ashley todd: the new face of american conservativism

Undeterred by the fact that the “B” on her face was scratched on backward, perhaps in homage to the great conservative thinker Morton “self-inflicted backward face swastika” Downey Jr., FOX News, the Drudge report and several other trusted conservative news sources, tasting blood in the water, went live with the story of Ashley Todd, a 20 year old College Republican from Texas who claimed yesterday to have been beaten, sexually assaulted and disfigured by a black supporter of Barack Obama in Pittsburgh. She said her assailant, a 6′ 4″ black man, who had initially just wanted to rob her, became enraged when he saw her McCain/Palin bumper sticker, and then started to beat her, ultimately carving the letter “B” — presumably for “Barrack” — into her face. Being tipped off by the fact that the “B” was backward – thus indicating that work was probably done in a mirror – the police began looking into her story, which, as you might have guessed, began to unravel as evidence surfaced. When confronted by the fact that no terrifying black assailant was seen on the ATM’s security camera, and discrepancies concerning her account, Todd, a student at Texas A&M confessed.

But, prior to the confession, in spite of all the red flags, the race-bating right wing hate machine kicked into high gear. Following are a few examples, as reported by Jay Bookman of the “Atlanta Journal Constitution”:

…Andy McCarthy at the National Review’s Corner responded with a post so embarrassing he has now taken it down so nobody can see it.

Dan Riehl at posted under the headline “Thugs for change,” claiming that “Obama’s run his campaign just like a street thug out of Chicago. Now we get to see what some of his worst supporters are like.”

Noel Sheppard at chastized AP for daring to be skeptical of the initial report. Most of all, he wanted to know why the AP didn’t report that the alleged perp was black. How dare they exclude a detail that had no bearing whatsoever on the alleged crime!!

Josh Painter at blamed the attack on Barack Obama, suggesting an “Obama thugocracy” was coming: When Obama “urged his supporters to get in their face, did it not occur to him that some of his more deranged followers might take him literally?” Painter asked.

He was echoed by fellow redstater Erick Erickson, who wrote: “Hey! The dude was just doing what The One asked him to. Full pardon on January 21st.”

At Atlas Shugs, they posted the woman’s photo and called it “the new face of the Republican Party.”
“Shame on those that doubted this poor girl,” the post read. “Always ready to jump on the side of the leftists and thugs. ugh. Americans, I implore you to get off your asses and save this country from the radical left coup on the White House, Senate and House…. Perhaps the Obots misunderstood Obama urging his followers to Get In Their Face and GET IN THEIR FACES!” They got the advanced course of Camp Obama to cut up their faces”…

And this, my friends, is the legacy of George Bush and Karl Rove. This is the new face of the Republican party. It’s all about winning at all cost, with no concern for the damage done in the process. This is a reflection of what we saw in the run-up to the war in Iraq. Truth be damned. It’s a fucking game. All that matters is getting your way.

Bush won the Republican primary against John McCain in 2000 by appealing to the lowest racist common denominator of the electorate. In South Carolina, the Bush campaign initiated push polls asking voters whether they’d be more likely or less likely to support McCain if they knew he’d fathered a non-white child. He hadn’t, but it didn’t matter. And now, eight years later, McCain’s embraced the same tactics, implying that Barack Obama — a Harvard professor of constitutional law — is a “terrorist” because of the fact that he served on a board with a college professor who espoused radical politics 40 years ago. He knows full well that it’s bullshit, but all that matters is winning… And that mindset trickles down.

Am I surprised that a College Republican from Texas would seek to make race a central part of this campaign by claiming that a large black man would attacked her and “carve” a “B” into her face? Sadly, no. I expected as much. And that’s what hurts so much about this. This is the reality in which we live.

I’m hoping, for the good of this country, that Barack Obama wins decisively come November 4. And I’m hoping that with that victory comes a realignment in this country unlike any seen since Reconstruction. I want to strip this house of ours down to its foundation and start over again. I want us to finally put race, and this kind of politics behind us once and for all. I want our leaders to stop leading through fear and intimidation, and start leading by inspiration. I want a President who challenges us not to be more frightened, but to be better people. I’ve been too fearful to say it, because I think I’ll somehow jinx it, but I hope with every fiber of my being that Barack Obama becomes our next President. And I hope to God that this great nation of ours gets another chance. We don’t deserve it, but I hope to God, for the sake of my daughter and her friends, that we get it. We’ve been too weak and too cowardly for too long. It’s time we stepped up and did something to make our ancestors — the ones who risked their lives to come here — proud. I’m so tired of sitting here, day after day, and taking it. I’m tired of watching of schools collapse, as our prisons grow. I’m tired of the lobbyists. I’m tired of debt. I’m tired of being lied to. I’m tired of being a human veal calf, passively consuming… Fuck. Fuck Ashley Todd and the system that created her…

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  1. tommy
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    For me, the catharsis came at the Democratic Convention with one definitive word – ENOUGH!

