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The Palin Mob
October 9, 2008 6:28 PM   Subscribe

The Palin Mob "It's no wonder that the slightest incitement from Sarah Palin or John McCain will turn one of their rallies into a lynch mob. Just talk to the folks who attend.

My camera was rolling for literally seconds before people happily said to me, on camera, that Barack Obama is a terrorist. If I hadn’t spent most of my time at the event inside, waiting for the candidates to show up, I could have gotten dozens of these people on tape."

Via Blogger Interrupted
posted by 4midori (489 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
Before this post gets deleted as PoliticsFilter fodder, I just want to point out that the McCain/Palin team are essentially accusing their major party opponent of treason, multiple times and at rallies throughout the nation. There's no other (reasonable) way to parse it. And yet, McCain can't bring himself to say so to Senator Obama's face. So much for the much-lauded "courage" of the Senator from Arizona. Grow a pair or go home, John. And take your pathetic race-baiting campaign with you.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:32 PM on October 9, 2008 [126 favorites]


This is far from a lynch mob.
posted by ageispolis at 6:34 PM on October 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


Don't miss "The Sidewalk To Nowhere"
posted by BeerFilter at 6:36 PM on October 9, 2008 [6 favorites]


Honestly, this one is even worse.
posted by Benjy at 6:36 PM on October 9, 2008


I must have received a link to that video ten or twelve times today. sadly it's still a shitty tactic to mock your opponent and mocking it is. it's looking down on someone else, glad you're not like them. jerry springer built a second career on this principle.

it's shitty when fox news does it, it's shitty when democrats do it, it's shitty when E! or the celebrity gossip rags do it. it's only okay to mock britney spears fans using this tactic.
posted by krautland at 6:36 PM on October 9, 2008 [9 favorites]


This video is worthy of McCain, it's so over the top and badly done.
posted by cccorlew at 6:37 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Funny that they can come up with all those reasons why you shouldn't vote for him, when in reality it is probably just because he is black. Goes to show that deep down inside, at least publicly they are embarrassed by their beliefs.
posted by Mr_Zero at 6:38 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Welcome to America.
posted by milarepa at 6:38 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is far from a lynch mob.

"Off with his head!"
"Kill him!"
"[Obama's] a terrorist!"

Source.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:39 PM on October 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


TPM has been talking about this a lot. It seems like an irresponsible, cynical, desperate effort to get out the crazy vote. Is anyone going to respect McCain at all after this election?
posted by gubo at 6:39 PM on October 9, 2008


McCain supporters: "Are MAD!"

...not about the economy, but about socialism.
posted by clearly at 6:40 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Off with his head!" "Kill him!" "[Obama's] a terrorist!"

a lynch mob engages in actual lynching, not just the proposition thereof. ageispolis is right. joe lisboa does not have images like this one to show, for which I am very glad. using terminology like 'lynch mob' is inflammatory and deserves to be banned to places like crooks&liars.
posted by krautland at 6:43 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


TPM has been talking about this a lot. It seems like an irresponsible, cynical, desperate effort to get out the crazy vote. Is anyone going to respect McCain at all after this election?

Only as long as the boot is stomping on your face.
posted by Mr_Zero at 6:43 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Meh is right.
Have you ever attended a football game (hs, college, professional, whatever)? Everyone is everything. Fucking this and fucking that. His name is Obama. This is how people express general distaste.
posted by kid_twist at 6:44 PM on October 9, 2008


Yeah, I've done a fair amount of study of lynch mobs, and this is pretty much exactly what they're like (particularly that second video, which IS better) - at least, in the manner in which they begin and in the social conditions in which they arise.
posted by Miko at 6:44 PM on October 9, 2008 [35 favorites]


Obama the socialist, comrade to Weathermen: the Republican's nightmare is my daydream.
posted by stammer at 6:45 PM on October 9, 2008 [13 favorites]


Even after every stunt they've pulled, today's McCain ad left me stunned. "Ayers and Obama ran a radical education foundation". This is the Chicago Annenberg Challenge we're talking about. A public school reform project founded by Walter Annenberg, Nixon's ambassador to the UK. Annenberg's widow has the same "terrorist ties" as Obama does, but McCain welcomes and promotes her endorsement, because he knows this is a non-story.

Radical. They know this claim isn't connected to reality. Maybe they are not themselves racist. But they are willing and eager to stir up racism, and they are willing and eager to allow their rabid base to believe that the Democratic nominee for president is a terrorist. In their lust for a tiny chance at power, McCain and Palin are willing to risk the assassination of the man America wants to be president.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:45 PM on October 9, 2008 [106 favorites]


Sarah?
posted by HuronBob at 6:45 PM on October 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


The problem with this strategy, if strategy it is,is that McCain needs the independents and the unsure votes and this does not bring them around. In fact, probably just the opposite.
posted by Postroad at 6:46 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


It seems like an irresponsible, cynical, desperate effort to get out the crazy vote.

It's too late for any other approach. He will be increasingly desperate and try riskier and nastier things, until and unless something fundamental changes.

And I don't want to think about that last clause too much.
posted by rokusan at 6:46 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I hear the concern that it's a bit exaggerated to call them a lynch mob. But what's missing? Only a present target and an incitement to specific action. Those are important differences, but the conditions are there.
posted by Miko at 6:46 PM on October 9, 2008 [8 favorites]


He should have brought a effigy with him and see if he could get anyone to set fire to it. That would have made for some good video.
posted by Mr_Zero at 6:48 PM on October 9, 2008


Another MeFite (sorry, don't recall whom) put it brilliantly about a year ago: if Obama has a chance of becoming POTUS, there'll be a lot of fear in Bubbaland.

I can't wait for Obama to take the Oval Office so's I can tell the Bubbas out there that the house nigger is now their boss.
posted by illiad at 6:52 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain tried to be Eisenhower and ended up as Nixon. He'll nod solemnly and talk about "law and order" until someone calls him out on it, and then he'll get righteously offended that anyone would even imply such a thing.
posted by spiderwire at 6:53 PM on October 9, 2008 [11 favorites]


Fair game. When a major party vice presidential candidate publicly, on the record, accuses their opponent of being a terrorist, it is totally valid (and necessary!) to explore the impact of those statements on her followers.

In their lust for a tiny chance at power, McCain and Palin are willing to risk the assassination of the man America wants to be president.

Yep.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:53 PM on October 9, 2008 [9 favorites]


To be fair, I didn't introduce the phrase "lynch mob" to this discussion, and the quotes I cited were merely intended as a response to offset a perceived "meh" quality to above comments apparently shrugging this stuff off. This ain't no lynch mob, but it sure as hell isn't a mutually-respectful campaign waged between two fellow citizens of the selfsame nation. This is dangerous territory, but more pathetically, it's also criminally inept political strategy at this point.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:55 PM on October 9, 2008


it's only okay to mock britney spears fans using this tactic

Say it to my face.
posted by cillit bang at 6:55 PM on October 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


For the last couple of days (speaking as a gen-x white guy) I've been afraid that this ongoing campaign of hatred that McCain and Palin have been orchestrating will result in some nutter acting out an Obama assasination fantasy, ala 1968. It would put the final nail in the coffin of this great nation.

It worries me a lot.
posted by Auden at 6:55 PM on October 9, 2008 [30 favorites]


When a major party vice presidential candidate publicly, on the record, accuses their opponent of being a terrorist, it is totally valid (and necessary!) to explore the impact of those statements on her followers.

When did Palin accuse Obama of being a terrorist?
posted by ageispolis at 6:56 PM on October 9, 2008


I found all those people shouting get a job to be hilarious. If you are liberal and out in the middle of the day, you are a stinking hippy. If you are conservative and out in the middle of the day you are running errands for Jesus.
posted by Foam Pants at 6:58 PM on October 9, 2008 [77 favorites]


When did Palin accuse Obama of being a terrorist?

Shortly after you stopped beating your wife. Oh wait, you want a non-loaded answer to that question? I'll "try to find you some and get 'em to ya!"
posted by joe lisboa at 6:59 PM on October 9, 2008 [10 favorites]


it's still a shitty tactic to mock your opponent and mocking it is

I don't see any mocking. I don't think many of the viewers of these videos are laughing. They are shocked and afraid at the dangerous, willful ignorance on display.
posted by DU at 7:00 PM on October 9, 2008 [7 favorites]


When did Palin accuse Obama of being a terrorist?

pallin' around with = harboring = being a terrorist, i think this is more or less universally accepted at this point (not that it's necessarily true). But what is your point? If anything her intent is only tempered by the need to keep up a plausible illusion of some minimal level of decency.
posted by snofoam at 7:01 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I hear the concern that it's a bit exaggerated to call them a lynch mob. But what's missing? Only a present target and an incitement to specific action. Those are important differences, but the conditions are there.

I don't hear the concern. A KKK rally can legitimately be called a "lynch mob," excessive literalism be damned. Is it really necessary to split hairs by saying, "oh no no no, they're just a bunch of murderous racists!" -- as if we're somehow afraid of offending them, or we think it's really important to point out that hey, they haven't killed anybody yet?

More to the point, would they really care? If someone doesn't want to be accused of joining a lynch mob, here's a radical suggestion -- don't go to the KKK rally.
posted by spiderwire at 7:01 PM on October 9, 2008 [8 favorites]


When did Palin accuse Obama of being a terrorist?

Ah, semantics.
posted by maxwelton at 7:02 PM on October 9, 2008 [6 favorites]


As a political strategy, this might seem like another short sighted, hail Mary pass from McCain, but consider the scenario:

1) Unhinged McCain supporter decides that Obama is, in fact, a terrorist and decides to act to save the country by eliminating that terrorist.

2) America goes into mourning.

3) McCain denounces the actions of his supporter and, furthermore, comes forward to comfort the country in its time of crisis. Palin, in full mother mode, speaks eloquently about how Obama, a great American, is now reaping his reward in heaven, providing comfort to millions of mourners.

4) Democratic Party descends into crisis and infighting as Clinton's supporters and Biden's supporters duke it out for supremacy.

5) McCain/Palin win the election.

6) McCain succumbs to skin cancer in December.

7) President Palin and Vice President Buchanan sworn into office.

So, in conclusion, this is not a short sighted hail Mary pass from McCain. It is a short sighted hail Mary pass from Governor Palin.

I will now turn this into a screenplay, sell it to Oliver Stone and:

8) Profit.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:04 PM on October 9, 2008 [22 favorites]


For the last couple of days (speaking as a gen-x white guy) I've been afraid that this ongoing campaign of hatred that McCain and Palin have been orchestrating will result in some nutter acting out an Obama assasination fantasy, ala 1968.

I hear fretting about this all the time, but it's nothing that Obama and his family didn't have to understand when they decided to run. I seem to remember it being talked about in a profile I read, in which Obama related the discussion he had had with Michelle about the potential risks. But the thing is, in America, we've had four Presidents assassinated while in office, and 17 definite assassination attempts total, and they were all white guys. I don't underplay the danger of McCain's indulging racist hatred in his followers. But also, recognize that it's simply being President, or a strong candidate or President-elect, that draws the crazy out. Race might be part of any assassin's psychology, but whackjob comes with all kinds of obsessions. I actually am not sure that Obama's at any greater risk than any other President (hoped) or Presidential candidate, because there's no accounting for wingnuttery; an assassin might be motivated by race, or motivated by the desire to get Jodie Foster's attention, but either way, you have to be deeply crazy to try it.

I think it does no good to discuss it, it overplays the race issue if anything, and it's obvious at any rate. I'm more concerned about its political effect and about what it says about our country's slimy underbelly.
posted by Miko at 7:04 PM on October 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ah, semantics.

AHHHH! SEMANTICS!

run for your life
posted by spiderwire at 7:05 PM on October 9, 2008 [20 favorites]


I'm with miko, this is a lynch mob, the only thing they lack is the object of their desire. Someone yells "Kill him" and there is no objection, only a low murmur of assent -- this is the beginning, and it could progress quickly were Barack physically available.

I am a more informal student of the dark border world between normal people and the happy fools who attend lynchings and sing Nazi hymns, who go home and think they are moral and good people despite what they just did. And McCain and Palin are very deliberately sailing into that very dark place that created the holocaust and the Civil War. This is a bad, bad, stupid thing and history will not forgive them.
posted by localroger at 7:06 PM on October 9, 2008 [55 favorites]


As disgusting as these attitudes are, I do feel sorry for these people, too. Twisted and evil, but I don't believe any newborn child starts off life that way. I do really hope these folks prove to be less than 1/2 the voting population on Nov. 4th.
posted by snofoam at 7:07 PM on October 9, 2008


Willful ignorance has no understanding of semantics.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:07 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was at an Obama rally today and whenver the beat ended with 'McCain' or his policy, the audience jumped in with a big ol' "Boooo."

Here's what I want: someone (whether it is Barack or anyone that: kicks off a rally or mid-speech) to say we need to get past this one-side-or-the-other-ness, and cut out the contempt altogether.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, decency should be requested way before someone yells "terrorist!"
posted by chrisglass at 7:08 PM on October 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


krautland:
a lynch mob engages in actual lynching, not just the proposition thereof. ageispolis is right. joe lisboa does not have images like this one to show, for which I am very glad. using terminology like 'lynch mob' is inflammatory and deserves to be banned to places like crooks&liars.
"

So as long as they don't actually lynch anyone it's cool with you? Or are you just nitpicking semantics? What terminology would you use?
posted by octothorpe at 7:08 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


But did you see McCain's latest attack ad?

;-)
posted by fungible at 7:11 PM on October 9, 2008 [12 favorites]


Really there's only one way to characterize the followers of each candidate.

If the statement "let's think of creative and positive solutions, and work together to make this country better" appeals to you, you are probably voting for Obama.

If the statement "let's hunt down the people responsible for these problems and punish them for their mistakes; and keep the outsiders from getting into our territory" appeals to you, you are probably voting for McCain.

Two completely different species of humanity.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:11 PM on October 9, 2008 [73 favorites]


So as long as they don't actually lynch anyone it's cool with you? Or are you just nitpicking semantics? What terminology would you use?

"Scum"
posted by spiderwire at 7:13 PM on October 9, 2008


Barack Hussein Obama is a black Muslim one-man terrorist cell. Jeez, didn't you know that?

These people are haters. If it wasn't Obama, it'd be somebody else. They are dim-witted, xenophobic, scared little sheeple that only respect force (real or imagined). Fuck 'em. Or better yet, don't. Let them die off like the dinosaurs.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:13 PM on October 9, 2008 [5 favorites]



When did Palin accuse Obama of being a terrorist?

pallin' around with = harboring = being a terrorist, i think this is more or less universally accepted at this point (not that it's necessarily true). But what is your point? If anything her intent is only tempered by the need to keep up a plausible illusion of some minimal level of decency.


You're either with us or against us.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:13 PM on October 9, 2008


I was at an Obama rally today and whenver the beat ended with 'McCain' or his policy, the audience jumped in with a big ol' "Boooo."

OK... like most other political campaigns in democratic history...

The most negative opinion you will get from the average Obama supporter is that McCain is a "total dick". That is not the same as McCain being a one-man terror cell.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:14 PM on October 9, 2008 [12 favorites]


I got to the part where some guy called out "commie faggots!" and then another guy accused a voter registration program of causing the worldwide economic crisis.

Then I actually died. I heard my soul say "fuck this" and went to go play skeeball in limbo until the planet is cleansed by nuclear fire and my body can join it.

I lived in Arizona for twenty years, and I was no fan of McCain. But his behavior and the behavior of his supporters is beyond reprehensible. I remember in 2000 when the Bush campaign all but called him a Manchurian candidate, and in typical Rovian fashion they turned his legitimate sacrifice into a liability somehow. And I defended him against those charges, saying that he was not my candidate but that you can't accuse a Senator of treason without real good fucking reason.

He has become a disgrace to the people of Arizona, and even, yes, a disgrace to the Republican party.

I am not a praying man, but those of you who are should pray for the men and women of the Secret Service, who may have to sacrifice their very lives to protect our future President from one of the people on this video. May god have mercy on our souls.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:15 PM on October 9, 2008 [114 favorites]


I'm scared by the terror of stupid.
posted by nola at 7:15 PM on October 9, 2008


This is the kind of intellectual heavy weight that hears Palin talking about Obama's terrorist friends.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:16 PM on October 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


Let them die off like the dinosaurs.

By not letting them onto the Ark?
posted by spiderwire at 7:16 PM on October 9, 2008 [17 favorites]


When did Palin accuse Obama of being a terrorist?

Ah, bubbonics.
posted by fleetmouse at 7:16 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


illiad, you couldn't be more wrong. The President of the United States works for us. He is not our commander-and-chief but that of the military. He does not run the government but rather one branch of it, charged with implementing policies created by another and according to the rulings of the third.

Please keep this straight, for the good of the country.
posted by vsync at 7:17 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


"commander-and-chief"

Really? Did I really do that?

I am a little exhausted. My brain is pretty fried.
posted by vsync at 7:17 PM on October 9, 2008


So as long as they don't actually lynch anyone it's cool with you? Or are you just nitpicking semantics? What terminology would you use?

"Scum"


Isn't 'scum' what skinheads call people who sympathize with blacks? I learned that after someone called me one on a blog.
posted by Mr_Zero at 7:18 PM on October 9, 2008


Miko, with all due respect, all of our Presidents have been white guys.

It hasn't been 45 years since the assassinations of two black leaders who were willing to take the risks associated with being the figurehead for change. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X.

Those old guys in line are surely old enough to remember those times, and the hate is still there.
posted by clearly at 7:21 PM on October 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


"I think it does no good to discuss it, it overplays the race issue if anything, and it's obvious at any rate. "

[so.. sorry to make an obvious comment that you hear all the time, that is pointless to discuss and overplays the fact that all other assassination attempts have been made against white presidents and/or presidential candidates (WTF ?)]
posted by Auden at 7:24 PM on October 9, 2008


If Republicans attempt to steal this election, and angry Obama supporters go out into the streets, these are the people who will be there to meet them.

These rallies look an awful lot like getting them ready.
posted by jamjam at 7:24 PM on October 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


spiderwire: did you just equate the republican party to the KKK? because it seems like you are advocating not going to either rallies for similar reasons. A KKK rally can legitimately be called a "lynch mob" because they did in fact lynch and it is reasonable to expect them to do the same if they reassemble today. I don't expect a republican rally to end up in lynchings galore, be it of blacks or homosexuals or any of the other fifty million 'fringe groups' they happen to disagree with.

locaroger: this is a lynch mob, the only thing they lack is the object of their desire
so you are saying black people are actively encouraged to barricade themselves when republicans are around. yeah, right.

octothorpe: So as long as they don't actually lynch anyone it's cool with you? bullshit. I am saying that we have had actual lynchings in this country and using such a word this lightly is cheapening the deaths that have occurred. but hey, perhaps actual race killings are nitpicking to you.
posted by krautland at 7:26 PM on October 9, 2008


I was at an Obama rally today and whenver the beat ended with 'McCain' or his policy, the audience jumped in with a big ol' "Boooo."
And, I assume, a few shouts of "Kill him" and "Off with his head", right?

... right?
Here's what I want: someone (whether it is Barack or anyone that: kicks off a rally or mid-speech) to say we need to get past this one-side-or-the-other-ness, and cut out the contempt altogether.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, decency should be requested way before someone yells "terrorist!"
Yeah, um, that's a nice vision. And sure, you're right, decency should be requested way before "terrorist". But that fact does not make "Booooo" even remotely similar to "Kill him" in any but the most transparently sophistic sense.
posted by Flunkie at 7:28 PM on October 9, 2008 [7 favorites]


I really wonder how many of these people are such flat-out morons - there's no mincing words here - that they believe Barack Obama is a Muslim or a terrorist against all evidence and rationality and for how many "Muslim" and "terrorist" are like "Canadian."
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:29 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


So I am legitimately confused about something. Is it not against the law to advocate the assassination of a Senator? It seems to me that if someone yelled, "Kill the President!" at a major political rally, they'd get thrown in a jail cell so fast they wouldn't even have time to say, "wait, I was kidding!" (or, per the "semantics" argument, "but I didn't do it yet!").

I mean, isn't advocating for the assassination of a United States Senator sort of like, oh, I don't know, terrorism?
posted by spiderwire at 7:29 PM on October 9, 2008 [16 favorites]


On the positive side, I bet you could cop some seriously excellent meth at the tailgate party in the parking lot.
posted by The Straightener at 7:30 PM on October 9, 2008 [8 favorites]


Indeed, the last improper use of the word "lynch" that I heard was on the golf channel.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:31 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


John McCain can eat the peanuts out of my shit. He can go back and rot in a bamboo cage for all I care. This is a man for whom I once thought 'hell I could vote Republican' fuck it. This shitty racist bull shit is all over the election, and I've never been more sure of racism as a dividing force in America since Katrina. I'm hearing it on the job site more and more, people I like, folks I've trusted for years showing their true colors. I've had all I think anyone who tries to be fair can take. I give up, you win you stupid fuckers you've wrung the faith right out of me.
posted by nola at 7:32 PM on October 9, 2008 [30 favorites]


spiderwire: did you just equate the republican party to the KKK?

Yes. "Equating" two things, as you may be aware, is semantically distinct from saying they are the same.

because it seems like you are advocating not going to either rallies for similar reasons.

That is correct. I am saying that if you don't want to be accused of racism, either don't go to rallies with racists, or call them out when they make racist comments. That goes double if you're the candidate holding the rally.

The argument that "they're not as racist as the KKK" does not really fly with me. My point was that I understand the distinction, but I don't particularly care. It is not my job to defend racist mobs with by debating the fine points of whether they stoned someone to death or actually lynched them or maybe just tried to find someone to lynch but got lost in the dark because they're redneck hicks.

At the point where people are yelling, "Kill him!" and the leader is nodding and frowning gravely rather than kicking the person out, it's not a relevant distinction.
posted by spiderwire at 7:39 PM on October 9, 2008 [36 favorites]


The strangest thing about the McCain campaign is that with his hand on the tiller, he's taken it in the wrong direction. During the primaries, he won over the other Republicans because he was a moderate. Independents were drawn to him. With the choice of Sarah Palin, he decided to cast them overboard and head far to the right, sometimes tossing out a little something for the moderates.
posted by drezdn at 7:40 PM on October 9, 2008


Whoever made this video is asking the wrong questions, using hostile interview techniques, and doesn't have an overall point that he'strying to make. I agree that there's something weird about what's happening with the crowds at these rallies,but he's not getting to the heart of it.

All I really see here is the weakness of The McCain Campaign's message over the course of the campaign. At this point, these people should have at least 3 or 4 well ingrained reasons not to vote for Obama, even if they're completely illogical. At this stage in the game, Ayers is weak sauce.

Allow me to put on my Black guy hat for a second and say that I never expected Obama to make it this far without some serious ugliness from the small-minded. If this is the best they can do, then we're doing ok. You can always tell when the bigots are getting dangerous, because they'll forget about their target and go for whoever's closest.

As to any fear for Obama's safety, I'm with Michelle on this one.

After watching that again, I think I'm more excited about Michelle becoming first lady than I am about Obama becoming President
posted by billyfleetwood at 7:40 PM on October 9, 2008 [30 favorites]


I may have missed it in this sea of comments, but am I the only one who thought the interviewer was kind of...kind of a moron? He just kept trying to get them to say they thought Obama was a terrorist, or kept asking them how long ago they heard about Obama/Palin (how is that relevant?). I appreciated all the racist terrorism comments he elicited, but I TOTALLY could have gotten them to say way more stupid things than that. How about a little variety, huh? If fact, maybe I'll try this myself.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 7:40 PM on October 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


But that fact does not make "Booooo" even remotely similar to "Kill him" in any but the most transparently sophistic sense.

No, but it's still junior-high bullshit that has no place in politics. It disgusts me to support any candidate when shit like that is okay. How easy would it be to tell the crowd to quit fucking booing like a bunch of excitable children? Very.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:41 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Isn't 'scum' what skinheads call people who sympathize with blacks?

Oh... come on. I love my Doc Martens. What's your point here?
posted by rokusan at 7:47 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


These people are haters. If it wasn't Obama, it'd be somebody else. They are dim-witted, xenophobic, scared little sheeple that only respect force (real or imagined). Fuck 'em. Or better yet, don't. Let them die off like the dinosaurs.

You know, I totally agree with your point, but every time I read the word "sheeple" I reflexively try and slap someone.

Since the only thing there is my monitor, I hit the side of that instead.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, "Please stop hurting my hand."
posted by Caduceus at 7:47 PM on October 9, 2008 [7 favorites]


My camera was rolling for literally seconds before people happily said to me, on camera, that...
I forgot.
posted by Mblue at 7:50 PM on October 9, 2008


Rules:
1. Sitting on a school board with Bill Ayers = associating with terrorists
2. Hosting rallies full of people advocating assassination of a sitting U.S. Senator = patriotism
posted by spiderwire at 7:50 PM on October 9, 2008 [53 favorites]


spiderwire: Where does being married to a member of the secessionist alaskan independence party fit in to that continuum?
posted by Freen at 7:54 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


They are dim-witted, xenophobic, scared little sheeple

oh god please keep that word away from MetaFilter
posted by oaf at 7:54 PM on October 9, 2008 [14 favorites]


The strangest thing about the McCain campaign is that with his hand on the tiller...

Actually, I think he's been lashed to the prow since about July.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:54 PM on October 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


He just kept trying to get them to say they thought Obama was a terrorist, or kept asking them how long ago they heard about Obama/Palin (how is that relevant?).

The point is that McCain/Palin, and their angrier followers, have been stressing the fact that "we don't really know Obama," when in fact we know a lot more about him than we do about Palin, who is now the true center of Republican enthusiasm. The willingness of Palin's fans to assume they "know" her--mostly because she's white--while feeling terrified about the unknown Obama, demonstrates the extent to which the thinking of these sudden devotees of Sahah Palin is tinged with racism and xenophobia.

When one contrast the dozens (hundreds?) of interviews we've seen with Barack Obama, his memoirs, and his years in the spotlight, with the way in which Palin has been suddenly unveiled and then carefully shielded from the press, the hatred towards the "unknown" Obama is particularly remarkable.
posted by washburn at 7:56 PM on October 9, 2008 [25 favorites]


That goes double if you're the candidate holding the rally.

I hate to tell you this but calling the republican party racist like the KKK because they didn't clamp down on the loonies yapping into the camera of a guy who wanted to show how crazy those guys would be is stupid. I say this as a democrat, btw.

"Kill him!" and the leader is nodding and frowning gravely rather than kicking the person out, it's not a relevant distinction.

HUGE distinction you failed to make: what these folks say on the street vs. what they let speakers say on stage. that palin comment? awful. what that old guy said in the video above? I can't blame the party for that without stooping to the level of a sean hannity or bill o'reilly. you may be comfortable there, I am not.

I may have missed it in this sea of comments, but am I the only one who thought the interviewer was kind of...kind of a moron?
exactly what I was trying to say, better articulated.
posted by krautland at 7:56 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Some of the comments in this thread are pretty reprehensible. The idea that McCain supporters are a "lynch mob" and somehow more off balance and in this heated environment than Obama's is total bullshit. (As a journalist, I have the emails to prove it.) And whatever your problems with the G.O.P., the idea that they're to be casually equated with the KKK is stupid, offensive and certainly not helping the political discourse.

As for Ayers, I think it's a weak attack in many respects but the idea that some people don't want anyone near the White House with that association is understandable, and if Obama had forthrightly addressed it sooner he probably wouldn't be in this boat. But see this:

Stephanopoulos then asked Obama to explain his relationship with Ayers. Obama’s answer: “The notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was eight years old, somehow reflects on me and my values, doesn’t make much sense, George.” Obama was indeed only eight in early 1970. I was only nine then, the year Ayers’s Weathermen tried to murder me.

Now do you think that guy has a legitimate beef that Obama worked with Ayers for years? Or is he too just another part of the lynch mob?
posted by Heminator at 7:59 PM on October 9, 2008 [7 favorites]


Palin pre-empts state report, clears self in probe.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - On the eve of a report on a legislative panel's abuse-of-power investigation into Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, campaign officials released their own report clearing her of any wrongdoing.
Uh.

I.... Umm...






Words.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:01 PM on October 9, 2008 [19 favorites]


The Palin Mob video shocked me. It seems bizarre that people are still yelling abuse like "Commie faggot!" or "Get a job!" Were these people in some cryogenic warehouse from the Nixon era?

My first thought was that if McCain/Palin are elected, these haters will get what they deserve.

Seconding what Heminator said.

None of my friends who are Obama supporters want to talk about the widely circulated fears and rumors related to Obama or be patient with others who have had fears. They too want to shut up any discussion that is not favorable to their candidate.

Both Obama and McCain supporters can behave badly, meanly, shutting out conversation, insulting other people, using this election as a vehicle for hate and contempt.

