Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

October 7, 2008

HOPE VS. HATE.... Four years ago, the field of Democratic presidential hopefuls spent most of their time explaining how much different they would be from Bush/Cheney. Before long, Karl Rove sent out word to the Republican Machine: label the candidates and their supporters "angry." The goal, of course, was to characterize Bush/Cheney as optimistic and hopeful, while painting Democrats as wild-eyed, rage-driven nuts.

It's almost comical in retrospect.

Yesterday, John McCain delivered an unhinged anti-Obama diatribe in New Mexico, and when he posed a rhetorical question -- "Who is the real Barack Obama?" -- someone shouted, "A terrorist!" McCain paused momentarily, but did not comment on the remark.

Also yesterday, Sarah Palin repeated one of her unusually stupid attacks, rehashing the nonsense that Obama "pals around" with terrorists. One man in the audience, responding to Palin's smear, shouted, "Kill him!" Palin also did not comment on the remark.

At the same Florida event, Republicans shouted abuse at journalists, hurling obscenities. The Washington Post reported, "One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, 'Sit down, boy.'"

And just to top things off, last night, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania announced its belief that Obama is "a terrorist's best friend."

I expected Republicans to fight hard to win this year. I also expected them to ignore traditional norms, throw caution to the wind, and dispense with honesty and decency. But I didn't expect a wholesale descent into madness. These folks have just lost their collective minds.

Are McCain and Palin responsible for lunatics who shout insane comments at their rallies? Of course not. That said, when the Republican campaign, mired in desperation, deliberately stokes the fires of hate and fear, using disgusting lies to argue that Obama is literally dangerous, no one should be surprised when the far-right Republican base becomes frenzied.

The reckless and irresponsible rhetoric McCain and Palin have used has contributed to, if not practically created outright, an overheated political environment. It's in this environment that furious right-wing activists feel compelled to use racial slurs against journalists, and shout assassination requests at political rallies.

The responsible thing for McCain and Palin to do would be to turn down the temperature a bit and insist, in no uncertain terms, that they have no tolerance for the kind of ugliness Americans saw yesterday from the GOP.

Steve Benen 8:05 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (71)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

McCain/Palin are swirling around the bowl, one more good flush tonight should take care of it.

Posted by: Bill D. on October 7, 2008 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK

"The responsible thing for McCain and Palin to do would be to turn down the temperature a bit and insist, in no uncertain terms, that they have no tolerance for the kind of ugliness Americans saw yesterday from the GOP."

Yeah. Right. And bears don't shit in the woods...

Posted by: Stevio on October 7, 2008 at 8:08 AM | PERMALINK

When you are immune to facts, as most Repubs I know seem to be, anger and hatred come very naturally.

Posted by: gregor on October 7, 2008 at 8:10 AM | PERMALINK

Of course, this *could* be the groundwork for presenting McCain as the "safe" choice because Obama is "too controversial". It would be just like a Rove protege to think like that...

Posted by: MenckenJr on October 7, 2008 at 8:15 AM | PERMALINK

Well said Steve.

Posted by: clar-z on October 7, 2008 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

"Are McCain and Palin responsible for lunatics who shout insane comments at their rallies?

Hmmm-Does anyone else recall GOP plants in the audience? They've already demonstrated they'd do anything to win.

Posted by: Jill on October 7, 2008 at 8:18 AM | PERMALINK

"Are McCain and Palin responsible for lunatics who shout insane comments at their rallies? Of course not."

You're dead wrong. They are absolutely responsible for the actions of their supporters when they actively encourage these reactions with their speech. What we say matters,and we are responsible for the consequences of the words we say. McCain and palin are deliberately stoking hatred as one last desperate, reprehensible attempt to salvage their rotting campaign.

I said awhile back that the final two weeks of this campaign would see a level of racist poison that will take your breath away.

I certainly hope Obama will directly challenge McCain on the tone and direction of his campaign tonight.

Posted by: Saint Zak on October 7, 2008 at 8:19 AM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't waste any effort in holding ones breath awaiting McCain or Palin to do anything just or right...or responsible.

Assassination shout-outs need to be removed from any possible political discourse, but McCain knows that he will only win should that occur. Which is why you will not ever hear either of them say Stop to any of their attendees.

Hate and discontent at every turn to the detriment of this country.

