Mary Mapes and Dan Rather.
10.24.2008 5:29pm
WilliamWallace:


It's kind of entertaining to review some of the posts that appeared over at Ed Morrissey's place. Certain people did indeed indulge in some "painting with a broad brush." The following are all separate comments:


Yeah because internet comments come from real people and can't be faked! Ever!

Seriously dude, you responding with "but these internet posters did this" is really kinda childish, don't ya think?
10.24.2008 5:30pm
Magic Dog (mail):
William Wallace, the Obama campaign issued that statement after the McCain campaign cried its race-coded crocodile tears by declaring itself "shaken" over the "sick and disgusting" attack. They had to put out that statement. Otherwise, the McCain campaign and its amen chorus in the wingnutosphere would have been all over them.
10.24.2008 5:32pm
Magic Dog (mail):
Yeah because internet comments come from real people and can't be faked! Ever!

Are you actually arguing that the wingnutosphere didn't go crazy over this yesterday? Come on, William, where is the conservative commitment to "the truth" and "personal responsibility?"
10.24.2008 5:33pm
Lighten up Kansas:
Can someone switch Magic Dog's drip feed over to decaf? I think I left the crazyjuice plugged in over there...
10.24.2008 5:37pm
Hoosier:
"I thought that homosexuals didn't like painting with a broad brush?"

When pinting their living room in a dark shade that sets off the drapery, sure they do. It saves time. Which gives them more time to undermine my marriage and family, as the first step in the homosexulaficationizing of America. Plus you don't get the annoying brush strokes when it dries.
10.24.2008 5:44pm
Magic Dog (mail):
If the McCain campaign didn't plan the whole thing, then their behavior certainly shows that they were perfectly willing to incorporate this incident into their campaign for political gain.

The press release about being "shaken" by the "sick and disguisting" incident was incendiary rhetoric. As of yet we've seen nothing offsetting in the other direction, i.e., an abject apology for the woman's actions AND for the McCain campaign's willingness to take such cynical advantage.

There are gradations of cynicism, cravenness, and racism. McCain's campaign has been willing to do more than a little dabbling in that area. Methinks they're about to pay a price for it.
10.24.2008 5:47pm
Bad (mail) (www):
"Seriously Jones, at least appreciate the irony here, she perpetuated this hoax in order to reflect badly on hardcore Obama supporters, and as a result of the hoax being caught it now reflects badly on hardcore McCain supporters."

Problem is that it shouldn't reflect badly on anyone but her, and perhaps people like drudge that are so desperate for something to change the game that they'll latch onto anything.

This girl did something very stupid. But almost certainly, she was a disturbed young woman who only ever meant to try and get attention from other volunteers and campaign staff. She didn't think about it becoming a police matter, let alone an international headline. What she did was wrong, but she didn't deserve to become a national laughingstock because of it. It's really sort of sad.
10.24.2008 6:01pm
cboldt (mail):
-- Yesterday, the McCain campaign put out a press release in which they declared themselves "shaken up by this," and calling it "sick and disgusting." ... I wonder if they will put out a statement about how "shaken up" they are about their staffer's attempt to stir up racial hatred --
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Now that you mention it, you got me to wondering the same thing. I went looking for the "press release" or "official statement" that issued yesterday. All I can find are media accounts. The McCain campaign website doesn't have an entry on its press release or on its news section of the campaign website.
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I can't find a press release or official statement at the Obama campaign news or Obama campaign home page either.
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I do think the "their staffer" label won't stick worth shit. There are hoards of volunteers on both sides, the vast majority not having been vetted for more than having a pulse.
10.24.2008 6:04pm
Adam J:
Magic Dog - Good god man, get a grip. I don't think much of the McCain or his campaign either, but he's hardly responsible for the acts of one lunatic supporter. The idea of someone carving their name into another is "sick and disgusting", its not rhetoric for McCain to say so. What if this were true? Would you not have been saying you can't judge Obama by the acts of his more deranged supporters? Obviously the same is true for McCain.
10.24.2008 6:05pm
cboldt (mail):
-- The press release about being "shaken" by the "sick and disguisting" incident was incendiary rhetoric. --
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LOL. Please, if that outrage of yours is real, then you ought to seek help. Before you let some dim-bulb incite to action that you'll regret. Do you think calling somebody a "socialist" is a racist attack?
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Incendiary rhetoric!! Get in their face, Magic Mad Dog! Get in their face!! I know you can do it. Argue with them, GET IN THEIR FACE. Incendiary? Nah. Just somewhat unhinged.
10.24.2008 6:09pm
Magic Dog (mail):
But almost certainly, she was a disturbed young woman who only ever meant to try and get attention from other volunteers and campaign staff. She didn't think about it becoming a police matter, let alone an international headline. What she did was wrong, but she didn't deserve to become a national laughingstock because of it.

This was not the first time that young woman tried to play the race card. There is a video of her stalking a black janitor at her college and accusing him sotto voce of ripping down campaign posters and generally "being mean."

The girl herself is a bit player, one of Eric Hoffer's misfits from The True Believer. She isn't really the issue. The issue is that the McCain campaign was perfectly willing to play that card with their statement about being "shaken" by the "sick and disguisting" attack. The issue is also the reaction from across the right-wing blogs yesterday, which were all too willing to play the black savage race card.

Now, you'd prefer to scoot right out of there and deny all of this. Who knows, maybe your side will get away with it. But I hope not. It's time to start blowing the whistle, and there's no better way to do that than by highlighting cases like this one.

It's not too comfortable to be the recipient of that sort of attention, but it's called "accountability." Aren't Republicans and so-called "conservatives" ever supposed to be accountable for a single thing? It sure seems like they run away from every single mess they ever get themselves into.
10.24.2008 6:10pm
Suzy (mail):
In any case, the "race-baiting hoax" headlines make a little harder to raise Jeremiah Wright issues in the last few days of the campaign. Even if Wright's views and connection to Obama were depicted accurately, the public might be more inclined to view such ads in the same category as stories like Ashley Todd's. I'm positive she did this on her own, because a) she did it so clumsily, and b) she just cut the rug out from under one of the last negatives that could have been thrown again.
10.24.2008 6:17pm
theobromophile (www):
dr, in light of MagicDog's comments, are you still willing to say that my statement was a straw man? :)
10.24.2008 6:24pm
Adam J:
Bad- I agree it shouldn't reflect badly on either. People get so caught up in partisanship that they forget that there is plenty bad people on their own side of the aisle &good people on the other side of the aisle. On the other hand, I don't feel an much sympathy for Todd. She intentional beat &cut herself in an effort to manipulate a national election. She filed a false police report, resulting in police wasting taxpayer money on investigating her little farce. Karma is a bitch.
10.24.2008 6:26pm
dr:

dr, in light of MagicDog's comments, are you still willing to say that my statement was a straw man? :)


Did MagicDog say that John McCain, who is a truly decent man, had anything at all to do with this? Because that's what you said you were hearing from Obama supporters. I'll admit that I haven't waded through MagicDog's entire opus, but no, I don't think he has suggested that John McCain, who is a truly decent man, had anything at all to do with this.

