John Lewis Warns Against Hostile Tone of McCain Campaign

Since John McCain named John Lewis as one of the three wise men from whom he would welcome advice if he were president, McCain should heed this:

As one who was a victim of violence and hate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign. What I am seeing reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history. Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.

Rep. Lewis reminds us that "George Wallace never threw a bomb" or "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." Evoking the memory of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, Lewis cautioned that "Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all."

[more ...]

They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better.

Instead of listening to one of the wisest men he knows, John McCain accused Lewis of playing the George Wallace card and scolded Barack Obama for letting him do it. McCain said:

"I call on Senator 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.”

The Obama campaign's response:

“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.’"

Nate Silver suggests that Obama should repudiate Lewis, agree that the campaigns should return their focus to the important issues, and challenge McCain to do the same whenever he brings up Bill Ayers. The repudiation of the George Wallace comparison seems sufficient to let Obama benefit from that strategy.

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    Annnnnnd (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Faust on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 06:15:54 PM EST
    here we go.

    Oh, poor John Lewis dragged into this (3.60 / 5) (#2)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 06:21:11 PM EST
    again.  What a political football he has been in this campaign, kicked around as much as he was outside that bus station.  I gather that at least this means he won't have a primary opponent.

    I think the Obama response was fine (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by lilburro on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 06:23:59 PM EST
    I don't think they should throw JOHN LEWIS under the bus.  What John Lewis said was a criticism that has been worded differently, but repeated in different outlets - David Gergen was on Colbert's show this week and said that Palin has crossed a line with the way she has been riling her crowds and slandering Obama.  And yes, even McCain has had to say something to address it.  The CBS video of the racist McCain supporter with the monkey at the Palin rally just goes to show how much hate is out there.  (h/t I think Jlvngston posted that).  

    John McCain is still the one who needs to offer an explanation for how his rallies came to be this way, not Obama.  The Obama camp even gives him some credit in this statment by not directly linking McCain to the "hateful rhetoric."

    He didn't throw him under the buss (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 06:43:50 PM EST
    He disagreed with the harsh statement, and came back with a more politcally correct statement.  To me, the fact that it was John Lewis makes me wonder if the whole thing was planned from the start (which would be smart politics)

    I know (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by lilburro on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 06:51:30 PM EST
    I'm agreeing with the Obama campaign, disagreeing with Nate Silver.  Because I think what John Lewis said had enough truth in it that he deserves to be acknowledged in some way for the truth of his criticism, as the Obama camp did in their statment.  I do not think Obama threw Lewis under the bus here.

    Republican Rep Ray LaHood called Palin out.  Campbell Brown called them out.  David Gergen called them out.  So Lewis is on solid ground.


    Cambell B is calling Palin out for everything (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by nycstray on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 06:57:39 PM EST
    real and imagined. She looks like a bloody fool, imo.

    Ah, you're right. Lewis would not (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 07:01:08 PM EST
    have gone off on this on his own, not since he flipped so solidly into the core of the Obama camp.

    Very interesting strategy by the Obama camp, then -- if wearying to watch all this fiddling while Rome burns, i.e., massive auto plant closings on the way.  Could this focus away from the economy be a strategy to deflect from the problem that no one -- neither campaign -- has answers for those who may be hurting and/or worrying most, the AA voters?


    Expression of this concern (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by KeysDan on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 06:51:15 PM EST
    was noted by people like Gergen and Doris Kearns Goodwin; Congressman Lewis has now joined the chorus to challenge behavior that is at best, ignorance, and at worst, bigotry.  The heavy lifting, however, needs to be done by both McCain and Palin  in their comments and campaign forums.

    McCain's in a tough spot (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by stevea66 on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 06:34:13 PM EST
    This is so friggin interesting.  Consider whether or not McCain would apologize if there weren't an election at stake.  It's so sad.  He's losing his honor, which he still had to some degree before now.  Perhaps he should think about adding "I'd rather keep my honor than win an election" into his next stump.

    But Obama already said Lewis went too far (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 06:38:30 PM EST
    if you looked at the link: "Senator Obama does not believe that John McCain or his policy criticism is in any way comparable to George Wallace or his segregationist policies.  But John Lewis was right to condemn some of the hateful rhetoric that John McCain himself personally rebuked just last night."

    So no need for an apology from McCain -- the link shows that Obama wants it from Palin.  Read on. . . .


    well (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by connecticut yankee on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 06:52:41 PM EST
    Obama is being polite.  I think McCain is doing this on purpose.  They are playing connect the dots with some pretty loaded dots and they are losing control of the message.

    I say this as a McCain supporter in 2000.  He's really losing my respect.


    Yes, sure. But strategically, this means (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 06:56:28 PM EST
    Obama said "no apology needed" from McCain and specifically puts the focus on Palin.  Interesting, considering all the discussion here from polls that say she is bringing down the ticket, anyway.  So what is there to fear from her?  Internals showing something other than what the public polls show?

    I would say it's the strategy (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Faust on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 07:10:31 PM EST
    of tying an anvil to the rock.

    Ah, so it's strategic overkill? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 07:19:35 PM EST
    That has its perils, of course -- so again, it seems unwise for such a cautious campaign as Obama's has become since the European trip.

    Thank you for your concern (1.00 / 1) (#164)
    by MKS on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:39:40 AM EST
    Overconfidence? (none / 0) (#71)
    by Faust on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:56:56 PM EST
    could be. I think they just sense they have the media full bore on their side at this point. John McCain has lost his media darling status and Obama's media status has only gone up. So their wiggle room is pretty wide at this point.

    No, I don't think so. (5.00 / 3) (#85)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:13:12 PM EST
    Going right past McCain in that Obama camp line and targeting Palin may mean something in the internals that shows she still has an appeal they want to stop.  And timed it after yesterday's news on her -- as after all, why didn't this come when the ramping up at the Repub rallies started, rather than after McCain started to try to tamp it down?  Or maybe it's to make this the talk of the Sunday morning shows, rather than the economy -- for which neither campaign has the answers now.  (Who could?)

    no, he didn't say "no apology needed" (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Iris on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:28:53 PM EST
    he said John Lewis was right to call out McCain/Palin for their dishonorable and dangerous rhetoric.  How did you miss that?  By saying that McCain is no George Wallace, Obama is being FAIR.  What a concept, an honest politician.  Not that you will give him credit for it.  You really should be ashamed for constantly trying to twist his words.

    Again, read the Obama camp statement (3.85 / 7) (#48)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:32:27 PM EST
    and see how artfully it is constructed.  Of course, Obama says that -- and then he says something else.  And actually aims at someone else.  

    Ah, for the days when brighter bulbs at this blog were intrigued by campaign strategy and tactics and tried to see what was coming, not what they saw in their own little tvs in their heads.


