“Obama Waffles” and Invincible Ignorance…
News out this ayem about political correctness run amok at this weekend’s Values Voters Summit…er, well, maybe there’s something else at work? A vendor at the annual summit, a creation of James Dobson’s Family Research Council, was selling “Obama Waffles,” with a just oh-so-funny Aunt Jemima riff, as you can see.
(Oh, and Obama is also depicted on a top flap in Arab-Muslim dress next to a placard saying, “Point box toward Mecca for tastier waffles.”)
Hilarious! And yes, low-hanging (strange?) fruit that will be fodder for both sides. Naturally, being an East Coast elitist (well, I wannabe), I was taken aback by the product when I saw it. But what really got me was that no one at the Values Voters Summit seemed to blink until it was pointed out to them. Indeed, the products were “selling like hotcakes,” as one put it. According to the AP:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Activists at a conservative political forum snapped up boxes of waffle mix depicting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama as a racial stereotype on its front and wearing Arab-like headdress on its top flap.
Values Voter Summit organizers cut off sales of Obama Waffles boxes on Saturday, saying they had not realized the boxes displayed “offensive material.” The summit and the exhibit hall where the boxes were sold had been open since Thursday afternoon.
The box was meant as political satire, said Mark Whitlock and Bob DeMoss, two writers from Franklin, Tenn., who created the mix. They sold it for $10 a box from a rented booth at the summit sponsored by the lobbying arm of the Family Research Council.
David Nammo, executive director of the lobbying group FRC Action, said summit organizers were told the boxes were a parody of Obama’s policy positions but had not examined them closely.
The Dems are trying to reach out to religious voters. The GOP is supposedly trying to make its confines friendly for minority voters (perhaps thinking of a few decades hence, when they become majority voters). So how does this stuff happen? Just part of the Republican frathouse sensibility of the campaign? Make fun of your opponents. It works.
Or something more problematic? Sarah Pulliam over at the Christianity Today pol-blog has a good roundup, though she begins by saying that the two vendors “were trying to lighten the mood.” Hmmm, bad verb choice. But look at the roster of speakers and maybe you begin to understand…
Is it invincible ignorance by white Christian conservatives? Or simply a lack of broader experiences? Does this argue for fostering diversity? Or should simply following the Golden Rule of the Judeo-Christian tradition be enough?
Politically, will this hurt McCain? Help Obama? No, I suspect it will reinforce views among McCain backers (the values crowd) that liberals need to get a life. Which is of course another pro-life message. See, it all works together…