The subtext of McCain’s anger

The talk today in the blogosphere is all about last night’s debate — who won, who lost, who discreetly scratched his ass, whatever. There’s a good bit of discussion going about already on the issue of McCain’s factual gaffes and his infuriating appropriation of the Jewish Holocaust. I didn’t notice anything pounce-worthy in Obama’s comments, though he did make some headscratchy connections and rambled in some of his answers. But hey, I’m sure FOX will find something to nitpick about him.

What I did keep noticing was McCain’s body language. He wouldn’t look at Obama. He wouldn’t address Obama directly, even when the debate moderator explicitly urged him to do so. He didn’t even turn in Obama’s direction, as far as I saw. He seemed doggedly determined to act as if his opponent didn’t exist, and the debate was strictly a one-on-one conversation between him and Jim Lehrer.

Others have noted this body language, and chalked it up to McCain’s general frustration with his opponent. I saw something else.

Not so long ago in this country — within McCain’s adult lifetime, though not Obama’s — white men did not look at black men, except to order them around or warn them off white women. They did not address black men directly if they could help it — and if they had to, it was never done in a way that might suggest respect. Black men did not look at white men either, because that was the shortest path to death; a black man who dared to look a white man in the eye was “uppity”. Didn’t know his place. Needed to have a lesson taught him, usually with a bullet or a length of rope. Even today there’s a certain kind of white man — usually older ones from the South or from wealthy backgrounds — who still won’t accord a man of color the simple courtesy of looking him in the eye. They’ll look everywhere else, address “the air” rather than the person, and get progressively more irritated if that person doesn’t back off and go away.

This irritation is what I saw in McCain’s body language: affront that a black man dared to challenge him or speak to him as an equal.

I don’t think I would’ve seen that if McCain hadn’t shown this kind of contempt in other contexts: his behavior towards his wives, for example. That certain kind of white man isn’t all that fond of uppity women either. And yeah, some of it might simply be McCain’s infamous temper; he’s had equal-opportunity hissyfits, pretty much at anyone who disagrees with him. The man simply needs anger-management training. But at least the white men who piss him off merit his direct address and his vocalized contempt. This “I-dismiss-you-from-my-attention” treatment? That’s something else.

Now, McCain isn’t stupid, and I don’t think his campaign managers are either. I don’t think McCain’s body language was accidental or unplanned. They knew full well how this would look, and I think they’re counting on it. The silent language of McCain’s posture and eye contact is practically a shout-out to white Middle America, sending a very clear message: “Can you believe this boy? Can you believe he’s actually talking to me?” And in the unspoken fury telegraphed by McCain’s surgically-constructed cheeks, and the constant flexing of his jaw muscles as he ground his teeth tried to smile graciously, I heard, “Y’know, back in the day, we would’ve known just what to do with a fella like you.”

McCain’s post-GOP-convention surge has faltered. Sarah Palin, who initially seemed to be energizing the evangelicals, is starting to look more and more like a mistake. Poor and middle-class Americans, which includes a whole lot of Republicans who are suddenly beginning to realize that the current economic crisis is their own damn fault for voting in a bunch of rich thieves, are up in arms. McCain’s only hope at this stage is a blatant appeal to something that will unite Republicans regardless of class, faith, and issues. Well, the Southern Strategy hasn’t failed yet.

Hmm… given that, I’m not sure I should call this subtext. Is it still subtext when it’s right there in your face?

$700 Billion & Counting

So this plan to buy up all this bad debt from big business with taxpayer cash and thus let the government “fix” the economy is not making any sense to me. Mind you, I’m not alone in thinking that a no oversight plan is a bad idea. Of course I don’t think it takes a degree in economics or business to know that signature only mortgages were a bad idea either. Am I crazy, or does this bailout plan feel a lot like a signature only mortgage with the bills coming due to the entire country?

Louisiana State Senator Worries That There Will Soon Be Too Many Black People, Film At 11

I don’t even know if I have the stomach to do full commentary on this shit.  So here are the highlights.

Worried that welfare costs are rising as the number of taxpayers declines, state Rep. John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie, said Tuesday he is studying a plan to pay poor women $1,000 to have their Fallopian tubes tied.

“We’re on a train headed to the future and there’s a bridge out, ” LaBruzzo said of what he suspects are dangerous demographic trends. “And nobody wants to talk about it.”

LaBruzzo said he worries that people receiving government aid such as food stamps and publicly subsidized housing are reproducing at a faster rate than more affluent, better-educated people who presumably pay more tax revenue to the government. He said he is gathering statistics now.

