Saturday, April 05, 2008

Give him some credit.

I have to give it to Mr. Morton, it took big ones to show up in live and living color to the King celebration yesterday in Memphis. He stood up, spoke, and apologized for voting against the King Holiday in the early eighties. He knew that he would be booed by some of the folks there (and he was), but he stepped in and let the chips fall where they may. Good for him for showing an independent streak. (Maybe Chris is right about the guy)

Of course, you really have to love the fact that some rethuglicans were losing their minds. "Why did he have to do that? Don't people realize that when he voted against the King Holiday it was for economic reasons? We didn't need yet another paid federal holiday at the time. Two of our greatest Presidents (Lincoln and Washington) have to share a day (President's Day) why does King have to get one all by himself?" I am sure that quite a few people in that camp wanted to just pull Mr. Morton by whatever hair he has left, and just smack the hell out of him. And some liberals were up in arms too. The guy voted against the King Holiday in 1983, and they don't want him to forget it. Those liberals; always willing to score political points on the backs of their most loyal constituents.

Look, I know there is still probably a chance that he did it for political reasons ---Probably. Because you really have to wonder if he runs against Barack or Hillary if he could possibly get more than 5% of the black vote ---. But I will give him the benefit of the doubt on this one. He said he was sorry and he realized that he was on the wrong side of history. And the guy said that he is going after the black vote and not giving any quarter to the dems. I suspect that if the nominee is Hillary, and she uses some nefarious means to get it, Mr. Morton could be looking at double digits from the colored folks.

But there are still quite a few A-merry-cans who are on that side, the wrong side. So Mr. Morton might actually lose some white votes by reaching out to us colored folks. I don't think they realize how important King was to this country. At a time when most blacks were fed up with the so called A-merry-can dream, and were about to do something about it by any means necessary; King was telling us (black folks) that we are a part of the A-merry-can melting pot, and that this country could not be truly great until all of its citizens could participate in building it. The thought of a non violent movement in this country was unheard of. When had A-merry-cans ever achieved anything without violence? Never! So the idea of a non-violent movement was groundbreaking. Adopting the strategy that Gandhi used against the British in colonial India,worked. Embarrassing A-merry-cans into living up tho the ideals that they liked to brag about so much.

I will also cut Mr. Morton a little slack, because he was kind of preoccupied when the civil rights movement was reaching its apex and A-merry-ca's cities were exploding. The other folks, well, they don't get any slack. All A-merry-cans should be thankful for King. But they treat him as if he is a black A-merry-can hero and not simply an A-merry-can one.

So good for you Mr. Morton, I am glad you have seen the light. Now let's just hope that you can lead some of your right wing friends to it.


Anonymous said...

I don't think the implications are that far-reaching. I think his presence there will go no further than the Republican trying to "reach out" during the campaign season, for both his supporters and his detractors. They realize minority diplomacy has its place.

DASH said...

McCain deserves a little recognition for this. He did not have to apologize for his mistake. Most republicans and democrats(Hilliary still has apologized for her Iraqi war vote) rarely admit thier mistakes to anyone. Yes, some of it may be political, but I didn't hear Clinton apologize for marginalizing Dr.King's role in the civil rights movement.
So McCain does get a little love from me for at least admitting he made a mistake regarding the King Holiday.
(Are there any black commentators(other than Soledad Obrian) on any of the major cable network news channels (CNN, FOX, or MSNBC?)

Ann Brock said...

Field I am looking at Mr. McCain differently than before. He showed some kinda of nerves to stand and say what he said the other day.

Anonymous said...

He showed up. Fine. Said, I made a mistake. Good.

However, his DECADES of voting against civil/human rights, his DECADES of siding with owning class and corporate interests speak volumes.

Kinda like the woman who has been abused.... after the guy has beaten the crap out of you, often will apologize. He might even say he will change his ways. And he might, but the smart woman will leave him alone and wish him "good luck with that."

Mac Daddy Tribute Blog said...