Posted by: MsJoanne on October 7, 2008 at 8:23 AM | PERMALINK

Saint Zak - Well said.

Posted by: Danp on October 7, 2008 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

Steve, you are asking this of a woman who laughed at "jokes" -- that one of her female critics in Alaska was a "bitch" and a "cancer" -- presented by two radio jocks while doing a live radio interview with Palin. Palin then told them she would be honored to have them attend her state of the state address.

McCain and Palin have no shame. There is no use in appealing to their higher interests, because in their minds, it is McCain first and country be damned.

Posted by: lou on October 7, 2008 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

Think of it...in a time of war, McCain and Palin are, for all intents and purposes, inciting Americans--their followers--against another American--Obama. Yea, they probably think of it as playground politics in order to tear him down, but words have meaning. Inciting Americans against another American sparks of fascism, and is more representative of treason than anything they try to acuse Obama of. It bothers me that mainstream media tends to catagorize McCain and Palin's statements as tactics, as opposed to hammering them on behavior and worthiness to serve.

Posted by: orion on October 7, 2008 at 8:29 AM | PERMALINK

Hmm...

Sounds like the brown shirts are going to be out in force. I wonder how soon the "regrettable" acts of violence start? Damn, I was hoping I would be dead before the next civil war started.

Posted by: GDUtah on October 7, 2008 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

McCain and Palin are directly responsible. It's their campaign and they can stop the ugliness anytime they want.

The historical record shows that there is no evidence of an order from Hitler to exterminate the Jews. His followers, however, knew what he wanted and went about their work. McCain and Palin are doing the same thing. They are using language designed to appeal to hate and racism and we shouldn't allow them to escape responsibility for the ugliness that happens at their rallies.

Posted by: tomeck on October 7, 2008 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

Lou leaves out one salient point. The female critics the shock jocks were referring to is a cancer survivor. A fact both the shock jocks and Palin were well aware of.

Posted by: Lori on October 7, 2008 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

History is rife with examples of unhinged persons driven to violence by exhortations from political figures.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kristallnacht was the result of more than five years and nine months of discrimination and persecution. From its inception in Germany, Hitler's regime moved quickly to introduce anti-Jewish policy. The roughly 500,000 Jews in Germany, who accounted for only 0.76% of the overall population,[5] were singled out by the Nazi propaganda machine as the enemy within who were responsible for Germany's defeat in 1918 and her subsequent economic difficulties. The prominence of the Jewish people in the scientific and professional life made them the objects of jealousy which the Nazis skillfully exploited. (courtesy Wikipedia)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Palin and McCain are inciting crowds to commit violence. By not repudiating catcalls from the audience of "Kill him!" and "Terrorist!" they are signaling their acquiescence to whatever follows. Fascism looms.

Posted by: steve duncan on October 7, 2008 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

I suggest everyone do what I just did. I went to John McCain's campaign website, clicked contact and left a message tell the good Senator that he needs to appologize at tonight's debate to Sen. Obama and the nation for the occurances that took place at his and Gov. Palin's campaign appearances yesterday...brought on by their own words.

I they need a deluge of outraged messages.

Posted by: Saint Zak on October 7, 2008 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

The rightwing will not go quietly. It does not want to lose power because being in control is its only goal.

Posted by: castanea on October 7, 2008 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

You're seeing racists in action. Racism isn't rational so don't expect these folks to appear sane. They're terrified that a non-white person is this close to holding the last job that's only for white people.

Posted by: Jay on October 7, 2008 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

At a time when Americans need to pull together Palin/McCain are trying to pull us apart. What sad, shallow, self-seeking people they are.

Posted by: Dennis - SGMM on October 7, 2008 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

Well,

the only way for McCain to still win this thing is some lunatic shooting Obama before November.

Why should he tone down? That's not a winning strategy! Ask William Kristol!

Posted by: Vokoban on October 7, 2008 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

We've already seen the results of this kind of thing this past summer, when Jim David Adkisson opened fire on a church full of "liberals" after right-wing radio drove his insane hatred and paranoia to the breaking point.

Even sane people would likely be compelled to shoot terrorists; is there any doubt that most of us would kill Osama bin Laden on sight? And now you have so-called responsible public officials -- two people running for the highest offices in the land -- telling an audience containing a good proportion of unhinged yahoos that Obama "pals around with terrorists," is "the terrorist's best friend," etc. If something awful happens as a result, they have blood on their hands.

