The McCain campaign: sunk at the pier.
The above photo is of the Liberty ship SS Schenectady. It broke in half while sitting at the pier, most likely due to a phenomenon known to metallurgists as brittle fracture. It’s pretty amazing–metal will shatter like glass under certain conditions. But enough about that. I’m here to talk about John McCain’s latest dumbassery.
I speak, of course, of the continued running of TV ads saying that Obama was tight with, as they put it, “Terrorist William Ayers.” This hasn’t done anything for McCain’s standings in the polls, and it won’t. Why? Two reasons.
First: Nobody knows who the fuck William Ayers is. Sure, those of us who are dorks and keep up with politics all the time know. But what about all those “undecided” voters? Nope. Not a chance. Granted, most people didn’t know who William Horton was in 1988. I don’t say “Willie” because that’s not the name he went by. That was something the Bush campaign people came up with because it sounded scarier. Anyway, the ads about Horton worked because they tapped into a larger narrative we have in this country: Scary black man comin’ to get you. A shitty attack like that won’t stick unless it can plug into a larger narrative. But wait, you’re saying. Isn’t there an established storyline about terrorists, and aren’t they the new bogeymen? Well, you’re right, except for this:
Second: Spot the terrorist in the following lineup.
Ha! It’s a trick question! They’re all terrorists! They are, of course, William Ayers, Timothy McVeigh, Osama bin Laden, Theodore Kaczynski, and Eric Rudolph. And they have all been responsible for terrorist acts. The reason Ayers is a free man is because the Feds fucked up the case against him.
The point is, we don’t think of white folks as “terrorists” in this country. Oh, no. Because of decades of coverage of “terrorism” as something that almost always happens in other places and is perpetrated by Kwazy Muzlimz, when most people in America hear the word “terrorist,” they think of this:
Nice try, McCain campaign. But you just can’t undo thirty years of narrative with one thirty-second television ad. Your failboat is boarding in the first picture.