Right.  He’s totally worried about there being enough tax dollars.  That’s all.  Really.

“What I’m really studying is any and all possibilities that we can reduce the number of people that are going from generational welfare to generational welfare, ” he said.

He said his program would be voluntary. It could involve tubal ligation, encouraging other forms of birth control or, to avoid charges of gender discrimination, vasectomies for men.

Oh I am so glad that we’re being very feminist about this!

LaBruzzo described the tube-tying incentive as a brainstorming exercise that has yet to take form as a bill for the Legislature to consider. He said it already has drawn critics who argue the idea is racist, sexist, unethical and immoral. He said more white people are on welfare than black people, so his proposal is not targeting race.

And anti-racist!  He just hates poor people, that’s all.

LaBruzzo said other, mainstream strategies for attacking poverty, such as education reforms and programs informing people about family planning issues, have repeatedly failed to solve the problem. He said he is simply looking for new ways to address it.

“It’s easy to say, ‘Oh, he’s a racist, ‘ ” LaBruzzo said. “The hard part is to sit down and think of some solutions.”

LaBruzzo said he opposes abortion and paying people to have abortions. He described a sterilization program as providing poor people with better opportunities to avoid welfare, because they would have fewer children to feed and clothe.

He acknowledged his idea might be a difficult sell politically.


Also: children are the cause of welfare, not poor economic situations, lack of opportunities, lack of funding for education (that never works, anyway!), or a culture that is constantly at war against those who don’t live like the assholes on Friends.  No, none of that is to blame!

Animal Massacre Makes The Baby Jesus Cry

seriously… wtf

Palin…the hits just keep on coming

So I assume many of the readers of this blog have seen the reports that Gov. Palin has an abysmal stance on the environment. A few more people may have seen that under Palin’s leadership (and possibly prior to her leadership, the date this policy went into place has yet to be determined) the town of Wassila charged rape victims for their rape kits. Yes that’s right, women who had been raped had to pay for their own forensic exams or risk their assailant going free even if they were arrested. And lest you think that the town coffers just couldn’t support the expense, let’s not forget that she had no problem putting Wassila in debt. Nearly $20 million in debt as a matter of fact. Funny how while she was doing all of the lobbying for money to build that sports complex it never occurred to her that finding the money to avoid making rape victims pay for their kits was a priority. Yeah, that’s feminism. Or something.

And hey, we shouldn’t bat an eye at her charging the state a per diem to for 312 days she spent at home. Because she’s a woman and if we criticize her we’re sexist. Or racist (No really, I actually had someone offer up my critique of Palin as proof that I hate white people. Because that’s why I’m criticizing her. Not any you know…issues or scandals or anything pesky like actual concerns about her abilities.) or maybe classist or elitist. Here’s the thing, I’m sure there’s a host of reasons people like Sarah Palin as a person. In theory I suppose I can see the “She’s every woman” argument. But, I have a really hard time believing that every woman would make the choices to cut funding intended to help teen parents in need of a place to live while gaining necessary life skills when given the power to affect the lives of the people they’ve sworn to serve. I’d hope every woman (regardless of political leanings) would use such power to help their constituents when they’re at a low point, not make already troubled times even more difficult.

Karnythia is a writer, a historian, and occasionally a loud mouth. In between raising hell and raising kids she usually manages to find time to contemplate the meaning of life as a black woman in America. Her posts on any topic can be found at her Livejournal.

An insider’s look at Palin’s qualifications or…is the horse dead yet?

A reader of my LiveJournal linked me to “A letter from someone who has known Sarah Palin since 1992” which (unsurprisingly) is not casting her in a favorable light as a prospective leader. The tone of the letter has been questioned repeatedly, and all I can say is that while Anne Kilkenny may have a personal axe to grind; a little Googling shows that she’s using facts to grind it. I’ll let you guys pick the letter apart on your own and decide what you think of Palin after reading it.

Karnythia is a writer, a historian, and occasionally a loud mouth. In between raising hell and raising kids she usually manages to find time to contemplate the meaning of life as a black woman in America. Her posts on any topic can be found at her Livejournal.

Biden? Wait, BIDEN?!


Biden of:

-“the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean” fame? and

-“You cannot go into a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. Oh, I’m not joking.” and

-Who didn’t even realize that his own state, Delaware, was in the Union and not the Confederacy? And who tried to cite this erroneous membership in the Confederacy as a positive credential??

…F%$king BIDEN?!