Despite a public outcry and resounding condemnation from the chattering class (brilliantly documented by DCDemocrat) about whipping angry mobs to a near violent frenzy with devisive (and false) rhetoric, the McCain/Palin campaign reached an all new low today.
John McCain had a chance to do the right and honorable thing, which would have been to condemn the lunatics who shout out things like Traitor!, Terrorist! , Kill him!, or verbally accost African American members of the media. Up until today, he appeared to have chosen the slimy route instead, and by letting it go on, they’ve essentially encouraged the toxic behavior. Both Obama and Biden have pushed back hard against the smears, and by all accounts they’ve done so effectively.
The blatant inaction of the McCain campaign is in itself despicable, but just when you thought they couldn’t possibly be any worse, they’ve now chosen to up the ante and fan the flames by defending their most crazed supporters.
In response, McCain senior adviser Nicolle Wallace released this statement, NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports. “Barack Obama’s assault on our supporters is insulting and unsurprising. These are the same people obama called ‘bitter’ and attacked for ‘clinging to guns’ and faith. He fails to understand that people are angry at corrupt practices in Washington and Wall Street and he fails to understand that America’s working families are not ‘clinging’ to anything other than the sincere hope that Washington will be reformed from top to bottom.”
“Attacking our supporters is a new low for the campaign that’s run more millions of dollars of negative ads than any other in history.”
That’s rich. Nobody on earth is buying this crap, and with this desperate gambit, John McCain may well be recklessly endangering innocent lives. It only takes one lunatic to inflict a tragedy of epic proportions.
Oh and this just in:
McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers adds in another statement: “Barack Obama’s attacks on Americans who support John McCain reveal far more about him than they do about John McCain. It is clear that Barack Obama just doesn’t understand regular people and the issues they care about. He dismisses hardworking middle class Americans as clinging to guns and religion, while at the same time attacking average Americans at McCain rallies who are angry at Washington, Wall Street and the status quo.”
File under: Are you fuckin’ kidding?
Even some Republicans pulling away with a sour taste in their mouths. Former Republican Governor William Milliken now regrets his endorsement of McCain.
“He is not the McCain I endorsed,” said Milliken, reached at his Traverse City home Thursday. “He keeps saying, ‘Who is Barack Obama?’ I would ask the question, ‘Who is John McCain?’ because his campaign has become rather disappointing to me.
“I’m disappointed in the tenor and the personal attacks on the part of the McCain campaign, when he ought to be talking about the issues.”
Milliken, a lifelong Republican, is among some past leaders from the party’s moderate wing voicing reservations and, in some cases, opposition to McCain’s candidacy.
Illinois Republican Rep. Ray LaHood is now telling McCain to “cut it out“.
LaHood supports the McCain ticket, but doesn’t like what he sees at some of the McCain-Palin rallies: When Barack Obama’s name has been mentioned by Sarah Palin, there are shouts of “terrorist,” and LaHood says Palin should put a stop to it.
“Look it,” LaHood said. “This doesn’t befit the office that she’s running for. And frankly, people don’t like it.”
LaHood says it could backfire on the Republican ticket.
He says the names that Obama is being called, “Certainly don’t reflect the character of the man.”
Will someone finally get it through John McCain’s thick baldpate? Enough is enough.
Frank Schaeffer wrote this today in the Baltimore Sun.
John McCain: If your campaign does not stop equating Sen. Barack Obama with terrorism, questioning his patriotism and portraying Mr. Obama as “not one of us,” I accuse you of deliberately feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate, and therefore of potentially instigating violence.
You have changed. You have a choice: Go down in history as a decent senator and an honorable military man with many successes, or go down in history as the latest abettor of right-wing extremist hate.
John McCain, you are no fool, and you understand the depths of hatred that surround the issue of race in this country. You also know that, post-9/11, to call someone a friend of a terrorist is a very serious matter. You also know we are a bitterly divided country on many other issues. You know that, sadly, in America, violence is always just a moment away. You know that there are plenty of crazy people out there.
Stop! Think! Your rallies are beginning to look, sound, feel and smell like lynch mobs.
John McCain, you’re walking a perilous line. If you do not stand up for all that is good in America and declare that Senator Obama is a patriot, fit for office, and denounce your hate-filled supporters when they scream out “Terrorist” or “Kill him,” history will hold you responsible for all that follows.
John McCain and Sarah Palin, you are playing with fire, and you know it. You are unleashing the monster of American hatred and prejudice, to the peril of all of us. You are doing this in wartime. You are doing this as our economy collapses. You are doing this in a country with a history of assassinations.
Change the atmosphere of your campaign. Talk about the issues at hand. Make your case. But stop stirring up the lunatic fringe of haters, or risk suffering the judgment of history and the loathing of the American people – forever.
We will hold you responsible.
It should be noted that Schaeffer is a lifelong Republican who worked to elect McCain in 2000.
Beeton has a post up at MyDD about McCain backing off. Now, it seems, the loonies are booing McCain when he says somthing nice.