It’s good to see some other bloggers questioning the latest prevarications from the media about McCain campaign audiences being “mad” or “out of control” or “racist” – all based on the comments or statements of a few idiotic audience members out of the thousands attending. (See my post from Friday on this here.)
Ann Althouse on the latest liberal attack on GOP crowds:
The video shows that Ana Marie Cox did not transcribe the quote correctly. It’s not: “I’m scared of Barack Obama… he’s an Arab terrorist…” It’s: “I can’t trust Obama. I have read about him, and he’s not he’s not he’s a uh he’s an Arab.” “Terrorist” is simply not there. The McCain quote is a bit off too. He says: “He’s a decent family man citizen that I just happen to have some disagreements with on fundamental issues.” Don’t pin “terrorist” on the little old lady in the audience, and don’t pin “whom” on the presidential candidate.
AND: Note that Time’s Cox (or whoever did the transcription) not only added “terrorist” but also substituted “scared” for “can’t trust.” What does that say about the mind of the transcriber? It suggests the press is looking for evidence of fear and fear mongering. I think we’re seeing a grasping for more evidence to justify blaming the campaign for deranging the minds of McCain’s supporters. But if this woman’s concern is that Obama is an Arab and that you can’t trust him because of that, then it has nothing much to do with the Ayers connection that the McCain campaign promoted this week. So spike the quote with “terrorism” and “scared.”
Josh Marshall continues his descent into madness with 360 words on why the woman in the crowd really did say “Arab terrorist” and not just “Arab.” His headline for this hilariously off kilter post is “Darker and Darker” – a perfect metaphor for Marshall’s own obsession with minutia as he desperately seeks to paint GOP crowds at McCain rallies as drooling, apelike, tobacco spitting, bible thumping, racist, ignorant red necks who must be stopped before they…well, Marshall’s limited imagination can’t quite conceive of the horrors these hillbillies would be capable of but he knows it would be no good!
When I wrote about this transparent attempt to dampen enthusiasm at GOP rallies not to mention drive moderates and Democratic conservatives away from McCain, I got the usual gentle ribbing from my liberal friends (no, it is not anatomically possible to do what they suggest I do with my head). They pointed out that McCain himself had become “concerned” about the tone at these rallies and tried to tamp down some of the more idiotic notions about Obama; that he is a Muslim, a “terrorist,” “an Arab,” or “terrorist lover” to name a few.
This, I blame on some conservative bloggers and a few unhinged conservative talk radio folks who will write or say any old hogwash about Obama – the worse sounding, the better. Lies and smears perpetrated against a candidate always backfire in the end because it turns off reasonable people to your cause while enabling the real nuts who exist on the fringes of both parties.
We have seen this the last 8 years with Bush Derangement Syndrome. Glenn Reynolds explains:
So we’ve had nearly 8 years of lefty assassination fantasies about George W. Bush, and Bill Ayers’ bombing campaign is explained away as a consequence of him having just felt so strongly about social justice, but a few people yell things at McCain rallies and suddenly it’s a sign that anger is out of control in American politics? It’s nice of McCain to try to tamp that down, and James Taranto sounds a proper cautionary note—but, please, can we also note the staggering level of hypocrisy here? (And that’s before we get to the Obama campaign’s thuggish tactics aimed at silencing critics.)
The Angry Left has gotten away with all sorts of beyond-the-pale behavior throughout the Bush Administration. The double standards involved—particularly on the part of the press—are what are feeding this anger. (Indeed, as Ann Althouse and John Leo have noted, the reporting on this very issue is dubious). So while asking for McCain supporters to chill a bit, can we also ask the press to start doing its job rather than openly shilling for a Democratic victory? Self-control is for everybody, if it’s for anybody. . . .
I would disagree with Glenn that the crowds are even that angry. Yes, there are angry individuals and there seems to be some resentment directed solely at the press. But there is also a good deal of enthusiasm and patriotic fervor. If you watch the video of the fellow in Wisconsin saying that he was “mad – really mad,” you would be forced to note that after he had decried Obama’s “socialism,” and asked McCain to “fight for us,” the crowd did not call for lynching Obama but instead erupted into chants of “USA, USA.”
These are Republican crowds who want McCain to throw them red meat about Obama. They want to boo his name. They want to hiss at his radical associations. They want to shout “NO!” when McCain lists his more cockamamie plans for the economy.
Chanting “NOBAMA!” does not make these crowds “an angry mob” any more than Democrats chanting “McSame” at Obama rallies is proof that they want to kill John McCain.
McCain – who was obviously stung by press criticism that the few nincompoops at his rallies who mindlessly repeated slurs about Obama’s heritage or talked of being “scared” at the prospect of an Obama presidency – was evidently cowed enough to feel he had to make the point about Obama being a “decent” man and an honorable candidate. This is fine, except he is assisting the press in perpetrating the lie that his campaign events have degenerated into lynch mobs. And I was extremely disappointed to see that Representative John Lewis (a true patriot and courageous fighter for civil rights his entire life) had shamed himself (and the memory of Dr. King) by giving the most outrageous statement to the press, shamelessly playing the race card to the hilt:
Today, Lewis castigated McCain in the harshest of terms. “George Wallace never threw a bomb,” Lewis noted. “He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.”
