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12 October 2008

McCain vows to whip Obama. Really? "Whip" him? Care to rephrase that, Senator?
It's a figure of speech. Whip his you-know-what.

Let's not go looking for slurs where they don't exist.

Speaking of which, you would be properly horrified if you knew what one of my son-in-law's nicknames for the Grandbun was. Let's just say that I as the white grandma probably shouldn't use it.
posted by bunnyfire 12 October | 20:16
It's a figure of speech. Whip his you-know-what.

Oh, I know what he meant. It's still an unfortunate choice of words. Especially considering the week McCain's had.

Speaking of which, you would be properly horrified if you knew what one of my son-in-law's nicknames for the Grandbun was.

Yeah. I can imagine. Please feel free to not share it.
posted by ColdChef 12 October | 20:21
Let's just be glad he's not running against Hilary.
posted by jonmc 12 October | 20:22
I'm inclined to give McCain the benefit of the doubt on this one and trust that he's just bumbling and incoherent and not anything worse.
posted by octothorpe 12 October | 20:24
Speaking of Curious George, I think the dolls are cute but I cannot, cannot CANNOT imagine buying one for Grandbun. My daughter almost bought a monkey sippee cup for him and didn't quite understand why I told her she really needed to buy a different one.
When I explained she thought I was being totally ridiculous. But she did pick out another cup.
posted by bunnyfire 12 October | 20:25
Really. Feel free to stop any time.
posted by ColdChef 12 October | 20:26
Unfortunate figure of speech word choice indeed. Not at all like that horrific porcine insult Obama deliberately made against Palin.
posted by casarkos 12 October | 20:36
I'm inclined to agree with octothorpe. And Cold Chef.
posted by richat 12 October | 20:40
To clarify: I'm not saying that John McCain is racist. I'm saying that he needs a better vocabulary.

And that a lot of racists like him. I'm also kind of saying that.
posted by ColdChef 12 October | 21:18
CC, if they are racists, they'd like anyone as long as they were running against Obama. That's why we call them racists.

(I have it on good authority from my black friends that there are black racists as well, and I assume that means they support Obama. I certainly don't blame Obama for that.)

Meanwhile, just to prove there is plenty of vitriol on both sides (to our country's detriment)

This video is how I feel, when I go online. It hurts. And I am sure if one reversed the signs and the location, one would hear similar things from the opposite side, and that is bad as well.
posted by bunnyfire 12 October | 21:25
Wow. A group of McCain/Palin supporters "dared" to march through the Upper West Side? Weren't they afraid of getting bad book reviews or...I don't know...erudite slurs hurled at them?

Did the march stop before they got to Harlem, or did they bravely march through there as well?
posted by ColdChef 12 October | 21:35
They went there precisely for the purpose of getting a reaction and they got one. Why should I feel bad for them?
posted by octothorpe 12 October | 21:43
I dunno, I don't find booing all that inappropriate.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 12 October | 21:49
Ok, that video led me to this video, which I am loving like I loved the McCain Girls.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 12 October | 21:51
OMG I hadn't even watched that all the way to the end before I posted it... it gets a little NSFL at the end.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 12 October | 22:04
Hey Bunnyfire? This video?

No one is screaming Kill Him!
No one is accusing your candidate of being a terrorist.
No is is saying take your candidate's head off.

Until this changes on your side, not from you per se, but from others who say so, don't be surprised if all those progressive, enlightened, intellectuals Boo your party and throw the F Bomb and the middle finger.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 12 October | 22:11
John McCain is not a racist. He's not. Never has been.

Unless you're a gook.
posted by ColdChef 12 October | 22:17
The conservative columnist David had an article this week about how the Republicans have spent the last thirty years demonizing the northeast and west coast and have managed to almost completely lose support in those parts of the country by now. How many times have we heard the phrases "east-coast liberal" or "San Francisco liberal" used as rabble-rousing insults from the right? If you build your party around alleged "small town values" don't be shocked that you're not really appreciated in the big city.
posted by octothorpe 12 October | 22:27
argh. i'm not a mod and I guess it's not my business but y'all?

it's tired. I'm tired. can we please. Pleasepleaseplease. STOP with the politicsfilter, or at least stop with the fighty shit in-thread. please?

or take it to email or whathaveyou, I dunno.

threads like this never go well, and it is seriously like someone came into this site and dropped a big smelly load.

please. I usually don't get involved and I probably never will again but please just chill the fuck out, k?
posted by lonefrontranger 12 October | 22:33

I apologize.
posted by ColdChef 12 October | 22:34
And FWIW, as I said to bunnyfire by email: I wasn't saying that he was being racist. I was saying that it was
a poor choice of words. I stand by that. There are plenty of other
ways he could have phrased that. (and even if he'd have said "beat" or
"destroyed" or "conquered"...can't we get past the use of violence as
a metaphor?

posted by ColdChef 12 October | 22:38
Oh, but later I did say he was racist. So...there's that. Dammit.