From what I can see, his point is that John McCain, who is a truly decent man, exploited this for his campaign's benefit. I don't quite agree with that either. But that's a far different thing from saying that John McCain, who is a truly decent man, had anything at all to do with this. Do you think that MagicDog is saying that John McCain, who is a truly decent man, had anything at all to do with this?

I don't. So yes, I still think it's a strawman. Very much so!
10.24.2008 6:34pm
Magic Dog (mail):
dr, in light of MagicDog's comments, are you still willing to say that my statement was a straw man?

I notice that you had nothing to say about the right-wing blogs going crazy on the black savage theme, or about the McCain campaign's overheated statement about being "shaken" by the "sick and disgusting" attack, or at the McCain campaign's lack of any apology for the actions of its operative.

Your only scorn has been aimed at anyone who would hold the McCain campaign, or right wingers, accountable for their actions here. This seems to be the Republican story. You parade "the rule of law" and "personal responsibility" and "accountability" for everyone other than yourselves.

A McCain staffer tries to whip up racial hatred, and the candidate's campaign throws some gasoline on the fire? Keep walking, nothing to see here.
10.24.2008 6:35pm
cboldt (mail):
-- What she did was wrong, but she didn't deserve to become a national laughingstock because of it. --
.
I think she deserves the attention, and I think the country is better off for it. It may deter others from undertaking similar conduct in the future.
.
The reason this deserves national attention (and Wilbanks didn't) is that this miscreant took a presidential campaign as a springboard.
10.24.2008 6:35pm
dr:
I'll add a :) just for symmetry -- I'm smilin' too, Obro!

(But I stand by what I said. The first and last suggestion I've heard that John McCain cooked this hoax up himself was from RobertJones, who based only on his comments here strikes me as not all that decent of a man, though I of course do not know him personally.)
10.24.2008 6:36pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
It turns out that the campaign of John McCain, who is a truly decent man, was pushing this story before it was exposed as a hoax:

"John McCain's Pennsylvania communications director told reporters in the state an incendiary version of the hoax story about the attack on a McCain volunteer well before the facts of the case were known or established -- and even told reporters outright that the "B" carved into the victim's cheek stood for "Barack," according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions.

John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told TPM Election Central that McCain's Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, "You're with the McCain campaign? I'm going to teach you a lesson."

10.24.2008 6:43pm
dr:

She didn't think about it becoming a police matter, let alone an international headline. What she did was wrong, but she didn't deserve to become a national laughingstock because of it.


Hm. No, I disagree. I think she deserves to become an international laughingstock. She used racist imagery and lied about a crime in an attempt to smear Obama, or his campaign, or his supporters, or just black people... or someone. And instead, she ended up smearing McCain, or his campaign, or his supporters, or white Pennsylvanians... or someone. Somewhere in there, there was a dirty smear, and she deserves the figurative black eye this will leave on her name, if not the real black eye -- however that happened.

Is she sick? Yeah. Is it sad? Yeah. Do I feel sorry for the people who love her? Yeah. But if anyone deserves to be a national laughingstock, it's her. Otherwise, it's time to close up the laughingstock store and go home.

As for her not thinking it might become a police matter...really? I'll admit I'm not versed in every detail of the story, but...how exactly did the police get involved? I rather assumed that she approached the police -- no?
10.24.2008 6:46pm
Lighten up Kansas:
I hope the mugger didn't steal her meds too... Maybe she and Magic Dog are on the same cycle.
10.24.2008 6:48pm
Magic Dog (mail):
It turns out that the campaign of John McCain, who is a truly decent man, was pushing this story before it was exposed as a hoax

The plot, as they say, gets thicker. I'd like to know the timeline here. Exactly when did the McCain campaign learn the details of the "attack," and who told them?
10.24.2008 6:49pm
Roberta Cortez:
According to CNN, Police say woman has history of mental problems.

Where are those "compassionate" liberals who open their bleeding hearts for the mentally ill?

I see, "compassion" only extends to people of like mind.
10.24.2008 7:03pm
Per Son:
As soon as I saw the backwards B, I remembered when morton Downey spray painted a swastika on his own face. He forgot that the mirror flips the image - dumbass.
10.24.2008 7:03pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
sarcastro:

I guess only a .45 will do, since blacks are so big!


You don't really have to say "blacks." You can use the same euphemism that was used by the commenter who likes guns: "these people." Which is a little bit like McCain saying "that one."
10.24.2008 7:06pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
william:

Yeah because internet comments come from real people and can't be faked! Ever!


You seem to be saying that the idiotic comments I cited were actually written by liberals (me, maybe) who knew for sure that it was a hoax and were part of a scheme to make conservatives look bad, by posting idiotic comments that appear to have been written by conservatives.

I have to give you credit for having a lot of imagination. Just one question: why should anyone think your comment was written by "real people," and wasn't "faked?"

you responding with "but these internet posters did this" is really kinda childish, don't ya think?


No. There's nothing "childish" about noticing how certain people were indeed quick to jump on this bandwagon.

What's "childish" is your conspiracy theory.
10.24.2008 7:06pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
hoosier:

the first step in the homosexulaficationizing of America


On 11/5, I can't wait to get started with the gay abortions (H/T to PC).
10.24.2008 7:07pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
bad:

it shouldn't reflect badly on anyone but her


Assuming that she's mentally ill, it doesn't reflect badly on her. But it does indeed reflect badly on the people who were awfully quick to embrace her stunt (unless they also want to plead mental illness). Like the people I quoted. And the McCain campaign, as Mahan pointed out.
10.24.2008 7:07pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cboldt:

The McCain campaign website doesn't have an entry on its press release or on its news section of the campaign website.


For some strange reason they put out various statements that don't show up in those places. I don't know why, but I could you show you several examples. Like this pdf.

So the absence of a statement from those places doesn't mean anything.
10.24.2008 7:07pm
Railroad Gin:
It turns out that the campaign of John McCain, who is a truly decent man, was pushing this story before it was exposed as a hoax

Since it hadn't yet been exposed as a hoax, what is wrong with this? Pushing it after you know its a hoax, that's wrong. Such as the media still talking about people yelling "kill him" even though that's been disproven nine ways till Sunday. Maybe one of Obama's "FactCheck" surrogates will get around to reporting this some day.
10.24.2008 7:07pm
Randall:

If the McCain campaign didn't plan the whole thing, then their behavior certainly shows that they were perfectly willing to incorporate this incident into their campaign for political gain.