This may be the most vicious, unprincipled attack on a Republican candidate since Ted Kennedy said that Ronald Reagan wanted poor children to die and old people to be thrown out of their homes. It is astounding that Lewis – a man who bears the physical scars of the fight for racial justice – would so cavalierly invoke George Wallace and the victims of the Birmingham church bombing in a wildly inappropriate and logically flawed comparison between good and decent Americans exercising their first amendment rights at a political event and the flagrant, nauseating racism that led to the murder of innocents.
There is no connection whatsoever. It was Lewis throwing political sh*t against the wall to see if it would stick – something that is so below him that it makes me wonder if Obama put him up to it just so that he could appear reasonable in criticizing Lewis while allowing the false theme of “hateful” speech (read criticism of Obama for his relationship with at domestic terrorist) to continue.
For in truth, Obama – statesmanlike – refused to endorse the Wallace comparison of Lewis’ but embraced the rest of his message; GOP crowds are racist and getting out of control:
Senator Obama does not believe that John McCain or his policy criticism is in any way comparable to George Wallace or his segregationist policies,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. “But John Lewis was right to condemn some of the hateful rhetoric that John McCain himself personally rebuked just last night, as well as the baseless and profoundly irresponsible charges from his own running mate that the Democratic nominee for President of the United States ‘pals around with terrorists.’
“As Barack Obama has said himself, the last thing we need from either party is the kind of angry, divisive rhetoric that tears us apart at a time of crisis when we desperately need to come together. That is the kind of campaign Senator Obama will continue to run in the weeks ahead.”
Oh Jesus, spare me. This is the same campaign that has savaged McCain in the most personal terms imaginable while preaching this pious crap to his adoring masses. The dripping hypocrisy coming from these people is astonishing. Obama would have us believe that any personal attack on McCain – on his war wounds, his age, his wife’s wealth, – is the kind of rhetoric that will help us “come together” but McCain talking about all the radicals in Obama’s life is “angry” and divisive.”
The naive fools who have flocked to Obama believing that politics should be some kind of encounter session or New Age tribal gathering ought to be educated a bit. The “Can’t we all get along” crap being fed these ignoramuses is the kind of stuff totalitarians are very good at – where dissent and argument is seen as unhealthy or “not in the public interest.” We’ve had enough of that crap from the Bushies with their attitude toward war protestors.
But at least Bush wasn’t in charge of a party that is so eager to stifle the voices of their opponents that they would re-institute the Fairness Doctrine. Nor is McCain in charge of a campaign that openly uses thug tactics to silence points of view that criticize their messiah. Bush may have used patriotism as a shield against war protests but the Obama campaign makes him look like a piker by comparison. They want to stifle all dissent and criticism of Obama everywhere. And they are willing to use their mindless minions to shout down opposing views, intimidate those who would pay for ads that criticize the Democratic candidate, even using the old Nixonian threat of pulling broadcast licenses of those media outlets who dare run these ads.
And of course, as Lewis shows, they are willing to play the race card to the hilt in order to not just shame critics but smear them as well.
Nice operation you’ve got their, Mr. Obama.
McCain, to his credit, came out swinging against the Lewis smear:
“The notion that legitimate criticism of Sen. Obama’s record and positions could be compared to Gov. George Wallace, his segregationist policies and the violence he provoked is unacceptable and has no place in this campaign,” McCain said in the statement. “I am saddened that John Lewis, a man I’ve always admired, would make such a brazen and baseless attack on my character and the character of the thousands of hardworking Americans who come to our events to cheer for the kind of reform that will put America on the right track.
McCain also put the onus on Obama to distance himself from the remarks: “I call on Sen. Obama to immediately and personally repudiate these outrageous and divisive comments that are so clearly designed to shut down debate 24 days before the election. Our country must return to the important debate about the path forward for America.”
Fat chance when it was probably Obama who asked Lewis to make the attack in the first place. And as we’ve seen, Obama did not distance himself very much at all from Lewis’ baseless smear.
I wish McCain had taken on the rest of the meme – that all of this “concern” over the GOP “mobs” is in fact, manufactured by the Democrats and the media; that one or two dummies shouting out some idiocy about Obama at a McCain rally does not make the crowds themselves “angry” – or at least any angrier than Democratic crowds (such as the mob that booed Palin and her six year old kid last night at a Philadelphia Flyers hockey game).
Barely three weeks to go and if Obama and his campaign had their way, there would only be one voice and one message going out over the airwaves between now and then. Welcome to Hope and Change. Here’s hoping that Obama’s changes won’t mean the death of free speech in America.
If I were the left, I’d give up on this transparent attempt to smear GOP partisans and look to their own house instead.
Michelle Malkin has at least 2 dozen examples of the kind of out of control rage that the left is weeping about with regards to Republicans at McCain rallies.
Out. Of. Control.
Not a peep from the media. Not a word from the Josh Marshalls of the leftysphere who are so intent on finding the mote in their opponent’s eye that they’ve missed the Redwood tree sticking out of their own.
It won’t deter them of course. Don’t try to stop them – they’re on a roll. While Josh Marshall examines the phone video of a woman at a McCain rally trying to determine if she was calling Obama an “Arab terrorist” or just an “Arab,” liberals are trying to incite violence and murder against both McCain and Palin in the most obvious and deliberate manner.