Peggy Noonan: GOP Most Scared of Obama – No, Seriously, They Are

Does anyone seriously believe there are more voters who loathe Hillary Clinton than there are racists in American today? Peggy Noonan, the right’s resident moonbat, appears to believe this — and she asserts that the GOP would not dare run a racist ad against Barack Obama.
If Sen. Corker or former Sen. Jesse Helms were forced to be truthful — let’s say by waterboarding them — both would admit they did not care that their victories were attributed to racist ads. Neither will Pres. McCain.
As expatriot columnist David Seaton put it, “I smell a rat.”

He’s referring to Noonan’s column in the Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal column on Friday, in which she waxed poetical about Obama, who is quickly becoming the GOP’s second favorite Republican, after Joe Lieberman:

But Mr. Obama will not be easy for Republicans to attack. He will be hard to get at, hard to address. There are many reasons, but a primary one is that the fact of his race will freeze them. No one, no candidate, no party, no heavy-breathing consultant, will want to cross any line–lines that have never been drawn, that are sure to be shifting and not always visible–in approaching the first major-party African-American nominee for president of the United States.

Baloney. Noonan has forgotten, deliberately perhaps, the ad produced by the Republican National Committee to run against then-Rep. Harold Ford, conservative African-American Democrat who was running for the U.S. Senate against a lightweight former mayor of Chattanooga, which exploited ancient fears about black men and white women, especially in the South:

A new Republican Party television ad featuring a scantily clad white woman winking and inviting a black candidate to “call me” is drawing charges of race-baiting, with critics saying it contradicts a landmark GOP statement last year that the party was wrong in past decades to use racial appeals to win support from white voters.

Critics said the ad, which is funded by the Republican National Committee and has aired since Friday, plays on fears of interracial relationships to scare some white voters in rural Tennessee to oppose Democratic Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. Ford is locked in a tight race, hoping to become the first African American senator since Reconstruction to represent a state in the former Confederacy.

“It is a powerful innuendo that plays to pre-existing prejudices about African American men and white women,” said Hilary Shelton, head of the Washington office of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, the country’s oldest civil rights organization.

A former Republican senator, William S. Cohen of Maine, was more blunt. Cohen, who was also Defense secretary under President Clinton, said on CNN that the ad was “a very serious appeal to a racist sentiment.”

Ford saw his lead in most polls evaporate after the ad started running. Corker won the seat, 51 percent to 48 percent.

Speaking of “rats,” in 1990, future professional Clinton-hater Dick Morris and GOP message-meister Alex Castellanos, the “father of attack ads,” produced the most famous racist ad prior to the anti-Ford nastiness, for the U.S. Senate reelection campaign of Jesse Helms, the segregationist scourge of North Carolina. As a former Charlottean who voted for Helms’ opponent, Harvey Gantt, when he ran successfully ran for mayor, I was, and still am, outraged over this:

In 1990, [Castellanos] helped produce a spot for then U.S. Senator Jesse Helms which has since become known as the “white hands” ad. In the spot, a white male is rejected for employment because the job was given to a minority in accordance with affirmative action laws…

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a communications expert who has authored a book on negative advertising, said the ad features subliminal messages intended to inflame racial fears.

“The evaluation of visual symbols is extremely tricky,” Jamieson told a PBS interviewer for a report on campaign advertisements. “But there are two things about that ad that are worthy of discussion. The first, when you look frame by frame at the ad, there are frames in the ad in which the hands are crushing the head of one of the candidates…

“Secondly, there is a black mark on the letter that’s shown in the ad that is supposedly the rejection letter that a blue collar worker has just gotten telling him that he hasn’t gotten the job and the ad’s implication is that it was given to someone who was an unqualified minority.

“Well, when talking to people in focus groups about the ad, first most people didn’t recognize that at almost an imperceptible level there was the hand appearing to crush the head of the candidate. But a number of people did see that and when you point it out to people they do see it. Now we don’t know what that does to audiences. But it’s interesting that it’s there. Secondly, there’s a black mark on the paper.

“And when you ask Castellanos how did it get there, he says, ‘I don’t know it’s just a piece of paper we picked up.’ But there are some people in some focus groups who see that as a black hand holding a black gun. Different people bring different meanings to different symbols. We don’t all respond to the same message in the same way.

