Friday, October 10, 2008


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.

COOPER: Really?

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.


Toast said...

At least the media seem to be picking up on this and taking it seriously. Not.

Mr Furious said...

Seriously. Read that whole Greenwald piece. A period of economic strife and panic is the most dangerous time to stoke this shit—people feel cornered and desperate.

Mix with fear and hate? Bad combination.

Bob said...

Thanks for spreading this Mr. Furious. McCain is scum through and through. I am ashamed I once considered voting for him.

Smitty said...

This stuff actually scares the shit out of me. And McCain has no spine to stop it...maybe he's worried that if he doesn't let it go, they'll hate him too!!

Tough shit. You started it, Johnny. You fix it.

I won't hold my breath, though.

Mr Furious said...

Hey, there were five long years when John McCain wasn't free to be an accessory to assassination...

rightsaidfred said...

Where were you when this was in the news, besides standing in line to buy a gun?

Rickey Henderson said...

Great work Furious. One does get the feeling that we're headed for some very dark shit if misguided angry people continue to target Obama.

Bob said...


I didn't happen to catch those EUROPEAN leftists calling for Bush's assassination. When they run for fucking President of the United States and start inciting violence, I promise I will denounce them too.

If you think what some fool in Europe says gives John McCain free rein to call a guy, who is likely the next U.S. President a terrorist, then you sir, are no American.

VMH said...

McCain seems to be backing off a bit.

I almost wonder if the Secret Service told McCain that they couldn't be present while direct threats to a protectee (Obama) were made without arresting the people making the threat.

Mr Furious said...

Bob beat me to it, Fraud.

Where was I? Right here—not paying any attention to the rantings of an unknown British columnist and some obscure Norwegian rappers.

Yeah that's exactly the same as a direct opponent inciting crowds three weeks before an election.

rightsaidfred said...

There was a controversial film at the Toronto film festival that got quite a bit of press at the time, and I noticed this didn't bother you too much. I realize it is not an exact analogy to what you want to rant about now, but try to see the larger point.

I also notice that the last two Presidents to take/dodge a bullet were Ford and Reagan, so maybe the right wing kooks don't have as much game as you lefties.

Burr Deming said...

Before we make a choice we may regret for the next four years, the accusations against Barack Obama should be carefully considered, as they are here.

Missives From Suburbia said...

I was disappointed to discover I couldn't get into the McCain town hall meeting unless I was willing to make 50 calls in support of McCain and do a five-hour shift of door-to-door canvassing for my ticket. After reading all of the recaps of the event, I'm grateful I couldn't attend. The idea of exposing my son to that, and the thought that those people might be able to smell a Democrat scared the bejeezuz out of me. I guess we'll just have to enjoy the peaceful crowds at Michelle Obama's event Monday instead and rest happily, knowing that we're voting the right people into the White House.

rightsaidfred said...

McCain needs to hire this guy to make his attacks. Then there will be no complaints.

See, you just have to do it right.

Mr Furious said...

The larger point, Fred? How large of a point are you missing here?

The candidate directly opposing Barack Obama in a race for President of the United States is actively inciting his supporters, lying about Obama, and portraying him as at best a terrorist-sympathizer, or worse, a traitor.

As the first legitimate black candidate , Obama is already at greater than average risk, McCain is playing with fire.


And you want me to compare that with an obscure, never-released fake documentary from another country that nobody saw or even heard of?

Get real.

And the assassination attempts on Reagan and Bush were by disturbed individuals and had NOTHING to do with politics or anything else. Hinkley was trying to impress Jodie Foster and had initially planned to kill Carter. And Ford was shot at by follower of Charles Manson.

Mr Furious said...

Check that. After further reading I realize Ford was shot at twice. Once by the Manson chick and then a few weeks later by a radical far left woman.

I'd say our side has taken more casualties...

And I'm pretty sure Timothy McVeigh had some "game."

rightsaidfred said...

How large of a point are you willing to consider? How about the example set by left wing blogs, respondents, and magazines, where hatred and veiled violence are du jour. If you don't like the atmosphere, part of the problem is in the mirror. "Mr. Furious", dropper of the f-bomb. Furious people tend toward extreme action. But it is okay if undertaken by the Left. Heaven forbid if the Right should be angry at Leftists policies that make the world worse.

rob said...

fred, again you are missing the point.

there will always be people on both sides with radical violent ideas (none of which have ever been supported here, f-bomb or not)

No one here has ever called for violence against Bush, and many here (at least I do) feel he is the worst President we have ever had. But I never wanted him assassinated, i just wanted him voted out.

The point Furious was making that is was awful and dangerous for A PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE to be allowing these false accusations to go on at one of his own rallies.

Maybe you haven't read to many of the posts here, but Mr. F would drop just as many fbombs on a dem if they did this same behavior (probably more, since we expect better ;-) )

Mr Furious said...

What "example set by the Left?"

Yes, there are examples of extreme assholes on the left—just like there are on the right. Though I'd say the reactionary bullshit on YOUR side is much closer to the surface/mainstream.

Regardless, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about McCain and Palin fomenting and capitalizing on this themselves. That's worlds apart from some bullshit from G. Gordon Liddy or Malkin or any counterbalancing Leftie.

rightsaidfred said...

>>>>What "example set by the Left?"

I was referring to the vile posts you get over on Daily Kos, Media Matters et al that are worse than what is shouted at a McCain rally.

