Your weekend politics

Hmmm, I have not done one of these in a few weeks, so if you depend on me for your political information, check under the fold:

The Terrorist Barack Hussein Obama:

From the start, there have always been two separate but equal questions about race in this election. Is there still enough racism in America to prevent a black man from being elected president no matter what? And, will Republicans play the race card? The jury is out on the first question until Nov. 4. But we now have the unambiguous answer to the second: Yes.

The Fraud Of Fraud:

It looks right now as if the election might not be close enough for the Republicans to make a plausible case for outright theft of the election through voter fraud. But as I said, they are certainly laying the groundwork for a propaganda campaign to delegitimize Barack Obama. The beauty of the voter fraud fraud is that they win even when they lose.

The conservatives' long term goal is to make citizens so cynical about the electoral system that they just don't vote. the fewer people who participate in democracy the easier it is for the aristocracy to maintain control.

What If We Dodge The Bullet?:

Anyone who pretends that this is not a continuation of the line of activities including the infamous Bush v. Gore ruling is lying willfully. It is exactly in line with Republicans' activities before the last election, which, among other things, led to the firings of the U.S. Attorneys because they were unwilling to participate in a partisan Republican attempt to use the Justice Department as an arm of the Republican campaign. We know of at least one member of congress and a Senator who were involved with that.

Part II. What If We Dodge The Bullet?:

What if they lose? What if the crimes of the Bush regime are stopped? What if things go back to normal?

After what we've seen the past forty years, if things can go back to normal it won't be a blessed relief, it will be a disaster. Our recent history proves that we have fatal problems in the foundation of the American government.

The Right and mainstream America: a universe apart:

Having McCain and Palin run around the country stoking right-wing fury and unmasking their movement for all to see is backfiring in the extreme. What is more likely than anything else to lead to a sure Obama victory -- by landslide -- is if the McCain/Palin campaign continues to cater itself to the desires and advice of the National Review/Rush Limbaugh/Sean Hannity mentality, which believes that Sarah Palin is a huge political asset among Normal Americans (Free Sarah Palin!) and that if Americans just keep hearing more and more and more about what a Terrorist-loving Muslim-Communist-radical Barack Hussein Obama is (ACORN!!), then ... any day now! ... Americans are going to decide that they want the same twisted, bloated faction that has run our country into the ground for the last eight years to continue to rule.

The Limbaugh/Fox News/Bill Kristol/National Review Right is a faction in desperate need of collective death as a movement. And it will be particularly appropriate if the final blow is delivered by their own malicious, hate-mongering hand.


These are your typical McCain voters:


TNR's Michael Crowley: McCain lynch mobs are no different than Bush critics:

Crowley's crime here isn't that he undermined a pro-Obama talking point. It's that he reflexively asserted equivalencies where there plainly are none because that's how journalists like him show how Fair, Objective and Reasonable they are (some people on the Left called Bush a terrorist so that makes these coordinated McCain/Palin Munich beer hall rallies unnotable). Worst of all, he equated the two without even pretending to consider whether the two things he was equating were true or false. That is why Crowley's defense of the McCain mobs as nothing unusual is so typical, and so illustrative of the core corruption of our journalistic class. The two sides are always the same, even when they're not.

John Walcott: Truth is not subjective:

That brings me to may last point: Relying on The Times, or McClatchy or any other news source, for all the truth is dumb, but it's infinitely preferable to the pernicious philosophical notions that there is no such thing as truth, that truth is relative, or that, as some journalists seem to believe, it can be found midway between the two opposing poles of any argument.


Does the truth lie halfway between say, slavery and abolition, or between segregation and civil rights, or between communism and democracy? If you quote Dietrich Bonhoeffer or Winston Churchill, in other words, must you then give equal time and credence to Hitler and Joseph Goebbels? If you write an article that's critical of John McCain, are you then obligated to devote an identical number of words to criticism of Barack Obama, and vice versa?

Clintons launch Obama campaign swing as Nov. nears:

When Bill and Hillary Clinton take the stage Sunday at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, it will be the launch of an active campaign for their former nemesis Barack Obama in the home stretch of the 2008 presidential race.

The nation's best known and most powerful Democrats for nearly two decades, the former first couple is getting used to a new role: cheerleaders for Obama, who vanquished Hillary Clinton last spring in a Democratic primary contest for the ages.