Good post, field

I see McCain's statement in Memphis yesterday not as an after-the-fact apology but a keen political ploy for two reasons:

First, McCain likes to think of himself as a some kind of maverick, an independent, an anti-organization, anti-go-with-the-flow kind of guy and believes his own -self-created fiction while evidently inhaling too many fumes on the bullshit talk express. But, given his lock-step voting with the Bush Administration, even on torture (which he originally objected to then caved in on, saying waterboarding isn't so bad and, indeed, under certain circumstances), it's nothing but fiction perpetuated by pundits too lazy to check the record. Why this guy even spent a lot of time speaking on Bush's behalf after Bush got his boy, Karl Rove, to smear him and family, saying he had fathered a black child.

The second reason this apology is nothing but smart politics is related to the first: Besides feeding McCain's self-created fantasy as a maverick, it's good political strategy by McCain's staff. His campaign manager (forgot his name) was on MSNBC, and he stated straight-up that the McCain is going all-out to "compete" for the independent vote, which he believes will make the difference in the general election. He didn't say that Obama is going to be the democratic nominee, but we all know that McCain and Obama are already fighting for the independent vote with Obama ahead right now. But anything can happen in the general.

So by going to Memphis and appearing to show a little love to Dr. King and black folk, McCain is really stepping up his campaign for independents presently in Obama's camp or leaning to go there; and they're too determined to steal them by any means necessary.

Sadly, McCain may be right. He knows that some right-wing religious Republicans will never trust McCain. They see his immigration as nothing but thinly-disguised proposal for amnesty and that no amount of flip-flopping or endorsements from anti-Latino, anti-Catholic hucksters masquerading as evangelists will change their minds. That leaves independents, ripe fruit hanging low on a tree just waiting to be plucked.

Where you at, "O" man?

Ms.Martin said...

I'm not impressed - purely political - period.

Anonymous said...

I agree that it was a political move that certainly did catch attention. On the other hand, he could have just stayed home and said nothing, so I give him credit for apologizing. MLK's work was withheld from many white people of his time. Even in my time, I have a distant memory of MLK's biography being handed out in high school, only to have it removed from us the very next day.
I work in NYC for a government agency and MLK day is still not a paid holiday (union agreement).

The child that Bush accused McCain of fathering is an adopted daughter from(I think) India. That was a very ugly mean smear, especially to involve an innocent child.

Political Season said...

Field, you surprise me. One speech? Its just one speech! I find it all purely politics. McCain has not done any reaching out in the past to blacks that I know of, but now he is the nominee and wants to come calling? When the primary was hot and heavy for the republicans, he and the other top republican contenders blew Tavis' debate off. Now he figures he has some time to spare since he is the nominee. I agree with MacDaddy. Its a political play.

Furthermore, its some condescending mess as well. Does McCain think think black votes or support can be so easily bought with a speech and an apology that is all symbol but no substance? Though I can't blame him for thinking that way, given the sorry ass leadership going on in black mainstream organizations.

I'm a republican. And I want to see some leadership and engagement with the black community on the stuff we care about. Showing up once every political cycle is not going to do it. Credit for showing up in front of a presumably unreceptive black crowd and enduring a few boos? This guy spent five years in the Hanoi Hilton. So he has already set his own bar in terms of impressing me, and making that speech in Memphis is not the political equivalent of heavy lifting with black folk.

You want to impress me? Let me see you take yourself down into the heart of the black community and do some town halls, do a little straight talk with the people where we livin, in the cities and suburbs and ex urbs of America. You want to show me some courage, you want to show me something, then be a republican evangelist to black folk. If republican policies and ideals are superior and more beneficial than democratic ones, then take that message into the heart of the black community and engage. You are the leader of the party now. Build the base of the republican party out. Until I see McCain or other prominent republicans stepping up to that plate, I'm not impressed.

Hathor said...

aaron and alain,

It is not as if black folk have not pull themselves by their boot straps, shoe strings or that entrepreneurship doesn't thrive on the street. The problem is not that we do not have an Utopian ideology; the problems are moral and the catch 22 of racism and poverty. That Utopian ideology is not a theology or an idea that can work in the real world where there are human flaws.

Christopher said...

Is it Thanksgiving? Christmas?

Must be, because how else can you explain all these warm fuzzies bestowed upon John McCain?

Reality check: McCain is running for president and showing up in Memphis and admitting he had his head up his rectum for voting against the creation of the MLK holiday is just a shameless, cynical attempt to get African American voters to pull the lever for him in November.