Once there is an agenda of "I think you're an idiot", there is no conversation, it's then on a level of verbal or physical cudgels.

If constructive change is to take place in society, somehow people need to be able to converse with each other, not at each other.
posted by nickyskye at 8:03 PM on October 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


LOLDAWSONSCREEK
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:05 PM on October 9, 2008


TheOnlyCoolTim: I really wonder how many of these people are such flat-out morons - there's no mincing words here - that they believe Barack Obama is a Muslim or a terrorist against all evidence and rationality and for how many "Muslim" and "terrorist" are like "Canadian."

They're ill-informed, and they move in circles in which this stuff is conventional wisdom. They live in the midst of feedback loops. They don't read stuff on the internet, except when a friend links to something on YouTube. They are not savvy. They "know" things, in their souls, and they reject facts they learn that contradict that knowledge as part of error correction.

They are not unreachable, but it won't happen until they get hit by a shock that makes them question their certainties. 9/11 was potentially such a shock, but the White House handled it in a such a way that they were not troubled by it.
posted by JHarris at 8:07 PM on October 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


No, but it's still junior-high bullshit that has no place in politics. It disgusts me to support any candidate when shit like that is okay. How easy would it be to tell the crowd to quit fucking booing like a bunch of excitable children? Very.

I take it you haven't organized many rallies, then. You don't make your supporters feel ashamed unless they did something to deserve it. I think shouting out "terrorist" is pretty shameful. Shouting death threats is outright frightening. Booing is childish, but these are rallies, not soaring, 90-minute speeches. It's sort of like being a cheerleader. Yeah, it's kind of childish and lame, but that's a political rally for ya. And the cold, hard reality is this: This is a red meat election, and there's no way to win and be totally aloof. Obama's struck just the right balance. I don't agree with him in everything he's done, but he knows what he's doing and manages to still appeal to people's higher natures. But you gotta throw a few elbows, and you gotta rev up the base. There's really no getting around this on the national level. At least Obama has class about it and manages to get back to the substance as much as possible.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:08 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Once upon a time comfortable society anguished. They gnashed and gnashed, hung, and thought linearly.
posted by Mblue at 8:08 PM on October 9, 2008


HUGE distinction you failed to make: what these folks say on the street vs. what they let speakers say on stage.

So how am I to take Ann Coulter's wanting to explain some stuff to me with a baseball bat? Or instructing some frat boy types to go beat the shit out of a little old lady? Or is that different because she's a hired thug?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:09 PM on October 9, 2008


Let them die off like the dinosaurs.

Even haters have cocks and cunts. These fuckers breed, ya know. They ain't dying off, they're hatching offspring.
posted by Manhasset at 8:09 PM on October 9, 2008


7) President Palin and Vice President Buchanan sworn into office.

I'm getting a chubby.
posted by Rafaelloello at 8:10 PM on October 9, 2008


.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 8:10 PM on October 9, 2008


I really wonder how many of these people are such flat-out morons - there's no mincing words here - that they believe Barack Obama is a Muslim or a terrorist against all evidence and rationality and for how many "Muslim" and "terrorist" are like "Canadian."
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:29 PM on October 9 [+] [!]


No, I think that there are a lot of people in the United States who are seriously prejudiced against Muslim or Arabic people. I was listening to a video of a woman who explicitly said she would not vote for him because he was "an Arab", and that the US was at war "with Arabs". Most people probably don't realize Ayres was a white, Marxist terrorist - they hear terrorist and they think "Brown - Muslim".

I'm not saying that there isn't serious prejudice against black people - but I think Obama is being hit with two different sources of prejudice: his skin colour (as an African American), but also his suposed religion. And I don't know which is a more serious prejudice in the United States right now. We hear about racism against African Americans because of the much larger population and the long history of prejudice, but in many places in America the discrimination against Muslims is very serious. Several months ago, This American Life profiled a family in a nice suburban town whose daughter was told in class that she was going to hell because she was not a Christian; pamphlets vilifying Islam were sent home to all students in her school. We've even seen egregious attitudes towards Islam on this site (whereas I don't remember reading any racist comments about black people).

Clearly the attempted assasination on Obama was by white supremicists upset by his race. But the prejudice against Arabs and Muslims is also very serious - and I think that Obama is being vilified as often (if not more often) for his perceived (though incorrect) religion/ethnicity (as Arab/North African - he could pass as North African, though he's a bit pale). Think of how often people talk about him being "foreign", being supported by non-Americans, etc. These are stereotypes for Muslims, not African Americans. There is the secret agenda thing - like that he will promote only Black leaders like Jesse Jackson (who I believe he does not at all get on with) to his cabinet - and that is definitely racial. But other slanders / insults / stereotypes I hear are seem to be mainly based on prejudices against Muslims and Arabs. It's like you've got two racisms for the price of one.
posted by jb at 8:11 PM on October 9, 2008 [17 favorites]


It's like you've got two racisms for the price of one.

Bizarrely, it never occurred to me to frame it in those terms, but you're absolutely right.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:14 PM on October 9, 2008


Now do you think that guy has a legitimate beef that Obama worked with Ayers for years?

Not at all. Because since that time, Ayers has become not a dangerous domestic terrorist, but a serious, accomplished, leading thinker and professor on education reform. This is the Ayers Obama knows - a legitimate member of society representing an established and respected academic institution, a successful and well-connected nonprofit volunteer and fundraiser. You know, the sixties were damn nasty and complicated. Today's world finds draft dodgers in office and former volunteer enlistees begging for VA benefits. It finds people returned from Canada after amnesty working alongside informers on college leftist organizations. Reaching back into the clusterfuck that was the domestic front in the 1960s to make points about today's leadership is to try to impose the confused and tortured politics of one of America's worst ages on people who have grown, reflected, and changed since then. Ayers did not go on to become the Unabomber. He went on to reflect on his actions and chose to live a life in which he used his intellect to create better conditions for generations of children. I see remorse at work there; I see better choices there. By the time Obama meets him, he's another professor on a board with him at another nonprofit. I serve on two boards; I don't know the details of everyone's background, and if I do, it's a mild curiosity. A couple people I associate with were in SDS as students in the 60s; a couple know they have FBI files. They contribute. They live lives of meaning. Id' be surprised if that weren't true for just about anybody who's active in their community and who serves in nonprofit organizations and governmental bodies with people born between 1940 and 1960.
posted by Miko at 8:15 PM on October 9, 2008 [93 favorites]


As for Ayers, I think it's a weak attack in many respects but the idea that some people don't want anyone near the White House with that association is understandable, and if Obama had forthrightly addressed it sooner he probably wouldn't be in this boat.

It's absurd to suggest that Obama's moral compass is somehow thrown off-kilter by being on a charity board with Ayers. And while it may be understandable that people are seeing the situation through irrational fears, it's not the truth. McCain's skeleton closet is much more crowded, and many of his associations are direct. The stuff about Ayers is purely a smear. But I don't see it having much of an effect on the polls, and if anything it seems to be hurting McCain. This isn't a new story, and the economy is looming pretty large compared to this sort of bullshit.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:17 PM on October 9, 2008 [7 favorites]


The President of the United States works for us.

I grok that vsync, but telling Bubba that a black man is his boss will give him a stroke, even if it isn't true. And then I'm gonna tell Bubba about how "one of them Negroes is now putting his feet up on the desk in Oval Office..."

Lordy, I am so full of petty.
posted by illiad at 8:18 PM on October 9, 2008


Heminator - The idea that McCain supporters are a "lynch mob" and somehow more off balance and in this heated environment than Obama's is total bullshit.

O RLY?

Are Obama's supporters yelling "Kill Whitey!" at his rallies?
posted by Poolio at 8:18 PM on October 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


I'm getting a chubby.
posted by Rafaelloello at 11:10 PM on October 9 [+] [!]


I think I just threw up a little in the hands that my face is buried in.
posted by designbot at 8:18 PM on October 9, 2008 [8 favorites]


Dude! It's Heavy Metal Parking Lot, the sequel!

Only this time, they vote!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:19 PM on October 9, 2008 [6 favorites]


Miko, with all due respect, all of our Presidents have been white guys.

Yes, I happen to be aware of that, which is why I made the comment. Whiteness is not protection against assassination. Why do people get assassinated? Because they are leaders. Why are leaders targets? Because they are pushing the culture. Does that sometimes involve race? Yes. Is Obama more a target than any other leader who is changing the culture? No. Is there any useful result to noting that Obama runs the risk of assassination? No. Is the primary cause of assassination attempts insanity? Yes.

Just pointing out that fretting about this is a distraction. There's a risk to leadership. He's all right with it. Are you? Would you rather he go home and be safe?
posted by Miko at 8:20 PM on October 9, 2008


I'm hearing it on the job site more and more, people I like, folks I've trusted for years showing their true colors.

It seems there has been an unfortunate trend in the media that commentators seem to feel more and more comfortable with racist rhetoric, and the general population has picked up on that and really taken it to heart. I'm inclined to think it started with outlets like FOX news and others that sprang up in the wake of the "Liberal Media" myth that first reared it's deceitful head - I want to say it was during the first Reagan campaign, there may be more history to it than that. I'm thinking here of things like talk radio and the like. For every Don Imus you see getting raked over the coals, you've got plenty of other local personalities who say much worse things and get slapped on the wrist, if that. They tend to defend themselves by saying things like "Hey it's freedom of speech, right? Leave your PC bullcrap out of this." And their audience takes it and runs with it. Rather than being ashamed of their unfounded prejudices and fears and examining them as something that is fundamentally wrong and uncivilized, they voice their opinions. They get reinforcement that nourishes their opinions until they grow into full-on hate.



Unfortunately, that has sent a message to the masses that "Hey, it's OK to openly hate black people/immigrants/homosexuals/etc.! It's my right! fuck that PC liberal bullshit!" I've noticed that even people I have in the past considered to be quite tolerant saying some pretty foul and ignorant things with great force and conviction, and it shocks and saddens me. It's even made its way to Congress.

There is a major, major difference between between overwrought PC handwringing and OMG CENSORSHIP and expecting people, and I know it's a tall order here, expecting people to not be hateful assholes. Because that is something to be ashamed of, very ashamed indeed.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:22 PM on October 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


Welcome to AmeriKKKa
posted by mike3k at 8:23 PM on October 9, 2008


I understand and respect that the fear voiced in this thread isn't typically mentioned elsewhere on the blue, for various reasons. But the subject having been broached, I just want to say, can you imagine what a handful the secret service and FBI are going to have? A million plots, half of them legitimate and none to be taken lightly.

I fear for the man. It's rare -- in the west -- that running in political office is such an act of bravery.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:25 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


running for, even.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:25 PM on October 9, 2008


Sort of off topic, but reactions like this are precisely the reason the Obama campaign does not like its supporters going to McCain/Palin rallies and antagonizing people. All it does it rile them up (showing some of them to be full of vile hatred) and produce more volunteers for McCain.
posted by thewittyname at 8:26 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am sick.

For the first time in my not young life I am utterly, physically, sickened by the behavior of my fellow humans. Not by the partisan nature of the videos in this post. Fine, you support your party - great. But my god. The outright hatred, the vile and disgusting things that come out of those people's mouths. The ignorance, and blissful ignorance, that comes from the clear lack of fact checking. How do people get that way? How can they possibly stay that way? What dark awful things befell them to create such hideousness?
posted by FlamingBore at 8:26 PM on October 9, 2008 [7 favorites]


After watching that again, I think I'm more excited about Michelle becoming first lady than I am about Obama becoming President
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:40 PM on October 9 [3 favorites +] [!]


The only other speech I've heard her give was at the convention, and I thought that was good - but that speech you linked from Aug 2007 just rocked. I think she's a much better speaker than her husband (I'm actually more fond of his policies than his rhetorical style - but that's because he has a peculiarly American and preaching-derived rhythm that I don't relate to). Now I'm starting to think that at the convention she was trying to tone down, so as not to show him up.

I'm a big Michelle Obama fan - and the more I learn about her, the more I like her. (Maybe I don't want to learn too much, so I can idolise her : ) And, as a woman, I can safely say that she is almost too beautiful to be First Lady.
posted by jb at 8:27 PM on October 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


Miko, you're kidding right? He tried to kill a nine-year-old kid (among many other things), never served a jail-term for it, STILL says he doesn't regret it and that kid has no right to be upset about it? And all because in your judgment, he's "lived a life of meaning"? (And FWIW, the academic efficacy of his work is highly debatable and his recent sucking up to Hugo Chavez is reprehensible.)

I don't give a crap, you try and kill kids are never punished and remain unrepentant, that's fucked up. This "the sixties were complicated" is not an excuse. It doesn't matter. How would you feel if you found out, hypothetically, Bob in accounts receivable had tried to kill a kid and then told the local paper he wished he'd killed more. I'd be in the HR office saying, "Do I have to work with this guy?" -- not trying to figure out how you can work with him to advance you're career.

Now maybe Obama wasn't really aware/didn't consider any of this. But he should explain it.
posted by Heminator at 8:27 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Is Obama more a target than any other leader who is changing the culture? No.

I don't actually think this is true, unfortunately. A lot of people talk crazy talk, but a black man in the White House? Seriously? There will be loners, small groups, and some larger organized ones, all vying for the honour of changing that situation in the worst way possible.

Imagine Clinton in the White House. That's changing the culture. People would gripe. Some would be angry. But would it attract the same amount of violent hate? Not even close.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:28 PM on October 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


This generation's "terrorist" = last generation's "communist". A polarizing term meant to incense people and move them to action (i.e. vote).

I'm a bit surprised that so many people seem to forget that since, for the last eight years, so many have called Bush a fascist.

It's not a lynch mob. I know these people. I used to live among them. (I'm from PA.) They're just afraid, uninformed, and loud. They don't intend to kill anyone. They have difficult lives, made moreso by the social boogeyman created by social conservatives. They barely make ends meet, they fear God, and are afraid of what change might mean.

I remember back in 2000 a neighbor of mine swore up and down that she'd move to Canada if Gore got elected. Ranted and raved that he was a socialist, and that he was completely wrong for America.

No. Not a lynch mob. Just people who have been beaten up by the last decade, with rampant inflation, rising healthcare and education costs, and no good jobs for those without a college education. Clinging to God because that's all they have anymore.

You read enough MetaFilter threads about the election and you could argue that this place was a lynch mob as well, ready to string up Wall Street executives, Bush, Cheney, Rove, etc. But we aren't a lynch mob either. Just people who have gotten beat up, and are looking for change.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 8:30 PM on October 9, 2008 [10 favorites]


It seems there has been an unfortunate trend in the media that commentators seem to feel more and more comfortable with racist rhetoric, and the general population has picked up on that and really taken it to heart. I'm inclined to think it started with outlets like FOX news and others that sprang up in the wake of the "Liberal Media" myth that first reared it's deceitful head - I want to say it was during the first Reagan campaign, there may be more history to it than that.

Yes, with the Republican Party, it traces back to their Southern Strategy, but it's worth noting that the Democrats had them before the Republicans did. Well, they both did, but the Southern Democrats were pretty rife with racism, although that party held the South for a long time. Not after the Southern Strategy, though.

This has been quoted a lot here, but it's worth pointing it out again (from the Wiki article):


Bob Herbert, a New York Times columnist, reported a 1981 interview with Lee Atwater, published in Southern Politics in the 1990s by Prof. Alexander P. Lamis, in which Lee Atwater discussed politics in the South:
You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger"—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger".[4]
Herbert wrote in the same column, "The truth is that there was very little that was subconscious about the G.O.P.'s relentless appeal to racist whites. Tired of losing elections, it saw an opportunity to renew itself by opening its arms wide to white voters who could never forgive the Democratic Party for its support of civil rights and voting rights for blacks."[14]


So, are we going back to 1954? Is the Republican Party coming around to overt racism again? Hope not ...
posted by krinklyfig at 8:30 PM on October 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


I fear for the man. It's rare -- in the west -- that running in political office is such an act of bravery.

See, I'm saying strongly that it's not. You don't think Bush has a price on his head? Think about the stakes there for an assassin.
posted by Miko at 8:31 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


David Gergen on Anderson Cooper: "we could see violence".
posted by orthogonality at 8:33 PM on October 9, 2008


Of course, Miko, but things motivate people differently. People joined the service long before 9/11, yet suddenly there were people going off to be soldiers who might have considered it but never otherwise followed through.

In all seriousness, this will bring the crazies out of the woodwork. We all know they're in there. That's not the point.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:34 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was only nine then, the year Ayers’s Weathermen tried to murder me.

Wait, Ayers tried to murder a 9 year old Stephanopoulos?
posted by nickyskye at 8:35 PM on October 9, 2008


It's not a lynch mob. I know these people. I used to live among them. (I'm from PA.) They're just afraid, uninformed, and loud. They don't intend to kill anyone. They have difficult lives, made moreso by the social boogeyman created by social conservatives. They barely make ends meet, they fear God, and are afraid of what change might mean.

Do you think lynch mobs are made up of insane people? Do you think the people involved are career criminals? Or do you think they are made up of ordinary people "pushed too far," with maybe just the right incentive to push them over the top?
posted by krinklyfig at 8:35 PM on October 9, 2008 [8 favorites]


How hard could it be to kill a 9yo, if you really set your mind to it? If the kid's the next in line to, say, the Atreides throne, then all's fair game. That Ayers was unable to complete the task shows either lack of killer instinct of lack of conviction, both indispensable attributes to have in a war leader. Survival requires fatal decisions. That's why I'm voting for McCain/Palin.
posted by BeerFilter at 8:39 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


They're ill-informed, and they move in circles in which this stuff is conventional wisdom. They live in the midst of feedback loops. They don't read stuff on the internet, except when a friend links to something on YouTube. They are not savvy. They "know" things, in their souls, and they reject facts they learn that contradict that knowledge as part of error correction.

Assuming the Muslim terrorist beliefs are truly held, I frankly fail to understand how people so entangled in this sort of thing manage to continue it. If Obama gets elected, I am rather sure he will commit no acts of terrorism against America. I am also sure will not institute a Muslim theocracy. The complete failure of these feedback loops and "knowing" should lead to their questioning - but would it? Presumably the "conventional wisdom" of these circles has been just as wrong before and yet is still not questioned.

I gave some thought to this sort of stuff a little while back and just couldn't figure it out. There seems to be no interest in arriving at the truth. Simply asserting something without evidence makes it valid to act upon. What difference in thought is this? A disbelief in the existence of truth? A lack of logic or rational thought? I could not get my head around it.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:41 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I remember back in 2000 a neighbor of mine swore up and down that she'd move to Canada if Gore got elected. Ranted and raved that he was a socialist, and that he was completely wrong for America.

Did you mention that Canada has socialised medicine? Compared to Gore, we're freaking commies, no mere pinkos.
posted by jb at 8:41 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


This generation's "terrorist" = last generation's "communist".

Apparently "communist" is this generation's "communist".
But I take your point, and don't mean to suggest that these people will be taking up residence in the book depository.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:44 PM on October 9, 2008


These threads always make me lose a little faith in politics in general because I read the comments on the free republic and the michelle malkin blog and damn they look pretty similar to some of the comments in here, just change the names.
posted by 517 at 8:44 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain is wrong on the issues and would be a terrible president. But the "Obama hangs out with terrorists" is just this year's go-round of the same old "liberals hate America" crap that's been used against every prominent Democrat since Rush Limbaugh took to the airwaves. Remember all the accusations of treason.. treason.. leveled against John Kerry in 2004, for having protested the war in Vietnam? These attacks against Obama are every bit as ridiculous and wrong (and tedious and worn out) but not at all unprecedented..

And about the video - come on, it is not that hard to find a random person in this country saying random ignorant sh!t. On the blogs, I read comments saying basically 'fuck these people, they're worthless' about GOP supporters saying ignorant sh!t, and then I read comments calling Palin a bitch, a Barbie doll, all sorts of sexist names and every nasty thing you can imagine, and my knee-jerk reaction is often 'fuck these people, they're worthless.' I don't agree with her on much of anything and think she's unqualified, but at the same time, I abhor some of the things that have been said about her. Ultimately I am weary of the petty namecalling on both sides, but I believe in equal opportunity, universal health care, protecting the environment, and I wish there weren't people at GOP rallies insisting that Democrats hate America, but I still think they should have health care and a decent job with benefits and good public schools and be able to send their kids to college and have Social Security to depend on in retirement. Even if they're saying ignorant sh!t and voting for candidates who wouldn't help them.
posted by citron at 8:45 PM on October 9, 2008


Wait, Ayers tried to murder a 9 year old Stephanopoulos?
posted by nickyskye at 11:35 PM on October 9 [1 favorite +] [!]


No, the Weather Underground bombed the house of John M. Murtagh, the author of the linked article and then the 9 year-old son of a judge sitting on the case of a Black Panther. You should read the article. I think John Murtagh, as well as society, has every right to be angry that neither Ayers or his wife have repented their involvement with such violence. This went beyond riots - this was calculated terrorism.
posted by jb at 8:45 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


He tried to kill a nine-year-old kid

This keeps coming up, as if Ayers himself threw a grenade directly at a kid's face.

It's worth nothing at this point that it was not established that a) Ayers was involved in this attack and b)that the Weather Underground were involved in the attack.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:45 PM on October 9, 2008


He tried to kill a nine-year-old kid

Re-read the article you posted. His organization may have planted the bombs, but even the article itself never says Ayers was directly responsible.
posted by drezdn at 8:46 PM on October 9, 2008


krinklyfig, I think what's insane is that a guy with a camera who is deliberately trying to provoke these people into saying things, and ultimately getting a rise out of them by getting them to say outrageous things lends any sort of credibility.

This is the political equivalent of "Girls Gone Wild" and the fools who actually think that women actually go around looking for reasons to take their tops off are the same fools who think that these statements are somehow "the truth".

I mean really, how many people can raise their hands and say, "Yeah, all those women in Girls Gone Wild are filthy sluts who would go home with anything." How many people are actually saying, "Yup, those women are a menace to society, and are clearly expressing their innermost desires to prance around naked." They're doing it because there's a camera, and they're getting a rise out of people.

This cameraman is shoving a camera and extremely loaded questions into a political hotbed, and the armchair analysts around here are claiming that THAT is indicative of a lynch mob? Give me a break. These people know what that cameraman was trying to do. He was being an asshole about it. They were (poorly) defending their ideas, and giving the cameraman what he wanted, "the rise". It was a show.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 8:47 PM on October 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


The idea that McCain supporters are a "lynch mob" and somehow more off balance and in this heated environment than Obama's is total bullshit. (As a journalist, I have the emails to prove it.)

Lynch mob? No. More unbalanced? I'd have to say yes. And while I may not have scientific evidence to back my assertion, your "emails" don't back up yours.

Now do you think that guy has a legitimate beef that Obama worked with Ayers for years? Or is he too just another part of the lynch mob?

I don't know - I'd hesitate to put myself in his shoes, and I can't imagine the fear and horror of going through what he went through, but instead of uncritically relying on quotes from article, perhaps he should look at what Ayers himself said. I don't think John Murtagh is part of a lynch mob by any stretch, but his story doesn't negate in any way the response Obama gave Stephanopoulos.
posted by jalexei at 8:52 PM on October 9, 2008


Assuming the Muslim terrorist beliefs are truly held, I frankly fail to understand how people so entangled in this sort of thing manage to continue it. If Obama gets elected, I am rather sure he will commit no acts of terrorism against America. I am also sure will not institute a Muslim theocracy. The complete failure of these feedback loops and "knowing" should lead to their questioning - but would it? Presumably the "conventional wisdom" of these circles has been just as wrong before and yet is still not questioned.
Are you sure you're familiar with hardcore conservatives?

Obama will do something like, oh, give these people affordable and effective health care, and they will whip themselves up into a frenzy thinking that it is all part of his secret master plan to implement Sharia law in order to satisfy the commands that are being beamed directly into his head by his communist Nazi Jewish Muslim atheist reptilian humanoid homosexual overlords from the Union of Soviet Socialist Trilateral Bilderberg Commisions.
posted by Flunkie at 8:53 PM on October 9, 2008 [17 favorites]


No, I'm not kidding. I wouldn't defend Ayres' actions; but it's hard to defend those of my own relations on both sides of the domestic and international conflicts of the Vietnam era. I do believe in looking at the facts and applying commonsense perspective. Ayers did not "try to kill a nine-year-old kid;" that's hyperbole, and hyperbole to which I might certainly have been prone had I been the terrified kid living through that situation, caught in the crosshairs of a culture in the midst of a bloody race war and international conflict over Communism - but hyperbole, nonetheless.
...nobody died as a result of bombings in which Ayers said he participated as part of the Weather Underground, at the New York City Police Headquarters in 1970, in a men's lavatory in the Capitol building in 1971 and in a women's restroom in the Pentagon in 1972. The deaths to which Clinton referred were of three Weather Underground members who died when their own "bomb factory" exploded in a Greenwich Village townhouse on March 6, 1970. Ayers was not present. Also, two police officers were murdered in connection with the robbery of a Brinks armored car by Weather Underground members in 1981. That was about a year after Ayers had turned himself in and after all charges against him had been dropped.

Ayers did say ''I don't regret setting bombs'' and "I feel we didn't do enough'' regarding the group's violent protests against the Vietnam War. That was in a New York Times interview that was published the morning of September 11, 2001. The interview had been conducted earlier, in connection with the publication of a memoir of the year Ayers spent as a fugitive with his wife and fellow Weather Underground member Bernardine Dohrn. Ayers is now a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Obama and Ayers served together for a time on the board of an antipoverty charity, the Woods Fund of Chicago, from 1999 to 2002. Ayers also contributed $200 to Obama's campaign for the Illinois state Senate on March 2, 2001.
From the Times interview now haunting Obama:
''I don't think you can understand a single thing we did without understanding the violence of the Vietnam War,'' he said, and the fact that ''the enduring scar of racism was fully in flower.'' Mr. Ayers pointed to Bob Kerrey, former Democratic Senator from Nebraska, who has admitted leading a raid in 1969 in which Vietnamese women and children were killed. ''He committed an act of terrorism,'' Mr. Ayers said. ''I didn't kill innocent people.''

...As Mr. Ayers mellows into middle age, he finds himself thinking about truth and reconciliation, he said. He would like to see a Truth and Reconciliation Commission about Vietnam, he said, like South Africa's. He can imagine Mr. Kerrey and Ms. Boudin taking part.

And if there were another Vietnam, he is asked, would he participate again in the Weathermen bombings?

By way of an answer, Mr. Ayers quoted from ''The Cure at Troy,'' Seamus Heaney's retelling of Sophocles' ''Philoctetes:'' '' 'Human beings suffer,/ They torture one another./ They get hurt and get hard.' ''

He continued to recite:

History says, Don't hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up
And hope and history rhyme.

Thinking back on his life , Mr. Ayers said, ''I was a child of privilege and I woke up to a world on fire. And hope and history rhymed.''
Don't get me wrong - I'm not putting Ayres forth as an object of admiration. Personally, I think Ayres is a rather typically self-centered and somewhat spoiled product of the baby boom who did some criminal things. But have some historical perspective. It was not a time like today. There are people in my family who lost their lives during that time, too, and people who did things they deeply regret. I can't get any more or less outraged about the actions of radicals trying violently to end the war than I can about the actions of cowards trying desperately to escape the war than I can about the shortsighted, insular generals and strategists who dug us deeper into a covert and unwinnable civilian-destroying war than I can about the actions of confused, duped, and misled soldiers trying in whatever way they could to survive the war. Today's character metrics just don't map very well onto the late 60s.

Here's his academic background as given on Wikipedia:
He began his career in primary education while an undergraduate, teaching at the Children’s Community School (CCS), a project founded by a group of students and based on the Summerhill method of education. After leaving the underground, he earned an M.Ed from Bank Street College in Early Childhood Education (1984), an M.Ed from Teachers College, Columbia University in Early Childhood Education (1987) and an Ed.D from Teachers College, Columbia University in Curriculum and Instruction (1987).He has edited and written many books and articles on education theory, policy and practice, and has appeared on many panels and symposia.
As a nonprofit staffer and board member, I can tell you that if I met someone aged about 60 who was presented to me with that resume, I wouldn't necessarily consider myself to be "palling around with terrorists." Even were his radical activities spelled out, I'd have to consider him in toto, and in context, weighing his involvements in the 1960s war protest movement against two or three decades of accountability, public life, and public service. And I think it's absolutely ridiculous to try to make hay of this against Obama. When you live a life of public service, you serve with, and rub up against, people of all stripes and backgrounds. I'm not here to defend Ayres' actions; just to get them back into perspective, and to say that it's not legitimate to suggest that the fact that Obama knew and worked with this guy in aboveboard, formal, recognized 21st-century organizations run by major charitable groups implies any endorsement whatever of his positions and actions during the bloodbath that was the 1960s.
posted by Miko at 8:56 PM on October 9, 2008 [51 favorites]


krinklyfig, I think what's insane is that a guy with a camera who is deliberately trying to provoke these people into saying things, and ultimately getting a rise out of them by getting them to say outrageous things lends any sort of credibility.

