Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 10, 2008

HATE, FEAR, AND IGNORANCE.... On CNN last night, David Gergen, a Republican advisor to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton, commented on the "anger" evident at McCain/Palin rallies of late. "There is this free floating sort of whipping around anger that could really lead to some violence," Gergen said. "I think we're not far from that."

When Anderson Cooper expressed skepticism about whether violence was likely, Gergen said he "really worries" given "the kind of rhetoric" coming from the Republican ticket.

When a mainstream, Republican presidential advisor goes on national television and expresses concern that Republican voters might literally become violent in response to the Republican presidential ticket's rhetoric, it's safe to say we've reached a rather dramatic point.

This week has been unusually incendiary. The McCain campaign has deliberately been whipping the angry, far-right Republican base into a frenzy. That includes increasing frequency of "Hussein" references, but it also includes looking the other way while campaign supporters exclaim "treason!," "terrorist!," and "kill him!" during official rallies.

On Wednesday, during a McCain harangue against Obama, one man could be heard yelling, "Off with his head!" On Thursday, Republicans erupted when an unhinged McCain supporter ranted about "socialists taking over our country." Instead of calming them down, McCain said the lunatic was "right."

The Republicans want an angry mob, they need hysterical supporters, and so they've stoked the fires of hate, fear, and ignorance. It's become a surprisingly toxic cocktail.

Both the Washington Post and the Politico have good items today on the explosive, enraged emotions at this week's Republican rallies. Slate's John Dickerson described the participants' "bloodthirsty" tone.

There are, obviously, more than a few questions to consider. Will McCain/Palin push their enraged mob into committing acts of violence? (We can hope not.) Will the hysterical Republican base consider Obama/Biden legitimate if they win in November? (I doubt it.)

And then there's the practical question: will the combination of hate, fear, and ignorance actually pay off on Election Day? Polls show Obama leading now, but the truth is, most of these polls were taken before McCain turned the Rage-o'-Meter to 11. How will mainstream voters react?

Time will obviously answer that question soon enough, but I found John Weaver's perspective especially interesting.

John Weaver, McCain's former top strategist, said top Republicans have a responsibility to temper this behavior.

"People need to understand, for moral reasons and the protection of our civil society, the differences with Senator Obama are ideological, based on clear differences on policy and a lack of experience compared to Senator McCain," Weaver said. "And from a purely practical political vantage point, please find me a swing voter, an undecided independent, or a torn female voter that finds an angry mob mentality attractive."

Weaver added that the Republican Party should be "ashamed" if it allows this to continue. Given what we've seen of late, they should be ashamed anyway.

Steve Benen 9:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (72)

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Comments

I think I just saw the Dow Jones jump out of a window.

Posted by: lampwick on October 10, 2008 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

Weaver has it right. Why would any swing voter be attracted to this kind of activity?

Also, when was lying demoted from the sin category, Sarah?

Posted by: bkmn on October 10, 2008 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Violence at the polls is to be expected assuming McCain/Palin maintain their campaign strategy.

Posted by: steve duncan on October 10, 2008 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

I think this is going to seriously damage McCain's campaign. Even some of the Republicans I know are disgusted by what we've seen coming out of the GOP this week. It's certainly not going to help any. The people who buy into this kind of garbage were never going to vote for Obama anyway, and the independents and swing voters hate this kind of thing. It's electoral poison, completely apart from the issue of its moral repugnance.

Posted by: EarBucket on October 10, 2008 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

Throughout the primaries and on through the general election campaign I hear occasional mention of the Bradley Effect and how it might hurt Obama's chances. McCain/Palin are creating an anti-Bradley Effect. Moderates and swing voters are likely to vote Obama just to show that they're not a part of the angry mobs.

Posted by: Dennis - SGMM on October 10, 2008 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

Weaver added that the Republican Party should be "ashamed" if it allows this to continue.

Yes. They should be ashamed.

Posted by: phleabo on October 10, 2008 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

It's ironic to the point of absurdity that it is supporters of the party in power that feel this need to revolt. And the logic they need to buy into is that the media is in power, the media is supporting radical leftists, and Bush is somehow irrelevant. Meanwhile, that radical media is promoting the idea that Dems (Acorn) are trying to steal elections by registering made up names, and that Dems are as guilty as Reps in caging schemes. Chuck Todd just said on MSNBC that Bob Schieffer may be "forced" to bring up William Ayers in next week's debate. My question is who would he feel compelled to address when doing so.

Posted by: Danp on October 10, 2008 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

The Republicans want an angry mob, they need hysterical supporters, and so they've stoked the fires of hate, fear, and ignorance.

