Tuesday, October 7, 2008

is it about race? you betcha!

at a campaign rally in new mexico monday, when john mccain asked the crowd, "who is the real barack obama?" a loud shout came from the crowd –"a terrorist!"

a momentary, quizzical look flashes across mccain's face: he's clearly heard the response. but he doesn't sway from his script. he smiles, and goes right on.

this is not the same as a voter asking mccain "how do we beat the bitch?" referring to hillary clinton. during the primaries, mccain, faced with that question, basically answered it without suggesting for a moment that political discourse in our country might be held to a higher standard. today, standing in front of a cheering, angry crowd, mccain let the "terrorist" comment go. and by doing so, owns it.

later in the day at a florida rally, sarah palin continued to do her best to link barack obama to 60's radical bill ayers. in the midst of the event, a voice from the crowd can be heard yelling, "kill him!"

reporters at the event say they could not determine if the attack was meant for ayers, or obama.

more from the washington post's dana milbank:
In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media." At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."
neither mccain nor palin did anything to quell these reactions, they encouraged them. will either respond to these situations? absolutely: with more mud, and lies, and cheerleading.

watching this 72-year old white man, and a cutesy, former t.v. sports reporter rile up crowds with this kind of bile is not only pathetic, it makes me sick to my stomach. this is the woman who is full of "dog gonnits" and "you betchas" and sassy winks and shout-outs. remember, she's "just like me!" this is the war hero who has based his entire campaign on his own integrity, who earlier this year said the american people didn't want this kind of campaign. remind me, which candidate is bringing out the best in people, and which is bringing out the worst?

my friends, the vast majority of american people are good, and smart, and see this as exactly what it is: hatred, anger and sheer desperation.

UPDATE 5:06 p.m. – josh marshall at talking points memo checked in with dana milbank today, to see if he would elaborate on his experience covering the mccain/palin rallies. the crowds aren't reserving their hatred for obama:
"None of this is new, but the degree of intensity is different," Milbank says. "It's taken an uglier turn. I've been doing this for years, and there's never been anything quite like this."

Milbank says that after the Palin attacked the New York Times and Katie Couric in her stump speech yesterday in Florida, he and other reporters were pelted with boos, with some saying things like "screw you" and "fucking liberal media."
today included a supporter at a palin rally yelling "treason!"

news reports said both sides were preparing for an agressive town hall style debate in nashville tonight. we'll see if anyone in the crowd yells "terrorist!" or "kill him!" or "treason!" while it's going on. wonder how mccain would handle that?

(also: the links BT requested are now live in the post.)


  1. I'm shocked and appalled at this. Are there links?

  2. I'm not shocked at all. Didn't we expect these type of comments when a Harvard educated Black man ran for President of our equality-minded country? We've all been afraid to say it but I'm going to. I'm brought back to the days of John Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy. I fear for Barack Obama because of the hateful people in this world. New age? What new age?

  3. Bt- check the WP link, and I'll try to add the others asap.

  4. i'm really appalled with both sides. the mudslinging is detracting from the real issues. forgot who started what. i swear, if a candidate #1 addressed the slings and arrows thrown by candidate #2 BUT OPTED NOT TO, IN TURN, THROW ACCUSATIONS back to that candidate #2 - candidate #1 would have my vote. it's ridiculous.

  5. Yes, both sides are guilty of mudslinging but Republicans display a special, Rovian kind of virtuosity. My sad prediction: as we get closer to election day, McCain/Palin will go full-throttle into "scary black man" mode. The faster they lose ground, the sooner they will go there.

  6. That last one's me, Tone.

  7. Both sides? Seriously?

    I find it hard to conceive of discussing the Keating Five/S&L issue as mudslinging. We are in the middle of a bailout that is a near rerun of the S&L fiasco. These are policy issues, and speak to John McCain's fitness to make economic policy decisions.

    It's not anything on the order of "how do we beat the bitch?" or even "Barack HUSSEIN Obama."

    Amy H in Milwaukee

  8. We are witnessing a replay and distillation of American racial history -- a highly intelligent, Harvard educated, elegant and well spoken black man being taunted, assailed and assaulted by white trailer park trash.

  9. Speaking as someone with a white trash (shotgun shack rather than trailer park) background, I have to say that John McCain doesn't come from that. His father and grandfather were admirals, so he had a fairly privileged upbringing.

    Amy H.

  10. I just have to say:

    This is not about Obama! It is about some White Americans who HATE the idea of being led by a Black American MAN. Obama is NO Terrorist! The real terrorists have been lying dormant right here in the United States Of America, kept in line by federal laws and statutes. The REAL prejudice White Americans have been taught from birth to Hate anyone who is not like them, who does not think like them, act like them, talk like they talk. FEAR is a Powerful Motivator and I am thankful for John McCain and Sarah Palin for putting it front and center in the media and campaign trail what most Blacks have known all along! Some Whites just can't stand the idea that a Black Man can lead. It GOES AGAINST EVERY PRINCIPLE YOU HAVE BEEN TAUGHT FROM BIRTH! And that is not Obama's fault or African Americans.. That is your FAULT! This mess IS YOUR FAULT! Now sit your butt Down and WATCH A BLACK MAN FIX IT! Proud Black American!

  11. Compare this mob with this description:

    "People were leaping up and down in their places and shouting at the tops of their voices in an effort to drown the maddening bleating voice that came from the screen. The little sandy-haired woman had turned bright pink, and her mouth was opening and shutting like that of a landed fish. Even O'Brien's heavy face was flushed. He was sitting very straight in his chair, his powerful chest swelling and quivering as though he were standing up to the assault of a wave. The dark-haired girl behind Winston had begun crying out 'Swine! Swine! Swine!'"

    This is from George Orwell's novel, 1984. How much different is this from the mccain-palin mobs?


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