“Your Rallies Are Beginning to Look Like Lynch Mobs”

An author and former campaigner for John McCain says in the Baltimore Sun what actually does need to be said, out loud, in public:

John McCain: If your campaign does not stop equating Sen. Barack Obama with terrorism, questioning his patriotism and portraying Mr. Obama as “not one of us,” I accuse you of deliberately feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate, and therefore of potentially instigating violence… you 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.

I wonder if McCain is actually thinking about the consequences of what he’s doing at his campaign stops right now, and the unease it give the people who do think about consequences, both on the right and the left. I don’t want John McCain to win the election, but I also don’t want him to actually lose his soul, either. These progressively scarier campaign stops look and sound increasingly like someone who’s abandoned his better judgment for a last-shred grab at the crown by any means necessary. I like a lot of folks used to like McCain. I don’t think it’s a matter of us having always been deceived; I think it’s a matter of what we thought we admired in the man simply being tossed out in the course of extraordinarily bad political calculus.

I wish I could be more snarky about this. But the fact of the matter what John McCain is saying — and what he’s not saying, to the nutjobs in his crowds (whose words, even if can’t hear them at the podium, he’s certainly been told of by now) — worries me. He’s not just making the Secret Service’s job harder for the next four weeks, you know. Given the state of the polling, he’s very likely making it harder for the next four years, for a guy whose Secret Service detail was already going to be working overtime. I’m not sure why McCain doesn’t see this, or why he doesn’t care if he does.

Update, 8:07pm: Apparently McCain is beginning to reel things back in. It’s a good start. Let’s hope he keeps it up.

113 thoughts on ““Your Rallies Are Beginning to Look Like Lynch Mobs”

  1. Palin sounds so whiny when she says, “But he’s a terrorist!” The undertext is “Please vote for meeeeee!!!!!”

    I agree it’s flat out stupid to inflame a crowd the way the McCain campaign has been, but considering that every time McCain opens his mouth his poll numbers drop, I’m truly wondering if he’s really conceding while putting on the appearance of trying to win at all costs. Think about it. Everything he’s done he has to know will disappoint people who would have voted for him in the past.

    Why else fire up the base when the base has decided and is already headed to the polls? It’s the Chester Arthur manuever.

    (In Chet’s defense, he was dying of kidney disease and didn’t want the country to face the prospect of two dead presidents in a row.)

  2. Yeah.

    I would never vote for McCain – I just have too many fundamental disagreements. But, I did respect him one. As a resident from Arizona, I was at time proud he was my Senator – of course I was equally frustrated, but for me having any pride in Republican representation is a big deal. But now he has reduced himself to a sad parody of what he once was and become just another shining example of what’s wrong with politics in this country.

    Of course Obama has at times has been a rather good example of that as well, but e hasn’t fallen nearly so far and I at least partially agree with a lot of his policies – which is more than I can say for McCain.

  3. See, I think most of you have it backwards. I think McCain has always been an unpleasant man. Just look at all the testimony about the ugliness of his temper and how quickly it shows. He’s especially quick to direct it at women. These stories aren’t just about this campaign — they go back *years*. His treatment of individual human beings around him has not been good. This hasn’t been widely known because of the way he sucked up to the press and they, gentlemanlike, didn’t tell on their pal. But as is the way of these things, once one or 2 people were brave enough to stand up and tell, more stories come trickling and then pouring out.

    The political situation of the last 20+ years when the Republicans ran things (yes, I know Clinton is a nominal Democrat) and the press was on his side allowed these things to remain hidden. The fact that he’s caved so quickly and to the dark side in this campaign suggests it’s always been there. Just a bit better controlled


  4. But what if it were true? Would it still be too dangerous to mention it, bad form, probably racist?

    What if it were true? Then what should McCain do?


  5. Actually I thought the man had already forfeited his soul when he reached across the aisle to work with (I mean, stab in the back) the Dems back around the last election over investigating the torture issue. They got something brought to the floor, and then the man turned around and sorta trod all over it. Caved. Said that the torture in Guantanamo was necessary. I remember a few weeks prior most of the political blogs I was reading were thrilled with the guy–at the time he was perceived to have been somewhat as he tries to portray himself now: a maverick. My boyfriend and I commented at the time that we were glad he was handling it, because of his own history. So we were left gaping like fish when the investigation and whatnot went nowhere. Before that we respected him. Afterwards, his word meant very little.

    That was the first time I noticed his behaviour as being somewhat inconsistent and then being on the lookout for it, have acquired a whole list of reasons why I think the man shouldn’t be at the helm of the country. But I started looking there.

  6. Step 1) Define your opponent as inhuman, (traitor, terrorist, A-rab, etc.)

    Step 2) Encourage the worst of your followers to repeat the meme, and never speak forcefully in opposition to it.

    Step 3) Watch the blood flow.

  7. The Republicans have played the politics of fear and hate for 8 years. Look at Coulter, Malkin and our VP who have repeatedly questioned the patriotism of anyone who questioned them on Iraq. This isn’t new and it’s not contained to McCain. McCain’s a desperate old man who sees the one goal he really wants slipping away and who will do ANYTHING to have it.

    Of course, he doesn’t have the courage to actually bring this up to Obama’s face in the second debate. Yes, the much vaunted war hero is… a coward.

  8. McCain has a history of demonizing his opponents – he’s better known for going nuclear on his Senate colleagues than for respectfully disagreeing with them. The “maverick” label he cultivates is partly an attempt to paper over his bridge-burning habits.

    So, really, the John McCain you see on the campaign trail this week is most likely what you’d get in the White House. Disagree with him at your peril.

  9. Joe Doakes:

    At risk of sounding flip, who cares?

    It’s not true. It’s not even close to true, or the sort of “almost true, but with the facts stretched thin” that pass for politics-as-usual.

    Therefore, it doesn’t matter.

    We’re concerned with what McCain’s currently doing (or not doing), not with what he should do over on Earth-3.

  10. Joe Doakes: The allegations against Obama are absolutely racist at their core. No politician at the level of McCain and Obama thinks of suggesting that McCain has ties to terrorists. He could have and probably has met all kinds of people as a Senator…and yet, his associations will not be questioned in quite the same way as Obama’s are. We have never seen this level of attack aimed at presidential candidates. Yes, we had swiftboaters there with Kerry, but that was a personal attack, not a racist attack. Some specific about Kerry’s past that they could lie about. The only reason the “terrorist” link has legs (amongst the supremely idiotic and bigoted) is because it plays to the racist stereotypes.

    Funny thing is: There is a certain subset of journalism and bloggers that feels free to posit widespread riots among black folk if Obama loses. But white people…they’re just defending freedom from terrorists, doncha know.

    Yeah, at the core these accusations are racist. Racist with a side helping of bigotry.

  11. What pixelfish said.

    I’d always thought he was okay. A little on the right for me, but one of the good guys. When it looked like he was standing up to Cheney & Co on torture, I was happy and impressed that he’d take that stand, even at some political risk to himself.

