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« GPD response | Main | Debatable »

Feb 26, 2008


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Ged Maheux

Bravo to McCain for this. He earns some points back from me for how he handled this situation. I hope that if and when the reverse is true at some point in the future Hillary/Obama treat him with the same respect.


Bill Cunningham is a fixture on WLW in Cincinnati, a ClearChannel station. The Cincinnati Enquirer's, as of a minute ago, has 59 pages of comments on Cunningham's stunt:

Some of the comments even use punctuation.

The sad thing about this is that so many people who call themselves Republicans see nothing wrong with Cunningham's behavior, or try to justify it by claims that "leftists" have said nasty things about Bush. As if that makes any difference. In a town like Cincinnati, I figure McCain lost one vote for every vote he gained by rejecting the moron at the podium.

Danny Wright

Whichever Hammer it is that writes the "Under the Hammer" part on the last page of the Rhino just cannot help himself from using the same bush-league tactic of referring (whenever attributing both first and last name) to Obama's middle name as well.

I guess there really is an element of the electorate in our city that could be swayed by that sort of garbage when voting. I'm just comforted that I don't associate with any of them.

Jeffrey Sykes

As I have stated many times, the tactic is already shown to be very effective in that the majority of average white blue collar Janes and Joes only know Obama as Hussein or bin Laden.

Just another of the stark divisions becoming apparent in America.

Ian McDowell

I continue to grudgingly respect John Hammer for being the rare editor with the balls to run the European Mohammed cartoons and for his service to the community with "Cops in Black and White." The latter may be his legacy, making it ironic that he used to regularly denounce Bledsoe for his liberal views (it seems like eons ago that they hated each other, back when Bledsoe worked for the N&R and Ed was the only one on the Rhino staff who could write his way out of a paper bag). But I think he's a thin-lipped weasel who should be horse-whipped in the street for the despicable way he uses Obama's middle name as a perjorative mantra. Despite the denunciations of some local Muslims, publishing those cartoons was neither racist nor inflammatory, but this slimy crap sure as Hell is.

Getting back to the subject of McCain, it's only fair to point out that the idiotic comments from Republicans are balanced by those of paranoid Democrats quick to accuse him of Plausible Deniability. For my part, I agree with Ed and Ged and applaud his stance, which strikes me as sincere.


The truly hysterical bit is that Cunningham immediately went on CNN to renounce McCain and say he would back HRC from now on. This sudden conservative luv-fest for Hillary is one of the weirder things I've seen in politics. And where there is weird, there is fear.

Ged Maheux

Jat, it is indeed strange, but then again as Seinfeld has taught us all, spite is a powerful emotion. If these shills' work are not appreciated, why then, they'll take their ball and give it to the other kids gosh darn it.


John Hammer is a smart guy, smart enough to know how to push the buttons of a certain segment of his audience. It's an elitist tactic that assumes a portion of his audience is dumb enough to be influenced by a person's middle name.


Oh puh-leeze!!! This is the Captain Renault tactic:

Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.

McCain's people knew exactly who they were getting when they booked this idiot (he says this stuff on his radio show all the time) so what he said was absolutely no surprise to them -- they expected it.

Then McCain gets to come in and AFTER the event -- note, not to the crowd, just to the media -- he gets to tell the press that he is just shocked at what was said. Puh-leeze!!!

Ed, I'm really surprised that you are still falling for this crap by saying "McCain shows some class." No, he just used a tactic out of the Repugnicans standard playbook. Come on.


I love it when the hardcore wonks (admittedly of all stripes) begin to really show their plumage!

"some even used punctuation"

And the Rs are mean spirited... Geez


"I love it when the hardcore wonks (admittedly of all stripes) begin to really show their plumage!"

The only thing dumber than the Cunningham remarks is the reaction as indicated in those plumage-showers you mention, Mick.

Hardcore wonks?

No, just the knee-jerks' standard response.

Ed Cone

Debra, the problem with your analysis is that McCain is now on the record saying the good things he said.

If it's a trick, it's pretty dumb trick. The red meat was thrown to a small crowd, who went home and saw McCain repudiate the remarks on tv anyway.

McCain has staked out a position, and if he goes back on it - or if his campaign allows it to happen again - he'll get roasted.