Whatever recriminations the Clintons may still harbor from that long battle seem to have been nudged aside as they campaign in earnest for the Democratic ticket.

Palin's Record On Church-State Separation:

Still, a state worker who directs an Anchorage-based group that advocates for church-state separation, Lloyd Eggan, said Palin's administration hasn't done enough to assure voters that government money doesn't support ministry.

"That sort of thing is exactly what courts have said is barred by the First Amendment," Eggan said.


There's an element that you encounter in known swing states (Ohio in particular) where it's a badge of honor to be "undecided" up until the last minute. It shows that you're not only not being swayed by all the sundry things that the media tells them they shouldn't be swayed by yet parrots in order to sway them. It's a feedback loop - there's a heightened niche status given to not making a decision until the last possible minute which reinforces the necessity among some of not even thinking about making a decision.

Undecideds exist in large part because they're fetishized for existing, and because they're continually given all the tools of false equivocation and wrongheaded cynicism in order to justify that self-promoting fetish. There are only two real tools needed to remain undecided, because they cancel each other out - the first is the driving, voracious hunger for "specifics" and the second is the unyielding hatred of anything even resembling "not talking to people like me".


Eventually, they go into the voting booth and make a choice based on who knows what, helping choose someone as the next president for reasons that in no way demonstrate the alleged close attention they've been paying for the past several weeks. And we then spend the next four years wondering if this president can sway those same voters to their side for the vital issues of the day that they've never heard of and will pay no substantive attention to until the last possible minute.

That freelance performance artist making Republicans look stupid sure gets around:

In all seriousness, it's genuinely hard to believe that these people could be for real. I have no idea how it got this bad. The good news is I think this sort of proud ignorance and racism is not being passed down to younger generations. Obviously, some young people are picking up the torch and running with it, but the percentage of the population that are proud ignoramuses is shrinking by generation.

Winning and Losing:

If McCain loses this thing, he'll go down in flames--a party elder whose election it was to lose from Day One, who sold his soul to the devil, left his reputation in absolute tatters, and soiled his legacy by making a colossal mockery of everything he claims to believe in. If McCain loses, it will be with ignominy; he will suffer the abject humiliation of ending his career in a spectacular personal and professional flame-out of mythic proportions.


Here, see the face of conservatism:


Mommy v. Daddy:

That's my view. My question is: What would a late conservative economist say, do you think, about a Daddy Party with a mommy on its ticket?

I suppose it's okay--as long as she's hostile to women, too. That seems to be the important thing.

And isn't it always.

The Republican politics of 'Yes, we can if we want to!':

Here we again, after eight years of "we can do whatever we want" government, and people are apparently willing to side with the Democrats. The Republicans have lost the argument again, and wouldn't it be nice if this time it stayed lost?

I wouldn't count on it. After about 1938 the "We can do whatever we want" philosophy of government ought to have been recognized as what it was, a variation on "Let them eat cake" and anyone making the case for it treated as if they were making a case for a return to monarchy.

Open letter to conservatives:

These are tough times for everyone, but I know these are especially tough times for you. From Iraq to Katrina to this global financial meltdown, you've made rather a mess of things, and now your party's standardbearer is running a historically abysmal campaign made up of one part lies and two parts hate. His proposal for health care is somewhere between stupid and vicious, and his response to the financial crisis is, amazingly, even worse. Who's his base now?

Bad cop/good cop---don't buy it.:

See, it's part of the right wing mythology that they are the perpetual victims of a politically correct dictatorship that denies them the all-important freedoms to use racial epithets and believe loudly in the Anti-Christ without whipping out the toothful enforcement power known as "making the speaker feel like a moron". According to the myth, the more power you have, the more powerless you are, because you had to sell your "true" (racist, crazy) beliefs in order to get past the P.C. police who can wither you with the mighty power of sucking their teeth and looking shocked. A smart right wing politician plays this belief like a fiddle. George Bush was a master. He'd publicly show a modicum of official respect to religious pluralism, and then would blow dog whistles to let the fundies know that they're Number One in his heart, and if he could say it out loud, he totally would.