This way they don't have to rent one like they did during the Florida recount.

Posted by: martin on October 10, 2008 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

As mentioned in a previous post, this is the beginning of the narrative for an Obama presidency from the right. I'm afraid the tactics used against Clinton will be considered civil compared to what may come now.

The only upshot, I hope, is that this will send the repubs into electoral exile for at least a generation. Meanwhile, the adults can run the country for a while.

Posted by: r_m on October 10, 2008 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

Someone may have said this before, but I really wonder about the "Off with his head!" line. It really seems more like the sort of thing I would say to mock McCain/Palin's attacks.

I haven't seen the clip so I can't judge the tone. But it's really not the sort of thing people say anymore (outside of Monty Python jokes), is it?

Posted by: j.e.b. on October 10, 2008 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

There's been a very real thread of unhinged madness in the far-right base for years now, led at the top end by Dick Cheney and fed at the lower end by just the sort of howling psychopaths as are now showing themselves publicly at McCain rallies.

This really shouldn't be such a surprise to anyone. It's just that now they are so close to losing their power over public affairs that they can't stay in the shadows anymore but have to emerge for one last desperate attempt to stop anyone who threatens them.

The Secret Service had better be on its best game from now on, it's only going to get worse.

Posted by: Curmudgeon on October 10, 2008 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

Just goes to show what I've felt all along: you'd have to be a lunatic to vote for The McSiah.

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky on October 10, 2008 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

Andrew Sullivan writes: "This is getting close to the atmosphere stoked by the Israeli far right before the assassination of Rabin. "

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/10/the-dangerous-p.html

Posted by: Erik in Maine on October 10, 2008 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

Last year, I commented at Steve's old place that the Republicans would fight like cornered wolverines to hold on to power. I was wrong: they are fighting like cornered rats - absent the courage and charm of the average rat.

Posted by: Dennis - SGMM on October 10, 2008 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

I've often wondered if maybe the GOP elders want to win the White House this cycle - that perhaps they'd prefer distancing themselves from the mess they made so they can blame it all on Dems & try to ride in 2012. I've no idea if this is true, but the rabid righr rhetoric lately doesn't prove me wrong. But if they did want to win, this level of hate makes it clear they're aware they're probably gonna lose, so they're scorched-Earthing it, making it as difficult as possible for Obama to effectively lead a nation filled with idiots who think he's a terrorist trying to bring America down from withinv (a narrative I'm sure Fox News won't drop any time soon). Every decision Obama makes, every time he travels overseas or tries to promote diplomacy, these seething lunatics will see it through their hate-colored glasses, assuming Obama's actions are all part of a super-secret liberal-homo-commie-Islamofascist-terrorist-sleepercell plot to...I dunno, make Nascar dads marry their cats or something.

Posted by: slappy magoo on October 10, 2008 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

Hmm. From economic and military standpoints, the country is in a mess. Republicans have been in control of Congress for 12 of the last 14 years, and have held the White House for the last 7.5 years. And they're angry?

They really are insane.

Posted by: josef on October 10, 2008 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

A letter to the editors of The New York Times:

Re “Politics of Attack” (editorial, Oct. 8) and “Obama and ’60s Bomber: A Look Into Crossed Paths” (front page, Oct. 4):

As the lead federal prosecutor of the Weathermen in the 1970s (I was then chief of the criminal division in the Eastern District of Michigan and took over the Weathermen prosecution in 1972), I am amazed and outraged that Senator Barack Obama is being linked to William Ayers’s terrorist activities 40 years ago when Mr. Obama was, as he has noted, just a child.

Although I dearly wanted to obtain convictions against all the Weathermen, including Bill Ayers, I am very pleased to learn that he has become a responsible citizen.

Because Senator Obama recently served on a board of a charitable organization with Mr. Ayers cannot possibly link the senator to acts perpetrated by Mr. Ayers so many years ago.

I do take issue with the statement in your news article that the Weathermen indictment was dismissed because of “prosecutorial misconduct.” It was dismissed because of illegal activities, including wiretaps, break-ins and mail interceptions, initiated by John N. Mitchell, attorney general at that time, and W. Mark Felt, an F.B.I. assistant director.

William C. Ibershof
Mill Valley, California
Oct. 8, 2008

Posted by: SecularAnimist on October 10, 2008 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

I have taken to writing to Republican leaders like Hagel, Lugar, Snowe etc and asking them to please step up and denounce this vitriol before something calamitous happens. One would think that for the sake of the Republican party they would want to separate themselves out from this behavior, which is extreme even for Republicans.

