Monday, October 13, 2008

360º of Rwong.

The weekend's Screaming Meemies seem to center around Gayle Quinnell's moment of fame at a McCain rally last week. There's just so many things wrong with this story that it's impossible to find anything right about it.

The short story is that a 75 year old delusional woman stood up at a McCain rally and tried to make the point that Obama is an arab. McCain stood there shaking his head for a moment and then took the microphone away to say it's not true, that Obama is "a decent family man...citizen..." who he disagrees with on fundamental issues. McCain is getting credit for correcting her immediately and firmly.

Fine. I'll give him his far as it goes. The story picks up steam when Gayle gets interviewed after the rally. She remains unconvinced and she goes on to talk about how she's sent "400 letters" full of "bad stuff" from her local McCain Campaign Headquarters. She goes on to solidify her position by talking about how she showed her letter to some "young women" in line at the Kinkos who didn't know that stuff before seeing the letter and that all of her children and grandchildren agree with her.

OK, here's the part where we dissect this.

1. She's a delusional old lady! Why is anyone listening to her or paying any attention to her? The man she supports to be President just told her she doesn't know what she's talking about, but she knows better.

2. The people interviewing her ask leading questions and put words in her mouth! I don't think anyone among the interviewers were legitemate press, but from the beginning, instead of waiting for her to answer questions and self-destruct all on her own, they try to direct where she'll go with her answers. About midway through the video, some woman can be heard saying, "You called him an Arab Terrorist". Uh, no...she didn't. She never used the word terrorist. It's splitting hairs and it's a fine distinction but she never said that. She certainly implied that because it's obvious she thinks arab and terrorist are synonymous, but if you're going to report what she said, if you're going to take her to task for what she said, stick to what she said; it's bad enough on its own.

3. Why does McCain get credit for correcting her while leaving out there the impression that if Obama was an arab, that would be a bad thing? Look, I'm Jewish and I'm American. If there's any target audience for fear of arabs...I'm it. I'm just not buying it. I don't happen to believe that every arab out there is, by default, waiting for the chance to wipe me off the face of the earth. Since I'm not delusional, I certainly recognize that there's a very vocal portion of the arab world that wants Israel eradicated and thinks that Jews are responsible for most of the world's ills, but I don't believe you can paint the entire arab world with that brush...especially not arabs who were raised in America. I just don't buy it. And, Ralph Nader's an arab. Really. His parents are from Lebanon. Nader's been tarred with just about anything opponents could throw at him, but nobody's ever taken him to task for his ancestry that I know of. So...Obama's not an arab, but what the fuck would be wrong if he was?

4. She's a delusional old lady! Once she starts her moment in the spotlight by making a demonstrably wrong statement why interview her and give any of her other statements any credence. The "young ladies" at the Kinkos are just as likely to have looked at her little missive and then politely said, "Uh...O.K." I think Gayle might take that as an endorsement. It's entirely possible that her children think she should have been shipped off to a home years ago. Fer gosh sakes, it's unimaginable that there's a family anywhere in America that's frequently embarassed by their matriarch's frequent ventures into the land of loonie.


1. Ignore delusional old ladies.
2. Let peoples' ignorant statements speak for themselves.
3. Give McCain credit for doing the right thing...but only as far as it goes.
4. Ignore delusional old ladies.

That's my 3¢.


Jim Wright said...

Yeah, that's my impression too, i.e. McCain's statement.

"No, he's a decent family man whom I happen to disagree with."

Uh? So, Arabs are not decent family men? I'm sure this is not what he meant, but that's exactly how it hit me.

But my real problem is Quinnell's statement, "I've read all about him and he's an Arab..."

What exactly is this woman reading? And where did it come from? Oh, wait, that's right, McCain and Palin are making a big deal out of Obama's 'relationship' with Bill Ayers. Obama+Ayers=terrorist. Terrorist=Arab. Now McCain's embarrassed that this shit is coming home to roast. Fuck him, this kind of stupid hysteria is entirely his fault.

Random Michelle K said...

Unfortunately, I seriously doubt that it has anything to do with the Obama Ayers relationship. Still in WV there are people who continue to think that Obama is a Mulsim, because it is what they've "heard" and "read."