Annals of McCain - Palin, XXIV: hatemongering:

A lot of pundits seem dismayed and surprised at the moral depths to which Dishonest John McCain's campaign has sunk in the last week. I have to disagree. There is nothing surprising about it. This is his MO: do whatever he thinks is necessary. McCain has a long history of lack of principle and probity, whether it is in his personal life (a vile and abusive temper, disloyalty to his first wife) or his public life (corrupt behavior in the Savings and Loan scandal, chicanery on behalf of gaming interests and much more). Where I do agree with his new found critics is the frightening nature of his behavior in a time when the economy is spiraling out of control and a major depression is looming. Historically these conditions have unleashed the worst in the American character, a visceral Nativism and the McCain - Palin campaign events are enabling the kind of racist, xenophobic and vicious responses that tend to accompany hysterical fear turned and turn it to unthinking anger. It isn't just scaring me. It's scaring a lot of people, including Republican moderates (the ones that are left).

Bipartisan Concern about the Dangers of McPalin's Hate-Mongering:

Smart Republicans are horrified

Sarah Palin's radical rightwing buddies:

Why hasn't anyone asked Sarah Palin what she'd have to say about Alaskan independence if she were elected. One of the main planks of the Alaskan independence movement is that Alaska should retain control of its natural resources. How does Palin's longtime sympathy for the AIP mesh with her energy "expertise"--what kind of deals would she cut for Alaskan oil?

How the Haties Got That Way:

Losing power will not kill the ideology. It will drive it underground, and make it far more dangerous.

What percentage of a nation must consist of terrorist sympathizers in order for civilization to be destroyed? We are about to find out. We know that if 1% of us insist on doing cocaine it's a market that is tough to defeat. We know that if 10% of us insist on using marijuana that it's tougher.

Any political force that becomes an insurgency can do enormous damage, and force draconian responses. The Bush Administration, in creating our new extra-Constitutional laws and procedures, acted against a handful, maybe less than a handful. It's very possible that the Obama Administration will find itself facing a far more substantial threat in "black" terror, one requiring the use of all the Bush-era authories, and more, to really confront.

You need to know that. The Haties will not go as quietly as the Weather Underground did. There are millions of them. They are embedded deep inside our government, and in our history. They are a distraction from the real work of our time. They are the alligators in the swamp.

But we have to fight them. That is what democracy requires of us. Those who refuse to accept our system, and its results, cannot be tolerated.

The hate also rises:

If John McCain and Co. really think that this is going to help them get elected, we have a very ugly October ahead. Helmets, everyone.

Sarah Palin: 'How dare they boo Piper!':

So basically Sarah Palin has been reduced to the "human shield" defense.

Also worth noting: the video that FOX used on its web site cut off the most intense boing, which came right as the Palin's presence was announced.

McCain gets boos at GOP rally for defending Obama:

McCain's accusation is that Obama understated what he knew about Ayers' past or his beliefs when it suited him. There's no evidence that the two men are close or that Ayers has any connection to Obama's presidential campaign.

At a rally on Thursday, McCain himself used the word "terrorist" to describe Ayers, and many McCain supporters were whipped into a lather as they voiced fear and indignation at Obama's ascent. Many participants chanted "liar, liar" when Obama's name was mentioned.

Working Class White Voters Are Ditching McCain:

In the Democratic primaries, working-class whites consistently supported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Later polls showed them overwhelmingly favoring Republican nominee John McCain.

Now, driven by fears that their personal finances could further deteriorate, many see Obama as the better choice _ their thinking in some cases driven more by concern about how McCain would handle the economy than any growing admiration for his rival.

"I don't know that there's anything I particularly like about him (Obama), but I dislike McCain, and I dislike the way the country is, and Republicans need to change," said lifelong Republican Ruth Ann Michel, 64, a retiree shopping in a market in Butler on a recent day. She said her vote for Obama would be her first for a Democratic presidential candidate.

Body Politics: What McCain's Smirks, Tics And Jaw-Clenches Really Mean:

The morning after the first debate we saw something odd. Several pundits made mention of the remarkable display of twitches, smirks and jaw-clenches that flickered across the face of John McCain throughout the debate. Others mentioned his lack of eye contact, particularly his unwillingness to look Obama in the eye. We were pleased that the commentators observed those things -- many people overlook these important but subtle communications, in the spirit of "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." But here's the odd part: some of the pundits seemed to be apologizing for having noticed McCain's pyrotechnic display of facial flare-ups.

