Day By Day

Friday, October 28, 2005

Maryland Politics -- The Left Get Really Dirty

Left-wing blogger Steve Gillard has launched a despicable attack against Lt. Gov. Michael Steele who is running as a Republican candidate for Paul Sarbanes' Senate seat. He posted a picture of the candidate crudely altered to make him look like a character in a minstrel show, with the insulting caption, "I's Simple Sambo, and I's running for the Big House."

Democrats and Republicans alike have denounced this atrocity.

Speaking for the Steele campaign, Leonardo Alcivar responded:
"The Democratic Party has finally reached a new low with the worst kind of racist gutter politics, and it's the kind of racism that people in Maryland reject, regardless of their political party."
The Democrats quickly disavowed the contemptible blog.
The Steele depiction was "extremely offensive and distasteful and has no place in politics or in any other aspect of public discourse," said Derek Walker of the Maryland Democratic Party.
He also stated:
"This rogue attack on Lt. Gov. Steele is distasteful, despicable and degrading," Walker said. "Democrats are ready to engage Michael Steele in a spirited discussion about the issues that matter to Maryland and to our nation. ... Hatred and bigotry are enemies of the Democratic principles of fairness and opportunity for all people."
Virginia Gubenatorial candidate, Tim Kaine [D], immediately withdrew a campaign ad that had been running on the site.

Another left-wing blogger, Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos, however, defended Guillard.

He said:

that advertisers should expect edgy content and that Kaine's actions could threaten their editorial independence.

"I don't want bloggers to be afraid to say things because they don't want to offend an advertisers," Moulitsas said.

Guillard responded with a post in which he attacked Kaine as a coward for pulling the ad. He also ran a picture of Kaine with the caption "Black people should shut their mouths" implying that Kaine is a racist. In an e-mail interview with the Sun, he stated that he considered Steele to be "a traitor to his race."

Read it here [WaPo] and here [Sun].

Dave Wissing's commentary on this atrocity is here.

Michelle Malkin's post is here.

Blogometer summarizes the discussion in the blogosphere here.

Andrew Sullivan rightly labels Gillard's blog part of the "racist left." [here]

Oh my! This is so despicably degrading on so many counts! Where to begin?

First, as many commentators have noted, the charges are simple, blatant, racism. It does not matter that Gillard is black. The depiction of Lt. Gov. Steele itself, from whatever source, is racist -- as is the assumption, apparently made by Gillard, that racism issuing from a black source doesn't count. It does, and it should be denounced as strongly as if it came from the mouth of a Klansman.

Secondly, attacks like this have no place in political discourse. This is just bomb-throwing and it does more damage to the thrower than to his target. Giillard's post simply serves to discredit not only himself, but anyone who associates with him. Kaine was absolutely right to pull his advertising.

Moulitsas's comments are just stupid. It is frequently argued by people on the left that any failure to financially support their idiocy constitutes censorship. Pulling ads on irresponsible and offensive blogs is not censorship, and it does not constitute any infringement on freedom of speech.

There is a real sickness abroad in the blogosphere and people like Gillard epitomize it. This is bully-boy stuff and it serves to discredit the entire enterprise of bloggery. Stuff like this is not confined to the Left, although it often seems to be. We saw plenty of dreck pour out of the right in the Harriet Miers mess.


Gillard unleashes his venom on Robert George, a black blogger who criticized his attack on Steele. [here]

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