*wipes harder, breaks through toilet paper*
posted by ColdChef 12 October | 22:39
I'm sorry, this is going to be a tough few weeks. FWIW, there's an identical thread at
posted by octothorpe 12 October | 22:46
Can we degenerate into blunt facts yet or--
--i cannot finish that sentence in anyway what won't be considered rude.
Can we be rude yet?
Can we be openly expressive yet?
posted by ethylene 12 October | 22:58
You partisan motherfuckers need to stop hurting America. The civil war was a long time ago, and we really need to be united as a country right now.
posted by Eideteker 12 October | 23:09
yea eth, I know it's just that there are so, so very many other places to discuss this stuff where it might be i dunno, well received? also I guess I just wish all this energy could be channeled into getting out and making the vote actually happen instead of all this petty chin flap and O NO THEY DI'INT and smuggypants weird microscopic microanalysis of every last fart and belch. seriously. really, on sites like MeCha and MeFi, considering the pretty slanted liberal userbase, this is all just tantamount to yelling in an echo chamber, only pausing to go all stabby on the minority outliers.

it just seems a bit mean-spirited and reminds me of some guys yelling at the football game on TV in the bar. I mean it's about that effective and if you need validation there are better ways to go about that I guess.

ugh, i'm not articulate, just tired. and probably sticking my foot even further down my throat. I'm done here. goodnight all.
posted by lonefrontranger 12 October | 23:10
My god, you people just throw away comedy gold.
posted by ethylene 12 October | 23:15
"considering the pretty slanted liberal userbase"

posted by arse_hat 12 October | 23:18
This if true, makes me feel a bit sorry for the old guy.
posted by arse_hat 12 October | 23:25
Okay okay okay. Take away the "racial" overtones.

How presidential is it for a candidate to say that he's going to "whip my opponent's ass?" Is John McCain turning into Hulk Hogan? Is he going to show up at the debate in a torn muscleshirt and try to hit Obama with a folding chair? Are we going to smell what Barack is cooking?

"THE PAIN IS COMING DOWN, BROTHER! I WILL DESTROY YOU WITH MY GUNS OF STEEL!" and then he tags in Sarah Palin to suplex "Hacksaw" Joe Biden.
posted by ColdChef 12 October | 23:28
How presidential is it for a candidate to say that he's going to "whip my opponent's ass?"

Out of any partisan context, it's freaking awesome. Stodgy ole' Washington could use a lil' bit of that.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 12 October | 23:34
The Canadian election was called 6 weeks ago. It is over on Tuesday Night.

Y’all drag this shit out way too long.
posted by arse_hat 12 October | 23:34
Y’all drag this shit out way to long.

Understatement is not word enough.
posted by ethylene 12 October | 23:37
Stodgy ole' Washington could use a lil' bit of that.

Oh, sure. It's funny NOW. But what about in thirty years when Senator Piper Palin Dogg threatens to "put a cap in the ass" of Senator Sasha Obama Efron?
posted by ColdChef 12 October | 23:37
≡ Click to see image ≡

"Stodgy ole' Washington could use a lil' bit of that."
posted by arse_hat 12 October | 23:44
Now if this went Thunderdome, McCain would have a shot.
The question really is if the electoral college will want to look like they could rationally conceive of wanting them in office. It's all sad and ugly and even his own party doesn't want him in office because they certainly don't want her and her friends in public, and they want someone to take the fall for the mess they made. Away from politics the Republicans will be making money off of misery here instead of over there.
posted by ethylene 12 October | 23:45
I live in Blue State California, in a semi-rural area which has elected State and Federal representatives from both parties, and next door to what might be called a Trailer Park. I've avoided talking politics with any of my neighbors, yet a couple of them have volunteered some rather 'activist' opinions that have convinced me that it would be wise to not display my support for Obama with a sign or bumper sticker.

There are far fewer Obama or Obama/Biden signs showing around here than McCain/Palin signs (and not many McCain signs without Palin).