Body Politics: Sarah Palin's Body Language And Why It Should Worry You:

Sarah Palin has mastered one fundamental requirement of a Republican president: she can smile and look you directly in the eye while telling an outrageous lie. At least when John McCain lies, his body screams his discomfort by putting on an eye-catching display of twitches, phony smiles and robot moves. McCain's body language is so strange that it's easily observable; he appears to be operated by a puppeteer who is a couple of triple-espressos over the line. That's a good thing, though. We'd much rather have a presidential candidate who reads like a comic book when he's lying than one who conceals those whoppers under a grin and a wink. Sarah Palin belts out her deceptions and distractions with a radiant confidence we usually only see in sociopaths and infomercial pitch-persons. The last public figure we saw who could grin and lie with that kind of sunny confidence was O. J. Simpson.

Who is really being divisive?:

Playing "dog whistle" politics, and playing on the fears of others to win an election in this manner, has got to be a new low in A-merry-can poli-tricks. Notice I said a "new low", because A-merry-can politics has gone down this low road before. But it worked, and repukelicans will keep going to this well until it is dry. It is all they have left.

Sorry, Dad, I'm Voting for Obama:

Let me be the latest conservative/libertarian/whatever to leap onto the Barack Obama bandwagon. It's a good thing my dear old mum and pup are no longer alive. They'd cut off my allowance.

Or would they? But let's get that part out of the way. The only reason my vote would be of any interest to anyone is that my last name happens to be Buckley--a name I inherited. So in the event anyone notices or cares, the headline will be: "William F. Buckley's Son Says He Is Pro-Obama." I know, I know: It lacks the throw-weight of "Ron Reagan Jr. to Address Democratic Convention," but it'll have to do.

The Gist of the ACORN Story:

Vote registration fraud is a limited and relatively minor problem in the US today. But it is principally an administrative and efficiency issue. It is has little or nothing to do with people casting illegitimate votes to affect an actual election. That's the key. What you're hearing right now from Fox News, the New York Post, John Fund and the rest of the right-wing bamboozlement chorus is a just another effort to exploit, confuse and lie in an effort to put more severe restrictions on legitimate voting and lay the groundwork to steal elections.


It's really true. The essence of McCain's campaign now appears to amount to prepping McCain's base to believe they didn't really lose the election. The election was stolen from them by Barack and his army of gangsters and black street hustlers.

Red Herring:

You can already see, in the McCain camp's first statement on the Trooper-Gate report, that the McCain campaign will spin it as actually letting Gov. Palin off the hook for firing Monegan because it finds that she had the power to fire him.

That's ridiculous. Monegan's firing was just the tip of the iceberg.

Weird. Sad. Surreal:

There's something else to note too. Over the last 48 hours several name brand Republicans have come out and either chided or denounced McCain's borderline incitement. And given how taboo it is to level such criticism of your own nominee at this stage of the election you have to assume these criticisms were only the tip of the iceberg, with a far more intense and angry barrage of criticism voiced privately.


Those are the words. But look at the facial expressions. McCain looks down as he says it and has the countenance of someone who been forced to tell someone else they're sorry. There's some mix of gritting your teeth and saying something you don't want to say mixed with some sort of shamefacedness. Look at the video. Because while I feel like I intuitively 'get' the gestures I find it hard to quite capture them in words. Perhaps you'll do better and you can share your thoughts with me.


And yet this conveys too much suggestion of planning and intent. I have more the sense of someone desperately casting about and losing control of the situation itself. Even hypocrites can get in over their heads. Indeed, in a more nuts-and-bolts strategic sense McCain has really gotten himself into a hole because the campaign he's been running has almost entirely been premised on the claim that you should be scared of an Obama presidency. Not that McCain, if he'd run a very different campaign, couldn't have run on issue disagreements with Obama. But right now if you take away fear of Obama becoming president, there's almost no reason not to vote for him since McCain has basically conceded the issue agenda to Obama. If you look at every poll for months, voters are dying for change. Fear of Obama is the only thing keeping him from leaving McCain in the dust. Take that away and McCain's done.

