American Elephants


ABC: Obama Lying/Race-Baiting in Two Languages by American Elephant

While Obama runs around the country claiming a McCain ad, that is comletely true, lies about his support for teaching sex-ed to kindergarteners, he is running a Spanish language ad in Colorado and other markets that is truly audacious in it’s dishonesty and race-baiting.

You may have heard about the ad: Obama tries to smear McCain with quotes from Rush Limbaugh. The problem? McCain and Rush had opposing views on immigration to begin with, and Obama was taking Rush completely out of context to begin with. Far from telling Mexicans to get out, Rush was paraphrasing Mexican immigration policy!

ABC’s Jake Tapper puts the lie to Obama’s repugnant ad:

There are some real factual problems with this ad, which is titled “Dos Caras,” or two faces.

First of all, tying Sen. McCain – especially on the issue of immigration reform – to Limbaugh is unfair.

Limbaugh opposed McCain on that issue. Vociferously. And in a larger sense, it’s unfair to link McCain to Limbaugh on a host of issues since Limbaugh, as any even occasional listener of his knows, doesn’t particularly care for McCain.

Second, the quotes of Limbaugh’s are out of context.

Railing against NAFTA in 1993, Limbaugh said, “If you are unskilled and uneducated, your job is going south. Skilled workers, educated people are going to do fine ’cause those are the kinds of jobs NAFTA is going to create. If we are going to start rewarding no skills and stupid people, I’m serious, let the unskilled jobs that take absolutely no knowledge whatsoever to do — let stupid and unskilled Mexicans do that work.”

Not one of his most eloquent moments, to be sure, but his larger point was that NAFTA would mean that unskilled stupid Mexicans would be doing the jobs of unskilled stupid Americans.

I’m not going to defend how he said it, but to act as if this was just a moment of Limbaugh slurring Mexicans is not accurate. Though again, certainly if people were offended I could understand why.

The second quote is totally unfair. In 2006, Limbaugh was mocking Mexican law, and he wrote:

“How do you say ‘double standard’ in Spanish? How about: ‘No mas!’”

“Everybody’s making immigration proposals these days. Let me add mine to the mix. Call it The Limbaugh Laws:

“First: If you immigrate to our country, you have to speak the native language. You have to be a professional or an investor; no unskilled workers allowed. Also, there will be no special bilingual programs in the schools with the Limbaugh Laws. No special ballots for elections. No government business will be conducted in your language. Foreigners will not have the right to vote or hold political office.

“If you’re in our country, you cannot be a burden to taxpayers. You are not entitled to welfare, food stamps, or other government goodies. You can come if you invest here: an amount equal to 40,000 times the daily minimum wage. If not, stay home. But if you want to buy land, it’ll be restricted. No waterfront, for instance. As a foreigner, you must relinquish individual rights to the property.

“And another thing: You don’t have the right to protest. You’re allowed no demonstrations, no foreign flag waving, no political organizing, no bad-mouthing our President or his policies. You’re a foreigner: shut your mouth or get out! And if you come here illegally, you’re going to jail.

“You think the Limbaugh Laws are harsh? Well, every one of the laws I just mentioned are actual laws of Mexico today! That’ how the Mexican government handles immigrants to their country. Yet Mexicans come here illegally and protest in our streets!

But even if one is uninclined to see Limbaugh’s quotes as having been taken unfairly out of context, linking them to McCain makes as much sense as running a quote from Bill Maher and linking it to Obama. [read more]

Tapper concludes:

…McCain has changed his rhetoric and his emphasis when discussing immigration after almost losing the GOP presidential nomination because of it.

He now says the borders must be secured before anything else happens. And in that, he’s opened himself up to charges of flip-flopping, though the Obama campaign is quoting him selectively and unfairly to make their points.

The greater implication the ad makes, however, is that McCain is no friend to Latinos at all, beyond issues of funding the DREAM act or how NCLB money is distributed. By linking McCain to Limbaugh’s quotes, twisting Limbaugh’s quotes, and tying McCain to more extremist anti-immigration voices, the Obama campaign has crossed a line into misleading the viewers of its new TV ad. In Spanish, the word is erróneo. [read the whole thing]

Of course this is much worse than trying to link Obama to a quote by Bill Maher, there is no evidence that Obama and Maher disagree to any significant extent, whereas Limbaugh is constantly criticizing McCain, and vice versa. And Obama was not linking McCain to what Rush said, he was linking McCain to lies about what Rush said.

But Kudos still go to Tapper for calling Obama on this truly repugnant, race-baiting ad.

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