But then, before the June elections there were 3-4 times as many signs for the incumbent County Supervisor, an ex-cop who was enthusiastically pro-development, as for the challenger, a Cal Poly not-quite-full-professor (like Obama was) who was campaigning on 'Smart Growth'. The vast majority of comments against the semi-professor (overheard or in the local paper's Letters to the Editor) used the terms "Anti-American", "Socialist" and occasionally "Communist". The semi-professor won by over 10%. Of course, there were some other big 'signs' during the campaign, rows of look-alike McMansions, 90% unoccupied, where some beautiful unadorned hillsides used to be. It'll probably be at least 10 years before those developments can either be sold or bulldozed. It's a sad monument to an era of greed and waste, fear and hatred.

I don't know if Mr. Obama will be strong enough (or is given the chance to be) to bring enough real Change to save America. But I know that Mr. McCain is only following orders and Mrs. Palin is only drooling over the opportunity to give orders. Her "answer" about the duties of the V.P. exposed her as a power-mad fascist, and compared to that, none of the other controversies swirling around her matter much.

I really would like to get the opportunity to vote again in 2012. I really would like to know that my vote (already mailed in) will matter in 2008. One thing I came to believe over 30 years ago that hasn't changed was that the United States of America NEEDS more than two major political parties, but will require some major changes to the political system to be able to support them. That would be an exciting time to live in America. As opposed to the perpetually disappointing years of my adult life so far.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. MetaFilter and here are NOT political echo chambers. There is enough disagreement among the various flavors of "left" to make for some wonderfully spirited discussion. The problem is the astonishing amount of pure DISHONESTY among most of the leaders of the mainstream "right", dedicated to stealing from and hurting their own constituency and trying to convince them it was Those Big Bad Liberals and Others, promoting ignorance, fear and bigotry. The U.S.A. might have outgrown racism by now if the G.O.P. weren't profiting so much from it. You just can't have a good discussion with those who have been lying to the world and to themselves for decades. I'd love to hear more honest Conservative arguments.
posted by wendell 13 October | 00:14
::skips entire thread::

Unfortunate choice of words, yes, especially in light of the past week. But I personally wouldn't waste an ounce of "give a crap" over it.
posted by CitrusFreak12 13 October | 00:27
It's always nice when people make the effort to let you know how little they care.
posted by grouse 13 October | 01:40
"But I personally wouldn't waste an ounce of "give a crap" over it."

But that comment was about 26.7 grams so you were close.
posted by arse_hat 13 October | 01:44
Dumb choice of words. Can you imagine if, say, Biden had said that? 24/7 cable shitstorm.

I'm not gonna go more than meh on this one. There are much worse constructions he could have used. Slaves were whipped, but hell, so were many kids by their parents until recently. With a strop, no less.

And besides, zefrank. [ooh, partial video]
posted by stilicho 13 October | 04:51
If it weren't for the Reagan legacy, some people might have gotten some help for the deluded by now.

I think it's time, we give it up
And figure out what's stopping us
From breathing easy, and talking straight
posted by ethylene 13 October | 05:23
Slaves were whipped, but hell, so were many kids by their parents until recently.

Exactly. It's sort of an attack on his age, right? It's treating Obama like he's just a young punk that needs to be put in his place by Daddy McCain. Which is also sort of a racist dogwhistle for lots of people.

It's just a stupid, cruel, thoughtless thing to say.
posted by muddgirl 13 October | 07:41
I think we all need more fiber.

Especially ColdChef.

(Whole Bran whuffles?)
posted by bunnyfire 13 October | 07:55
Don't make assumptions about my fiber intake and lump us all into your low fiber issues!
It's sort of an attack on his age, right?

--hurtling us backward to a time and a place where such racial epithets were an acceptable part of mainstream discourse.

Which is exactly what we need right now.

You don't have to work blue to find the funny, but comedy is a constitutional right. Use it.
posted by ethylene 13 October | 08:16
Or a functional sense of humor. Or sense.
posted by ethylene 13 October | 08:18
Will he at least give Obama a safe word?

posted by Pips 13 October | 08:31
Apparently the safe word is gook.
Nice to know. Pass it on.

i had to do it, you know.
posted by ethylene 13 October | 08:37
I think we all need more fiber. Especially ColdChef.

Are you suggesting that I have trouble moving my bowels? Because clearly, that's not the case.
posted by ColdChef 13 October | 08:39
Peristalsis is all about moving things along.

We flush yet?