Darker and Darker:

You can see the video I've embedded below. The gist is that Quinnell apparently did say "Arab terrorist." She got the idea from a pamphlet she got not from the McCain campaign but from a fellow volunteer at the local McCain headquarters, where she's a volunteer. She's been sending the pamphlet to people in her area. And she thinks that McCain really knows that Obama's Arab but didn't want to get into it with her on camera.

Poll: Obama Winning Over Groups Once Reluctant To Back Him:

The new Newsweek poll, which finds Obama leading McCain by 52%-41% among registered voters, also finds some serious movement among voter groups that had been reluctant to back the Illinios Senator in the past:

Did McCain Just Walk Into a Trap?:

Where is John McCain left once Obama does this? Obama gets to have a minor Sista Souljah moment, and also gets to concede McCain's argument that the campaign should be about the issues. So what happens the next time that the McCain campaign invokes Bill Ayers -- or Jeremiah Wright? McCain is not living up to his campaign's own standards -- which Obama has "generously" agreed to.

Does McCain Have Cooties?:

There are at least three groups of Republicans that might have an interest in distancing themselves from John McCain. Firstly, purple-state moderates like Coleman and Gordon Smith who don't like the campaign's tone. Secondly, the anti-bailout economic populists in the House who might be looking ahead to 2010 and 2012. And thirdly, true conservatives who never trusted McCain that much to begin with.


When McCain's supporters call Obama a danger, they're drawing the only logical conclusion from their candidate's rhetoric. A president who supports terrorist attacks against this country would indeed be a danger. That McCain makes that case, then tries to calm the firestorm by saying Obama is a "decent man" is unlikely to change their minds. They'll just believe him to be bowing to the pressures of the liberal media. McCain should either end the rhetoric producing these fears or accept his role as the instigator. But he cannot be both the cause of, and solution to, the problem.

Right Wing Rages Against New Voter Registrations: The 'Purpose' Of ACORN Is To Commit 'Voter Fraud':

When a department store calls the police to report a shoplifting employee, no one says the department store is guilty of consumer fraud. The same principle applies here. The small number of staffers who have submitted fraudulent forms are violating ACORN's mission. Anyone caught defrauding should be prosecuted, and ACORN says it is assisting in that effort. ACORN should work harder to catch these employees and ensure that they are held responsible.

After years of enacting policies catering to the wealthy, the right-wing seems to be fearful of millions of new low-income voters casting their ballot in favor of progressive policies.

BBC-TV: 'Set up to steal it again.'
Is 2008 already fixed?

"A lot of Europeans wonder: Why are Americans so crazy, they keep reelecting this guy?" Well the answer is, we don't! They keep stealing these elections! And they stole it in 2000, they stole it in 2004, and they're all set up to steal it again!

The Class War Before Palin :

Over the past few decades, the Republican Party has driven away people who live in cities, in highly educated regions and on the coasts. This expulsion has had many causes. But the big one is this: Republican political tacticians decided to mobilize their coalition with a form of social class warfare. ...

What had been a disdain for liberal intellectuals slipped into a disdain for the educated class as a whole. The liberals had coastal condescension, so the conservatives developed their own anti-elitism, with mirror-image categories and mirror-image resentments, but with the same corrosive effect.

Republicans developed their own leadership style. If Democratic leaders prized deliberation and self-examination, then Republicans would govern from the gut. ... The political effects of this trend have been obvious. Republicans have alienated the highly educated regions -- Silicon Valley, northern Virginia, the suburbs outside of New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Raleigh-Durham. The West Coast and the Northeast are mostly gone.

The Republicans have alienated whole professions. Lawyers now donate to the Democratic Party over the Republican Party at 4-to-1 rates. With doctors, it's 2-to-1. With tech executives, it's 5-to-1. With investment bankers, it's 2-to-1. It took talent for Republicans to lose the banking community. ...

This year could have changed things. The G.O.P. had three urbane presidential candidates. But the class-warfare clichés took control. Rudy Giuliani disdained cosmopolitans at the Republican convention. Mitt Romney gave a speech attacking "eastern elites." (Mitt Romney!) John McCain picked Sarah Palin. ... And so, politically, the G.O.P. is squeezed at both ends. The party is losing the working class by sins of omission -- because it has not developed policies to address economic anxiety. It has lost the educated class by sins of commission -- by telling members of that class to go away.