If you want to suggest that it was a set-up to make McCain look good at the expense of loudmouth fearmongers, at least that makes sense, but it doesn't lower the bar McCain has set for himself from now on.


Really, Ed? I have one word for you: Swiftboat.

This is standard Republican practice and has been for years. Believe me, they'll keep doing it. Its a big part of how they manipulate the public and more importantly the media.

Besides, you really think the fawning media will turn on Saint McCain no matter what he does? His lies about Obama and public financing are already the dominate way that story is playing, not the truth that he's the one who is doing the double speak and defying the FEC and campaign finance reform (supposedly, his own issue!).


"Really, Ed? I have one word for you: Swiftboat.

This is standard Republican practice and has been for years. Believe me, they'll keep doing it. Its a big part of how they manipulate the public and more importantly the media. "

Oh my!

This is REALLY gonna be fun.

Anything else, Debra?


Truthfully, I think repeating over and over the middle name was kinda sophomoric at best. I guess that is that guy's schtick. He isnt the only one of the radioheads that does that kinda junk. It appeals to the far out there righties I guess. Not exactly an undecided bunch. McCain's group blew it using this guy. It happens.

Debra, I really dont think the Rs have a corner on the dirty-ish politics racket. I hope you have not deluded yourself into believing it either. It is the realm of the rabid wonks and wonkettes. All sides have them. Nice of you to venture forth from the enclave though. Someday you may well learn that this is not a one sided, back patting, hard lefty place and anyone can and will be called for partisan BS in a wholly bipartisam manner. Have a nice day.

Gedeon Maheux

If it was a trick, Ed's right, it was a very bad one. Yet another reason for hate radio to reject McCain. Calls from Rush and Sean today that McCain can forget about getting "conservatives" after this incident.


Nice Ged. Did you happen to look into the derogatory nature of many of the comments in that thread? Linking us to lefty "hate blogs" is probably not a good way to denounce righty "hate radio".

Just a thought. Could just be me.

Gedeon Maheux

I linked to it because it had three clips on the same page to illustrate the point I was trying to make. As I'm sure Ed will tell you, the comments on a website or blog are not necessarily reflective of the author's point of view. There are always those who will spoil it for everyone else sorry to say. And no, I didn't read the comments before I posted the link.


On the other hand, no one has commented on Jon Stewart's Oscar podium monologue where he used of Obama's middle name, and reference to his last name rhyming with "Osama".

I wonder why?

Ed Cone

Because...Because everyone was chortling over Stewart's follow-up line, "I think we all remember the ill-fated 1944 presidential campaign of Gadolf Titler"?

Because people can tell the difference between a comedian and a political hack who isn't man enough to come out with the Obama-the-crypto-Muslim thing and so dances around it with cute little middle-name tricks?

Actually, Keith Olbermann seems to have gotten his knickers twisted over Stewart's joke. So now you can be BFF with KO!

Fred Gregory


Well, like millions and millions of Americans I didn't watch the Oscar's. I had to rearrange my sock drawer.Your comment, however, aroused my curiosity and bingo I found, at of all places Media Matters, that not only did Stewart do it as you describe, but that Chris Matthews criticized Stewart for doing what he had done himself.
Pot & Kettle

Oh the hypocrisy !

Dave Dobson

I just heard Cunningham interviewed on the radio, and he denied that he meant the use of Hussein to be inflammatory. He said he always uses the middle names of candidates to give them weight. Then the host pointed out that he'd referred to Obama in the past as Barack Mohammed Hussein Obama, and he said he'd been misled into using that by a web site, and anyway, he just meant it to honor the great Islamic prophet and the great religion of Islam, not to denigrate Obama.

I don't think I've never heard such an obvious, self-serving pile of horseshit before, except maybe from a couple of students with late homework. I mean, it's one thing to do it, but then to deny you ever meant to? Sheesh. What a coward.


"Because people can tell the difference between a comedian and a political hack who isn't man enough to come out with the Obama-the-crypto-Muslim thing and so dances around it with cute little middle-name tricks?"

Cunningham is a comedian?

Anything else?

Fred Gregory

I just heard Karl Rove say that using the middle name is not politically helpful for a variety of reasons, one being is that it gives Obama victim status. However if he is elected POTUS how do you think the swearing end would begin?.. " I____ ______ _____ do solemly etc ". Oh, perish the thought.