I am not trying to defend that. I am much more concerned with the sort of sentiment that Palin specifically is whipping up. They are going for the same sort of thing Hillary Clinton was courting, which is the latent racist vote. You whip that up enough and you end up with some really angry people. The fact that people are more comfortable screaming these things at political rallies with cameras all around is concerning. Sure, people say stupid, hateful shit on the internet all the time, but they usually do so with the luxury of anonymity. Hearing people scream out violently charged exclamations in front of their candidate of choice in response to their words is fucking scary. This is the step before they start going out and finding victims, and these are the seeds of fascism. It is not full-blown, but a few choice events, and watch the fuck out ...
posted by krinklyfig at 8:57 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's not a lynch mob. They don't intend to kill anyone.

No individual person in a mob intends the violence the mob ultimately commits. That's sort of, like, the whole deal, see?
posted by rokusan at 8:57 PM on October 9, 2008 [17 favorites]


Are you sure you're familiar with hardcore conservatives?

No, I think not - this is what I am trying to understand. This type of behavior has been and is not acceptable in any social circle I've found myself in, even ones with rather conservative people. "Obama is a terrorist" would be laughed out of the room as incorrect and "kill him" would be shocking - and I mean I could probably find people who would admit to me they won't vote for him because he's Black, but at least they're more-or-less correct about him being Black. I can't imagine finding anyone who would make the incorrect claim that he's a terrorist.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:00 PM on October 9, 2008


By the time there's an actual lynch mob, it's too late, because the lynching will have happened already.

Arguing over semantics, when the semantic means that Obama has to die or be seriously injured, strikes me as deliberate obfuscation.
posted by Malor at 9:01 PM on October 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


Now do you think that guy has a legitimate beef that Obama worked with Ayers for years? Or is he too just another part of the lynch mob?

It's very simple:
Working with someone who committed a crime decades ago that you had nothing to do with = OK
Working with someone who tells you they plan to commit a crime and doing nothing = bad
Second person accusing first person of complicity in the crime = hypocrite
posted by spiderwire at 9:03 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Here's some more video from the same rally that gets McCain/Palin supporters to speak at greater length, but it still ain't pretty.
posted by jonp72 at 9:07 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have to agree with SeizeTheDay. Don't get me wrong, I think in general these people are close-minded and racist, and I appreciate the effort to bring that to light, but the execution of this video is pretty adolescent. I guess the point of the video was that Palin's base is made up of bigots, and that did get across. However the video almost made me feel sorry for these people, and I don't think they actually deserve pity - they deserve to be kept in check until the next generation takes over and they (hope hope hope) become officially culturally obsolete. So the video kinda defeated itself in that respect.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:09 PM on October 9, 2008


Calling Obama a terrorist is one thing... extraneous line-breaks on the front page though, that's just outrageous.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:10 PM on October 9, 2008


Meanwhile, an aged G. Gordon Liddy has his own radio show, for those who want to relive that generation.
posted by gimonca at 9:12 PM on October 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


these are the people that would turn in anne frank. they terrify me.
posted by askmehow at 9:12 PM on October 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


One thing you must remember is that some of the people who accuse others of being "terrorists" are themselves terrorists, or would be if they consider themselves disempowered. And if the Republicans are routed in the November elections, that's what the Joe & Jane Six-Packs in these videos are going to be. Even as they have complained about the "Left-Wing Establishment", they have almost always had somebody in a position of power they could look up to and who would tell them what they wanted to hear. When all they have are the Hannitys, Limbaughs and Coulters, but no Bushes or Gingriches, they are going to be very very dangerous. Not just to the black man in the White House, but to same-sex couple down the street, or the inter-racial couple, or just the guy with the COEXIST bumper stickers. I'm not saying all of them, or anything close to a majority of them, but enough of them, whipped up into a frenzy with no one reassuring them that "their people" are watching out for them (although it's been GOP standard procedure to stab them in the back) then terrorist hate crimes are going to be almost-daily headlines. But don't expect many suicide bombers; unlike some of the radicalized Muslims in the Middle East, none of the radicalized Republicans of the United States will be willing to sacrifice themselves.
posted by wendell at 9:12 PM on October 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


I grok that vsync, but telling Bubba that a black man is his boss will give him a stroke, even if it isn't true.

Oh, come on. Yes, there are lots of racists. But the Bubbas that are supposed to be extra-racist are also the same Bubbas that enlist in droves in the military, about the only place in American society where it is boringly common for a black man to order a bunch of white men around.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:16 PM on October 9, 2008


Oh God. I keep thinking I can't get surprised or sickened by what they're going to do next. I just hope this gets properly called out in the media, and McCain's publicly shamed into admonishing these crowds.

This will happen, right?

Right?
posted by twirlypen at 9:18 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I guess the point of the video was that Palin's base is made up of bigots, and that did get across.

That's unfortunate, because that's not very meaningful in the overall picture. Well, it's not good if she's attracting bigots, to be clear. I am not as concerned with outright bigots being attracted to Palin so much as her finding that bit of racist fear latent in a lot of "ordinary people," (as Pat Buchanan likes to say, working class whites from Pennsylvania) and cultivating it, so that they're ready to blame their problems on a minority race or religion, or both. Combine this with a shaky economy ready to topple, a government deep in debt and rife with corporate cronyism and corruption, and a sentiment to fundamentalist religion, along with a strong anti-immigrant movement, and you have a recipe for bad juju, truly. All you need is a catalyst to bring out the violent mob, made up of ordinary folks, feeling persecuted and just trying to get by.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:22 PM on October 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


ah, now I read the article about the domestic terrorists bombing George Stephanopoulos' family house because his dad was a judge for the Panther 21 trial. wow. Didn't know that before.

Ayers saying "I don’t regret setting bombs. …. I feel we didn’t do enough" in 2001 makes him sound like either a sociopath or somebody still capable of more bombing.

But then in this article on Obama and Ayers it's obvious that Obama has a homeopathic dose of a connection to Ayer -as an adult, the Ayers who is a "distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois-Chicago". And that McCain and Palin are lying about Obama's connection of any realistic sort to Ayers, the former terrorist.

Actual terrorism was the USA going into Vietnam, slaughtering tens of thousands of people with napalm and Agent Orange and now into Iraq, slaughtering tens of thousands of civilian Iraqis. The USA invaded other countries who were not/are not at war with the USA. That's terrorism and that's what McCain is promoting, more terrorism.
posted by nickyskye at 9:30 PM on October 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


a lynch mob engages in actual lynching, not just the proposition thereof.

Granted, this is inflammatory. Granted, we are talking about whites making vague threats against a black man.

But the use of the phrase "lynch mob" as a metaphor goes back a long way. And may I remind everyone of a certain sitting Supreme Court Justice who called his Senate Judiciary Committee hearing a "high tech lynching", even though he was in fact alive to make the charge.

We're talking here about a disorganized group of people expressing vicious wishes of death on someone with a high presumption of racial motivation for doing so. If the metaphor is ever appropriate to use, this may be the only qualifying instance.

Given all that, I don't see how the phrase is inappropriate. Or shall we banish all political idioms that fail strict literality?
posted by dhartung at 9:31 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


oh damn it was John Murtagh who was 9 years old in the house not Stephanopoulos.
posted by nickyskye at 9:32 PM on October 9, 2008


For the mob, "muslim" and "terrorist" is just a synonym for black.
posted by amuseDetachment at 9:33 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh God. I keep thinking I can't get surprised or sickened by what they're going to do next. I just hope this gets properly called out in the media, and McCain's publicly shamed into admonishing these crowds.

I really don't know shit, but I can guess. My guess is that McCain will lose, and that all this furor will build up a bit more but will diminish and flame out by election day. Like Clinton, they won't apologize but just sort of fade from the daily news cycle. I'm still pretty concerned that they're bringing people close to this edge, but Obama clearly has the momentum and is looking presidential. He is taken seriously by "serious people" in the political world, even many of those in the Republican Party, and has a lot more confidence. But I see what Palin's up to, and she makes me nervous. I hope there is no catalyst. But it doesn't really look like what they're doing is gaining any momentum, though it's sure getting some people riled up in a bad way.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:36 PM on October 9, 2008


Angry voter threatens Registrar.

75-year-old Wade Williams, arrested Wednesday morning, was angry that he hadn't yet received his voter registration card. According to the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office, Williams threatened a state official over the phone that he would "empty his shotgun," stating an urgent need to vote to "keep the n***** out of office."
posted by drezdn at 9:37 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ayers saying "I don’t regret setting bombs. …. I feel we didn’t do enough" in 2001 makes him sound like either a sociopath or somebody still capable of more bombing.

Yes, without context, it does. He clarifies here (as he did in the letter linked above):
"The one thing I don't regret is opposing the war in Vietnam with every ounce of my being.... When I say, 'We didn't do enough,' a lot of people rush to think, 'That must mean, "We didn't bomb enough shit."' But that's not the point at all. It's not a tactical statement, it's an obvious political and ethical statement. In this context, 'we' means 'everyone.'"
... they're ready to blame their problems on a minority race or religion, or both. Combine this with a shaky economy ready to topple, a government deep in debt and rife with corporate cronyism and corruption, and a sentiment to fundamentalist religion, along with a strong anti-immigrant movement, and you have a recipe for bad juju

Yes, hmm, that sounds familiar. Totalitarian stew.
posted by Miko at 9:40 PM on October 9, 2008 [6 favorites]


Imagine Clinton in the White House. That's changing the culture. People would gripe. Some would be angry. But would it attract the same amount of violent hate? Not even close.

Someone doesn't remember the 90s, and how incredibly and inexplicably virulent the ring-wing talk-radio hatred for Hilary Clinton was. I was in elementary school in Idaho in that time, and, while I have sort of have a shitty memory, I'm still amazed by how much just amazing hatred was directed at her, by both children and adults around me and by much of what I heard in the media.
posted by Caduceus at 9:41 PM on October 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


Fer cryin' out loud, let's just admit the obvious: a black man on the verge of winning the presidency is bound to stoke some dormant coals. (Hi, dad.)

But these people are red-meaters, their numbers are shrinking, and undecideds are kinda by definition unswayed by this stuff. Especially when the economy falls off a new cliff every day.

Ed Rollins on CNN just predicted an Obama landslide. I don't dare pin my hopes on that, but if it happens, all the haters in the video will by February realize they have not yet been enslaved and revert to harmlessly hanging out in the no-spin zone.
posted by Camofrog at 9:43 PM on October 9, 2008


>[..] terrorist hate crimes are going to be almost-daily headlines.

No, they won't.

There's a war going on in this country. A war on pro-choice organizations. When I volunteered at Planned Parenthood, helping to give out birth control, we had pictures of terrorists behind the counter so if one of them came in we'd know to get the hell out and call the cops. Protesters take photos of women going into clinics and post them online with their names and addresses. Blood is sprayed on the doors of Planned Parenthoods and the ugliest rhetoric is used to describe how it's justified to kill doctors and people who work in these institutions.

And how much of this continued terrorist activity is covered in the media? Not a whole damn lot.


The terrorist acts that will arise from the cesspool being stirred here by McCain and Palin will not be televised. But they'll still be happening.
posted by winna at 9:44 PM on October 9, 2008 [16 favorites]


For the mob, "muslim" and "terrorist" is just a synonym for black.

When I'm doing campaign calls, a couple times a night I have to tell somebody Obama's not Muslim. Though that's true and important, I also feel a little lousy doing it. Because of course I also want to say "so what's so bad about being Muslim? So what if he was?" But that is a battle that's even harder to fight. "Muslim" is equivalent to "terrorist" for these folks. It's regrettable that, as a result of these nasty attacks, we have to ask Muslim Americans to postpone their turn for a fair shake for another day. Right now it's actually strategically necessary to separate the idea of Obama from the idea of the Islamic faith. Later on, maybe we can separate the idea of the Islamic faith from the idea evil. But there's definitely a de facto "first message first" thing going on here, and the more poisoned well is the name of Islam. In way, the "Muslim" attack is a convenient red herring reason not to address Obama's blackness. That's some heavy scapegoating that I expect us to have to account for later.
posted by Miko at 9:45 PM on October 9, 2008 [30 favorites]


I think what sickens me most about this is that so far I haven't seen anyone actually consider what the accusations of 'muslim' actually mean. It's not just another lie like 'terrorist'. What these people are saying is that a Muslim person is fundametally untrustworthy, fundamentally evil.

I know it would be foolish to do so, but I'd love for Obama to say "And what if I am? If I was a Muslim, would that make me any less capable? Any less able to lead? This presumption, that being Muslim is inherently bad, is what has led to our terrible history in the Middle East and the deservedly poor opinion of Americans among most Arabs. We're better than this, America. We need to be better than this."
posted by twirlypen at 9:47 PM on October 9, 2008 [11 favorites]


Imagine Clinton in the White House. That's changing the culture. People would gripe. Some would be angry. But would it attract the same amount of violent hate? Not even close.
Someone doesn't remember the 90s, and how incredibly and inexplicably virulent the ring-wing talk-radio hatred for Hilary Clinton was. I was in elementary school in Idaho in that time, and, while I have sort of have a shitty memory, I'm still amazed by how much just amazing hatred was directed at her, by both children and adults around me and by much of what I heard in the media.
"Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?

Because her father is Janet Reno."

-Senator John McCain

Chelsea Clinton was a teenager at the time

posted by Flunkie at 9:47 PM on October 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


nickyskye: None of my friends who are Obama supporters want to talk about the widely circulated fears and rumors lies related to Obama or be patient with others who have had fears are ignorant enough to believe those lies.

FTFY.

Once there is an agenda of "I think you're an idiot" "I think you're a completely ignorant asshole who should have to take a literacy test to be let near a polling booth and let's see how YOU like it", there is no conversation.

Damn skippy there isn't.

Miko: You don't think Bush has a price on his head?

Everything must go! Now how much would you pay? But wait! There's more! Put out a hit on W and we'll include this set of WMDs absolutely free!

Serious answer: NO. You know why? Because by and large, a liberal's reaction to an opponent, up to and including seething abhorrence of said opponent, is never "let's kill him!". It's possible I'd lose a bet that, in ten thousand simulations, no attendee of an Obama rally would call for anyone's death, but not probable.

Besides, who'd want Cheney?
posted by tzikeh at 9:49 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


On preview, what Miko said.
posted by twirlypen at 9:49 PM on October 9, 2008


I'm still amazed by how much just amazing hatred was directed at her

In case you couldn't tell, I'm really, really amazed.
posted by Caduceus at 9:52 PM on October 9, 2008


incredibly and inexplicably virulent the ring-wing talk-radio hatred

Wait. Talk radio hatred? Ok, you've convinced me.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:52 PM on October 9, 2008


Yes, hmm, that sounds familiar. Totalitarian stew.

Exactly, and we have allowed the government to severely curtail our rights and accepted torture, and we're already treating demonstrators as terrorists and compiling secret, Kafka-esque no-travel lists of nearly one million people so far. I mean, I get why people get tired of hearing chicken little talk about how the jackboots are coming, but I've honestly never seen it get this far down that road. It doesn't happen all at once. People let it happen, sometimes gladly. I see where these guys are willing to go, or at least it sure looks like they are steering their bus in that direction, and you can't always control it once you get it started.

But my hope is that this election might turn some of that sentiment around, that we might start getting back to sanity, if just a little. Sometimes things work out OK, and I can't get up in the morning if I didn't think that might be true today.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:53 PM on October 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


Imagine Clinton in the White House. That's changing the culture. People would gripe. Some would be angry. But would it attract the same amount of violent hate? Not even close.

At some point before the primaries, when I was still leaning toward Clinton, I searched on CafePress for "Clinton shirt," looking for, you know, a pro-Clinton shirt. The pages upon pages of responses had a "con" to "pro" ratio of about 10 to 1. They ultimately made me so upset, and so sick to my stomach, that I had to stop looking at them. Had they been as baldly racist as they were baldly sexist, I doubt they'd have been allowed to be sold on the site. It was very clear that she belonged on her back/in the kitchen/in the crosshairs of your rifle/ under your truck tires/ with black eyes/ on all fours/ on her knees etc. It was graphically clear. It was verbally clear.

It was, pretty much, "the same amount of virulent hate." We'd be looking at a different set of skeletons, but with similar weight, had she been the one in the last three weeks of the campaign now.
posted by Miko at 9:54 PM on October 9, 2008 [11 favorites]


The 2002 documentary The Weather Underground is a great portrait of the sixties and that organization's role in it. Ayers gets lots of screen time; he and Bernadette Dohrn are definitely the focus of the story and he articulates the reasons for his actions at length.

I'll go out on a limb here and say you'd be hard pressed (well, MeFites would be, anyway) to watch it and not think of Ayers as a patriot.
posted by Bobby Bittman at 9:55 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wait. Talk radio hatred? Ok, you've convinced me.

Oh, shit, I didn't realize that that's where I stopped typing. I totally thought there was more to that comment.

Huh. By George, there is. I guess that's where you forgot how to read, then?
posted by Caduceus at 9:56 PM on October 9, 2008


Would Obama have any recourse against McCain/Palin for defamation of his character? It's my understanding that campaign ads can say just about anything, but is that still true when the bullshit is coming straight from the horse's mouth?

It's probably not a wise campaign move to file lawsuits against one's opponent, but would Obama have a case?

What about inciting hatred?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:58 PM on October 9, 2008


by and large, a liberal's reaction to an opponent, up to and including seething abhorrence of said opponent, is never "let's kill him!".

Hell, I'm not thinking liberals will kill him. Not at all. I'm thinking someone from another country will kill him. You know, like someone whose brother or cousin has been held in Guantanamo incommunicado for a few years now. Or someone whose village is a smoking crater with their parents at the bottom of it. Or someone who does not remember their time in a secret CIA prison with great fondness. Or someone whose veterans benefits just got cut and is freshly off meds.

Plenty of enemies who might not be thinking along the reasoned path of the "liberal."

But my point is that assassination is not actually motivated by liberalism or conservatism. It's motivated by CRAZY. All other factors are contributive, not causative.
posted by Miko at 10:01 PM on October 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


Would that you were right, Camofrog, about all the haters retreating to their caves once (and, God willing, if) Obama is sworn in. The GOP pretty much dedicated itself to making Clinton's life utter hell as soon as he was sworn in. Mark my words - getting Obama elected will be the easy part. For any number of reasons.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:03 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Look Miko and Caduceus, you dynamic duo, I get it. People hate Hillary Clinton. They would hate her being in office. They would be vocal about it. I'm not sure where you find me saying that isn't so -- especially you Mr.-can-read.

What I was specifically commenting on was the likelihood of word turning to action. If you have something to say about that, fine. In the meantime, rest assured that everyone hates your candidate just as much. You can rest easy.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:03 PM on October 9, 2008


These are swing states full of angry, uninformed, self-oriented, paranoid, xenophobic wage workers and people worried about preserving their wealth and position in this world.

McCain & Palin are catering to them like butchers giving prime rib to puppies.

I'm glad others are able to see this for themselves.

I wish it would make even one bit of difference.

Anyone have any ideas for how to make that happen?
posted by batmonkey at 10:04 PM on October 9, 2008


Would Obama have any recourse against McCain/Palin for defamation of his character?

Public figures, especially in politics, can rarely win defamation cases. There is a presumption in the law that the standard for libel of a public figure has to be set very, very high; in accepting public life, you accept satire, attack, and criticism. Obama would have a case if he could prove the five conditions necessary to demonstrate defamation against a public figure, but it'd be so easy for the McCain campaign to say that their claims weren't false, and in addition, Obama would have to prove harm, which is kind of hard considering he's leading in the polls and will be basically nonsensical if he wins. And that's apart from the fact that it would unwise for him to file suit; it looks just whiny.
posted by Miko at 10:06 PM on October 9, 2008


What I was specifically commenting on was the likelihood of word turning to action.

And how would that be measured? Seriously, it's a pointless conversation, dealing in hypotheticals. History shows that all kinds of people can be and are assassinated or targeted for assassination. It's a complicated and highly individual phenomenon, not a simple reaction to widespread forces.
posted by Miko at 10:08 PM on October 9, 2008


>>Besides, who'd want Cheney?

Cheney.
posted by SaintCynr at 10:11 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Besides, who'd want Cheney?

That was indeed a brilliant insurance policy.
posted by Miko at 10:13 PM on October 9, 2008 [6 favorites]


Hmm. Sorry, Durn. That last comment of mine really wasn't called for.

I see what you're saying. I'm pretty sure you're wrong, and that there really would be as much likelihood of words turning to action, but I don't have anything by which I can prove it, and we're unlikely to find out anytime soon at any rate.

So, again, my apologies, and I think it might be time for me to go to bed.
posted by Caduceus at 10:14 PM on October 9, 2008


ah, Miko, thanks so much for clarifying that. I really appreciate it.
posted by nickyskye at 10:14 PM on October 9, 2008


"Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?

Because her father is Janet Reno."


This is totally off topic and a derail, but I saw Chelsea Clinton out here campaigning for her mom several months back. Shook her hand. She is not only incredibly attractive now, she has that charisma that makes her the only person in the room, know what I mean?

What's I'm trying to say is, that Janet Reno has some good genes.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:19 PM on October 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


Miko: What I mean is, if you say "Obama's not Muslim (see: terrorist)", that's not going to help at all even if you prove that fact. Muslim is just a politically acceptable way for them to say black. It's no different than the whole Canadian thing, "he's not like us". They don't really think he's a secret Muslim.

It's imperative to not only defeat the fact that he's not Muslim to get it out the way, but also to address the issue that "he don't look like us".
posted by amuseDetachment at 10:22 PM on October 9, 2008


No, tzikeh, you didn't fix that.

Unless civil discussions can be had when there is misinformation, the misinformation just spreads. Being arrogant about people not knowing something makes the situation worse.
posted by nickyskye at 10:30 PM on October 9, 2008


Interesting, as these things go, and perhaps of use to those concerned: from the Journal of Forensic Science, "Assassination in the United States: An Operational Study of Recent Assassins, Attackers, and Near-Lethal Approachers [PDF]."
Students of assassination in the US have generally seen assassins and attackers of political leaders as either possessing "political" motives or as being "deranged." This is a narrow and inaccurate view of assassination. Attackers and near-lethal approachers of public figures rarely had "political" motives. Only one subject who acted alone, Sirhan Sirhan, might be seen to have a primary political motive or a primary interest in changing government policies. (And even in Sirhan's case, there is considerable evidence to suggest that his primary interest in assassinating Senator Robert F. Kennedy was to gain notoriety.)

...Assassins, attackers, and near-lethal approachers had a range of reasons for action, with a subject often having more than one motive. Motives for attacks and near-lethal approaches included:

  • to achieve notoriety/fame
  • to avenge a percieved wrong
  • to end personal pain; to be killed by law enforcement
  • to bring national attention to a perceived problem
  • to save the country or the world
  • to achieve a special relationship with the target
  • to make money
  • to bring about political change

    ...What does seem clear for almost all subjects was that their attack or near-lethal approach occurred after a period of downward spiral in their lives...almost half of attackers or near-lethal approachers were known to have experienced accident/illness, loss of relationship, or failure/loss of status that influenced their behavior in the 12 months before their violent or potentially violent actions. For many subjects, one or several situational stresses appeared to trigger the process of thinking and action that led to assassination behavior.

    ...At some point - often after a life crisis - attackers and near-lethal approachers begin to see the idea of assassination as acceptable and desirable....Attackers and near-lethal approachers often consider more than one target, ultimately choosing a target for their attack after concluding that an opportunity for attack exists and that an attack on the chosen target is likely to fulfill their goals.
  • I'm not saying it's out of the question that someone might take it into their head to assassinate Obama. I'm saying instead that assassination is a lot odder and more random in nature than what we might think or fear. It's not possible to draw a straight line from the existence of racist fear to an increased likelihood of a black leader being assassinated. The case studies in this article give some good food for thought about who assassinates and why; it just doesn't proceed according to the same kind of logical path we might imagine based on our own more rational observations and concerns.
    posted by Miko at 10:41 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Imagine Clinton in the White House. That's changing the culture. People would gripe. Some would be angry. But would it attract the same amount of violent hate? Not even close.

    Bill Clinton commuted the sentences of two members of the Weather Underground, and just as controversially 16 members of the Puerto Rican separatist group FALN (perhaps to help Hillary's standing among the Puerto Rican community in her New York Senate bid). As much as problem as the Ayers thing is for Barack I think Hillary would have had even a bigger problem explaining her husbands pardons.
    posted by bobo123 at 10:44 PM on October 9, 2008


    we have to ask Muslim Americans to postpone their turn for a fair shake for another day

    At minimum, it stinks to not be able to express your support for the best candidate for president in your lifetime. Muslim American organizations have joked that they ought to endorse the candidate they don't want to win.
    Recently, Chicago attorney Mazen Asbahi was forced to retire as Barack Obama's Muslim outreach advisor, after it was learned that in 2000 he briefly served on the board of an Islamic investment fund with an allegedly "fundamentalist" Imam who was recently named an un-indicted co-conspirator in a case against alleged Hamas fund-raisers. Of course, everyone understood the game that was being played here: Obama's outreach to Muslim-Americans was about to be contorted into an exercise of aiding and abetting Muslim terrorists! In order to preempt this unfounded insinuation, Mr. Asbahi felt obliged to resign, in order, in his words, "to avoid distracting from Barack Obama's message of change."
    - from "Between American society and the American story", by Sherman Jackson
    posted by BinGregory at 10:47 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


    illiad,
    I grok that vsync, but telling Bubba that a black man is his boss will give him a stroke, even if it isn't true. And then I'm gonna tell Bubba about how "one of them Negroes is now putting his feet up on the desk in Oval Office..."

    Lordy, I am so full of petty.
    I can appreciate a good troll as well as the next guy.

    But aren't you sort of provoking the indignance and rage and racial tension we all (I hope) hope to avoid? Why not, if Obama wins, try to just take it in stride in hopes that others will do the same, and if someone has a racial problem with him, they can over time perhaps change their views? I don't think rubbing "Bubba's" nose in his ostensible racial humiliation will help.

    It didn't help in the American south after the Civil War, it didn't help in Germany after World War I, and I doubt it will help now.
    posted by vsync at 10:47 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Besides, who'd want Cheney?

    That was indeed a brilliant insurance policy.


    How true. Cheney's selection of himself for Vice President, in order to thereby become the de facto shadow quasi-uber-president was among the most cunning plans of all recorded history. (I'm being entirely serious. It's beyond Machiavellian. It's downright Blackadderly.)

    Also, when it comes to Why does this guy still have a relatively intact head?, well, Prezzy's enemies have this bizarre notion that snuffing out the bad candles might cause an eternal zombie martyr uprising. This superstition is not without merit.

    And plus, them pinko librul windsurfers can be real Luddites when it comes to that there newfangled electrical furniture like. Specially when them's the ones that's gettin' strapped on into it.
    posted by Sys Rq at 10:48 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


    Miko- that is a really good summary of motivations for the assassin (except of course, outside of political conspiracy, ie CIA coordinated overthrow, etc.), but these points that really resonate with me:

    to achieve notoriety/fame
    to avenge a percieved wrong
    to bring national attention to a perceived problem
    to save the country or the world
    to bring about political change

    Because you take one fucked up, desperate person, who is on edge about their life, recently lost their job, their house, and you drop them into a rally of people shouting "kill him" and "cut off his head." You end up with a perfect storm, with that person thinking: "here are all these people who would carry me on their shoulders and praise me and love me if I did what they are so unable to do. I will be remembered as a martyr and my pain will end, etc."

    I am not saying this is the intention of the rally, I think they are just trying to get whatever support they can get, and are catering to the most raw emotion, fear, to get it. But well, when you use fear and anger and race baiting to draw a crowd, this is what you get as a result. I don't know which is more disturbing, that McCain is campaigning this way now, or that I can imagine him not batting an eye if something were to happen to Obama.
    posted by mrzarquon at 10:57 PM on October 9, 2008


    Miko -

    Looking at that list, how much more - or less - likely is the assassination of a black presidential candidate if he is actively portrayed in the mass media and at major political rallies as a terrorist sympathizer, a Muslim, a Muslim terrorist sympathizer, or a traitor to his nation? What does the Journal of Forensic Science's study suggest?

    Does it make it more or less likely?
    posted by Auden at 11:00 PM on October 9, 2008


    Looking at that list, how much more - or less - likely is the assassination of a black presidential candidate if he is actively portrayed in the mass media and at major political rallies as a terrorist sympathizer, a Muslim, a Muslim terrorist sympathizer, or a traitor to his nation?