Is it wrong that when i hear about people only having smears, i think poop joke?
posted by ethylene 13 October | 08:46
I guess ColdChef's just not as funny as he used to be.
posted by quonsar 13 October | 09:00
I used to be funny?
posted by ColdChef 13 October | 09:05
I would like to favorite wendell's comment one hundred times.
posted by mygothlaundry 13 October | 09:09
i was thinking the other day how strange it is the way certain words attach to others. you know, the way buses always plunge and racial epithets are always hurled.
posted by quonsar 13 October | 09:13
omg i just got a big faceful of fox news from old daily shows
Where's the eyewash?! Where's the chemical shower?
It's hard to believe. Knowing it's real is unreal.

Flush, flushed, deposits, movements, making a motion, throwing up your hands--
--throwing up your own hands?!?
posted by ethylene 13 October | 09:29
≡ Click to see image ≡
posted by quonsar 13 October | 10:03
No, you're a zebracock cheese sandwich.
posted by ethylene 13 October | 10:26
I'm still able to throw my hands in the air no problem, but it's getting so that waving 'em like I just don't care is becoming increasingly difficult.
posted by Hellbient 13 October | 10:33
Fwiw, I had actually read the thread, but still wanted to contribute my 2 cents even though the same viewpoint had already been expressed a few times.
posted by CitrusFreak12 13 October | 11:17
i was going more for a cannibalistic vomit joke.
posted by ethylene 13 October | 11:20
I wouldn't mind having political threads without having the obligatory handwringing "why can't we all just get along" comment. I know some people feel this way, and those people are free to not read political threads, and if they upset you so very much, I recommend skipping them. Some people really enjoy following political events at a grainy level, and watching the power of symbol and rhetoric and the battle of images and emotions that make up a political campaign. Enjoy it. Learn from it. Use that information and strategize with it. Some people see it is a good thing. I'm one of them. If you don't like listening to people talk politics, don't listen! I get bored listening to people talk sports or computers, so I tune it out.

I certainly believe politics are important, but beyond encouraging people to vote, volunteer in campaigns, and serve when they can, there's really nothing more anyone needs to do. The rest is a choice. I choose to follow politics closely because it is a strong interest of mine and because it is a vivid window into the American character and changing culture. Not everyone has to care to that degree. But I'm tired of being castigated just for talking about it.
posted by Miko 13 October | 11:34
There is something profoundly disturbing in the people who have come out to support the GOP.
People are yelling, "KILL HIM" and smiling happily with that glassy look in their eyes, like they feel it's safe to come out an do this to and with public approval. "Someone is thinking like I do, she's just like me!"
What if something actually happened to Obama because some loose wing nut flies off the bolt because they think this is the message, do they call the whole thing off and keep Bush for a while?
The creeps creep me out.
It's ugly enough to sully a win for Obama as people just try to run away from being associated with the crazies.
Republicans should be horrified.
Any more rapid fire Fox News shots and my heartburn might make me throw up, in my hands, because i don't need a worse taste in my mouth.
Irrationality is yucky and poopy,
posted by ethylene 13 October | 11:48
--excuse me, and Tums gives you calcium.
posted by ethylene 13 October | 11:49
I'm obviously naive because I wouldn't have thought twice about Curious George, monkey sippee cups, or the phrase "whip him," (other than it making the speaker sound about 110 years old. Does he call his suitcase his "grip"?)

We've always called the kids in our family monkeys.
Little kids ARE monkeys. At no other time is our primate heritage as evident as when they're clinging to you with all four limbs. It's awesome. And funny.

bunnyfire, is it not okay for brown or black kids to like monkeys or own monkey themed toys and cups? Is it okay for us to call our kids monkeys since they're white? This is all new info.
posted by small_ruminant 13 October | 12:25
Monkey slander.
posted by ethylene 13 October | 12:34
Isn't it all about context, s_r? I mean, giving a Curious George book to a baby, no matter the race, is a different context than bringing a monkey doll with an Obama sticker on it to a GOP rally. Me saying, "I'm going to whip your butt at tennis" to any of my friends, black or white, is a different context that an elderly, white, rich statesman saying, "I'm going to whip his you-know-what" about a black statesmen to a crowd of other white people. I'm not saying that McCain was being intentionally offensive, but the intent of the phrase doesn't affect the context.
posted by muddgirl 13 October | 12:47
Same thing as his referring to Obama as "that one". On one hand, it was no big deal, a generation thing, whatever. On the other hand, it had a clear tone of disrespect.
posted by Hellbient 13 October | 12:51
s_r: I'm of two minds about this. My Irish grandmother also used to call us "little monkeys," which was totally innocent of racial connotations. I remember my mother asking her to stop saying it; even if it was innocent, the word was loaded, particularly in the racially strained early 1970s. But I'm sure my grandmother didn't make the association; she had a lot of kind of dark Irish things to call us, and this was another one. The fairies were going to get us, too.

