A New Media Motif: Vote Obama & Avoid Race Riots
The Hill.com introduced what could become a key media motif in the week before the election: If you vote against Obama, you could cause a riot.
Some worry that if Barack Obama loses and there is suspicion of foul play in the election, violence could ensue in cities with large black populations. Others based the need for enhanced patrols on past riots in urban areas (following professional sports events) and also on Internet rumors.
Carville, who served as a senior political adviser to former President Bill Clinton, said that many Democrats would be very angry if Obama loses. He noted that many Democrats were upset by Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) loss to President Bush in the 2004 election, when some Democrats made allegations of vote manipulation in Ohio, the state that ultimately decided the race.Experts (What experts?) estimated that thousands of voters did not vote in Ohio because of poor preparation and long lines. Carville said Democratic anger in 2004 "would be very small to what would happen in 2008" if the same problems arose.Carville said earlier this month that "it would be very, very, very dramatic out there" if Obama lost, a statement some commentators interpreted as predicting riots. In an interview Tuesday, however, Carville said he did not explicitly predict rioting.
He didn't explicitly predict rioting? Oh. I guess that would be a form of...er, incitement. (You have to wonder about Carville's motives here. Is he still working for the Clintons?) He clearly did implicitly predict riots. I guess it all depends on the meaning of "predict."
James Tate, second deputy chief of Detroit's police department, said extra manpower would be assigned to duty on Election Night. He said problems could flare whichever candidate wins.
But Tate declined to describe what the worst-case scenario might look like, speaking gingerly like other police officials who are wary of implying that black voters are more likely than other voting groups to cause trouble.
- A video piece showing helmeted, shielded police officers in some big city practicing crowd control for a riot situation.
- A "community leader" like Al Sharpton counseling calm to a gathering of key black intercity leaders is some city.
- A brief clip from riots after the MLK assassination (but surely not from the '68 Democratic convention where most of the rioters were white folks).
- A spokesman from the Obama campaign assuring the media that the urban black neighborhoods would remain calm, regardless of the election outcome.