Remember folks, McCain also said he supports a 100 year war in Iraq. This is a very dangerous neocon who can't be allowed anywhere near the presidency.

Diane said...

He's not a racist, he's just "fiscally conservative"?

Don't buy it.

Anonymous said...

Brother Field.. Thank-you for that acknowledgment "by any means necessary". The true history of the times will come out with time. Mr. Morton still is just too old and out of touch. Its amazing how Ms Clinton personally touched all of important moments in history.

rikyrah said...

I found this over at the blog- The Field.

Convince the Superdelegate

The Field announces the opportunity of the 2008 campaign…

Convince a Superdelegate!

Yes, that’s right, folks. Here at Dr. Al’s School for Gifted Commenters, we’ve got a live one: Debra Kozikowski - a.k.a. The Boss - is a living, breathing and uncommitted Superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention in August.

She’s been uncommitted ever since her candidate, John Edwards, left the contest.

Some minutes ago, on another thread, she posted this invitation right here on The Field:

“Here’s your challenge. Think about me wearing my super duper hat reading your posts. Convince me why I should deliver my superdelegate vote to Senator Obama or for the minority here who support Senator Clinton — you too can rise to the ocassion with civility and grace.”

Yee-ha! You, and only you, Field Hands, have the chance to succeed at what the candidates and their surrogates have so far not achieved: Putting forth your best cases for why Superdelegate Deb Kozikowski should cast her vote in August for your candidate.


All you have to do is register and a ' clean' response will be published by the Head Blogger - Al Giordano.

I look forward to reading some convincing arguments over there. I've already given my two responses...LOL

Just spreading the word.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Yea, McCain/McBush stoodup there and took a jeering and said he was wrong. This is a guy who has supported the corpo-fascistagenda his entire political career. This is a guy that despite his "maverick" reputation and disagreeing on a few less than socially imperative issues has pretty much followed that republican line all the way. He has definitely been a huge Bush/Cheney supporter.
I have a difficult time giving a guy like that any dues. I've been a left wing soldier for social justice my entire adult life. Excuse me if I tell McCain/McBush to stick his sudden burst of compassion and empathy up his ass.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I saw Mr. Morton facing the jeering crowd with no alternative other than altogether leaving without speaking. There was one woman in the crowd looking at him and there was one of those cartoon bubbles hovering over the top of her, the caption say, "you bastard, you have a lot of nerve showing your face in Memphis and speaking at the hotel where Dr. King was murdered. I wish someone would shoot you." Well I imagine her saying that in her mind giving the expression on her face.

I also imagine Mr. Morton saying after the speech, what was I thinking, those people did not like me, and he probably still doesn't have a clue why another one would jeer him. He still among the clueless.

Anonymous said...

Field, please don't touch the Morton-aid like other people have during the past twenty-four hours or so. There is no antidote.

If Mr. Morton was sincere about this, then where was the remorse eight years ago when he was ahead of George W. Bush in the polls?

I call bullshit. This is nothing more than a political move to get the black vote if Obama loses to Clinton.

Anonymous said...

No slack given here. Field, we may need you to report to the house for a few minutes behind this blog entry. *lol*

Anonymous said...

I posted this story in the wrong thread earlier..

HRC stretching the truth again:
Clinton Drops Another Tale From Stump Speech
Another Clinton Campaign Story Shot Down

kid said...

Hey field,

He can take torture in Vietnam, but let Karl Rove and Shrub call his Bangladeshi daughter black he crys. There no crying in baseball or politics.

field negro said...

You guys are rough:)

Look, I am just giving the guy some credit for admitting his mistake.As someone stated above,there are certain people running for prez who still did not admit to theirs.

Anonymous said...

All words. And not even convincing words.
No warm fuzzies here for Mr. McSame (as Bush.)

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

Dang, Field, the way you get "het" up over one or two positives from the "enemy", you might as well step to that bowl of Obama-aid and start chugging.

McCain is only apologizing for not voting for Dr. King's birthday as a holiday because he's trying to score points off us Negroes pissed at both Obama and the Borg Queen.

Anonymous said...

I'm sticking to that ol' statement: "too little too late."

Where was McCain's apology when all he would have gotten for it was a polite, black nod?