    And then he caved, said that torture was bad…unless it was being done by the CIA. I haven’t trusted him since that. And he’s reliably lived down to my expectations.

  12. @Joe Doakes #5:

    What if WHAT was true?

    Oh, you mean “What if Barack Obama was actually a terrorist and in league with other terrorists?”

    Well, in the olden days, we used to have this thing called “law enforcement” and “rules of evidence” and making a legal case and seeking indictments and suchlike and whatnot.

    What McCain’s doing right now is just rounding up a mob. Such a maverick.

  13. But what if it were true? Would it still be too dangerous to mention it, bad form, probably racist?

    What if what were true, Joe? Like Palin, you’re not making a specific charge that can be confirmed or refuted, you’re just floating “Obama” and “terrorist” and leaving everyone to draw what connections they will, hoping that they draw the worst connection, and perhaps act on it.

  14. I used to like McCain, too. In fact, I had a fleeting thought early in the campaign that I had to carefully consider and balance the candidates’ positions on the issues before I cast my vote. And then, even before the Dems had picked a candidate, he started the whole race-baiting thing, calling Michelle Barak’s “baby mama” and I knew that McCain was going to swim in the same moral cesspool that Rove and W loved so much. There’s no way I can vote for that kind of sleeze and I wholeheartedly agree with the Baltimore Sun article.
    Being a nerd, though, I have to say that the whole article makes me think of Yoda lecturing Annakin Skywalker, “Hate will lead you to the Dark Side!”

  15. As Bart Simpson would say, the ironing is delicious.

    Eight-plus years of absurd left wing insults and accusations of Bush et al., and who cares, it’s just a couple of crazy people, right? But a couple crazy right wingers go off and now it’s grounds for complete indictment of McCain and all Republicans.

    You are unleashing the monster of American hatred and prejudice, to the peril of all of us.

    Seriously, has this guy never been to DailyKos or MoveOn or any of the rest? Or seen/read about a Code Pink rally, or anti-Bush protest? There’s hatred all over the place, and implying it’s all on the right is both disingenuous and yet completely expected.

    Glass houses, etc.

    (I probably need to disclaim that up until recently I was planning to vote for McCain, but I’ve become fed up with him and Republicans in general so I’m much less likely to do so now. So this is not from a place of defending “my” candidate, it’s from a place of calling out left wingers blind to the “hatred and intolerance” among their own numbers. Nor am I defending the idiots claiming Obama is a terrorist or whatever; I think those accusations can be dismissed without my help.)

  16. One of the things that’s interesting about this election is that we’re actually having two different elections at once.

    For Democrats and Independents, we’re choosing our political leader for the next four years.

    For Republicans, we’re apparently having a referendum on the apocalypse.

    I’m not sure quite why this is. Is it the right-wing demagogues of Limbaugh, Hannity, Malkin and Coulter, the hate machine of Rove?

    The all or nothing style of this wing of the Republican party certainly seems to be at least partly responsible. They’ve spent so much time demonizing “liberals” and acting as if they’re subhuman that the idea of one in power can only be an annihilating event. They’ve spent so much time building liberals up as the true evil empire that their sudden mob-like response makes sense. For them, this is it. The moment when the world ends.

    Sadly, it seems that if they’re world is ending, they’re determined to drag us all down with them.

  17. I used to think McCain had always been a respectable guy, but of late I think he sold his soul a long time ago, even before he reversed his stance on torture.

    Right now I see an intensely angry man. I think he knows what he’s doing—and I think he doesn’t care. I doubt that he’s too stupid or ignorant to realize what’s going on and what may happen. It’s the last bit of spite he can pitch Obama’s way, and we can see in the debates and other occasions that he hates the man. I think he would actually feel vindicated if Obama was assassinated.

    On the other hand, if he really is too stupid or ignorant to realize what he’s doing, then I have no idea what to say to that. Except that it would be rather sad.

    In a random bit of truly surreal news of the splintered right, Michelle Malkin turned on McCain. I don’t know that she’ll vote Obama, but she definitely is not on McCain’s side right now. It’s getting real weird out there.

  18. KevinR: PinkoLiberal666 calling McCain an arsewipe on forums or blogs without specifically backing it up with reasons (turnaround on torture, voting with Bush 90 percent of the time, not voting on the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay act, etc) why McCain’s actions make him an arsewipe certainly smacks of hatred. Sure. I’ll grant that. But PinkoLiberal666 is not in a policy making position on the national stage.

    Palin, a vice-presidential candidate, calling Barack a terrorist by association and letting her base draw conclusions where they may, is on another level altogether. And that is the level we are discussing here. McCain is letting somebody on his campaign use racially-rooted smears, and remaining silent.

  19. I want Obama to win, but I will admit to having been worried about it too. We’ve already got folks who believe ANY black man should not be president, and now we have McCain’s supporters getting pissed off that he’s behind in the polls? His rallies are becoming quite scary from what little they’ve shown on CNN, and his feeble attempts to “calm them down” have done NOTHING. It’s just crazy that his campaign is adding fuel to the fire — with, presumably, McCain’s approval.

    Honestly, it only makes me more certain that McCain should not be president. If he can show such incredibly poor judgment about something that’s so obvious, how on earth can he lead this country with anything even remotely bordering wisdom?

    Here’s hoping the whole mess only wakes more people up and McCain gets completely shut down come election day. In the meantime, I wonder if the people who see what’s going on should point out the obvious to McCain and his campaign since he’s so blind to it.

  20. Sobering stuff. It seems like one more symptom of something that’s badly broken in the world today, though. Too much hate and suffering, not enough cheerfully turning a profit by doing fun things.

  21. Arachne: That (seeing Malking jump ship) is somewhat surreal, but we gotta remember that Republicans aren’t completely monolithic, even if they do a good job (too good sometimes) energising their base. (Not this year hopefully.) When I called my Mormon dad before Sarah Palin had been picked and various people were still floating Mitt Romney as a possibility, I made the mistake of assuming my dad would be happy if that occured. (A Mormon next in line for the White House? Utah would be shitting themselves with delight.) Dad was not actually that thrilled though and rightly accused me of thinking of him in those monolithic terms. (Don’t know what he thinks of Palin. We try to avoid the politics talk. It does bad things for our relationship.)

  22. @Kevin R – Are you really suggesting that the hate spewed by left-wing FRINGE groups is somehow equally balanced by hate being spewed by a candidate for the President of the United States?!?
    There are hate groups on both sides of the divide, some of them downright prolific, like that Ann Coulter harpie (and Fox News), but none of them is in serious contention for the leader of the free world! That’s what scares the crap out of anyone with a scrap of good sense.
    Get some perspective, dude.

  23. @Joe Doakes #5

    ..and what if John McCain it the “Manchurian Candidate”?

    He was a POW held by the North Vietnamese! Could be!

    But who would really give that claim any credulence.