    Amen Sister (5.00 / 2) (#136)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:36:53 PM EST
    And who is carrying (none / 0) (#165)
    by MKS on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:42:48 AM EST
    the Ayers attack?  The attack line in general?....

    Again, the one aimed at (none / 0) (#174)
    by Cream City on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:35:06 AM EST
    and not forgiven in the Obama camp response.

    Sean Hannity? (none / 0) (#179)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:52:22 AM EST
    ya (3.00 / 2) (#27)
    by connecticut yankee on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 07:35:06 PM EST
    You clearly wish.

    Nonsense, you have no idea (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 07:54:15 PM EST
    who I am and must not have been here for the earlier threads on the use and abuse of John Lewis.  This is part of an ongoing discussion.

    Acttually, Cream (1.00 / 1) (#30)
    by rdandrea on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 07:58:20 PM EST
    Your post needs to be relevant to this thread.

    What's the ongoing discussion?  Does it have anything to do with this thread?


    Actually, bless your heart (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 07:59:37 PM EST
    you can read up and see that my post is about Lewis, Obama, et al.  So what's your point in going after commenter after commenter here asking us why we're commenting about the topic of the thread?

    John Lewis's decisions of when and how (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:33:35 PM EST
    to speak up, and the price he was threatened with in the past, are definitely relevant to this thread.

    Agreed. The low point of this campaign (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:54:45 PM EST
    as I look back at so many disgraceful moments, was the threat of a primary challenger to John Lewis.

    What is the dream now?  


    you have unresolved issues (1.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Iris on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:11:25 PM EST
    please deal with that anger over the primaries and try to stick to the issue at hand

    Ah, online psychologists! (none / 0) (#154)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:32:47 PM EST
    Love it.  Please make up your degrees for us, too.:-)

    That would be actually (none / 0) (#32)
    by rdandrea on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 07:58:41 PM EST
    with one "t"

    Nah (none / 0) (#21)
    by WS on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 07:06:21 PM EST
    probably tarnishing her for his re-election.  I think they already know they're going to beat McCain, and since Palin could run in 2012, they want her hobbled later on.  

    As if any pol (none / 0) (#137)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:38:22 PM EST
    Is that concerned about any election other than the current one.  Things change too much for them to worry about tomorrow, much less YEARS from now.

    Divide & Conquer? (none / 0) (#67)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:54:06 PM EST
    Obama's response seems to be cleverly adding to major division within the Republican party. It seems that this division is the source of unraveling of the McCain campaign: When the campaign follows the Palin strain, the campaign loses the more centrists Republicans and some independents; when it follows the McCain strain (don't know what else to call it), as shown in his correcting supporters at rallies, he loses the "base". The more these 2 factions are turned off by one facet of the campaign or the other, the more voter turnout might be suppressed. The back and forth of the McCain campaign strategy has turned off many of the Republican pundits - Rollins, etc.
    And. Obama's response, by its "moderation" of Lewis' comments, is his campaign's way of showing that Obama is a moderate.

    Interesting. I've been trying to think more (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:58:24 PM EST
    about the effect on Independents, the great numbers of undecideds who will, it looks like, decide this.  I got the sense from the earlier Obama campaign that the wiser course was "post-racial," steering away from race entirely, for that group.

    But maybe they're more locked into place than the polls indicate, and you're correct that the aim now is to divide the GOP again.

    Btw, I'm not sure that pundits like Rollins are indicative of more than, well, pundits.  But that is more that will be parsed after November 4.


    Republicans Already Divided (none / 0) (#90)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:19:17 PM EST
    The Republican coaltion that brought us "W" has always had 2 camps. The division between the 2 Republican factions just seems more pronounced right now, and McCain, at heart, has discovered he is unwilling to go along to get along in all respects.  His campaign does not know what to do, so it has been following a bifurcated strategy to see what works. It seems to me that due to the crisis in the credit/financial markets and the economic squeeze being felt by the average voter, nothing the Republicans do has worked, and McCain has been forced to face the uglier side of what has been unleashed in the effort to see what sticks.  

    Obama didn't invent (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:40:16 PM EST
    The division in the republican party.  Like the democrats, there have been at least two factions in the party for years.  

    Obama seems to like D&C . . . (1.00 / 1) (#79)
    by nycstray on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:04:57 PM EST
    Unfortunately, I don't think it will serve him well as President.

    Oh, he can switch again (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:16:02 PM EST
    as he's switched from the primary to the general election.  You are correct that this would be awful strategy, of course, as president -- this country in this economy is so much more divided by class wars than race wars now, and the class wars will get worse.  So those have to be the focus if there is to be any way out of this economic mess.

    Nicely done (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:20:17 PM EST
    Senator Obama does not believe that John McCain or his policy criticism is in any way comparable to George Wallace or his segregationist policies.

    Meaning, we've compared them every which way to Sunday, and really, there is no comparison there.


    When has Obama (5.00 / 0) (#43)
    by lilburro on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:26:47 PM EST
    compared McCain with George Wallace?  When has any surrogate compared McCain with George Wallace?  

    As far as I can tell this is an entirely new theme to the Presidential campaign, introduced solely by John Lewis, who was speaking his mind at the time (and why would Obama want John Lewis to talk about George Wallace anyway???)


    LOL (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:39:02 PM EST
    OK - don't you have to actually compare tow things before you pronucne them incomparable? Otherwise why mention it at all?  I'll put it in more understandable terms.  What would you be saying if McCain said that Obama was in no way comparable to  a terrorist?

    The only person who compared them (5.00 / 0) (#62)
    by lilburro on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:50:24 PM EST
    is John Lewis.  The Obama campaign is responding to his comparison by saying the comparison does not work.  

    Your comment made it seem like there is some whisper campaign to revive George Wallace as McCain's new hero.

    And what would I say if McCain said Obama is not comparable to a terrorist?  Why, didn't he say something just like that a few days ago.  I said, I'm glad he said something, the rallies were starting to scare me.  

    The McCain/Palin camp are dialing back some of that stuff.  Good for them.  

    I guess my jump off point is that I don't agree with the premise that this was all cheoreographed by Obama.  Maybe you do.


    Do see samtaylor's take above. (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:59:41 PM EST
    Good example (5.00 / 3) (#83)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:11:10 PM EST
    What McCain said was a positive statement about Obama " He's a decent family man that I happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues".

    I think team Obama, of which Lewis is a part, is still trying to bait McCain into going ballistic.  I applaud this as a more sophisticated play than Biden's playground taunts the other day.