The press release about being "shaken" by the "sick and disguisting" incident was incendiary rhetoric. As of yet we've seen nothing offsetting in the other direction, i.e., an abject apology for the woman's actions AND for the McCain campaign's willingness to take such cynical advantage.

There are gradations of cynicism, cravenness, and racism. McCain's campaign has been willing to do more than a little dabbling in that area. Methinks they're about to pay a price for it.


How is McCain saying that he was "sick" and "disgusted" racial rhetoric? If the account were true it would have been "sick" and "disgusting." Obama would have agreed with that.

I guess McCain should have come out and attacked her from the start. From now on, we will start out attacking victims the moment they file a report of a crime. Unless they can prove that they were the victim of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt, we won't believe anything that they say. Is that fine with you?

It is pathetic that you are the one trying to spin the delusions of a disturbed woman as coming from the McCain campaign.

Given the statement from the Obama campaign yesterday, Do you think that your "messiah" would be proud of you?
10.24.2008 7:09pm
cboldt (mail):
Mahan Atma: --It turns out that the campaign of John McCain, who is a truly decent man, was pushing this story before it was exposed as a hoax --
.
There's no evidence that anyone from McCain national headquarters put out a version of events like this.
10.24.2008 7:11pm
Syd Henderson (mail):

WilliamWallace:

Yesterday, the McCain campaign put out a press release in which they declared themselves "shaken up by this," and calling it "sick and disgusting."

Uh, So did Obama.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the young woman for her to make a speedy recovery, and we hope that the person who perpetrated this crime is swiftly apprehended and brought to justice," the Obama-Biden statement said.


And their hopes were quickly realized.
10.24.2008 7:13pm
cboldt (mail):
-- For some strange reason they put out various statements that don't show up in those places. I don't know why, but I could you show you several examples. Like this pdf. So the absence of a statement from those places doesn't mean anything. --
.
I haven't read your pdf link yet, but my point was that I was unable to get to raw source material. Perhaps somebody will come along and provide a helpful link or other facility to access statements like the ones made yesterday by the respective campaigns.
.
Not that I don't believe the statements were put out. I believe they were. I was curious to read any statements subsequent to the conclusion that this was a hoax, just in case the media overlooks reporting those statements (assuming any are made).
10.24.2008 7:15pm
WilliamWallace:

You seem to be saying that the idiotic comments I cited were actually written by liberals (me, maybe) who knew for sure that it was a hoax and were part of a scheme to make conservatives look bad, by posting idiotic comments that appear to have been written by conservatives.


Really? That's what I am saying? I think you might need to work on your telepathic skills a bit more, because you are WAY off.

I have to give you credit for having a lot of imagination. Just one question: why should anyone think your comment was written by "real people," and wasn't "faked?"


Actually, you shouldn't believe anything you read posted on internet comment forums. People hiding behind anonymous comments will say things that they would never dream of saying in public.

I personally believe that the internet is directly responsible for lowering the level of political discourse in this country.

You are a good example.


No. There's nothing "childish" about noticing how certain people were indeed quick to jump on this bandwagon.

What's "childish" is your conspiracy theory.


IDK I see some Obama cultists jumping on a conspiracy theory of their own in this thread.
10.24.2008 7:17pm
Magic Dog (mail):
Since it hadn't yet been exposed as a hoax, what is wrong with this? Pushing it after you know its a hoax, that's wrong.

In public, McCain's spokesliar said this:

"She is a volunteer for the McCain-Palin campaign," said campaign spokesman Peter Feldman. "Sen. McCain has reached out to her via telephone and has spoken to her and her family," as has McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Feldman said. "Out of respect for her privacy we're not going to comment further."


Behind the scenes, he was feeding incendiary detail, which turned out to be false, to the media. Why? Well, McCain's campaign tactic was to use western PA as the springboard for their comeback. Western PA is regionally (and now nationally) famous for its white racial intolerance. The brazen the attack could be portrayed, the more politically useful it would be.

I'd like to know the McCain campaign knew, when they knew it, and who told them.
10.24.2008 7:17pm
WilliamWallace:


Behind the scenes, he was feeding incendiary detail, which turned out to be false, to the media. Why? Well, McCain's campaign tactic was to use western PA as the springboard for their comeback. Western PA is regionally (and now nationally) famous for its white racial intolerance. The brazen the attack could be portrayed, the more politically useful it would be.

I'd like to know the McCain campaign knew, when they knew it, and who told them.


Still sticking to the "Western Pennsylvania is full of inbred racist hicks" meme I see.
10.24.2008 7:21pm
Magic Dog (mail):
There's no evidence that anyone from McCain national headquarters put out a version of events like this.

But there is evidence that McCain's PA communications director fanned the flames:

John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told TPM Election Central that McCain's Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, "You're with the McCain campaign? I'm going to teach you a lesson."


So, then, is the right-winger version now going to be that the Republican Party is in favor of truth and personal responsibility only at the national level?
10.24.2008 7:21pm
WilliamWallace:

I'd like to know the McCain campaign knew, when they knew it, and who told them.


Oh, by the way, Reality called, she wants you back if you'll take her.
10.24.2008 7:22pm
Magic Dog (mail):
Still sticking to the "Western Pennsylvania is full of inbred racist hicks" meme I see.

It's unfortunate that you think of western PA this way. It would seem that the McCain campaign also thought so. It will be interesting to see whether that cynicism is confirmed or refuted in 11 days. How do you think it will go for your candidate?
10.24.2008 7:23pm
Truth:

But there is evidence that McCain's PA communications director fanned the flames:

John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told TPM Election Central that McCain's Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, "You're with the McCain campaign? I'm going to teach you a lesson."

So, then, is the right-winger version now going to be that the Republican Party is in favor of truth and personal responsibility only at the national level?


Does anyone else notice how similar "Magic Dog's" posts are to "Jukeboxgrad's?"
10.24.2008 7:25pm
Mahan Atma (mail):

"Since it hadn't yet been exposed as a hoax, what is wrong with this?"

"There's no evidence that anyone from McCain national headquarters put out a version of events like this."


Did you read the entire post?
10.24.2008 7:25pm
WilliamWallace:
It's unfortunate that you think of western PA this way. It would seem that the McCain campaign also thought so. It will be interesting to see whether that cynicism is confirmed or refuted in 11 days. How do you think it will go for your candidate?


