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My first diary entry, so please bear with me.

McCain has been twisting himself into a pretzel to win votes. Yet, his tendency to bash groups usually found nowhere near a political campaign may be having an effect.

During the 2008 Republican Convention, you may have wondered what in the hell was so wrong about being a community organizer.  This usually inoffensive group was vilified by the likes of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the newly-minted VP pick Sarah Palin, just to name a very few.  Maybe you noticed, like I did, that your local newspaper had letters to the editor full of bewildered defense for community organizers that were apparently suddenly despised by the Republican Party. I saw organizers for Habitats for Humanity go public with protests for their being belittled. It was pointed out by a furious woman calling in live on the nationally broadcast Diane Rehm Show (for radio) that "Jesus had essentially been a community organizer!  Are they against Jesus now?".  So it's safe to say that the McCain/ Palin campaign may have sown some resentment with disparaging  that particular group of Americans.

I now give you example #2.  

John McCain's campaign said something in his defense after his appearance at the Faith Debate in August that got some a bit hot under the collar.  While defending McCain's POW story about the cross drawn in the dirt, Michael Goldfarb wrote this:

....But those desperate to discredit Senator McCain's record will have to impugn his fellow prisoners as well. Orson Swindle, who was held as a prisoner of war along with McCain, tells the McCain Report that he heard this particular story from McCain "when we first moved in together." That was in the summer of 1971, Swindle said, though "time blurred" and he couldn't be sure. He said it was some time around then that the Vietnamese moved all "36 troublemakers" into the same quarters, where they "talked about everything under the sun."

It may be typical of the pro-Obama Dungeons & Dragons crowd to disparage a fellow countryman's memory of war from the comfort of mom's basement, but most Americans have the humility and gratitude to respect and learn from the memories of men who suffered on behalf of others.

That's right, D&D, the longest running role-playing game in the USA.  "So what!", you might say.  Well...some were lighthearted about it.

This from Wired Magazine for instance:

John McCain Campaign Takes a +3 Vorpal Blade to Dungeons & Dragons Players
Naturally, gamers are not amused by the McCain campaign's quick resort to '80s-era cultural stereotypes -- once McCain masters the internet, we're confident he'll contemporize and start bashing video gamers instead.

But there was also this from Hasbro, mega-corporation for all things fun.

Dear Mr. Goldfarb,

I was disappointed to read the disparaging intent of your comments regarding Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) fans, both in your response to New York Times editors, and on the John McCain campaign website.

Dungeons & Dragons is a global game with millions of consumers in the U.S. and abroad. The brand is owned by Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc.

For fans, the game is essentially about heroism and therefore it is not surprising to us that thousands of military personnel play and enjoy the game. Hasbro, in turn, supports the U.S. Armed Forces by sending multiple crates of game products, including Dungeons & Dragons, to our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Recently a soldier who saw your comments online said, "Wizards of the Coast (the makers of D&D) has sent care packages to the troops on many occasions, providing free gaming supplies in support of our men and women serving the country overseas to help them decompress after hours. McCain's people should really check their facts before they spout off. Does John McCain have no idea how many GIs play D&D?"

We would very much appreciate you not making any more condescending comments about D&D -- as it is a great game enjoyed by millions of people around the world. Thank you.

Wayne Charness
Senior Vice President
Hasbro, Inc.

And then this from the Wizards of the Coast:

..Many players have written us about recent disparaging D&D references by a John McCain staffer, Michael Goldfarb. I want you to know that everyone at Wizards is offended and baffled by the ignorance. Obviously, this person harbors some retro prejudices and has no idea what D&D is about or who the fans really are.

My point is that the McCain ticket is not paying attention.  The things the GOP are looking down on here are groups of ordinary people trying to improve their surroundings.  Church ladies cleaning up a park, grunts in the Iraqi sandbox looking for some downtime.

That fits my definition of elitism, what about yours?  

Now maybe these incidents won't turn a vote, or change someone's mind all by themselves.  But taken together, the impact of the GOP collective disdain for things like these on top of everything else may be what does it.  Sure, it's small stuff.  But sometimes it's enough.

Originally posted to mechboots on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 10:51 PM PDT.

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