October 12, 2008

Angry Bulls and Fiery Zealots

The Republicans seem to be getting desperate and really kooky guys have been riled up. Like ABC News Senior National Correspondent Jake Tapper writes in a post yesterday:
The McCain campaign has no intention of letting up on the same character attacks on Obama that have been met on the stump with angry supporters yelling "treason!" "terrorist!" and "kill him!" when McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin invoke Obama's name.

Palin yesterday in Cleveland said, "we've got to start connecting the dots between Barack Obama and some of his associations, some of the things he has done in the past, and more importantly, some of the things that he intends to do in the future, so that Americans will know clearly their choices. We'll lay this out to American voters in the next couple of days.”

They're kind of in a weird place, let's say. They want to keep attacking Obama on these "associations," but they don't want to be held responsible for the kinds of ugly reactions these attacks find on the trail from McCain-Palin supporters.

ABC News' Imtiyaz Delawala, traveling with Palin, reports that a Palin supporter in Johnstown, Pa., today was holding a Curious George monkey doll on which he'd put an Obama sticker.

At a McCain event, as the crowd waited for McCain himself to arrive, Pastor Arnold Conrad of the Grace Evangelical Free Church of Davenport, Iowa, gave an invocation that included the following: "I would also pray, Lord, that your reputation is involved in all that happens between now and November, because there are millions of people around this world praying to their god—whether it's Hindu, Buddha, Allah—that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons. And Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their God is bigger than you, if that happens. So I pray that you will step forward and honor your own name with all that happens between now and Election Day."

God to the rescue, huh! We all know what happened the last time they prayed for some divine intervention, no? :)

Jokes aside, I hope there is a vigorous backlash against the Republicans and I hope their lowly low methods (even by politics of negative campaigning standards) do not result in some obscene October surprise but somehow Obama gets through the next 3 weeks without any damage. They are really stooping low and may spring some crude obscene surprise in the next few weeks, I fear!

Like Frank Rich writes in the NYT today:
If you think way back to the start of this marathon campaign, back when it seemed preposterous that any black man could be a serious presidential contender, then you remember the biggest fear about Barack Obama: a crazy person might take a shot at him.

“I’ve got the best protection in the world, so stop worrying,” Obama reassured his supporters. Eventually the country got conditioned to his appearing in large arenas without incident (though I confess that the first loud burst of fireworks at the end of his convention stadium speech gave me a start). In America, nothing does succeed like success. The fear receded.

Until now. At McCain-Palin rallies, the raucous and insistent cries of “Treason!” and “Terrorist!” and “Kill him!” and “Off with his head!” as well as the uninhibited slinging of racial epithets, are actually something new in a campaign that has seen almost every conceivable twist. They are alarms. Doing nothing is not an option.


What makes them different, and what has pumped up the Weimar-like rage at McCain-Palin rallies, is the violent escalation in rhetoric, especially (though not exclusively) by Palin. Obama “launched his political career in the living room of a domestic terrorist.” He is “palling around with terrorists” (note the plural noun). Obama is “not a man who sees America the way you and I see America.” Wielding a wildly out-of-context Obama quote, Palin slurs him as an enemy of American troops.

By the time McCain asks the crowd “Who is the real Barack Obama?” it’s no surprise that someone cries out “Terrorist!” The rhetorical conflation of Obama with terrorism is complete. It is stoked further by the repeated invocation of Obama’s middle name by surrogates introducing McCain and Palin at these rallies. This sleight of hand at once synchronizes with the poisonous Obama-is-a-Muslim e-mail blasts and shifts the brand of terrorism from Ayers’s Vietnam-era variety to the radical Islamic threats of today.

And so on and so forth. I don't even feel like reading the article. It is downright depressing. We live in a sick world!

P.S. Talk about sick world. This makes me genuinely sick! OBSCENE!!!!!!!!!

Update: Perhaps humor is the only way to deal with such absurdness and obscenity, no? Here's Jon Stewart's take about "An Arab Family Man" :)

“In the fevered state of our country, no good can ever result from any attempt to set one of these fiery zealots to rights, either in fact or principle. They are determined as to the facts they will believe, and the opinions on which they will act. Get by them, therefore, as you would by an angry bull; it is not for a man of sense to dispute the road with such an animal.” - Thomas Jefferson

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