    Obama is no more a terrorist than McCain is the Manchurian Candidate. Both men deserve better than having such crap thrown at them.

  24. If McCain had attended political fundraisers sponsored by a former and unrepentant Klansman and if he had worked at an educational organization founded by that same Klansman, I think Obama would be right in pointing that out. Would it mean McCain is a Klansman? No. It would cast doubt on his judgment and bring up legitimate questions about McCain’s beliefs, specifically as they relate to education.

    Is Obama a terrorist? No. There is a legitimate question about the degree to which he shares Ayer’s (a former and unrepentant terrorist) views on education policy. Ayers wasn’t someone that Obama met once or twice, he wasn’t just “a guy in his neighborhood.” Ayers founded an organization that Obama ran. Anyone who’s ever worked with nonprofits knows that the relationship between executive and board is close, active and constant.

    Granted, McCain isn’t asking these question very well, and some of his supporters are clearly unhinged (claiming that Ayers wrote Obama’s book, etc…). In that respect, John Scalzi is exactly right, McCain should be doing more to dress down the lunatic fringe.

    All that said, McCain is clearly desperate. It’s one thing to get Obama to clarify his relationship with Ayers (as with Wright), and quite another thing to make it the primary focus of a campaign.

  25. Look what the GOP machine did to Dole in ’96. Politics aside, Bob Dole is a smart and extremely funny man. You didn’t see any of that on the campaign trail though. While they eradicated Dole’s sense of humor they seem to have eradicated McCain’s sense of decency.

    In the stampede to make sure they do not present a candidate with bad character they have insured that their candidates have absolutely no character whatsoever.

  26. Kevin R:

    “Eight-plus years of absurd left wing insults and accusations of Bush et al., and who cares, it’s just a couple of crazy people, right?”

    Um… The difference (apart from it coming at Presidential rallies rather than random websites) is that, yknow, a lot of the ‘insults’ against Bush are TRUE. Well, it depends what you mean by insults, really. Is pointing out that he authorised torture an insult? Is pointing out that he detained hundreds of people without charge an insult? Is pointing out that he’s instituted a pervasive surveillance state an insult?

    If they are, they’ll still all undeniably true.

  27. @Patrick: “Ayer’s (a former and unrepentant terrorist)”

    What’s interesting is how welcoming the GOP has been to convicted criminals like G. Gordon Liddy, Oliver North and Chuck Colson. They don’t mind hanging out with criminals who have turned their lives around (ahem) but can’t understand why anyone else would.

    I don’t know about Colson, but I can’t imagine that Liddy or North have ever APOLOGIZED for their wrongdoing. Am I wrong? Is North repentant? Liddy?

  28. But the fact of the matter what John McCain is saying — and what he’s not saying, to the nutjobs in his crowds (whose words, even if can’t hear them at the podium, he’s certainly been told of by now) — worries me.

    You mean, as opposed what Obama isn’t saying to stop the rape threat against Palin made by a supporter, or the race riot predictions made by influential Democrats if Obama doesn’t win?

    There’s plenty of ugliness to go around this election. It does no favors to anyone, but calling on one side as the sole generator is an exercise in willful blindness.

  29. I don’t know about Colson, but I can’t imagine that Liddy or North have ever APOLOGIZED for their wrongdoing. Am I wrong? Is North repentant? Liddy?

    Agreed. It’s an issue for both parties and for both candidates. What is the nature of McCain’s relationship with Liddy? That’s a perfectly fair question.

  30. gerrymander @ 34, were those threats made to at an Obama rally, to Obama’s face? If they were, and he didn’t slap them down, then shame on him. But I’ll be very surprised if that’s the case. (Please provide links/evidence if it is, and I’ll be happy to eat my words, and ask the Obama campaign to condemn such statements now and in the future.)

    On the other hand, that definitely has been the case in some of the incidents to which Scalzi is referring.

  31. Random thing I remember: the Palin rallies have gotten so out of hand that they’ve started attacking the press who attend them.

    Having your campaign go after the press is usually a way to get your a$$ handed to you in an election.

  32. Patrick, Liddy’s regularly contributed to McCain, including $1000 this cycle. And McCain’s most recent appearance on Liddy’s show (less than a year ago) he said: “I’m proud of you…It’s always a pleasure for me to come on your program, Gordon, and congratulations on your continued success and adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great.”

    Sounds pretty close to me.

  33. Gerrymander:

    “It does no favors to anyone, but calling on one side as the sole generator is an exercise in willful blindness.”

    Oh, what complete bullshit, Gerrymander. There’s a huge difference in both degree and kind in what’s coming out directly from the mouths of the Republican and Democratic candidates, and trying to make an equivalence between them at this point is just plain delusional.

    Also, you trying to make an equivalence between a professional comedian making outrageous statements on stage at a concert that has nothing to do with Obama with people in a McCain or Palin rally shouting violent words as a direct response to what the candidates are saying is appallingly disingenuous and apparently predicated on the idea that the rest of us are too stupid to know the difference between the two. Don’t do that again. It offends me to be considered that stupid.

  34. Amen brother.

    It’s sad, and more than a little scary, to see a great American destroy himself in this particular way, at this particular juncture, at a time when Americans desperately need a leader able enough to prevail against perhaps the most daunting challenges we have ever faced as a nation.

    Frankly, I’m embarassed for the man.

    He seemed to have so many positive things going for him. He promised to run a respectful, principalled campaign and to keep it about the issues. No negative ads, no mud slinging. Instead he’s out there on “the ragged edge of the truth” dragging himself down into the muck he promised not the rake.

    Buckle your seat belts folks. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

  35. Jon Marcus, I’d seen that bit on McCain’s appearance on Liddy’s show as well. I’d like to hear McCain defend that statement. What principles and what philosophies was he referring to?

    As to censuring the fringe, Obama has done a much better job than McCain. Obama’s response to the early smears about Palin’s family, for example, were exactly right.

  36. “I just have to rely on the good judgment of the voters not to buy into these negative attack ads. Sooner or later, people are going to figure out if all you run is negative attack ads you don’t have much of a vision for the future or you’re not ready to articulate it.”
    — John McCain, 2000

  37. The GoP has always been good at talking in code. Nixon went on about “states rights.” Reagan about “welfare queens.” McCain is now talking about “terrorists”. It’s all about the same thing — scaring those who understand the language. Racism.

  38. I, too, once thought much more of Senator McCain than I do now. In fact, way back in 2006 when I first heard his name associated with the 2008 election, I got excited because from what I could tell, this was a guy who knew what he was doing….

    I can’t wait to cast my vote for Obama tomorrow (early voting in Ohio started September 30th!!!) and leave the whole election behind me…

  39. Perhaps that is just what McCain intends. If someone does violence to his opponent he assumes he will be a shoe in. I hate to say it but it is what I am thinking.

    I too once respected and even kind of liked McCain, but those days are long gone. Now I fear him and what he is willing to do to obtain a job that he is compektely unsuited for.