An angry election?:

Even if the seething anger among the right-wing masses is not unique to this election, what disturbs me even more is how little McCain and Palin have done to discourage this sort of behavior. They have largely ignored the bad behavior among their supporters, feeding prevalent misconceptions about their rival candidate. Even if they did make an effort to rope in the mobs a bit, though, it seems too late to do so. John McCain recently told one of his crowds that Obama was a "decent person" that no one had to be "scared" of. The crowd's reaction? They booed McCain.

For whatever reason, many people are scared of an Obama presidency. Why? This goes beyond disagreement over policies, particularly when a fair number of people continue to believe that Obama is a Muslim terrorist. Could much of this anger be due to racism? I am certain that it is to some extent, especially because of allusions to Obama being an "affirmative action" candidate and the efforts of some to connect him to terrorism, but it is difficult to pin down just what these people find so offensive about Obama.

Annals of McCain - Palin, XXIII: Not just old and angry. Unbalanced.:

John McCain's white hot anger is legendary among those who know him and among his colleagues (the real reason he won't win the Miss Congeniality Award), but the public still hasn't seen it boil over. So it's useful to have the accounts of those who have. Yesterday in HuffPo Nico Pitney pointed us to a piece by Michael Kinsley, recounting a gambling trip McCain took with Jeff Dearth, former publisher of the New Republic (now an investment banker!). McCain and Dearth were at a magazine industry junket (not clear who paid for it) in Puerto Rico in 2005 and here's what transpired (according to Kinsley who heard it from McCain's friend Dearth):

Make-Believe Maverick:

A closer look at the life and career of John McCain reveals a disturbing record of recklessness and dishonesty

Book: McCain temper boiled over in '92 tirade, called wife a 'cunt':

John McCain's temper is well documented. He's called opponents and colleagues "shitheads," "assholes" and in at least one case "a fucking jerk." But a new book on the presumptive Republican nominee will air perhaps the most shocking angry exchange to date.

Ridiculous Republican Smugfucks:

The Republican Party is wholly composed of wackaloon four-year-olds yelling and screaming about their imaginary friends, shitting and pissing their pants, reaching in and grabbing handfuls of their own shit, and smearing it all over the entire house. Enough is enough!

The Republican Party: Refuge For The Indecent:

Looking at those deranged far-right-wing wackaloon fuckups cheering on Palin and her depraved drivel scares the fucking shit out of me. These shitbag right-wing GOP smugfucks are a motherfucking cancer on our polity.

The only people left in the Republican Party are depraved racist misogynist theocratic wackaloon scuzbuckets, irretrievably poisoned delusional fuckwit victims of decades of sick-fuck right-wing propaganda, and a smattering of greedfuck plutocrats. (Although the latter are beginning to flee to the Democratic Party in droves, seeing newer softer flesh to sink their vicious fangs into.)


Now that the last of the sane, rational and decent people have left the GOP, this is what's left, the idotic, racist remnants of it who will vote for McCain:

My thoughts on the McCain-Palin mobs.:

First, the media should be ashamed of themselves for not covering this until now. The McCain-Palin supporters in my videos are not new, they are not exceptional, they are not hiding. This is who they are. It has been brewing for months, and not one mainstream media outlet has taken the time to expose them. Not one. And that is dangerous. If America is about to decide on its president based on this level of hate and ignorance, without a single question being asked as to why, then America is in for a rude awakening.

You could get video of these hateful and ignorant people in your sleep. Not just in Ohio, everywhere. Our country has been sleepwalking through this campaign as if none of this vitriol exists. Well, not only does it exist, it is rampant, and it is there for anyone with a camera to record. And these people are proud to be this hateful and ignorant on your camera.


Fourth, it tells me all I need to know about John McCain and Sarah Palin, that they are willing to accept and foment this kind of support. They are not patriots, they represent the worst stain this country's history has ever produced. They are no different than an unrepentant segregationist shouting "states rights" in 1954.

Why I put people who don't want to be on camera...on camera.:

If this little turd doesn't want to be on my videotape, then he'd better get his ass behind a fucking tree, because I could give two shits whether he is embarrassed by his own image at a McCain rally.