As for the person who shouted "Kill him," if I'm not mistaken, that is an arrestable offense.

Posted by: gradysu on October 7, 2008 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

"It's in this environment that furious right-wing activists feel compelled to use racial slurs against journalists, and shout assassination requests at political rallies."

One of those journalists needs to have his camera trained on the crowd, and make sure to capture footage of someone shouting "Kill him!" or "Sit down, boy." Upload it to Youtube, let the word out, and before you know it, you have another George Allen 'macaca' moment.

Posted by: Jack Lindahl on October 7, 2008 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

once again, may I welcome you all to the Weissedammerung.

Posted by: The Maverick on October 7, 2008 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

Terrorist? Only one of the candidate has dropped bombs on innocent people, and it ain't Obama.

Posted by: jeremy on October 7, 2008 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

While the rest of the world looks on in horror and with dread, Americans are too feverish with the taint of Republican hate to be able to understand the poison being fed directly into their hearts and minds.

It is nothing less, nor much different than the march of descent into full blown Nazi-ism. We already are a nation acting on a steady diet of fear and suspicion. We favor hate speech and diviseness over civil discourse and the classic virtues. We are a brutal, violent people who fanaticize and adulate war in professional sports, computer games and throughout all modes of entertainment - tv and movies in particular.

We are a primitive tribal nation in how we wear symbolic uniforms: sports team colors, gang colors, religious colors, school colors.

We idolize the fiction of the independent self-reliant pioneer all the while stepping on those around us to get ahead.

We are a nation of gluttons, taking and ruining much more than our fair share of energy, food, goods and services for only those of us who grab enough of the pie to stake a claim.

We are a heartless and brutal nation, allowing millions to go hungry, without shelter, without healthcare, without clean water, clean air and uncontaminated soil here and hundreds of millions more around the world.

We subsidize predatory private, for-profit industries that benefit only a very few at the expense of almost all of us.

We trample the few of us who act ethically in unethical situations by whistle-blowing, and we turn our backs on them and leave them to die. (Whistle blowers die very early deaths after ruined lives by all statistics and anecdotes).

We torture.

We are racists and bigots.

We are incurious and ignorant.

We stigmatize those who are vulnerable and who "aren't like us."

This nation has no claim to any moral high ground.

It has sunk so low that the horizon is high above us all.

And we failed to protect our constitution, our government and our way of life.

We did this all by ourselves.

Posted by: Annie on October 7, 2008 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

McCain has already made it abundantly clear that he'll do ANYTHING to win this election and if you think he wouldn't stoop to inciting some nutjob to do harm to Obama then you're either naive or a fool.

When Rachel Maddow showed those clips on her show last night I was as outraged as I've ever been in my 60 long years. (Even more outraged than I was when Hillary Clinton used Bobby Kennedy's assassination as a reason for her to stay in the primary race!)

If McCain and Palin continue this line of attack against Obama, then I rest my case. If, on the other hand, they repudiate these kinds of remarks from their supporters. then I'll cheerfully eat my words (and my keyboard).

Posted by: 3reddogs on October 7, 2008 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

In the same way that there were sentient beings out here able to see that BUSH would be a disaster in 2000 and could predict a financial CRASH of some kind on the way...you just know that continuing down the road that McShame and Scarah are not travelling there will be some REPUG nutcase who takes that to the level of violence against Obama and/or his family or surrogates. They are OUT there and they sense they are losing...they do not handle defeat well...

Posted by: Dancer on October 7, 2008 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

Republican support is being reduced to their base of extremists. They believe in fairy tales, from rapture to supply-side economics, and have no use for facts. They are able to hold two contradictory thoughts in their head at the same time without trouble. They have a simplistic us v. them worldview that defines all their beliefs.

And their common emotion is anger.

They've had the reigns of power for 8 years now and are going to explode as the reality of losing that power becomes apparent to them.

Posted by: Anonny on October 7, 2008 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

...oops, make that "now travelling"...must proofread...

Posted by: Dancer on October 7, 2008 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

The responsible thing for McCain and Palin to do would be to turn down the temperature a bit and insist, in no uncertain terms, that they have no tolerance for the kind of ugliness Americans saw yesterday from the GOP.