>>>>I'd say the reactionary bullshit on YOUR side is much closer to the surface/mainstream.

Would that be because we are more honest, and not hiding behind a politically correct front?

>>>>I'm talking about McCain and Palin fomenting and capitalizing on this themselves.

I don't see where McCain fomented any of this. If anything, he has been overly circumspect by not allowing the use of Barack's middle name or Jeremiah Wright. His recent conciliatory remarks gained him no credit.

It's frustrating on our side how so much is off the table. About all we can do is ask Barack if he wants a pillow.

rightsaidfred said...

>>>>I'd say our side has taken more casualties...

Are you referring here to the higher homicide rates in blue states vs red states? Maybe that's why some of us aren't too thrilled with your vaunted policies.

I suppose you meant the body count of individual politicians. Well, let's consider:

)JFK, a conservative Democrat, shot by a communist sympathizer.
)MLK, overall liberal, shot by a career criminal who at the time was an escapee. Maybe he could have signed up with this group.
)RFK, conservative Democrat, shot by an Arab nationalist.
)Malcom X, big time Leftist shot by bigger time Leftists.

If I was Barack, I'd fear my own side, especially when the promised paradise doesn't appear if he gets elected. The machinery is in place to blame all on the Republicans, so let's hope the in-the-tank media can stay on task.

>>>>And I'm pretty sure Timothy McVeigh had some "game."

Ah, yes, McVeigh: William Ayers with better logistics.

Mr Furious said...

Diarists at Daily Kos (who could be anybody, btw, not representative of Markos himself) are somehow equivalent in "mainstreamness" to guys like Hannity and Limbaugh—two bullshit fountains with massive radio and/or television audiences?

I challenge you to give me ANY link from Media Matters that is anywhere close to radical or even untrue. It's basically a clearinghouse of media reports.

Are you aware of the Obama "documentary" aired by FOX this weekend? It was an outright fantasy filled with an unbelievable amount of speculation and subjective opinion and almost NO facts.

That's a whole fucking network of bullshit, but you're worried about Joe Commenter over at Daily Kos.

Get real.

DED said...

If I was Barack, I'd fear my own side, especially when the promised paradise doesn't appear if he gets elected.

Referencing assassinations from 40+ years ago as evidence to bolster your argument fails to acknowledge how much the left has changed since then.

Ah, yes, McVeigh: William Ayers with better logistics.

And a body count of innocent lives.

rightsaidfred said...

>>>>And a body count of innocent lives.

Ayers was pulling triggers. His body count was lower, so I guess that qualifies him for Sec of Education.

>>>>If I was Barack, I'd fear my own side...

The salient thing here is that left/liberals are much more into intragroup conflict, while right/conservatives are much more into intergroup conflict.
I don't particularly like this link, but it covers some of this. Near the bottom is kind of a humorous picture of McCain and the caption, "100 years in Iraq? No problem for conservatives.

I was suggesting that political assassination is more of a Leftist game.

I made a crack about homicide rates being higher in blue states than in red states. That is not particularly true on the face of it: the per state homicide rates are lower for blue states. But since all states are an ocean of red with islands of blue, if you break it down by county, the blue counties have a significantly higher homicide rate than the red counties. (I should have a link here, but I don't, so take my word for it. Bwahahaha.)

>>>>I challenge you to give me ANY link from Media Matters that is anywhere close to radical or even're worried about Joe Commenter over at Daily Kos.

Media Matters pushes a left wing notion of fairness. I find their comments section to be a crude insult-fest, something I find more disturbing than some emotional lines uttered at a McCain/Palin rally.

mr Furious said...

Media Matters pushes a left wing notion of fairness. I find their comments section to be a crude insult-fest

Ah...the comments section. Never go in there. MM is a resource for me, not a place I spend time. In fact, I usually only end up there through links.

I suspect if I went into the comments at Powerline or some other rightie site, I'd be greeted with flowers...

mr Furious said...

Ayers body count was zero.

All the bombs set were intended to damage property only, and caused no casualties.

Though the bomb that went off prematurely in the apartment in Greenwich Village, killing three members of the group, appeared targeted for something different—a nail bomb for an Army base officer's dance—that seems to me to be a clear targeting of people, nail bombs serve only one purpose...

Again, not in any defense of Ayers, but the Chicago group leaders had lost control of the overall movement, and there was a particular struggle over strategy between the groups in the East and the "old" leadership in Chicago.

I'd maintain that the KKK was a far more "successful" and deadly terrorist organization than the Weathermen, during a similar timeframe only a few years earlier.

Mr Furious said...

Fred you continue to miss the point on the McCain rallies—I suspect deliberately.

The comments section at any blog can quickly become a fever swamp—that is the nature of highly contested opinions in an anonymous setting.

What was happening at McCain/Palin rallies was happening out in the open, with the tacit approval of the crowd and the candidates.

Big. Fucking. Difference.

rightsaidfred said...

I appreciate your efforts to elucidate me. I'll see about stepping out of my paleo box.

I didn't find the McCain/Palin rhetoric especially shrill. This looks more like a bit of political one-upsmanship, and if the Left had their way, they'd portray John McCain pulling his pants on in the morning as a threat to everyone's safety.

Obama is pretty far left on our current political spectrum. His inner city Chicago political acquaintances don't translate well to a national stage. If that makes some of us right wingers anxious, well, "you have to face an election with the electors you came with."