There has to be sooner or later some scrutiny of this man by the media. Jonah Goldberg asks a perfectly legitimate question by any standard:

Why does being a radical mean never having to say you're sorry ?

Ed Cone

Fred, don't miss the title of this post. I like the fact that his middle name is Hussein. I like what it says about America, and I would be happy to hear it at his swearing-in.

I just wish the punk-ass fearmongers would come out and say what they mean, instead of leering and winking and pretending they are just sayin', instead of owning up to their intended message: Aaaah he's a MUSLIM!!! He's DIFFERENT! Be afraid!


What is a lot more offensive than their pathetic attempts to link Obama and terrorists is the "scary Negro" stuff as perpetrated by by the moronic Timmeh Russert and others. The only reason to bring up Farrakhan in the MSNBC debate was a racist attempt to make Obama seem scary, just like Farrakhan. What a hack Russert is.


"The only reason to bring up Farrakhan in the MSNBC debate was a racist attempt to make Obama seem scary, just like Farrakhan."

You're right, Debra.

We shouldn't consider Obama scary because he is black or because of the facts that his middle name is Hussein and his last name rhymes with Osama.

We should consider him scary because of the lack of substance behind his words, and his lack of real world accomplishments on the national and international level.

JIm Buie

Obama has plenty of substance.


Ged, Understood.

Are we supposed to believe that if some Grand Reptile of The KKK had just slithered out and endorsed HRC or McCain we wouldnt have heard about it? Cmon Debra. This is big time politics and when a controversial, anti semetic, racist, hate monger endorses a candidate ... your gonna hear about it. Just the way it is.

Honestly, Im with Obama on that one. You cant control who endorses you. I would have liked a more vociferous reject/denounce statement but Im cool overall. I aint voting for him anyway. Way way way to far left for me.

Obama's been given a relatively light go of it so far. It's gonna get worse. I hate it. I also do not think that kinda junk ever even changes votes. Just fodder for the fanatics.

Fred Gregory

"Fred don't miss the title of this post" What is that supose to mean ? Long before I joined this thread it had evolved into the treatment of Obama by the "punk-asses" with the push from your link.

What Karl Rove said !!

It is time for the press to put down their pom-poms and start digging. If questionable matters arise they must of course be reported in the NY Times before further discussion can ensue, right, Ed ?

I think Goldberg asked a reasonablre question ( my link above) don't you ?

John Kass( Chicago Tribune ) had a insightful column yesterday:

When a candidate is applauded for blowing his nose, what's left to discuss?

And D.J. McGuire , "The Right-Wing Liberal" up Virgiania way blogs about things which have been mentioned in the Illinois media:

Barack-The Billionaire-And The Bagman

I say, bring it on.

Jeffrey Sykes

Fred: Seriously, George W. Bush has more skeletons in his closet than anyone ever elected president. From coke use and dui's to skipping his assigned duties in the National Guard instead of going to Nam like the rest of the men his age. That didn't stop him from being elected. Didn't you vote for him?

Obama has inspired a nation of people wanting a better America. I'm not certain I'll vote for him, but the work he has done to reinvigorate the American dream is more than any of us could have asked for.

You can keep your money and your status and your "angry white man" mentality. I'll take a vision of a prosperous, free and respected America for my grandchildren any day over the fear, corruption and waste that has become the hallmark for the Bush-Cheney era.

Obama sounds a lot like Teddy Roosevelt, to me, and that reflects more on the failure of the modern GOP than anything else.


What work? Seriously.

I like the guy's speeches too but he is left of left on many if not most or all issues.

I believe he is far more likeable than HRC. And liking my President wouldnt kill me. But the taxes might!

For those who think repealing (or allowing to expire) the Bush tax cuts will only effect rich folks... BS! My take home pay check went up $50 a week and I am therefore assuming it will go back down the same or more. I dont make anywhere near $250K as some like to quote. Add "health care for all taxes" and Im probably screwed! Might have to fire my semi-retired dad as well. How is that for real life consequences?

Sorry folks Ill stick with the war hero for now.


"Obama has plenty of substance."

And the accomplishments and executive leadership ability Obama has shown in the Senate or in the public sector which support the idea he would be a good choice for president are.......?

Hint: "Change" is not an accomplishment, nor is it a leadership ability. "He offers hope" and "he makes us feel better" don't qualify, either.

