Chilling commentary on the Web this morning

I've been reading a lot of posts on the Internet yesterday and today where people have expressed concern at how McCain and Palin are whipping their supporters into frothy-mouthed hatred of Barack Obama.

Joe Klein sums up the problem that many people are talking about today:

I'm beginning to worry about the level of craziness on the Republican side, the over-the-top, stampede-the-crowd statements by everyone from McCain on down, the vehemence of the crowds that McCain and Palin are drawing with people shouting "Kill him" and "He's a terrorist" and "Off with his head."

David Gergen noted last evening:

One of the most striking things we've seen in the last few day, we have seen it at the Palin rallies and we saw it at the McCain rally today . . . . There is a free-floating sort of whipping-around anger that could really lead to some violence. And I think we're not far from that.

The New York Times several days ago, commenting on this phenomenon, plead with Senator McCain:

Mr. McCain and his team can come up with a better answer to that problem than inciting more division, anger and hatred.

Josh Marshall comments this morning:

This is not a laughing matter.

Though Josh Marshall hints darkly at the unspeakable, Andrew Sullivan pulls few punches and comes very close to expressing a fear that has begun to lurk in many hearts in recent days:

This is a moment of maximal physical danger for the young Democratic nominee. And McCain is playing with fire. If he really wants to put country first, he will attack Obama on his policies - not on these inflammatory, personal, creepy grounds. This is getting close to the atmosphere stoked by the Israeli far right before the assassination of Rabin.

For God's sake, McCain, stop it. For once in this campaign, put your country first.

Yes, Senator McCain, for God's sake, just stop it.

Tags: Andrew Sullivan, David Gergen, Joe Klein, John McCain, Josh Marshall, Sarah Palin (all tags)

Comments

57 Comments

Re: Chilling commentary on the

I don't think it's winning him new voters, but only pandering to his own crowd.  During the primary I didn't see racism, but seems I forgot about the pugs.  But it's the economy and Hillary's new pitch for him will bring all her own supporters who are Democrats. We really don't want some mavericks right now, we want sane and adult policies and leadership.  John is no James Garner?  

by anna shane 2008-10-10 07:47AM | 0 recs
Yes, this is a defensive strategy

To keep the base from getting dissapointed.

This is turning against them, they can sense it.

This also is about trying to protect down ticket seats, so I think the rank and file Republicans encouraging McCain to go this way are willing to let him trash whatever's left of his credibility to save some seats...

I hope he sees that in time, and calls a halt to this?

But, I think he has gone insane don quixote at this point, his anger at Obama beating has destroyed whatever was left of his good judgement.

Perhaps someone can talk him down, a Senate Collegue?  Of course, he only listens to Lieberman, who ALSO knows he is toast after his election.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-10 07:55AM | 0 recs
It is troubling.

He seems blind to what is he is doing.  An article on this subject in today's Wall Street Journal says that though his staff had a conference call on the matter this morning, McCain seems happy with his campaign.

by Beltway Dem 2008-10-10 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: It is troubling.

More evidence of the rising frustration of American right wing at Obama's ascendancy and corollary McCain's problems comes to us from Denver where, according to The Denver Post, "Someone threw bricks through the glass door and a window of the Colorado Democratic Party headquarters in west Denver early this morning."

Photobucket

Fortunately, no one was in the office when the violence occurred.  The Democratic Headquarters is continuing to work.  No arrests have been made yet.

by Beltway Dem 2008-10-10 09:36AM | 0 recs
When Obama wins

it won't go away, it may increase.  Recall the crazies coming out of the woodwork after Clinton was elected -

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.ht ml?sec=health&res=9903E1D6173BF930A2 575AC0A962958260

http://archives.cnn.com/2001/LAW/02/20/w hite.house.shooter/index.html

by Betsy McCall 2008-10-10 01:51PM | 0 recs
He's not blind. This was the plan

don't give him the benefit of the doubt.

by NeciVelez 2008-10-10 02:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, this is a defensive strategy

It's also a deflection strategy....

McCain's campaign is lining up people for the base to blame when they lose this thing... rather than putting the blame where it lies, which is with the McCain campaign.

by JenKinFLA 2008-10-10 01:59PM | 0 recs
you know there were some racists in the primary

but they weren't Campaigning on that Basis!

;-) Fact is, they weren't campaigning, just votin'.

by RisingTide 2008-10-10 08:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the

This is not only the right that is doing this but there is some residual primary Democrat on Democrat rabble-rousing as well.  Regardless of who anyone chooses to vote for, the smears need to stop.