And give up the only source of power they have left? Not a chance. The fearful and the hateful WANT to be afraid and want to hate, and the McCain campaign appears to be more than happy to lead the way.

The only way to push such behavior back into the fringe is to work as hard as possible to give Obama and all the down-ticket races as big of landslide victory as possible.

And its helpful that the fascist campaign has declared war on "teh media." There are lots of cable shows and local networks that run every day, and have nothing but time and resources to report on these development. It's a "war" they will lose, and lose badly.

Posted by: GuyFromOhio on October 7, 2008 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

"Also yesterday, Sarah Palin repeated one of her unusually stupid attacks, rehashing the nonsense that Obama "pals around" with terrorists. One man in the audience, responding to Palin's smear, shouted, "Kill him!" Palin also did not comment on the remark."

I guess the law against threatening the life a president don't cover presidential candidates.

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00000871----000-.html

Maybe it should.

Posted by: pw on October 7, 2008 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

I they need a deluge of outraged messages. Posted by: Saint Zak

I fear that such communications would a)allow them to validate their actions, and b) spur them to further outrageous action.

After all, if the people you are out to diminish start to complain, your plan is working.

Posted by: GuyFromOhio on October 7, 2008 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

The WaPo has an article this morning on McCain's Navy experiences....and in the comments you will really find enlightenment from fellow fly boys...ouch!

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/10/mccain_fudges_his_navy_record.html?hpid=sec-politics

Posted by: avahome on October 7, 2008 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

"Kill him!"
"Terrorist!"

Scary, scary indeed. The McCain/Palin campaign has devolved into a traveling right-wing radio talk show. I'm not really surprised at the level of violence and anger being displayed as this behavior has been going on for years on the airwaves.

This is the end result of two decades worth of Limpballs, Hannity, Savage, Beck, etc. Nothing but hate and anger tarnishing the minds of millions of Americans, turning countryman against countryman.

And now we have members of the audience at a political rally openly calling for the killing of a man, a presidential candidate no less.

This country is seriously messed up.

Posted by: citizen_pain on October 7, 2008 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

Yet how do they back off now? How do they cool it down? I don't see that happening. I do foresee them losing the election now, because this isn't going to strike a chord with enough voters to help them. What I do fear is rash actions by angry supporters being whipped up by this talk.

Posted by: Algernon on October 7, 2008 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, Steve, it was YOU who introduced the word "unhinged" into the conversation! Last night on HARDBALL (shudder) Matthews actually challenged the McShame surrogate who said Obama had called Grampy "unhinged"...when he couldn't produce a response to when/where he'd said that (he hadn't) he looked down and shut up...but there it is in your piece. I, of course, completely agree that it IS the word to be used (kinda Freudian on the part of his surrogate)...this man has become a complete cartoon of whatever he tried to project in the past...it would be sad if it weren't FRIGHTENING!!!

Posted by: Dancer on October 7, 2008 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

Basically, McCain has went from war hero to POW to maerick, and is now running for Imperial Grand Wizard

Posted by: Phalamir on October 7, 2008 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

When God is on your side, everything you do is golden. That is their mindset, insane as it is...

And speaking of insanity, should McCain/Palin actually win the election by some miracle or Diebold intervention, how on earth do they expect to govern? A Congress controlled by Democrats will tell them to go Cheney themselves at every juncture. Scorched earth politics leaves you nothing to work with.

Posted by: josef on October 7, 2008 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

The effect of McCain/Palin's rhetoric is to encourage some nutjob to do his or her patriotic duty and take matters into his or her own hands. I think McCain/Palin, particuarly Palin,believe their own talking points. They truly believe that Obama is a threat to their America. Actually, they are right. Barack Obama is the biggest threat to "their" America since Abraham Lincoln.

Posted by: Scott F. on October 7, 2008 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

After McVeigh blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, it seemed to me that Gingrich et al. toned down their rhetoric a bit. I think they had some awareness that they had provided social validation for people with psychological problems to act them out in a certain direction.

Afterwards, of course. These aren't exactly the kind of people who think through where they're going, or for that matter, where they're taking the rest of us.

Posted by: larry birnbaum on October 7, 2008 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

Is there a point at which the Secret Service will ask McCain and Palin to "tone down" the extreme rhetoric?

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on October 7, 2008 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, I agree with Carl Nyberg. This is a matter for law enforcement. Somebody ought to be investigating the folks at McCain rallys who are making threats, and caution McCain and Palin.

