McCain Asks Base For Respectful Ferocity

Republican anger is the story of the day.

Video interviews by confrontational Barack Obama supporters at John McCain rallies are shooting up the YouTube charts, revealing angry and nasty anti-Obama sentiment that is in turn motivational for the Democratic presidential contender’s supporters.

Besieged by unflattering stories about Sarah Palin pumping up angry crowds who shout "traitor" and "liar" and worse, as well as criticism of his own attempt to paint Barack Obama as "the other," even referring to him in the last town hall as "that one," John McCain finally corrected a questioner who called Obama an Arab:

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"He's a decent family man that I happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues," McCain said, to scant approval. In fact, the most rousing applause of the afternoon was saved not for McCain, but for a man who begged him to "fight" in next week’s debate.

McCain also said Obama is "a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States," to the audience's "audible disapproval." That's not what hard core Republicans want to hear. They want to believe their fantasies. They want to have their fires stoked. They want to oppose the evil "other." If McCain disappoints them with language that should be replayed in endless Obama ads, what does he have left?

McCain doesn't want to be held responsible for the offensive thoughts he's trying to fuel, but he needs to keep the anger alive.

"I don't mean that has to reduce your ferocity," he said. "I just mean to say you have to be respectful."

Translation: Think it, don't say it. But stay angry. Get your friends angry. We need your ferocious anger. It's all we have.

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  • Display: Sort:
    His latest internals (5.00 / 0) (#1)
    by byteb on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 06:47:33 PM EST
    must have shown how going so vicious and negative is driving even more voters away. I can't think of any other reason for this change of tone.

    Well, also (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by vj on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 07:28:59 PM EST
    He may figure that while he might win the presidency, he also might not want to totally ruin his reputation in the process of losing.

    Correction - (5.00 / 0) (#8)
    by vj on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 07:29:41 PM EST
    Meant to say "might NOT win the presidency"

    I think it is too (none / 0) (#24)
    by Amiss on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 10:35:13 PM EST
    late for hi reputation as well.

    Well I'm glad McCain said something (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by lilburro on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 06:57:10 PM EST
    those rallies and the reports documenting them scare me.  

    Combine the economic times (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by coigue on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 06:59:29 PM EST
    with Palin's rhetoric and you potentially get violence .

    I am glad McCain realized that, I hope it's not too little too late

    well (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by connecticut yankee on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 07:01:41 PM EST
    Well, I guess it's progress for AA's that racists can't generate enough hate for a black guy. They have to pretend he's an arab.  heh

    Have't You Noticed? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Brillo on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 08:46:23 PM EST
    They're no longer darkening his photo in the attack ads, they're lightening it, yellowing it, and desaturating it, giving him a decidedly Swarthy (as you-know-who would say) cast.

    No surprise (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 07:01:46 PM EST
    This has really been a part of the Republican base for more than two decades. They're hunger for one party rule with them at the top created this violent, twisted, angry, ignorant mob. The Rush Limbaughs, Fox News, the "think tanks" and the candidates themselves. Their sickness has degraded our entire political discourse. It will take years to undue the damage that the Conservative Movement has done to this country.  

    The real story of the next decade or two will be whether the damage can be undone.

    The next 25 days may be the ugliest of all time.

    ya (5.00 / 0) (#17)
    by connecticut yankee on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 09:01:10 PM EST
    Sure, part of that base still thinks the southern strategy was a winner. They wont let go.

    Republican office holders (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 10:34:44 PM EST
    and candidates have, over the years, helped fuel this fury.  Examples: Saxbe Chambliss' campaign ads that placed Max Cleland in the company of  Osama bin Laden, Bush surrogates denigrating John Kerry's heroic combat record and Bush refusing to call a halt.

    No attempt to reign in people like Rush Limbaugh who was given 'legitimacy' by guests like the Vice President of the United States.

    Fundamentally, the portrayal of Democrats as perverts, traitors, etc. all at the behest of holders of high public office.

    Little wonder that fewer and fewer good people are willing to run for public office at any level.


    It is easy to strike the match (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by denise k on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 07:29:23 PM EST
    but once the fire gets going, it is impossible to control.  Between race issues they have ginned up and scary economic hard times on top of a real vacuum of leadership (Bush) at the top, it is like a bone dry forest just waiting for a lightning strike.  McCain did the right thing -- finally --by putting some cold water on his more rabid supporters.  Let's see if he has enough pull to get his Vice to do the same.  

    I almost feel sorry for him (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Faust on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 07:40:02 PM EST
    Oh wait, no I don't. I hope he goes down in flames and loses his senate seat next cycle.

    He'll retire. . . (none / 0) (#10)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 08:09:24 PM EST
    massive loser to a first term black Senator doesn't, I think, fit into McCain's view of his mavericky self.

    the current (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by cpinva on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 08:24:44 PM EST
    republican "base" consists, in large part, of not well educated, mostly blue-collar voters, who've seen their wages stagnate, and their jobs outsourced, for the past 20 years.

    the republicans, who champion low wages and job outsourcing, have convinced these people that their losses are really the fault of civil rights legislation, and labor laws, perceived to benefit only minorities, to the detriment of those blue-collar white folks.

    all these people have left is anger; it doesn't cost them anything, it's easy to direct, and the mccain campaign just points them in the right direction.

    facts are not going to change these people's minds, especially if those facts conflict with what they "know".

