McCain does the right thing.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

It seems the shouts of "traitor", "terrorist" and "off with his head" have become too much for McCain. As reported in the Washington Times, McCain is now responding to the nut jobs in his audience with pleas for calmness and respect.


I guess there maybe is a little of the old John McCain left in there somewhere. I hope he continues, because no matter who wins, running the country will be a lot harder with this kind of hatred embedded in our political process.

31 comments:

Smitty 9:26 PM  

It kills me that the crowd still booed him for pleaing for calmness. They let this situation get way the Hell out of hand and for the media to start to carry this story every day until he finally said something.

But I'm glad he said something.

Has Palin?

Bob 11:31 PM  

You know you need to say something when John Lewis compares you to George Wallace.

B Mac 9:04 AM  

I was impressed by McCain when he did that. I always liked the guy... too bad he hasn't showed that side more in the last year. It would have served him better.

As for Palin... who were the dumb-f*&% handlers who put her in front of the crowd at a Flyers game?

Philly? Really?? The people who booed SANTA? Was there any chance she wasn't gonna get booed?

steves 9:29 AM  

When you have these events with 20,000+ people and it is open to the public, you will get protesters and wackos. It is bound to happen. McCain has said stuff to calm them down on more than one occasion, though that has been left out of most of the news stories until recently.

I suppose McCain could have been more assertive in getting the audiences to stop, but then he risks getting booed. Some have accused him of riling up the audiences. I just don't see that.

Jennifer 9:32 AM  

but then he risks getting booed

And therein lies my problem. Better to let racists and wakos scream their drooling intolerance at your rally than stand up, like a leader, and tell them you don't want that kind of sentiment in your tent, right?

I have seen vids of "wakos" at Obama rallies. The difference is that they don't seem to be screaming things like "KILL HIM" or "OFF WITH HIS HEAD!" Liberal wakos are usually peaceful DFHs who will scream something normally inane.

steves 10:03 AM  

How many people are yelling the nasty comments? As far as I can tell from the reasonable credible news sources, it has been 4 people. Four out of the hundreds of thousands that have attended rallies.

B Mac 3:31 PM  

A report came out the other day concluding that every second of airtime (both radio and TV) currently running McCain and RNC ads are negatives, and have been for a while now. Every single ad, nationwide.

We're 3 weeks out, and McCain has completely abandoned his own messaging in favor of trying to increase Obama's negatives. Two problems with that;

1) You can't cut this deficit with negatives alone, because you give back 50 cents on the dollar by dropping your own favorables.

2) People have seen Obama too much. Two general election debates, and 20+ in the primaries. Advertising. Convention speech. Hell, he's on tv all the damn time. To try to convince people of this 'scary guy' is impossible once people have made up their own minds. Say what you want about Obama's debate performances, but you can't say he came across like a crazy marxist terrorist-loving hippie socialist who graduated from some liberal college last month.

AT BEST, he gets it back to a standard Republican/Democratic demographic split in the vote... but this year, that split doesn't lead to a GOP win.

B Mac 3:46 PM  

Oh, and Steve, in response to your question about how many people have displayed dangerously ignorant mentalities?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkFG1ebuKZU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjxzmaXAg9E

There's plenty more. Not sure how many... but more than I'd care to count.

steves 6:11 PM  

There's plenty more. Not sure how many... but more than I'd care to count.

This (granted, that guy probably deserved it).

and this


I am sure I can find more and that doesn't even include some of the winners at Kos and the DU (both of which have some intelligent commenters). I still think it represents a tiny minority of supporters and as much as I really don't care for McCain, I can't find anything he is doing to encourage or support racism.

B Mac 6:51 PM  

Both campaigns have their share of zealous/crazy/"true believer" (read" batshit insane kool-aid drinkers).

But look at the words that are being used by the McCain camp, especially in their ads:

"Dishonorable"
"Dangerous"
"Increasing the risk on [American Troops] lives"
"Risky"
"Associates with terrorists"
"Guy of the street" (that one was one of his national campaign co-chairs).