As for the McCain supporters insanity; I don't attribute it as much to racism as to the same fanatical right-wing (really really right wing, John Birch level right wing, militia level right wing, which Sarah Palin is a prominent part of and up until now John McCain was not) anger that has been part of our political culture for a long time, a violent and vicious part.

I don't know how this can get tamped down.  The fact is in this country the far right remains a threat to any successful even mildly left of center and charismatic candidate.  

Prayers, I guess, at this point.

by mady 2008-10-10 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the

It's strange to me.  My candidate is Hillary, and she's still a Democrat and she's really working hard to get Barack elected. I don't see anyone willing to not for for the top of our ticket as a Democrat. I wasn't thrilled with Kerry but I gave him money and I voted for him.  

This part is racist, John has as many or more 'troubling' associates, and Ayers isn't even Barack's associate, just a guy he knows.  It's a code for you-know-what, and it's sure as hell racist.  

by anna shane 2008-10-10 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the

Hillary is doing a yeoman's job in this campaign, and I wish some of her supporters would get the fact that it is for belief, not for show.

And yes, a huge element of racism. I was not denying that, just adding that the fanaticism about the "red menace" that I grew up with (the fanaticism that is) just keeps morphing, but remains there.

by mady 2008-10-10 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the

Most do, most see it the ways she does, and those who want to help her get more stature so she's better positioned to get her legislation written into law follow her lead, even if they don't think he's a great candidate. She's got most, and those few who refuse to follow her lead probably just aren't Democrats.  The differences between the two parties are pretty stark. Medicare, safety nets, minimum wage, social security, oversight, and now even professionalism, the pugs gave up on that one and thanks mainly to Hillary primary campaign, where she made competence and consulting with the best experts a center piece of her campaign, and showed the people actually want professionalism, it's now a Democratic core value.  

some good changes in our primary, it was a good thing for the party and for both Barack and Hillary.  

by anna shane 2008-10-10 11:34AM | 0 recs
We'll need her for health care reform

Her leadership in the Senate is crucial in getting it passed.  

by Betsy McCall 2008-10-10 01:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the

I would not be so sure about hillarys' supporters running to Obama.  Go through the anti-Obama sites on the internet (and there are hundreds) - bitterness and hate for him is still alive and well.  It's not Hillarys' supporters who are now on his side, its the independents who are finally seeing the Republicans for what they are and are disgusted with what they see.

by mariannie 2008-10-10 06:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the

"It's not Hillarys' supporters who are now on his side, its the independents who are finally seeing the Republicans for what they are and are disgusted with what they see."

That is a ridiculous comment.  The vast majority of Hillary supporters are now in Obama's camp, otherwise Obama would have no chance in this election.  Please think before you write.

by devilrays 2008-10-11 07:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the

Actually, I think we are now seeing why he chose Palin so I'm won't give McHate a pass on this one. As much as we like to think he's erratic and reactionary, I believe his campaign has been executing on script. We've been bracing ourselves for this for weeks. It's here, though uglier than I thought it would be. McCain needs to make it clear that violence is unacceptable. I would really like to hear law enforcement agencies come out and address this and acknowledge that they are preparing for violence.

The real onus is on the McCain campaign to stop the rabble-rousing. I am floored that the only evidence that most of these people can give for their belie that Obama is a terrorist is, "Look at his name!"

As a white person I am ashamed of these people.  

by JerryColorado23 2008-10-10 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the

yes, she's his pit bull, she can say the racist stuff, she can 'attack' him with impunity, no one wants to focus on her. She'll bring those 'haters' to the polls.  

by anna shane 2008-10-10 11:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the

Hey, I had a pitbull, she was the sweetest baby on the planet, and in her 17 year life, I only saw her ONCE use that power that was in her bloodlines...70 pounds of pure muscle, she was just a beautiful creature to behold.

I bought her from a guy in AZ, who temperment bred them, she was actually an American Staffishire Terrier, according to her papers.

She was literally attacked by a much larger MALE (thought you might get a kick out of that) German Sheppard (no, not somone named Gustaf) and in about 3 seconds she had that dog pinned to the ground and whimpering, but remaining VERY still.....

She didn't even break the skin, but she threw him down with such force, the dog surrendered...

Then when I told her to, she let him up and he slunk off...

Just a big dumb male, I considered him the Dick Cheney of Dogs....