It's time these people own their record. Time for them to own what they've done to my country. Time for them to pay the piper. And if the only price I can extract, myself, is their image on my blog, then I will extract it.

The climate of hate that McCain and Palin have created:

As David Gergen has warned, McCain/Palin rallies are "whipping around anger that could really lead to some violence." McCain's tactic of trying to whip up hatred of Obama, of not saying a word when his and Palin's crowds call for Obama to be assassinated, is simply beyond bizarre. It's inexplicable. How does fomenting death threats against Obama help McCain? Joe and I have tried to avoid this story for much of the week, but McCain and Palin have gone too far, now that their supporters are repeatedly talking about killing Obama. When does it stop? When does Senator McCain find the courage to make it stop? Or is that expecting too much of a man who increasingly appears to be a shell of his former self?


If you don't like being associated with these people, leave the GOP today. If you don't like the idea of these people staying in charge for another 4-8 years, don't even consider voting for McCain:


A Hidden Agenda: John McCain and the IRI:

Presidential hopeful John McCain is hiding a skeleton in his closet. Not your typical political scandal, Senator McCain's dirty little secret is his longtime involvement with the International Republican Institute (IRI), an organization that operates in 60 countries and is budgeted by millions of US taxpayer dollars each year. The IRI is "officially" a politically independent entity, though in reality it is aligned in most respects with the Republican Party and its ideals. Senator McCain has been chairman of the IRI since 1993 and Lorne Craner, president of the organization, is one of the presumptive Republican candidate's informal foreign policy advisors. If McCain's involvement with the IRI does not worry Latin America yet, it certainly will if the policies that have had such a destructive influence in the past are backed by the power of the presidency. His connection to the IRI could endanger already stressed US-Latin American relations in the event of a McCain victory.

McCain Criticized for Slur:

Arizona Sen. John McCain refused to apologize yesterday for his use of a racial slur to condemn the North Vietnamese prison guards who tortured and held him captive during the war. "I hate the gooks," McCain said yesterday in response to a question from reporters aboard his campaign bus. "I will hate them as long as I live."

Unleashed, Palin Makes a Pit Bull Look Tame:

John McCain is collapsing in the polls in Florida and other swing states, but Sarah Palin, God bless her, has a solution.


Worse, Palin's routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media." At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."

Man shot three times in street by racist gunman - for wearing Barack Obama T-shirt :

A man told today how he was shot three times in a London street for wearing a Barack Obama T-shirt.

Dube Egwuatu was buying a mobile telephone top-up card in an off-licence when the gunman confronted him and glared at the top, which carries an image of the Democrat US presidential candidate underneath the legend 'Believe'.

What I Learned at the Sarah Palin Rally Before They Threw Me out:

20,000 Christian zealots, anti-abortion fanatics, and mostly white suburbanites reconnected with their high school past at the Palin rally.


Want further proof of pom-pom Palin? Try this as an experiment. Put on an audio of a Sarah Palin speech. Close your eyes and listen. What you'll hear is the high pitched voice of a teenage girl, speaking in circular reasoning, incomplete sentences, and juvenile idioms. No sophistication. No leadership. No wisdom. Just the sound of a snarky school girl. Sarah Palin is America's greatest nightmare. Sarah Palin is George W. Bush in a dress!

The RNC's Toxic Asset:

The RNC's dilemma illustrates why it was wrong for people to equate Obama's fundraising alone with McCain + RNC fundraising. For instance, in conversations I had a few months ago, some friends said that Obama's fundraising isn't going to be much of an advantage after you factor in RNC spending too.

That's only true, though, if you ignore the opportunity costs of the RNC's spending on McCain. A dollar for him is a dollar not spent in other places. More specifically, if McCain and Obama were raising equal amounts of money, then the RNC would have more flexibility to spend money in congressional races where it's desperately needed. But because of the individual fundraising disparities, they've been allocating a big lump of money to the presidential campaign just to keep McCain even.


You heard something on Fox News or Limbaugh show? Believe it? Think again:


The GOP's Sorcerer's Apprentice Problem:

If you asked 100 educated "liberal elites" why they would never even consider voting Republican, it's not because those mean conservatives told them to go away. It's not even economics. It's the social issues. For many liberals (myself included), the dealbreaker is the enthusiastic and nasty embrace of social views that we find repellant and stupid.