Now that it might bring in a few disaffected votes from Dems who're drawing sides: if not Obama, then nobody. If not Hillary, then nobody.

I believe that his apology was nothing more than a self-aggrandizing attempt to pick as many bones from what is quickly becoming the dead carcass of the Dem party.

He's thinking: "Why not make a play for black voters. I have nothing to lose but the White House."

Because, in a presidential race, every vote may count, especially in a tight contest.

Do I give him props for acknowledging his mistake after so many years?

No. He should have done it sooner.

field negro said...

shonufded, he actually said he was sorry for not voting for the holiday back in 2000.

GoldenAh said...

It's good to see a Repub pander to us a bit. It's nice to feel wanted.

Conservative Evangelicals, Blacks, Latinos, and Independents will decide who'll be the next President. He's just covering the bases.

I say let him keep at it, maybe, he'll even have some interesting proposals next time.

Anonymous said...

Just politics... He's had years to make this apology. It is kinda funny how peeps on here are commenting on how one speach of "symbol not substance" doesn't mean much, but I didn't hear that sentiment much after Obama's race speach. Both were just politics.

Bob said...

I still don't see why we can't make fun of him.

Anonymous said...

Big difference here, dmd. McCain has served as a Congressman and Senator since 1983, so there's a long history that needs to be vetted.

One mea culpa does not forgive a twenty-five year voting record against a federal MLK Jr Day.

I live in Cali. I know the real John McCain and you're not seeing him on TV right now.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Field, this was a belated April Fool's Day posting, right? I also loved Shillary's speech about how she came in her dorm room...threw her backpack down blah blah blah. I mean she was stumping for Goldwater who opposed Civil Rights. Do these people think we take a tv appearance and speech over years of voting records and political actions that are a matter of public record? She called Rev. Wright's sermon hate speech...yet MLK said the SAME thing 40 + years ago and the same shizz is going on. I REALLY hate how MLK has been co-opted as some hippy trippy love everyone flower child instead of a challenger to the status quo with quite a few fire and brimstone speeches condemning the US of A. Even he was only tolerated to a point because Malcolm X was considered far more threatening. I live in San Francisco and attend a very socially conscious church that preaches unconditional love. We've transitioned to a pastor from Chicago who preaches about the current state of the nation constantly. We got our own version of [white] 'outrage' when the Chronicle published a story about how he is ANGRY all the time and was scaring the white donors and attendees away!

Anonymous said...


shonufded, he actually said he was sorry for not voting for the holiday back in 2000.

I'll give him that one Field, though, I'm still cynical.

This is how I see it: an act that causes harm (and voting against a bill to create a Holiday for MLK, certainly stuck in our collective craw, and bruised further our already bruised black psyche) has to be remedied with an ameliorative act, not words.

What's needed, then, are not just high-sounding words of restitution, but an act (or acts) that seeks to restore what was lost.

Anything short of that is an apology without substance, and real meaning.

I may forgive him, and others may forgive him, but the harm he caused, if left without redress, will continue to condemn.

Anonymous said...

The NY Times has a piece today about McCain's son who is a Marine PFC and who is serving in Iraq. He is the only one of these lapel flag wearing chicken hawks who does have a kid in the military. And Frank Rich provides the correct context for McCain's 100 year presence in Iraq remark which Hillary and Obama have quoted out of context.


Christopher said...

The old coot needs to retire home to Casa Grande, AZ with his social x-ray, heiress wife and spend his days playing golf and watching reruns of Little House on the Prairie on the Hallmark channel. If John McCave is elected president, I'm moving to Italy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a fair post.

It is very important for Obama supporters to live up to the standards laid out by Obama to change the tone and level of political debate. McCain has willingly accepted this challenge.

White, moderate voters will be watching very closely how the 'race card' will be played and by whom.

I was very disappointed to see the Huffington Post use race-baiting tactics (seeing racism where there is none) in referencing the image of the man holding McCain's umbrella during the speech. Jill Tubman at took it one step further calling it 'inappropriate and servile.' In her post she also called McCain 'racist' and 'Archie Bunker.'

If Dems try to turn a vote for McCain as a vote for racism, Obama will lose white, swing voters.

Anonymous said...

Shiver me timbers:

Daily presidential tracking:
Obama 50%/Clinton 42%

PA: Clinton 47%/Obama 42#
NC: Obama 56%/Clinton 33%

Anonymous said...