Then again, they support getting rid of due process so as to facilitate their ability to torture people into insanity, so why am I surprised?

Posted by: Buffalonian on October 10, 2008 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

This is what it looks like when a party who only cares about Power realizes for the first time that it might not win! It is nothing less than a shock to their collective systems. Whether Obama wins by a landslide, or just barely, 40% will never consider him legitimate. Welcome to our world for the last eight years Republicans! How's that shoe feel?

Posted by: Scott F. on October 10, 2008 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

McCain has a temper. His campaign has simply become an extended temper tantrum.

Posted by: jen f on October 10, 2008 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

republicans?!?! responsibility?!?!

now there's an oxymoron to savor.

Posted by: mellowjohn on October 10, 2008 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

Unless you've been asleep or under a rock the last 8-10 years, this has been building and quite evident to those who cared to pay attention.

When ultra right-wingers like Mike Savage, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Bortz, etc.go mainstream and their words become common discourse, something bad has happened.

Orcinus has (and continues) to talk about this. Extremism has come to the fore. Don't be surprised if--especially if Obama/Biden win and the Dems take more seats in Congress--right wingers and domestic terrorists start up with a renewed sense of vigor.

Don't be an Anderson Cooper and dismiss the warnings as hyperbole. Unfortunately, BushCo. has effectively weakened the rule of law, meaning it'll be a tough job to prosecute the wingnuts.

Posted by: gang green on October 10, 2008 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

So now does anyone think "Hitler" tactics and "Third Reich" strategies or not? and why is it not correct to call the Republicans on their facist behavior?

Posted by: Carol on October 10, 2008 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Notice that all the Republicans who have denounced these tactics are either former members of the McCain campaign, like Weaver and Mike Murphy, or completely outside it, like Gergen. The new insiders are inheritors of Bush's policies and attitude, and they don't care any more about the welfare of this country than Bush and Rove did.

The new Republicans are alienating every principled person in the country, conservative or liberal. The horrible thing is, by a combination of vote suppression and sheer intimidating bullyragging, they may yet win. The Nazis and Bolsheviks were minority parties too. This is scary.

Posted by: ericfree on October 10, 2008 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

The Republicans want an angry mob, they need hysterical supporters, and so they've stoked the fires of hate, fear, and ignorance.

They've been doing that with Limbaugh and his ilk. The only difference now is that it's coming from the campaign itself.

Even Bush was usually careful to maintain plausible deniability; now the Republicans just don't seem to care.

Posted by: Gregory on October 10, 2008 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

What do you expect? McCain's campaign has been increasingly, over the last few weeks, veering toward making Obama look like the Persian king in "300", coming to subjugate the remaining true believers. Well, by God, they're warriors - not pacifist agitators - and they know what to do when the enemy comes a' knocking. He's given up appealing to their patriotism and love of country, and descended at long last to appealing to their whiteness.

How, in the name of all that's holy, does McCain expect to govern if he somehow managed to win using these tactics? He's taking those who disagree with him from tolerance to mockery to hatred. A majority of the electorate would no longer accept a McCain win; doesn't he understand that?

Posted by: Mark on October 10, 2008 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK
and why is it not correct to call the Republicans on their facist behavior?

Well, first, its fascist behavior, not facist behavior, and its been right to call them on it since, at least, late 2001, when they tried used the 9/11 attacks as a Reichstag Fire -- an excuse to demonize the opposition as dangerous traitors in league with outside enemies of the nation and to seize concentrate increasingly totalitarian powers within the executive branch.

The only thing that isn't "correct" is pretending that this is something the Right suddenly adopted without warning in 2008.

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

So now does anyone think "Hitler" tactics and "Third Reich" strategies or not? and why is it not correct to call the Republicans on their fascist behavior?

It is absolutely and incontrovertably not correct to call the Replicants on their fascist behavior. It's true, but it's not correct.

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky on October 10, 2008 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Will the hysterical Republican base consider Obama/Biden legitimate if they win in November? (I doubt it.)

This is where an Obama landslide can really help. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 and had the election handed to him by a partisan Supreme Court; hence, the Right's creation of the "Bush Derangement Syndrome" myth to render questions about his legitimacy outside the realm of acceptable discourse.

Besides, the voters, overwhelmingly, say they want a departure from the kind of smear politics the Republicans peddle.

And then there's the practical question: will the combination of hate, fear, and ignorance actually pay off on Election Day?

...on the other hand, I've speculated before that McCain's tactics are designed not so much to produce a win -- he must know that's next to impossible, since he's playing defense on Bush's remaining states from 2004 and losing just one cements an Obama win -- as to make the country ungovernable.