    Or the Antichrist?
    posted by Caduceus at 11:17 PM on October 9, 2008


    Kathleen Parker: Call Off the Pit Bull
    posted by homunculus at 11:29 PM on October 9, 2008


    As for Ayers, I think it's a weak attack in many respects but the idea that some people don't want anyone near the White House with that association is understandable, and if Obama had forthrightly addressed it sooner he probably wouldn't be in this boat. But see this: -- Heminator

    What does that even mean? He should "address" it? In what way? Ayers is one of probably hundreds of people Obama met in Chicago politics, and there is a good chance Obama didn't even know about the guy's past. I mean, of all the people you meet and work with, how many of them do you know the full background of? This was a while before wikipedia. Many of the people on that board were well-respected republicans, and the foundation was founded by a republican, Regan's former ambassador to the U.K.

    Anyway, what exactly do you think Obama should have done to "address" this issue? And should he have to do that with every single person that he's met or served on a board/faculty/state senate comitte/etc? It isn't like they were close friends or anything, I mean, god damn.

    I keep hearing conservatives talking about how Obama needs to 'come clean' or 'address' the issue or whatever, but they never specifically outline what they want Obama to do.

    Miko, you're kidding right? He tried to kill a nine-year-old kid (among many other things), never served a jail-term for it, STILL says he doesn't regret it and that kid has no right to be upset about it? -- Heminator

    That's only true if by "him" you mean "other people". By the way, the weather underground didn't manage to kill anyone other then some of their own bomb-makers. Just to be clear.

    Meanwhile, an aged G. Gordon Liddy has his own radio show, for those who want to relive that generation.

    And McCain actually appeared on it, calling Liddy "his friend". Although he calls everyone that, so I'm not sure it matters.

    But the use of the phrase "lynch mob" as a metaphor goes back a long way. And may I remind everyone of a certain sitting Supreme Court Justice who called his Senate Judiciary Committee hearing a "high tech lynching", even though he was in fact alive to make the charge.

    We're talking here about a disorganized group of people expressing vicious wishes of death on someone with a high presumption of racial motivation for doing so. If the metaphor is ever appropriate to use, this may be the only qualifying instance.


    Have you ever noticed how no one gets offended when you talk about grammar nazis, spelling nazis, calling parking ticket issuers "parking nazis" talking about how tough teachers are nazis, etc?

    Yet, build a couple naked prisoner pyramids, wiretap a few million calls and all of a sudden people get all touchy about the "N" word. It's just so impolite.

    Yeah, sometimes comparisons become problematic when they're too apt.

    Serious answer: NO. You know why? Because by and large, a liberal's reaction to an opponent, up to and including seething abhorrence of said opponent, is never "let's kill him!". -- tzikeh

    Uh, tell that to Bill Ayers.
    posted by delmoi at 11:32 PM on October 9, 2008 [7 favorites]


    Or the Antichrist?
    posted by Caduceus at 1:17 AM on October 10


    I was only able to make it one sentence into that article because... well, see if you can guess what tripped me up...

    FORT MILL, S.C. -- Fort Mill Mayor Danny Funderburk says he was “just curious” when he forwarded a chain e-mail suggesting Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama is the biblical antichrist.

    Well golly, that seems a little... waitaminute... Funderburk?!

    Funder... Funder... FUNDERBURK! O-OH!
    posted by nanojath at 11:44 PM on October 9, 2008


    Are the Ayers Attacks Working?
    posted by homunculus at 11:45 PM on October 9, 2008




    I can't bring myself to watch the video, but I don't have to watch it to be aware that McCain supporters are pissed (seriously pissed) that Obama could win, and that McCain/Palin are stoking that fear and anger and feeding off it, exploiting it, and using it to build as much momentum as they can build. There was video from a McCain event in Waukesha, WI on the news tonight in which several people were shown standing up and almost visibly shaking with disbelief as they tore into McCain for not doing enough to attack Obama. They weren't angry that he had the gloves off, to use Palin's cute cliche. They were angry that he wasn't doing more.
    posted by blucevalo at 11:49 PM on October 9, 2008


    I actually am not sure that Obama's at any greater risk than any other President (hoped) or Presidential candidate, because there's no accounting for wingnuttery; an assassin might be motivated by race, or motivated by the desire to get Jodie Foster's attention, but either way, you have to be deeply crazy to try it.

    A presidential candidate who is for decreased militarization and increased alternative energy is very dangerous to energy and military contractors. An assassin may also be motivated by other reasons, while he might confess racial hatred as a "plausible" cover, before himself getting mysteriously en-deadened.
    posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:07 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    A New Line of Attack: Cocaine

    More Willie Hortonization of Obama from McCain surrogates


    Cocaine? Really?

    You know who I think of when I think cocaine? Rich white businessmen. Who the fuck else can afford it?
    posted by Caduceus at 12:12 AM on October 10, 2008


    Anyway, if Obama is going to get assassinated, Palin's camp will likely be involved, one way or another. Even if they don't, through their actions they have painted themselves and the GOP with a wide brush as the backwards, racist hicks that they are.

    And that's their own damn fault, and I'm not going to save them from themselves. As the current generation of bigots dies out, that kind of self-inflicted damage to a political party will help this and future generations of Americans try to prevent repeats of Iraq, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, market disasters etc. that have resulted from putting Republicans in charge.
    posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:16 AM on October 10, 2008


    nickyskye Unless civil discussions can be had when there is misinformation, the misinformation just spreads. Being arrogant about people not knowing something makes the situation worse.

    In your original comment, you said that you couldn't believe the epithets coming from the crowd--that the people saying these things have not progressed mentally since the early 70s. You followed that up by saying your pro-Obama friends don't want to talk about the bullshit being spread about Obama. Do you think that the people hurling those epithets want to have civil discussions? No.

    Sarah Palin's rally audiences are scarier than anything I've seen in America in quite a while, and we have seen quite a load of scary shit recently. I have every reason in the world to point to the historical pattern of ignorance-plus-demagogue-begets-violence that these types of rallies fit into. Why on earth would Obama supporters want to entertain discussion with people who, at their most polite, would ask "Why are you voting for a terrorist / Muslim / nigger?" What kind of "civil discussion" do you think will come of that?

    (me): by and large, a liberal's reaction to an opponent, up to and including seething abhorrence of said opponent, is never "let's kill him!"

    delmoi: Uh, tell that to Bill Ayers.


    "By and large" is right there at the front of that sentence. But sure, let's follow through on that thought. Because when I say "an opponent" and "let's kill him", I actually mean "a war we couldn't win, that we should never have gotten into in the first place, which cost us thousands of American lives and gained us nothing" and "let's draw attention to this atrocity by showing people what it is like to live in a state of fear during the most socio-politically charged period since the Civil War".

    Quick quiz: Liberals or Conservatives! Who have been responsible for the following atrocities in the U.S.:
    Attacking and/or killing black people because they are black?
    Attacking and/or killing gay people because they are gay?
    Defacing Jewish cemetaries / properties, attacking and/or killing Jews because they are Jewish?
    Killing doctors who perform abortions?
    Bombing abortion clinics?

    Who are still doing these things even into the 21st century?

    But please, enjoy the Viet Nam protest that proves the rule.
    posted by tzikeh at 12:20 AM on October 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


    He should have brought a effigy with him and see if he could get anyone to set fire to it.

    Actually, I think that would be an excellent thing for an agent provocateur to do. It is probably the only thing that would force the McCain campaign to explicitly call for the hate to be dialed back.

    Apropos the Muslim vs Black thing - it's a testament to the success of race relations improvement in America. The reason so many people cite Obama's alleged Muslim ties rather than saying "he's a nigger" is because they know that it's unacceptable to say that any more, and they are ashamed of the thought, and have to redirect it to something they think is more acceptable. It's not all the progress we could wish for, but considering the starting point, it's pretty good.
    posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:48 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    They weren't angry that he had the gloves off, to use Palin's cute cliche. They were angry that he wasn't doing more.

    I watched this same footage and it made me wonder -- forgive the metaphor, given the discussion of the lynch mob and all -- if this isn't actually giving them enough rope to hang themselves.

    I mean, the more livid these wingnuts get... the more likely they're actually going to drop the code words and dog whistles and start, you know, saying what they really mean, right? And so there's McCain up on stage nodding and "my friend"-ing one minute while some "real American" in the audience rants about the socialists and the hooligans taking over as everyone cheers, and the next minute McCain's still nodding and the crowd's still applauding while the guy froths over into the money quote about how we can't let some black be in charge, no matter what the Jew media says.

    And then what?

    I don't know. Maybe I'm just channeling the love child of Chuck Coleson and Borat.

    (on preview: i_am_joe's_spleen, get out of my head!)
    posted by scody at 12:49 AM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    Being appalled, disgusted and outraged by this behavior is understandable, but surprised? Not me. These nutcases have been airing their greivances with violence since Aryan Nations, right on through to Waco, clinic bombings, OB-GYN assassinations, the militia movement and Oklahoma City. Barack Obama represents everything they despise. To them, McCain would be just another GOP shill for the ZOG, but then along comes Palin, with her secessionist, fiercly anti-choice, AoG background, and suddenly they're lit up. Finally, they've got one of their own this close to the White House. And she fans the flames, too blinded by her own ego to realize what she might be putting into motion (giving her the benefit of the doubt there). And the more Obama surges ahead, carried by the growing progressive tide in America, the more terrified this people get. Their anger bears all the hallmarks of a cornered rat, ready to lash out and spring to attack.
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:11 AM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    The fact that we are having this assassination discussion is a good thing. To deny the possibility of an attempt on taking the life of a charismatic democratic senator favored to win the presidency is to forget stunningly recent history.

    Blazecock: "A presidential candidate who is for decreased militarization and increased alternative energy is very dangerous to energy and military contractors. An assassin may also be motivated by other reasons, while he might confess racial hatred as a "plausible" cover, before himself getting mysteriously en-deadened."

    You have made a good case for the possible motivations behind an attempt on Obama's life. I will argue that while the people you refer to risk losing a large segment of their ridiculously massive income, with the recent economic downturn, there are far more people who have lost their retirements, their jobs, their pursuit of happiness in this clusterfucked economic game of dominos.

    I mean, this game isn't a one sided affair. If you want to look at slightly less recent history the French had no remorse in beheading those who had benefited from using their capital and power to benefit at the cost of the masses. The French demonstrated that the power truly lies with the people (although they executed everybody who had a clue about running a government), and that when pushed to an extreme, that power can be exemplified.

    Miko: "But my point is that assassination is not actually motivated by liberalism or conservatism. It's motivated by CRAZY. All other factors are contributive, not causative."

    If CRAZY means the loss of any sort of ascension in our society I completely agree with you. If you are talking mental instability CRAZY I beg to differ.

    Recently, I have come to the realization that the war does not need to take place overseas, but in our own backyards. If it can be won by simply casting a ballot for representative leaders, so be it. But on the other hand I do not think that one must be CRAZY all caps to entertain the thought of removing those in power when their pursuit of happiness has been relegated to the back burner. I also do not think that the patriots who fought for their freedoms and protective rights from an overbearing unrepresentative government before the dawn of this social experiment we call America would disagree.
    posted by clearly at 1:22 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    So long as Alaska remained under the boot of the federal government, said Chryson, the AIP had to stand on guard to stymie a New World Order.

    But soon, Palin and Chryson discovered they could be useful to each other. Palin would be running for mayor, while Chryson was about to take over the chairmanship of the Alaska Independence Party, which at its peak in 1990 had managed to elect a governor.

    Ah, the too, too rich irony. There's a best-seller or at least a doctoral thesis lurking in the way the Republicans almost to a fault are guilty of that which they condemn their enemies.

    Full article here, in Salon.
    posted by From Bklyn at 1:44 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    I was only nine then, the year Ayers’s Weathermen tried to murder me.

    And right after that, Saddam tried to kill my Daddy.
    posted by cookie-k at 2:00 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Now that it looks as though McCain will lose, these people can take up their rightful place as fringe whackos who have had their sacred rights stripped away by Secret Muslims and Godless Liberals. Their moans and wails will resound off the walls of their personal madhouses for the next (let's hope) sixteen years or so.
    posted by chuckdarwin at 2:20 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    p.s. I just sent in my overseas ballot. STRAIGHT DEMOCRAT, BITCHES.
    posted by chuckdarwin at 2:21 AM on October 10, 2008 [10 favorites]


    I have been putting a lot of thought into this, but I dislike Palin so much that I'd actually rather see Mike Love as the vice presidential candidate.

    How's that for contempt?
    posted by Joey Michaels at 2:51 AM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    I've been watching these videos and thinking who are these people? What insular bubble do they live in?

    This country is so divided it makes my brain hurt. Problem is every one seems to think the other side(s) is the cancer to be excised. The hatred on the Sidewalk to Nowhere ("get a job!") is disturbing on so many levels, not the least of which it makes me feel like if a truly catastrophic financial disaster hits, these are the folks with the guns.
    posted by zardoz at 2:59 AM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


    but considering the starting point, it's pretty good.

    Not for Americans (and everyone else) who happens to be Muslim. Just because the community is smaller, it doesn't make prejudice easier.
    posted by jb at 3:37 AM on October 10, 2008


    I think John Murtagh, as well as society, has every right to be angry that neither Ayers or his wife have repented their involvement with such violence. This went beyond riots - this was calculated terrorism.

    I would like to retract this part of my comment -- there seems to be some confusion as to how Ayers now feels about political violence, in that he was mischaracterised. I still understand Murtagh's anger, but I also think repentance complicates the easy judgement of Ayers.
    posted by jb at 3:40 AM on October 10, 2008


    I think many of you might be missing the point here: Above all this is about politics, and with the Ayers issue you are witnessing the start of the "October Surprise." Though it seems pretty weak right now, it has legs. Hell, Metafilter is talking about it.

    How can this affect the election? It can bring out some of the Republicans who were planning to stay home on election day, if only to vote against Obama. Add to that it provokes fear to bring out those undecideds who really haven't been paying much attention up until this point. You can be certain the Republicans are counting every vote they can get, regardless of its legitimacy. It's also a given that another (non) issue will bubble to the surface before November 4.

    Remember, these are the strategies that helped Bush to get elected twice. The difference this time around is Obama just might have enough momentum (and fight) to prevail.
    posted by SteveInMaine at 3:46 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    MetaFilter: STRAIGHT DEMOCRAT, BITCHES.
    posted by jbickers at 3:47 AM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


    Well, to be fair, we're only talking about Ayers in the context of, "OMG, McCain and Palin, by relentlessly harping on about Ayers and his activities four decades ago, are exposing themselves as the icons of all that is wrong with our society and our politics."

    But does the Politics of Fear trump the Politics of Hope? Maybe sometimes. Maybe even most of the time. But not this time.
    posted by jamstigator at 4:16 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    So, I was watching FoxNews yesterday afternoon, and they were talking to that hack Frank Keating about the Weather Underground. Apparently, he as a junior G-man on the team that was assigned to investigate the Weathermen. Didn't say if this were part of COINTELPRO, but it makes sense.

    He said that Obama was a smart guy, and of course he knew how Ayres was when he first met him. He drew a parallel to not knowing who Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were. As if.

    At any rate, it's funny to hear the Weatherman being talked about after all these years, and being talked with such fear and loathing. I mainly recall the Weather Underground as a largely inept group of campus radicals who, in their exploits, managed to kill/maim more of their own than anyone else. Yes, but most people's definition, they were terrorists, but almost completely ineffectual ones at that.

    Anyone that's run for office at the state level knows how hard money is to come by for campaigns and even minor events. When a guy that's prominent in your neighborhood offers to host your launch party at his house, it's hard to get your panties in a bunch about some vague chatter that the guy was a "60s radical" back in his younger days.

    Probably short-sighted on Obama's part, but nefarious? Hardly.

    It's funny that with Obama living under a microscope these past two years, the media and the hard right have only uncovered his associations with:
    • An old guy that used to be a radical 30 years ago.
    • A well respected community leader who suffers from the occasional bout with foot in mouth disease.
    • A sleazy real estate developer who may or may not have given Obama a sweetheart deal or a market rate deal on a piece of property in exchange for nothing whatsoever.
    • An legitimate public interest organization that has occasionally had administrative and management issues.
    This guy is a boy scout. Are you kidding me? Troublesome past? Suspect associations?

    Meantime, his opponent is another over-privileged white guy with daddy issues (the only way I get to outdo my daddy and his daddy is to become President... cuz the Navy wouldn't give me my admiralty), a compulsive gambler, unrehabilitated alcoholic, with anger issues, and pals with criminals Joe Bananas and Charles Keating.
    posted by psmealey at 4:30 AM on October 10, 2008 [18 favorites]


    In your original comment, you said that you couldn't believe the epithets coming from the crowd--that the people saying these things have not progressed mentally since the early 70s.

    No, I did not say that tzikeh. What I did say was:

    The Palin Mob video shocked me. It seems bizarre that people are still yelling abuse like "Commie faggot!" or "Get a job!" Were these people in some cryogenic warehouse from the Nixon era?


    I said nothing about "not progressed mentally". That's your conclusion. My conclusion is that those are exactly the things yelled by conservatives to people protesting the Vietnam war in the 60's. I'm curious why they are yelling antiquated hate slogans?

    Perhaps it's because Americans have not been politically impassioned for decades and now they they are, the language of their new passion has an old vocabulary? I don't have answers for this, what I said is that "It seems bizarre".

    You said:

    You followed that up by saying your pro-Obama friends don't want to talk about the bullshit being spread about Obama. Do you think that the people hurling those epithets want to have civil discussions? No.

    Just because the opposition doesn't want a civil discussion doesn't mean attempts to have a civil discussion or to clarify misinformation should not be made. At times I've been uninformed in my life, as are most human beings at times. One is uninformed until one is informed. I'm also wrong about things at times and need to learn. Do you want to hate me for not knowing or get off on feeling superior?

    There is a sane purpose in conflict resolution, negotiating and diplomacy, finding workable ways to live in peace.

    After 9/11 it's likely the people yelling about Obama being a terrorist were -like all Americans- barraged with TV newscasts about terrorists who might even turn up in their town. Many people genuinely fear terrorists the way people in the Red Scare years feared the nebulous monster of "commies".

    Deconstructing misinformation definitely helps. There are people who simply want to hate or be violent but there are also ways to work on intractable conflict.
    posted by nickyskye at 5:00 AM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


    Not sure if I'll make it to the end of this thread, because when I read this, I actually started to cry.
    posted by nax at 5:07 AM on October 10, 2008


    here's a hug for nola.
    posted by nax at 5:08 AM on October 10, 2008


    Yeah, adding a hug for nola.
    posted by nickyskye at 5:14 AM on October 10, 2008


    Mooo hug, damn horn ticks.
    Icthy.
    posted by Mblue at 5:30 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    I have to defend the makers of these videos. Their confrontations took some guts, and for the most part their questions were calm, simple, and targeted to get at what was behind the surface reactions to Obama thet are being spread by the Palin rallies. They provoked responses that allowed us to see the types of people we are up against.

    Watching these and other videos of Palin/McCain supporters, it seems there are a few distinct types of people. There are some that seem to be traditional conservative, single issue voters: the women going on about partial birth abortions - these are the people McCain (a relatively tepid pro-lifer) was courting with the Palin pick.

    Then there are people ho seem to are dug deeply into the right wing political blog land and who have fairly complex (if bizarro world) thought processes about Obama - the old guy in the hat who can talk at length about Ayers, and the guy with the Acorn beef. These types are voting republican no matter what the reality is about Obama.

    But there is a third type who seem to have taken up the talking points without having thought much about them. They are asked some fairly benign follow up questions ("and why do you think that?") and they seem almost embarrassed to not really have an answer beyond the pat sound bites they've absorbed. When confronted by somebody outside their groupthink bubble, these folks may actually reconsider. This is why Obama being cool, knowledgeable and professional in the debates, and appearing on Fox news is important. There are people who don't pay attention to politics much, but get sucked into the right wing spin on things. When you dig into it, as posters above have noted, the case against Obama is pretty weak tea.

    On a seperate note, the chance of Obama having personally killed a nine year old is pretty much zero. Same for Ayers. But I think McCain having been a Vietnam war bomber pilot gives him a significantly higher that zero chance of having personally killed a nine year old at some point. It's too bad that the "baby killer" meme is taboo at this point, because if you really do care about "the children" then you might want to think about exactly McCain the war hero was doing under Nixon's command. I'll take a community organizer over a community napalmer any day.
    posted by jetsetsc at 5:44 AM on October 10, 2008 [14 favorites]


    It's too easy to forget that these crazy fuckers are the engine if modern American society. They're the reason the 2004/2000 election happened. They are fucking everywhere among us. The bovine populace. Too lazy or too stupid to bother exercising the fat lump that sits on their shoulders by putting together any hints of unique or rational, coherent thought. You would have a better, and likely more productive time debating with a cocker spaniel. These people? They're on autopilot at this point.

    Seriously, they're like a goddamned sub-species.
    posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:51 AM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


    I'm a middle class white guy. I agree with Nola. This election has shown people who I thought were good people turning into racist assholes. I could always say God the government is full of corruption and greed but the American people... the spirit of America is always worth saving and defending. While the debate was on last Tuesday, one of my friends who knows I am voting Obama texted "White Power" when McCain took the stage. Someone who was never racist before. When you tell a McLame/Failin voter than you are voting Obama, instead of discussing issues with you, they verbally attack you and call you a terrorist supporter. I have seen hatred in their eyes when they said this to me. Seriously I feel that half is country can rot in hell. We are not a nation of good people anymore... just a nation that wants to look good when it suits us.
    posted by Mastercheddaar at 5:56 AM on October 10, 2008 [13 favorites]


    It's going to be fine, Republicans. You have eight years to get used to him.
    posted by EarBucket at 6:06 AM on October 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


    If this paranoid mob is deluded into thinking that the election is a a fraud, and they start rioting, are the police going to do their job?
    posted by Anything at 6:13 AM on October 10, 2008


    I do not think that one must be CRAZY all caps to entertain the thought of removing those in power when their pursuit of happiness has been relegated to the back burner.


    I'll have to part company with you there. I pretty much reject that option outright. The linked article talks about the nature of the decision to launch an assassination attempt. It demonstrates that rarely (if ever) is an attempt motivated mainly or solely by the desire for political change. Other factors have to be present in order to make individual murder seem rational. The other factors are what I flippantly called the CRAZY. I concede that is dismissive, but I'm trying to make the point that, to some extent, our fears that Obama is at greater risk than other leaders are largely born of projection. I also think that indeed there is probably a serious concern about it, because there is a significant overlap between people who have many of the assassin risk factors and people who are racist (many of them are the same risk factors that contribute to racism); but I think the concern is overstated and that focusing on it so much tends to further romanticize the idea for someone interested in the notoriety attraction. I also think that historical evidence shows that assassination is a much more complicated and much less predictable phenomenon than our emotional memory would suggest, and that it's essentially impossible to point to a political figure and say who is more or less likely to be assassinated. Most factors have nothing to do with rational measures of "likelihood." Case studies are in the article.

    I also do not think that the patriots who fought for their freedoms and protective rights from an overbearing unrepresentative government before the dawn of this social experiment we call America would disagree.

    It's great to invoke the revolutionaries and founding fathers, but they were obsessed with procedure and were not random individual assassins. Not only did they begin their formal opposition to colonial rule with a long series of congressess at which they clearly communicated their increasingly serious intent to oppose the British with military force, they fought soldier to soldier in a relatively traditional manner rather than sending a single, suicidal sniper to take out the King or a Colonial Governor.
    posted by Miko at 6:15 AM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    I love how Republicans, who (rightly) mocked "it depends on what the definition of 'is' is" years ago, have become semantic philosophers over the past few years who are very interested in all the various layers of meanings of words to avoid admitting that their boys and girls just flat out lie.

    "He didn't say two plus two is five, he said that two and two is five, which brings in a whole other level of subtle meaning! And also it means YOU'RE the liar, because you got his words wrong! Also, he never said it at all!"
    posted by Legomancer at 6:16 AM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    Humanities moment: While reading this thread, I was reminded of Mark Twain's depiction of a "lynching bee" in Huckleberry Finn.

    XXII. Why the Lynching Bee Failed

    THEY swarmed up towards Sherburn's house, awhooping and raging like Injuns, and everything had to clear the way or get run over and tromped to mush, and it was awful to see. Children was heeling it ahead of the mob, screaming and trying to get out of the way; and every window along the road was full of women's heads, and there was nigger boys in every tree, and bucks and wenches looking over every fence; and as soon as the mob would get nearly to them they would break and skaddle back out of reach. Lots of the women and girls was crying and taking on, scared most to death.

    They swarmed up in front of Sherburn's palings as thick as they could jam together, and you couldn't hear yourself think for the noise. It was a little twenty-foot yard. Some sung out "Tear down the fence! tear down the fence!" Then there was a racket of ripping and tearing and smashing, and down she goes, and the front wall of the crowd begins to roll in like a wave.

    Just then Sherburn steps out on to the roof of his little front porch, with a double-barrel gun in his hand, and takes his stand, perfectly ca'm and deliberate, not saying a word. The racket stopped, and the wave sucked back.

    Sherburn never said a word — just stood there, looking down. The stillness was awful creepy and uncomfortable. Sherburn run his eye slow along the crowd; and wherever it struck the people tried a little to outgaze him, but they couldn't; they dropped their eyes and looked sneaky. Then pretty soon Sherburn sort of laughed; not the pleasant kind, but the kind that makes you feel like when you are eating bread that's got sand in it.

    Then he says, slow and scornful:

    "The idea of YOU lynching anybody! It's amusing. The idea of you thinking you had pluck enough to lynch a MAN! Because you're brave enough to tar and feather poor friendless cast-out women that come along here, did that make you think you had grit enough to lay your hands on a MAN? Why, a MAN'S safe in the hands of ten thousand of your kind — as long as it's daytime and you're not behind him.

    "Do I know you? I know you clear through was born and raised in the South, and I've lived in the North; so I know the average all around. The average man's a coward. In the North he lets anybody walk over him that wants to, and goes home and prays for a humble spirit to bear it. In the South one man all by himself, has stopped a stage full of men in the daytime, and robbed the lot. Your newspapers call you a brave people so much that you think you are braver than any other people — whereas you're just AS brave, and no braver. Why don't your juries hang murderers? Because they're afraid the man's friends will shoot them in the back, in the dark — and it's just what they WOULD do.

    "So they always acquit; and then a MAN goes in the night, with a hundred masked cowards at his back and lynches the rascal. Your mistake is, that you didn't bring a man with you; that's one mistake, and the other is that you didn't come in the dark and fetch your masks. You brought PART of a man — Buck Harkness, there — and if you hadn't had him to start you, you'd a taken it out in blowing.

    "You didn't want to come. The average man don't like trouble and danger. YOU don't like trouble and danger. But if only HALF a man — like Buck Harkness, there — shouts 'Lynch him! lynch him!' you're afraid to back down — afraid you'll be found out to be what you are — COWARDS — and so you raise a yell, and hang yourselves on to that half-a-man's coat-tail, and come raging up here, swearing what big things you're going to do. The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that's what an army is — a mob; they don't fight with courage that's born in them, but with courage that's borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any MAN at the head of it is BENEATH pitifulness. Now the thing for YOU to do is to droop your tails and go home and crawl in a hole. If any real lynching's going to be done it will be done in the dark, Southern fashion; and when they come they'll bring their masks, and fetch a MAN along. Now LEAVE — and take your half-a-man with you" — tossing his gun up across his left arm and cocking it when he says this.

    The crowd washed back sudden, and then broke all apart, and went tearing off every which way, and Buck Harkness he heeled it after them, looking tolerable cheap. I could a stayed if I wanted to, but I didn't want to.
    It was a bully circus, indeed.
    posted by Miko at 6:20 AM on October 10, 2008 [12 favorites]


    These videos don't really prove anything except that the average person is an idiot. Ask anyone at any political rally to give an intelligent summary of the opinions held by their candidate of choice and they will come up short more often than not.

    Compare and contrast: video.

    These videos don't mean shit.
    posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 6:21 AM on October 10, 2008


    Clearly, EarBucket, if Obama does make it, and does even a quarter of what he says he will, the Republican spin cycle will have to ratchet up to 1200rpm to have even a ghost of a chance of pitching him out after one term. Although considering it will take 2-3 years to start to pull out of the economic nosedive the Bushies brought us into, and that these are the same people who ten years ago managed to get "impeachment" on the lips of the entire country over the denial of a blowjob; it might not be that hard after all.

    Fuck, and I'd just stopped having nightmares.
    posted by seanmpuckett at 6:22 AM on October 10, 2008


    Please, please, please please please please please, America...

    I haven't read through this entire thread yet, but I plan to somewhere between all this work I'm supposed to be doing and to be frank that work has been partially suspended for the past month or so because of this and things like this.