Before that, I had never even heard her growl, but she was an amazing watch dog, cause she would Freeze at the top of the stairs if you were a stranger...(we had an incident were someone had tried to kidnap our 2 year old from the backyard, and she was the babysitter...)

Anyway, unlike Sara, my babydog didn't have to show beligerence..She didn't need to.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-10 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the

she's not that kind of pit bull, she's trained the other way or maybe it comes naturally. but, point taken.  

by anna shane 2008-10-10 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the

And then you have the McCain campaign... saying that Obama is "attacking Americans" for calling this out.

Seriously, these people have exactly ZERO shame.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/

by JenKinFLA 2008-10-10 02:02PM | 0 recs
Gah, had to invoke Rabin, didn't ya?

Rabin's assassination was the point where I lost faith that there could ever be peace in Palistine.  For an old warrior like Rabin, who had realized that he must set aside his own hate to do the right thing for his people, to be killed by one of his own was the darkest result possible.

I know Obama's Secret Service guys are fiercely loyal, and they do not mess around, but Obama has been known to take certain risks if it means getting his message out, and I always wince a little inwardly when I see him addressing overflow crowds out in the open before rallies or making those speeches in front of huge crowds in outdoor venues.

I can only pray that Obama's people are careful, because at this point I can only assume that we've reached the "Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?" phase of the McCain campaign's desperation.

by Dracomicron 2008-10-10 08:05AM | 0 recs
there will be peace in palestine

I hope for a vigourous peace, the kind championed by Lawrence of Arabia.

But I fear the silent peace of the grave.

by RisingTide 2008-10-10 08:12AM | 0 recs
Get back to me in 8 years

If Obama can't make any progress, then I think we're looking at your second option there.

by Dracomicron 2008-10-10 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the Web this morning

Folks, this is only the beginning: After 8 years in power (20 if you include the Gingrich "revolution" years under Clinton), after all the demonization of anyone who disagreed with them as unpatriotic traitors, after the full throated embrace of nativism and theocracy by the Republican party, did anyone really think the Right was just going to walk away? They sowed the winds of hate and prejudice to stay in power. As a direct consequence America may soon reap a whirlwind of right-wing violence. Repeats of Ruby Ridge, Waco, and even Omaha are more likely because of the behavior of the McCain campaign in the final stretch of this campaign.

by 1arryb 2008-10-10 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the Web this morning

I'm thinking the same thing could happen if there is a bank run, or a huge layoff.

I remember a story about a Military unit coming back from IRAQ that the Army Times said was being assigned for training in "Crowd Control" in the US?

At the time, I thought, conspiracy theory, posse comitatus...

Now, I think, someone in the Admin saw this coming and was actually planning for large scale civil riots....

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-10 08:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the Web this morning

Agreed. Republicans and their Corporate Democratic fellow-travelers have been depressing the fortunes and expectations of white-collar America for years. The WallMart-ization of retail alone has destroyed a whole class of small-business owners. The current economic panic is just icing on the cake. Not to go all Marxist on everyone, but when the middle class gets pushed into the underclass, one of the results is Fascism.

by 1arryb 2008-10-10 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the Web this morning

A good friend of my husband's and mine advised us to consider getting a gun because things were "going to get really ugly really fast"... and he is an Obama supporter...

It's a weird time to be certain.

by JenKinFLA 2008-10-10 02:05PM | 0 recs
We are outgunned by these crazies

These pyschos are the types that have an arsenal in the basement....

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-10 02:19PM | 0 recs
Has the Secret Service increased it's coverage

On Barack, on Michelle..on the kids for goodness sakes?

On the Stephanie Miller show this morning they had what I truly think was a NON fake call, this hysterical male screaming Obama is the Ant--Christ, Obama is a Muslim...

They were laughing it off, I was chilled instead.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-10 08:12AM | 0 recs
They're out there, to be sure

A few months ago I was watching Washington Journal on C-SPAN and a guy called in saying in grave tones that Obama would be implementing raical reparations for slavery.  The host stared blankly for a moment and then cut him off, saying "Thank you for your call."