Dude, you are the idiot that is pushing that line. Not me.
10.24.2008 7:26pm
cboldt (mail):
For some strange reason they put out various statements that don't show up in those places. I don't know why, but I could you show you several examples. Like www.johnmccain.com/Images/TRUTH/0920_interestedparties.pdf
.
Visiting the McCain website, there is a search function. I used the word "monegan" and it reported back "No documents were found."
.
So much for cutting through the media filter. If a campaign won't put things out to the public, it ought not complain when the public has to rely on the media for information. Thanks for the example link BTW.
10.24.2008 7:26pm
Magic Dog (mail):
How is McCain saying that he was "sick" and "disgusted" racial rhetoric? If the account were true it would have been "sick" and "disgusting."

If the McCain campaign weren't trying to send coded racist messages, they'd have been far more circumspect. They'd have avoided the use of those adjectives. They'd have said they were waiting for the investigation to proceed.

And then they'd have waited, rather than having their spokesliar say publicly that there'd be no further comment, while privately feeding more lies to the media to be reported without attribution to the campaign.

The more I see of this, the more it tells me that McCain's campaign is going to go down in history as a racist organization. It's a sad way for the man to bow out.
10.24.2008 7:27pm
Royce Gracie:

The victim? A McCain operative with a history of dirty tricks. The attack was right out of the white lizard brain. Big, bad black man. Robber. rapist, mutilator, savage, Obama supporter. The message: Elect Obama, and this is what black savages will do to the white women of America.


Lizard Brain?

It looks to me like someone here hates "whitey."
10.24.2008 7:29pm
Magic Dog (mail):

Oh, by the way, Reality called, she wants you back if you'll take her.



Please get back to me about that on Nov. 5th, when the racist McCain campaign, and the Republicans in Congress, will be sitting in the ashes of their historic defeat.
10.24.2008 7:29pm
cboldt (mail):
Mahan Atma: -- Did you read the entire post? --
.
Yeah. In fact, just for grins, I lifted the line, "There's no evidence that anyone from McCain national headquarters put out a version of events like this." verbatim from what you call the entire post.
.
Magic Dog didn't take the bait, but you did.
10.24.2008 7:30pm
WilliamWallace:

If the McCain campaign weren't trying to send coded racist messages, they'd have been far more circumspect. They'd have avoided the use of those adjectives. They'd have said they were waiting for the investigation to proceed.

And then they'd have waited, rather than having their spokesliar say publicly that there'd be no further comment, while privately feeding more lies to the media to be reported without attribution to the campaign.

The more I see of this, the more it tells me that McCain's campaign is going to go down in history as a racist organization. It's a sad way for the man to bow out.


"Coded racist messages?" "Racist organization?"

Pot...Kettle...Black...


It looks to me like someone here hates "whitey."


Bingo.
10.24.2008 7:31pm
WilliamWallace:

Please get back to me about that on Nov. 5th, when the racist McCain campaign, and the Republicans in Congress, will be sitting in the ashes of their historic defeat.


You've been drinking a lot of haterade. I feel for you man, I really do. It must be difficult living in this evil racist land with the white devil out to get you wherever you go.
10.24.2008 7:35pm
Railroad Gin:
Did you read the entire post?

The only think McCain's communication director did was repeat the story that was going around on the news/Drudge yesterday. The only thing different was that he specified that the "B" stood for Barrack. Did anyone think it stood for Beethoven? It was stating the obvious. Sorry, but there's no there there.

I agree that people should be a little slower to hop on the bandwagon in these situations where experience teaches caution. But I don't see where McCain is any worse than the vast majority of the public. And since the left wrote the playbook on this sort of thing, its really disingenious for them to raise a ruckus about it when the right is handling this situation far better than they would if things were reversed.
10.24.2008 7:36pm
WilliamWallace:
Ashley Todd apparently isn't the die-hard McCainiac that some want her to be.
10.24.2008 7:42pm
justwatching666 (mail):


Does anyone else notice how similar "Magic Dog's" posts are to "Jukeboxgrad's?"



No.
10.24.2008 7:46pm
Magic Dog (mail):
The only think McCain's communication director did was repeat the story that was going around on the news/Drudge yesterday. The only thing different was that he specified that the "B" stood for Barrack. Did anyone think it stood for Beethoven? It was stating the obvious. Sorry, but there's no there there.

The little lecture that the "attacker" supposedly gave the victim was not on the Web yesterday before McCain's spokesliar put it out there. And the spokesliar publicly stated that the McCain campaign would not have further comment, while privately feeding false details that inflamed an already inflamed situation.

The bottom line here is that this was not simply a matter of a whacked out volunteer. It was a matter of a whacked-out volunteer and a deeply cynical, lying campaign that stood ready to play on racial sterotypes and political division for its own gain.

McCain's campaign will go down in history as a racist organization that was decisively repudiated by the voters. Oh, and William Wallace? I hate to burst your bubble but I'm as white as they come.
10.24.2008 7:47pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"Yeah. In fact, just for grins, I lifted the line, "There's no evidence that anyone from McCain national headquarters put out a version of events like this." verbatim from what you call the entire post."


You lifted a single sentence out of it, dealing solely with the national headquarters. You said nothing about whether you approve of what the Pennsylvania communications director did.

So why so coy? Do you approve of what they did, or not?
10.24.2008 7:47pm
WilliamWallace:

McCain's campaign will go down in history as a racist organization that was decisively repudiated by the voters. Oh, and William Wallace? I hate to burst your bubble but I'm as white as they come.


Uh huh. And I'm the queen of England.
10.24.2008 7:49pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"I agree that people should be a little slower to hop on the bandwagon in these situations where experience teaches caution. But I don't see where McCain is any worse than the vast majority of the public."


Presumably, one expects our leaders to act more intelligently than the masses.

More importantly, the McCain campaign obviously had political motives for spreading the story, which is worse than common prurience.

" And since the left wrote the playbook on this sort of thing..."


Huh?
10.24.2008 7:49pm
byomtov (mail):
Magic Dog,

I think you're going somewhat overboard here. The normal reaction of a national campaign to this sort of story is not "this might be a hoax." It's "one of our people was attacked and robbed, so let's call her." Sure, there's some political opportunism in publicizing the call, but so what?

OTOH, I do think that if the story about Feldman, which seems well-substantiated, is true, he should be fired. Apparently the version he gave the local press was more exaggerated and, to use the word of the moment, "incendiary," than Todd's account. And of course that goes for others, if any, who tried to fan the flames.

I also think, as noted above, that people like Powerline, who used the initial report to make all sorts of nasty comments about Obama's campaign ought to be condemned. They too were making baseless and ugly accusations. That would be true even this weren't a hoax.
10.24.2008 7:51pm
Magic Dog (mail):
I think you're going somewhat overboard here. The normal reaction of a national campaign to this sort of story is not "this might be a hoax." It's "one of our people was attacked and robbed, so let's call her." Sure, there's some political opportunism in publicizing the call, but so what?