Posted by: David in NY on October 7, 2008 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

"I they need a deluge of outraged messages. Posted by: Saint Zak

I fear that such communications would a)allow them to validate their actions, and b) spur them to further outrageous action."

Silence gives approval. Silence communicates fear. Inciting your supporters to shout "terrorist!", hurl racial slurs at cameramen and most unspeakable, "Kill him!" is not acceptable. If people don't rise up and reject this behavior it willnot just continue it will spread. It will win out. He needs to hear from thousands of outraged ppeople that this in not to be tolerated. The voice of decency needs to drown this filth out. He needs to be held accountable.

Posted by: Saint Zak on October 7, 2008 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

This country is seriously messed up.

Sad (and scary) but quite true!

Posted by: chasmrich on October 7, 2008 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

This says much more about the willingness of Republican supporters to be used as blunt instruments than it does about any supposed "genius" on the part of Rove as a manipulator. He IS good at that, but no more so than anyone else who perceives the mechanics of it, has bent himself to learn it and is granted a significant audience willing to be manipulated. There comes a time at which everyone has to take responsibility for his or her choices, and can no longer claim to have been tricked by a clever charlatan. Rove's cleverest deceptions were exposed long ago, and his supposed slickness can no longer be used as a defense by any but the most dull-witted.

Posted by: Mark on October 7, 2008 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

"I expected Republicans to fight hard to win this year. I also expected them to ignore traditional norms, throw caution to the wind, and dispense with honesty and decency. But I didn't expect a wholesale descent into madness. These folks have just lost their collective minds." - Mr. Benen

Trouble is. The trouble is... that it's not madness. And it should come as no surprise. And it's beyond dangerous to hope that they will behave like civilized hominids when they see their power as being the latent dumbfuck energy of masses of haters and non thinkers waiting to be told what to do.

They are not crazy. They aren't misguided. They are aware of what they do and they pursue the path they travel. They have examined the results thus far and have determined that backing off isn't going to appeal to the bozos that they depend on so they will speak to them more clearly.

They are speaking clearly. They are behaving in an unambiguously fascistic manner and they want the like minded to recognize that and follow them and destroy those who disagree.

Hoping for their better nature to manifest itself is a lost cause. Please believe what you see before your eyes. What you see and hear is what they are. Power and control uber alles.

Mistaking their craving for power for mere political posturing that can and will be set aside after this is over will be disastrous. How they talk is how they will walk. Bet on it.

Posted by: burro on October 7, 2008 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

So, let me get this straight, our country is rabidly dividing itself along racial lines, with a bit of class (or lack thereof!) warfare thrown in.

I beg all MSM outlets to report any ugliness at any rally, Democrat or Republican.

To think we are turning against each other is a sure means of martial law becoming the law of the land. Is that really putting Country First???

If tonight's debate doesn't address the ugly turn of events we will all be the poorer.

I do not want to see "revival" mentality permeate rallies.

Are we witnessing a perfect storm of economical/societal factors converging? The blame game will soon no longer be a "game" but a very real (un)civil war.

God help us.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on October 7, 2008 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Joseph Welch, at the Army/McCarthy hearings, June 9th, 1954:
"Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness."
And:
At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

Posted by: Dennus - SGMM on October 7, 2008 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

The responsible thing for McCain and Palin to do would be to turn down the temperature a bit and insist, in no uncertain terms, that they have no tolerance for the kind of ugliness Americans saw yesterday from the GOP.
===============

Let's not hold our breath waiting for them to do that.

Posted by: on October 7, 2008 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

The Republican party has become hate mongering fear fascists- because, you know they've done so well with the Iraq war and the economy that they've brought out the hate mongering cockroaches and given them a voice.

Posted by: RememberNovember on October 7, 2008 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

MCCain/Palin have not created this environment. 8 years of the current administration, and its policies and conduct, have created this environment. We have witnessed, and Steve has written about, this within the past 4 years. This is simply the fruits of those efforts and McCain/Palin are merely stoking that which was allowed to come out from under the rocks and from behind the curtains by the current administration.

The Republican Party's metamorphosis is near complete. Soor it will be nothing but the CCR party--Crazy Christian and Racist Party, a regional party at best.

