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Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mark Kirk's subconscious

"Interviewed on the Don Wade & Roma in the Morning show Wednesday, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said that he supports a policy "where if we see Obama there's a shoot-on-sight order.""

He meant Bin Laden. This is...what? The fourth comment? When I've never heard a single one about another candidate, in my entire life (I'm not saying there haven't been any. Just that I haven't heard them.) I'm not saying that they consciously want him dead, but tribal fear goes very, very deep.

This is the ugliest stuff I've seen in decades, and 100% predictable. There will be more, and people will keep making excuses for it. Then, if something happens, they'll say "oops! So terrible! But how could we have known..."

No, I will not give this horror a pass. This is why Colin Powell's wife pressured him not to run.

17 comments:

Dan Moran said...

Before Obama became a leading candidate for President, I almost never heard Republicans refer to Osama bin Laden as anything except "bin Ladin" -- now it's "Obama, oops, I mean Osama" ...

The GOP attention to detail is nasty, but it's impressive sometimes. You can't get by a group of conservatives without hearing "The Democrat Party" ... I had a guy use that once while arguing that Democrats weren't bipartisan enough. Yeah, I'll start being bipartisan when conservatives stop being intentionally rude assholes.

I was listening to Al Rantel talking to a conservative strategist the other day -- after a while (half an hour, maybe) it struck me as wierd the way they never, ever, ever referred to "McCain" or "Obama." It was "John McCain" and "Barrack Obama," every single time. At one point Rantel said, "So if McCai...uh, if John McCain blah blah blah"

Attention to detail. "No, we're not trolling for racist assholes by looking to make a point about that funny name: look, we use John McCain's full name every single time too!"

I kinda respect it, in a God-is-in-the-details kind of way, if the impulse behind it weren't so rotten.

Anonymous said...

So if you were running for office in a jewish district against Raydolph Smith or Jack Nitler, you'd never-?
Bruce Purcell

Anonymous said...

How very vile.

I am glad Obama's running though; I very much wish Powell had felt able to. We could have stood to have him run in '96 as a Republican, for a lot of reasons...


--Erich

Frank said...

No, I will not give this horror a pass.

I never cease to be amazed by people's filters.

Not only did Sen Kennedy once slip and say "Osama" when he meant Obama

but CNN once put up a picture of Osama bin Laden with the caption "Where's Obama".

And I will remind people yet again that it was the Clinton campaign that began the "Obama is a Muslim" meme that everyone now blames on Republicans, because, you know, Republicans just had to have done it.

Christian M. Howell said...

No wonder I so often want to punch people in the head. It's high time for America to be one country.

Steven Barnes said...

Frank--
YOU are the one filtering. I didn't object to the Obama/Osama gaff. I reacted to the "shoot Obama" meme. I wouldn't have reacted it they'd said "capture." What's going on here, as far as I'm concerned, is the absolutely ugliest whisper campaign imaginable, using every excuse in the book.

Steven Barnes said...

More to the point, Frank, I DID react when Clinton made the Bobby Kennedy reference. A little more filtering on your part, perhaps?

Frank said...

A little more filtering on your part, perhaps?

Perhaps.

But I am afraid that simply because the slip came in conjunction with the word "shoot" does not make it significantly different than Kennedy calling Obama Osama, or CNN identifying Osama as Obama.

But clearly, its just me...

You must remember, assassinating Obama at this point would be counterproductive for Republicans. They feel they can beat him on the merits and they feel they will have a much better chance of exploiting his inexperience.

Removing him would mean Clinton which, to Republicans, would be a harder row to hoe.

Rightly or wrongly, that's what they think.

Now I don't know the man personally, but I'm guessing he didn't mean any more by it than CNN did.

Unless you think CNN did mean to do it, in which case, I still think you are wrong.

Frank said...

I DID react when Clinton made the Bobby Kennedy reference.

Oh, and one more thing, I was not referring to this incident. If you followed the link I provided, I was referring to the incident where Senator Ted Kennedy called Obama, Osama.

I did not make mention of the Clinton assassination reference.

Dan Moran said...