    The American Political Machine – It ain’t what it used to be.

  40. Of course, you should also remember that when you hear Ayers described as a “terrorist”, you should read that as “trust-fund white kid, protesting against Vietnam.”

    But no, to the wingers, he’s a “terrrrist.” Despite the fact that the Feds dropped all charges when he surrendered.

    And yet someone shoots at an abortion clinic, they’re not a “terrrrist.” They’re a “pro-life activist.”

  41. gMike:

    Back in June a lot of people thought Hilary Clinton’s multiple mentionings of Bobby Kennedy’s murder were her way of saying, “I’m hanging out incase he get’s shot.”

  42. When you compare the behavior of Senator McCain to Senator Obama, regarding mud-slinging and false accusations, it is amazingly obvious which one has integrity and keeps his cool under pressure.

    Even if I had ever considered voting for McCain, which I hadn’t, I would be convinced that of the two, Obama is the one fit to lead out country during this mess.

  43. There is a legitimate question about the degree to which he shares Ayer’s (a former and unrepentant terrorist)

    Dammit, “unrepentant” is simply NOT TRUE.

    Ayers has said on several occasions that he wishes he did more to stop the war…but this “more” doesn’t include terrorism. The most obvious case was the entry on his blog disputing the January NY Times article.

    Moreover, if Ayers is such a unrepentant terrorist, how come he got millions of REPUBLICAN dollars (you know, the Annenberg Foundation? Walter Annenberg? And Leonore Annenberg, who’s a supporter of McCain?)? And why was he named Citizen of the Year for CHicago in 1997?

    Jesus Christ, people, THINK!!!!!!

  44. It shocks me that so many people are surprised by this. The man has done this his whole career attacking people horribly and with all vehemence he can muster. It just has never sank to this level. It’s been there the whole time. He is an abrasive man who goes nuclear on Senators who disagree with him. He has shown and continues to show that he will do anything for power.

    The reason that his poll numbers drop when says these statements is because not all right-wingers believe in winning at all costs. I know that’s probably hard to swallow for some people commenting here, but like Scalzi said in 46, some of us think. Some of us are ashamed of our fringe people and worry about what McCain is, without words, giving them license to do. McCain is a scary man, who will do whatever it takes to get the ending he wants. Now, that he’s not a media darling, everyone gets to see what an idiot he is.

    I had hoped Palin would season as a political entity for 2012 while on the McCain; she’s just not ready for the big show. However, now, she never will be, with the statements she is making. Believe it or not, not all Repubs or right wingers agree with their tactics.

  45. I’m don’t think I ever heard John McCain or Sarah Palin “equate Obama with terrorism.” They *have* raised legitimate questions about Obama’s associations with domestic terrorist William Ayers and the race-baiting Jeremiah Wright. These questions are not all-consuming issues, but they to deserve to be answered.

    Since President Obama (let’s resign ourselves to the inevitable at this point) will bring hundreds of his cadres to Washington with him, it is reasonable to question his associations. Obama is not a terrorist, nor an abettor of terrorists. He is, however, quite comfortable associating with far-left extremists who openly declare their hatred for America (Ayers and Wright). This doesn’t bode well for the composition of the Obama cabinet.

    The media has also mostly ignored the fact that Louis Farrakan, one of the most hateful, race-baiting anti-Semites since the Nazi era, has declared Obama to be “the messiah.” Obama has refuted Farrakan’s explicitly anti-Semitic statements, but he has not explicitly denounced Farrakan as the demagogue and racist that he is.

    I agree that McCain and Palin should have reprimanded the handful of rowdy attendees at their conventions. That point is fair. But I would like to see the same righteous outrage from the press over some of Obama’s fringe supporters.

  46. Several relatively prominent Republicans have now gone on record warning against this sort of campaigning on the part of McCain/Palin. One is retiring Illinois Rep. Ray LaHood, who led the House impeachment process in 1998. Another is former (longtime) Michigan Gov. William Milliken. I think others, maybe some who aren’t retiring, will soon follow – even if only in fear of other Rep candidates going down with McCain. (Me personally, I hope every single Republican candidate for national office is repudiated, individually and collectively.)

  47. This has become more and more alarming over the last few days. I don’t want to invoke Godwin’s Law here, but the McCain/Palin supporters I saw on a video yesterday truly believe that they’re in a battle against the evil “Them” that would subvert their country, steal their money and, I don’t know, make us a Soviet/Arab satellite state. They don’t really know who this Obama guy is, but they’re sure he’s a terrorist, because their preferred candidate and their preferred press outlets insinuate just enough to lead them to that conclusion. They won’t learn otherwise as long as McCain and Palin encourage this line of thinking rather than clearly speaking out against it in a forum the “low information voters” will see. They’ve been trained to think that the New York Times, NBC (let alone MSNBC) et al. are part of the left wing conspiracy. They won’t even hear / read / watch what is said outside their cocoon of approved media, let alone believe it.

    On the other side, many people won’t watch Fox News or listen to right wing radio shows, but that’s about the extent of the blinkering. And that’s not much, because any allegation brought up on Fox is quickly mentioned and factually disputed elsewhere. Joe Biden doesn’t stand up and intimate that McCain is a terrorist sympathizer because he befriended David Ishin, a student radical who spoke out against the U.S. on Hanoi radio while McCain was a POW, or condones treason against the U.S. because he’s been on a Watergate conspirator’s talk show. And when an Obama crowd got restless recently over protesters in their midst, Obama reminded them that the right to First Amendment public discourse, even from McCain supporters at an Obama rally, was good and valuable. (I assume they were led away at that point, though.)

    There is no equivalence. It is a stark contrast. The only equivalence is the casual name-calling on many comment threads (not here). Calling the other guy “McSame” or “Nobama” or worse does little or nothing to establish why one should not vote for him.

    As for McCain as former good guy: I believed it too until the Rolling Stone article. But from everything I’m reading now, he was always unprincipled and had a hair-trigger temper. We just didn’t know about it, because it wasn’t reported (at least not in Tucson) and he was very good at portraying himself as a moderate. I fell for it, and voted for him a few times. Never again.

  48. @Edward Trimnell (#55)

    You are correct, sir. Neither John McCain or Sarah Palin have, at least in public, have claimed Obama is a terrorist. It was only Sarah Palin, the vice presidential candidate for the Republican Party, who said that Obama is merelypalling around with terrorists. You know, the sort who like to bomb Americans and fly planes into our buildings and such things like that.

    So, Obama a terrorist: No. Obama a close, intimate friend of terrorists: Oh yah, for sure. Thankfully neither McCain or Palin have ever taken the sickening step of claiming the former, because only that would be incorrect. Kudos on your observational acumen.

  49. Hmm. Please note that my comment above should be seen as a reply to comment #54. Something changed in the period between composing and posting…

  50. McCain has now asked his supporters to be “respectful” of Obama.

    I don’t mean that you have to lose your ferocity. I just mean you have to be respectful.

