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or should the "gotcha games" continue on?
Published on February 2, 2007 By Sean Conners aka SConn1 In Politics
In the last election, former Senator George Allen got caught up in a verbal "gaffe" when he refferred to a young man hired to follow him around for his opponents campaign effort as "Macacca." the "controversy" raged on for weeks, mostly fueled by Allen's unwillingness to come clean about where he picked up the slur and the result would be essentially throwing his mother under the bus. He, like most sons, refused to do that. It. Along with a vote that at least appeared to deny troops the body armor they need to fight for our freedom, it pretty much cost him the election.

In 2004, an enthusiastic Howard Dean went out to rally his supporters after a dissapointing 3rd place finish. And because some saw him as a little too enthusiastic, he was branded as "angry" and a "loose cannon." A few weeks later, Dean was forced out of the primaries.

A few years before that, trent Lott was giving a tribute to an old friend. In that speech, he gave him some verbal "pats on the back" that were turned into a statement where Lott was a racist who really wanted a segregated country. It cost Lott his leadership post in the Senate. The old friend died shortly after, so we didn't have to worry about any more tributes.

In the 90's, we all watched as a President's marital infidelity was used and exploited and trumped up into the infamous perjury charges and impeachment. This because he didn't want to make his wife look like a fool in front of the nation.

And just a few months ago, John Kerry had his joke about the President turned into an insult of the troops by the right wing spin machine. It didn't change any election results, but i'm sure troop morale didn't go up because of the spun-up news.

This week, Senator Joe Biden, my homestate Senator announced his candidacy for president. On the day of his announcement, Biden did an interview that was most importantly describing his "split it into 3" federalist type goverment plan for Iraq. The plan, one that most experts say, whether they agree or disagree with his conclusions, is about the most well thought out and sophisticated plan from anyone in the democratic party and deserves a fair look.

Did that happen? Absolutely not.

The media, which acts like "6 year olds playing soccer" according to John Stewart, pounced all over 3 statements that had nothing to do with his plan. And turned one statement, meant to be a compliment, into a cut at fellow Senator Barack Obama.

The other 2 statements were in regards to rival proposals and ideas from also running for president contenders John Edwards and Hillary Clinton. Biden criticized the rival ideas as not very good, essentially. And he was scrutinized for that.

Have we entered an age of politics where a candidate cannot question the policy proposals or stances of his or her opponents? I'm not talking about "trashy-negative politics" but honest criticizm followed up by the candidates own ideas for success in any given area.

But overshadowing those statements was the one Biden made of Barack Obama. Biden was attempting to compliment his rival by pointing out that Obama may be the 1st really great "total package" kind of candidate many had been looking for over the years from the black community. Obama doesn't carry the controversial and outspoken civil rights baggage that candidates like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson did. He actually has some mainstream following, unlike a Carol Mosley Braun, Alan Keyes and others who couldn't get 5% of the vote before them.

But the media and pundits turned Biden's awkwardly worded "off the cuff" complimentary attempt as some sort of rip on the fellow Senator.

Biden, unlike Allen last summer, and many others who have been victims of "gotcha" lines, immediately came out and explained himself. He personally spoke to Obama, Jackson, Sharpton, Braun and anyone else he could get to listen. It seems that none of the people who were supposed to be all offended actually were to any great degree. Jesse Jackson announced it would be a shame that a guy like Biden, who has earned his civil rights stripes over the years, to be forced out of this election with all his experience and ideas, over a mistaken slip-up of words and context. Obama's 1st words in response indicated no offense was taken. And it was only Sharpton who made any beef at all, while still essentially excusing the Senator from any malice or intent to harm. As for Carol, no one really knows how she feels, nor cares...kind of like her presidential run. Keyes is probably still writing his response, but rest assured, it will probably point out that Alan himself is the only person qualified to judge others on the face of the earth.

But aren't you just tired of it? Tired of the attempts of "gotcha politics" to take us far away from the actual issues and decisions our nation is going to face in the next few years? I know I am.

This next Presidential election will be monumental. It will be about big decisions that await us in both foreign and domestic policy. I know it is cliche, but it just might be the most important Presidential election of our generation. There should be huge discussions and debates about our role in Iraq, our tactics in comabtting the tactic of terrorism and those who use it. there should be interesting debate and discussion about our healthcare, our retirement years, social security and other "entitlements." There should be vast discussion and debate about our government's role in society, transperency in government, what powers each branch of government actually has and so on...