And it is comforting to see that things are looking good for even larger majorities in the House and Senate so that Obama need not worry about having to work with too many from that side of the aisle. He can focus on the handful of sane goopers still remaining in that party, and simply ignore the distilled rage and hatred that constitutes the remainder.

Posted by: bubba on October 7, 2008 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

"How do we beat the bitch"
:chuckle:

"Pallin aroud with terrorists:
:wink:

"he's a terrorist"
:hea bobble:
"kill him"
: still no repudiation:

McCain condones sexism,smearimongering and murder.

no honor left for this trouser pilot.


Posted by: rememberNovember on October 7, 2008 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

"How do we beat the bitch"
:chuckle:

"Pallin aroud with terrorists:
:wink:

"he's a terrorist"
:hea bobble:
"kill him"
: still no repudiation:

McCain condones sexism,smearimongering and murder.

no honor left for this trouser pilot.


Posted by: rememberNovember on October 7, 2008 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

*

[what is the point of posting here when your comments are always removed?]

Posted by: Eric Blair on October 7, 2008 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Josh at TPM has been keeping (Steve has as well, yes?) of the MSM members who've had enough of McCain and are jumping ship.

But where are they now? These people pilloried Hillary when she made the awkward RFK reference and it was the subject of endless pundit gab. But these new, violent and dangerous movements by the McCain campaign need to have bright lights shone on them. Despite the sense that some media personnel are jumping the McCain ship, there still persists an attitude that "we" can't believe this is happening, that "our" John McCain wouldn't do this. Well wake up, he's doing it and he's stoking very dangerous fires. Someone besides people on the left (Olberman, Maddow, Huffington) who are only listened to by the left (not that I usually mind this, but . . .) have got to take McCain to task for this. They owe our country this.

I don't mind if campaigns turn nasty and negative, but this really is a boundary that we as a nation don't want to cross over.

Posted by: clarice on October 7, 2008 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Here's an interesting little window into the mind of these people. I typed "McCain's desperate sleaze" into Google to see what popped up, and one thing did: a pretend "question" from Yahoo Questions that was obviously posted to slime Obama, talk about his "radical friends," and excoriate the media. Herewith:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081006140127AAdrXY8

You'll notice that the only remarks that get thumbs downs are the remark someone made about "McCain's desperate sleaze tactics" and the remark by somebody about how McCain is the one who's always been cozy with the media.

A bunch of ignorant right-wing people living in their alternate, lies-based "reality."

Posted by: Anon on October 7, 2008 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Actually I'm glad it's coming out now. It's always been there in the background (Kill the liberals; Kill the arabs; even kill the blacks). When it is said out loud, people are finally forced to acknowledge that there is a violence potential that transcends simple partisan bickering. It won't be long until Palin or McCain loses control of the crowd and we get some footage of a few refrains of "kill obama" chanting. Even the fools at Fox would have to run that as the main story of the day and the right wing will be completely exposed for what their "base" really is.

Posted by: jeff on October 7, 2008 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

These folks have just lost their collective minds.

It is impossible to lose that which one never had in the first place.

As for the shouts of 'kill him,' these raise two issues. First, the issue of to whom the threats were directed- Obama or Ayers; were charges to be leveled, the defense would certainly claim the latter. The second matter is that threats against the President, if we wish to use that standard, have to be realistic in order to be criminal. If I say that I'd like to kill President X by using an alien blaster pistol, that would be distasteful and probably insane, but not illegal. Similarly, random screams of 'kill him,' while ugly in the extreme, do not rise to the level of genuine, actionable threats.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on October 7, 2008 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

annie: "It is nothing less, nor much different than the march of descent into full blown Nazi-ism. We already are a nation acting on a steady diet of fear and suspicion. We favor hate speech and diviseness over civil discourse and the classic virtues. We are a brutal, violent people who fanaticize and adulate war in professional sports, computer games and throughout all modes of entertainment - tv and movies in particular."

"We?" Speak for yourself, sweetheart. What we have seen over the past decades is domination of the majority by the fringe few. It has been the opposite of democracy at work. Yes, some Americans are ignorant, brutal, racist, selfish, as you describe, but many Americans are not. The reason we are in our present mess is many Americans--perhaps a majority--are inattentive and slow learners and, thus, easily manipulated by fear tactics and smear campaigns. Instead of thinking for themselves, they use a simple heuristic: they trust that the people who have authority won't lie to them or rob them or exploit their trust. The left scared them badly in the 60s and 70s, and when Ronald Reagan told them that America is a great country, that it is morning in America, they wanted to believe.

