Racism in the US elections

Liberal commentators in the US, including on established and respected papers such as the Washington Post, are making the breathtaking claim that some of the adverts criticising Rep Harold Ford's Senate campaign are racist.

No matter that E J Dionne, who makes this claim, writes for a paper which directly serves Maryland, not Tennessee, where Ford is a candidate. No matter either that real racism in the attacks on Michael Steele, Republican candidate in Maryland, are something he ignores.

Let us put Dionne's hypocrisy aside, and assess his claim on its merits. The attack on Ford highlight's the man's hypocrisy, which is as serious as Dionne's. Ford is running his campaign from churches, yet has no response to the claim that he attends Playboy parties. Perhaps you consider such attacks trivial. But racist? Huh?

Well, the Republican advert shows a bunnygirl talking about having met Ford at at Playboy party. A likely occurrence, I think you will agree. Apparently, that plays on fears of miscegenation.

It is certainly true that there are still some people in the South who oppose, mostly quietly, inter-racial sex and marriage. In 2000, when Virginia had a referendum to formally repeal the moribund law against miscegenation a third of voters voted against. That is almost as many as voted for Al Gore the same day. But does Dionne imagine, even for a moment, that this shrinking group of hardcore racists was every going to turn out for Harold Ford? That's crazy talk.

No, E J, if you really want to condemn racism, turn your attention to Maryland, where the attacks on 'Oreo' Michael Steele are commonplace. Or to West Virginia, where the man Democrats want to make fourth in line to the Presidency still uses the word 'nigger'. But then, E J does not want to condemn racism. He only wants to condemn Republicans. Motes and beams, E J. Motes and beams.

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