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.
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."
Watch the tape of the guy screaming, "He's a terrorist!" McCain seems to shudder at that, he rolls his eyes... and I thought for a moment he'd admonish the man. But he didn't. And now he's selling the Ayres non-story full-time. [...] we are on the edge of some real serious craziness here and it would be nice if McCain did the right thing and told his more bloodthirsty supporters to go home and take a cold shower. But McCain hasn't done the right thing all year. His campaign is appalling, as the New York Times editorial board said today--and more, it is a national disgrace.
The point is, McCain is letting this whack-job fear and hysteria ride across the board, and is even encouraging it. That's news, and you'd think it would get some serious and aggressive treatment from the big news orgs.
I just hope the Secret Service knows what they are doing. I was talking to my father last night, who is still a Republican and [...] was audibly shaken by the tone of the campaign- “Have you heard some of the things they are shouting at the rallies? I am afraid where this is heading.”
GOP strategist David Gergen on Anderson Cooper 360:
GERGEN: This—I think one of the most striking things we’ve seen now in the last few day. We’ve seen it in a Palin rally. We saw it at the McCain rally today. [...] There is this free floating sort of whipping around anger that could really lead to some violence. I think we’re not far from that.
GERGEN: I think it’s so—well, I really worry when we get people—when you get the kind of rhetoric that you’re getting at these rallies now. I think it’s really imperative that the candidates try to calm people down.
Is there anything even remotely comparable taking place at Obama rallies? Are the accusations against McCain even arguably similar to the Right’s relentless and self-evidently dangerous depiction of Obama as a military-hating, subversive Muslim and Terrorist? What do we do with Terrorists and traitors — or, in the past, with those wanting to take over the U.S. with a secret socialist agenda? We kill them. If that’s what Obama is, if that’s what hordes of enraged right-wing mobs are becoming convinced of and having those passions stoked, then what should be done to Obama — just merely defeat him in the presidential campaign?
[...] Everyone can see with their own eyes: over the last two weeks, we have witnessed some of the ugliest and most dangerous attacks by any presidential campaign that one can recall — not from surrogates or from shadowy groups but from the candidates themselves and their campaign. The most hated, despised thing one can be in the U.S. is a “terrorist,” followed closely by ”traitor” and, in many circles, “Muslim.” The McCain/Palin ticket’s prime strategy now is to win by scaring Americans into believing that Obama — the first black candidate with a viable chance to become President in our country’s history — is all of those things. There just is nothing comparable to that.
I know I'm sounding like a broken record, but what we are really seeing is the beginning of a right wing story line about the next president of the United States --- he is a drug user, a foreigner, a terrorist and a traitor. And the importance of that is that it gives permission to the right wing machine to do anything and everything to destroy him. He will not really be president, you see. He will be illegitimate -- a usurper.
And don't feed some bullshit that it's just a "one bad apple" scenario. Check out this video of a whole damn town full of scary-stupid asshats—young and old alike. They're don't ALL yell crazy shit, but enough of em do that they can all feel safe and supported doing so.
The McCain campaign is WAAAY over the line, and this shit needs to stop now.
They are willing to create the next Lee Harvey Oswald in a futile pursuit for for wingnut votes, and so far much of the media coverage is still trying to "balance" this "screaming fire in a crowded theater" strategy against legitimate, policy-oriented critiques by Obama.
If something happens, they are all complicit.