“The question becomes for an ad like that, is that ad subtly activating racial fears? Illegitimate fears that are not about the explicit content of the ad, but are about something else. Or were those just production accidents that elicited that unintended response in some members of the audience.”

Helms won reelection with 52.5 percent of vote versus Gantt’s 47.4 percent.

But La Noonan is clear: Obama, not Clinton, is the Dem the GOP fears the most — no really, she’s serious:

The biggest problem for the Republicans will be that no matter what they say that is not issue oriented–“He’s too young, he’s never run anything, he’s not fully baked”–the mainstream media will tag them as dealing in racial overtones, or undertones. You can bet on this. Go to the bank on it.

The Democrats continue not to recognize what they have in this guy. Believe me, Republican professionals know. They can tell.

If Sen. Corker or former Sen. Jesse Helms were forced to be truthful — let’s say by waterboarding them — both would admit they did not care that their victories were attributed to racist ads.

Pres. John McCain won’t care either.

3 Comments

  • February 16, 2008 - 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Obama is a rich mixed-race US Senator who went to Columbia and then to Harvard Law. His little girls are in private school. He is friends with Oprah Winfrey.

    Obama is everybody’s baby and messiah, everybody is dying to coddle and defend him from every charge here in the oasis of the campaign.

    Years and years ago, when the GOP savaged the Clintons, for a long time the electorate reported on polls that it just didn’t buy into all the GOP tantrum of hate.

    But when Obama starts being smeared slimed and trashed by the gross oaf party who will LOVE the chance to enjoy themselves this way — if they didn’t PREFER sliming Obama to H.R. Clinton, Peggy Noonan wouldn’t be putting this stuff out —

    all the chickens who are flying from facing reality with Clinton by taking refuge in the innocent-boy-looking Harry Potter figure, Obama, are going to have to choose between standing up to the deranged hate specialists or running for cover yet AGAIN and misinterpreting everything.

    Michelle is pretty butch, but she lacks the nastry streak her husband is inhibiting now that he’s ahead, and she has no patience with dueling process, can’t stand it. She either wins and pounds her enemy to death or runs for cover.

    And he is good at nasty but tends to go to pieces when he’s losing.

    When both Peggy Noonan and Carl Rove are claiming the GOP is terrified of Obama, let’s face it, this means they are DROOLING at the prospect.

    If Obama and his children’s crusade succeed in knocking out the capable, reality-based candidate, then the fragile Messiah will get a chance to show us his stuff in a real baptism of fire from the wingnut slime-and-hate machine.

    And we’ll have President McCain, fully as nutty and bloodthirsty as the current inmates of the white house.

    Goodby forever to the Supreme Court and the rule of law.

    Clinton has taken and still is taking incredible dirty tricks and sliming from them and just continues, because she is the candidate, as Lyndon LaRouche points out, with GUTS.

    So the GOP will pretend to be VERY nice until, they hope, the irrational exuberant fan club makes the feeble but winsome chatty candidate defeat the candidate with experience and preparation.

    Then we will have more dramatic, scary national security crises, and the old familiar race-baiting subtle and blatant, and red herring fights about whether that IS what they are or not. Then we can see how courageous Obama’s liberal base turns out to be in the face of all that.

    These are the folks who when put into office said first of all, “Impeachment is off the table.”

    We can have a chapter of our own, if we survive, in THE MARCH OF FOLLY II.

    They have a perfectly ready, capable candidate and want to reject that person in favor of someone inexperienced and vague.

    Bill Clinton was so popular at one time that Tony Blair, in order to COPY him and win in England, imitated every Clinton move and got elected.

    When the GOP slime and blackening machine got done with Clinton, Gore sacrificed his own chance at the presidency rather than associate with Clinton.

    And here we are, doing it all over again.

    Good luck, Democrats with your eyes closed tight and your devotion to magical thinking.

    We’ll see one more time whether you can make skipping reality work THIS time, either.

    Maybe when the blood, oil, and mud get deep, you can find your magic, glittering red slippers, click them together three times, and presto! — There will still be a US after all.

    We’ll see.

    Peggy and Carl can hardly WAIT.

  • oreoluwa 4 obama
    October 31, 2008 - 9:41 am | Permalink

    hey ink hows that wimp standing up now

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