But we probably won't.

We will probably be all focused on who allegedly said what in some off camera interview or in a friendly chat with a colleague. The pundits will have the rest of the media jumping around trying to simotaneously pounce on the proverbial soccer ball. I envision debate and discussion over who is a racist or who slept with who 25 years ago and flippant jokes being psychoanalyzed to the 'nth degree.

All this, while our nation faces the most serious questions in our history. If we play the gotcha game again, we will once again get the "government we deserve." Heck, some will probably read this article and start attacking me over examples I used as a means to start a brand new argument over those old "gotcha" type stories.

I sure hope not. I, like most, have even participated in the "gotcha games" in the past. But i'm tired of them. Are you? Wouldn't you rather get to the business of finding out who has the best ideas, the right mix of experiences in life and has our faith as the best person to lead us into the next decade of our nation?

I sure hope so.






Comments
on Feb 02, 2007
  
on Feb 02, 2007
It wasn't seen as a cut at Obama, it was seen as a cut at Allen Keyes, Jesse Jackson, and a host of other black politicians that were most certainly articulate, "clean", bright, etc.

"Heck, some will probably read this article and start attacking me over examples I used as a means to start a brand new argument over those old "gotcha" type stories. "


I DO find it really, really interesting that you are feeling this way now, with Biden being the target, when you were all up in arms about that commercial about Ford with the white woman in it. Odd standard allowing for a statement like the one above, but at the same time believing you can't put a white woman in an ad about a black guy below the Mason Dixon line. Why couldn't you just as easily say that the remark from Biden was just a snide statement to appeal to racists?

  • White woman acting like she likes a black candidate = racism.
  • Believing a clean, articulate, bright black man is a rare thing = nothing to be interested in.


Doubt it if you want, but the first statement could be made by someone who was simply colorblind, not even considering the color of the actress. On the other hand, I don't think the second statement is the same. It would be like Mel Gibson lauding Lieberman as "a Jew that hasn't started a war"...

on Feb 02, 2007

I DO find it really, really interesting that you are feeling this way now, with Biden being the target, when you were all up in arms about that commercial about Ford with the white woman in it. Odd standard allowing for a statement like the one above, [/quote]



a commercial is a much more organized campaign than an off the cuff comment in a diner. the 2 are not analogous, but anyway,,,i also said this, which you neglected...

[quote]I, like most, have even participated in the "gotcha games" in the past. But i'm tired of them. Are you?


nuff said...
on Feb 02, 2007
Off the cuff is where your real personality is found. It's hypocritical to say that the Ford ad was "obviously" racist and then write off a long, unmistakable statement like Biden's as simply a misstatement. Come on, it wasn't just the word "clean", that would be a flurry of misstatements.

It's convenient to call a hiatus on gotcha games now. Will the games begin again in 2008, I wonder? I figure it will be called on account of rain quite often, but it's only gonna rain on Dem days. OH, wait... you aren't a Dem... *snort*

on Feb 02, 2007
There are so many factual inaccuracies in your article, that it almost detracts from your point. IN some ways it does. In other ways it re-inforces it. Your portrayal of Allen and Clinton prove that you have swallowed the MSM line hook like and sinker (if you check on Allen you will find that he went a lot farther than Biden did and a lot faster - and his mother is a low blow - typical of the leftist media. And it never was about a BJ with Clinton. The MSM made it that way and you swallowed their bile).

But you go too far in comparisons. Biden is Lott. Same thing, except who lost out? Not Biden. But Lott sure did. WHy? Who is a liberal and who is a conservative?

Simply put, an INFORMED conservative reads the MSM to find out what the liberal spin is, but in no way is "lead around" by it. But most liberals look to it for affirmation, and then vilify it for reporting the meager scraps they manage to throw into a biased report. And the sheeple just bleat along with the likes of the NY Times and CNN.
on Feb 06, 2007
There are so many factual inaccuracies in your article, that it almost detracts from your point

hardly....i call it as i see it, not as you spin it.

and this "you swallow the MSM hook, line and sinker b.s. is nonsense and exactly the kind of punditry i am talkin bout.

(if you check on Allen you will find that he went a lot farther than Biden did and a lot faster - and his mother is a low blow -

you have to be kidding me,,,what i said was and is the truth. allen tried like 7 different stories to try to put the maccaca thing to rest. it is a north african slang term that georgie learned as a child traveling with her.