To use a Republican word, it all depends on your "values.," such as they are. When you step back and look at the totality of the situation, the picture emerges of a McCain campaign that, even if they didn't plan the whole thing from the get-go (which I frankly doubt), was certainly willing to pour gasoline on the fire.

I think it's not only a fair question, but a necessary one, to ask why they were willing to do that. It obviously fit with their western PA tactics, and that might be the whole answer.

But, given what else is happening, for the McCain people to get on that particular horse on Thursday morning and start whipping it into a full-on gallop tells me that they've get a bright yellow racist stripe running up their back.

It stinks, and let's hope the media doesn't let them off the hook for this. It's outrageous, and they deserve to be called out.
10.24.2008 8:01pm
cboldt (mail):
-- McCain's campaign will go down in history as a racist organization --
.
Your narrative may be accurate, or maybe not. Your logic, as does jukeboxgrad's does, involves inserting at least one assumption as you read the report. We don't know, from the report (including the paragraphs that were excised from the media's published articles), if McCain's Pennsylvania communications director Peter Feldman was making shit up, or repeating what the police or hoaxer were saying.
.
It also appears that the Obama campaign was likewise is a sort of "damage control" mode, when it wasn't sure if the report was true or not, by asking to have certain information removed from the media's reports. Frankly, I'm astounded that the media lacked the better judgement to keep those details to themselves, pending resolution by the police. In other words, it shouldn't have taken a request from the Obama campaign.
.
I realize that TPM attributes the claims to Peter Feldman. I've compared TPM claims with raw source material on numerous occasions, and it's foolish to take what TPM presents at face value. I'm not calling them a liar on this point, because I don't have enough information. But TPM is not trustworthy.
.
The McCain spokesperson's claims [is he making shit up, or is he a conduit? TPM doesn't say, but it attributes the claims directly to Feldman] -- which came in the midst of extraordinary and heated conversations late yesterday between the McCain campaign, local TV stations, and the Obama camp, as the early version of the story rocketed around the political world -- is significant because it reveals a McCain official pushing a version of the story that was far more explosive than the available or confirmed facts permitted at the time. [this would be true if he was reciting the hoaxers story. If asked "What are her claims?" an honest answer would be a version of the story that was far more explosive than the available or confirmed facts permitted]
.
The claims to KDKA from the McCain campaign were included in an early story that ran late yesterday on KDKA's Web site. The paragraphs containing these assertions were quickly removed from the story after the Obama campaign privately complained that KDKA was letting the McCain campaign spin [same as above. repeating the hoaxer's charge verbatim can't fairly be called campaign spin] a racially-charged version of the story before the facts had been established, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.
10.24.2008 8:04pm
Magic Dog (mail):
It also appears that the Obama campaign was likewise is a sort of "damage control" mode, when it wasn't sure if the report was true or not, by asking to have certain information removed from the media's reports.

First McCain talked to the media and let everyone know that both candidates had called the girl, and that their campaign was "shake" by the "sick and disgusting" attack. The Obama people had to say something. If you read their statement, they expressed general sympathy and a hope that the perp(s) would be caught.

According to TPM, the Obama campaign objected to the information being included in the report without attribution to anyone. Their complaint was that there was no evidence backing it up, and seeing as how the information was directly pointed at their candidate the Obama campaign wouldn't have been doing its job had they not objected to that.

I realize that TPM attributes the claims to Peter Feldman. I've compared TPM claims with raw source material on numerous occasions, and it's foolish to take what TPM presents at face value. I'm not calling them a liar on this point, because I don't have enough information. But TPM is not trustworthy.

Go read again. TPM attributes it to an interview with the radio station, which told TPM that it got the information from the campaign. And who do you trust? Your nearest wingnut blog? They really covered themselves with glory, I'll tell ya.
10.24.2008 8:14pm
Magic Dog (mail):
CORRECTING FORMATTING, SPELLING

It also appears that the Obama campaign was likewise is a sort of "damage control" mode, when it wasn't sure if the report was true or not, by asking to have certain information removed from the media's reports.


First McCain talked to the media and let everyone know that both candidates had called the girl, and that their campaign was "shaken" by the "sick and disgusting" attack. The Obama people had to say something. If you read their statement, they expressed general sympathy and a hope that the perp(s) would be caught.

According to TPM, the Obama campaign objected to the information being included in the report without attribution to anyone. Their complaint was that there was no evidence backing it up, and seeing as how the information was directly pointed at their candidate the Obama campaign wouldn't have been doing its job had they not objected to that.
I realize that TPM attributes the claims to Peter Feldman. I've compared TPM claims with raw source material on numerous occasions, and it's foolish to take what TPM presents at face value. I'm not calling them a liar on this point, because I don't have enough information. But TPM is not trustworthy.


Go read again. TPM attributes it to an interview with the radio station, which told TPM that it got the information from the campaign. And who do you trust? Your nearest wingnut blog? They really covered themselves with glory, I'll tell ya.
10.24.2008 8:18pm
Railroad Gin:
The little lecture that the "attacker" supposedly gave the victim was not on the Web yesterday before McCain's spokesliar put it out there.

Yesterday there was a story that a McCain campaign worker was attacked by an Obama supporter. I fail to see spokesperson's alleged quote materially alters the basic gist of the story. I'm supposed to believe that when people heard about this and that he had carved a "B" into her face, they didn't care. (Maybe because they were so busy trying to figure out what the "B" stood for -- its so hard to figure out). But when they heard that the attacker yelled "I'm going to teach you a lesson" thats when the outrage kicked in." Good thing the McCain spokesman didn't say the attacker forgot to wear his seatbelt. People would have gone postal.

And enough of the racism nonsense. McCain has intentionally avoided playing the Jeremiah Wright card. Foolishly, IMHO, but clearly the guy doesn't want to fan the flames of racism. And rural PA voted heavily for Lynn Swann in 2006. Again, there's no there there.

" And since the left wrote the playbook on this sort of thing..."

Huh?