    I'm currently living in Ohio in my insular bubble of an 'institute of higher learning', and I know that in my everyday walkings about I do not get an even view of how America is leaning in this election. And this is what makes me worry, and what spawns unfortunate and perhaps over-optimistic emails to my grandparents asking what their opinions on the election. But it is videos like that in the FPP and seen in so many places, as well as some of the 'information' of those reply emails I get, that make my chest physically hurt to see. And I am terrified not only that McCain/Palin might win, but about what that says about the American people.

    That they even have a chance to win is fraying what confidence I had left in the US. I wanted to write a lot of my frustrations but between my grandparents, my father, and seeing things like this, my heart hurts so badly that it's probably best that I divert myself with some work.

    Just, please, America, do not screw this up. I and so many others have invested far too much time, thought, and heartache into it.
    posted by six-or-six-thirty at 6:28 AM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


    in Beerfilter's link, one guy yells out 'European socialist!!!" too funny

    Since when did European become an epithet in the US?
    posted by dydecker at 6:29 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    By the way, liberal friends, if you live in a jurisdiction where you can get your hands on a gun, I strongly recommend that you do so. We can't allow the racialist right-wing to hold all the cards. Leftists and liberals need to understand that violence is the only way to get through to the Confederate traitors in our midst, and that Sherman did not go far enough when he burned their cities to the ground.

    More than half the country wants to see Obama as the President. Our half is smarter, more adaptable. Most of us have more money and more resources. But it's clear that our biggest weakness is that we are largely unarmed and peaceful. This is a fine trait when you are dealing with other people who respect peace and civilization. But the people you see at these rallies who call for a race war revel only in hate and chaos. And we must not let them win. Defend your homes, your persons, and your country, and show no mercy to those who would war against those whites, blacks, latinos, and asians, Christians, Jews, Muslims, and atheists who live together and work together in peace.

    They lost the last war, and foolishly, we did not wipe out every Confederate bloodline. Our mercy was our ruin. This time, I hope we will not be so foolish.
    posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:30 AM on October 10, 2008 [6 favorites]


    "As to any fear for Obama's safety, I'm with Michelle on this one."

    If anything does happen to Barak, I now know who I want to take his place in the race.
    posted by dragonsi55 at 6:30 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Fox News is now actively trying to ratchet up the Obama is a Muslim/secret terrorist meme. The thing that I think (and hope) is working against them is that no one believes them right now or is listen because of the economic collapse.
    posted by drezdn at 6:31 AM on October 10, 2008


    This thread has been all bad and everything evil so far. Here is something that is unexpected: :?) Also here in the news: link Just when I think I'm loosing faith in America, she surprises me.
    posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:37 AM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    And now, instead of doing my work like I promised, I am emailing my father. Because I am an idiot.

    Burning Bridges tour '08!
    posted by six-or-six-thirty at 6:43 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Serious answer: NO. You know why? Because by and large, a liberal's reaction to an opponent, up to and including seething abhorrence of said opponent, is never "let's kill him!". -- tzikeh

    Uh, tell that to Bill Ayers.


    In what world were the Weather Underground liberals?
    posted by Pope Guilty at 6:58 AM on October 10, 2008


    For the insane, liberal==not aligned with the republican party. I have heard someone attempt to define Stalin as liberal. I can boggle at more ill informed idiocy, but the way that fiscal conservatives have divorced themselves from the principles of the enlightenment is odd. I'd have thought that Locke and Adam Smith are people who they'd like to emulate...but right now I think Smith would just be derided by most Republicans as an elitist Eurofag.
    posted by jaduncan at 7:09 AM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]




    > Someone doesn't remember the 90s, and how incredibly and inexplicably virulent
    > the ring-wing talk-radio hatred for Hilary Clinton was.
    > posted by Caduceus at 12:41 AM on October 10 [1 favorite +] [!]

    Someone also doesn't remember just last spring, and the equally virulent hatred for Hillary (up to and including calling for her death) spewed by left-wing netroots types and bloggers who supported a certain other Democratic candidate. How long we remember the offenses of others, and how quickly we give our shit-throwers a pass.


    > I hear the concern that it's a bit exaggerated to call them a lynch mob. But
    > what's missing? Only a present target and an incitement to specific action.
    > Those are important differences, but the conditions are there.
    > posted by Miko at 9:46 PM on October 9 [5 favorites +] [!]

    > Ayers did not "try to kill a nine-year-old kid;" that's hyperbole, and hyperbole
    > to which I might certainly have been prone had I been the terrified kid living
    > through that situation, caught in the crosshairs of a culture in the midst of a
    > bloody race war and international conflict over Communism - but hyperbole, nonetheless.
    > posted by Miko at 11:56 PM on October 9 [25 favorites +] [!]

    The two statements are hyperbole of exactly the same kind and (I have weighed each to the hundredth part of a scruple) exactly the same degree. How quickly we give a pass to the hyperbole we agree with, compared to the kind we don't.
    posted by jfuller at 7:15 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Anger Is Crowd's Overarching Emotion At McCain Rally:

    "I'm mad! I'm really mad!" another man said, taking the microphone and refusing to surrender it easily, even when McCain tried to agree with him.

    "I'm not done. Lemme finish, please," he said after a standing ovation. "When you have Obama, [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and the rest of the hooligans up there going to run the country, we have to have our head examined.

    "It's time that you two represent the rest of us. So go get 'em."

    The crowd burst into loud chants of "U-S-A! U-S-A!"

    *edit*

    The crowds that show up for his rallies these days appear to have little appetite for the talk of bipartisan compromise that had been at the heart of his message around the Republican National Convention. During a rally outside a small airport in Mosinee, Wis., on Thursday, McCain said that "it's time we come together, Democrats and Republicans to work together. That's my record. I'll reach across the aisle."

    The crowd stood silent."

    posted by you just lost the game at 7:24 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    According to James Howard Kunstler, the suburbs "represent the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world. "

    According to me, the Palin/McCain mob represent the greatest misallocation of anger in the history of the world.
    posted by snofoam at 7:29 AM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


    I tuned to the program late but on Rachel Maddow's show on that commie MSNBC cable channel last night she had an interview with an some analyst and he brought up the point that it perhaps part of this tactic Palin and McCain are taking in their rallies are to actually hold onto the base. They aren't winning undecideds.

    The obvious pandering to the racists and "OMFG he's a terrorist/muslim/etc!!!!!1!!!" groups in these town hall meetings it keep them on board and make sure they show up on election day. The problem is the geniuses running the McCain campaign are turning off people more people than they are attracting. At least I hope so.

    Later, while flipping past Fox News to get to that terrorist sympathizer Keith Olbermann's show replay, I saw that the "outrage of the moment" was voter fraud, and there was a tease for a story coming up about a cat that was registered to vote in Ohio.

    The fact is Limbaugh and Fox News talking heads owe their careers to the Clinton adminstration. Allah willing, Obama will win the election and be the source of scorn for their screed. Just as the right needs an enemy so it can be a victim to something. Limbaugh, et al will make millions more from an Obama administration.

    Although the guy with the camera outside the Palin/McCain rallies was sort of a dick, I appreciated seeing some of these GOP supporters. I live in an isolated liberal oasis in the middle of the very red state so I forget what some of these people are like.

    I really do think that many of the "he's a terrorist, it is in his bloodline" people are racists. To them, it is more socially acceptable to be anti-Muslim than it is anti-black. They'd never admit they can't vote for a black guy because he's black. But Muslim terrorists attacked on 9/11 so it is "OK" to hate on all Muslims.

    I doubt it will happen in my lifetime, but I'd love to live in a United States where ethnicity, gender, relgion or sexual orientation didn't come up in the political process. But I'm afraid I'm not going to live that long.
    posted by birdherder at 7:32 AM on October 10, 2008


    and the equally virulent hatred for Hillary (up to and including calling for her death) spewed by left-wing netroots types and bloggers who supported a certain other Democratic candidate

    This is a crock, also rich coming from you. What, you don't have a dog in this fight, so you're going to take up the cause of defending Hillary Clinton? Spare me.

    There was regrettably some nasty misogynistic bullshit from some of our fellow travelers, but this was by far the exception rather than the rule. But to equate this with the well-funded and unrelenting decade long FoxNews and talk radio diatribe against not the Clintons but anyone who dared not vote Republican is disingenuous to the point of farce.
    posted by psmealey at 7:32 AM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    Oh, this is hilarious. WorldNetDaily has posted "evidence" of contact between Obama and Raila Odinga in the form of an alleged leaked email from Obama to Odinga:

    "I will kindly wish that all our correspondence handled by Mr Mark Lippert. I have already instructed him. This will be for my own security both for now and in future."

    Not surprising that Obama would SOLICIT STRICTEST CONFIDENCE IN THIS TRANSACTION. HE IS TOP OFFICIAL OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. THIS TRANSACTION IS 100% SAFE.
    posted by EarBucket at 7:34 AM on October 10, 2008 [8 favorites]


    Someone also doesn't remember just last spring, and the equally virulent hatred for Hillary (up to and including calling for her death) spewed by left-wing netroots types and bloggers who supported a certain other Democratic candidate. How long we remember the offenses of others, and how quickly we give our shit-throwers a pass.

    I never saw any such attacks, could you link to some? It's not that I don't believe you, I just never saw them. Also though, right-wing radio has a listener base of hundreds of thousands if not millions. Netroots lefties have an audience of dozens. So, while there may have been such attacks, the impact would have been at a much, much smaller scale. Just as one can find farting-on-cake porn on the net, I'm sure you can find someone calling for the head of any given public figure.

    Somebody ought to put a hit on that bastard Ben Afflek, screw you and your fucking spokes-duck you son-of-a-bitch!

    The sentiments expressed in the last portion of this comment are not genuine and were meant to simulate and satarize such calls for the death of public figures. Pollomacho does not condone nor approve of calls for death of publc figures.
    -This message brought to you by the friends of Pollomacho for not calling for the death of public figures.-

    posted by Pollomacho at 7:35 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]




    They lost the last war, and foolishly, we did not wipe out every Confederate bloodline.

    Yeah, most of the liberals I know? Ancestors who wore the gray, not the blue. Including me.

    I think you owe a LOT of people an apology.
    posted by dw at 7:47 AM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    I don't think he was being serious. I think it was more of a modest proposal. Perhaps in poor taste.
    posted by snofoam at 7:56 AM on October 10, 2008


    Yeah, most of the liberals I know? Ancestors who wore the gray, not the blue. Including me.

    Yep, I had ancestors on both sides.
    posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:57 AM on October 10, 2008


    Tell me you didn't just advocate genocide.

    I think he prefers to call it "ideological cleansing."
    posted by Floydd at 8:02 AM on October 10, 2008


    Tell me you didn't just advocate genocide.

    Yep, he did.

    I think you owe a LOT of people an apology.

    Yep, he does.
    posted by middleclasstool at 8:03 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Let's say you were going around rubbing lanterns and a genie popped out and said if you want, you can choose for one candidate to die, thereby ensuring the other candidate will win. Would you choose to do it? As tempting as it is in some respects (i.e., I REALLY want Obama to win), I don't think I would or could.

    The issue is, the Obama campaign has never come remotely close to expressing or encouraging hatred for McCain, or even Palin. This is how a campaign should act. It's the only decent, honorable way to run a campaign. The McCain campaign, as it is being run now, has no place in the America I want for the future.
    posted by snofoam at 8:06 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Tell me you didn't just advocate genocide.

    I advocate nothing more than the defense of our nation and of its law-abiding citizens. The last civil war was begun by racialist traitors who ignored the rule of law, who murdered blacks and their white sympathizers with impunity. Do you honestly think that there is not a racialist faction within the right wing? Do you honestly think that they would hesitate to start a second civil war? Even now they are calling for the murder of a Senator, and in public, no less - imagine what they are doing off camera. We all might breathe a sigh of relief when the likes of Jesse Helms die, but at no time was there a Democratic rally when it was earnestly discussed that he should be murdered.

    I am not saying that we should fire the first shot. But I am saying that when it comes down to that level - when the racialists fire that shot - we should spare no effort to hunt them down and kill them. And we should be prepared to volunteer for that duty in the defense of liberal, secular democracy. We have let ourselves grow soft and complacent, myself included, and I am ashamed that I am not yet ready for the war they are struggling even now to bring to us.
    posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:13 AM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


    Let's say you were going around rubbing lanterns and a genie popped out and said if you want, you can choose for one candidate to die, thereby ensuring the other candidate will win.

    I don't want Obama to win because McCain dropped dead from a stroke. I want him to crush McCain. I want him to rub his face in the dirt. I want him to break the back of the Republican party.

    And I want him to do it all fair and square.
    posted by EarBucket at 8:14 AM on October 10, 2008 [16 favorites]


    Let's say you were going around rubbing lanterns and a genie popped out and said if you want, you can choose for one candidate to die, thereby ensuring the other candidate will win. Would you choose to do it?

    Not your point, I realize, but if Obama were to get killed Biden would become our next president, no doubt.
    posted by Bookhouse at 8:18 AM on October 10, 2008


    Racialist? Is your knowledge of politics and history derived from Ali G? Those are some profoundly fucked up statements that you're making.
    posted by solipsophistocracy at 8:20 AM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    Former Republican governor of Michigan William Milliken:

    "He is not the McCain I endorsed. 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."

    "I know John McCain is 72. In my book, that's quite young," said Milliken, 86, Michigan's longest-serving governor. But he added, "What if she were to become president of the United States? The idea, to me, is quite disturbing, if not appalling. Increasingly, the party is moving toward rigidity, and I don't like that. I think Gerald Ford would hold generally the same view I'm holding on the direction of the Republican Party."

    posted by EarBucket at 8:21 AM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


    For those of you who say the Rethuglicans may talk a good hate but won't take any action...
    posted by wendell at 8:21 AM on October 10, 2008


    They lost the last war, and foolishly, we did not wipe out every Confederate bloodline. Our mercy was our ruin. This time, I hope we will not be so foolish.

    I advocate nothing more than the defense of our nation and of its law-abiding citizens.

    Bullshit. There is an INCREDIBLE difference between these two statements and it is incredibly offensive that you are not seeing this.
    posted by waraw at 8:21 AM on October 10, 2008


    oops, meant to link this
    posted by wendell at 8:21 AM on October 10, 2008


    I am not saying that we should fire the first shot. But I am saying that when it comes down to that level - when the racialists fire that shot - we should spare no effort to hunt them down and kill them. And we should be prepared to volunteer for that duty in the defense of liberal, secular democracy. We have let ourselves grow soft and complacent, myself included, and I am ashamed that I am not yet ready for the war they are struggling even now to bring to us.

    And after the war are you and your tribe of followers emerge from the secret tunnels under Spahn Ranch and rule the world with mercy and justice?

    Tell me this is some sort of self-parody, because this is seriously unhinged.
    posted by Shepherd at 8:23 AM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    Optimus Chyme: "They lost the last war, and foolishly, we did not wipe out every Confederate bloodline," goes far beyond "the defense of our nation and of its law-abiding citizens."
    posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:23 AM on October 10, 2008


    Because silly me, I thought the entire point of left-wing radicalism was the inherent dignity of human beings, the rule of law, and basic rights to due process before we condemn one to death.
    posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:25 AM on October 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


    Guys, look at the cadence and language Optimus Chyme is using. That's not normal 21st century phrasing. He's got to be quoting something and just altering the wording.
    posted by WCityMike at 8:27 AM on October 10, 2008


    And after the war are you and your tribe of followers emerge from the secret tunnels under Spahn Ranch and rule the world with mercy and justice?

    No; I would probably get killed in like the first twenty minutes, sadly.

    Seriously, though: I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I'm sure that a lot of people are horrified/offended by what I wrote. I'm horrified that I have to even consider such a thing.

    But this is not a post-racial society. In the last few months I, like many others in this very thread, have heard shit from seemingly normal people that I never thought would come out of their mouths. Why should we pretend the possibility of assassination doesn't exist? Why should we pretend that there aren't a lot of Americans who would kill people like you or me for being "commie faggots" and quote "nigger-lovers"?
    posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:31 AM on October 10, 2008


    Yeah, I assumed Optimus Chyme was parodying the kind of nutjobs we're seeing at the McCain rallies too.
    posted by EarBucket at 8:31 AM on October 10, 2008


    You know, I think it's really misleading to refer to the other half of America as hate-filled, racist (or racialist, if you prefer, booyakasha!) wackos. There are way more of them than we would like, but I don't think they come even close to making up half the population.

    This also makes me wonder about the possibility of a reverse-Bradley effect. The Bradley effect seems to have been apparent in California and mayoral races in Chicago and New York. These are relatively progressive places where people may be more likely to be uncomfortable sounding racist. Wikipedia cites Harold Ford's 2006 senate race in Tennessee as an example of a contest in which the Bradley effect was not seen.

    Given that it is increasingly looking like Obama is not so much defending blue states as encroaching into red ones, would it be pure naive optimism to think that perhaps there are folks in those states who would feel uncomfortable voicing support for Obama, but secretly vote for him?
    posted by snofoam at 8:31 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    The most embarrassing thing in the world (this month's edition) -- having the fucking BBC America newsteam at a political rally not eight miles from my house (at the Strongsville, OH rally we're talking about here) ask a supporter why they like Palin, on the air. Her velour-tracksuit-wearing, soccer mom, South Park Mall-shopping answer?

    "BECAUSE SHE'S PRETTY AND A HOCKEY MOM AND CAN DO ANYTHING."

    Ohio is fucking dooooooomed.
    posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:32 AM on October 10, 2008


    I guess not, though. Seriously, man, not cool.
    posted by EarBucket at 8:33 AM on October 10, 2008




    one more month one more month one more month one more month one more month
    posted by yhbc at 8:35 AM on October 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


    The two statements are hyperbole of exactly the same kind

    Please note that I did make sure to say that the conditions were there, but did not say that there was an actual lynching going on. My statement is factual; the accusations and atmosphere at the rallies are similar to those found in lynch mobs, except for "a present target and incitement to action." That's true, and I noted that the difference was that those two necessary conditions were not present - but that in all other respects, a comparison can be made.

    Had I not done that, had I said that McCain rallies were literally lynch mobs, that would be equivalent to the hyperbolic suggestion that Ayres is responsible for the attempted murder of a child. The differences between a modern-day partisan political rally at a time of economic crisis and social change at which racially loaded epithets are shouted in a crowd and a historical lynch mob are that 1) lynch mobs formed with an action in mind, a targeted individual to whom the mob planned to do violence, often in response to a real or concocted infraction committed by the targeted person, and 2) there was an incitement to action - someone, usually a single individual or a small group working together, had to lead the charge, organize the approach, convene the mob, whip up the frenzy, and basically get the violent action to begin.

    I hope you can see that saying that "the conditions are there" except for the two conditions that are "missing," which is what I said, is not hyperbole, but an observation. The other conditions - racial or religious hatred/fear, imagined crimes against the population, groupthink, large crowds reinforcing and escalating charges and accusations made by one another, fears about economic survival and competition for wealth, desire for excitement, and community sanction - are arguably there. It's a normal political rally until racial and religious hatred and economic and social fear enter the picture; then it's closer to a lynch mob. If there were a specific target and an immediate violent action demanded, that would make it a literal lynch mob - but by that time, as someone noted upthread, the lynching has already taken place.

    To make the two statements equivalent, you'd have to say "Ayres tried to kill a nine-year-old boy, except for the condition that is missing: Ayers being involved." The statement that Ayres is responsible for the attempted killing of a nine-year-old is hyperbole. The statement that the crowd in the second video is not much different from a lynch mob except for two conditions is a reasonable argument, as far as it goes.
    posted by Miko at 8:44 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    The one thing that Optimus Chyme is saying that I agree with is that the right does channel fear and hatred into a certain form of power, exactly the same way the Sith do to channel the dark side of the force. And it is one-sided. I've read about homophobes beating homosexuals to death and I have never read of a group of homosexuals beating a homophobe to death.

    Even though this is somewhat unfair, joining the dark side would only undermine the progressive movement.
    posted by snofoam at 8:44 AM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    On Wednesday, McCain called the crowd at one of his rallies "My fellow prisoners".
    posted by you just lost the game at 8:46 AM on October 10, 2008


    Optimus Chyme: Seriously, though: I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I'm sure that a lot of people are horrified/offended by what I wrote. I'm horrified that I have to even consider such a thing.

    But this is not a post-racial society. In the last few months I, like many others in this very thread, have heard shit from seemingly normal people that I never thought would come out of their mouths. Why should we pretend the possibility of assassination doesn't exist? Why should we pretend that there aren't a lot of Americans who would kill people like you or me for being "commie faggots" and quote "nigger-lovers"?


    Wait a minute, you openly advocate something that should only be considered as a moral abomination, you openly advocate mass murder and genocide, including that of people who would be your allies, you drop some crypto-conservative bullshit about "bloodlines" and then you pull an additional bit of bullshit by saying that "you have to consider it?"

    Bullshit. If you are going to be an eliminationist bigot, just man up and cop to it. Stop all this posturing about being concerned about liberal causes and values that have developed out of the recognition that what you advocate is a deep moral wrong.
    posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:48 AM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    Oh, and the logical conclusion of my previous comment: Darth Palin.
    posted by snofoam at 8:50 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Here is something that is unexpected: :?)

    Now I really want a Rednecks for Obama bumper sticker! Even though I already have an Obama sticker and am not actually a redneck. But I live and work with lots of rednecks and...that just makes me too happy. I know a few people who might like one, actually. Thanks, Mastercheddaar!
    posted by threeturtles at 8:51 AM on October 10, 2008


    Wow, this thread is taking a turn for the weird.

    You know, I think it's really misleading to refer to the other half of America as hate-filled, racist (or racialist, if you prefer, booyakasha!) wackos.

    I totally agree. Despite the frightening nature of the atmosphere at these rallies and of the surfacing of latent racism in sectors where we didn't expect it, it's still marginal. It's not "half of America," it's not confined to a particular region, and it's not that many people. As the McCain campaign takes on more of this racially charged atmosphere, more reasonable people will desert it. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, the GOP is likely to be as harmed by what this strategy dredges up as it is to benefit from it. Meanwhile, it's a disservice to the reasonable American majority to assume that ignorant racists comprise a majority of American citizens or even American voters. I'm confident we'll see that it does not, and then this rhetoric and energy will dissipate and calm down, as it has throughout history. Demographics alone are making a difference in the voter pool. White hatred isn't the majority force these videos suggest (though it's always repulsive to see).
    posted by Miko at 8:51 AM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


    If someone spends one breath claiming to be a liberal concerned with fundamental human rights, and in the next breath, calls for the violent elimination of those who disagree with his point of view, one of the two claims must be a lie. Which one is it?
    posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:52 AM on October 10, 2008


    Wait a minute, you openly advocate something that should only be considered as a moral abomination

    War is a moral abomination; sadly, some wars are necessary.

    you openly advocate mass murder and genocide including that of people who would be your allies, you drop some crypto-conservative bullshit about "bloodlines"

    Only if you count the casualties of war as mass murder. And I don't think it's murder if done in self-defense. The genocide part you can skip. It's clear that I'm not doing myself or the idea of "tolerance" any favors because it struck a nerve for those of you whose ancestors were "wearing the gray." So just cross out the part where I said we should have wiped out the families of those who fought for the Confederacy. I suppose being forced to eat shit for a hundred years was pretty good punishment.

    and then you pull an additional bit of bullshit by saying that "you have to consider it?"

    The word "it" in "consider it" being the idea that we could be facing an angry, heavily armed, violent right-wing uprising.
    posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:55 AM on October 10, 2008


    I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

    These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.
    ...
    We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she's playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

    We can do that.

    But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we'll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

    That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, "Not this time".
    posted by ormondsacker at 8:56 AM on October 10, 2008 [13 favorites]


    ...and show no mercy to those who would war against those whites, blacks, latinos, and asians, Christians, Jews, Muslims, and atheists who live together and work together in peace.

    There's an enormous disconnect between the way that phrase started and the way it ended.
    posted by rocket88 at 8:57 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Given that it is increasingly looking like Obama is not so much defending blue states as encroaching into red ones, would it be pure naive optimism to think that perhaps there are folks in those states who would feel uncomfortable voicing support for Obama, but secretly vote for him?

    As a red-stater, I keep wondering this too. I work in a very conservative small town. I am quietly open about my support for Obama. But I keep getting the feeling that people aren't quite coming out and saying who they are voting for, and I'm not sure why. People who used to have Bush/Cheney stickers on their cars do not have McCain stickers, and such. I'm wondering if there may be more Obama supporters around than is obvious. Especially among women who don't want to contradict their husband's political views. I'll be very interested to see the percentages come Election Day. The thing people forget about "Red States" is that even in Texas, Republicans often only win by 1-2 percentage points.
    posted by threeturtles at 8:57 AM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    If someone spends one breath claiming to be a liberal concerned with fundamental human rights, and in the next breath, calls for the violent elimination of those who disagree with his point of view, one of the two claims must be a lie. Which one is it?
    posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:52 AM on October 10


    Kirk, listen up: they only need to be "violently eliminated" when their attacks stop being isolated and start being organized and systematic. I am saying that this is a real possibility.
    posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:58 AM on October 10, 2008


    Also, I am done derailing this thread, and I apologize if said derailment ruined anyone else's enjoyment of the discussion. Please feel free to email me at optimuschyme@gmail.com if you have further things you would like to discuss.
    posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:00 AM on October 10, 2008




    Blazecock Pileon says: "A presidential candidate who is for decreased militarization and increased alternative energy is very dangerous to energy and military contractors. An assassin may also be motivated by other reasons, while he might confess racial hatred as a "plausible" cover, before himself getting mysteriously en-deadened."

    I'm a military contractor. I work to make sure that the US has the best technology we can make, because I believe that it makes sense for the US to have a military and if we have one, we should have a good one. I don't want to rip off the tax payers, and I certainly don't want to kill people, even if it's feasible their election may not be good for my job.
    posted by garlic at 9:07 AM on October 10, 2008


    Another former McCain supporter calls him out.

    (via TPM)
    posted by Bookhouse at 9:09 AM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


    From Bookhouse's link:
    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.
    posted by rtha at 9:12 AM on October 10, 2008 [10 favorites]


    Maybe somebody's already said this...but I'd really like to see McCain get cornered on this. Confront him with these statements coming from his supporters and ask him if he will publicly repudiate them.
    posted by anazgnos at 9:13 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Optimus Chyme: Only if you count the casualties of war as mass murder.

    Yes, I do think that casualties of war are mass murder when you deliberately or indiscriminately target non-combatants, as you have advocated in this thread. This is one of basic reason why we consider concentration camp guards, Saddam Hussein, and Henry Kissinger to be war criminals.

    And I don't think it's murder if done in self-defense.

    Certainly. But you are not advocating self-defense in this thread, and no amount of calling it such changes the basic wrongness of what you advocate.

    The genocide part you can skip. It's clear that I'm not doing myself or the idea of "tolerance" any favors because it struck a nerve for those of you whose ancestors were "wearing the gray."

    Which is a small favor, I guess. Backing away from an idea not because it is abominable, but because it "struck a nerve" and didn't get the kind of rah-rah approval for your bigotry that you wanted.

    I'm not objecting because of personal offense. I'm objecting because the very concept of murdering civilian populations out of an ideological imperative is, and should be horrible. It is fundamentally incompatible with any of the foundations of American liberalism. The fact that lineage is not destiny highlights one of the reasons why it is wrong.
    posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:14 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Optimus, this tack seems to be fearmongering of the same order of the right wing's "IF OBAMA LOSES WE WILL HAVE TEH RACE RIOTS!!1!" false attribution I was seeing about a week ago.

    The line between hope and hate as the American election options is stark, but I think suggesting that 50% of the populace will take up arms and go on the rampage if Obama wins -- and that anyone should be "wiped out," under any circumstances, anywhere -- is odious.

    I appreciate that you're seeing crazy people who (presumably) own guns shouting racial epithets at political rallies. I'm as worried about right-wing hatemongering driving people into frenzies of violence as anybody, especially given the existing precedent. But when you start talking about wars, civil or otherwise, and armed revolt, arming yourself, etc... that's one step closer to the McVeigh Tango, and one step too close for my comfort.