Mark Penn fired?

Anonymous said...

@anonymous 10:07AM
"Jill Tubman at took it one step further calling it 'inappropriate and servile.'"

I don't as matter of course rescue others, or seek to defend what is in their power to defend.

But your statement above is tantamount to disinformation, and does not accurately represent the thoughts of the writer.

Her complete words in context are these:

"It says a lot that no one in his campaign thought it might look um, inappropriate and servile to have a black man holding McCain's umbrella as he spouted a whole lot of words with no feeling in them."

[Italics and bold type are my own]

I find nothing wrong with the statement and wonder myself the appropriateness of such an act at a time when racial sensitivity is at an all-time high, given the medias' almost non-stop showing of video clips of Rev. Wright taken completely and unabashedly out of context.

She didn't take "it one step further calling it 'inappropriate and servile.'"

She didn't say anything of the sort. You misrepresented her statement.

My take is that she was concerned that McCain's handlers appeared indifferent to an act that might have been seen, by those there, and others, as inappropriate, given the setting and McCain's already previous opposition to establishing a King Holiday--a clear insult to blacks.

Only Jill knows the true intentions of her remarks, but there's nothing in her statement that would lead me to the conclusion you reached.

Now whether she played the "race card" or not has to be left up the perception of those that read her blog entries.

I, too, can say with a certain amount of justification that you're using the same "race baiting tactics" that you say you were "disappointed to see."

And although you thought the blog entry here was "fair," I don't think that your overall characterization of Jill's remarks were equally fair.

"In her post she also called McCain 'racist' and 'Archie Bunker.'"

No. You have it all wrong again. This is what she said in context:

"Wow -- it must really gall ol' Archie Bunker McCain that he's likely to have to run against Barack Obama."

Racist was not used once in that blog entry. And I count the use of "racism" only once, and that was in the blog entry's title:

Media Coverage Masks McCain's Martin Luther King Racism

This is how I read the statement: the media focused on McCain's mea culpa moment to the exclusion of his years of opposition to a King Holiday (Which she may have seen as racism. I say may, because I can't speak for her, as you have done.)

But did she call McCain a racist? I find no such statement. And I read the blog entry in its entirety.

If you're calling for a "fair" debate on matters of race, let it first begin with you.


It is very important for Obama supporters to live up to the standards laid out by Obama to change the tone and level of political debate. McCain has willingly accepted this challenge.

Who are these supporters you reference? Do you mean those of us who have or may vote for Obama?

Those voters are not required to adhere to any "standards" laid down my Obama or McCain.

To suggest that they should is ludicrous: the only power most voters have is at the ballot box.

Rarely do they have access to the media, and merely have the power of the blog to influence others, and perhaps e-mails to express their opinions.

Now, if you would like to restrict the behavior of a candidate's surrogates, members of their campaign, or the candidates themselves, and hold them accountable, that's your choice.

But to say that somehow we're all required to adhere to a standard established by others, is both naive and anti-democratic.

Have you seen the racial images and emails that are circulating around the Internet casting aspersions on Obama's family and his religion?

That certainly seems "racist" to me.

Have you read the "racist" blogs attacking Obama mercilessly? They would make Jack & Jill's blog child's play by comparison.

Anonymous said...

Fieldie wrote;
"Look, I am just giving the guy some credit for admitting his mistake.As someone stated above,there are certain people running for prez who still did not admit to theirs."

He should have admitted his mistakes of voting against civil rights legislation. But I guess that's not 'maverick' enough behavior for him, huh?
C'mon Field! Your BS meter isn't screaming from McMoron's speech?

Anonymous said...

McCain has a 7% rating from the NAACP.

Obama has a 100% rating from the NAACP.

I don't consider them close on Black Civil Rights.

Anonymous said...

this just reeks of cheap sucking up. Common, field, you know Sir Salteens doesn't give a damn about MLK. For all I know, he probably mistaked him for Martin Lawrence with that alzheimer infested brain of his. In the end his apology doesn't matter,it shouldn't, Obama will carry 90 percent of the Black vote and only lose a few clueless independents who don't know Mr. Morton(damn, doesn't that name just sound ghoulish, Morton?)