    I wonder if the genie can go back in the bottle, or whether the problem may just go underground?

  51. They *have* raised legitimate questions about Obama’s associations with domestic terrorist William Ayers

    You mean the Chicago citizen of the year for 1997? The one that works with Republicans and Democrats in Illinois? The one that lobbied for and got money from the Annenberg Foundation, the Republican oriented foundation? The one who spent over two decades in Chicago public life with very complaints?

    THINK, people, THINK!

  52. gwangung:

    You point out an interesting fact, which is that Obama’s association with Ayers is notorious largely to the extent that all one knows about him is what one learns from the McCain campaign.

  53. gwangung@#61

    Yes, Ayers was selected as Chicago’s “Citizen of the Year” in 1997. This was a despicable decision and the people of Chicago should be ashamed of it.

    This meaningless award doesn’t change the fact that Ayers is an unrepentant murderer who stood on an American flag after 9/11. When asked about his domestic terrorism in 2008, Ayers declared that his group “didn’t bomb enough s–t.”

    Defend Obama if you must. But William Ayers is a disgrace. He belongs in a prison cell.

  54. “He is, however, quite comfortable associating with far-left extremists who openly declare their hatred for America (Ayers and Wright). This doesn’t bode well for the composition of the Obama cabinet.”

    OK, Edward what would be your reaction to a candidate who attended the conventions of a party whose founder ranted “The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government… And I won’t be buried under their damn flag… I’m not an American… I’ve got no use for America or her damned institutions” and whose spouse was, until 2 years ago, a member of that party? Would you condemn them? Question their association with such fringe elements?

    If so… talk to Sarah Palin. That quote is from the founder of the Alaska Independence Party and Palin and her husband have both shown support for the party over the years. Her husband was a member of that party until she wsa elected Governor.

    If you’re concerned about a candidate who associates with fanatics who hate America, Sarah Palin is FAR closer to fitting that description than Obama.

  55. rick@#64

    I’m no fan of McCain or Palin. As I noted in a previous thread on this site, I have already mailed in my vote for Bob Barr. (You can vote early in Ohio.) Like many conservatives, I am apalled at the direction the GOP has taken in recent years under the leadership of the neocons and the religious right.

    If the Democrats had nominated Hillary I likely would have voted Democratic this time. But Obama is a sad alternative: a frivolous candidate with no track record and far-left extremist associations. Biden also would have been a better choice for the top job.

  56. The most charitable spin I’ve seen regarding McCain’s increasingly nastiness came last month from Kevin Drum :

    As near as I can tell, McCain, deep in his gut, has convinced himself that Barack Obama is flatly unfit to the president. He’s too inexperienced, he’s an empty suit, he’s naive, and he’ll end up surrendering a weakened and declining America to Islamic extremism without a fight. The campaign corollary to this is obvious: the truly honorable course if you love your country is to do whatever it takes to make sure Obama never gets near the Oval Office.

    But the way rhetoric has turned this week, I’m becoming increasingly worried we’ll see an assassination attempt.

  57. AFAIK none of the stuff Ayers was involved with actually killed anyone.

    So he’s not a murderer, unrepentant or otherwise.

  58. Ed @ 63: If that’s what the McCain campaign told you Ayers said, they lied to you.

    Ayers’ full quote makes it clear that he did *not* think his group “didn’t bomb enough”, but that that’s what some people are wrongly interpreting his “we didn’t do enough” quote to mean.

    Here’s a bit more of the quote, via Jake Tapper’s blog on abcnews.com (where you can read the full statement I’m quoting from below.)

    “…When I say, ‘We didn’t do enough,’ a lot of people rush to think, ‘That must mean, “We didn’t bomb enough s—.”‘ 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.’

    “The war in Vietnam was not only illegal, it was profoundly immoral, millions of people were needlessly killed. Even though I worked hard to end the war, I feel to this day that I didn’t do enough because the war dragged on for years after the majority of the American people came to oppose it….”

    You can still argue with Ayers’ position if you like, but you can’t argue that presenting his position as “we didn’t bomb enough s—” isn’t fundamentally dishonest.

  59. This

    is how Senator Obama makes his point regarding how Senator McCain can not be trusted to run the government.

    Quite a bit different form Senator McCain’s recent rants.

  60. Lisa@#66:
    “But the way rhetoric has turned this week, I’m becoming increasingly worried we’ll see an assassination attempt.”

    I am also concerned about that. But I don’t think it will come from garden-variety McCain supporters.

    And just for the record: I think Obama lacks the characteristics needed to be President. But if he wins, he will be my President too. That’s the way it goes in America. The first word in the term “loyal opposition” is loyal–and no one should forget that.

    And if Obama can turn the current mess around, more power to him. I find it hard to be optimistic on this note, but I hope Obama succeeds if does get elected.

  61. This meaningless award doesn’t change the fact that Ayers is an unrepentant murderer who stood on an American flag after 9/11. When asked about his domestic terrorism in 2008, Ayers declared that his group “didn’t bomb enough s–t.”

    This is a bald-faced lie, which I have pointed out before. Moreover, at his worst, he’s a bomber, not a murderer. Don’t conflate others’ actions with his.

    But you’re right. It doesn’t change the fact that Ayers had worked, without much of a hitch, for over two decades with both Republican and Democratic politicians. And that he competed for AND WON funds from a foundation found by a Republican and includes supporters of Senator McCain.

    What’s meaningless are poorly researched and poorly thought out accusations that simply don’t hold up with a minute of thought. THAT’S what’s irritating me the most. It ain’t just Obama and Ayers; it’s Obama, Ayers and a whole chunk of Chicago. I think it’s pretty stupid to just write off the second largest city in America as palling around with a terrorist.

  62. gwangung#73

    “This is a bald-faced lie”

    Here’s a picture of Ayers stepping on the flag:


    If this isn’t Ayers, I stand corrected. (But this seems to be Ayers stepping on an American flag.)

    “Moreover, at his worst, he’s a bomber, not a murderer.”

    Please….surely you didn’t write that with a straight face. Is he a “non-violent bomber”? His organization (the Weather Underground) used nail bombs, for goodness sake. Would you seriously argue that he didn’t intend to harm anyone?

    But once again, if I have done poor research, and he *wasn’t* a member of the Weather Underground, feel free to publicly embarrass me. (Because I, unlike you, am posting under my real name–not a pseudonym.)

    “I think it’s pretty stupid to just write off the second largest city in America as palling around with a terrorist.”

    That’s not exactly what I said. I said the people of Chicago should be ashamed to have this character representing their city as “citizen of the year.” I think a lot of Chicagoans would agree. The Windy City deserves better representation.

    Ayers blew up a statue right beside the Kennedy Expressway.

    Yeah, sounds like a citizen of the year to me.

  63. Ed @74

    You successfully avoided the actual points made by gwangung and obfuscated his argument. Congratulations – you are now qualified to be on the Republican ticket.