    That's the truth -- Biden tries (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:19:23 PM EST
    to "get his Irish up," as we Irishers like Biden say.  But McCain is a Scots.  Much of Celtic history is really quite revealing on the foiled attempts by each, based on not trying to think like the other guy.:-)

    But as we said here long ago, going after McCain on race simply won't work as it did with the Clintons.  So maybe there's something that says it will work on Palin?  Maybe because her husband is a minority -- but a different minority with its own issues?  It will be interesting to watch and see.


    Minority? (none / 0) (#115)
    by wasabi on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:45:33 PM EST
    Todd Palin is one-eighth Yu'pik Eskimo.

    Yes, and the Yu'pik Esquimaux (none / 0) (#125)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:02:47 PM EST
    as they say, are certainly a minority now, sadly.  

    What do you define as minority?  Beyond numerical definitions, the Yu'pik is among the groups recognized as qualifying for civil rights benefits and protections.  Or you think he isn't sufficiently Yu'pik?  Yes, by the definition, he is.  (We've had that discussion here; see archives.)

    If you meant something else, please clarify.


    You are so out there (none / 0) (#167)
    by MKS on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:50:26 AM EST
    Going after Palin because she is a minority or because her husband is part Native American somewhere back a generation or two???

    Complete rubbish.  People do not like Palin on the merits....Shocking isn't it.....


    You are not reading. Please try (none / 0) (#175)
    by Cream City on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:38:17 AM EST
    to see the source of the speculation on this -- if you won't read what I write, read the link for what the Obama camp said and try to see it.  It may be a sign of what's to come from it.  Or it may not.  Obviously, it's just speculation -- as I lack your amazing certainty as to what is "rubbish."  So I only can think that you're in the Obama campaign?

    What link? (none / 0) (#195)
    by MKS on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 03:31:53 AM EST
    You too often say look at a link written long ago somewhere else....It doesn't help the discussion but does try to give the appearance that there is evidence to support the most vicious speculation....

    Um, I don't believe McCain actually (1.00 / 1) (#87)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:15:42 PM EST
    corrected the man and said explicitly that Obama is not an Arab, did he?
    Please, McCain's slimy campaign does not deserve excuses.

    It was a woman (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:21:22 PM EST
    who said Obama was an Arab; and McCain did say directly to her that her statement was untrue.

    He did stop the woman, quite clearly (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:59:26 PM EST
    and I think it was wise of McCain to restate the question, rather than get into the Arab thing.  No matter what he said, it would have been parsed by pundits as signs of ignorance that would have inflamed somebody (as Obama's heritage is Arab, the Arab community in Kenya -- but try to explain that to that crowd or in a cable soundbyte to a country that, as Bill Clinton recently noted, never talks about countries in Africa but only the continent).

    Watch the video.  She says her stupid statement, McCain grabs the mic and shakes his head for no, she says no? -- and he gets off the stupid topic fast.


    Cream, I'm Glad I'm (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:42:01 PM EST
    generally on your good side tonight! It's too time-consuming to respond to your ever-so-incisive criticisms. Especially this weekend, when I am working on 2 take-home midterms. Can you believe I come to talkleft to take a break from psych? I just worry how accurately I'm picking up "news" reports in my spare time.  

    You're in luck -- Iris is doing psychology (none / 0) (#157)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:43:55 PM EST
    online.  But I suspect you could not get away with a footnote citing her.  Me, I remember a lot from good psych classes, but I unfortunately had a lot of physical psych.  Rats in mazes.  Pavlovian stuff done to dogs.  Ugh.

    I'm actually taking a break before grading first papers in a class tomorrow.  It's going to be a sunny day, perfect for the most favorable mood to be beneficent -- and more hopeful of seeing good arguments supported by evidence, such as what is provided here in the links, after all.  And I also hope for more context than here, as if each day was not a new campaign from nowhere but a continuation of carefully planned messages.  I don't know why Obama supporters don't seem to want to give him credit for a brilliant campaign.

    Good luck with your midterms.  Remember to leave that crucial last hour for proofreading -- and for a conclusion, which can so impress profs after reading so many incomplete thoughts.:-)


    Maybe "we" Obama supporters (none / 0) (#166)
    by MKS on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:47:54 AM EST
    detect a wee bit o' sarcasm and hostility from non-Obama supporters.....

    I am not excusing the McCain campaign (none / 0) (#96)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:23:42 PM EST
    for anything.  I'm saying they are not running on as many cylinders as the Obama campaign.

    And thank god for that. (none / 0) (#98)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:24:39 PM EST
    If you look at who voted in '64 (none / 0) (#106)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:31:04 PM EST
    for Wallace, it is a carefully chosen comparate.

    I would be saying that is an (none / 0) (#54)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:40:22 PM EST
    improvement on his performance to date.

    Well, I would say that was (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:43:47 PM EST
    a backhand way to call him a terrorist.

    But then I am as cynical as, as...... a campaign spokesperson.


    Right, and backhanded would be (none / 0) (#59)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:45:09 PM EST
    better than the direct implications he and Palin are using now. I thought you and CC were sharp cookies!

    Whew, you see it. (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:33:56 PM EST
    Hard to miss, IMHO (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:39:56 PM EST
    What is there to see? (5.00 / 0) (#58)
    by lilburro on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:43:55 PM EST
    Are we automatically assuming a link between John Lewis and the Obama campaign?  I didn't automatically assume a link between the awful things Bob Johnson said in the primary when introducing Hillary, and Hillary Clinton's campaign.

    Of course. The Obama campaign (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:46:55 PM EST
    is already amazing for its message control -- learning from Rove on that and turning it around on the GOP.  

    You can't seriously be saying that at this point in the campaign, it would go out of control?  If so, that is serious.  Evidence?  


    What is your argument based on? (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by lilburro on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:01:20 PM EST
    A feeling that Obama has 100% perfect message control, and that many Democrats are under his spell?  Your perception seems to be that Obama is running a gigantic machine.

    I can see why you would be suspicious that this is all a big setup.  But why would they want to bring up George Wallace (a reference many in the younger set won't get) and race?  It seems to me that it often ends up being embarrassing for them.

    Listen, I bristled whenever I saw people blaming Hillary for every stupid thing about Obama said by someone connected to her.  I thought the SC memo was full of crap.  That memo is definitely on Obama.  But more of that accusatory crap was coming from the media and bloggers.  

    Am I a dupe?  I just think John Lewis may actually be speaking sincerely here and not just heaving around his authority for political points.  Plus his timing was really poor, as the backlash to the hate at the Palin rallies is going pretty well as is.  

    Maybe John Lewis had something to say?  I can see why he might be p*ssed, hearing the reports coming out of these rallies.  An Obama monkey?  C'mon.


    Please do not bring back that term (5.00 / 3) (#105)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:29:56 PM EST
    that Lewis and others had to hear too often in the South.