As has been said before, those things are just a result of the Oprahfication of America.

Fred Gregory


Seriously if it's prosperity and freedom (especially economic freedom ) you are seeking then you are looking down the wrong rabbit hole.

Let me put some facts on the table . Obama is the most liberal member of the US Senate, as reported in the National Journal. He sounds more like George McGovern than TR.

Please don't tell me you are in denial, like poor old Dan Rather, over the dirtiest partisan media election eve smear job ever
attempted in American history ( fortunately thwarted ), the phony 60 Minutes TANG broadcast.

Are you truly concerned for
the future of your grandchildren ? Okay then try to stay informed about the forces determined to undermine this country, for example :

The Soros Global Tax

I am not making this up:

The Obama Bill

Lefties fawn over loving phrases like " eradicating global poverty ". They are too blind to understand the costs, or so it seems.

It would expect at least some of the Americn people not hopelessly and inveterately, yea mindlessly, infatuated with Obama would want his past examined and would be willing to accept whatever might be behind the curtain.

Keep your eye on Patrick Fitzgerald.


And there's no escaping the fact that Obama doesn't have much of a national record to run on, and that most people (particularly Dems and simpatico pundits), know little about him, in part by design:

(from the Buck Naked Politics link)

"As far as I can see, Obama's campaign so far is all based on his image. I asked some of his supporters in my town, 'What's he actually done that makes you think he'd be a great president?' They couldn't name a single thing. Even though they support him they have no idea of his actual achievements (other than the achievement of not being Hillary Clinton.) I know more about his achievements than they do, and I'm a Hillary supporter.

The fact is, they don't know their candidate. They wouldn't dream of questioning him. He's not a political candidate; he's a mythical hero. He appeared out of nowhere, as far as they're concerned: pure, unstained, valorous, and full of the will to win.

'What's the worst thing you know about him?' I asked these same supporters. They didn't know any worst thing. They didn't believe there is a worst thing.

And this is what worries me, as a Democrat, more than anything else about him. I don't know the worst thing either. Part of the reason that I don't is because the Obama campaign and many Dems simply won't allow anyone to raise issues that might show grounds why he is NOT the right candidate for the times."

Jeffrey Sykes

I hear ya' Fred. You too Bubba.

But the GOP has brought most of our problems on ourselves via hubris and greed. We're not going to re-win the hearts and minds of the 40 million independent voters in this country with the same tactics we've been using since 1980.

As for Obama's record, this is not the politburo. One doesn't have to have risen through the ranks to take the reins of power.

But I am telling you both, here and now, the GOP will meet its demise sooner than later if fear and personal destruction are all we have to beat down the other side with.

I'm personally getting sick of it.

Fred Gregory


Putting the light on Obama's egalitarian, collectivist ideology and record is not fear and personal destruction. Is this willful ignorance on your part ?

Are you blind and deaf? Is my Rinodar tingling ?

Jeffrey Sykes

RINO won't work with me, bub.


You are living in a mindset that aged out about 10 years ago, and is sucking down the future of the GOP. National numbers have Dems with a 77 million to 55 million edge in terms of registered voters.

You are probably one of those sending around the *Obama as Muslim* emails to all your friends in your contact list.

Again, I don't know if I would vote for him but your rhetoric and that of others is killing my political party and I am not going to stand for it.

Do you know anything about Roosevelt and Boss Platt? Do you enjoy being in the ineffective minority in the state house and the congress?


"Please don't tell me you are in denial, like poor old Dan Rather, over the dirtiest partisan media election eve smear job ever
attempted in American history ( fortunately thwarted ), the phony 60 Minutes TANG broadcast." -- Fred

In denial? Fred, Jeffrey cites facts that were substantiated separate, apart from and prior to Rather's fiasco.

Gedeon Maheux

I delights me to no end to see just how scared of Obama people like Bubba, Fred and the rest are of him. When Hillary was a shoe-in for the nomination the right was on cruise control and everything was just fine in election land.

Now that Obama is looking more and more like the nominee, hold on to your hats, there's no joy in mudville!

You people *should* be scared because that's what the right has been doing to this country for the last 8 years. We're about to take back the White House because people are sick and tired of George W. Bush, this war of choice, GOP corruption and a hundred other reasons I could list.