That bullshit has been floating around here since the primaries.


I love my state, but sometimes I really want to give some of the people here a big dope slap.

vince said...

Michelle, how do you think I feel? That was a person from Minnesota!

Anonymous said...

My Grandmother is a delisional old lady, who is an avid supporter of Barack Obama. I spent 20 minutes on the phone with her as she told me that George Bush is fully responsible for the economic crisis.

Needless to say, when I explained the CRA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, how the Bush Administration in 2003actually tried to implement legislation regulating those agencies, and buffoons like Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, etc...said that everything was FINE!

You can only make loans to people for so long before that shit bites us ALL in the ass.


In case anyone wonders if I have any "skin in the game", I've been in financial services for years, I'm not a complete idiot when it comes to this stuff.

Also, I don't really care if Obama is an ARAB, American, Icelandic, whatever....I think his economic policies are for shit, and will cause more harm than good. I don't care about Bill Ayers, Obama's race, religion, his three-point shooting ability, or anything. He's been right in the middle of the root cause of the crisis, and takes no responsibility for it. I disagree with him on Policy. Period.

My liberal that I've enraged you, remember, YOU are supposed to be the people of tolerance, and accepting of other viewpoints. Put down your cutlery.

Nathan said...

"My liberal that I've enraged you, remember, YOU are supposed to be the people of tolerance, and accepting of other viewpoints."

Actually, you haven't enraged me in the least. You've kinda made my point for me. Folks who want to have disagreements about whose policies have led to good or bad things; people who want to have disagreements about whose policies are most likely to lead to good or bad things...those are people I have no problem with at all...even if I disagree with them.

It's nutjobs like that Gayle who need to STFU...and unfortunately, she's not an isolated nutjob.

I'm not going to engage you right now about who and what are the causes of our current crisis.
1. I'm no expert
2. That's not what this post was about.

(I'll take a look at your links later when I have time.)

So anyway, when you say you don't care about race, ethnicity, Bill Ayers or any of that just care about policy, I'll take you at your word and wish that more of McCain's supporters shared your attitude.

Anonymous said...

Every meeting I attend when I'm in AK ends up having a few minutes on politics.

Last week, my project assistant smiled and blithely said, "I don't like either of the candidates. I think I'm just going to write in Palin."

I decided discretion was the better part of valor, smiled and bit my tongue, and asked her about the project she was working on.

Whether you are voting against someone or for someone because of hype and crazed hysteria, the end result is the same.

Random Michelle K said...

Vince, one loon is far better than multiple loons.

After all, one loon is just an anomaly.

Some dude stuck in the Midwest said...

After all, one loon is just an anomaly.

Don't underestimate one loon. We get Hitlers, Stalins, Lenins, McCarthies(McCarthys?), and like.

Steve Buchheit said...

YOU are supposed to be the people of tolerance, and accepting of other viewpoints. Put down your cutlery.

Who the (redacted) ever said that? I'm tolerant of others who are tolerant, can be serious, and at least focus on the questions at hand. I don't ever remember singing a Non-Aggression Pact. That's like robbing and beating the crap out of an Evangelical and then saying, "You're religion is all about forgiveness, so forgive me."

And with Nathan's permission I'll repost a paragraph from my blog here, "About the financial crisis and this whole, "the Democrats didn't do anything to fix these problems," line of arguments, it is just infuriating. Yes, the Democrats didn't fix the errors introduced into the system by the Free Market Republicans. And when they did try to fix them, the Republicans blocked them. It's like shouting, 'Look, Rome is burning while Nero fiddles,' while holding the still burning match."

Also, enough prominent economies have pointed out the fallacy of blaming the crisis on "the poor, minority, sub-prime borrower." If you haven't seen their analysis, I'll just point out that AIG didn't give out loans, they just provided "Insurance" for those securities by another name to avoid regulation. And then they got caught hanging out on the wind. Also, if it weren't for the deregulation that allowed bank to wrap the mortgages together as "securities" we would have had a few banks fail, but not the world-wide crisis we have now. And finally, the rate of default is still pretty low.

And for me, the part that rankles me about Gayle's comment isn't the "Arab \= Decent Person," it's the implicit "Arab = Terrorist" argument that also wasn't refuted.