    As for the rest, yes, the Obama campaign has been an amazingly well-oiled massive machine from the start -- he says his executive experience is running a staff of something like 3000! after all, and there are all those millions of volunteers given the message training for years now.  

    And John Lewis was brought in line months ago.  He would not go on his own now, at this crucial point -- he is as smart as he is committed, or he never would have run and won as he did when Obama was still learning to walk.


    What??????? (none / 0) (#118)
    by lilburro on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:50:02 PM EST
    Are you talking about the use of the word "monkey"?   Ok, looking back I do see that I may not have worded that carefully enough to be clear (although I mention this incident in a previous comment in this thread) but I was referring to the CBS video of today of a guy at a Palin rally:

    see here

    I thought that THIS was offensive enough in itself to warrant John Lewis speaking out.  


    Again (none / 0) (#129)
    by lilburro on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:15:44 PM EST
    did not and did not mean to call Lewis "a monkey."  And I am sorry I did not make my reference clearer.

    Yes, Obama has a HUGE, well oiled, (none / 0) (#141)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:48:45 PM EST
    Machine!  He's a pol, running a great campaign for the last year and half.  Of course he has a gigantic machine!  

    Um, you DO understand that if (3.00 / 2) (#61)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:49:50 PM EST
    Palin and McCain weren't guilty of what Lewis charges, what you see as a slick campaign trick wouldn't work, don't you?
    McCain and Palin are guilty as sin.

    I hope you do understand (4.00 / 4) (#65)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:52:17 PM EST
    that it's all slick campaign tricks.

    Exactly (5.00 / 3) (#70)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:55:43 PM EST
    Ah, death threats and accusations that (1.00 / 1) (#66)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:53:49 PM EST
    Obama is a terrorist---and the monkey with the Obama sign.. all just slick campaign tricks.
    Get real.

    No, the slickness is on Obama's side (5.00 / 4) (#72)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:57:08 PM EST
    The stuff you cited is standard issue Republican smear.

    Cream, your sour grapes cynicism (none / 0) (#193)
    by MKS on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 03:28:19 AM EST
    has become so poisonous....You were not so cynical when Hillary was in the race....Metis Indians and all that....

    Now, Sher -- this is one of the more interesting (none / 0) (#126)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:04:59 PM EST
    of your otherwise wearisome, numerous 2's.  Please do emerge and explain what is wrong with this comment.  Is it that you disagree -- not cause for a 2, of course -- and see Obama's campaign as out of control?  

    Um, just no to your whole house of cards (none / 0) (#151)
    by connecticut yankee on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:16:23 PM EST
    This theme was first laid out by pundits and moderate republicans responding to palins rhetoric.  Lewis is late to the party and I see absolutely no reason why his comments arent just part of the general comdemnation of McCain campaign's tactics.

    You are the one making the assertion (none / 0) (#169)
    by MKS on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:53:28 AM EST
    so the burden would be on you....Perhaps you carry it in the eyes of some, but Obama's campaign should know not to get too cute....and this theory is just a little too cute....too many chances to go wrong....Obama is all about KISS.

    In fact, McCain and Palin (especially) (3.00 / 2) (#55)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:41:09 PM EST
    are comparable to Wallace.
    Well done, Team Obama!

    there you go again, Cream (3.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Iris on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:23:35 PM EST
    I get the sense that Obama could never please you no matter what he said.  It would take a lot of work to be as bad as George Wallace...but Lewis was dead on to call out McCain and Palin for this.  And Obama's statement reflects that.

    I get the sense that you (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:33:31 PM EST
    . . . well, let's just leave it at that you're not into campaign strategy and tactics.

    Quick, look, over there!


    24 days left? Can you take it? (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:42:05 PM EST
    I'm even enjoying it (5.00 / 4) (#63)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:50:25 PM EST
    as spectator sport for the first time, living where I do -- the campaign, that is.  It's fascinating to be able to distance from it and be analytical rather than so involved as to let foolishness slide.

    Not enjoying where the country is headed, though, either way.  Not just the economy.  This topic again suggests that the backlash will be awful, and I fear for causes such as affirmative action.


    I think I am turning analytical (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:21:16 PM EST
    to combat my fear and worry. I have little confidence the leadership is up to the task ahead.

    Distancing does help. (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:32:18 PM EST
    Also, old movies.  Far better to watch those channels than to watch pundits, believe me.  There are more truths in the plot lines of old movies.:-)

    TCM - my favorite channel! (none / 0) (#116)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:45:56 PM EST
    Yep, and during a break, here's a good read (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:11:52 PM EST
    for those of us interested not in flashpoints but in figuring out how and why the campaign is triggering flashpoints at this point -- as seen in the reaction here.

    I'm off to find more non-knee-jerking.  Glad you were here.


    Ah, found one more for you (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:20:06 PM EST
    from Politico.  As I read this, it could mean we'll be watching a lot of old movies.  I.e., Lewis' comment over-reached, so McCain might as well go where he has not gone.  I'd rather watch old movies than that endless loop of dry-humping the pulpit again.

    Better URL (none / 0) (#133)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:27:58 PM EST
    as more recent commentary piled above the last one.  Here you go: Politico says "McCain Will Be Accused of Racism, Regardless."  Gonna be a long 24 days, damaging to good causes in many ways.

    Good comment and good links (none / 0) (#180)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 02:06:12 AM EST
    Wasn't it Philly fans who booed Santa Claus?  It's little wonder they booed Palin.  

    Is it just me, or does this campaign seem like it's been going on for years, if not decades?  The loop has grown very tedious.  


    That video sent me to a Philly paper (none / 0) (#186)
    by Cream City on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 03:09:52 AM EST
    and it turned up a lot of boasts, yeh, about the bad, bad Phillies fans.  I didn't find the one about booing Santa Claus, but I believe it, with what I read about life in the cradle of liberty.

    I know that in my town, the hockey fans also pride themselves on being even crazier than the Packer fans you see on tv in their war paint and weirdness.  But the worst, by far, are the rugby group -- players and fans alike.  I'll spare you the sordid details about what the players do . . . when they win.  When they lose, ugh.


    I gotta agree with you (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:54:29 PM EST
    On nearly everything except affirmative action.  That will thrive under Obama.  It will grow larger than ever before.  With the coming recession/depression affirmative government jobs will expand greatly and those always have large AA programs.   With so many Blacks in charge of so many agencies under Obama, AA will expand as we've not seen it in the past.  Training programs for AA will expand too.  Thousands of jobs in the AA field.  

    I don't think so. He will run a very careful (none / 0) (#158)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:46:37 PM EST
    first term to get re-elected -- the main goal of every first-term president.  And it will be very hard to grow government in this economy, if he follows through with cutting taxes at all.

    Ah, you know that for a fact (none / 0) (#170)
    by MKS on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:55:32 AM EST
    Your bias is that Obama is evil--we get it....