Obama is liked, is well organized and inspirational. He has plenty of substance, more to me than W. did when he came to power and Barack will do just fine thank you very much. Keep slinging his middle name around, or lies about how he doesn't cover his heart during the pledge of allegiance. It doesn't make one damn bit of difference. Even Karl Rove and the RNC know this, but the rest of the right has yet to catch up.

Welcome to the future. We'll all be waiting for you on the other side.

Fred Gregory

The press did run with the DUI but you are effing WRONG about the coke use. As hard as the media scoured the earth for a live witness they came up short but still bandied the allegation about just like you and Sykes are shamlessly doing now while refusing to acknowledge Obama had some shady friends.

So let's count Bush skeltons. Jeef says there are 3 two of which are false. .Nice try, bucko.

Roch, are there any, with the exception of being caught in flagrante delicto with a 13 year boy, that you or Jeff deem acceptable
grounds of inquiry or criticism for Obama ? No, I didn't think so.

My Rinodar has never been wrong and I also recognize sunshine soldiers and summer patriots when I see them.

Fred Gregory


Er, I think I used the Rove quote 25 comments ago. Please pay attention.

And as for your inspiration factor, I'll take perspiation.Yeah we are scared especially with a new poll showing McCain would beat any Democrat. And BTW how is president Kerry these days !! Aesop Fable:Over-confidence killed the donkey. Hee Haw



That was a lot of words and all, but it was in response to something I didn't assert. If you want to go back and pick up where we left off before you started putting words in my mouth, I was remarking that Jeff's assertion that Bush fudged his TANG service is well documented.


"I delights me to no end to see just how scared of Obama people like Bubba, Fred and the rest are of him."

No, Ged. Pointing out the obvious is hardly being "scared".

By all means, though, keep thinking that way......


"I was remarking that Jeff's assertion that Bush fudged his TANG service is well documented."

Oh please.....spare us the revisionist history.

The Rather/Mapes fiasco put THAT little canard to rest quite well.

No parsing of words, or "yes, but" answers on your part is going to change that fact, Roch.

Don't even try, unless you just want to start a knock down, drag out that you won't win.



The gaps in Bush's Air National Guard service are well documented, by documents provided by the White House, no less. I'm surprised that a well informed guy like you isn't aware of that.

Gedeon Maheux

"And BTW how is president Kerry these days !! Aesop Fable:Over-confidence killed the donkey. Hee Haw"

Just bookmarked this thread for later re-visiting.

David Hoggard

I have come late to this conversation. But to you, Mr. Sykes, "friend speaks my mind" when you say to neadrapublicans Fred and Bubba...

"But I am telling you both, here and now, the GOP will meet its demise sooner than later if fear and personal destruction are all we have to beat down the other side with."

I'm also a Rebublican, and I have been called a RINO by the both of them, too, Jeffrey. But they will never understand that their type of politics is the reason that many of us cringe at their ilk because they have caused us to be defined as the party of negativity.

Obama appeals to me for the same reasons you cite, Jeffrey. I think he could be this generation's JFK. But for now I'm still liking my man McCain.

Fred Gregory

To whom it may concern: I have worked as a Republican volunteer in many campaigns in NC over the last 18 years. President, US Senate, Congress, Governor etc. I have had the pleasure of being around people who shared the same core beliefs of smaller less oppressive government, lower taxes and respect for individual liberty. We won more than we lost. If those that accuse people like Bubba and myself of negativity ever darkened our GOP offices they must have been painted with invisible ink cause I never saw them. My Republican roots go back 45 years and I have always taken pride in the party and what it stood for: thus to those who name call and challenge my credentials, I say come on down and tell us how we must adopt Democratic party ideas and still remain loyal Republicans. Sorry fellas , it can't be done if one has any integrity.

David Hoggard

Fred, I'm not challenging anyone's credentials or your ideals, I am challenging negativity and the inability to understand how people gravitate to a message of hope and inclusiveness and shy away from whatever brand of message you and other hardliners are trying to impart.

It ain't working. You do know the first rule of hole digging, don't you? If you are in one, stop digging.

Few are listening to that crap anyway, they just roll their eyes and keep looking around for positive leadership, and, yes... change (sorry). People want "a new day in America" Attacks and negativity only provide night.

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