Wednesday, October 15, 2008

This Is Why We Have To Win

From, via Andrew Sullivan:

Sacramento County Republican leaders Tuesday took down offensive material on their official party Web site that sought to link Sen. Barack Obama to Osama bin Laden and encouraged people to "Waterboard Barack Obama" – material that offended even state GOP leaders.

Howinhell did they think this could ever have been appropriate? This is outrageous! As Sullivan noted, this was "not a lone protester or crowd member. Not a fringe nut on Free Republic. On the official Republican website in the state capitol of the most populous state in the Union." The levels of racism, hate speech, and exhortations to violence in the McCain-Palin campaign have reached dangerous levels, helped in part by the campaign's complicit approval of things like this pic on the state GOP website.

When the Virginia state GOP chairman exhorts volunteers to spread lies and innuendo about Obama while canvassing their community, knowingly in the presence of a reporter from Time magazine, then one has to ask: what do they say when the press isn't around? When Palin says that Obama "pals around with terrorists"--plural!--what kind of impression does it leave with low-information voters, who seem to make up the overwhelming majority of her attendees? When that ignorant Shakopee woman said last Friday that Obama is "an Arab", and McCain responded that "(Obama's) a decent family man", how does that not leave the impression that merely being an Arab is ipso facto something dirty, dangerous, and offensive? When random cries of "terrorist!" and "kill him!" are heard at Palin rallies, and Palin says nothing, how is this not, as John Lewis said, "sowing the seeds of hatred and division"?

Lewis warned the GOP standard-bearers that, "As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all." McCain's incredible response was to become offended. They don't get it. McCain himself seems to be alternately offended by the charges against his campaign, and disturbed by some of the things that his staff and supporters are saying; Palin, on the other hand, seems to be happily transforming into a modern George Wallace or Joe McCarthy, as I've written before, and I truly fear for this nation if her national political career extends past November 4th. McCain and Palin don't seem to or want to understand that their supporters' fear and anger is a threat to the body politic, a threat to the social compact, a threat to basic human dignity and freedom, a threat to us all.

They just don't get it. Or worse, they do get it, and the lies, the fear, the anger and threats, and the dangerous rabble-rousing are what they're trying to accomplish after all.

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