In that, he may just succeed. But I suspect that he'll only continue the Republican Party's slide into irrelevance and crankdom. The question is, what, if anything, will replace it?

Posted by: Gregory on October 10, 2008 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist:

That's very interesting. I hadn't seen that. Thanks.

Posted by: colonpowwow on October 10, 2008 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK
How, in the name of all that's holy, does McCain expect to govern if he somehow managed to win using these tactics?

I think the tactics have become even more unhinged precisely because McCain has realized he is quite likely not going to win: they are designed to create an atmosphere which makes it less possible for the Democrats and Obama to effectively govern.

Posted by: cmdicely on October 10, 2008 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

its been right to call them on it since, at least, late 2001, when they tried used the 9/11 attacks as a Reichstag Fire -- an excuse to demonize the opposition as dangerous traitors in league with outside enemies of the nation and to seize concentrate increasingly totalitarian powers within the executive branch.

Which is, in part, why the Doughy Pantload wrote Liberal Fascism -- partly out of annoyance at being called on his authoritarian sympathies and partly as a classic Rovian tactic of accusing the Democrats of the GOP's faults.

Posted by: Gregory on October 10, 2008 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

Looks like The McSiah would rather lose the country than lose an election.

Patriotism? When your ideology is more important than your country, that's treason, my friends.

"My friend." Isn't that what the bad guy in the movie calls you just before he slams your head against the wall?

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky on October 10, 2008 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

This surge of extremism at Repub events isn't surprising. Do you know who John McCain and Sarah Palin really are?

From Salon: Meet Sarah Palin’s radical right-wing mentors by Max Blumenthal and David Neiwert

Orcinus (David Neiwert) has more.

Via John Cole, David Brooks:

But over the past few decades, the Republican Party has driven away people who live in cities, in highly educated regions and on the coasts. This expulsion has had many causes. But the big one is this: Republican political tacticians decided to mobilize their coalition with a form of social class warfare. Democrats kept nominating coastal pointy-heads like Michael Dukakis so Republicans attacked coastal pointy-heads.

Over the past 15 years, the same argument has been heard from a thousand politicians and a hundred television and talk-radio jocks. The nation is divided between the wholesome Joe Sixpacks in the heartland and the oversophisticated, overeducated, oversecularized denizens of the coasts.

***
The Republicans have alienated whole professions. Lawyers now donate to the Democratic Party over the Republican Party at 4-to-1 rates. With doctors, it’s 2-to-1. With tech executives, it’s 5-to-1. With investment bankers, it’s 2-to-1. It took talent for Republicans to lose the banking community.

Conservatives are as rare in elite universities and the mainstream media as they were 30 years ago. The smartest young Americans are now educated in an overwhelmingly liberal environment.

***

And so, politically, the G.O.P. is squeezed at both ends. The party is losing the working class by sins of omission — because it has not developed policies to address economic anxiety. It has lost the educated class by sins of commission — by telling members of that class to go away.

Posted by: Rob Gainey on October 10, 2008 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

Time to remember Bernie Epton.
Bernie Epton was a moderate Republican who ran against Harold Washington when Washington won his first time as Mayor of Chicago.

Bernie was a nice guy, moderate, even liberal, never known for being a racist.

When he was the only white guy between Harold Washington and the Mayor's office, his candidacy suddenly caught fire, because all of the white Democrats who were freaked by the thought of a black Mayor suddenly became fans of Bernie Epton.

His rallies became racist hatefests. Bernie was heard to say that his own supporters terrified him. He spent the rest of his public life pathetically trying to explain that he was not a racist, even though his voters were. However, if you lie down with the dogs, you will get up with the fleas.

BTW, David Axelrod played a major role in Washington's campaign, so he has seen this before.


Posted by: Tom in Ma on October 10, 2008 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

All they need is to push one of their supporters over the edge. Barack Obama is already at far greater risk than the usual presidential candidate for an assassination attempt. I can't help but wonder if, in the back of some of these people's minds, they aren't hoping to inflame someone to that result.

Posted by: catherineD on October 10, 2008 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

As I recall, a few years back a sizeable collection of documents from the Third Reich government of Nazi Germany were discovered. Among them were detailed notes of meetings in which Hitler and his top officials worked out the details of how the Holocaust would work: the administrative nuts and bolts of mechanized mass murder.

What surprised historians was that the documents revealed that the Holocaust did not originate in a top-down fashion as a mandate from the Nazi leadership.