    What is evil about a two-term Dem (none / 0) (#176)
    by Cream City on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:39:32 AM EST
    in your mind?  You don't want him re-elected?  Where the heck are you coming from, anyway?

    Isn't he going to raise taxes? (none / 0) (#181)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 02:10:24 AM EST
    Didn't Obama say he would raise taxes on rich people and businesses?  Plus, we're in a recession, soon to be depression.  As someone else said, there's nothing wrong with him running a deficit.  That's what I think he will have to do to increase government and give people jobs and to bailout the auto workers and their retirees.  Lots of folks with their hands out.  Obama will have to help them.  

    Obama's Tax proposals (none / 0) (#183)
    by themomcat on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 02:29:41 AM EST
    He has said that he would let most of the Bush tax cuts expire except for those benefiting married couple and the increase in deductions for children. He has said that he would cut taxes for individuals making less than $250k and would not tax small businesses. Obama also proposed eliminating tax benefits for companies that out source jobs overseas, that is the one i really like. Keeping jobs in this country will increase tax revenues not just for the Federal government but also states and municipalities. The rest of Obama's tax policies are on his web site.

    A very interesting point. . . (none / 0) (#163)
    by obiden08 on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:33:24 AM EST
    I believe people hire people "like" them.  Now this "like" can be established in a lot of different ways.

    When I was interviewing for my first job after college graduation, I was surprised at the times when an interviewer said:

    1. you remind me of me when I was your age, said one white man (I'm not white, nor am I a man)
    2. you remind me of my sister, said another white man

    Or when we spent a good ten minutes talking about fraternity life after the interviewer found out my brother belonged to his fraternity.

    Even as a newbie to the job market, I knew I had passed some invisible hurdle that had nothing to do with my GPA.  They liked me because I was "like" them.

    Another example, this one from after I had been working in a new position for about a year. We were interviewing candidates for a job.  My boss said explicity, "pick the one you like, the one who will fit in better with us."

    We did sorta.  Except the guy we picked was also the son of the VP at a company vendor.  We did like him better though.

    Hiring decisions are never as objective as we'd like to pretend.  

    All that said, I don't see Affirmative Action as a policy Obama will aggresively pursue and I know he won't pursue quotas.  He really does want to bring the country together.  


    Definitely true. (none / 0) (#177)
    by Cream City on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:42:26 AM EST
    I've experienced it, too, but for gender reasons.

    It's why we need to keep affirmative action -- but the referenda on it already, in this election, are worrisome.  There's no need for pushing it; there is need for restoring its protections, after the devastation of the EEOC under Bush.  That will be a crucial appointment, as will those in the DOJ.


    i really dont understand (none / 0) (#161)
    by sancho on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:05:42 AM EST
    the presumption that mccain has ever had any meaningful honor as a politician. he has been a republican during a bad era to be a republican. he's backed away from any decent instincts he might have had--making you wonder if he ever had them to begin with.

    mccain has always said you see the real person under pressure.

    we're seeing the real mccain right now.

    it looks a lot like what i've seen from the republicans since nixon employed the southern strategy.


    McCain-Feingold bill? (none / 0) (#188)
    by Cream City on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 03:15:13 AM EST
    About all I can come up with -- I haven't seen McCain literature, website, etc.

    It's the truth (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Steve M on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 06:39:24 PM EST
    Any fool can see it, but it takes a bold man to say it.  And I don't know anyone with more moral gravitas than John Lewis on this sort of thing.

    I'm usually the first one to object to an unfair playing of the race card but... I won't call this one unfair.  It's not.  Good for him, and the Obama response sounds just right to me.

    Yeah (5.00 / 0) (#17)
    by lilburro on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 06:58:40 PM EST
    I mean, no one would ever have called John Edwards an Arab Terrorist.  Something has to be said about all this.

    Very good point (5.00 / 0) (#19)
    by stevea66 on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 07:02:12 PM EST
    Although I have called Bush and Cheney terrorists.  Maybe they're not by definition, so I guess they'd just be war criminals.

    exactly (5.00 / 0) (#40)
    by Iris on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:21:26 PM EST
    the fact that McCain is trying to get Obama to denounce this act of courage is very, very shameful.

    Do read the Obama camp statement (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:29:36 PM EST
    for starters.  It's much intricate and interesting.

    He is an amazing politician (none / 0) (#143)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:57:12 PM EST
    Obama may prove to be an even better politician than Bill Clinton.  And I didn't think that was possible.  

    Palin needs to hibernate for a while... (5.00 / 0) (#13)
    by stevea66 on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 06:52:15 PM EST
    By the end of this thing, Palin will have only the crazy people to talk to.  But, then again, I guess she can write a book, make a movie, hang out with Sean Hannity and pretend to have made peace with her maker.  Is this the behavior of religious people?  I guess it is.

    I was wondering if (none / 0) (#99)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:26:03 PM EST
    the McCain campaign considered using the TrooperGate scandal to ask Palin to step down. It's too bad for McCain that he (I seem to recall) so dislikes Huckabee that he did not select Huckabee as a runningmate. Huckabee is a kindler, gentler social conservative/reactionary with populist ideas that many might have found appealing right now in the time of economic severity and hardship. I think the McCain camp got carried away with the notion that picking a woman, any woman, would enable the campaign to attract Hillary voters in big enough numbers to matter.  

    The Palin pick was anything but (none / 0) (#107)
    by nycstray on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:31:18 PM EST
    "pick any woman". Would she appeal to Hillary voters? Mostly, no. the Republican crossovers and moderate/centrist ones maybe. She was picked to solidify the base, bring excitement, to look different than 2 old white men, the message, as an attack dog (or would that be b!tch? lol!~) and to possibly bring in some Hillary women.

    She just got roundly booed (none / 0) (#171)
    by MKS on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:57:25 AM EST
    in Philly--nearly booed off the ice....

    Reason for Boos (none / 0) (#206)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 09:47:07 AM EST
    Evidently voters in Philly are mad that the owner of the Flyers injected politics into sports; he has donated substantially to McCain campaign. So, it is hard to tell whether it was Palin or team owner being booed -- or both.

    Underestimating the GOP (none / 0) (#110)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:33:17 PM EST
    has never worked for us.  Nycstray is on it.

    You and NycStray (1.00 / 1) (#172)
    by MKS on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:58:59 AM EST
    have the same agenda....

    Sorry, I have no agenda in this (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by nycstray on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 02:48:13 AM EST
    election. Aside from increasing good Dems in Congress, that is.