But on the other hand, there is a long racist tradition of insultingly comparing black people to monkeys.

Here is a video of people at a McCain/Palin rally displaying a monkey with an Obama sign on and calling him "little Hussein."

Here is a news story about a Utah company selling Obama sock monkeys, with background information.

Here's TheSockObama website.

Here's a discussion of recent comparisons of black people, including Obama, to monkeys which features an interview with the head of the Jim Crow Museum, a very interesting site about the history of racial imagery.

So though people do quite innocently compare kids and sometimes people to monkeys, there is at the same time a long history of making a demeaning comparison between black people as a group to monkeys, thereby dehumanizing them.

There is a lot of hate within our culture, a lot of dry tinder sitting around just waiting for a spark. That's why I'm one of those who views the "whip" comments or the threats at rallies or the racist imagery of Obama as something to be avoided. Whether or not the candidates "mean it that way," the interpretation of those statements is always ambiguous, and racists will interpret that ambiguity to mean agreement. This results in the comfortable and overt display of racism by supporters. Which is repulsive.

But more to the point, these folks are candidates for high national office. I can understand the general population having pockets where there is not an awareness of the offensiveness of things like this. But it's harder to understand or forgive in people who have been in public life so long that I would expect them to be familiar with issues of respect between the races, and to understand that some forms of rhetoric will be ambiguous or perceived as loaded and should thus be avoided.

Politicians do talk all day for a living and sometimes they say the wrong thing. It's particularly dangerous to be ambiguous, though, when your base of support clearly contains so many overt racists. That's why I am willing to understand that "whip" may have been an indvisable but innocent usage - but that makes it all the more important for the McCain campaign to make it abundantly clear that they condemn racism and racist rhetoric. But they're afraid to lose even more votes - they need the racist vote as badly as the religious vote.
posted by Miko 13 October | 13:07
muddgirl, I see that people are taking it that way, but it wouldn't have occurred to me before people started pointing it out. I'm not "colorblind" as they call it- that seems sort of offensive, but "whip his you-know what" is a everyday figure of speech, especially for geezers, no matter what their color. To get het up over it is just looking excuses to get het up.

"That one" is rude in any circle or context.

It's hard for me to see Curious George as offensive but the guy who brought it to the rally clearly intended it to be so, which means he deserves the public shaming he's getting for doing it.

Monkey sippy cups? That one I'm not understanding.
posted by small_ruminant 13 October | 13:07
The "that one" thing made me jump off the couch and scream 'WHAT THE FUCK' loud enough that my cat almost fell off the windowsil in shock.
If anything, it struck me as the singular of "you people" or "those people" which is the hallmark phrase of the racist who doesn't want to just admit they're racist.

and even if he doesn't mean it like that, mccain needs to watch his words more carefully. that's the price of wanting to distance yourself from the klan rallies you've been holding.
posted by kellydamnit 13 October | 13:19
Also, Palin and Davis are straight-up lying that she's cleared of any wrongdoing in the Troopergate case. The report reads that she “abused her power by violating” Alaska law. WTF?
posted by Hellbient 13 October | 13:37
I guess that I bailed out of this thread too early, I check in on it a day later and it's still going. Still three weeks to go though.
posted by octothorpe 13 October | 15:53
Rolling Stone on McCain. (Pretty negative, including McCain calling women c***s. Wonder what the response will be, if any.)
posted by Claudia_SF 13 October | 22:39
I don't know... rolling stone wrote bad thing about bush 4 and 8 years ago, and glowing things about gore and kerry. I think the sun has set on whatever political influence they have.
posted by kellydamnit 13 October | 23:15
I think the sun has set on whatever influence on any subject Rolling Stone ever had.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 13 October | 23:27
More entertaining -- Christopher Hitchens on McCain.
posted by Claudia_SF 13 October | 23:35
Ooh, Hitchens. I bet he'll have a big effect on the undecided. not
posted by DarkForest 14 October | 01:59
NYC has had (R) mayors since 1994. The notion that Republicans there are less equal than others is complete and utter horseshit. And the comments superimposed over the video footage feed into the most retarded persecution complex fantasies I've ever seen.
posted by trondant 14 October | 02:21
Um. || Kale.