When does base-juicing bile from McCain/Palin veer into hate speech, riot incitement?
By Wells Dunbar, 12:10AM, Fri. Oct. 10, 2008
It's something we touched on in the episode of HUST FM below (and mixied it up with a certain Statesman columnist over), but it's positively exploded across the blogosphere in in the last few days: the unhinged hate emerging from the McCain/Palin rallies. We all know what Godwin's Law has to say on the subject, but a certain uncomfortable comparison is fast becoming inevitable, especially when a major party candidate is squarely laying the blame for all their supporters problems at the feet of an alien other. There's been plenty of disgusting, us-versus-them identity politics in Republican campaigns before – shit, it's practically all their campaigns are run-on – but the degree of bile emerging from these rallies ("Traitor! Terrorist! Kill him!") is truly jaw dropping.
Here's just a sampling of the thought out there on this:
McCain's attacks fuel dangerous hatred, an op-ed by self-described Republican Frank Schaeffer, urging McCain to dial it down
The centrist, "raging moderate" Joe Klein says we are on the edge of some real serious craziness here"
One of McCain's former top advisors says "from a purely practical political vantage point, please find me a swing voter, an undecided independent, or a torn female voter that finds an angry mob mentality attractive"
Salon's Glenn Greenwald dissects the media's false equivalences: "Over the last two weeks, we have witnessed some of the ugliest and most dangerous attacks by any presidential campaign that one can recall — not from surrogates or from shadowy groups but from the candidates themselves and their campaign. … Honest journalists will describe that fact."
Talking Points Memo describes the candidates' complicity in stoking supporters' hate.