    I didn't forget, and I'm not (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:01:54 PM EST
    particularly impressed with Obama, but there is not a chance in hell I will vote for McCain.
    There are degrees of evil. McCain definitely represents something far worse than Obama, even if you believe the worst about Obama.

    forgetting and not forgetting (none / 0) (#149)
    by noholib on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:12:10 PM EST
    Actually, I don't really forget the primary campaign myself. But I am aware that it's no longer Obama vs. my favored candidate Clinton, but now rather Democrats vs. Republicans, Obama/Biden vs. McCain/Palin. I didn't like many of the tactics of the Obama team or Obama supporters during the primary.  But right now, it's a different set of issues and the stakes are really different.  What I meant is this: in the face of dangerous and despicable Republican ideology and behavior, I'm not  going to dredge up incidents of the Obama vs. Clinton campaign.  To put it straight: I did think it wrong and spurious for supporters of Obama to charge the Clintons with racism, and it made me very angry.  But the Republicans are not the Clintons.  The Republicans do traffic in racism and are encouraging or at least condoning mob behavior.  So, taking a longer historical view than this election and certainly longer than this Democratic primary, I repeat: extremist radical right-wingers (e.g. Palin) encouraging hatred and mob behavior --especially in a time of national and economic insecurity--reminds me too uncomfortably of the rise of too many awful right-wing movements in other times, in other places, especially Europe in the 1930s.  So, I'm not going to  analyze the current back and forth between the Democrats and Republicans as simply same old politics as usual, or with ironic distance.  I think it's more serious.

    I have tremendous respect (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by kenosharick on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:26:27 PM EST
    For John Lewis, but he is way off base here and if this turns into a big story will backfire. Part of the work I am doing for my thesis is looking at similarities between wallace and r. reagan, but mccain does not fit in to their styles of politicking. Obama is cruising to victory, why Lewis decided to make this absurd allegation does not make sense.

    Oh, I hope I get to see that thesis. . . . (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:44:27 PM EST
    as I researched a bit into the Wallace campaign, and including in your ol' home state of Wisconsin, where he did so well -- and where McCain is rallying now.  I saw Wallace in action in Wisconsin, when I was a kid.  It was horrifying.  So time told the tale that what we were seeing at the height of the JFK era, for heaven's sake, was the backlash that was a harbinger of the conservative revolution.  Btw, have you also looked at Phyllis Schlafly?  I think I saw it in her impact, too -- and interestingly, she also started her anti-ERA campaign in Wisconsin.

    Anyway, I'll be watching for your work.  There is so much to be learned about the undercurrents of that era that only became clear after 1980.


    I am focusing mostly on reagan (none / 0) (#202)
    by kenosharick on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 07:22:27 AM EST
    and have done research at his library and the Hoover Institute at Stanford. Wallace keeps coming up though, and his Wis. ties were strong. The whole Southern Strategy of Goldwater-Wallace-Nixon- Reagan is facinating. I'm also looking closer at the reagan-jesse helms ties from the '76 campaign. I could research this forever, but need to start writing very soon.

    I think what people seem to have forgotten... (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by white n az on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:55:34 PM EST
    is that a large part of Obama's success is that he doesn't get involved in the issues of Wright or Lewis - and has in the most general terms, no investment in the racism that has plagued this country. This appears to be the key to Obama's acceptance by 'white' America...that he doesn't hold them accountable and thereby suggests that we have already 'turned that page.'

    No one can deny the past injustices that are so deeply ingrained in the beings of John Lewis and Obama has no reason to do so either. It's not his mission and he cannot invest in that mission now.

    While my initial instinct is that John Lewis should just STFU, it clearly isn't his nature to do so and it isn't my place to tell him to do so just as it serves no purpose for Obama to get involved in it.

    Best just to let it go and if McCain wants to have a dialog with John Lewis, let them have at it.

    John Lewis is Correct in Speaking Out! (1.00 / 1) (#140)
    by ProudLiberalWoman on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:45:47 PM EST
    Perhaps you forget that Mr. Lewis is a distinguished member of the Congress, and as such, he was right to speak up about something that has clearly gone wrong with the McCain/Palin campaign. Mr. Lewis is absolutely right to call Mr. McCain out on his racist attacks on Obama, rather than sticking to the issues.  I'm using the word "racist", not Mr. Lewis, because that is how I feel about what I heard both McCain and Palin say, and how their fans responded to what they said.  

    How dare anyone suggest that it is OK for a presidential campaign to hold what are thinly disquised KKK rallies?  What has whipping up the crowds to such a state where people were yelling for blood to do with a presidential election?  

    Would you rather Mr. Lewis act as if he didn't recognize what many, many Americans have been shocked and appalled to see at Palin's rallies?  If she has something to offer the American people, shouldn't she be talking about THAT, rather than who's friends with whom? Is Mr. Lewis supposed to STFU and ignore her ugly rallies?  Mrs. McCain had no business inciting the crowds with her falsehoods about how Mr. Obama voted against the same bill her husband voted against.  She should apologize at once for her mis-statement, unless she said it, perhaps as directed by Mr. McCain, to incite people to violence.

    At rallies, the candidates are supposed to be telling the crowds how they are gonna change things-not whipping them up to lynch people!  

    Don't you know the difference?


    I think you misunderstand my logic (5.00 / 2) (#145)
    by white n az on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:01:57 PM EST
    probably because I didn't feel it all that important to explain it.

    My thinking that Lewis should STFU (as I so indelicately put it), means that I think Obama will win the election easily enough and Lewis' objections to the race baiting, while logical and accurate isn't likely to provide any stoppage of this activity from the McCain/Palin campaign. Does it really make sense to have another time out discussion on race at this moment, just a scant 3 weeks before the election?

    Get it out of your head...Cindy McCain will not apologize and I suspect that her internal compass tells her that her husband is being treated unfairly. While you and I might agree that she is hard headed, stupid, pointless, I have no doubt that she feels a different but similar injustice and I hope that she can curl up with a few Percoset tonight and relax.


    Agree (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:36:02 PM EST
    I am one democrat who is sick to death with the race issue.  I wish it would just go away and we could ALL stop talking about it.  Let's just be Americans.  (This said by the mother of AA children who feel the same way.)

    by the way... (none / 0) (#148)
    by white n az on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:06:14 PM EST
    I'm far more put out with the likes of the character assassin Hannity using anti-semites to stoke up the idiots that watch Faux Noise into believing the stupid crap that he peddles.

    McCain and Palin are playing to a closed loop of people who can look through a keyhole with both eyes open and while they play, their numbers keep tanking.