    Re-railing (sort of): I can see how McCain/Palin can coast for a few months on "teh libralz media are all against us and are liberals!" but how long can the right wing really propagate that meme before they start running out of steam? Eventually people will start watching something other than Fox News and those filthy ideas will start seeping in again, yes? Or is there really a 40% population segment that only watches Fox, only reads the Left Behind novels and only listens to AM radio?
    posted by Shepherd at 9:19 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    The whole "Who is Barack Obama?" thing is a defiant badge of ignorance. He's written two books. He's been running for president for two years. He's been in 24 debates. His web site's full of position papers and YouTube's got tons of his speeches. He's done dozens--maybe hundreds--of interviews, and there have been tons of magazine and newspaper articles about him. Anyone who says they don't know him has made no effort to get to know him. Obama was right. "It's like these guys take pride in being ignorant."
    posted by kirkaracha at 9:26 AM on October 10, 2008 [12 favorites]


    Well, thanks to Optimus Chyme for proving my point about how not all liberals are peace loving, let's work together, etc, etc types. Since some people took issue with the statement.
    posted by delmoi at 9:26 AM on October 10, 2008


    Obama will not be assassinated. Obama will not be assassinated. Obama will not be assassinated. Obama will not be assassinated. Obama will not be assassinated. Obama will not be assassinated. Obama will not be assassinated.

    I'm just going to keep telling myself that.
    posted by lunit at 9:28 AM on October 10, 2008


    but I'd really like to see McCain get cornered on this. Confront him with these statements coming from his supporters and ask him if he will publicly repudiate them.

    McCain responds to the, "He didn't say it to my face" comment.

    He fails to understand that Obama is not questioning his courage. He's questioning his honesty.
    posted by Manhasset at 9:47 AM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    ...and if someone has a racial problem with him, they can over time perhaps change their views?

    vsync, my experience with bigots shows this happens rarely if at all. However, you're 100% right that we should take the high road and not rub their faces in their own hatred. I had a moment of weakness, because bigots really really make me sick to my stomach and there's a very small part of me that would love to wreak some seriously humiliating vengeance on their asses. I'm better now, I promise.
    posted by illiad at 9:51 AM on October 10, 2008


    Is there a petition online to get Will Arnett at the next debate so he can do the G.O.B. chicken dance when Obama asks McCain to say it to his face? I would like to sign it.
    posted by snofoam at 9:58 AM on October 10, 2008 [16 favorites]


    And here's more cheerful words of friendship, this time from Boston's own right-wing radio trash talker Jay Severin:
    My job, with your help, is to start today, or recommit today, with 29 days left in this campaign, to politically destroy Barack Obama. Our job is to undermine him in every possible legal way, to undermine his upcoming administration in advance, to destroy his ability to reach any governing majority, undermine and destroy his political ability to govern or to have any hope of a successful administration.
    This is not going to be a pretty four years no matter who ends up in the White House.
    posted by Spatch at 10:03 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Wow, Spatch, what a scumbag and idiot. I shudder to think about what "the american way of life" means to him.
    posted by snofoam at 10:17 AM on October 10, 2008


    I'd like to see the corresponding video where they go to an Obama rally and ask people about McCain & Palin. I've heard some pro-Obama people say some pretty crappy things. I hate the focus on McCain's age - haven't we gotten past age discrimination? McCain's experiences in Viet Nam are routinely denigrated, there's a lot of focus on Palin's looks and her choices of names for her kids. 1

    We have an election where lots of people feel very strongly in favor of their candidates. What a refreshing change. I don't hear people say they're voting for Obama because he's the lesser of 2 evils; I hear people say they're voting for Obama, sending money to his campaign, walking door-to-door, etc., because they believe he has something very important to offer. Seeing him in the debates reinforced to me that he's smart and trying to run a campaign on issues, with limited mud-slinging, trying to keep it honest and clean. It makes me feel corny, and, for the 1st time in nearly 8 years, cautiously optimistic.

    There are some people who are enthusiastically in favor of Palin; they believe in her. FewerMcCain supporters seem to really be enthused about him, but he does have his loyal followers.

    Emotions run high on both sides. It's not an entirely bad thing.

    1. Disclaimer: I think Palin is in way over her head, and would be a terrible, terrible president. She's not stupid, but she has little intellectual interest. McCain would do anything to be president. I've totally lost any confidence I might have ever had in him. But can we follow Obama's lead, and aim for the high road?
    posted by theora55 at 10:25 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    if this lady gets elected, Matt will have to buy a server that runs on alien technology because the current one will blow up by mid-November
    posted by matteo at 10:27 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]




    Do you honestly think that there is not a racialist faction within the right wing? ...we should spare no effort to hunt them down and kill them.

    Ali G aside, I was going to say something about babies and bathwater here, but I can't find the baby. I think it drowned.
    posted by rokusan at 10:38 AM on October 10, 2008


    And we're on to the next step.
    posted by EarBucket at 10:40 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    and by the way:

    the McCain/Palin team are essentially accusing their major party opponent of treason, multiple times and at rallies throughout the nation.

    what impresses me is not the harshness of the attack, politics is politics and the stakes have never been higher -- Lincoln's wife was actually accused in the press of passing military secrets on to the Confederates, which puts the shame of the anti Michelle Obama mob in perspective, at least. but there are two caveats -- at least in modern times I can't think of the same negative strategy carried out by the candidates themselves, I'm very impressed by the fact that they're not really relying on 527s anymore, like they did in '04 (Bush, personally, said Kerry had served "with honor", don't forget this). this time they're going balls to the wall negative without bothering with surrogates anymore (and no, I don't believe the "that one" shit McCain pulled the other night was either innocent or accidental, sorry).

    frankly, I don't recall Bush I, as VP in 1984, accusing poor Fritz Mondale of being a Soviet agent, but maybe I remember wrong and it did happen, I was young. I can only think of Joe McCarthy calling everyone -- the State Department, the Secretary of State, even the President -- a commie. and that's how he self-destructed (that and the booze, admittedly)

    I'm afraid Palin will say "Barack Hussein Obama" soon, frankly. I just did not think that could happen, not this way. and what's even more interesting is that she knows she's a national candidate now, and her numbers within the party -- 72% positive -- are impressive and she reads a TelePrompter pretty well -- remember the convention? -- so she's probably thinking that even if Obama wins, she always has the 2012 primaries.

    I can't think of anything else. McCain is losing his shit because his campaign is nosediving (tasteless analogy, I know, sorry); Palin is whipping up the base into a frenzy before going back to Alaska to record her (national besteller) audiobook, say a prayer to McCarthy's ghost, travel often to Iowa and NH, and wait for 2012.
    posted by matteo at 10:43 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    birdherder writes "The fact is Limbaugh and Fox News talking heads owe their careers to the Clinton adminstration. Allah willing, Obama will win the election and be the source of scorn for their screed. Just as the right needs an enemy so it can be a victim to something. Limbaugh, et al will make millions more from an Obama administration."

    I think the Clinton era helped him get his start, but he certainly made huge sums during the last eight years, more than he did in the '90s. He renegotiated his contract at least once that I know of during that time, and it was a very big number, more than he made before (can't remember off the top of my head ...). He does well when conservatives are ascending and descending.

    Fox News, OTOH, has been suffering in their ratings similar to how Bush has and probably will decline for a while if Obama gets elected. But then, yes, eventually they'll start getting traction with a victim message, I imagine. But I think Murdoch actually likes Obama (at least more than he did Clinton), so it will be interesting.
    posted by krinklyfig at 10:46 AM on October 10, 2008


    matteo writes "I'm very impressed by the fact that they're not really relying on 527s anymore, like they did in '04"

    I've already seen several ads by 527s on both sides. We've got almost a month to go, and the best time to bring out the real nasty stuff is about two weeks from election day, so it peaks as a media cycle right when Nov. 4 hits. We're not done yet.
    posted by krinklyfig at 10:47 AM on October 10, 2008


    I've already seen several ads by 527s on both sides.

    I don't doubt that, everybody subcontracts the dirty work, but my point is that the GOP candidates are doing the dirty work themselves this time, joining the mob.
    posted by matteo at 10:51 AM on October 10, 2008




    (not to appear again as a Reagan nostalgic, but I truly think Reagan would not have acted disgusted the way McCain does whenever he's with Obama -- he was certainly a better actor than McCain, OK, but he would clearly have dispatched his thugs to do the dirty work, instead of adding the creepy visual of "I'm afraid to get stained with shit if I shake this black man's hand" the way McCain does)
    posted by matteo at 10:55 AM on October 10, 2008


    Kirk, listen up: they only need to be "violently eliminated" when their attacks stop being isolated and start being organized and systematic. I am saying that this is a real possibility.

    OC, there already is organized violent separatist/supremacist/anti-choice movement in America. They've already fired more than a few shots. For convenience's sake, you can start with Bob Mathews, the man responsible for founding The Order, a racist gang of bank robbers and murderers who assassinated radio host Alan Berg for being unabashedly liberal, and for being Jewish. Mathews himself has involved with Aryan Nations, who've been pretty vocal about their hard-on for race war, especially when Butler was in charge. Violence against "abortion clinics" in the form of arson, vandalism, and murder has been going on since the early 1970s. The Army of God has been openly advocating the use of violence against abortion providers for the past seven years. In that camp you have people like the Eric Rudolph, James Kopp, and many others. And of course Waco and Oklahoma City need no introduction.

    So there's a pretty strong case that the extremist right "uprising" you're talking about has already started, long ago, and is ongoing. Quoi faire?

    We combat this from above and from below. From above, we shift anti-terrorism task forces and law enforcement agencies towards those who are clearly advocating violence and those who associated with them within our own country. We strengthen penalties for those who commit such violence and those who fund them. From below, we continue to communicate, educate and inform. We flush out and expose these cowards when they appear in our neighborhoods. We raise our children to be better people than we were.

    What we don't do is entertain Turner Diary wank fantasies of right/left race war. I cannot stress enough how much this doesn't help. It doesn't matter who would "win" such a war, who's smarter, who outnumbers who. America would lose.
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:55 AM on October 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


    From sprach's link:

    "A successful Obama administration equals higher taxes, racial preferences, liberal judges, and the end of the American way of life."

    Jesus Christ...if that's what the wingnuts are like in *Boston*....
    posted by The Card Cheat at 11:01 AM on October 10, 2008


    I've heard some pro-Obama people say some pretty crappy things.

    You've heard them refer to McCain as a sworn enemy of the United States and call for his beheading? Your point that there's ugliness on both sides is well taken and well remembered, but what's going on at Republican rallies is well beyond the pale, and certainly moral light-years beyond LOL OLD GUY.
    posted by middleclasstool at 11:01 AM on October 10, 2008 [8 favorites]


    I'd like to see the corresponding video where they go to an Obama rally and ask people about McCain & Palin. I've heard some pro-Obama people say some pretty crappy things

    Can someone please explain to me how hearing the occasional Obama supporter say some crappy things -- something the candidate and his surrogates have requested their supporters not do, by the way -- is the same as what's depicted in the video and reported elsewhere: McCain and Palin more or less whipping the crowds into hate-filled frenzies and failing to repudiate supporters who get out of line?

    I appreciate that several of you are trying to objective and mend fences, but I think there's an element on the left that is so willing to bend over backwards to be objective that it renders what is a very scary sequence of events occurring on the Republican side meaningless out of a desire to appear "fair and balanced."

    It's good to be fair, but employing false equivalencies, middle ground fallacies and tu quoque fallacies in your pursuit of objectiveness actually empowers McCain and Palin and their supporters to go down the very dangerous road they're traveling: When confronted, they can just wave their hands and say "Democrats do it too" without pointing out truly equivalent incidences, and then carry on. We cannot let this happen.
    posted by lord_wolf at 11:04 AM on October 10, 2008 [12 favorites]


    Anti-Obama Fury Spills Over Into Down-Ticket Contests: "Bomb Obama".

    What do you expect from a sleeze-bag like Chambliss? This is the guy that pulled the race card when it became painfully obvious that he had nothing to compete with multiple-amputee, war hero Max Cleland, painting him as a "negro-lover."
    posted by Pollomacho at 11:10 AM on October 10, 2008


    I think that, like some others here, there's a pretty serious problem with the interviewer. I don't know if he thinks there's more integrity in directly confronting these people as an obvious democrat, or what, but the end result is interviews with people who are only at best being guardedly honest with him. It's stupid and petty confrontationialism rather than any kind of actual information gathering. You want to hear what people really think you act like one of them. You wear a god damn McCain/Palin 08 shirt, you act happy to be there and you put the chip on your shoulder away for the 10 minutes it would take to NOT tell these people they're idiots right away. Then you let them, in a celebratory spirit, say whatever the fuck they want to the happy camera guy. Maybe, just for shits and giggles you actually ask somebody, "hells yeah! and why do YOU hate Obama!" so that you can get the real answer. Sure, there'll still be some guarded responses simply because people would be worried about saying some things to even the most sympathetic camera, but you'd get better responses.

    you know what? fuck that. the october 15th debates are happening half an hour away from my front door. I think I'm gonna go do it the right way.
    posted by shmegegge at 11:11 AM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    Not really all that related, but Christopher Buckley just endorsed Obama and gave this as one of his reasons:

    As for Kathleen, she has to date received 12,000 (quite literally) foam-at-the-mouth hate-emails. One correspondent, if that’s quite the right word, suggested that Kathleen’s mother should have aborted her and tossed the fetus into a Dumpster. There’s Socratic dialogue for you. Dear Pup once said to me sighfully after a right-winger who fancied himself a WFB protégé had said something transcendently and provocatively cretinous, “You know, I’ve spent my entire life time separating the Right from the kooks.” Well, the dear man did his best. At any rate, I don’t have the kidney at the moment for 12,000 emails saying how good it is he’s no longer alive to see his Judas of a son endorse for the presidency a covert Muslim who pals around with the Weather Underground. So, you’re reading it here first.
    posted by lattiboy at 11:26 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    This is O/T, but I gotta vent somewhere: Fear Itself:

    "George Bush has probably had the hardest administration since Lincoln (1). I feel for him. But his speech on the economy just now was lackluster. Neal Cavuto says he should stay from the cameras for awhile (2). John McCain, on the other hand, can't afford to be lackluster. He has got to make the case that, at a time when some are (optimistically?) proclaiming the end of American capitalism, it would be dangerous to have Bill Ayers's pal reshape the economy (3). McCain has also got to say that we have lots to fear but that fear itself is out of control and a contributing factor. He must find a way to call for confidence in America a way that the fear-mongering Obama campaign can't pillory (4). Tall order, but possible. Maybe."

    1. Harder than FDR? Harder than Kennedy? Well, at least she said "probably".
    2. This we agree on.
    3. But Phil Gramm's pal? That's the steady hand on the tiller we need right about now.
    4. So she tells McCain he should be telling everyone there's "lots to fear," but Obama is the fear-mongerer?
    posted by you just lost the game at 11:33 AM on October 10, 2008


    I've heard some pro-Obama people say some pretty crappy things.

    I appreciate fair-mindedness as much as anyone, but I'm getting really tired of the lack of perspective on this shit, and the willingness to draw equivalences, when they are so clearly not equal.

    Look, Palin and McCain are implying that Obama, a sitting United States Senator, is in league with or somehow sympathetic with terrorists. This in the midst of a horrible intractable "War on Terror".

    Obama's negativity (done, principally in self-defense, it seems reasonable to claim), on the other hand, is calling attention to McCain's record, his proven connections to a principal character in the last significant financial crisis (for which he was censured), calling him out for his wild policy gyrations in the last four weeks and generally shedding light on other, uncovered parts of his record.

    So Obama, being attacked for his race, his person, his background, his insinuated religion and his character (as well as all this having the effect of insulting all those in the US who might share some of these qualities with Obama); McCain attacked for his inconsistencies, his policies and his inability to develop reasonable responses to very important situations.

    And that equals, in NPR speak: "both candidates have run negative campaigns".

    By the way, I wouldn't give half a rat's ass if Obama were Muslim or not. Islam ain't exactly Scientology. It's a mainstream faith with more than one billion adherents, of which about 2 million are US Citizens. That the media can so blithely quote people as saying they won't vote for Obama "cuz he's a Muslim" and not challenge the underlying sentiment (Muslim = evil) and offending millions, is gross and pathetic.
    posted by psmealey at 11:37 AM on October 10, 2008 [32 favorites]




    I've lost track of how many times I've said this.

    Your "average American" neighbor is an ignorant bigot.

    That is the truth of the matter.

    Until the Left in this country actually understands and appreciates that fact, and realizes, and truly embraces the fact that yes, Yes, YES about 50% of this country is made up of ignorant bigots, yes REALLY, they REALLY still call people "nigger" and they REALLY say stuff like "I'm not racist, but I can't vote for a black guy", we have no hope.

    The Left in America is going to have to, at some fucking point, realize what they are truly up against.

    They are up against about 100 million fucking narrow minded racist rednecks and simpletons. And their children.

    Assuming the best of your neighbor is a fatal mistake. Wanting to trust your neighbor to be rational and do the right thing is the Achilles heel of the progressive.
    posted by Ynoxas at 11:51 AM on October 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


    >one more month one more month one more month one more month one more month
    which brings to mind "One Day More"

    posted by blueberry at 11:53 AM on October 10, 2008


    I've an Obama bumper sticker. I've had 2 'Fuck Obama's yelled at me & my brake light smashed in. All happened in my upper middle-class neighborhood. But I'm not scared, although I am thinking or covering up my Obama bumper sticker.

    ...with one that reads: Gun Owners for Obama.
    posted by Mick at 12:02 PM on October 10, 2008 [17 favorites]


    Your "average American" neighbor is an ignorant bigot.

    Until the Left in this country actually understands and appreciates that fact, and realizes, and truly embraces the fact that yes, Yes, YES about 50% of this country is made up of ignorant bigots ...

    They are up against about 100 million fucking narrow minded racist rednecks and simpletons. And their children.


    America is about 300 million people, so the "ignorant bigots" - if by your estimate are 100 million strong (where are you getting this from, anyway?) - aren't average, nor do they represent about 50% of the country.

    I'm fairly certain most liberals are aware that there are people who still say "nigger" and are shockingly ignorant. This is not some blinding revelation you're laying down here, nor does knowing it help us win. What helps us win is organizing, motivating, and acting. We don't need to appeal to these nutjobs (if that is in fact what you're implying, and I don't think it is) nor do we need to "understand" them any better than we do. They've recused themselves from mainstream society, and good riddance. The rest of the country will move on without them.
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:10 PM on October 10, 2008


    EarBucket, don't break out the champagne yet on the release of that report. The Alaska legislative committee has yet to vote, and it's weighted 10-4 R-D. How much pressure do you think those 10 Rs are under to stall or outright kill that report?
    posted by clever sheep at 12:10 PM on October 10, 2008


    Gun Owners for Obama.

    I saw one of those wacked-out Jeeps a couple nights ago--the sort with too many stickers and placards in the windows--with a tremendous sign, covering the back window, reading, "Veterans for Obama." It made me smile.

    The "Moms for McCain" sticker I saw, though, just made me furious. May as well be "Moms for Herod."
    posted by uncleozzy at 12:17 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    Marisa: No, I'm afraid (meaning I fear, I'm worried) that they ARE mainstream America, everywhere except the coasts.

    In a sane universe, Obama should be up by 20 points. Basically, the only people who should support McCain/Palin at this point are single-issue Abortion voters.

    But, as the polls show, and election day will prove, about half of people will support McCain.

    That should scare the bejeezus out of everyone. Not just for this campaign, but for daily life.
    posted by Ynoxas at 12:23 PM on October 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


    Psmealey, I'm responding to the original post. I watched the video, and it displayed willful ignorance and asinine behavior, but not a lynch mob.
    posted by theora55 at 12:40 PM on October 10, 2008


    Now curious what are people talking about when calling Obama a socialist.

    An example of Obama being called a socialist in this man's mind means financially helping other countries with US taxpayers' money.

    Wasn't that the Bush agenda for Iraq? 'Helping' that country into a democracy? To the tune of trillions, not mere billions of dollars?

    Perhaps it is the benevolent use of money to help others that is called socialism but killing them by the tens of thousands as an invasion is called the Fight Against Terror? I don't get it.

    First of all, what is a socialist? Had to look that up.
    "Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and the creation of an egalitarian society."

    Apart from the egalitarian society concept, isn't this the agenda of the US corporations trying to collectively own and administer entire chunks of many countries for their oil, labor, fruit or other natural resources? eg Walmart in China, Microsoft in India, Hershey chocolate in West Africa. It seems the egalitarian part is what irks the socialist haters.

    'Socialists mainly share the belief that capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth into a small section of society who control capital, and creates an unequal society."

    What a paradox. As the greed mongers and corporate corruption, like that of Dick Fuld, former CEO for Lehman, take the American economy into a nosedive, the poor are defending those who would bilk them of their money.

    I wonder where this fear of sharing comes from? It's a Christian belief to share, to tithe money, to give to the poor, to be charitable. Charity is considered a virtue. Children are taught to share. But somehow sharing becomes a vice in adulthood? This doesn't make sense. Perhaps it is the fear of being egalitarian? The fear that sharing means handing over the money to a totalitarian government? hmm, What about the $700 billion we just forcibly "shared" with all the rich folks who put us in this financial crisis?

    Anybody have any ideas about this Obama and the Euro socialist rants being hurled, what people who yell this could possibly be thinking? And what would an informed response be to this?
    posted by nickyskye at 12:42 PM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


    > Anybody have any ideas about this Obama and the Euro socialist rants being hurled, what people who yell this could possibly be thinking?

    Thinking? See, now that's the problem...
    posted by The Card Cheat at 12:48 PM on October 10, 2008


    Just got back from the Obama rally here in downtown Columbus. Nice bunch of folks. Sort of a pre-concert vibe going on with all the shirt and button sellers and everyone in a positive and friendly mood, anticipating the big show. Didn't see any angry confrontations even though pro-lifers were getting in everyone's face ("LOOK AT THIS PICTURE 'MAM...LOOK AT IT!!!"). A McCain-Palin ad truck kept pacing up and down the street, and you know what, I didn't even see anyone flip the driver off.
    posted by Otis at 12:52 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Basically, the only people who should support McCain/Palin at this point are single-issue Abortion voters.

    Since McCain is palling around with pro-abortion rights Lieberman:
    "Lieberman has been an almost constant companion as McCain has campaigned across the country.

    If Lieberman were on the GOP ticket, conservatives argue, it would hurt McCain's standing with conservatives because Lieberman supports abortion rights."

    The single issue abortion voters would actually be voting for half-a-heartbeat-away Palin.
    posted by nickyskye at 12:55 PM on October 10, 2008


    Another example of contemporary right-wing talk radio wisdom:

    Talk radio hosts accuse Magic Johnson of faking AIDS
    posted by you just lost the game at 12:58 PM on October 10, 2008


    Fuck, what a mess. As a non-US citizen watching all of this it is almost too much to handle. Part of me thinks McCain/Palin should win just so they will run the country into the ground. America, you need to reboot.
    posted by chugg at 1:03 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    > Part of me thinks McCain/Palin should win just so they will run the country into the ground.

    They already tried that, dude. Didn't turn out so well.
    posted by you just lost the game at 1:10 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    I'm in agreement with chugg, speaking as a non-American. Our own federal election is coming to a head this Tuesday, Oct 15, and the mudslinging is beginning to peak. "He's a bad man!" "He's a wingnut!" "He speaks with a funny accent!" "She's a one-issue pony!" "Oh my god he is so ruuuuuude!"

    Canadians just don't have the claws and fangs you whacky Americans do when it comes to politics.
    posted by illiad at 1:19 PM on October 10, 2008


    InsiderAdvantage has Georgia at 49 McCain, 46 Obama. I don't have the internals, but I'm told they weighted for 25% African-American voters.
    posted by EarBucket at 1:22 PM on October 10, 2008


    No, I'm afraid (meaning I fear, I'm worried) that they ARE mainstream America, everywhere except the coasts.

    I still think it's overly simplistic, if not inaccurate, to claim the average American is an ignorant bigot. If you base this 100 million figure on how the presidential polls are, it does a disservice to say people are voting for McCain solely out of racism or being anti-choice, just as it does to claim people are voting Obama because they're black or feel white guilt. You and I both agree that Obama is the "sane" choice, yes, but there are McCain supporters who have plenty of other reasons for voting their way - some are holding on to the old hope that McCain v 1.0 will emerge at long last, or they've always voted Republican, or they want war with Iran, or they think he's fixing the economy or any number of reasons. The broad brush of "Those people voting McCain are racists ignorant bigots" doesn't work.

    However, I do agree that there is a shocking amount of ignorance in 21st century America, as evidenced in this video. There are a great number of people - like that one infuriating woman who kept leaping in front of the camera to ask "When was the first time you heard the name Obama?" and the one who said Obama's "bloodline" links him to terrorism - who say some flat-out stupid shit. We know these people exist! What does embracing this fact do to help us? Screw them, they're a lost cause. They wouldn't vote Obama if he promised to personally mow the lawns of every American.

    These are two separate groups of McCain supporters we're talking about here, with some overlap, with the latter group in much smaller numbers. Yes, the bigots want to hijack this campaign and yes, McCain and Palin have said nothing to stop them. Which is what makes Obama's "say it to my face" challenge so effective, and why McCain is avoiding it - brought out into the light of day, he knows most Americans will not support this kind of overt racism. And that's mainstream America.
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:25 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    After reading most of the comments, and on a somewhat more positive note... In the end, progressives and liberals always win. Even conservatives get more liberal during their life, and society doubly so. And progress will only accelerate.

    Obama will be elected. The people who currently hate him will find out that he is not the devil they expected him to be. Having black people in leadership positions will seem a huge bit more normal. Black kids will finally have a positive role model that is not a rapper or a sports star. Ironically, the muslim associations used to disparage Obama will actually help muslims once people see that their ostensibly muslim president is actually a normal, decent human being. Obama's calm, articulate way of evaluating issues will lead the way to a more objective discourse on the things that actually matter.

    Eight years from now, the US will have made a huge step towards a better, fairer, more open society, and even conservatives will look back while incredulously shaking their heads at the things they used to say in 2008.
    posted by L_K_M at 1:31 PM on October 10, 2008 [11 favorites]


    They wouldn't vote Obama if he promised to personally mow the lawns of every American.

    Although I suspect they would happily put a small statue of Obama on their lawn, dressed in attractive horse-racing togs.
    posted by Shepherd at 1:35 PM on October 10, 2008 [12 favorites]


    @MarisaStPT, I don't know this reference ("say it to my face") Can you link?
    posted by nax at 1:40 PM on October 10, 2008




    MSNBC reporting the committee has the votes to release the Troopergate report.
    posted by EarBucket at 1:51 PM on October 10, 2008


    jb said: No, I think that there are a lot of people in the United States who are seriously prejudiced against Muslim or Arabic people.

    I know that my Obama sign has been removed from my yard 4 times now. When I said something about it (in passing) to a neighbor they said...and I quote "Well, honey...everyone knows that you Arabs all stick together, and maybe it's not too smart for you to advertise that you support muslim terrorists."

    Boggle.

    My mother is Lebanese, but the Lebanese have been Christians since...I dunno, Paul showed up in Biblos. I have a menorah in the window at Christmas, by the Xmas tree, which would hardly suggest that I'm a Muslim. (Mind you, I've read the Koran, and I think Mohamed was a prophet just like Jesus and Buddha and a host of others were prophets. )

    Then again, these are the same fucking idiots that have been planting flags on my yard every anniversary of 9/11. It's not easy being brown around the stupid.
    posted by dejah420 at 1:59 PM on October 10, 2008 [36 favorites]






    I have a menorah in the window at Christmas

    Oh great, you're one of them Jewish Muslims!

    Seriously, that sucks, dejah420. I'm glad I live in the city, and this city.
    posted by cortex at 2:10 PM on October 10, 2008


    Betty White on Sarah Palin: She's a "crazy bitch".
    posted by ericb at 2:12 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    There is a new McCain ad airing on Fox News that is (very obviously) attempting to plant the seed that the election is being stolen by Obama and his terrorist pals.

    This is getting crazy. They're creating false links, feeding into ignorant people's hate and fear and insecurities, making them distrust all 'mainstream' media—oh, they were so mean to Sarah!—and insinuating that the election is being 'stolen' right before their eyes.

    Can't someone put an end to this? This is dangerous.
    posted by defenestration at 2:22 PM on October 10, 2008


    In case there was any doubt, the McCain camp's response to all this:
    "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," reads a statement from spokesman Brian Rogers.
    Obama is unpatriotic because McCain's supporters are making accusations of terrorism and calling for assassination. Why does Obama hate America?
    posted by spiderwire at 2:27 PM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


    Can't someone put an end to this? This is dangerous.

    Boss Tweed 2: The Tweedening.
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:30 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    "Stop them damned pictures. I don't care so much what the papers say about me. My constituents don't know how to read, but they can't help seeing them damned pictures!"

    So, the answer is political cartoons?!

    *gets drawing*
    posted by defenestration at 2:33 PM on October 10, 2008


    What is a terrorist? Someone who aims to destabilize a population or a government by using violence and fear.

    I think I know who the terrorists here are. McCain and Palin. They are truly trying to frighten people into voting for them, with abhorrent tactics. I don't like Bush but I have never been nauseated by politics before. These individuals are condoning threats of violence by their supporters against their opponent.