Tawana Brawley, Duke Lacrosse and inummerable staged racial incidents and non-rapes that aren't as well publicized but that occur with some regularity on college campuses. Maybe there's a history that I'm unaware of, but in my lifetime 99% of these hoaxes are always motivated by a anti-white male mindset or similar PC sentiments. I don't think anyone can argue against this. Whatever the sins of the right, this particular antic is overwhelmingly the province of the left.
10.24.2008 8:30pm
cboldt (mail):
-- Go read again. TPM attributes it to an interview with the radio station, which told TPM that it got the information from the campaign. And who do you trust? --
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I don't trust any of 'em, and I certainly don't trust TPM. Nothing personal - they earned my distrust.
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Let's follow the telephone tag. Peter Feldman tells somebody at the radio station, and somebody at the radio station tells TPM. Missing from that is who told Feldman anything at all? Is he making everything up from thin air? Is he describing a complete hallucination? No. There is in fact a hoaxer.
.
Given this telephone tag arrangement leading to TPM's publication, how reliable do you think YOUR conclusion is, that Feldman made up, from whole cloth out of his own mind, "the alleged attacker said, 'You're with the McCain campaign? I'm going to teach you a lesson.'"?
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How gullible are you? It's good practice, essential if one is interested in the truth, to cut through the telephone tag bullshit, and find out who said what, and based on what. I see a big gaping hole at the lead end of this telephone tag story. Where is Feldman getting his lines? What, exactly, were Feldman's lines?
10.24.2008 8:36pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
What legitimate interest did the McCain campaign have in pushing this story?
10.24.2008 8:40pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"Tawana Brawley, Duke Lacrosse and inummerable staged racial incidents and non-rapes that aren't as well publicized but that occur with some regularity on college campuses. Maybe there's a history that I'm unaware of, but in my lifetime 99% of these hoaxes are always motivated by a anti-white male mindset or similar PC sentiments. I don't think anyone can argue against this. Whatever the sins of the right, this particular antic is overwhelmingly the province of the left."


Who the hell is "the left"? Sorry, but Al Sharpton and Mike Nifong are not "the left". There were a lot of us on "the left" who were disgusted by and spoke out against the Duke lacrosse prosecution.
10.24.2008 8:44pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
BTW, in the not-too-distant-past, there was a long history of white women falsely claiming black men attacked/raped/hit on them. This is hardly something "the left" has an exclusive market on.
10.24.2008 8:47pm
cboldt (mail):
-- The Obama people had to say something. If you read their statement, they expressed general sympathy and a hope that the perp(s) would be caught. --
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My comment, on that point, related to the Obama campaign asking the media to remove certain things from the reports. What I was trying to say, and I didn't say it well, was that the media should have withheld those lines/graphs without being asked to. The media could have reported the attack, and waited a day or two to see if the hoaxers "politically motivated beating" story panned out.
.
Now, if the McCain campaign lacks the good judgement to sit on the story (IOW, if it is pushing for publication before evidence beyond the "victim's" story), then it get the same criticism from me that I give the media. It's piss poor judgment. I don't think it's racism, the legs on the story have more to do with it being politically motivated (although it's obvious that it's disentangling politics from racism in this election contest is a lost cause).
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Anyway. I think the Obama campaign had the better judgement - don't publish THAT part, they urged.
10.24.2008 8:49pm
Magic Dog (mail):
Yesterday there was a story that a McCain campaign worker was attacked by an Obama supporter. I fail to see spokesperson's alleged quote materially alters the basic gist of the story.


For starters the spokesliar's quote, which was fabricated out of whole cloth and by whom we don't yet know, added a very sharply partisan dimension to the tale.

Missing from that is who told Feldman anything at all? Is he making everything up from thin air? Is he describing a complete hallucination? No. There is in fact a hoaxer.


I'd love to know who told him what, and when. Unfortunately, the spokesliar was unavailable to TPM, and no one else at the McCain campaign would comment. Maybe the spokesliar will contact TPM and give them an interview, but I doubt it. That would require courage and honesty, two properties not associated with Republicans these days.

I see a big gaping hole at the lead end of this telephone tag story. Where is Feldman getting his lines? What, exactly, were Feldman's lines?


To know exactly what Feldman's lines were, the KDKA guy quoted by TPM would have had to tape the conversation. It could also be reconstructed by a joint interview with the spokesliar and the KDKA guy. But the spokesliar is not available for comment. Probably too chicken at this point.

And enough of the racism nonsense. McCain has intentionally avoided playing the Jeremiah Wright card. Foolishly, IMHO, but clearly the guy doesn't want to fan the flames of racism.


That's how you'd like to spin it, but I see it very differently. I think a whole lot of McCain's campaign has been based on coded racial messages. This time, the code came a lot closer to the surface than usual. McCain's campaign, in this instance, jumped on a fake racial incident and pushed it for all it was worth. They're racists, plain and simple.
10.24.2008 8:54pm
cboldt (mail):
-- What legitimate interest did the McCain campaign have in pushing this story? --
.
Plenty. It still has an interest, IMO. There's an important set of lessons here. One of them has to do with timing and leaping to conclusions, another has to do with the tactic of making false police reports of politically-motivated attacks.
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There are, in fact, politically-motivated attacks. Both campaigns have an interest in seeing to it that those attacks are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I'd like to see politically-motivated attacks made into a federal hate-crime, with penalties being 10 year minimum for assault. False reports of politically-motivated assault, 1 year.
10.24.2008 8:56pm
Magic Dog (mail):
What I was trying to say, and I didn't say it well, was that the media should have withheld those lines/graphs without being asked to. The media could have reported the attack, and waited a day or two to see if the hoaxers "politically motivated beating" story panned out.


That's beside the point. What counts here is what McCain's campaign did, and the record there is quite damning.

First, rather than downplaying this pending more information, they went with mordant, public expressions of sympathy, together with an expression of being shocked by the "sick and disgusting" attack.

Then they promised not to comment on it out of respect for the victim's privacy. And then they turned right around and commented -- telling lies, but not for attribution. That makes McCain's campaign staff not just racist liars, but racist lying cowards.

And, like the Republicans always do, you want to weasel out of any accountability or responsibility for this. It's always someone ELSE's fault with you people. Personal responsibility? That's something you shout at poor people, figuring that you can say and do whatever the hell you want to, without consequence.

Failing any of that, there's always the ultimate fallback position for the Republican Party: Blame it on the media. Yup, it's their fault. Do you realize how just old and threadbare this smarmy little act of yours has gotten?
10.24.2008 9:01pm
cboldt (mail):
-- I think a whole lot of McCain's campaign has been based on coded racial messages. --
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Yeah, that's pretty clear. Everything is code for racsim these days. So much so that charging racism has turned into a joke. Take your "coded racism" and stick it in your ass. I say that to your face, by the way (mindful of the rules of the forum).
10.24.2008 9:02pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"Plenty. It still has an interest, IMO."


I'm talking about the pre-debunked version of the story. Why was the spokesman pushing the story, if not for blatant political purposes?
10.24.2008 9:02pm
Magic Dog (mail):
There's an important set of lessons here. One of them has to do with timing and leaping to conclusions, another has to do with the tactic of making false police reports of politically-motivated attacks.