    Ghost of Mississippi (5.00 / 2) (#122)
    by atm1jab on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:57:08 PM EST
    McCain and his advisors are trying to frighten voters by using fear parinoia and innuendo as a means to divide the nation. McCain and his advisors must remember that this method of campaigning is a barberous and dangerous remedy for real or fancied wrongs. McCain when using these tactics is mentally ignorant and lacks the ability to think with logic and common sense, This creates POOR JUDGMENT.The exact REBUKE the Senate Ethics Committee gave McCain for his associations with Keating. This type of conduct should not be tolerated because it creates hysteria in the minds of those who lack the knowledge to apply common sense to remedy a wrong

    Obama's response (4.50 / 4) (#3)
    by stevea66 on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 06:23:02 PM EST
    was pitch perfect.  Just as we would expect.  McCain and Palin have created this, stoked the fire in people who lean in a racist direction to begin with.  Can they start some kind of national movement against Obama?  No.  But they can send signals to those who only need a little nudge to do something stupid.  Should something happen to
    Barack, McCain/Palin are to blame.  Despite their questionable histories, voting records, and now nasty politics, this would be the worst stain on their lives.  Possibly even worse for John than cheating on his disabled wife and the Keating 5.  He would be smart to continue to pull back.  In fact, he should apoloize publicly for it all - with Palin at his side (no winks allowed).

    I guess you've forgotten (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by nycstray on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 07:02:18 PM EST
    anything real or imagined happens to Obama, IACF ;)

    Weren't Mccain/Palin already pre-blamed for everything in Obama stump speeches earlier?


    What's your point? (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by rdandrea on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 07:50:23 PM EST
    I'd like to understand it, but I don't.

    What's your point in asking this (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:03:10 PM EST
    about several comments here?  You can catch up in the archives; see this thread, for example.

    I still don't get it (4.00 / 4) (#37)
    by Iris on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:18:14 PM EST
    How does Hillary Clinton equate at all with McCain and Palin's encouragement of such hatred and violent rhetoric?  Are you still just mad that Lewis switched his support to Obama?  

    If something were to happen to Obama, yes, John McCain and Sarah Palin would have blood on their hands for what they've been doing.  I'm amazed that you'd rather link back to a post from February than engage this fact.  Let's repeat this again so it sinks in: John McCain and Sarah Palin do not equal Hillary and Bill Clinton.  There is no comparison.  The Clintons NEVER called Obama a terrorist, or said he "works with terrorists" or said he "doesn't see America" like we do, etc etc.  


    Yeh. (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:28:08 PM EST
    You wouldn't get it.  The much bigger picture.

    Bless your heart, too.


    He doesn't get it (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Claw on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:19:13 PM EST
    Because it's nonsense.  Just like your "poor John Lewis" comment.  I'm sure you've never met the man.  Had you, you would know that people don't push him around.  Read the man's history.  Then ask yourself if you still think he's been kicked around like a political football.  If you still do, bless your heart.

    No, I agree with Jeralyn (5.00 / 2) (#162)
    by Cream City on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:22:09 AM EST
    in the past thread linked above (and others around that time that you must have missed) that the threats he faced of a primary challenger were political sport of some sort.  You're probably right that football at least has rules.  Lewis found himself in a political free-for-all.

    Now, could you point me to the new rules here that we cannot comment on any politician unless we know them?  To the acceptable list of adjectives and other modifiers for us to express our opinions?

    I certainly will be watching for your leadership in this, as it will be interesting to see you comment here without ever commenting on politicians you do not know, and without expressing your opinions.


    There you go again, CC, (3.00 / 2) (#205)
    by Don in Seattle on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 09:18:03 AM EST
    twisting Claw's words. Claw didn't anywhere say or  imply that one needed to personally know a politician in order to comment on their behavior. That is clearly a silly exaggeration -- I think a willful misreading on your part.

    CC, you speak here dismissively and telgraphically: "You wouldn't get it. The much bigger picture." Here's what I think you mean by this:

    You lost all respect for John Lewis when he switched his endorsement from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama.

    Do I get it? Is this your much bigger picture?

    Of course, virtually all the Democratic Congressmembers who initially endorsed Hillary Clinton, eventually changed their endorsement to Obama. Assuming you maintain at least some respect for some of these party leaders, I must assume that it is Lewis's timing, in late February of this year, that really chaps your hide.

    I wouldn't be a bit surprised if you went along with Carville's angry depiction of Gov. Richardson as a "Judas," and extended that calumny to cover all apostate ex-Hillary supporters, including Lewis. That would explain why you are trying to relight the embers of this eight-months-old controversy, impugning Lewis's motives for switching his endorsement at a critical time.

    A more charitable view of Lewis's motives is that, like most politicians, he initially thought Obama didn't have a serious chance of winning the nomination. But by late February, Obama's nomination was looking entirely possible -- maybe even (banish the word) inevitable. Lewis didn't want to be remembered as having opposed the Party's first Black nominee, so he switched his endorsement. Simple as that.

    I can understand why losing his endorsement would have angered many Hillary supporters at the time. (Although in the end, I don't know who his endorsement really influenced -- the Black vote was bound to be pretty enthusiastic in support of the first serious Black candidate, even if Lewis had stood like a boulder while the river rushed past him.) But eight months later, it strike me as another case of your nursing an old grudge. Let it go.

    By the way, is Milton Viorst (who I confess I never heard of before) related to Judith Viorst?


    Btw, the best bio I read (none / 0) (#192)
    by Cream City on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 03:24:15 AM EST
    on Lewis was in Viorst's Fire in the Streets -- some years ago, but still superb as you no doubt know with your extensive knowledge base of his history.  Of course, do feel free to offer your recommendation of other books. . . .

    Can we stop speculating on something happening (5.00 / 5) (#35)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:14:17 PM EST
    to Obama?  Or else I shall be forced to speculate on who would be to blame if McCain got shot.

    when McCain's supporters (5.00 / 0) (#38)
    by Iris on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:20:01 PM EST
    scream "kill him" what else are we supposed to do?

    Sure, speculate away!  Who, pray tell, would be to blame for that?  I just don't hear this stuff coming from Obama supporters.  


    No one is going to get killed (5.00 / 5) (#42)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:24:15 PM EST
    That is my real point.

    But since the one MCain is being compared to, George Wallace, was someone that got shot, I think it is a a dangerous to start playing the 'what if he gets shot' game.


    Hopefully no-one (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by lilburro on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:29:57 PM EST
    but allowing people to scream at your rallies such things as terrorist and treason allows a mood to arise that could possibly enable those activities.  You can't prevent all nuttiness, obviously - but you can and ought to cut violence off at the bud, as McCain and Palin ought to be doing.

    You must have missed Kerry rallies (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:09:50 PM EST
    attacked by the Republicans, as in my town.  They were like this then, too -- it's what they do.

    Poor Teresa Heinz Kerry really got the nativists going then.  It's always something.  


    They called Kerry an Arab and (3.00 / 2) (#84)
    by lilburro on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:12:18 PM EST
    a terrorist?  Missed that one.