    I feel ill.
    posted by miss tea at 2:34 PM on October 10, 2008


    More like a squadron of Palin drones.
    posted by plexi at 2:36 PM on October 10, 2008


    The proles have gathered for The Two Minute Hate.
    posted by plexi at 2:37 PM on October 10, 2008


    Obama is unpatriotic because McCain's supporters are making accusations of terrorism and calling for assassination. Why does Obama hate America?

    This is pretty much the perfect response from McCain - "How dare you ATTACK my supporters, who are AVERAGE Americans?" - because it gives Obama the opportunity to once again, point out that McCain doesn't want a real discussion, that McCain is trying to scare people and avoid facts.

    McCain decided to "go there", and by doing so, he's painted himself into a rhetorical corner. He can't simultaneously whip these people into a frenzy and avoid bringing these points up to Obama personally forever. He'll either have to bring up Ayers and such, and get shot down while looking like a maniac, or avoid bringing it up, and look like a spineless coward to his own people. It's beautiful.
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:39 PM on October 10, 2008


    If it's any comfort at all, McCain's numbers are worse now than they were before the whole "he's hangin' out with terrorists!" thing started.

    I really want to go to dejah420's neighbor's house and...do something nonviolent but shaming. And educational.

    punching them in the dick sounds much more satisfying, though.
    posted by rtha at 2:40 PM on October 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


    When you arrive to the orgy of hate, you don't really expect everyone to be so tacky. There has to be at least one XXL Tweetybird tshirt in there somewhere.
    posted by plexi at 2:40 PM on October 10, 2008 [6 favorites]


    Obama needs to do this clean and square, yall.

    Obama = Matt Damon

    McCain = Teddy KGB

    Which I guess makes Palin "Mother"?


    Our boy needs to flip the nut straight (whatever the hell that means)
    posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:41 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    They already tried that, dude. Didn't turn out so well.

    Ok, let me rephrase. America needs to hit rock bottom. The US is like an alcoholic stepfather that has been on an 8 year destructive bender. Destructive to others and to itself. Obama winning this election will be like a moment of clarity - steady, sober, healing - but ultimately ready to relapse at the drop of a hat.

    I'm not saying that my country is any better nor am I saying that this is the way it actually is. JMHO.
    posted by chugg at 2:42 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Betty White on Sarah Palin: She's a "crazy bitch".

    When my doddering old age comes, I hope to be at least half as sharp as Betty White.
    posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:43 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    homunculus: Wow, that was beautiful. Someone has been listening to FDR's chats.
    posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:51 PM on October 10, 2008


    Part of me thinks McCain/Palin should win just so they will run the country into the ground.
    America needs to hit rock bottom.

    Have you seen the news today? The capitalist money structure is imploding, despite the offer of 700 billion to shore it up.

    We're in 2 wars, one of which even many(most) of our staunchest allies don't condone.

    The current administration is full of corruption, cronyism, and incompetence. And most Americans haven't noticed. An American city was allowed to sink under a hurricane, with horrible, shameful loss of life.

    The rest of the world is aghast at what's going on in the United States.

    No matter what happens, there still seem to be voting Americans who want someone to promise them low taxes, lots of government spending, American domination of everything, everywhere, and a pony, all wrapped up in the flag. Screw reality, let's go to the Mall.

    Honestly, it's as rockbottom as I care to imagine.
    posted by theora55 at 2:52 PM on October 10, 2008 [17 favorites]


    Honestly, it's as rockbottom as I care to imagine.

    No doubt. If it gets rockbottomer than this, our trees might start sprouting strange fruit again.
    posted by lord_wolf at 2:57 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    Another silver lining to McCain appealing to the Randy Weaver base is it shows just how narrow his base is getting.

    It was only a few years ago that Jon Stewart told McCain, "If I had to vote Republican, I'd vote for you" and he did talk some jive about bi-partisanship. Then Obama started whooping his ass. So he reached out to a secessionist Assembly of God anti-choicer to "fire up the base". Moderate conservatives raised eyebrows. Then as she proved herself grossly underqualified at best, undecideds and independents began to move towards Obama, as some conservatives even called for Palin to be dumped. The VP debates came and went - no change in McCain's numbers. Moderate conservatives started moving towards Obama now.

    And so McCain, with not even the middle or established right to turn to, has turned to the far right. It's like he's standing on a raft in the middle of the ocean, and one plank after another falls off, drifting away into the sea. He's standing on one leg on the last beam, while Obama waves from the deck of a passing cruise ship.
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:00 PM on October 10, 2008


    jfuller writes "The two statements are hyperbole of exactly the same kind and (I have weighed each to the hundredth part of a scruple) exactly the same degree. How quickly we give a pass to the hyperbole we agree with, compared to the kind we don't."

    Yeah, jfuller, ever the voice of reason with the judgment of Solomon, eh?

    This is the beginnings of angry, violent mobs, the sort of sentiment that Palin is trying to whip up. I haven't seen any equivalent at Obama's rallies, not even close.
    posted by krinklyfig at 3:04 PM on October 10, 2008


    If it's any comfort at all, McCain's numbers are worse now than they were before the whole "he's hangin' out with terrorists!" thing started.

    That is some comfort, but what McCain is doing is stoking hatred and feeding the Palin base. He's poisoning the well. A likely outcome of all this is that Obama does win, and these ignorant, corn-fed racist shitheel motherfuckers will rage unchecked for years, and their bullshit will make Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh's rants look like Bill Buckley on Firing Line. You basically have a nice little toxic brew there, that stoked with a protracted economic decline, has all the makings of something really, really awful.

    In the aftermath of 9/11, like a lot of other people, I did a little bit of research on Osama Bin Laden. One of his long stated objectives was that to break up the United States in the same manner that he claims his group broke up the Soviet Union. I thought that was utterly ridiculous at the time, that bin Laden had a naive and superficial understanding of our country and values, and even our political makeup.

    Right about now, it's looking that he had a more profound understanding of it than I did. I really hope I'm wrong, but I don't think I have ever experienced as much hope and despair for my country -- at the same time -- as I am feeling right now.
    posted by psmealey at 3:06 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Pro McCain yard-signs in PA: 1, 2.

    Polls in PA.

    This shit will not work.
    posted by defenestration at 3:07 PM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


    And so McCain, with not even the middle or established right to turn to, has turned to the far right. It's like he's standing on a raft in the middle of the ocean, and one plank after another falls off, drifting away into the sea.

    So close! It's actually the final scene from Aguirre: The Wrath of God when everyone is dead and the raft has been overrun by monkeys.
    posted by snofoam at 3:09 PM on October 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


    This guy is the sort of person you can find at those Palin rallies.

    How do you even deal with something like this?
    posted by Caduceus at 3:10 PM on October 10, 2008


    Caduceus, to be fair, it seems they meant that they were stocking up on guns in case Obama supports additional gun control and it gets harder to purchase them, not in order to shoot him.
    posted by snofoam at 3:14 PM on October 10, 2008


    dejah420 writes "Then again, these are the same fucking idiots that have been planting flags on my yard every anniversary of 9/11. It's not easy being brown around the stupid."

    You need to move. Well, I get that it may not be that simple, but I would.
    posted by krinklyfig at 3:15 PM on October 10, 2008


    From Jezebel today:
    So it's time for McCain and Palin and Steve Schmidt and Rick Davis to pull their collective heads out of their asses, stop pretending that they don't hear what people are shouting and find a way to lose with some fucking grace. Because their supporters that do this will go exactly as far as they think their idols will approve of them going and, if this week is any indication, for some people that is further back than anyone in this country should want them to go.
    posted by jokeefe at 3:17 PM on October 10, 2008


    Craigslist ad (since pulled) for Barrett .50 caliber rifle:
    "If Obama gets elected ... which I seriously doubt. but if he did it would be interesting to see how long it take for someone to take a shot at him."
    Craigslist ad:
    "vote obama (grassy knoll): we are about due for another assassination!" *
    posted by ericb at 3:18 PM on October 10, 2008


    That's a gripping site, Caduceus. Found this little nugget inside:
    It's interesting when you put it together: Acorn. Subprime Meltdown. Bogus loans given to people who could never pay it back. Banks teetering on the edge with unstable loan portfolios. Hedge funds using short selling to challenge the valuation.

    And George Soros behind it all, from the funding of Acorn, the promotion of Obama and the run on the banks. Read George's book "The Alchemy of Finance" where he explains his method of not waiting for, but engineering disequilibrium in markets. George used Obama to sue Bank of America to force them to issue these loans. Each loan was a promise that Soros knew couldn't be kept - just like the Bank of England's unsustainable currency position. Given sufficient leverage, Soros could kick the leg out and give the U.S. a reason to vote for a Marxist candidate he had made.

    Look at the leverage used to set the market on fire. Why now? Why the sudden short selling? Why the rumors spread in the market by others controlled by Soros to cause bank runs? And how convenient that a candidate emerges with more than a decade "disappeared" from his life, other than phantom traces to socialist parties which also have their ties to Soros.

    If you're looking for the man pulling puppet Obama's strings, look no further.
    It's all here, folks. The Marxist conspiracy of the Far Left, with its roots in the Anti-Vietnam 60s, to bring down the entire capitalist structure, and Obama is their guy. This whole thing was hatched in Timothy Leary's Greenwich Village apartment. I think that Alger Hiss was there at the time.
    posted by psmealey at 3:27 PM on October 10, 2008


    So this is when it starts getting really ugly? Christ. I think I need to go on vacation for a few weeks and stay away from the internet.
    posted by Pantengliopoli at 3:29 PM on October 10, 2008




    ericb writes "vote obama (grassy knoll)"

    FWIW, the Secret Service is tasked to investigate such statements. They're considered serious threats, even if made in a Craigslist ad. It's like joking about a bomb at the ticket counter at the airport - you can expect someone to question you about it, at the least. I'm sure they're very busy right now, but that sort of thing really should be reported.
    posted by krinklyfig at 3:38 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Just saw a clip on CBS News from a McCain rally. A supporter said that he was "afraid" of an Obama presidency. McCain appears to have made his first step in acknowledging that the ugliness isn't working. He reassured the voter that he wanted to be president and would be a better one than Obama, but said something in the vein of "an Obama presidency is nothing you should be afraid of."

    I don't know how to characterize the noise that came from the crowd after that -- it could have been a kind of murmur, but it sounded to me like faint booing.
    posted by middleclasstool at 3:45 PM on October 10, 2008


    it could have been a kind of murmur, but it sounded to me like faint booing.

    That's the sound of a genie refusing to get back into the bottle.
    posted by scody at 3:49 PM on October 10, 2008 [16 favorites]


    TPM has video of McCain trying to walk it back. Good of him to try, I guess, though not going there in the first place would have been a lot better. He's going to have a hard time convincing those people Obama's not an Arab Muslim communist terrorist after he's spent all week implying that he is.
    posted by EarBucket at 3:55 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    I'm glad to see McCain said that middleclassstool. At the same time, it pisses me off to no end. Out of one side of their mouths they claim Obama is not American and pals around with terrorists and the other - that an Obama presidency is nothing to fear. WTF. I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. I can't wait for this election to end.
    posted by batou_ at 3:58 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    > using terminology like 'lynch mob' is inflammatory and deserves to be banned to places like crooks&liars.

    I see. And what about using the word 'terrorist' as freely as Ms. Palin and Mr. McCain and their supporters do?
    posted by holycola at 4:02 PM on October 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


    So it's time for McCain and Palin and Steve Schmidt and Rick Davis to pull their collective heads out of their asses, stop pretending that they don't hear what people are shouting and find a way to lose with some fucking grace.

    Thing is, looking at the electoral map, it's apparent that a McCain loss--graceful or otherwise--is by no means a sure thing. Most of the blue states are Obama's by less than ten percentage points, whereas nearly all the red states are really solidly Red. It's tremendously fucked up, but if Obama supporters neglect to vote (perhaps due to overconfidence), or flake out at the last second (maybe based on some OMGter'rist bullshit they heard), McCain could win by a landslide.
    posted by Sys Rq at 4:11 PM on October 10, 2008




    ost of the blue states are Obama's by less than ten percentage points, whereas nearly all the red states are really solidly Red.

    I think you could draw that conclusion coming into the maps cold, but the thing is that Obama's support in the mainly blue states has not really wavered much below 50% for months... and he's also got some advances in states neither Kerry nore Gore won. I'm still optimistic.

    Clearly there's no way Obama is going to win Utah or Mississippi, but the map's looking good in some very surprising places (NC, Colorado, Michigan, Penn, Iowa). With "the Bradley Effect" chatter starting to permeate the airwaves, I don't think you'll see much overconfidence. I fully suspect that Democratic turnout will be the highest ever.

    What's likely to happen, moreover, is that McCain and Palin's attacks will have the effect of depressing his own turnout. A lot of those people do not like Obama.. AT ALL, but they also don't want voting for McCain on their conscience. I know of three such people in my family. Small data sample, but I think it will be a driving phenomenon this year.

    In my heart of hearts I'd love to see a 49 state sweep where the lone holdout will be Utah (because, well... fuck Utah), but I think the electoral college count will be a blowout.
    posted by psmealey at 4:24 PM on October 10, 2008


    I don't know how to characterize the noise that came from the crowd after that

    Try, "Baaa."
    posted by Sys Rq at 4:24 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    Thank you, homunculus, for that link. This is my favorite part:
    And then later, again, someone dangled a great big piece of low-hanging fruit in front of McCain: "I'm scared to bring up my child in a world where Barack Obama is president."

    McCain replies, "Well, I don't want him to be president, either. I wouldn't be running if I did. But," and he pauses for emphasis, "you don't have to be scared to have him be President of the United States." A round of boos.

    And he snaps back: "Well, obviously I think I'd be better. "
    This is hilarious. The one solid base he has left actually boos him when McCain tries to appeal to reason and rationality. They're demanding he be crazy. McCain is screwed - alienate his new-found friends from the Waco compound, or alienate America. What to do?
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:29 PM on October 10, 2008 [7 favorites]


    UPDATE: Indeed, he just snatched the microphone out the hands of a woman who began her question with, "I'm scared of Barack Obama... he's an Arab terrorist..."
    "No, no ma'am," he interrupted. "He's a decent family man with whom I happen to have some disagreements."


    ...And then the crowd dragged McCain off to the nearest tree and lynched him.
    posted by psmealey at 4:34 PM on October 10, 2008


    "No, no ma'am," he interrupted. "He's a decent family man with whom I happen to have some disagreements."

    Ha! I bet that's the sound of McCain-the-ventriloquist-doll with the arm of the moderate wing of the GOP up his ass. Because I bet there were some furious phone calls this morning to Rick Davis and Co. informing them that there's a whole segment of the party that has no intention of going down with the S. S. Kristallnacht.
    posted by scody at 4:37 PM on October 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


    John McCain became irrelevant to his own campaign on August 29th. I'll believe their campaign has dialed back the hate when Sarah Palin starts countering the haters.
    posted by dirigibleman at 4:38 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Heh, I was just going to link to the swampland article as well. I feel kind of bad for McCain now. McCain opened the more literal then usual can of worms here and now he's realized how horrifying the wriggling, slimy creatures actually are to ordinary voters (to say nothing of the press)

    But the base never liked McCain in the first place, I don't think his exhortations would do much to get them to calm down. Oh well, at least McCain is doing something.
    posted by delmoi at 4:39 PM on October 10, 2008


    McCain clinched the Republican nomination on March 5. Obama clinched the Democratic nomination on June 3. McCain had a three-month head start and dropped behind Obama as soon as Obama clinched.

    But, as the polls show, and election day will prove, about half of people will support McCain.

    McCain's ceiling is about 45% and has been since June, except for right around the Republican convention. Obama's floor has been around 45%.

    Try not to worry about the national polls too much. If you can't help it, look at something like Pollster which averages out a bunch of polls to minimize the effect of outliers. They currently have Obama at 49.8% and rising; McCain's at 41.9% and falling.

    George Bush has probably had the hardest administration since Lincoln

    Sure, if Lincoln had attacked Canada as payback for Fort Sumter and lost the Civil War because he took his eye off the ball.
    posted by kirkaracha at 4:41 PM on October 10, 2008 [9 favorites]


    UPDATE: Indeed, he just snatched the microphone out the hands of a woman who began her question with, "I'm scared of Barack Obama... he's an Arab terrorist..."
    "No, no ma'am," he interrupted. "He's a decent family man with whom I happen to have some disagreements."


    That's the most honorable thing McCain has said in several days. BUT I would have felt a little better had he said "No, no ma'am , he's not an Arab terrorist..." and then the rest of it. I would even been OK, with "My friends, Senator Obama is not an Arab terrorist."
    posted by birdherder at 4:43 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Sys Rq: I don't know about that. Indiana and West Virginia are now battleground states. More than a week ago, fivethirtyeight pointed out that Obama could tie the EC (probably winning the congress tie-breaker) even if he lost every state where his lead was less than six points. McCain is forced to spend money in states that were conceded month before the election in 2000, 2004 (and unfortunately for Indiana, 2006). Which leads to the other big weakness facing McCain, he doesn't have that money to spend. The only time in which he has out-raised Obama was just after the election, and that bump was over in a matter of days.

    homunculus: The problem is, at this point it sounds just as funny as his campaign "suspension" (followed by at least three campaign interviews and a stump speech at the Clinton summit.) It's going to be yet another case where he says one thing and does another.

    delmoi: Good call on that. The Dittohead (is it still reasonable to call them that now that Rush has been eclipsed?) block tried as hard as it could to keep McCain out of the nomination. They've only been backing McCain for the last two months because they hate Obama.
    posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:43 PM on October 10, 2008


    Thing is, looking at the electoral map, it's apparent that a McCain loss--graceful or otherwise--is by no means a sure thing. Most of the blue states are Obama's by less than ten percentage points, whereas nearly all the red states are really solidly Red. It's tremendously fucked up, but if Obama supporters neglect to vote (perhaps due to overconfidence), or flake out at the last second (maybe based on some OMGter'rist bullshit they heard), McCain could win by a landslide.

    That's absurd. In American politics being ten points ahead is a landslide. The best quantitiative polling analysis is definitely at fivethirtyeight.com. They now estimate Obama winning 90.9% of the time, up from 45% right after Palin was picked.
    posted by delmoi at 4:45 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Yep, homunculus' link describes precisely the scene, and Time (or Cox anyway) appears to agree with me. Unless McCain's middle name is Boo-urns, them was booin'.
    posted by middleclasstool at 4:48 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    There's an NYT article about the FPP videos.
    posted by Caduceus at 4:52 PM on October 10, 2008


    Thing is, looking at the electoral map, it's apparent that a McCain loss--graceful or otherwise--is by no means a sure thing. ...

    That's absurd.


    Sadly, I wouldn't call it absurd. Take a look at CNN's Electoral Map calculator, and start with "repeat of 2004 result." The start swapping states in and out of the blue and the red. Forget about "lean blue" or "lean red," because "lean" doesn't count in the final tally, except in very isolated cases.

    You start to see that Florida and Ohio are, once again, the keys to the kingdom.
    posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:53 PM on October 10, 2008


    Man, back during the primary a lot of Liberals were rooting for Mitt Romney to get the nomination. I'm actually pretty glad he didn't, although I do think he wouldn't be as bad of a president as McCain (or Guiliani) he is totally comfortable with blatant pandering to the crazies (or anyone else) and general total bullshit. He also knows a lot about finance and that would come in handy during this crisis.
    posted by delmoi at 4:53 PM on October 10, 2008


    Wow, sounds like McCain may have finally had enough. I wish I knew why he waited this long, but it's still the right thing to do, so good for him.
    posted by spiderwire at 4:54 PM on October 10, 2008


    Some more footage of McCain today.
    posted by scody at 4:57 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    There's an NYT article about the FPP videos.

    That's not the NYT, it's syndicated from some random blog.
    posted by cillit bang at 4:58 PM on October 10, 2008


    You start to see that Florida and Ohio are, once again, the keys to the kingdom.

    No, they're not. Obama can win without winning either Florida or Ohio (and he's leading in both). I think Obama's base is the states Kerry won in 2004, plus Iowa and New Mexico, which puts him at 264 electoral votes. He's got 5%+ leads in all of those states. A five percent lead is big with so little time left, and Obama's got all of the momentum.

    The swing states are Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia (links to Pollster's charts of poll trends). Assuming I'm right about Obama's base, McCain has to win every single one of these swing states to win; Obama only needs to win one of them. According to Pollster, Obama's leading in Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia, with trends in Obama's favor. Indiana's getting close, again with a trend in Obama's favor. (They also have Obama ahead in West Virginia, but that's probably based on an outlier poll.)
    posted by kirkaracha at 5:01 PM on October 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


    Glenn Greenwald on why the Hate Talk Express is desperately trying to reverse out of the dead-end they're finding themselves in.
    posted by scody at 5:03 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    with the arm of the moderate wing of the GOP

    moderate wing? thirty-three elderly guys in the Northeast who still remember when Dixie was solidly Democratic (pre-1964) and their candidates now keep losing elections? come on. Lincoln Chafee is, appropriately, an ex Senator (and now that he's a private citizen endorsed Obama -- tough shit). the entire wing is made up of Olympia Snowe -- who's not exactly the most powerful person in DC. "moderate Republican" now means "not a Creationist". not even "secular", but "not a Creationist". it's sad but it's a fact. we've seen in this campaign how intensely fucked up on social issues McCain's voting record is and has always been -- on race, abortion, etc -- but the base hates him anyway because he doesn't hate the Mexicans as much as they do and thinks that waterboarding is not as nice as, say, taking a nap on one's couch. period. the party is so far to the right, as this election demonstrates, that someone as far right as Palin polls at 72% favorable among Republicans nationally. not in Utah or Idaho, nationally.

    the Republican party has two right wings. and the Palin wing is three times as big as the slightly less insane one.


    George Bush has probably had the hardest administration since Lincoln

    Sure, if Lincoln had attacked Canada as payback for Fort Sumter and lost the Civil War because he took his eye off the ball.

    even better -- if he lost the Civil War because he was actually in the pocket of Confederate agricultural interests.
    posted by matteo at 5:04 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    You start to see that Florida and Ohio are, once again, the keys to the kingdom.

    Florida and Ohio are both leaning blue on Pollster.com, which averages all polls, including the ones that have absurd Republican biases. So's Washington state, and do you really think Washington might go McCain? As delmoi pointed out, fivethirtyeight.com is pointing out that almost every major poll has clear leads for Obama in both Florida and Ohio. So far as I know, none of the polling companies have accounted for possible cell phone bias, with young politically active Obama supporters only owning cell phones and thus being unreachable for pollsters, so it's likely those leads are, if anything, greater than is apparent.

    McCain is not doing well. He's not doing well at all. And I don't think anyone is thinking of staying home on the fourth because they're confident Obama is going to win. Only a major event like a terrorist attack or pretty systematic vote stealing is going to win this one for McCain.

    It's the aftermath we need to worry about.
    posted by Caduceus at 5:04 PM on October 10, 2008


    That's not the NYT, it's syndicated from some random blog.

    Oh. Sure enough.
    posted by Caduceus at 5:06 PM on October 10, 2008


    There are a number of possibilities about McCain taking a stand, like 'a shred of decency,' or realizing he was going to have to work with Senators who might not appreciate what he did to a colleague.

    My guess is that the Secret Service had a chat with him, that they would have to start taking names at his rallies if this continued. They apparently already investigated the 'kill him' incident.

    Years ago I was in a play with a high-schooler who made a crack about make go boom on double you in an email, and had two secret service agents knocking on his door.

    Anonymity promotes fervor. Lack of anonymity promotes restraint. As do suits with dark glasses talking in their sleeves.
    posted by dragonsi55 at 5:22 PM on October 10, 2008


    It's tremendously fucked up, but if Obama supporters neglect to vote (perhaps due to overconfidence), or flake out at the last second (maybe based on some OMGter'rist bullshit they heard), McCain could win by a landslide.

    Well, I do have a guest room now. I could probably fit four or five Liberal American Refugees in my apartment, as long as people don't mind that there's only the one bathroom. And this being Vancouver you could all sit around and smoke the very available high-quality pot until you stop caring about President McCain.

    Seriously, America, please please please.... you can do it. You're better than this. Get Obama elected, k?
    posted by jokeefe at 5:23 PM on October 10, 2008




    Red meat begins on page 8, a sample:

    Finding 1:
    For reasons explained in section IV of this report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) provides
    "The legislature reaffirms that each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust."
    posted by TungstenChef at 5:30 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    After watching the video, it appears the woman didn't say 'Arab terrorist', but rather, just 'Arab'.

    It's still an absurd thing to believe and definitely the result of McCain and Palin's insinuations lending support for whatever preconceived notions she already had (and that's a kind interpretation)... but let's be clear about what was said.

    When it comes down to it, they're just covering their ass. McCain had to say something because of how vocal and confident (and hate-filled) the crowds had become. But you know what? They're still releasing these fucked up ads and you know they'll keep talking about this Ayers nonissue. Also, they've only gotten started with this ACORN, blind-ambition/manchurian-candidate, voter-fraud bullshit and who knows what else they'll pull out of their ass next week. The only difference is now they'll say whatever they want, but follow it with pleas for respect.

    MY FRIENDS, WE REALLY NEED TO RESPECT THIS TERRORIST-LOVING AMERICAN-HATER! PLEASE, I BEG YOU, MY FRIENDS – SHOW 'THAT ONE' RESPECT!
    posted by defenestration at 5:40 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Yes, but:
    Finding 2: I find that… Governor Palin’s firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads.
    posted by scody at 5:42 PM on October 10, 2008


    Man, I’d like to fake the AIDS (like Magic), I could use a few days off.

    “It's not a lynch mob. They don't intend to kill anyone.”

    It’s not a Tsunami until the wave actually breaks.

    “I saw one of those wacked-out Jeeps a couple nights ago--the sort with too many stickers and placards in the windows--with a tremendous sign, covering the back window, reading, "Veterans for Obama."”

    Was it at a Stop and Shop? I might know that guy from 4 wheeling.

    “I've been afraid that this ongoing campaign of hatred that McCain and Palin have been orchestrating will result in some nutter acting out an Obama assasination fantasy, ala 1968. It would put the final nail in the coffin of this great nation.”

    I’d take a bullet for Obama. Just on GP.

    Of course I’d rather shoot the person targeting him before hand, a couple of his friends too, maybe his grandmother, and his dog...
    ...s’funny tho’, I’m actually an evil bloody handed bastard, yet the folks like this who think themselves good moral people are actually more dangerous to the country than I am.

    I mean, they’re ignorant of the kind of hell this all can unleash. I mean, sure, I’m comfortable in it, but that doesn’t mean I want it here.

    Those folks have no idea where that road ends.
    And it would genuinely scare them if they did, and there’s no way they’d be talking tough.

    “Even though this is somewhat unfair, joining the dark side would only undermine the progressive movement.”

    Well, whatever the reason, I’ve been in some strife torn areas of the world. You. Don’t. Want. That.

    Oh, under some circumstances it may be necessary. But I wouldn’t celebrate it.
    I’ve read someone who said killing is easy, anyone can kill. Of course, this is true. Killing well and effectively - whole other story.

    But the killing, the bloody mayhem, the destruction, really, it’s pretty fun (well, to folks with my psyche it is), or at least doable. Anyone can really turn their hand to it. And if enough people do, you don’t need to be that good or effective really.

    The thing is, it isn’t about turning one’s hand to the killing. It’s about coming back.
    I am a supremely disciplined and well trained individual who has had tremendous support from a large and loving family and an incredibly strong willed wife. I’ve been gifted with a deeply philosophical outlook and in-depth training in intigrating a martial outlook into my daily life from a very young age. And I’ve been just plain lucky since the day I was born - and I damn near broke permanently.

    ...I don’t know how some other folks expect to make it back from the abyss.

    The hell of it is some people don’t even know they’re pushing themselves to the brink. Oh, I’m angry, I don’t trust darkies, I have a gun.
    Fuck, if having firearms solved all our problems I’d be Santa Claus. People don’t even know what a real goddamned terrorist is.
    posted by Smedleyman at 5:43 PM on October 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


    Troopergate report released. It confirms Sarah Palin 'abused her power'.
    posted by defenestration at 5:44 PM on October 10, 2008


    Here's what the BBC are saying about Troopergate. Can I just say ha-ha-ha?
    posted by ob at 5:48 PM on October 10, 2008


    Take a look at pages 65-67:
    The evidence supports the conclusion that Governor Palin, at the least, engaged in "official action" by her inaction if not her active participation or assistance to her husband in attempting to get Trooper Wooten fired [and there is evidence of her active participation]. She knowingly, as that term is defined in the above cited statutes, permitted Todd Palin to use the Governor's office and the resources of the Governor's office, including access to state employees, to continue to contact subordinate state employees in an effort to find some way to get Trooper Wooten fired. Her conduct violated AS 39.52.110(a) of the Ethics Act. That statute provides that:

    "The legislature reaffirmas that each public officer holds offics as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust."

