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 props...as 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¢.