John McCain’s Tiger Woods Problem


If John McCain were running for president against Tiger Woods, he’d likely get crushed. So when McCain supporter, Former Army Staff Sergeant David Bellavia introduced McCain by misrepresenting his likely opponent, Barack Obama as Tiger Woods, chances are he wasn’t alluding to Woods’ incomparability.

And perhaps, it wouldn’t matter if he were. Here is what Bellavia said,

“Rest assured,” he told the crowd, “that men like Senator McCain will be the goal and the men that my two young boys will emulate and admire. You can have your Tiger Woods, we’ve got Senator McCain.”

Michael Eric Dyson, appearing on Keith Olbermann, suggested, accurately I think, that this kind of comment raises a problem for McCain’s campaign because it represents a habit of racism (as opposed to racist intent,) with McCain chortling in the background, that reduces people of color to interchangeable and inferior parts– Tiger, Barack, no difference– in society. Such demonization and dehumanization is ugly and McCain should be held to account.

In the alternative, suppose Bellavia was actually trying to complement Obama by comparing him to Tiger Woods. No real diference here because the comment still would have reduced men of mixed race to being a Tiger/ Barack/…. Even while elevating Barack to the invincible stature of Tiger– which is unlikely– Bellavia would be guilty of having dehumanized and homogenized the likely democratic nominee. one mixed race celeb= any other. As Edward Said suggested a couple decades ago, romanticizing of the other is just as dehumanizing and demoralizing.

So McCain supporters probably shouldn’t even bother rationalizing this one. it’ll deepen the hole. just fess up. Tell America McCain’s laugh was the same laugh as when he reacted to the comment that Hilary is a b*tch. Tell America that McCain welcomes the support of habitual racists and other fear mongering phobes (his real base); that he thinks he benefits by drawing such race-based and gender based comparisons with his democratic opponents; that he enjoys having supporters make such comments; finds such degrading remarks to be funny, and will continue to laugh at the labeling of others. Pull back the curtain on this old style politics. Let us in on the joke. McCain owes voters as much.

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6 responses to “John McCain’s Tiger Woods Problem

  1. To Republicans, the Billary, & about every white news caster — Obama isn’t Obama, he’s
    a.) Jesse Jackson (ala Bill)
    b.) Louis Farrahken
    c.) Rev. Wright
    d.) Tiger Woods

    but since he’s black, he can’t be himself.

  2. Pingback: John Mccain » John McCain’s Tiger Woods Problem

  3. Pingback: John McCain News » Blog Archive » John McCain’s Tiger Woods Problem

  4. I am tired of seeing the “part time soldiers” , just like the fire fighters of New York, seeking glory and spewing out a bunch of “BS”. I sure that Ssg. was either with the Army reserve are the National Guard. He said what you heard and don’t put a spin on it. The gop has a history of reaching out to there base by injecting race. I am a retired full time soldier ( combat arms) and could care less about McCain being a POW, he is a hero only to those who were afraid to go and scared to tell him that conflict has been over.

  5. karl goldrick

    Are you guys kidding me? I was there. Bellavia was saying that his kids will grow up to admire real heroes who serve their country and not sports figures who make millions of dollars. This has nothing to do with race. NOTHING. Furthermore, he was not comparing Tiger Woods to Obama. Why does everything have to be about race? I assure Bellavia is not a racist.

  6. Karl,
    The first hand account is appreciated, and i saw the tape and agree he was talking about his kids growing up to admire real heroes. Still, words matter, especially when you are introducing a presidential candidate. The plain meaning of the words (I’m saying nothing about his intent), that Bellavia used clearly fits into a larger narrative that is playing out in this campaign.

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