Rather, the Holocaust originated in something of a bottom-up, grass roots manner. Local German authorities had already begun rounding up and executing numbers of Jews on their own by the time the Nazi leadership sat down to plan the Holocaust. Essentially the Nazi leaders realized that they could build their power by taking over this grass-roots extermination movement and turning into a centrally-run national program. And of course, they could murder many more people much more efficiently by applying modern methods and economies of scale.

It's not hard to see echoes of that history, watching the Palin-McCain campaign trying to surf the waves of ignorance and hate into the White House.

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

I do take this seriously. Really, I do.

But "Off with his head!"? Who said that? The Queen of Hearts? Robespierre?

Posted by: Mr Saturday Pants on October 10, 2008 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Bush sent a message, again you with me or against me.

Simple, Real Conservatives the real core of the Republican Party is taking control no matter what Bush and Company says, there is a severe slit in the core of the Republican Party.

These banks that don’t trust each others, is Bush bankers against the rest.

Chris Mathews and every major first line journalist can see it feel it understand it but just as they all will not admit we are in crash if not an economic grid lock of distrust because of lies by this administration, and bankers have had enough of Bush and company.

For me, we should be ready for over whelming huge, huge whistle blowing is about to occur. The true Patriots, as general PETRAEUS is breaking away from McCain and Bush. Go for it general. You’re the man…

Posted by: Megalomania on October 10, 2008 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

I posted this in an earlier thread:

Please know this. The conservative base will not go quietly into the night. While the peons of the group cry about the possibility of a democratic government, the leaders of the group are looking at this as an unprecedented opportunity. A blessing and a gift from God. At this point the wingnut leaders are praying for an Obama victory, because when this economy crashes, and crash it will, they will have a DEMOCRATIC scapegoat. I promise you this. The next several years are going to be very painful for this country, and the wingnuts will be back with a vengeance proclaiming we are being punished by God for voting Obama into office.

The right's fascist movement is gaining ground not losing it. These are perilous times indeed.

Posted by: Jim on October 10, 2008 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Touch the devil and you can't let go...

That's where McCain is right now. And Palin too.
Both feel the angry power from the podium.
It is enticing. And it is totally corrupting force. Both of them are now gone to the dark side.
I expect much worse.

I also expect the greater media to eventually call them on it. And I expect saner republican voices to stand tall. David Brooks saw the bad moon rising. He got out. He had to. Others will follow suit too. The republican party is being torn, its cancer isolated.

My suggestion: Try not to chide the good republicans that abandon their party. They are doing what is right for their country. They deserve our respect.

Posted by: koreyel on October 10, 2008 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

It really can happen here, only this time it's the liberals (socialist terrorists) who are the root cause of all the nation's ills.

I don't think it will happen, but it's getting a little uncomfortable as McCain becomes more unhinged every single day, and the crazed mobs grow larger and louder.

Posted by: hark on October 10, 2008 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

No potential violence, Anderson?

Tell that to the British guy who was shot three times and called racial slurs for wearing an Obama shirt.

The violence is already there Anderson, it's your job to actually report and not just tell us what your little pissant mind is thinking.

Go back to dissing Lohan and leave the real news to grownups.

Posted by: on October 10, 2008 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

It's nice to see David Gergen getting this kudos. He's by far the best of the CNN pundits, and it's admirable how he's managing to keep his head and say the important things in the current crisis. Assuming he wins, Obama could do much worse than bring Gergen into the White House.

Posted by: davidp on October 10, 2008 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

I love how Anderson Cooper says "they're both throwing hand grenades" and then cuts off Begala right after Begala dares to question the usual false equivalency, and say straight up that the McCain team is causing way more hatred...

COOPER: We've got to -- and very briefly, Paul Begala, do you believe it's over for John McCain at this time?

BEGALA: No, it's not over. But I do want to be fair here. Both candidates are not being equally angry or equally negative or equally dirty. Obama has been a model of cool, calm. Sure, he's launched his attacks but nothing like the kind of really angry and hateful things that McCain is saying.

Nobody at Obama's rally is shouting "Kill him" as the "Washington Post" reported or hurling racial epithets at an African-American cameraman, as has been reported, or saying, "off with his head," as has been reported. So let's not pretend that this is equal amounts of rage and anger here.

COOPER: We're going to have to leave it there.

Posted by: Racer X on October 10, 2008 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Remember when simply calling Petraeus, "Betrayus" was exhibit A that the "left" was angry, hate-filled monsters? Where are all those critics now to scold and "tsk, tsk" the hatemongers and enraged lunatics of the Right? Bill O'Reilly, I'm talking to you.

It's become a surprisingly toxic cocktail.
Soon to be a molotov cocktail.