    He never said he wasn’t a member of the organization – he said he was not a murderer. You did not refute this. Fail 1.

    He never said he didn’t step on a flag – he said the comment about “Not bombing enough s…” was a bald faced lie – which he proved. You did not refute this, yet act as if you did. Fail 2.

    I am posting under my real name. Of course, that has nothing to do with the case at hand, and you know it. That was just thrown out there to make yourself look more trustworthy – and proves you are not. Fail 3.

    Sorry, Ed. You’re out.

  64. 34: Cite. No, seriously, I want to know about it. Sounds interesting and something that should be dealt with, if true.
    63: Cite. Oh, I see someone already has. Doesn’t sound so convincing that way, does it?

    I guess you can figure out my answer to the question posed in 5: “Cite.” You know, to Obama’s supporters, that might just work, if you can back it up. After all, the Democrats are accused of believing that if they can just show the truth, the American people will follow. That may or may not be valid, but a lot of Democrats were wooed by the truth, and the truth could woo them back!

    Might be a bit harder this year than 2004, though, given how well the swift-boat “proof” has stood up to inspection since it has no longer been necessary.

  65. Thank you all for re-educating me.

    I realize now that bombing the Pentagon isn’t terrorism.

    I realize now that everything Rethuglicans say is racist.

    I realize now that my resistance to re-education was wrong-headed and racist.

    I realize now that the emotion I thought was anger was just my wrong thoughts passing away from me.

    I thank you all for re-educating me.

  66. Sorry, if someone else has responded to this, but:
    # Patrickon 10 Oct 2008 at 2:45 pm

    If McCain had attended political fundraisers sponsored by a former and unrepentant Klansman and if he had worked at an educational organization founded by that same Klansman, I think Obama would be right in pointing that out.

    Ya know, Patrick, it’s amazing you should say that. See, there’s this guy, G. Gordon Liddy, well, I’ll just block quote from here:

    “Liddy served four and a half years in prison for his role in the break-ins at the Watergate and at Daniel Ellsberg’s psychologist’s office. He has acknowledged preparing to kill someone during the Ellsberg break-in “if necessary.” He plotted to kill journalist Jack Anderson. He plotted with a “gangland figure” to murder Howard Hunt in order to thwart an investigation. He plotted to firebomb the Brookings Institution. He used Nazi terminology to outline a plan to kidnap “leftist guerillas” at the 1972 GOP convention. And Liddy’s bad acts were not confined to the early 1970s. In the 1990s, he instructed his radio audience on how to shoot Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents (“Go for a head shot; they’re going to be wearing bulletproof vests.” In case anyone missed the subtlety of his point, Liddy also insisted: “Kill the sons of bitches.”) During Bill Clinton’s presidency, Liddy boasted that he named his shooting targets after the Clintons.

    What does Liddy have to do with the presidential election? As Media Matters has noted:

    Liddy has donated $5,000 to McCain’s campaigns since 1998, including $1,000 in February 2008. In addition, McCain has appeared on Liddy’s radio show during the presidential campaign, including as recently as May. An online video labeled, “John McCain On The G. Gordon Liddy Show 11/8/07,” includes a discussion between Liddy and McCain, whom Liddy described as an “old friend.” During the segment, McCain praised Liddy’s “adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great,” said he was “proud” of Liddy, and said that “it’s always a pleasure for me to come on your program.”

    McCain even backed Liddy’s son’s congressional bid in 2000 — a campaign that relied heavily on the elder Liddy’s history.

    To sum up: John McCain is “proud” of his “old friend” Gordon Liddy — an old friend who plotted to kill one of the most respected journalists in American history, and who urged listeners to kill federal agents and advised them on how to do so. McCain campaigned for Liddy’s son, and Liddy has even hosted a fundraiser for McCain at his home.

    So McCain’s relationship with Liddy is pretty much a direct parallel to Obama’s relationship with Ayers. Except that McCain and Liddy have apparently spent time together more recently than Obama and Ayers. And Liddy’s extremist activities continued well into the 1990s, at least. And Liddy says he and McCain are “old friends,” while The New York Times says Obama and Ayers aren’t close. And Obama has never said Ayers adheres to “the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great.” Other than all that, it’s a direct parallel.”

    Is McCain a terrorist? No. There is a legitimate question about the degree to which he shares Liddy’s (a former convicted felon who promoted murdering government agents) views on national security. Liddy wasn’t someone that McCain met once or twice…

    Well, you do the rest.
    Hope you’re as concerned about Liddy as you are about Ayers.
    You are, right?

    (Amazingly enough, we can play the same fun game with Rezko and real estate developer Donald Diamond, or Wright and either John Hagee or Sarah Palin’s genuinely unhinged pastor.)

  67. sorry, 78 should I guess be more directed at Edward than at Patrick. Patrick, thanks for acknowledging McCain’s questionable associations–it’s more than the media’s done.

  68. #74: Here’s a picture of Ayers stepping on the flag:

    If McCain wins and I’m standing in a soup line next year, I will take some comfort in the fact that the country rejected the competent candidate because he knew a guy who stepped on a flag and blew up a statue.

  69. I’m sorry, but the Republicans have no room on this one – Reagan supported terrorists who sold drugs and killed civilians – they were called contras and were on ‘our’ side in Nicaragua, but let’s not pretend that they weren’t terrorists by today’s definition. And the Taliban and other fundamentalist terrorists? Go learn about who financed the mujahadeen (sp?) in Afghanistan when the Soviets were there.

    Ed – re Bob Barr… while I might not agree with some of his positions and he’s certainly a fringe candidate with no chance of winning… good for you for voting the candidate closest to your values. But don’t then turn around and say Obama’s 18 million votes aren’t significant endorsements that those people believe he IS fit to govern. If he wins a majority of those who voted* the likewise will have elected him in the belief that he IS ready to govern. Your opinion might be otherwise, but don’t pretend it’s fact. There’s no clear cut correlation between good presidents and long experience in office.

    *I could care less about unregistered or registered but didn’t vote people.

  70. An author and former campaigner for John McCain…

    It’s not just that — Frank Schaeffer is one of the founding fathers of Christian political conservatism. His father, Francis Schaeffer Sr., is generally regarded as one of the most influential popular Evangelical theologians who lived and Frank himself was instrumental in the building of the early-80s pro-life coalition that helped propel Republicans to power and keep them there for so long.

    His story is a fascinating one, especially for those interested in understanding how the rotestant church in the united states became (effecively) the get-out-the-vote aparatus for the GOP.

  71. McCain’s walkback didn’t last long. His campaign is now accusing Obama of attacking his supporters by saying it’s easy to rile people up when you can’t talk about issues.

    I’m really baffled by these people. Not the yahoos showing up at McCain’s rallies to get their hate on and scream for Obama’s head – they’re just your garden variety savages – but McCain’s campaign people, McCain, and the Palin clan. They lie more often than they breathe, pull truly idiotic self-serving stunts (Palin clears herself in her own investigation? Really?), make incoherent, self-contradictory statements, and are in all ways so twisted they must have to turn around three times to see themselves in a mirror.