But across America, dim bulbs are finally flicking on. "Wait a tick!" they are saying to themselves, "something isn't right here. Bush...McCain...Republicans...? Gosh, have they been...lying...to me?!??"

All McCain and Palin have left are appeals to the ignorant, brutal, racist, selfish. These are the same appeals that the Republicans have been using for the past 30 years, but since fewer and fewer people are being persuaded, they have to turn up the volume. The ugliness is becoming more and more obvious.

Posted by: PTate in MN on October 7, 2008 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK
Yesterday, John McCain delivered an unhinged anti-Obama diatribe in New Mexico, and when he posed a rhetorical question -- "Who is the real Barack Obama?" -- someone shouted, "A terrorist!" McCain paused momentarily, but did not comment on the remark.

Also yesterday, Sarah Palin repeated one of her unusually stupid attacks, rehashing the nonsense that Obama "pals around" with terrorists. One man in the audience, responding to Palin's smear, shouted, "Kill him!" Palin also did not comment on the remark.

I wonder if these were really spontaneous outburst. It seems a pretty big coincidence that you've got an audience member spontaneously shouting "a terrorist" about Obama at one event on the same day that the campaign (via another event, across the country) and at least one state Republican Party (after, and distant from both events) are pushing the "terrorist" line.

No, what it looks like to me is that quite probably the "terrorist" outburst, and possibly also the "kill him!" outburst, were scripted events that were planned by the campaign which made sure they happened where they would get picked up well by mikes -- to feed the meme that the attacks and hate being directed by the campaign at Obama are, in fact, having resonance in at least some of the electorate. Its a deliberate tactic to make individuals feel more comfortable with the same kind of hate (even if to a lesser degree), because even those extreme examples are within the bounds of normal responses.


Posted by: cmdicely on October 7, 2008 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Is the secret service aware that attendees to these rally's are shouting out for the murder pf a presidential candidate, and if so why are these people not in jail?

Posted by: Dave in ME on October 7, 2008 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

McCain didn't just pause, by the way. He actually grimaced. This doesn't make him less responsible. But he's clearly in denial about the message that Schmidt is giving him to feed to the non-angelic portion of his audience's nature.

Posted by: larry birnbaum on October 7, 2008 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

These folks have just lost their collective minds.

Just? Honey, that happened years ago.

Posted by: Jenna's Bush on October 7, 2008 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

As you're watching McCain and Palin address their "followers," notice the almost complete lack of diversity. I don't just mean racial diversity. Their constitutents are pretty much exclusively rich folks. That's why McCain and Grahmm were so confused about the state of the economy. All of the people allowed into their bubbles have Rothschildian world/econimic views. The man actually sat in the Saddleback church and stated that 5 million dollars annually is middle-class. Contrast that with the crowd at an Obama/Biden event.

Posted by: Winkandanod on October 7, 2008 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

So much for a 'culture of life' eh?

Posted by: Shawn T on October 7, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Remember that tickets to Repub campaign rallies are required, and can only be obtained through the local Repub office.

Posted by: CN on October 7, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

More to come. Count on it.

Posted by: catherineD on October 7, 2008 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Obama's net favorables are down to +18 from over +20. Look for that to continue a trend. This sludge works. Hopefully, this election has become enough about big issues and this shit will not be as effective.

Posted by: Scott F. on October 7, 2008 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

You call it ugly -- well, when you tell an ugly truth, it's hard to make it look pretty. To coin a phrase, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. Obama has a shady past that he refuses to discuss, but which is vitally important to the American electorate if they are to judge his character and decision-making process.

Posted by: Nialla on October 7, 2008 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

This Republican can't wait for Obama to win. With Obama's leftist past, and the 1980's Democrats poised to take power (again), the next 4 years will be nothing but political target practice for conservatives. Just think; Democrats will actually have to do something. They will be accountable!!! Even the East Coast Dem surrogate media will have to do a little bit of reporting on them...

Democrats = corruption.

Posted by: BillSanford on October 7, 2008 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

what does osama bin laden and barack hussien obama have in common?They both have friends who have bombed the pentagon.

Posted by: new york john on October 7, 2008 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly