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McCain, Media Allies Play the Uppity Black Card

By       Message Brent Budowsky       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

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John McCain is strong on duty and country, but consumed with ambition, he campaigns without honor. His campaign and those in the media he calls part of his political base have degenerated into slanders and falsehoods that appeal to the lowest instincts.

Recently I challenged what I called three McCain lies about Obama and wounded troops. Today I challenge a lie that was included in the recent Washington Post column by Dana Milbank, repeated without correction many times, and used by Joe Scarborough and others to demean Obama.

Even Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post repeated the falsehood and, amazingly, raised the "uppity" issue (he used that word more than once) in one of the more disgraceful appearances I have seen on television.

Milbank's misquote of Obama, one of the worst misquotes that I have ever seen in a major newspaper, misrepresented what Obama told the House Democratic Caucus. Milbank's misquote was not only inaccurate and factually false; his version was literally the exact opposite of what Obama said.

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What Obama actually said, verified by multiple sources, including House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), was this: asked in the caucus about the huge number of American-admiring people at his Berlin speech, Barack actually said that he could not take credit for the crowd — it was really about America.

Milbank twisted, distorted and misrepresented what Obama said with a false version of the quote. Milbank falsified the actual words to make it appear that Obama was giving himself haughty praise. He then attacked what Obama never said and made the “uppity” case, in his words, followed by Capehart on the Scarborough show, who used the “uppity” term directly.

What Barack actually said was modest, not arrogant. What Barack actually said was intensely patriotic, not personal praise for himself as Milbank, Scarborough, Capehart and others falsely represented.

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Then Milbank went on the discuss details of Obama's logistics, suggesting they were regal and arrogant, when those details in fact were required by Obama's security contingent, to protect him.

I am not convinced that Milbank actually had a source for what he represented, but if he did, the single unnamed source lied. His column was based on the lie. Multiple media repeated the lie. The McCain campaign used the lie for talking points, and these attacks even found their way onto The Hill's Pundits Blog by one of my pundit brothers of Republican allegiance.

This whole attack on Obama from the McCain campaign, which is systematically personal, negative, vindictive and often (as I've shown) based on outright falsehood, is deliberately aimed to create stereotypical images with various elements of the electorate. And to use innuendo that is barely disguised, to appeal to instincts that should have no place in politics.

Barack Obama was accepted by Harvard and rose to lead the Harvard Law Review the old-fashioned way: he earned it. Michelle Obama, who has been subjected to the worst slander campaign of any potential first lady in history, earned her success the old- fashioned way: she earned it.

McCain is a guy who wears $500 shoes, has a family net worth of more than $100 million, has a long history of campaign contributions from companies appearing before his congressional committee, is one of the oil companies' closest allies in Congress — and McCain calls Obama, a child of a single-parent household, who achieved everything by hard work and talent, who gave up huge potential income to work with churches to help laid-off workers — he calls Obama an elitist?

McCain's campaign is run by people who worked for George Bush and Karl Rove, and his campaign is a textbook copy of the Bush attack against war hero John Kerry and others they slander in their obsessive hunger for power.

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The McCain campaign is employing innuendo, stereotypes and multiple appeals to base instincts to use racial and class resentments the McCain campaign believes can be fomented and exploited for votes.

My guess is this won’t work. Some of the people can be fooled some of the time, but America has progressed far more than the McCain operatives and many in the media believe.

My information is: Every time these slanderous attacks are launched against Obama, his 1.5 million small donor list grows and average Americans are outraged and motivated to act by donating more to Obama.

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Brent Budowsky is a regular columnist on He served as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, responsible for commerce and intelligence matters, including one of the core drafters of the CIA Identities Law. Served (more...)

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