    “Stupid” isn’t the right word; they’re howlingly ignorant, and damn proud of it, but I’m not sure they’re actually stupid. “Evil” doesn’t cover it either: to call them evil would actually dignify them. “Evil” doesn’t have people put on clown suits and hand out kangaroo balloon animals at the release of a political/criminal investigation.

    Wait, I have it!


    They’re alien.

    Not in the from-another-country sense.

    Maybe not even in the from-another-planet sense.

    More like from-an-alternate-universe sense, where entropy has reached its end result: no logic and no causality, just random events in a cacaphony.

  72. Um, G. Gordon Liddy is the least of McCain’s Ayers-type associations.

    This year McCain decided to hold his birthday party on the mega-yacht owned by a convicted Italian felon now sitting in prison.

    He decided to try to step in to overturn a visa ruling for a criminal Russian oligarch who has extensive lobbying ties to his campaign manager Rick Davis.

    He sought funding for the liar and traitor Achmed Chalabi, who provided the US government with pages upon pages of false intelligence on those weapons of mass destruction and was suspected of spying for Iran. McCain’s top two foreign policy advisors are both former lobbyists for Achmed Chalabi.

    In the 80’s, McCain was part of an organization responsible for directly providing funding for the Contra terrorist group along with former Nazi leaders.

    John McCain’s chief advisor, Charlie Black, lobbied for mass murderers and military juntas all around the world. The man McCain picked to run his national convention has extensive lobbying ties to the military junta of Burma.

  73. @34:
    , or the race riot predictions made by influential Democrats if Obama doesn’t win?

    Would you mind naming a few of these influential Democrats? Because the only people I’ve heard of making that prediction are right-wing bloggers and media shills.

  74. Bill Ayers is lucky that his conrades blew themselves up rather than that Army non-coms’ dance; that could have been a historical moment and probably would have let rip even more violent forces in American society. FBI death squads are something I really don’t want to think about.

    Still, it would be nice if those folks who are perturbed about the dubious acts of Mr. Ayers (and I certainly find them dubious) would share as much outrage over how the current administration has undercut our rights and protections. I think we can agree that the Constitution is a tad more important than the flag. In general, our GOP brethern need to get over the Sixties already; they look silly.

    I also wonder about Sen. McCain backtracking a bit over some of the lurid rhetoric he’s been encouraging. Apart from responsible GOP disdain for these tactics could it be that the Secret Service gave the esteemed senior Senator from Arizona a talking to?

  75. Well, attacking political candidates for passing, legitimate professional acquaintances with criminals and ne’erdowells is one way to reduce the preponderance of lawyers in politics.

  76. Proving that John McCain is actually Cthulu in no way refutes the fact that Obama is the anti-Christ.

    Lots of people have spent lots of words trying to prove just how evil McCain is. Any challenge to the One seems to be met with how evil McCain is.

    It’s like people aren’t even willing to question The One.

    I don’t want anyone to answer this in writing. Chances are that anyone who does is a liar (regardless of the answer). Answer it to yourself. Do you actually know who Barack Obama is?

  77. As a centrist with some conservative leanings, I’m disgusted at what the Republican party has turned into over the last 8 years. It’s not the conservative party anymore. It’s the party of theocracy, corruption, and hate. They can give me a ring when they’re ready to return to conservativism; in the meantime, I’ll be filling out my straight Democratic ticket.

  78. I don’t want anyone to answer this in writing. Chances are that anyone who does is a liar (regardless of the answer).

    “I’m not interested in or able to engage in debate – I’m just dumping my load and running. You can’t possibly refute me, anyway, because anyone who disagrees with me is a liar.”

    And the base wonders why Republicans like me would rather eat glass than vote for their candidate.

  79. Dishman:

    “Do you actually know who Barack Obama is?”

    I suspect people know about as much about Obama as they know about John McCain, actually. Neither of them is notably mysterious and both of them have a significant paper trail, both in their own writing and in public record. Which is to say it’s not that difficult to find out more about either, if one chooses to look. They are the two most written-about people of 2008.

    The people who claim they “don’t know who Barack Obama is” at this point fall into too camps: 1. People too lazy to do basic research on the man; 2. People who simply prefer not to know.

  80. Dishman – when it’s McCain and his people leveling the accusations at Obama, then their proven level of mendacity is certainly relevant.

    And you know, there’s a big range of possibilities between the Anti-Christ and The One. Most of us think Obama is the better candidate, not The One. In which case, McCain’s status is still relevant. Obama isn’t perfect by any stretch – I just think he’s enough better than McCain to warrant voting for him – by a good margin.

    And I know who Obama is a heck of a lot better than I know who Sarah Palin is – an autobiography, and several years in the public limelight is hardly hiding in the shadows.

    I will also say that the people I run into IRL who support McCain, don’t exactly give me warm fuzzies. The last political discussion I had with a McCain supporter included: 1. There should be no welfare, people who have multiple children they can’t afford should just starve on the street with their kids. 2. Abortion is murder and once you’re pregnant, you should have to have your kid (apparently so they can starve on the street to teach you a lesson). 3. Even if he burned down the White House tomorrow, McCain would still be the better candidate. 4. Mixed marriages shouldn’t be allowed – then mutts like Obama wouldn’t even exist. (Yes, he used the word mutt -several times)

    I can guarantee that if I had hit his buttons as hard as he was hitting mine, he would have slugged me.

    To paraphrase from somewhere, It is not enough that all the people love you, or that all the people hate you. The good people must love you, and the bad ones hate you. When the thoughtful, politically informed people I know are splitting for Obama something like 10:1, and the knee-jerk, angry, and thoughtless are splitting for McCain about 4:1, I know which group I’m not interested in standing with.

  81. Oh, this is just too rich not to comment on.

    1. Obama isn’t a terrorist, he just doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with working with terrorists ( Bill Ayers and the “education reform” committee ).
    Obama’s tepid defense is that “oh, those crimes were a long time ago, when I was eight years old”, as if the time frame aquits him of any poor judgment.
    Personally, I wouldn’t knowingly walk into the same room as Ayers, much less have ANY type of association with him; and why isn’t Ayers still rotting in prison somewhere?

    2. “Obama isn’t one of us.” Uh, duh? This quote does not refer to Obama’s skin color or patriotism, it clearly refers to the stone cold fact that Obama is the most liberal senator in the U.S., supporting policies that would transform America into a european model socialist state, similar to France or any of the Scandanavian countries. Throughout it’s history, until recently at least, America has embraced capitalism and fought to keep the size and power of government as small as possible ( see the Constitution and the Federalist Papers, et al ).
    Hence the statement, “He’s not one of us.”