Posted by: ckelly on October 10, 2008 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Benen: Surprisingly toxic

"Surprisingly"? Surely, you jest.


Posted by: Cervantes on October 10, 2008 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Assuming he wins, Obama could do much worse than bring Gergen into the White House. -davidp

I truly hope Obama will not, as his predecessors have continue to blur the line between government and journalism.

They clearly need to be separate entities.

Posted by: doubtful on October 10, 2008 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Rather, the Holocaust originated in something of a bottom-up, grass roots manner

In the beginning, perhaps, but the Wannsee Conference wasn't bottom-up, it was top-down.

Posted by: Screamin' Demon on October 10, 2008 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

The Republicans should be ashamed if this "continues"? This has been their MO since Nixon if not before. It's unusually visible this year, not because they are losing, but because the Democratic nominee is Black.

And if you don't think that putting Barney Frank up as someone responsible for the current economic fiasco isn't just pandering to and stoking homophobia, but anti-Semitism as well, you're kidding yourself.

Posted by: larry birnbaum on October 10, 2008 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

I can only hope that the rational element of our country is alarmed enough to bring solid Democratic majorities into both houses of Congress so something can get done in the next four years. Another hopeful outcome would be that the saner voices in the Republican Party competely disown themselves of these extremists and form a bloc to vote with Democrats on the important decisions that lay ahead.

Regardless, the radical religious fascism that now controls the Republican Party needs to be run out of DC and forced back into their tiny communities of hatred and bigotry.

Posted by: bdop4 on October 10, 2008 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

"Will the hysterical Republican base consider Obama/Biden legitimate if they win in November? (I doubt it.)"

Does it matter? (No.)

Posted by: on October 10, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

"Revivalesque"

The only way to describe rallies and events that John and Sarah attend.

It is informative that, only a few days ago, folks were mocking Sarah and John for their gibberish. As if one campaign had become a joke. Now we are waking up to the fact that much darker forces are at work.

God has spoken to Sarah and told her that John and herself MUST be the next Whitehouse occupants, anything less is to invite devil worship.

Hence the frenzy driven crowds that we are seeing.

When martial law gets declared, guess what? No election.

I do think violence is the plan.

Sarah and John want to hasten "the end of days."

Country First. Yeah, right.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on October 10, 2008 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Weren't some of the wingnuts - Jonah Goldberg springs to mind - speculating a while back about the possibility of a violent reaction from Obama supporters should Obama lose the election? Looks like they were on the right track, just got the wrong side.

Posted by: BeingThere on October 10, 2008 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

what world are you living in? have you ever been to an Obama rally? did you ever go to a democractic caucus and observe how Obama supporters behave?

During the primaries we were threatened with RIOTS by Obama supporters if he did not get the nomination.

If anyone dared to criticize Obama, even with the most innocent reference to 'Hockey Moms' you are labeled a racist and talking in code...

...give me a break...

This MSM media meme about McCain being the 'angry guy' is the biggest bunch of BS I have ever heard...

Do you ever listen to Obama yelling and scowling in rage while reading his teleprompterz? What do you call that? going to a picnic

Obama has sent out 'truth squads' to silence and intimidate any criticism

and Biden is no cheerful dude either...

I am so sick of the one sided viewpoint of the media...they did the same thing to Hillary Clinton in the primaries...that woman could not even open her mouth and the whole MSM attacked her...while Obama could get away with calling her old, moody, out of touch, a liar, a racist etc...and yet, the MSM would call him cool and collected...

I have never seen such an angry candidate as Obama and his supporters are the most threatening, angry and intense people going...

what do you all expect for anyone running against Obama to just sit there and be quiet while he runs over everyone?

The MSM and its one sided coverage of this election has reached the point of absurdity and diminishing returns...no thinking person can believe a word anymore...

it is like the sun is out...and the media insists that it is raining...that is the level of credibility our MSM has sunk to

Posted by: S on October 10, 2008 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

I think the McCain campaign should be legally charged with inciting a riot if violence occurs during or shortly after one of their rallies or "townhall meetings."

Posted by: cynthiza on October 10, 2008 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

S, I have only one question for you:

What color is the sky in your world?

Posted by: Stefan on October 10, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

During the primaries we were threatened with RIOTS by Obama supporters if he did not get the nomination.

Yeah -- threatened by Rush Limbaugh. Do the math, jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on October 10, 2008 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

I am a Pennsylvanian, + I just got off the phone w/Senator Specter. In speaking to one of his staffers, I encouraged him, as a very senior member of the Senate + the Republican Party, to take a strong, public stand against the rank incivility being displayed by the McCain campaign. The staffer agreed that Sen. Specter would be the perfect person to make sure a stand, and said that he would pass along this message for me.

