McCain's Missteps with the North Carolina Republican Party

I am a reformed McCainiac since March of 2000 and as it stands now I will be supporting John McCain because he is the only one of the presidential candidates that even remotely understands the threat of Islamic terrorism.  I’d rather have 65% of what I want, than 5% of what I want which is what I’d get with either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

Last week, John McCain drew focus on part of the 35% I don’t agree with.  I suppose it is in keeping with the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms that presidential candidate John McCain would try to limit speech in his own party. 

North Carolina Republicans ran an ad that used the now well known video of Obama’s former pastor Jeremiah Wright saying, “No, no, no. Not God Bless America. God D–n America!”  The announcer reminds viewers about Obama’s long relationship with Wright and then connects Obama with two Democrat candidates for Governor of North Carolina who are endorsing Obama for president. 

McCain, before seeing the ad, condemned it throwing the North Carolina Republican Party under the Straight Talk Express.  Is it below the belt or racist to show a presidential candidate in the context of a preacher who has been his longtime spiritual advisor and questioning whether the preacher’s views conform to North Carolina values?  Evidently, on the Straight Talk Express saying that Barack Obama is too extreme for North Carolina as the ad did, you have just committed an act of  below the belt politics.  There is no interpretation of the word extreme that would equate to that.

In Kentucky on April 24, McCain told reporters, “there’s no place for that kind of campaigning, and the American people don’t want it.”  The next day on NBC’s Today Show, McCain said the ad “will harm the Republicans’ cause.”  He even went as far as to say that this ad questions Obama’s patriotism. 

I am sure that McCain is in the mainstream and was — like the rest of us — was offended by the “God D–n America” comment by Jeremiah Wright.  It is a legitimate political  issue that Barack Obama sat in that church for 20 years, listening to Wright’s ravings.. 

So why didn’t the North Carolina Party fall in step with John McCain, the presumptive nominee.  The reasons are two fold.  State parties are much more powerful since the beating back of the McCain-Kennedy Immigration Reform debacle last summer.  The defeat of that legislation was led by the grassroots and since then, they have been doing well financially and the national party has been struggling.  Where money is being collected from Republicans, it is in local and state parties.  The RNC has had a difficult time. The other reason is that McCain’s knee jerk reaction to this and other things remind the parties, North Carolina and otherwise, that McCain is a maverick first and a Republican second.

Connecting candidates with their supporters is legitimate politics but this issue of race makes it complicated.  Is the mere use of Barack Obama’s face racist, is the use of Hillary Clinton’s face sexist and is John McCain’s face ageist? I think not, we are what we are and if we are not held to the same standards then we are not Americans. This is the election of political correctness gone awry, and we the people have to stop it. 

A few weeks ago in Atlanta, Judge Marvin Arrington threw all the white people out of his court room so that he could talk to the young black men who were before him as defendants.  He was sick and tired of sending thugs to jail and as a black man who fought for equality and brought himself up from poverty; he was sick and tired of seeing young black men throw their lives away.  The first response by many was that this was racist.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  The judge lectured these young men on responsibility and last week, Bill Cosby joined him in Atlanta to speak to an open group of people about excellence and opportunity. 

So don’t jump to conclusions. It’s been said that many first reports on the news have some inaccuracies — based on that we can extrapolate that maybe many first responses to Republicans by John McCain have some inaccuracies, too. 

To Senator McCain, you’ve got to forge better relationships with state parties or you won’t win.  I know you believe that there are enough independents and others to get you over the top, but without the hard work of state and local party infrastructures, you won’t have the resources to get your message out.  Your local and state party structures are like the working class Democrats that Obama dissed a couple of weeks ago and you saw what happened to him. 

To the North Carolina Republican Party, you did the right thing.  Your ad was legitimate and truthful and I hope to see more of them.  North Carolina is a conservative state and you represented it well in your advertising.  Most North Carolinians would disavow Jeremiah Wright’s comments whether they are Democrat or Republican, white or black.