Frank,

Sure, "obama" and "osama" are close enough together that anyone could make an honest mistake. Kennedy made one. Conservatives have made about ten thousand of 'em, so far.

"Now, if Barrack Osama, oops, Obama..."
"Now, if Barrack Osama, oops, Obama..."
"Now, if Barrack Osama, oops, Obama..."
"Now, if Barrack Osama, oops, Obama..."
"Now, if Barrack Osama, oops, Obama..."
"Now, if Barrack Osama, oops, Obama..."
"Now, if Barrack Osama, oops, Obama..."
"Now, if Barrack Osama, oops, Obama..."
"Now, if Barrack Osama, oops, Obama..."
"Now, if Barrack Osama, oops, Obama..."

Repeat 9990 times.

Oops.

Steven Barnes said...

Frank, I was referring to the fact that Clinton mentioned Bobby Kennedy, and I reacted to her bringing assassination into the picture. Therefore, I was not "merely" reacting to Republican comments--I'm reacting to a family of comments, suggesting violence be done. If you've been reading this blog, you know that I believe fear and anger toward other racial groups is a natural human quality. "The Republicans don't have a reason to assassinate..." is operating in a huge blind spot. Whites AS whites certainly do--he represents a serious sea-change. Just like a white man running for office in an African country might have problems. This isn't about him being a Democrat, dude. Like I said: I have never heard such talk about any other Presidential candidate. Gee...I wonder what could be different about him? Hmmm? Especially a visual difference. I wonder. The fact that you see no difference between "Obama/Osama" and actually talking about killing him is EXACTLY the problem. Good, decent white folks like you see no difference. To me, there is a HUGE difference, and I never forget that people like you cannot see it--or let themselves see it. That's not a shot at you, Frank. It is a comment about how human consciousness works, and that if something...even an awful thing...is of benefit to your group, it is difficult to see it. White people are NOT going to react to threats against a black man (even inadvertant ones) as much as a black person would, or as much as they would if it were a white person being threatened. The exact same thing would be true if the races were reversed.

Frank said...

It is a comment about how human consciousness works, and that if something...even an awful thing...is of benefit to your group, it is difficult to see it.

Oh. I get it. It's something like this.

Some "groups" were OK with it and some weren't.

Steven Barnes said...

Yes, just like that, Frank. And there is no doubt that if no film like that had been made before, and one was made about President Obama, I would have yelped. The chance is excellent that whoever made it was NOT in sympathy with Bush and his politics (Bush therefore being an "other") which means he likely had reduced empathy and respect for Bush's life, which made the idea of the film more palatable to the makers.

Frank said...

The chance is excellent that whoever made it was NOT in sympathy with Bush and his politics (Bush therefore being an "other") which means he likely had reduced empathy and respect for Bush's life, which made the idea of the film more palatable to the makers.

Yeah probably.

Because according to Wikipedia, a Syrian stood accused, but a Black man (a Gulf War veteran who's son was killed in Iraq) was the real perpetrator.

Those wacky Brits....

Hugh said...

I don't see this as anything new, I'm afraid. Steve, did you see the "Shoot Bush First" graffiti in '80? Or hear any of the jokes about Bush, Quayle, and especially Cheney being "assassination insurance"?

What makes this more troubling to me is that it is backed by an undercurrent of real racism. The "will it still be the _white_ house" and "baby mama" incidents are a reflection of real hatred.

It will be interesting to see what happens if (I hope when) he wins. Do you recall Clinton being threatened by a congresscritter if he set foot in his state? (Senior moment, I've forgotten the details.) I would hope that a President Obama's secret service detail would take that seriously, and press charges.

Steven Barnes said...

I remember "Shoot Bush" graffiti. But not such talk from News commentators and Presidential candidates. That is a completely different matter. Assholes on the street will say the complete spectrum of obscenity. Our public officials and professional communicators SHOULD be held to a much higher standard.

Hugh said...

It's a fair point that the politicians themselves consider this behavior acceptable enough to put their own face on. The only thing close was the threat against Bill Clinton - and that's not very close.