The race war is on, but it's probably not the "Helter Skelter" that Charles Manson had in mind. It's waging between Senator John McCain and former Congressman J.D. Hayworth as each candidate's campaign staff grapples to prove that the other has more knuckle-dragging, racist supporters.
Yesterday, Hayworth got the endorsement of the anti-illegal-immigration group Americans for Legal Immigration.
The McCain camp countered the endorsement by publicly advising Hayworth to disavow it because the group is supported by racist orgs such as the National Socialist Movement and former Ku Klux Klan "Grand Wizard" David Duke.
Hayworth is not taking "The Maverick's" advice, though. Rather, after calling the accusations "sophomoric," Hayworth's camp released a list of its own, demonstrating that McCain has a few racist supporters, too.
Hayworth's campaign cites members of the Ku Klux Klan, the Imperial Klans of America, and a member of the Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge as McCain supporters. But it fails to point out that in each case, McCain was being slated against Barack Obama, who in case you hadn't noticed, is black.
We have a feeling that because of the attitudes of many of these groups, they would have supported a white pig in a business suit before they would a black candidate for president, so the endorsements aren't exactly based on any logical thought.
For example, in a video provided by the Hayworth campaign, a slack-jawed Klansman using a charming brand of hillbilly speak had this to say:
"We would prefer that he [McCain] become the next president over Obama. A black president would go against just about everything we stand for. It's been proven that blacks aren't as intelligent as whites. Obama is half white, though, so I guess that's why he's come as far as he has, I don't know."
The redneck goes on to say, "We don't agree with him [McCain] on things like immigration, but that's small potatoes compared to Obama."
Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but certainly enough to fuel the McCain/Hayworth war for the racists.
Brian Rogers, the McCain campaign's communications director, tells New Times that to use the "endorsements" to which the Hayworth campaign alludes in defense of its ALIPAC endorsement isn't comparable. He says McCain never accepted the mentioned endorsements and often denounced them..
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Hayworth, on the other hand, accepted the ALIPAC's endorsement.
In any event, for those keeping score, McCain, um, has the support of the KKK, the Imperial Klans of America, a member of the Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge, and at one point supported former Arizona Governor Evan Mecham's decision to get rid of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Hate-mongers supporting Hayworth via-the ALIPAC: David Duke, the National Socialist Movement, and the Minutemen.
McCain seems to have the edge when it comes to numbers of racist supporters but Hayworth definitely has the trump card: Sheriff Joe Arpaio.