Negative campaigning is fine by me. Attack someone for being a (right/left)-wing puppet, or a political hack. But the McCain camp has left no doubt that they want this election to be about Obama's "otherness".

I imagine that this stuff sickens John McCain to his core. But Steve Schmidt and Sarah Palin have no such digestive problems.

steves 8:34 PM  

I think it is fair to say that both campaigns are cranking out some BS at this point. My Dad has always said that paying attention to political ads is not helpful, especially as the election gets closer.

I don't think the attack ads will help McCain. He needs to show he has some ideas that are worthwhile and give voters a reason to vote for him, as opposed to vote against Obama.

Sopor 8:21 AM  

Wow.

All I can say is WOW. My faith in the Americanity of my fellow citizens has absolutely bottomed out. After watching those videos, I want to move out of this damned country!

Smitty 2:19 PM  

Missing from the first video are actual death-threats levied against John McCain. I didn't hear people in the crowd during tta 6-minute video specifically say things like "kill him" or "off with his head" or generally use and racially-charged statements against McCain. Missing, too, is Obama as a candidate egging this behavior on, or at least not stopping it.

The second video? I can't attest to the guy's level of beaten-up-ness. If he says he got beat, then he got beat. That's bullshit and anyone's supporters should know better.

I think it is fair to say that both campaigns are cranking out some BS at this point

Steves, come on. That's an intellectually lazy point to make and unlike you. It's safe to say that campaigns are cranking out bullshit, because that's what we're cynically used to. Is it true? That Keating 5 stuff is no bullshit. Tying Obama to a college professor he met during his first State Rep. campaign is total bullshit.

steves 7:04 PM  

I didn't hear people in the crowd during tta 6-minute video specifically say things like "kill him" or "off with his head" or generally use and racially-charged statements against McCain.

The one person who said kill him was supposedly referring to Ayers, which doesn't make it a whole lot better. The racist statements are indefensible.

Steves, come on. That's an intellectually lazy point to make and unlike you. It's safe to say that campaigns are cranking out bullshit, because that's what we're cynically used to. Is it true? That Keating 5 stuff is no bullshit. Tying Obama to a college professor he met during his first State Rep. campaign is total bullshit.

Fair enough. Keating 5 is valid, but McCain was cleared of wrongdoing, for whatever that is worth. The Ayers thing is certainly not the same as that in any way, though I think it is fair to question Obama if he agrees with any of the kooky (IMO) educational theories that Ayers has put forth. I also think it is BS to say that they hardly knew each other, though it is BS to refer to him as a terrorist. He hasn't done any of that stuff for at least 35 years and Obama wasn't involved with that in any way.

Bob 8:28 PM  

Sounds to me like everyone at the U. of Chicago or in many types of power positions in Chicago know Ayres. The board that Obama served on with Ayres also included the owner of the Chicago Tribune and other respectable people. I guess everyone in Chicago is guilty by association.

I am sure he was or is a real freak, but if he is dangerous why isn't he locked up?

steves 9:06 PM  

Bob, I think Ayers is like many 60's wackos. He is very smart and was able to move on to other more productive and lawful outlets for his lefty beliefs. I think it may be possible to nail him on some of his current theories, but the terrorist angle isn't going to go anywhere.

Bob 9:16 PM  

"...but if he is dangerous why isn't he locked up?"

BTW, this question wasn't addressed to anyone, it was really rhetorical.

Bob 10:36 PM  

Examples of negative campaigning that doesn’t cross the line:

McCain: "...Senator Obama is measuring the drapes, and planning with Speaker Pelosi and Sen Reid to raise taxes, increase spending, take away your right to vote by secret ballot in labor elections, and concede defeat in Iraq."

Obama: “John McCain thinks our economy has made great progress under George W. Bush? How could somebody who has been traveling across this country, somebody who came to Erie, Pennsylvania, say we’ve made great progress?”