Here are the important lessons:

1. Stop it with the racism. It's unbecoming in the party of Abraham Lincoln.

2. Tell the truth.

3. When you do wrong, accept responsibility.

The Republicans won't do a single one of these things. There was a time when they were conservatives in the small-c sense of that word, but those days are long gone. You people don't have a single principle that you are willing to live by yourselves. Not a one.
10.24.2008 9:04pm
cboldt (mail):
-- And, like the Republicans always do, you want to weasel out of any accountability or responsibility for this. It's always someone ELSE's fault with you people. Personal responsibility? That's something you shout at poor people, figuring that you can say and do whatever the hell you want to, without consequence. --
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All I'm looking for is a report that facilitates assigning responsibility. My first reaction was to damn Feldman, but then I realized that he may have been responding to reporter's request for comment or information.
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It's always jump to conclusion with you people. Fill in the gaps with your imagination so you can parrot your preferred narrative. Personal responsibility? That's something you ask the government to provide.
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When the Democrats are running the country, they will disclaim responsibility for the condition they leave it in. But I can look at two areas of our society that Democrats have control over, education and media, and they have run both institutions into the ground. Will they accept responsibility for it? Hell no. Democrats are perfect.
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You bought it, you run it, you own it, the consequences are yours. Have fun with your banana republic where dissent is stifled.
10.24.2008 9:08pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
randall:

How is McCain saying that he was "sick" and "disgusted" racial rhetoric?


It seems that McCain was in an awfully big rush to jump on this story. The incident supposedly happened Wednesday night, but I think the first public report was yesterday at about 4 pm. The story first appeared at memeorandum at 4:50 pm. One of the earliest blog posts was at 4:13 pm:

Obama Supporter Attacks and Mutilates McCain Volunteer…These Obama cultists are dangerous and out of control. What the hell will these people do if the messiah loses on November 4th? Is this the new strategy to get Obama elected? Vote Obama or we'll riot, mutilate people and destroy property? Keep in mind, community activists used intimidation to get banks to give home loans to minority and high risk customers. They stormed bank lobbies and scared away customers. They harassed bank presidents at their homes. It seems they're willing to go even further and actually mutilate a McCain supporter. Will voters with McCain signs in their front yards be targeted, too? To me, this is an argument to defeat Obama soundly on November 4th. We will not be intimidated into voting for Obama


Then there's this:

Todd received a call from the Republican presidential nominee on Thursday night.


In other words, McCain called her just a few hours after the story was first reported. That seems awfully quick. Impulsive, even. McCain seems to be in the habit of gathering the facts after he's made his decision.
10.24.2008 9:10pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cboldt:

my point was that I was unable to get to raw source material


I know that was your point. My point is that the McCain campaign puts out lots of material that you aren't going to find in the places where you went looking.

Thanks for the example link BTW.


You're welcome.

So much for cutting through the media filter. If a campaign won't put things out to the public, it ought not complain when the public has to rely on the media for information.


I agree. McCain makes a fuss about the media 'filter,' but his campaign is also doing a rotten job of making information directly available to the public.

Visiting the McCain website, there is a search function. I used the word "monegan" and it reported back "No documents were found."


For many or most sites that provide an internal 'search' feature, you're better off ignoring that feature and just doing a google site search instead. Like this: site:johnmccain.com monegan.

I've compared TPM claims with raw source material on numerous occasions, and it's foolish to take what TPM presents at face value.


I would like to see an example. It would interest me if you can show examples similar to what I've documented.
10.24.2008 9:10pm
cboldt (mail):
-- You people don't have a single principle that you are willing to live by yourselves. Not a one. --
.
I shun liars. Good old fashioned shunnin'. Talk to the hand.
10.24.2008 9:10pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
william:

People hiding behind anonymous comments will say things that they would never dream of saying in public.


Exactly. I think this often means that people are being more honest than they would otherwise dare to be. I think that's a good thing.

In other words, the comments you described as "faked" strike me as quite authentic and real.
10.24.2008 9:11pm
Magic Dog (mail):
For roughly 100 years, the Republican Party had an honorable record with respect to racial issues. That ended abruptly in 1968, when Richard Nixon decided that the Republicans' future lay with exploiting white working class resentment over civil rights.

Ever since then, the Republicans have pursued a "Southern Strategy" aimed at exploiting racial divisions, and other divisions when they can find them, for their political gain. I think that string is playing itself out. This year, anyway, it's not going to work. Boy oh boy, is it ever not going to work!
10.24.2008 9:11pm
cboldt (mail):
-- Like this: site:johnmccain.com monegan. --
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Good tip. Thanks.
10.24.2008 9:12pm
Magic Dog (mail):
You bought it, you run it, you own it, the consequences are yours. Have fun with your banana republic where dissent is stifled.


Would you like some cheese with that fine whine? Suddenly, I'm recalling the aftermath of the 1992 election. Guess what? It's going to worse this time because it'll be a two-man race and your guy will be lucky to crack 40%.
10.24.2008 9:15pm
cboldt (mail):
-- I would like to see an example [error by TPM]. It would interest me if you can show examples similar to what I've documented. [errors by NR/NRO, Powerline, AT] --
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I don't have any at my fingertips. I agree that NR/NRO, Powerline, AT, and I could name a few other "righty" sites that are error prone. Same for the left, TalkLeft, firedoglake, emptywheel ... and even the Congressional Record, by members of both parties. If something catches my interest, I dig one layer deeper, sometimes two. For Congress, it's not what they say, it's what they pass into law. I'd say Congressional accuracy as to reporting current events is on par with the media - they suck. Lies abound. My intuition tells me that the public is being dumbed down and divided, because that sort of populace is easier to manipulate, stir, and control.
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I give TPM credit for publishing source documents. I can usually form an opinion from that, without the aid of their commentary.
10.24.2008 9:21pm
cboldt (mail):
-- Would you like some cheese with that fine whine? --
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There you go with your coded racism again. Intolerant bigot.
10.24.2008 9:22pm
cboldt (mail):
-- 1. Stop it with the racism. It's unbecoming in the party of Abraham Lincoln.
2. Tell the truth.
3. When you do wrong, accept responsibility.
--
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If you think Democrats live up to these ideals, then you are certifiable. Notice that I am not saying Republicans live up to them, but I've used many hundreds of hours comparing "what they say" with "what they do" and "what the facts really are," and the results aren't pretty.
10.24.2008 9:27pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cboldt:

[errors by NR/NRO, Powerline, AT]


All humans make mistakes, but responsible humans make an effort to correct their mistakes. I don't call those examples "errors." When someone has been notified about their 'error,' and refuses to run a correction, it doesn't look like an error any more. It looks like a lie.

Just to be clear, NR and Power Line were notified. I don't know that AT was notified, but I doubt that it would make any difference.