Do I expect my single call to make a difference? No, but if hundreds or even thousands of Pennsylvanians make the same call, it might.

The 'Mark of Zorro,' so to speak,
-Z

Posted by: Zorro on October 10, 2008 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan and Gregory - go back and look at the comments by David Dinkins, Al Sharpton...

go ask Travis Smiley, John Lewis, and the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones...

you are entitled to your opinion, as I am...but you are living in a one sided denial...

you would know if the sun was out if it were raining...because you have blinders on...

Posted by: S on October 10, 2008 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Well, first, its fascist behavior, not facist behavior, and its been right

Mmmmhmmmm. And it's it's, not its.

And S, you're adorable. I can't get enough of your portrayal of Obama as "angry," "yelling" and "scowling in rage." You're Mary in shorter grafs.

Posted by: on October 10, 2008 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Me at 2:32.

Posted by: shortstop on October 10, 2008 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Weren't some of the wingnuts - Jonah Goldberg springs to mind - speculating a while back about the possibility of a violent reaction from Obama supporters should Obama lose the election? Looks like they were on the right track, just got the wrong side.

That's pretty much par for the course for Jonah and his pals -- accuse the other side of doing what you're doing. See S just above, who's convinced that because right-wing rabblerousers like Rush Limbaugh and, yes, Jonah Goldberg claimed there would be race riots if Obama lost, that's proof that Obama said there would be race riots if he lost.

Though considering that Sarah Palin was Limbaugh's choice for VP and how well that's gone, can we deny the possibility that Limbaugh is really a deep-cover Democratic mole? Look how far his style of conservatism has dragged down not only his party, but the entire country.
/joke, but kidding on the square

Posted by: Mnemosyne on October 10, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan and Gregory - go back and look at the comments by David Dinkins, Al Sharpton...go ask Travis Smiley, John Lewis, and the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones...

What comments? Better yet, why don't you quote 'em for us? Steve has cited more than one example, which I don't notice you defending, but rather attempting some bullshit false equivalence.

If you have evidence, cite it -- don't expect your betters to do your homework for you. Simply waving your hands vaguely in the direction of Scary Black People, and yapping about "blinders" for not taking your vague, unsupported assertions on faith, won't do.

And if Tavis Smiley threatened a riot, I'll eat my hat.

Put up or shut up, jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on October 10, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

what world are you living in? have you ever been to an Obama rally? did you ever go to a democractic caucus and observe how Obama supporters behave?

Yes. I have covered three in Missouri for Show Me Progress and have never heard a vitriolic word. How many have you attended? Just last week, Michelle Obama drew thousands in KC, and when she was introduced by Representative Cleaver, he made the point in his speech that we don't have to tear the other side down, because we have a candidate we can promote, we do't have to engage in the politics of destruction.

During the primaries we were threatened with RIOTS by Obama supporters if he did not get the nomination.

That was Rush Limbaugh, dumbass.

If anyone dared to criticize Obama, even with the most innocent reference to 'Hockey Moms' you are labeled a racist and talking in code...

What the fuck are you talking about? McCain's derisive "That one," and Lynn Westmoreland's "uppoty" and Lindsey Graham's "whipped him pretty hard" - these are not just dogwhistles, they're fucking bullhorns. Admit it.

...give me a break...

Earn it.

This MSM media meme about McCain being the 'angry guy' is the biggest bunch of BS I have ever heard...

It isn't his base in the media that is pushing this. It's us DFH bloggers posting the you-tubes of him melting down. It isn't like he is Mary Sunshine getting a bad rap - he has been in DC for 26 years - that is a long time for people to get to know you, and your temperament. Remember the long list of prominent republicans who admitted that the thought of McCain as president scared them o death?

Do you ever listen to Obama yelling and scowling in rage while reading his teleprompterz? What do you call that? going to a picnic

WHAT? Measured responses is now "scowling in rage?" Or are the rules 'any black man more assertive than Uncle Tom is by definition angry'? Is that how it is in the wingnut playbook?

Obama has sent out 'truth squads' to silence and intimidate any criticism

Please. Pushing back against bullshit and lies is not the same thing as intimidating critics.

and Biden is no cheerful dude either...

Huh. I've covered Biden, too, and I have seen engaging, witty, erudite and strong. I have not heard him trash his opponent. I have heard him ask questions, and I have heard him tell me what an Obama-Biden administration will do - and you could actually understand the words in the order they came out!