McCain: Republican John McCain accused Democrat Barack Obama of inexperience and reckless judgment for saying Iran does not pose the same serious threat to the United States as the Soviet Union did in its day. McCain said, "Such a statement betrays the depth of Senator Obama's inexperience and reckless judgment. These are very serious deficiencies for an American president to possess."

Obama: ”We talked about the economy for 40 minutes, and not once did Sen. McCain talk about the struggles that middle class families are facing every day," Obama said at a campaign event in Detroit, Michigan.

Shoot, a case could be made that even Ayres is fair game, if done a bit more ethically.

Examples that DO cross the line:
Palin: "Our opponent ... is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country... This is not a man who sees America as you see America and as I see America."

Palin: Obama “launched his political career in the living room of a domestic terrorist.”

McCain: McCain asks the crowd “Who is the real Barack Obama?” Someone then cries out “Terrorist!”

Lee County, Florida Sherriff, who in full uniform refers to Obama as “Barack Hussein Obama” as he is introducing Palin at a rally in Florida.

If these were isolated nuts, it would be one thing, but the above statements all happened in concert, which followed some crazy comments from the audience that were not repudiated by the campaign.

Do you see the difference, especially in a racially-charged, post 9-11 world? Not all negative campaigning is created equal.

This is a lot like when they called John Kerrie a coward, who by U.S. Military account was actually a war hero. It’s complete bullshit, and it’s about time people like Obama, John Lewis and both liberals and conservatives said enough is enough before someone gets killed. If it wasn’t Obama who got killed, it would be some other innocent. Some asshole gets fired up listening to Palin, Hannity, or some other un-American prick and pretty soon you hear about a black kid or Arab guy getting dragged down the street behind a pick-up truck.

Negative advertising may be the only thing that really moves poll numbers, so until dumb ass American’s stop responding to them, they will keep getting used.

But you have the draw the line somewhere. Thankfully, I think we have.

steves 7:08 PM  

Shoot, a case could be made that even Ayres is fair game, if done a bit more ethically.

True, the terrorist angle is a bit much, but it is more sensational than calling him some ivory tower kook.

McCain: McCain asks the crowd “Who is the real Barack Obama?” Someone then cries out “Terrorist!”

Lee County, Florida Sherriff, who in full uniform refers to Obama as “Barack Hussein Obama” as he is introducing Palin at a rally in Florida.

If these were isolated nuts, it would be one thing, but the above statements all happened in concert, which followed some crazy comments from the audience that were not repudiated by the campaign.


The news reports I read on the terrorist comment say it came from a comment that followed a reference to Ayers, so I am assuming that he is the "terrorist."

4 or 5 people out of thousands that have attended these rallies is pretty damn close to being isolated incidents. I am not excusing these idiots, but trying to offer some perspective.

It’s complete bullshit, and it’s about time people like Obama, John Lewis and both liberals and conservatives said enough is enough before someone gets killed.

I wouldn't have a problem with Obama confronting this. He has already shown that he can deal with racial issues in a constructive way. Lewis seems to rely too much on hyperbole and I would almost call him a professional race-baiter. I recall that he likened the Republicans in the early 90's to Nazis and suggested that they would "come for people's children."

I also have a lot of trouble linking murder and violence to speech. I haven't seen any evidence that even suggests it is causal. It sounds an awful lot like linking violence to video games, gangsta rap, and R rated movies.

Smitty 9:17 PM  

The news reports I read on the terrorist comment say it came from a comment that followed a reference to Ayers, so I am assuming that he is the "terrorist."

Actually, Steve, the video is clear. McCain asks "who i the real Obama?" And some dude shouts "TERRORIST!" It can't be any more clear.

I also have a lot of trouble linking murder and violence to speech.

Now I'm gonna have to get going on hard examples. I don't think it will be hard to find, especially in racially-charged speeches in the South in the late 50s and early 60s. But rather than fire back and say "it did so happen..." I will grab the fuckload of evidence that exists that shows that in the race wars of mid-last-century, there were lots of speeches specifically commanding violence. And plenty more that suggested it with an expectation of follow-through.

steves 5:24 AM  

I'll take your word for it on the speech.