    Their base also populates the wealthiest suburbs, (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by sallywally on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 09:03:37 PM EST
    the most highly paid professions, generations of very rich families with huge estates to pass on and thereby maintain the aristocracy, and others whose interest is in maintaining their own wealth at the expense of the rest of us.

    These folks would not be saying violent, threatening, "undignified" things in public, since it would be beneath their noble class bearing - but no doubt you would hear the same things from their mouths if you a mouse on their walls - and maybe a real "low-class" mouthful if you were a mouse on the wall of the White House residence or the mansion at Kennebunkport.

    In this way, they do support the views of the poor people whose wrath they work so hard to create.

    Exactly. The elitist post above (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Cream City on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 09:28:24 PM EST
    about these being uneducated low-class sorts is not fact-based.  For example, re the rally yesterday in Waukesha -- that's next door to me.  It is one of the most affluent counties in its state, has a high educational level, has a huge population now, and also is the fourth-reddest county in the country.

    Oh, and it also played a huge part in the Obama win in the Wisconsin primary.  Told ya so. TL, about the GOP crossover games in Wisconsin primaries.


    At this point, any Democrat's (none / 0) (#21)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 09:30:21 PM EST
    boot on McCain's face will be welcome in November.
    While I didn't support him in the primaries at ALL, I think he does have the killer instinct the Republican party really needs to experience from a Democratic President. He'll talk about unity, sure, but he  will rub it in if he wins, as he should.

    sorry, but you're misinformed. (none / 0) (#27)
    by cpinva on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 04:31:05 AM EST
    the wealthy, educated republican base is not the same, ideologically, as its blue-collar base. they don't want an obama (or any democrat, for that matter) in the white house, but for completely different reasons. race has little, if anything at all, to do with it.

    they see the tax writing on the wall, should obama be elected, and the democrats gain a solid majority in both houses of congress. as well (hopefully), they see the regulatory agencies, gutted during the bush years, regaining (again, hopefully) their clout. with that, the "wild west" of wall street would be reigned in.

    while the present financial disaster is doing what the SEC failed to, the basic problem, which allowed this, hasn't been corrected. it won't be, if mccain is elected.

    this is what separates the two polar-opposite republican bases.


    My first reaction was that it's horrifying. (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by WillBFair on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 09:41:21 PM EST
    Everyone who knows how should pray to protect Obama. And I certainly don't wish to trivialize this.
    But mobs are interesting. They don't think. Each person takes his cues from the people around him. They're controlled by their emotions. And they act as a single organism.
    I hope we get more video so we can study the phenomenon.

    Personally (5.00 / 0) (#26)
    by flyerhawk on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 01:27:50 AM EST
    I believe that McCain has realized the errors of his ways, on many levels.  I don't think he is a bad human being but he has allowed his lesser demons to rule his greater angels.  

    He is wrong on just about every issue and I oppose him vehemently, but I wonder if, perhaps, he is not getting a moment of self-realization here.

    He does truly love this country, as I believe anyone who has done what it takes to reach that level of politics has, and I do hope that this is a sign of his tempering of the rhetoric for the betterment of the nation.

    Your assessment of Senator McCain (none / 0) (#28)
    by KeysDan on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:27:51 AM EST
    is a gracious and kind one, and perhaps he was deserving of, at least, some of it at one time.  However, thanking the arsonist for helping to douse his handiwork, is giving a bit too much credit. After all, what could he have said when the woman  holding the mike, on video, dab smack in front of him, says he is an Arab? Up until that point, that same woman was  deriding Senator Obama as being someone untrustworthy, and McCain was nodding in agreement.  The latest McCain campaign attacks are on Michelle Obama, noting that Bill Ayers wife, Bernadine Dorhn, and Mrs. Obama both worked for one of the largest Chicago law firms, Sidley Austin.  It looks like the bigger demons are still winning.

    They BOOED Him (none / 0) (#11)
    by MTSINAIMAMA on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 08:12:20 PM EST
    McNasty didn't look too happy.

    McCain is (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by JThomas on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 08:24:41 PM EST
    in a dilemma of his own making...he has no good options. If this was a chess match...it would be checkmate from a political strategy standpoint.

    Lets hope it holds and McCain reins in Palin also. Might as well be classy in victory or defeat.


    He may have been under. . . (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 08:54:41 PM EST
    the misapprehension that these people like him when instead they simply hate "that one".

    ya (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by connecticut yankee on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 09:04:28 PM EST
    He's surrounded by crazies.

    Did you see the look on McCain's face when the guy yelled, "a terrorist".  It was almost a double take. A mix of surprise and something else.

    He doesnt fully understand the forces he's unleashed. But he did unleash them and I can't excuse it.


    McCain's (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 10:44:20 PM EST
    not the only one.  This has been going on for more than two decades and in growing intensity.

    I'm seeing Obama ads all over cable (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Fri Oct 10, 2008 at 08:51:47 PM EST
    and they aren't local inserts either.

    McCain is running out of options.

    are Arabs (none / 0) (#29)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 03:55:46 PM EST
    not decent family people?