    3. “Red meat to the most violent”…”instigating violence”…blah blah blah.
    John McCain is not instigating the anger that many Americans are feeling right now, he’s simply responding to it. It’s people like me urging McCain to get mad, to “take the gloves off”, and to do all in his power to make sure every single American knows exactly what they’re getting should they decide to vote for Obama because the mainstream media isn’t doing it.
    And what will we get? A man who refuses to own up to his radicalism, sharing a view of America with the likes of the Rev. Wright and the terrorist Bill Ayers. A view that America is fundamentally racist; a land of “white privalige; a land where every wealthy American got wealthy by keeping his boot on the neck of the poor while stealing everything in sight; liberty and democracy and succeeding by hard work are just reactionary fairy tales used to brain wash the huddled masses and keep them down.

    If you’re going to vote for a socialist, just admit that’s what you want. Let your candidate stand up and embrace his socialism. But enough of the misdirection and the smoke and mirrors and the “nuanced” double talk.

    We’re not all stupid, and it really pisses us off when a candidate for the presidency acts like we are.

    I’m no big fan of McCain, but at the very least he still believes in the same fundamentals that I do. Fundamentals that I believe most Americans still hold dear.
    Obama does not.

  82. And again, Alien Probe, people like you who are pretending that their violent urges are legitimate political opinions are hurting their candidate. I want nothing to do with a candidate who pretends that “not one of us” is something other than a dogwhistle for “He’s a Muslim darkie!”, or who thinks that what McCain really needs to do is MORE personal attacks, in lieu of promoting his own policies.

    I’m old enough to remember when people like William Milliken were the center, not the fringe, of the GOP. Too bad we let yahoos like you get their paws on the levers of power.

  83. Alien Probe:

    “If you’re going to vote for a socialist, just admit that’s what you want.”

    No doubt that inasmuch as the Bush Administration is on the verge of nationalizing the banking system, and McCain both voted for the measure which allows this and has also proposed a $300 billion plan to nationalize distressed mortgages, you’ll be proudly admitting your socialist tendencies now, seeing as you believe McCain believes in the same fundamentals as you do.

    “Obama isn’t a terrorist, he just doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with working with terrorists”

    There are hundreds if not thousands of people who have worked with Ayers in various capacities since the 1980s, so your disapprobation gets stretched thin here. Your claim you wouldn’t walk into a room with him in it is all very nice, but it seems most of these other people, if they know of his past history of all, have decided that Ayers learned from the stupidities of his past and decided to judge him on his more recent actions, which have been both peaceful and focused on helping others. The man has been a useful and helpful member of society rather longer than he was a radical idiot, and it seems other folks, across the political spectrum, are willing to give him credit for it.

    As for why Ayers isn’t still in prison, the answer to that is that he never was in prison; federal charges against him were dropped due to prosecutorial misconduct.

    Your lack of knowledge about the man and his history suggests that your opinion of how others should deal with him is not to be given a great deal of credence.

  84. vote for a socialist

    This one is especially entertaining, because everyone who says it clearly demonstrates they have *no idea* what a real socialist looks like.

  85. Don’t be silly, David. A socialist is anyone who supports more government intervention than you do, or at least government intervention that benefits people less financially well-off than you.

  86. Scalzi @92: The people who claim they “don’t know who Barack Obama is” at this point fall into too camps: 1. People too lazy to do basic research on the man; 2. People who simply prefer not to know.

    I think there is also the camp that knows as much about him as anyone does, but because what they’ve heard about him doesn’t match their preconceived notions about him, they simply refuse to believe anything Obama says about himself, or those “elitists” over in the mainstream media say about him. Or as Paul Simon once said: “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”

  87. Don’t be silly, David. A socialist is anyone who supports more government intervention than you do, or at least government intervention that benefits people less financially well-off than you.

    Or is government intervention in the *right* kind of stuff.

  88. [quote]The people who claim they “don’t know who Barack Obama is” at this point fall into too camps: 1. People too lazy to do basic research on the man; 2. People who simply prefer not to know.[/quote]

    3. People who read and/or watch nothing but major (mainstream) news outlets…

    Unless of course reading/watching those counts as basic research…


  89. Lazy question alert. becasue I have a 2.5 year old throwing things and I cant sift thru 101 posts

    Can I see some proof, some video, some transcript of what McCain has said that leads to him “….equating Sen. Barack Obama with terrorism, questioning his patriotism and portraying Mr. Obama as “not one of us,”

    Look , I am a pro choice, pro gay marriage pro immigration centrist with right leanings and if anyone has been made to look like the other it is people like me.

    Generalization alert!!!!! but the persons who are left of centre have become unhinged and dangerous…its just under-reported.

  90. AnthonyX said:Generalization alert!!!!! but the persons who are left of centre have become unhinged and dangerous…its just under-reported.

    [citation needed]

  91. Don’t be silly, David. A socialist is anyone who supports more government intervention than you do, or at least government intervention that benefits people less financially well-off than you.

    Or is government intervention in the *right* kind of stuff.

    I’d go so far as to say: Someone who believes that you actually have to pay for the public things you want.
    As opposed to believing that the cash for what THEY want will fall magically out of the sky just because it’s spending that THEY approve of, but that spending for anything else is just burglary — as I had to point out to a colleague that supports the heck out of the war in Iraq to this day, but still demands his tax cuts.

  92. AnthonyX, if you are in favor of gay marriage that puts you “left of center” in the public discourse. Sorry.

  93. “transform America into a european model socialist state, similar to France or any of the Scandanavian countries”

    Dude, you make it sound like it’s a bad thing.

    I don’t know if you (Alien Probe) or anyone with whom you associate noticed, but on the world scale of “life is good here, yo!” (can’t remember the official name for those yearly rankings), North America as a whole has slipped pretty low. Even behind “european model socialist” nations like Scandinavia.

  94. John McCain is old and not in the best of health… he will die of natural causes in the near future. This is his last shot at the Presidency, and he knows it.

    Sarah Palin, though, is going to be around for a LONG time; her ambition isn’t nearly finished.

    I think Obama is going to become President of the USA. I also think Sarah Palin’s brand of demagoguery will continue to fester in the political landscape long after he is inaugurated… unfortunately.

  95. One man lynch mobs. Oh how has our obsession with security made us timid and lacking in daring. One voice and there is thunder in the hills. One fist and waves of spears and partisans crash upon society’s shore. Where our ancestors saw such as fools to be chided as the infants they are, we see them as unstoppable forces out to sweep all before them.

    Whether at McCain or Obama rallies, such are empty winds. They are only vagrant sounds given force solely by our quivering at the prospect of difficulty or the hint of travail. They are but squeeks and newlings, signifying nothing.

  96. One man lynch mobs

    Every assassinated President in our country has been killed by…one man.

    And quoting Macbeth in an argument about overreaction is a bit silly.

  97. Anyone who supports redistribution to the poor is a socialist, but if you do it to banks, you’re a capitalist. Or at least that’s what our GOP supporters here think.

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