And you know, it sort of makes sense. If I thought Obama was a Muslim terrorist communist committing perpetual voter fraud, I might get mad too at the prospect of an Obama presidency. And so that's what you have -- a lot of angry, proudly uninformed conservatives out there. And they're not going away.

Like Mickey Mouse's brooms in the Sorcerer's Apprentice, they were summoned for a specific purpose, but are now out of control. They're like a armed heat-seeking missile gone astray in the water.


But demography is catching up to them. The combination of growing numbers of educated people and minorities means that the GOP has hitched hits wagon to a demographically-doomed horse, kept alive only by our archaic Electoral College. Maybe the party will heed the warnings of people like Brooks or Douthat. Or maybe it will -- quite comically -- decide that the failure to be nasty enough is what cost them 2008. To which I say -- follow Andy McCarthy! That guy knows what he's doing.

Obama's Plausibility plus Watching Watchmen:

Here we must shift over to the other side and consider how McCain/Palin is, effectively, just a placeholder. 'Maverickiness' is a kind of wish fulfillment dream of conservatism half-awake enough to know that there isn't actually any of the stuff around at present - conservatism, that is. And if there were, it'd be losing even worse. Notional maverickiness, plus liberalism=maoism, is rhetorically unperformable. Obama isn't practicing any kind of crouching Rezko hidden Ayers plausibility fu. It's just impossible to slide smoothly from 'reaching across the aisle to get the job done' to hinting that those on the other side are a bunch of terrorist-huggers. Positive and negative cancel out. No wonder McCain tried to divide his electoral personality, making Palin play 'energize the base' Jekyll to his bipartisan 'Joe Lieberman is my good friend' Hyde. No wonder he can't get into a rhythm. At any rate, Obama is sure playing it exactly right by playing it cool.

Off With His Head!:

The danger here is not mobs of violent Republicans marching through the streets. The danger is that John McCain is setting us up for a repeat of the 90s, an era that conservatives to this day have never been willing to come to grips with. If the looney-bin right decides to treat President Obama as not just an opposition leader, but as a virtual enemy of the state, as they did with Bill Clinton, it's going to be a very, very long eight years. Whatever grownups are left in conservative-land really need to step up to the plate soon before their movement goes even further off the rails than it already is.


Now that Sarah Palin has been found to have abused her powers, violated state ethics, and lied about it, I did a little digging and found an interesting historical footnote. The McCain/Palin ticket is the first in American history in which both candidates were found to have violated ethics standards before a national election.


The silliest part about the claim that ACORN is secretly trying to steal the 2008 election, other than the claim itself, is the idea that the large number of fraudulent forms submitted in Indiana would never have been turned in otherwise. But, as Adam Doster points out, ACORN is required by law to turn in all registrations, no matter how suspect. ACORN flags the ones that seem problematic to help state officials discern fraudulent registrations from real ones. CNN did not note that the law in fact, requires ACORN to submit voter registrations, even if they're filled out with names like Santa Claus or Mickey Mouse. In my last post, I suggested that the bad forms were turned in deliberately -- this is indeed the case. They were turned in deliberately because the law compels ACORN to do so.

Here is a bunch of Republicans saying they would not like to see McCain anywhere near The Button:

McCain has a choice:

a) do one of his famous teary-eyed confessionals on TV, apologizing for everything, pulling negative ads and telling Palin et al. to stop the inciting of violence, etc. and perhaps see a slight bump in the polls because of it, and lose honorably and go down in history (because MSM works that way, not because it's true) as an honorable, successful 'maverick' senator. That way, he allows GOP to survive another day, remain a legitimate party and stay competitive in at least some parts of the country.

b) continue the sleaze, lose in a landslide, and go down in history as the nastiest, sleaziest, most dishonest presidential candidate in history. And pull the GOP brand down with him, not to recover for many years, if ever. Then the rational, decent conservatives will have to work for years to figure out what they stand for, to rebuild GOP or start a new party and have an uphill climb. This would be an opportunity for various third parties, including Greens and Libertarians, to fill the vacuum, help restructure the campaign/election system to allow for a truly multi-party system and, in doing so, both make room for a more true version of democracy AND move the Political Center back from it's rightwing spot right now to the real center where it belongs.


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