They exist.  They make themselves known.

by Dracomicron 2008-10-10 08:36AM | 0 recs
Obama should act

In addition to buying a huge chunk of infomercial time, Obama should buy 90 sec. of ad time immediately.  He should use it for a direct address of this issue.  Here's what I want him to say:

Senator McCain, our country is engaged in two wars and our citizens are facing the most severe economic crisis in a century.  Our people are justifiably scared at the prospect of losing homes and jobs; our children's and grandchildren's future hangs in the balance.  We both began this campaign with the intention of contending as competitors, not as enemies.  I have consistently expressed my deep respect for your lifetime of service to our nation and the honor you have displayed throughout your career, political disagreements aside.  Given the climate of insecurity, I am particularly concerned at the level of rancor and hostility I have been seeing from your campaign and your supporters, as well as from some of my own.  It's time to truly put country first.  In the closing weeks of this campaign, I will call on my supporters to remember that we are all citizens of the same great nation; heirs to the same legacy.  I ask you and governor Palin to do the same.  Let's not risk fanning hostilities and economic insecurities into violence among our people.  We began this contest as honorable competitors.  Only we can ensure that we finish it as such.

First off, it might have some effect.  But whether or not it does so, it's a political win.  Republicans might just dismiss this as evidence that he's afraid the attacks are working.  If they go there, they will lose politically.

by Strummerson 2008-10-10 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama should act

Obama has responded

Having problems with the embed code, but here's the link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWR5wyoIM 68

by brit 2008-10-10 08:34AM | 0 recs
That's pretty devistating

Obama can be so hardcore sometimes.  I love it.

by Dracomicron 2008-10-10 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the Web this morning

 This is ultra right wing extremism brought about as a direct result of a McCain stunt.Picking a right wingnut,( thats what she is) as his running mate.If this ugliness doesn't highlight  the implications of that  bitter and twisted mans horrendous judgement I don't know what does.

by Lodgemannered 2008-10-10 08:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the Web this morning

Yeah, Palin isn't the type woman you bring home to momma.  Yet that creep may be a heartbeat away...

by KLRinLA 2008-10-10 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the Web this morning

Hold on, let me get my 50-year-old lifelong smoker faded southern-belle barfly voice on:



She got that nasty woman's disease.

by Jess81 2008-10-10 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the Web this morning

Ha!  And Palin says Obama will denigrate the prestige of the office, that we should elect someone who incites mobs to hate and potential violence against another U.S. Senator into this prestigious position.  

by KLRinLA 2008-10-10 02:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary

I'm not worried about Obama and his family. I've seen first hand that it's a world class security organization. I DO worry about the press travelling with Palin. She often goes into the deepest darkest parts of the country that's filled with fear and loathing. And I am afraid she is going to whip them up into such a frezy that they will attack the press who have no bodyguards.

On another note, the public now gets to see the worst elements of the American right wing that we've seen for years on the internet. Not pretty, huh?

by RandyMI 2008-10-10 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary

By the way, it's not just racial. Let's not forget the seething hatred the Right had towards Hillary for so many years ("How are you going to beat that bitch"), and the Black Helicopter folks would be just as fired up.

by RandyMI 2008-10-10 08:53AM | 0 recs
Agreed but....

Yes, they would be saying awful stuff if Hillary was the top of the ticket...

But, there is almost no deeper ingrained hatred than racial hatred.

It's the fuel for the small fire that turns this into an inferno, it takes palpable anger and turns into a blinding rage....

Watch that tape again of the Palin supporters, Yes, these people would be hateful towards Senator Clinton, but this seems deeper.

They would hate Senator Clinton for what they think she stands for.

They hate Barack Obama beyond what he stands for, they hate him for who, for what he is: A black man.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-10 09:02AM | 0 recs
They are several folks who hate HRC because

she was deemed to be a feminist, powerful woman...

by louisprandtl 2008-10-10 09:12AM | 0 recs
Re: They are several folks who hate HRC because

Oh, I am not saying there is not rabid insane misoginy out there, to be sure.

And, a lot of the folks that hated her was because of her stance as a powerful woman.

Yet, they seem comforable with Palin?

But, mostly, I think that was mixed with the legendary Clinton hatred...it was personal.

This is generic, these people hate ALL black people, they hate seeing a black person (or any person of color) in any position of power?

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think they would not be running a whisper campaign because Hillary was a woman, just she was THAT Women....

But, again, point well taken.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-10 09:22AM | 0 recs
And I want to make sure that you also know

that I do agree with your contention on the racial hatred aspect.

by louisprandtl 2008-10-10 10:51AM | 0 recs
I cannot count how many African Americans

that I've talked to, told me about their apprehensions if Obama is elected. Even last week, a young educated MBA grad with mixed heritage(African American and Scottish), repeated the same apprehension about a Kennedy redux. Their confidence in this country is pretty low, fully justified given this country's history. And McCain/Palin are doing everything to play to the fears of the white rightwing crowd....

by louisprandtl 2008-10-10 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: I cannot count how many African Americans

I hear what you're saying.  Yet back in 1992 several members of my church where I lived at the time stated confidently that someone would shoot President Clinton (note - not that they wanted him dead, they just had heard so much anger towards him).  Thankfully they were wrong then, and I can only hope and pray that these fears are wrong now.