Simply put, an INFORMED conservative reads the MSM to find out what the liberal spin is, but in no way is "lead around" by it.

oh PUHleessaaaaaassseee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!

keep beating your neocon pundit drum guy,,,it's hilarious!
on Feb 06, 2007
Off the cuff is where your real personality is found. It's hypocritical to say that the Ford ad was "obviously" racist and then write off a long, unmistakable statement like Biden's as simply a misstatement.

1st off,,,the ad was an organized effort, and it was racist,,,,only far right wing pundits even bother to defend it anymore.

2nd...biden's statement was an attempt at a compliment, wher the ad was designed to insult ford. and i'll put biden's record on civil rights against bob corker any day!!!

It's convenient to call a hiatus on gotcha games now. Will the games begin again in 2008, I wonder? I figure it will be called on account of rain quite often, but it's only gonna rain on Dem days. OH, wait... you aren't a Dem... *snort*

PUHleaaassseee baker....we've found a lot of common ground in other subjects,,,don't be a tool here.
on Feb 06, 2007

you have to be kidding me,,,what i said was and is the truth. allen tried like 7 different stories to try to put the maccaca thing to rest. it is a north african slang term that georgie learned as a child traveling with her.

Prove it.  you cant and you wont because it is not true.  You are guilty of the crime you pretend to expose with our article.  There never was but one story - just a lot of appologies.

And finally, it is not a north african slang term.  If you even followed the story you would at least know that.

on Feb 06, 2007
Prove it. you cant and you wont because it is not true. You are guilty of the crime you pretend to expose with our article. There never was but one story - just a lot of appologies.

this is just doing 5 minutes of research...i'm sure there's alot more out there...it's funny to watch you proving my point to a T ya lil pundit you,,,but if you insist on playing this lil game much longer, i might need to utilize "the ultimate power" if your intent is just to play gotcha games and distract......

i'll expect an apology after you read this,,,



1) THE "HE DIDN'T KNOW" EXCUSE...Allen did not know what "macaca" means, and his use of the term was really intended as a play on the word "'mohawk,' a term that his campaign staff had nicknamed Sidarth because of his haircut," which Sidarth characterizes as "a mullet -- tight on top, long in the back." Allen said he "'would never want to demean him [Sidarth] as an individual. I do apologize if he's offended by that. That was no way the point." [The Washington Post; 8/15/06]

2) IT WAS SOMETHING I MADE UP EXCUSE...From Allen's statement provided to CNN: "[M]y comments at Breaks Interstate Park on August 11th have been greatly misunderstood by members of the media. I ... made up a nickname for the cameraman [Sidarth], which was in no way intended to be racially derogatory. Any insinuations to the contrary are completely false." [National Journal's The Hotline weblog; 8/15/06]

3) A COMBINATION OF 2 WORDS EXCUSE...Allen was calling Sidarth a "mash-up" of terms that amounted to "shit-head." "[T]wo Republicans who heard the word used" claimed "macaca" was a combination of " '[m]ohawk,' referring to Sidarth's distinctive hair, and 'caca,' Spanish slang for excrement, or 'shit.' " [The Hotline; 8/16/06]

4) IT WASN'T EVEN SAID EXCUSE...From an August 19 memo Allen campaign manager Dick Wadhams sent to Republican leaders and the Allen campaign leadership: "[T]he news media created what they call a 'feeding frenzy' ... [l]iterally putting words into Senator Allen's mouth that he did not say [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; 8/19/06]

5) IT WAS HIS NEICE'S NICKNAME EXCUSE...Allen said he made the name up, then said he recalled that he had a niece nicknamed 'Maca Maca.' " [Los Angeles Times; 8/24/06]

6) I HAVE NOTHING TO APOLOGIZE FOR EXCUSE...As The Washington Post reported on August 15, "In some European cultures, macaca is also considered a racial slur against African immigrants, according to several Web sites that track ethnic slurs." Responding to questions raised over Allen's use of the term "macaca," Dick Wadhams, Allen's campaign manager, "dismissed the issue with an expletive and insisted the senator has 'nothing to apologize for,' "

7) I'M SORRY IF I OFFENDED YOU EXCUSE...Allen "realized how much he offended [Sidarth] from the comments [Sidarth] made in the media," telling Sidarth he is "sorry he offended" him, and that his apology was "from his heart." [The Washington Post; 8/24/06]

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