    Governor Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda, to wit: to get Trooper Michael Wooten fired. She had the authority and power to req
    posted by TungstenChef at 5:52 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Poor McCain. He should really fire Steve Schmidt. Not in the hope of turning his campaign around and winning the election, just to fire his dumb ass.

    And as nice as it is to see John make these efforts in walking back his ugly incitements, I really want to see Sarah do this, and do it as emphatically and as often as she had been pressing this attack up to now. And after the release of this report she should start it all off with the question, "Who is the real Sarah Palin?"
    posted by effwerd at 5:54 PM on October 10, 2008


    That's the kind of things political careers get ruined over.
    posted by TungstenChef at 5:55 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Poor McCain.
    Fuck that. He chose to piss in his own bed when he chose to piss in that of the American people.
    posted by Flunkie at 5:57 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    Florida and Ohio are both leaning blue on Pollster.com, which averages all polls, including the ones that have absurd Republican biases. So's Washington state, and do you really think Washington might go McCain?

    No, but do you really think Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia will all go to Obama because they're leaning? This is why I'm saying ignore the "lean" hoo-hah and focus on the final numbers, which I fear will be closer to 2004 than most people are saying.

    Remember, the polls were all in favor of Kerry, too. But Bush won Florida in 2004, and edged Kerry in Ohio (if you don't subscribe to conspiracy theory there). That time, Republicans managed to tie gay rights states legislative initiatives to voter turnout, which brought out all the kooks.

    Are you telling me the kooks aren't going to find a reason to crawl out from under their rocks the same way this time around? Nobody was threatening to kill John Kerry.

    In other words, don't break your arm patting yourself on the back just yet. There's still plenty of chances for this to all go to hell.
    posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:07 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    I am glad that McCain is attempting to rein it in before it bubbles over completely and leads to something even more horrific.

    I don't think these people really liked McCain to begin with, though, so who knows if they'll listen. When he finally decided to exercise some restraint and respect, they booed him...
    posted by defenestration at 6:22 PM on October 10, 2008


    > Remember, the polls were all in favor of Kerry, too. But Bush won Florida in 2004, and edged Kerry in Ohio (if you don't subscribe to conspiracy theory there). That time, Republicans managed to tie gay rights states legislative initiatives to voter turnout, which brought out all the kooks.

    This is what today looked like in 2004.

    270 Kerry, 248 Bush.

    Same site, for today:

    343 Obama, 184 McCain
    posted by mrzarquon at 6:27 PM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


    mrzarquon, I was just doing that, too, but I think the following Tuesday's report is even more instructive (in 2004, October 10 was a Sunday).
    posted by yhbc at 6:29 PM on October 10, 2008


    yhbc- you are right, or even that friday on Oct (the 8th).

    In short while no excuse to rest on ones laurels, this is a VERY different race than last time. Obama has a lead in yards, not inches. Moving 20 EV is one thing, moving 60 EV is another.
    posted by mrzarquon at 6:33 PM on October 10, 2008


    do you really think Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia will all go to Obama because they're leaning?

    Like I said, I think Obama only needs to win one of these states, and he's leading in most of them with the trends in his favor.

    Was the 2004 Election Stolen? "Republicans prevented more than 350,000 voters in Ohio from casting ballots or having their votes counted -- enough to have put John Kerry in the White House." I think Ohio was stolen.

    Today's Polls, 10/10:
    With 25 days to go until the election, Barack Obama is presently at his all-time highs in four of the six national tracking polls (Research 2000, Battleground, Hotline and Zogby) and is just one point off his high in Gallup.
    ...
    There's just nothing in there for McCain to hang his hat on.
    ...
    McCain is getting some criticism for campaigning in Iowa, and for sending Sarah Palin out to West Virginia, but the truth is that their electoral hand is so poor right now that it doesn't much matter in which states they're deciding to bide their time.
    posted by kirkaracha at 6:38 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    I saw David Sedaris in DC last weekend and during the Q&A he was asked about the election and he noted that in Europe it sucked because all he ever heard was "America will never elect a black president," to which, he reported, he had begun to reply "yes, but half of America would elect a half-black president." I think the folks at these rallies are also beginning to realize this.
    posted by Toekneesan at 7:03 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Fuck that. He chose to piss in his own bed when he chose to piss in that of the American people.

    I would rather pity him than resent him.
    posted by effwerd at 7:11 PM on October 10, 2008


    So's Washington state, and do you really think Washington might go McCain?

    I think there was a moment in there we thought it might happen -- Alaska's deep ties to Washington looked like they might color the race. But looks like we're back up toward +10.

    And honestly, I'm not worried about Obama winning Washington, especially after going to a caucus where we had about 120 people for a six square block north Seattle neighborhood. (In 2004, we drew 15.)

    What I am worried about, though, is that Obama's coattails don't seem to be transferring all that much to Gregoire. Dino Rossi as governor would be an absolute disaster for higher education in Washington. UW is now Seattle's largest employer and the second largest winner of NIH grants, a Rossi governorship could be devastating to the city's economy and jeopardize UW's national stature.
    posted by dw at 7:25 PM on October 10, 2008




    McCain has earned back a bit of my respect for trying to turn back the tide of hate.
    posted by drezdn at 8:11 PM on October 10, 2008


    McCain has earned back a bit of my respect for trying to turn back the tide of hate.
    It's a nice start if it's earnest, but frankly, he's still putting out ads that are pushing the meme, and his campaign flacks are still doing it too. Plus, Palin has been pushing it hard.

    Until McCain reigns in his campaign with respect to this, I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to assume that his recent show of contrition is "good cop" in a "good cop/bad cop" strategy.
    posted by Flunkie at 8:36 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    What I am worried about, though, is that Obama's coattails don't seem to be transferring all that much to Gregoire. Dino Rossi as governor would be an absolute disaster for higher education in Washington. UW is now Seattle's largest employer and the second largest winner of NIH grants, a Rossi governorship could be devastating to the city's economy and jeopardize UW's national stature.

    I'm worried about that, too, especially since my brother is still attending UW. The amount of support Rossi gets sort of amazes me, at least until I remember that the school district I went to high school in has been trying to pass a bond to build a new high school (the current one is enormously overcrowded) for eight years, and hasn't managed to yet. And the attempt to change the law so that school bonds don't require a super-majority failed last year as well. And that reminds me that when you get more than 100 miles from Puget Sound, Washington is populated by ass hats.

    I miss Gary Locke. A lot.
    posted by Caduceus at 8:45 PM on October 10, 2008


    Have you no decency senator? At long last?

    "No, ma'am. He's a decent, family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with (him) on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign is all about."
    He had drawn boos with his comment: "I have to tell you, he is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States."


    Oh, ok, well, I guess you do then.

    But yeah, it still strikes me as a little looney. McCain seems like a basically decent person, who has absolutely no self-control or emotional rudder, or patience, or understanding of interpersonal....he's not deliberately evil, but he's not weighted down with noble virtues is what I'm saying here.
    posted by Smedleyman at 9:18 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


    What's weird to me is the completely schizophrenic tone of the McCain campaign. They seem utterly incapable of picking a single message and sticking to it. That, of course, is part of why the Obama campaign is kicking his ass. Their message discipline has been tremendous, and it's paying off big time.
    posted by EarBucket at 9:38 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Today I went to the Board of Elections here in my county in North Carolina. There were a whole lot of young people in there making sure they were registered. The young man helping at the special table they'd set up said that he had multiple stacks of registrations and there were more than five thousand of them still to be entered.

    Today is the last day of registration for the election, and there were still more than five thousand registration forms still to be filled in. And people were still walking into the courthouse in groups, at four in the afternoon on a Friday.

    Now, true, I live in one of those 'big' cities in North Carolina with colleges and new-fangled inventions, but that many new registrations means something. I would wager that those registrations are not for people voting McCain/Palin, because in my experience here the McCain/Palin voters were already registered.

    I am desperately trying not to be overly optimistic, because I remember feeling so excited about all the young people at the polls in 2004 and my county turned out solid red. But I don't know. There was something electric in the air in the courthouse today.
    posted by winna at 10:05 PM on October 10, 2008


    I'm glad McKKKain pulled back on those two people and corrected them. A faint glimmer of whatever honor still resides in his withered frame. I think maybe deep down inside, he knows that what his campaign is doing is not only morally reprehensible but downright dangerous for the country. I mean, if he gets some of those racist assholes all fired up and one of them shoots Obama dead, this country will explode, and he will take ALL the blame for it, forever. We're one bigot's bullet away from a race war, and he was/is seriously playing with fire. Goading them on, that is clearly not "country first".
    posted by jamstigator at 10:15 PM on October 10, 2008


    > To make the two statements equivalent, you'd have to say "Ayres tried to kill a nine-year-old
    > boy, except for the condition that is missing: Ayers being involved." The statement that Ayres
    > is responsible for the attempted killing of a nine-year-old is hyperbole. The statement that
    > the crowd in the second video is not much different from a lynch mob except for two conditions
    > is a reasonable argument, as far as it goes.


    You have moderated your claim, which previously was a lynch mob...

    > I hear the concern that it's a bit exaggerated to call them a lynch mob.
    > posted by Miko at 9:46 PM on October 9 [5 favorites +] [!]

    ...and has now shrunk to not much different from a lynch mob. But you need to backpeddle some more, because there are actually three conditions required before we may call a bunch of angry yahoos a lynch mob: the two you listed (a present target and an incitement to specific action) and the one in your blind spot, namely the actual occurrence of a lynching.

    Now, considering that actually carrying out a lynching is the indispensible heart and soul of being a lynch mob (without it, no crime is committed and no one gets arrested) we have:

    1. ...except for the condition that is missing: Ayers being involved.

    2. ...except for the condition that is missing: no lynching took place.

    The cases are exactly, just exactly parallel. If the claim about Prof. Ayers is eyeball-rolling hyperbole, then so is the claim about the people in the vids.


    > This is a crock, also rich coming from you. What, you don't have a dog
    > in this fight, so you're going to take up the cause of defending Hillary
    > Clinton? Spare me.
    > posted by psmealey at 10:32 AM on October 10

    Oh, don't be a dick, mealey. I'm voting for Obama just like everybody else here--I give the man credit for being better than his creepy groupies. But I really enjoyed the character-revealing spectacle of so many lefties suddenly having a road-to-Damascus conversion and crawling in bed with Rush and Fox on the subject of Hilllary.


    > I searched on CafePress for "Clinton shirt," looking for, you know, a
    > pro-Clinton shirt. The pages upon pages of responses had a "con" to "pro"
    > ratio of about 10 to 1. They ultimately made me so upset, and so sick to my
    > stomach, that I had to stop looking at them. Had they been as baldly
    > racist as they were baldly sexist, I doubt they'd have been allowed to be
    > sold on the site.

    T-shirts, eh? Did you see this one?
    posted by jfuller at 10:37 PM on October 10, 2008


    considering that actually carrying out a lynching is the indispensible heart and soul of being a lynch mob

    Yeah, and a Klan rally that "only" ends in a cross-burning is just a few fellas getting together for a barbecue.
    posted by scody at 12:18 AM on October 11, 2008


    McKKKain

    We don't do this here.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 12:58 AM on October 11, 2008 [8 favorites]


    McCain has earned back a bit of my respect for trying to turn back the tide of hate.

    Toothpaste... meet tube.
    posted by psmealey at 3:33 AM on October 11, 2008


    Oh, don't be a dick, mealey. I'm voting for Obama just like everybody else here--I give the man credit for being better than his creepy groupies

    I apologize, jfuller. I must have confused you with someone else that I sparred with here four years ago, but either way the ad hom was uncalled for
    posted by psmealey at 3:41 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


    We're one bigot's bullet away from a race war, and he was/is seriously playing with fire. Goading them on, that is clearly not "country first".
    posted by jamstigator at 10:15 PM on October 10


    I hate to come back to this again, but I want to note that despite this comment and even my earlier comments upthread, we are already in the middle of a race war and have been since before the United States was even a sovereign entity, and it was started by rich "whites" who were terrified by the burgeoning brotherhood of poor whites and blacks who were either indentured servants or little more than serfs.

    The question posed to the "white" hegemony was this: how do we ensure a disposable population of cheap or free labor? And their solution was as simple as it was devious and evil: set the working class whites against the working class blacks by making poor whites part of "us." Oh no, we won't pay you a fair wage, or give you the same privileges we can afford, but we can set you above the blacks, just a little bit, tell you that you're better and put you in charge of checking the papers of every unaccompanied black man or woman you see. And that simple act - giving poor whites a bullshit mythology to divide them from the poor blacks with whom they had much more in common, is the foundation of the race war that continues even to this day.

    A black President is not the end of racism. It is not the end of white privilege. It is, at best, the start of the start of the end, and all whites, poor and rich alike, have a responsibility to the nation, to the black community, and yes to themselves and their children to destroy the foundations of white privilege and white hegemony.
    posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:29 AM on October 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


    McKKKain

    Oh for fuck's sake.
    posted by cortex at 7:28 AM on October 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


    Well, how 'bout McQain? More style, sort of a "Tales of Ribaldry" evil landowner feel to it. He could wear a silk shirt.
    posted by middleclasstool at 9:55 AM on October 11, 2008


    After the West Virginia Democratic Party Primary election, the Daily Show showed several clips of West Virginians saying things along the lines of "I don't trust him because of his race" and "I would never vote for him because he is black." It was painfully, disgustingly racist, and it was exactly the kind of blatant race-based-hate that most of America pretends doesn't exist anymore.

    But to me, personally, I was glad to see it. I was glad they were willing to own their hatred and wrong-headedness, and not hide behind a veil.

    "He's a....LAWYER!" isn't fooling anyone. Just throw the N-word in there, like you wanted to, and own the fact that you don't trust "certain types" with your car let alone your nation. In some ways, being a closet racist is even worse than being the other kind because it makes all the other white people suspects too.
    posted by paisley henosis at 11:32 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Here is that TDS link.
    posted by paisley henosis at 11:38 AM on October 11, 2008


    Unnamed Obama campaign official describes September's fundraising haul as "obscenely large." Bwahahahaha.
    posted by EarBucket at 11:39 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]






    She just dropped by in a neighboring town. She detoured the straight talk express when she stopped to get a pumpkin for her daughter, same place where we got ours yesterday. And where we got a couple of bushels of apples and pears for putting by. Here's the article about her visit in the local paper. The comments linked on the bottom are almost worth reading. I'm actually surprised to see such a conservative area being that critical.

    She didn't rouse up a rabel, and she did hug a 'tard. Reformin' her image I suppose. My wife went to high school with the folks who own the farm. We knew they were Republicans but this is a bit of a surprise. I guess they're a bit more Republican than we realized.
    posted by Toekneesan at 5:39 PM on October 11, 2008


    Any respect regained by McCain was lost again with the new ad that accuses Obama of lying about Ayers.
    posted by drezdn at 7:37 PM on October 11, 2008


    A dispatch from a RWW blogger in the same neighborhood as a former MetaFilter Contrarian who insisted it was Sarah who 'energized' the local voters:

    Battleground State of Mind
    posted by wendell at 7:33 AM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


    This is in front of a national reporter who's been invited into the office to see the campaign in operation:

    With so much at stake, and time running short, Frederick did not feel he had the luxury of subtlety. He climbed atop a folding chair to give 30 campaign volunteers who were about to go canvassing door to door their talking points — for instance, the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden: "Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon," he said. "That is scary." It is also not exactly true — though that distorted reference to Obama's controversial association with William Ayers, a former 60s radical, was enough to get the volunteers stoked. "And he won't salute the flag," one woman added, repeating another myth about Obama. She was quickly topped by a man who called out, "We don't even know where Senator Obama was really born." Actually, we do; it's Hawaii.
    posted by EarBucket at 9:08 AM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


    McCain Chief Uses POW Card To Defend Rally Rhetoric
    “Defending the aggressive campaign rhetoric at recent McCain-Palin events against criticisms made by Rep. John Lewis, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis raised John McCain's history as a POW on Sunday.

    ‘Look, Chris, I think we have to take this very seriously,’ Davis told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace. ‘And the kind of comments made by Congressman Lewis, a big Obama supporter, are reprehensible. The idea that you're going to compare John McCain to the kinds of hate spread in the '60s by somebody like George Wallace is outrageous. Where was John McCain when George Wallace was spreading his hate and segregationist policies at that time? He was in a Vietnam prison camp serving his country with his civil rights also denied.’”
    posted by ericb at 9:41 AM on October 12, 2008




    Okay.


    I'd like to add a few words along the lines of what I take to be at the heart of Optimus' offensive and hyperbolic statements, because I agree with the heart of the matter.

    It seems to me that power has been taken and expanded by those with the lust for it, and protected by the threat of violence from the state. It seems to me that almost all states and nations retain power by virtue of that same threat.

    It also seems to me that democratic goals and ideas are inherently about a reduction of the threat of violence, as well as the sharing of power. In a power struggle against those who believe the opposite, it seems likely that liberals will lose.

    I do think that it is far past time that we as liberals are violent against dams and logging trucks. I would absolutely advocate the destruction of the machinery that allows corporate greed to destroy our landbases. I do not think that killing people is desirable or necessary to that end.

    But that's just the environment. This new faction of idealogues that have turned the loyal opposition into the frothing horde do not want to only destroy landbases. They want to destroy thought, to grind out the seeds of independence and altruism that are at the heart of this country.

    They do indirect violence every single day against the poor and minorities. They kill them with food guns drugs and cops. It seems like the day is coming when those tactics will be changed to be more direct, so as to preserve power. If and when that day comes, liberals will have to fight back.

    The old adage of how one cannot destroy the master's house using the master's tools is false. Obviously you can, that's how the master's house was built. And soon, I think we need to begin using those tools.
    posted by lazaruslong at 12:32 PM on October 12, 2008


    This is charming.

    Christ.
    posted by jnaps at 9:04 PM on October 12, 2008


    This is charming.

    Ah, yeah, I heard about this from relatives while back home in Missouri this week. Way to go, West Plains.
    posted by Bookhouse at 9:39 PM on October 12, 2008


    Yeah, the joke about rape victims is really tasteful.

    I just want to hide in my basement until this election is finally over.
    posted by jnaps at 10:04 PM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


    What does this mean?

    Sarah Palin booed in Philadelphia before Flyers-Rangers game

    Despite pleas from the scoreboard at the Wachovia Center, which read "Flyers fans, show Philadelphia's class and welcome America's No. 1 hockey mom, Sarah Palin," ABC News' Jake Tapper reports that the booing was so prevalent that the music had to be cranked up to "deafening" levels in order to compete with the fans from the city of Brotherly Love.
    posted by jamjam at 11:05 AM on October 13, 2008


    Sarah Palin booed in Philadelphia before Flyers-Rangers game

    Check out the deleted thread about the incident for previous discussion and numerous videos taken by hockey fans in the stands.
    posted by ericb at 11:10 AM on October 13, 2008


    What does this mean?

    Many Americans don't like her. She has the lowest favorability rating (47%) of any of the four candidates with a "a large majority — 55-39% — answer[ing] ”NO” when asked if Sarah Palin 'is qualified to step in as President if she had to.'"
    posted by ericb at 11:19 AM on October 13, 2008




    Signage vandalism from the other side of the fence, here in Oregon. Gah. I know there's not much to do in Sellwood, but please don't throw molotov cocktails around.
    posted by cortex at 12:50 PM on October 13, 2008


    America’s Political Cannibalism
    posted by homunculus at 2:44 PM on October 13, 2008


    I don't know how I missed this thread when it got posted, but wow.
    posted by cashman at 5:44 PM on October 13, 2008


    Hope this wasn't already posted: it's an excellent consideration of the Ayres attack, in comparison with McCain's friendship with convicted criminal G. Gordon Liddy. Ayres and the McCain-G. Gordon Libby Symbiosis.
    posted by Miko at 6:42 PM on October 13, 2008


    My Interview with G. Gordon Liddy
    posted by homunculus at 8:40 PM on October 13, 2008


    My Interview with G. Gordon Liddy

    I had no idea that Liddy was a Nazi sympathizer, to the extent he admits to in this interview. Chilling.
    posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:10 PM on October 13, 2008


    This is charming.

    Remember: It Can't Happen Here!
    posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:13 PM on October 13, 2008


    When he was a kid himself, he went to insane ends to test his will-power. He stood in front of approaching trains, telling himself he would not die because "I am a machine too." During lightning storms, in order to demonstrate to himself to power of his will, he would climb onto tall trees and yell, "Kill me! Kill me!" He even trained himself to kill animals in anticipation of becoming a brutal soldier. He describes beheading chickens with glee: "I killed and killed and killed, and finally I could kill efficiently and without emotion or thought. I was satisfied; when it came my turn to go to war, I would be ready. I could kill as I could run - like a machine."

    ...He is famous in the US as the most fiercely loyal of Richard Nixon's "plumbers", one of the agents sent to illegally burgle, drug and libel the President's internal opponents. "The war in Vietnam was fought on the streets of America too," he says. "It was lost here at home, by people who didn't have the Will to win. We had to get the people who wanted America to lose." Including killing columnists? "If they were traitors as Jack Andersen was, directly helping the enemy, then yes."

    ...In order to demonstrate the strength of his Will, Liddy has at various points in his life burned cigarettes and candles into his flesh. By 1967 this was already causing small, permanent scars. By the time he was jailed, it nearly destroyed the tendons in his left wrist. As I place a cup in his right hand, I ask if it has ever occurred to him that this was actually a form of self-harm, a way of channeling something - self-hate or fear, perhaps - onto his body. He looks at me as if I am the crazy one. "It was a way of testing myself. Of making myself strong."

    ...He was condemned even by most of the American right in 1994 when he advised his listeners to deal with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (a strange, obsessive focus of hate on the American right) with "head shots, head shots... Kill the sons of bitches... Shoot twice to the belly and if the does not work, shoot to the groin area. Arm yourself. Get instructed in how to shoot straight. And don't register [your weapons] either." His caller replied, "And I'm aiming between their eyes." Liddy replied, "There you go. That way their flak jackets won't protect them."


    Hoooooleeeee moley.
    posted by Miko at 6:31 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Liddy does seem to be ridiculous, and not so much a Nazi sympathizer (which would be, as has been pointed out, at least an ethos) as a sympathizer with any group that values obedience, conformity and brutality over intelligence and compassion (hence he can have equal respect for the Israeli far right as the Nazis). Developing a simple tolerance of pain to mask an essential moral weakness, building perverted notions of bravery in denial of the fact that he's too much of a coward to face the reality of the world as it is and looking for excuses to punch it in the face unprovoked while still maintaining an illusion of the moral high ground.

    Sado-masochists like Liddy, sanctimonious traitors like Oliver North, Nixon (and what an astonishing hypocrite he was - I discovered recently that he was a Quaker. The entire point of Quakerism is not to be Richard Milhouse Nixon) ... the far right does throw out such weird, ridiculous figures, doesn't it?

    If McCain could be identified with him, though would it hurt? Or would being connected with this ridiculous thug not be something that most people would find to be an embarrassment?
    posted by Grangousier at 6:58 AM on October 14, 2008


    Well, how does the right spread these memes, like the Ayres meme? Virally, through emails and message boards. The first Liddy article came to my attention when a friend of mine (and fellow Democrat) sent it to my email.

    I don't think that sharing this stuff with your nearest Republican is likely to sway many votes; I think these things reinforce gut-level (or unspeakable) feelings rather than determine outcomes. However, sharing this kind of information does do one important thing: neutralizes the attack as a talking point. It's saying "Do you really want to go there? Because for every accusation you have about Ayres, someone who was never convicted of anything and has gone to live a law-abiding life of leadership and contribution to society, we have one about Liddy, a convicted and unrepentant felon who has repeatedly advocated violence against law enforcement and leaders of the state. Bring it on."
    posted by Miko at 7:32 AM on October 14, 2008


    TSG: Anti-Semite Launched Obama Smears
    Martin's sleazy background has gained renewed attention in light of his appearance this month in a Sean Hannity-hosted Fox News documentary about Obama. During that October 5 program, Martin claimed that the Democratic presidential candidate was once "in training for radical overthrow of the government." Martin offered no proof for this claim, nor was any sought by Hannity, who identified Martin as an "Internet journalist." Nor did Fox mention the kooky Martin's history of anti-Semitic statements or his arrest record (click here to view five of his mug shots).
    posted by Sys Rq at 9:34 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


    John Cleese on Sarah Palin (Youtube)
    posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:03 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


    "Kill him!" again today at a Palin rally in Scranton.
    posted by EarBucket at 10:58 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


    from that Scranton link: "I'm going to vote for the one who throws the least amount of mud at the other," said Mr. Conrad about what will sway his opinion.

    WTF mud do they think Obama's been throwing? It's nonsensical. Are people who say this confusing Obama and his campaign with supporters of Obama who are unaffiliated with the campaign?
    posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:24 AM on October 14, 2008


    Jesus, you just can't make up shit like this:
    McCain Transition Chief Aided Saddam In Lobbying Effort
    posted by FelliniBlank at 1:02 PM on October 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


    Oh, hey, wait a minute. If the Republicants are freaked out by a six-degrees-of-separation guilt-by-association Obama-Ayres link, maybe someone should show them the many guilt-by-giving-them-the-fuckin'-weapons between Bush Sr, Rumsfeld, Cheney, et al. and Osama fuckin' Bin Laden & Saddam fuckin' Hussein.

    I mean, come on.
    posted by Sys Rq at 1:17 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


    In a brief Special Comment, Keith Olbermann expresses his disapproval of the McCain/Palin campaign lynch-mob mentality and their refusal to discourage surrogates and supporters from threatening Barack Obama at GOP campaign rallies.

    Video | Transcript.
    posted by ericb at 9:57 PM on October 14, 2008


    I love you, Keith, but you need to switch to decaf today.
    posted by middleclasstool at 7:20 AM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


    C'mon, Keith, more precise, pointed examples and commentary, less massive quotes from McCain, blathering.
    posted by paisley henosis at 8:44 AM on October 15, 2008


    well, for what it's worth i was really happy to hear Olbermann speak that way. He's been accused of grand standing and smarminess, and for good reason. but i'm glad he's saying these things anyway, because someone with a large audience needs to.

    also, i'm sorry to say this but it looks like I'm gonna be a big letdown at the debates tonight. chances are i won't get home from work tonight in time to even watch the debates on tv much less drive out and canvas the people there with a camera. add to that the fact that i have no camera and no car and it's a giant bust. hope i didn't get anyone's hopes up. it looks like other people have gone and gotten ample documentation of the madness since then, anyway.
    posted by shmegegge at 8:55 AM on October 15, 2008


    "Waterboard Him!"
    posted by homunculus at 9:25 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


    i'm glad he's saying these things anyway, because someone with a large audience needs to.

    Yeah, I stopped being much interested in Olbermann's rants when it became a shtick for him. However, I was just visiting my brother and his wife. They aren't big internet people (I send them YouTube links, they don't click, "don't have time" for that), so the only way they knew about the "Kill him!" rallies was by watching the Olbermann montages at the end of his show. I'm glad he's serving as a conduit for information that wouldn't otherwise make it into the world of people who get most of their news from TV.
    posted by Miko at 10:36 AM on October 15, 2008


    Personally, not too worried about McCain/Palin or their supporters, as I'm pretty sure Barrack Obama has this one in the bag.
    posted by HelloKitty at 12:00 PM on October 15, 2008


    No. Don't do that. It's only just beginning. Each day after tonight's debate and leading up to the start of early voting in many states, is going to be like a week. People need to be at the ready - combating rumors, sending out emails, making posts, finding correct information, and sharing stories, information, advisories and strategies.

    If you watch sports, you've seen what is about to happen. A team with nothing to lose, throwing the ball all over the place, taking chances, high on adrenaline, in a hurry up mode. They won't even be thinking about things they do, they'll just strike out with the thing that seems to have the best chances of working. They won't even regroup afterward, just send out the next thing.

    The Obama campaign has already warned about the "vile" ads coming. This is no time, no time to get complacent and think for one solitary second anybody has anything in the bag. No, now is the time when the real work is. Now is the time when the people have to stand up and say "Enough". This is why you read all those articles. This is why you lift all 'em weights!

    People who want Obama to win cannot sit by. Be ready to act. Keep your schedule flexible. Be ready to email someplace. Be ready to go outside and meet with people when necessary. Be ready to call a media outlet in protest. Be ready to take voters to the polls. Be ready to support other volunteers and strategize to solve problems. Run through the tape.
    posted by cashman at 1:34 PM on October 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


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