However, if Senator McCain doesn't very soon start publically denouncing the shouts of "terrorist", "kill him", and "string him up" he will have totally dishonored himself, his country, and the uniform he once wore.

by LanceS 2008-10-10 10:00AM | 0 recs
Anybody who associates him/

herself with that type of crowd had already debased himself...

You're right about the fear and the hearsay aspect of it.

by louisprandtl 2008-10-10 10:55AM | 0 recs
Mindless menace

All the historical resonances this year inspire fear and hope and expectation in me. I have been thinking about Bobby Kennedy a lot this year.

Too often we honor swagger and bluster and wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some Americans who preach non-violence abroad fail to practice it here at home. Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them.

Some look for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear: violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.

Hope and expectations vs fear and loathing. They would choose to tear the nation apart I'm afraid.

by Iago 2008-10-10 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the Web this morning
It's time for some of the 'big name' Republicans to speak out (it's probably past time) against the hate being generated by the McCain Palin campaign. Where the hell are they? I'm left to believe that by their silence they are willing to support this behavior. Have none of them any sense of decency?
by royce 2008-10-10 10:49AM | 0 recs
Let's all calm down

It's not 1963. Except for a loony fringe, even the mainstream right has accepted most the major tenets of liberalism: civil rights, detente, individual liberty.

Though McCain is unnecessarily provoking his base, I have no reason to believe that the far fringes represent anything like Eisenhower's 'military industrial complex' and certainly there could be shades of Waco or Oklahoma, these people do not represent a real threat to the state.

Let them bluster. Let them indict themselves from their own racist mouths. They are few. And we are many (and that includes many reasonable Republicans too)

And on the analogy between the race hatred Obama is subjected to, and the gender hatred Hillary would have been subjected to - you can't compare a reality with a would have been

However, if you need to go in this direction, let's remember that the US did not fight a civil war with millions dead over the issue of female emancipation. Maybe it should have done. But it didn't. And 150 years later, some of those old wounds still lie deep

by brit 2008-10-10 10:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's all calm down

Why would we not want the "loony fringe" to become the image of the GOP moderate Americans think of first?  They make our case better than we could ever do ourselves.

by KTinOhio 2008-10-10 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's all calm down

Agreed. Let them lose all appeal. But let's not be morbid or scare of these tossers

by brit 2008-10-10 12:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Let's all calm down

Ugh. Seriously, one attack would be too many.

All anybody wants is to make sure anyone who is simmering in their own juices right now doesn't boil over and hurt somebody.  

by JerryColorado23 2008-10-10 01:14PM | 0 recs
About the angry people at the rally...

I got the impression they were plants who said what Sen. McCain needed them to say so his campaign could justify continuing to talk about Ayers instead of the economy.

by Liberal Monk 2008-10-10 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the Web this morning

Recommended with the highest urgency.  Thanks for putting this together.

by Si Ella Puede 2008-10-10 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Chilling commentary on the Web this morning
It IS getting worse. Even as America faces some of the greatest challenges in our history, McCain and Palin aren't addressing the issues at their rallies. Instead, they are leading gatherings where their followers focus on fear, anger and hatred. We need to tell them: it is time to stop. This shouldn't happen in America. It needs to stop -- and only one person can stop it: John McCain. Tell him to stop it now, before it gets any worse. Progressive Future has an email tool that makes it easy to send John McCain this message. Please use it today.
by ProgressiveReb 2008-10-10 12:40PM | 0 recs
The GOP needs to disavow this violent rhetoric.

This level of violent hateful rhetoric is unacceptable, and the GOP needs to own up to it and disavow it, ASAP.

It's good to see a few Republicans speaking out against the hateful talk, but I want McCain, the RNC, and current GOP officials too--otherwise, it's clear that they have no shame about inciting angry hateful mobs.  

by chiefscribe 2008-10-10 02:29PM | 0 recs
It's about damn time

the media pundits start acknowledging that the republican party has been taken over by crazies,  and that it has been going on for a long, long time.

These buttheads protected George W by not investigating him the way they should of, by cheering the anti intellectualism of the right......
they are long overdue and we need some mea culpas.

by Jjc2008 2008-10-10 05:03PM | 0 recs

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