The Tattlesnake Campaigning on the Bizarre B-Side Edition
Was Ashley Todd’s Imaginary Attack a Desperate Rovian Dirty Trick?
Not to be callous, but your slow-on-the-draw Tattler admits that when he first heard, partially awake, on the radio that someone named Ashley Todd was assaulted by a tall black man in Pittsburgh because she had a McCain sticker on her car, and the added fillip that the alleged attacker had ‘carved a B on her cheek,’ I thought the announcer was talking about the insect, as in, ‘he inscribed a BEE on her cheek,’ and a surreal mental scenario followed that featured an angry tattoo artist yelling, “Hey, c’mon you, hold still while I finish this wing!”
The story seemed a little suspicious from the git-go and Thom Hartmann noted on his radio show Friday that the ‘B’ was backwards, the way someone not-too-bright and looking in a mirror would sketch a ‘B’ on her cheek.
Later in the day, after John McCain and Sarah Palin had rushed to the phones to offer their condolences to the 20-year-old Texas Republican, Ashley confessed that she had invented the whole lurid tale it was a tasteless hoax, apparently designed to make Obama supporters, and particularly those of the large black male variety, look bad.
Aside from the hideous Susan Smith aspect to the false charge, and the chance that the Pittsburgh police might have commenced a wholesale harassment of black men to find the nonexistent perpetrator, McCain and Palin’s haste to involve themselves in the incident bespeaks two things: a.) They were trying to make political hay out of this young woman’s misfortune, which calls into question their judgment or b.) The McCain campaign was somehow in on the deal, which paints them as over-the-edge con artists.
Todd had worked for the College Republican National Committee in New York, and recently moved to Pennsylvania to act as a full-time McCain-Palin volunteer on behalf of the group. (The College Republicans are the same organization that spawned such upstanding GOP choirboys as Jack Abramoff, Karl Rove and Ralph Reed.)
As yet, there is no evidence that the McCain campaign was directly involved, but it wouldn’t be hard to imagine the impact that the ugly tableau of a fiendish black male sexually attacking a young white lady might have on rural Caucasians in Pennsylvania, a state McCain must win in order to have any shot at the presidency. Joe the Plumber move over, here comes the Scary Obama-Supporting Black Sexual Predator.
Under-the-radar rumors of creepy McCainiacs trying to goad Obama voters into violence while media cameras are present have been floating around recently, the invective particularly aimed at inciting dark-skinned Obamaites, but not much has come of it up to now except some of the demented Starboard Side of the Blogosphere typically and perversely whining about those mean lefties trying to smack down Republicans who wave around McCain-Palin signs in public. (Yep from the same crowd that counts among its ‘base’ tolerant sophisticates who shout “Kill him!” and “Traitor!” at McPalin academic retreats.)
As the always effervescent-with-bile Michelle Malkin elucidates: “The Obamedia diaper-wetters are gripped with fear over a few over-the-line catcalls at McCain-Palin rallies.”
Uh, it’s not just a ‘few over-the-line catcalls’ at the downhome Bund affairs; it’s a river of right-wing effluvium oozing endlessly from the TV screen, computer monitor and radio speaker, as well. (And Michelle herself could use a mirror.)
Down by double-digits in the so-called battleground states and facing a humiliating landslide loss, would McCain’s campaign actually go this far setting up a white woman with a fake story of being viciously attacked by a politically-motivated black man? (Was the Pope named Ratzenberger?)
As we’ve seen thus far in this election season, the notion of losing does strange things to the neocon mind. I’d like to think the Classic-Coke McCain would never have allowed this kind of thing, but the new Red Bull McCain it’s hard to say.
This story may or may not sprout legs but, whether there was any participation by the McCain campaign, McPalin’s rush to honk up publicity for Todd’s phony allegations points to the easy assumption that Popeye and Olive Oyl intended to politically milk it for all it was worth, and that’s despicable in itself.