Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

On adverse reactons to hyperbolic behavior

I am not sure how parts of this this will be received, but here goes.

The story of Powell and Todd.

When General Powell endorsed Obama in what seems a lifetime ago, I was pretty much blase’ about it. Undoubtedly you can guess why. Like many people I was pretty turned off by Powell’s UN presentation. It consisted of suppositions presented as facts, and was one of the major pieces in Bush’s push to an unnecessary war. (I am very anti-war).

Sure Powell still has massive appeal to many Americans, but for me he was a tarnished figure.

Now, the aftermath of Powell’s endorsement was interesting to watch. He was attacked by members of the Right media pretty harshly, and from quarters unexpected. His endorsement was reduced to “Of course he endorsed Obama, he is black after all”.

And you know? rightly or wrongly that made me feel better about Powell. He is not my favorite person in the world, but I do have more sympathy for his position in this election now. The attempt to discredit him had exactly the opposite effect on me, it made me view him more favorably.

Strange huh? A behavior no doubt because I am ‘liberal’ and it was the right wingers who did the attacking right?

Well, consider.

The past few days has seen a little dust up over a McCain campaign worker, Todd, who claimed she was attacked and mutilated by a black man who was, supposedly, an Obama supporter. Only, today it turns out she was ling. There was no attack and the ‘mutilation’ was a scratch and probably some makeup.

So, Todd engaged in filing a false police report and trying her hand at amateurish race baiting. Pretty reprehensible to say the least.

And the howls on sites such at Dkos are pretty strong, people calling for ‘an example to make out of her’, a ‘line in the sand to be drawn’… etc. and I understand why people are so upset, it was a pretty assholish thing of her to do.

You know, I also understand why those on the right feel betrayed by Powell, despite my agreeing with Powell. We would say the same things if, say, Bill Clinton seemed to be wavering in his support of Obama, ooops, I guess we have already eh?

Now, Todd obviously has to face the music. Charges are going to filed against her, and that is right and proper. Perhaps she should also get some therapy type help (I hope she does). The more people rage and call for her head, the more inclined I am to say… let the police and courts decide what should be done, and we should let the matter drop after a day of media coverage. I honestly hope Todd comes out of the process with the help and support she needs to understand the severity of her actions. And that means something more than just punishment for our sakes. Being ‘made an example of’ rarely, if ever works to deter such behavior in the future.

Extremist behavior and language on any side makes me run away from it. Makes me sneer and not want to have anything to do with those perpetuating it.



  1. fogiv

    I too feel that Powell’s stature has improved.  I don’t condone his role, but I’ve made and effort to understand how he came to find himself in such a position, and am somehwat sympathetic.  I’ve made my peace with it, just as I have with Dems who caved on the AUMF.  Hanging on to that just doesn’t do us an good right now.

    As for Todd, the report I saw today suggested that she has a history of “mental problems”.  I hope she gets the help she needs.  The only ire I retain is directed at Drudge, who blasted this story out long before the reality had begun to take shape.

  2. Either because it is simply factually wrong (you folks don’t actually want Socialism, eh?) or because it does not serve the purpose for which it is trotted out (as your diary discusses).

    Todd is a sad human, Powell is perhaps lacking in perfection in his public life. more extreme interpretations are not really useful.

  3. spacemanspiff

    Why didn’t any of the MSM get a doctor, or heck, even a nurse or…

    a cutman (boxers) to look at it?

    A non swollen black eye? Really?

    No pinpoint hemorrhage in her pupils?

    I’m not even talking about the perfectly “scratched” B during a 9 PM robbery.

    That being said. This person must be checked out by a psychiatrist. If it turns out she isn’t totally batshit crazy she should face whatever charges filing fake police reports gets her.

    On that thought…

    You guys check out the always great Meteor Blades on this subject?

    I know some of you don’t drink Tang but it really is a must read.

  4. rfahey22

    He always seemed to have an air of decency about him (which I suppose made him the perfect spokesman for Bush), and he seemed to regain some of it during his endorsement.  Maybe he rationalized his actions somehow, or was kept in the dark – who knows.  I agree, though, that there would be a huge outcry from our side if something similar happened to us. Lieberman sort of falls into that category, though he just keeps rubbing it in.

    As for the person who perpetrated the hoax, I think a certain amount of outrage is probably justified, in that the harm she caused was to a city, state, and nation that still has great difficulties with race relations.  I agree, though, that the focus on the perpetrator should end quickly so that the authorities can handle it.  Also, the outrage should be directed at Drudge and others who attempted to exploit the story for political gain.  

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