An unusual moment in this election race: a candidate comes face to face on television with one of his own supporter's credulity and prejudice, in such a way that he can't let her stupidity pass. And the prejudice just happens to be one which the candidate's campaign has been encouraging, in this case, the racist lie that Obama is some conflated variety of Arab-Muslim-Terrorist.
At a rally in Minnesota on Friday, a woman told McCain: "I don't trust Obama. I have read about him and he's a... a... an Arab."
McCain shook his head and said, "No ma'am, no ma'am. He's a decent family man...[a] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. That's what this campaign is all about."
As McCain shook his head, the woman said "No?" falteringly, as if relieved to be corrected about something she scarcely believed herself. Alternatively, her "No?" could be interpreted as her saying, "Oh, I just realized that in raising the Obama-Arab prejudice I've put you on the spot, and you're having to deny it."
Well, at least he came right out and corrected her. But actually, he could have been much more emphatic.
As McCain said no, weakly meaning 'Obama is not an Arab or a Muslim,' the crowd, his own, booed at him.
Politicking for the (allegedly) most powerful job in the world has always been intoxicating, and brings out the best as well as the worst in candidates. But it seems that this race has driven McCain out of his mind