    Fuck the rich, fuck trickle down, fuck Ronald Reagan, and fuck the last 8 years. This election is a decision about who we are, collectively, as a nation. If a black man can become president, maybe that’s a good place to start. Not because he’s a black man, but because of what it means on a much larger scale. It’s the 21st Century, and America still has a little left to give.

  2. Oliva
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    I love your big-hearted words very much, Mark–showing a particularly sweet kind of courage (hope-based). I know exactly the trepidation about becoming exultant too soon, but then again I’m ready–think we could all be writing like Mark did here about our greatest dreams for our country and be glad for having done so, in these historic times–so many dear but tortured feelings, determination, will, hope, and need, so many hearts on the line. And then persevere with our vast human potentials to make it all much better, each of us better and so our society better. Why not?!

    We can choose to trivialize our roles, our country, ourselves, poke fun–but why? I love the expansive dreams toward the end of this post, Mark.

    (And I like the apt metaphor: “I want to strip this house of ours down to its foundation and start over again.” Thinking about all the ruined landscapes so that housing developments could be built–even after it was obvious there would be a future problem filling them. So there will be a gigantic physical mess to attend to, along with the financial and all the rest. Resilience, resourcefulness–will be needed.)

    Oh, but during these increasingly hope-struck nights and days leading up to 4 November, we can’t let up, but privately maybe we get to start reveling in secret pockets of elation and glee, in anticipation of a week from next Tuesday eve and a fabulous outcome.

  3. I'm Disgusted
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    What a lying ass fucktard asshat piece of shit this woman is. The nerve and the gaul to pull a story like this out of her ass!! Did she really think she could get away with some shit like this?!!!

    Mental illness my ASS. Put her under the jail.

  4. designated republican
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    She is a troubled young person who needs help, and you should be ashamed for using her for political purposes.

    Is she any more troubled than the idiots who deface and/or steal my McCain yard sign each evening, only to find two more “sprouting” up the next morning? To do the same thing over and over expecting a different result is the definition of insanity after all…. (of course, my use of the term “idiots” could just be code for “black” which would be an entirely other thing….)

  5. Posted October 24, 2008 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    I like how they refer to a Democrat win as a coup.

    DR, you never did respond when I told you that I’ve seen Obama signs shot at by your camp. I guess that’s ok to you.

  6. Terry
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 11:44 pm | Permalink


  7. Oliva
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    For your interest, another newspaper endorsement for Obama (they’ve spilled forth this week), this one from the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer:

    Sen. Barack Obama’s inexperience in executive matters constitutes less of a concern than ordinarily it might. His intellect, his calm, rational approach to difficult issues, his coolness during the heat of debate and his sense of humor and humility offer something millions of Americans have yearned for in national politics–the ability to examine issues thoughtfully, to listen to competing interests and to develop solutions that more closely meet the needs of all.
    . . . In an era that begs for a return to the standards of decency and respect for the rule of law that made America great, Obama offers thoughtful proposals for a rational way to respond to the nation’s needs.

  8. donavan goodman
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Get everyone you know to the polls that is how you can make a change

  9. Bambi Teauge
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    I… I’m … so very disgusted by all of this. I felt so bad for this young women. Now, She sadens me in a way that sickens me. Are we really still playing this sick, stupid game?
    People! please! stop! I can’t even believe that I fell for it.
    Something has to change.

  10. Jim
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    You had me until your last sentence.

  11. Stella
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Clearly, she simply made a mistake in identification. It must have been Bjorn or Benny from ABBA. They look just like crazed, African American, Obama supporters too….

  12. GOP spokesmodel
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Fox News and The Drudge Report are troubled young people who need help, and you should be ashamed of yourself for using them for political purposes.

    Are they any more troubled than the idiots who deface and/or steal my McCain yard sign each evening, only to find two more “sprouting” up the next morning? Oh, wait a minute, I guess the obvious answer to that is “yes.” Never mind. Bad example.

  13. Mark H.
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Amen, Mark, amen.

  14. designated republican
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    dude – “DR, you never did respond when I told you that I’ve seen Obama signs shot at by your camp. I guess that’s ok to you.”

    Dude, I am the designated republican, not the local “fightthesmears” guy. I feel the pain of those poor Obama supporters whose signs were murdered. My McCain signs have been repeatedly kidnapped and assaulted, with some receiving mortal wounds, but it’s more important to consider Your Feelings. I’ll keep those poor folks in my prayers.

  15. Germani
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    “A massive black man”. A Taaall, Biiig, Blaaack Guy! Hmmm… Wondering what it is.

    Yeah… got it: King Kong !

    Seriously, is that a fantasy that still sells easily ? I’m a black man, but everything I have big is for care and luv, not violence. Lol. Same for most black dudes out there despite enormous prejudices across their history. I feel deeply sad for this young woman. She needs a social life, so please don’t kick her butt too fast. The broken system that created her has to be reformed. Hope O (not “B”) addresses this.

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