I could show you many other examples. And you still haven't shown an example to support the claim you made about TPM.
10.24.2008 9:31pm
cboldt (mail):
-- When someone has been notified about their 'error,' and refuses to run a correction, it doesn't look like an error any more. It looks like a lie. --
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I've pointed out errors to the authors at all of those sites, with supporting base material and solid argument. They persist in their narrative. Call it lies if you want, that's what I call it.
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-- And you still haven't shown an example to support the claim you made about TPM. --
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That's right, I haven't. I haven't given examples where I detected lies at other sites either. You do your homework, I'll do mine. That's the way it's supposed to work. Sometimes I post my observations, more often I keep them to myself.
10.24.2008 9:39pm
hl (mail):
Anyone know why Ron Howard's Opie piece was taken off Youtube?
10.24.2008 10:43pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cboldt:

I've pointed out errors to the authors at all of those sites, with supporting base material and solid argument. They persist in their narrative. Call it lies if you want, that's what I call it.


I'm not sure what you mean by "those sites." If you're talking about NR and Power Line, then we're in so-called violent agreement.

You do your homework, I'll do mine.


Right. Except I made a claim (about NR and Power Line), and I showed the homework I did to support that claim. On the other hand, you made a claim about TPM, and have shown nothing to support that claim.

Sometimes I post my observations, more often I keep them to myself.


I would suggest that you refrain from making allegations you're not prepared to substantiate.
10.24.2008 10:56pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Anyone know why Ron Howard's Opie piece was taken off Youtube?


Dunno why, but you can see it here.
10.24.2008 10:56pm
cboldt (mail):
-- I would suggest that you refrain from making allegations you're not prepared to substantiate. --
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I made a general unsubstantiated statement that I don't trust TPM, and I described specifically what I found objectionable in the story cited here, about the hoaxer and related news media reports.
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I really don't care which sites you find trustworthy and which you don't trust. Your opinion means squat to me, because I think you are personally a liar.
10.24.2008 11:02pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
I made a general unsubstantiated statement that I don't trust TPM


Maybe someday you'll get around to substantiating that claim.

I think you are personally a liar.


And that one, too.
10.24.2008 11:08pm
Hoosier:
OK.

Meds for a couple of our friends on this site. STAT!
10.24.2008 11:26pm
cboldt (mail):
Being pedantic about it, my expression of my beliefs and opinions is self-substantiating. I'm stating what I think and opine.
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I appreciate the links you provide, I don't mind your posts - you're civil in disagreement and in general a good sport in light of my blunt confrontation. Just the same, my opinion as to your veracity is what it is -- negative.
10.24.2008 11:54pm
Russ (mail):
This is truly sad as the hightened partisan tensions of this election have us at each other's throats on something about which we should all agree.

Democrats are using the hoax to say most Republicans are race-baiters who are going to get creamed this election. Republicans are defending themselves by pointing out some of the more outrageous behavior on the Left in recent years.

This is what happens when we paint the other side as not merely wrong on policy, but as evil. Yes, we have different ideas about the direction of the country, but I have met very few folks on either side who is downright bad and hoping to do in the country. There are exceptions, but most folks out there simply have different ideas on what is best for the country.

As a Conservative, I condemn this woman's actions and stupid attempts to "help" our side. She should be publicly ridiculed for this, and sent to jail over filing a false report. We should make an example out of her if for no other reason than to discourage it in the future.
10.25.2008 12:04am
second history:
Looks like VC has finally jumped the shark, at least as the election is concerned.
10.25.2008 1:03am
MS (mail):
Race has not been a nasty issue in this campaign thus far, and that is to the credit of both McCain and Obama. One year ago, I would have never bet we'd have made it this far.

This woman could have triggered a national emergency. Drudge is a total douchebag. Everyone else is innocent. We should all calm down and love each other.
10.25.2008 2:03am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
russ:

we have different ideas about the direction of the country, but I have met very few folks on either side who is downright bad and hoping to do in the country


Then presumably you're not happy with people like Michelle Bachmann who have suggested that Obama and other Democrats have "anti-American" views. Or Palin and others suggesting that some parts of the country are more "real" or more "pro-America." A congressman recently said this: "liberals hate real Americans that work and achieve and believe in God."

That's the sound of the GOP imploding.

She should be publicly ridiculed for this, and sent to jail over filing a false report.


The problem goes beyond Todd. What she did is less important than the statements I just cited.
10.25.2008 11:12am
cboldt (mail):
-- Then presumably you're not happy with people like Michelle Bachmann who have suggested that Obama and other Democrats have "anti-American" views. Or Palin and others suggesting that some parts of the country are more "real" or more "pro-America." --
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Another pump and dump by JBG. Read the source material. JBG's characterization is superfluous to an independent thinker forming an opinion. I don't think Democrats are "anti-American." But they are actively engaged in redefining American ideals away from personal independence, self-reliance, responsibility, tolerance, and truth.
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That JBG holds that campaign rhetoric is worse than a politically-charged false police report is an indication of JBG's intolerance of criticism.
10.25.2008 11:28am
byomtov (mail):
Read the source material.

JBG quoted the source material.

Palin did say she was gad to be in a "pro-American" part of the country.

Bachmann did call for an investigation of members of Congress who are "anti-American."

Both later professed shock that their words were taken as being derogatory of some Americans. Right.

I don't think Democrats are "anti-American." But they are actively engaged in redefining American ideals away from personal independence, self-reliance, responsibility, tolerance, and truth.

I'd say, in Russ' words, that this paints"the other side as not merely wrong on policy, but as evil."

Not "anti-American," just a bunch of intolerant liars who oppose personal independence, self-reliance, and responsibility.
10.25.2008 1:18pm
Randy R. (mail):
"Stranger with Candy: "Jane and Randy R. provide a useful summary of the soon to come comments on this post."

I'm so proud. AFter posting here for a while, you get to know what's coming!

Anyway, when I made the comment about what sort of ethics the McCain campaign has, I was referring to the training that most campaign volunteers undergo, or should undergo.

When I was a volunteer for a local campaign a long time ago, I was instructed that if I was going to be working on behalf of X, then anything I say or do during the campaign will reflect upon the candidate, even during my off hours. In a tight campaign, you can't give anyone an excuse to vote against your candidate. If you can't handle yourself for the few weeks this entails, you shouldn't be working there. Illegal acts, pranks, boorish behavior in public -- all are off limits. You were required to be courteous to all, even people who disagree with you, especially if you are actually canvassing for votes.

I would hope that any campaign had such training and ethics. Apparently, at McCain's, they do not.

And yes, Hoosier is correct -- broad brush strokes are often necessary in painting. Sheesh -- you don't need to be a Martha Stewart to know that!
10.25.2008 3:09pm