Over the last month, I've become increasingly jaded with talk radio and the pundits who practice there. It's not just their unrelenting John McCain bashing. OK, the unrelenting John McCain bashing is a large part of it. The other part of it is the snobbery directed at those--including a lot of Republicans, if Florida is any indication--who disagree with them about McCain and the issues they demonize him over.
But perhaps one pundit has crossed the line.
Discussing last night’s GOP debate on his radio show today, Glenn Beck and fill-in host Pat Gray mocked Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) by derisively calling him "Juan McCain." Beck, who considers McCain’s sponsorship of a comprehensive immigration bill and the Mexican background of his national director of Hispanic outreach to be "an audacious slap in the face to the American people," proudly advertised the segment in his daily e-mail to listeners today...
I'm having a hard time finding the words to describe how disgusting I think this is. I've defended Glenn Beck when I thought Media Matters distorted his views. But it's pretty hard not to consider "Juan McCain" to be a racist parody not far from Uncle Tom. It's not only racist, it's desperate and will do more to harm Mitt Romney with Latinos than anything Romney has said or done.
Latinos are the largest minority group in the U.S., having passed African Americans in 2001. And many of those Latinos don't like the anti-Latino sentiment (for that's how it is perceived) of the far right when it comes to illegal immigration. At a time when Republicans need to reach out to Latinos, idiotic "jokes" like "Juan McCain" will do more to reinforce the stereotype of the racist Republican.
Are the anti-McCain people really this stupid? Or is this a vast leftwing conspiracy to make Republicans look this bad?
More importantly, racism is never ok. It's not ok to use it to mock those with whom one disagrees. It's not ok to use in parody of those with whom one disagrees. And it's not ok when you are desperate because no one is listening to your screeching against a candidate's policies.
I am embarrassed that my party is morphing into something I don't recognize, morphing into exactly what the nutroots believe us to be.
Thank God RedState has decided to take the hard stance against this idiocy.
What is not fine, okay, or within the bounds of the rules, is to use Latino names as an insult. We are speaking, specifically, of "Jorge Arbusto" and "Juan McCain," although it's certainly possible that others are floating out there or may yet be invented. Allow me to clue anyone who thinks these names are funny or clever in to something: racism isn't clever or funny. If you think you've really zinged someone by calling them by a Latino name, that's a pretty reliable (nearly infallible, in fact) indicator that you don't like Latino people.
At least some people haven't developed McCain Derangement Syndrome.