As for speech inciting violence, I am not saying that it doesn't serve to get people riled up, but there are many other factors to consider. Are you really suggesting that the Republicans are sounding like the racists of the civil rights era?

Smitty 7:52 AM  

Are you really suggesting that the Republicans are sounding like the racists of the civil rights era?

Not quite.

I am first suggesting that speech has been used in the past to not only urge but specifically call people to violent action. And not just Southern White racists. Malcolm X did some of that as well.

I am suggesting, though, that Republicans in key areas in the South are going to vaguely racist overtones in their messaging knowing it serves to divide people and frighten white voters back towards McCain. So while they are not suggesting violence, they are intentionally using phrases that invoke that negative spirit.

What I am also saying, like many other blogs, is that by doing so, the party is playing with fire, because along with those sentiments comes an extremely small but extremely violent faction of reactionists who will use those inflammatory words to incite themselves. From there comes the potential for violence.

steves 8:05 AM  

Smitty, I am not trying to defend racist speech, nor deny that it has a negative effect on society in general. I agree that some speech can be equivalent to "playing with fire", but we need to be careful with reading too much into certain statments.

I noticed where Jesse Jackson said something about funding for the Zionists and that Obama needs to cut some of these. Some were suggesting that Obama denounce him. I wouldn't say that a cut in funding for Israel would necessarily make a person anti-semitic.

I think we can both agree the there is no place for racist language or calling Obama by his entire name.

steves 8:06 AM  

Sating that Obama is "not like us" can be interpreted as racist, but it is also consistent with McCain trying to paint him as some elitist, out of touch liberal. I think we need to look at the totality of the cirsumstances.

Smitty 9:23 AM  

I agree steve that some speech only *seems* racist when it isn't. But I gotta say, I am absolutely convinced that when Palin says Obama is "not like us," she means to tug whitey's inner racist, while hiding under the veneer of the much more innocent "he's an out of touch elitist" meaning.

And tugging whitey's inner racist, especially in certain areas of the South or West, is playing with a flame I don't think they mean to play with but they are...

Smitty, I am not trying to defend racist speech

I would never, under any circumstances, accuse you of that. You are not that kind of person. This is just a debate.

steves 10:17 AM  

Smitty, I just don't know. I have a hard time believing that appealing to someone's racism is a viable strategy in this age, but maybe I am being naive. I would think it would turn off more voters than it would gain. Is there any other evidence that Palin is a racist?

Smitty 10:28 AM  

I would think it would turn off more voters than it would gain.

Only in areas that aren't already going to vote for the purveyors of this messaging. No loss for them.

Obama, by the way, has played this smart, and is not the one calling them racists. If he played the race card, it would hurt him immensely.

Because he's black. And people expect him to.

steves 11:46 AM  

Only in areas that aren't already going to vote for the purveyors of this messaging. No loss for them.

What about other areas? Word will spread. There aren't any events that aren't covered by some gorup.

Obama, by the way, has played this smart

I think he has played it very smart. Biden, too.

Bob 4:47 PM  

"I would never, under any circumstances, accuse you of that. You are not that kind of person. This is just a debate."

If anything, I would accuse steves of being too nice, for not able to comprehend that a major candidate for President or VP could possible stoop to this level of behavior.

Democrats need to call out McCain and Palin on this, but must remember it when one of our own pulls this crap. This is why Democrats cannot let someone like Hilary Clinton get away with similar behavior as she did during the primary.

steves 7:44 PM  

If anything, I would accuse steves of being too nice, for not able to comprehend that a major candidate for President or VP could possible stoop to this level of behavior.

No, if anything, too thick skinned. I can believe any kind of behavior, though some would seem to be more trouble than it was worth.

Bob 10:06 PM  

For a long time, I could not believe that any candidate in this day and age could be so low to play race politics. I guess I was under the naive belief that everyone one running for office was doing it for some sort of personal patriotism.

I kinda miss being that way.

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