I am so sick of the one sided viewpoint of the media...they did the same thing to Hillary Clinton in the primaries...that woman could not even open her mouth and the whole MSM attacked her...while Obama could get away with calling her old, moody, out of touch, a liar, a racist etc...and yet, the MSM would call him cool and collected...

Oh grow up. I supported Hillary right up tp the moment last summer when she asked me to get behind Obama. But ferchrissakes, admit that the Clinton's are masters at bsare-knuckle politics, and she fought hard, and that is exactly what I expected her to do. Move on. She has.

I have never seen such an angry candidate as Obama and his supporters are the most threatening, angry and intense people going...

Do you honestly believe this? No one is calling McCain a traitor, or calling for his death, at Obama rallies. McCain rallies on the other hand, are drawing the scrutiny of the Secret Service for advocating assassination of the Democratic candidate. Who is angry, again?

what do you all expect for anyone running against Obama to just sit there and be quiet while he runs over everyone?

I expect a campaign in which both parties run on policies and issues. Are McCain's policies better? Make the case. No, you can't because McCain's policies are bu$h's policies and those policies are why we are in this mess.

The MSM and its one sided coverage of this election has reached the point of absurdity and diminishing returns...no thinking person can believe a word anymore...

Because Katie Couric and Barbara Walters asked follow-up questions? How about the two minutes McCain stood in front of the press pool in Florida, and drew a blank and stammered? Didn't see that on the M$M? Huh. Imagine that! How about the fact he got confused at the Truman library and wandered around the stage, unable to find his way off? If you saw that at all, it dropped off pretty fast. But if a Democrat had done that...it would still be playing on a loop on faux a week later.

it is like the sun is out...and the media insists that it is raining...that is the level of credibility our MSM has sunk to

Did Sarah Palin help you with your English homework?

Posted by: Blue Girl on October 10, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

yes, thank you, I am quite adorable...

don't let that sun blind you...

when you crawl out of that myopic, one sided little comfort zone you live in...

do your own research...

Posted by: S on October 10, 2008 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

do your own research...

I believe that is exactly what Gregory said you should do. You made the assertions, it is incumbent upon you to prove your own point, not for us to do it for you. Cite your sources of don't complain when you get called on your talk-radio bullshit.

Posted by: Blue Girl on October 10, 2008 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

When a bloated imbecile like Sean Hannity writes a "best seller" titled Deliver Us From Evil surely this outcome was somewhat more predictable and just as inevitable as the "market meltdown"?

Posted by: Squeaky McCrinkle on October 10, 2008 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

You made the assertions, it is incumbent upon you to prove your own point, not for us to do it for you.

Exactly.

More than that, in fact, you didn't just make assertions -- you accused a number of people, by name, of threatening riot. That kind of wild-eyed accusation demands proof beyond just a vague handwave in the general direction of Scary Brown People.

And again -- if Tavis Smiley threatend a riot, I'll eat my hat.

Now put up or shut up.

Posted by: Gregory on October 10, 2008 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

What never ceases to amaze me is the ease and righteousness with which these self proclaimed Christians will lie,cheat and steal to maintain control.Is this really what being 'born again' means?

Will your God forgive you for your sins?
Will you confess to these sins and ask for His forgiveness and, just because you ask for forgiveness,will God think it was a worthy cause or will these sins rise to the unforgivable?

McCain and Palin have broken many of The Ten Commandments in their quest of destruction and defamation.
The actions of Team neo-con thus far are despicable at the least.Their actions of inciting violence against a presidential candidate and their refusal to condemn their supporters who shout racial slurs and threaten death to a candidate are criminal.
Does Jesus condone such behavior and would conduct himself in this manner? I was taught he would not.

Posted by: Orion Hussein on October 10, 2008 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

The Republican strategists, in the finest example of Rovian tactics, are at it again: FEAR IS THE KEY, right guys? Now, i dont know everything about Obama, but neither do i know everything about McCain. All i know is what i see and hear, just like you all. Here's how one American, who loves his country only second to his family, sees it: Obama seems to me to be sraightforward, sincere and honorable. McCain USED to seem to me to be that way. But in trying to score some points, he is squandering his biggest treasure...his integrity. McCain should be reminded...Corrupted means corrupts ultimately the ends...you will be corrupted by following this policy of attacking a good and decent man. The prize you seek will be infinitely less sweet if you lose your integrity along the way.

Posted by: John Amalfi on October 10, 2008 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

Who let the dogs out?

Sarah and John. They are both going to get bit trying to muzzle their attack dogs.

I'm sure the Secret Service just loves those Sarah and John hate fests.

Posted by: kentondem1 on October 10, 2008 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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