    No, French and a terrorist (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:29:28 PM EST
    Now, let's see (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by lilburro on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:51:22 PM EST
    in the past 6 years, how many French "terrorists" have we killed, and how many Arab "terrorists" have we killed?  Hmm....

    Huh, I thought you were older (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:49:09 PM EST
    from your comments.  You don't remember the attacks on Kerry's patriotism?  Really?  

    I do (5.00 / 0) (#123)
    by lilburro on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:57:19 PM EST
    but what I am gesturing at is that the attacks of "terrorist" and "Arab" hit a far more uncomfortable place with Barack Hussein Obama.  Even the use of the word terrorist - what skin color is a terrorist in the popular imagination?  And if people actually think he's Arab, well...

    Is there a difference between calling John Edwards a b*tch, and Hillary Clinton a b*tch?  Yes I think so, because one hits a lot closer to home, and that home in the end belongs to all women, not white men.


    Respecting younger (none / 0) (#173)
    by MKS on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:04:32 AM EST
    peoples' opinions--I do not find it an effort....

    Frank Rich gives great reaction in Sunday NYTimes (5.00 / 0) (#102)
    by obiden08 on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:28:36 PM EST
    It' about time somebody said it and then described the results of it.  Go, Frank!

    The Terrorist Barack Hussein Obama


    btw, the guy that shot Wallace (5.00 / 0) (#82)
    by lilburro on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:10:50 PM EST
    did it, in his words, for publicity (he wanted to shoot Nixon as well).

    Nutjobs being nutjobs is one thing.  But there have been a lot of assassinations motivated by racial animosity.  If your strategy of branding the opponent is on one hand to say that he "pals around with terrorists" and the other to say "who is Barack Obama" well, the image you are creating is a bit of a dangerous one.  

    Does this not scare you?

    "Who is Barack Obama?" Mr. McCain asked at a recent rally in New Mexico. The answer came back: "Terrorist!" At another rally in Pennsylvania, someone shouted, "He is a bomb!" At yet another rally, a supporter called out, "Off with his head!"


    and, from same article:

    One man at a McCain rally on Friday said he was "scared" to raise a child under a President Obama. Mr. McCain pulled back, saying Mr. Obama was a decent man, only to be jeered by his own supporters.

    I think the ones yelling at a rally (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:41:12 PM EST
    are the last ones you have to worry about really doing anything.

    I agree of course that it is ugly and disgusting.  But it does not scare me for Obamas safety.


    Arthur Bremers are watched now (none / 0) (#120)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:53:02 PM EST
    and that sorry little man never would have even made a peep at a rally.  But he is out now, so you can watch for him on the tv screen.

    ruffian- there is constant (none / 0) (#86)
    by kenosharick on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:14:40 PM EST
    speculation from the media and left of something happening to mccain. (Sen. Mcaskill (sp?) on the Sunday talk shows for example)

    but that is death from natural causes (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:38:27 PM EST
    right?  I have seen that. I haven't seen the hand-wringing over possible McCain assassination.

    I apologize for painting everyone with the same brush, but the people I know personally who continually fret over Obama getting killed are drama queens in general, who would be take off work for a week and be glued to the TV if it happened.  They'd actually love it, not because they hate Obama - they profess to love him - but they love the drama of thinking about it.  

    That is why I get annoyed about it. Again I do apologize to people in this thread, because I don't know you and should not generalize.


    tactics vs. substance (3.00 / 2) (#69)
    by noholib on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:55:09 PM EST
    I'm troubled by all the comments tonight about tactics and strategy.  For I'm genuinely concerned about the fear and hatred and verbal violence being stoked at Republican rallies these days.  I say, forget about the tactics during the Democratic primary; that's over now.  Right now, there really is a vicious, dangerous mood being allowed to fester at Republican rallies.  In a time of severe and widespread economic downturn, and all the insecurity that automatically breeds, we don't need hatred, racism, proud anti-elitist know-nothingness,   xenophobia, and sheer right-wing thuggery being  added to the mix.  Sinclair Lewis warned about American fascism coming under benign cover, but I don't think he foresaw lipstick.  

    I've been watching Republican campaigns for (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:17:34 PM EST
    a long time.  This one is no more vile than the rest. They were racist even when the Dem candidates were white as John Kerry's spandex-clad behind.

    Tactics and strategy are more interesting to me.


    Ditto. For passion, get involved (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:22:27 PM EST
    and get in the streets, don't go to a blog.:-)

    But you really had to bring up Kerry's spandex and remind me of a front-page photo in my paper of him on a bike path here . . . amazing he did eke out a win in this state, after that.  Trim as he is, spandex ought not be worn by anyone but very slim 18-year-olds at most.  And not with a bike helmet.


    And they love to play the terrorist card (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by nycstray on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:24:35 PM EST
    almost as much as the liberal card. I bust up every time they say how liberal Obama is.

    Is it racist when you say the same thing about a black man as you would a white? At least they haven't accused O of murder yet . . .


    Is it racist to say that (5.00 / 2) (#146)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:02:06 PM EST
    95% of Blacks will vote for a Black man?  No, because that's the truth with this election.  

    Would it be racist if 95% of white people voted for McCain?  

    Was Eleanor Clift racist when she said "There's nothing wrong with voting based on racial pride"?  


    well (5.00 / 2) (#153)
    by connecticut yankee on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:21:17 PM EST
    AAs vote dem 90% of the time even with a white candidate.

    Excellent point! (none / 0) (#160)
    by obiden08 on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:03:27 AM EST
    If Obama were running as the Republican candidate and 90% of AAs voted for him, then it'd be pretty hard to say it was for any reason other than race.

    It's difficult to make that case with Obama as Democrat since the AA vote would have gone Democrat anyway.


    Perhaps we need (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:29:43 PM EST
    someone to address the real problems the little guy (and gal) face in this economic downturn in a meaningful way.

    That's what they're all trying to avoid (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:38:37 PM EST
    with all this deflection.  Neither campaign has the answers -- after all, they don't even have access to the Treasury staff that ought to at least be able to figure out the questions.

    I did see an interesting video, though, of Obama a year or more ago talking about what he would do in his First Hundred Days.  Sadly, nothing about the economy then, but at least about who he would ask.

    I have been surprised that he has not used, more recently, that echo of FDR.  I don't think he had issues about FDR, too, so not bringing up the collective memory of the Dems in the New Deal is cause for more interesting discussion.  (But not here, of course . . . it would be so off topic!!!)


    Without regard to their race? (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:03:07 PM EST
    How novel and how refreshing.  

    The worst part of all this (2.00 / 1) (#24)
    by TruthMatters on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 07:19:06 PM EST
    I love America and the principals we stand for more then anything. I will be a public defender because I don't see it as defending criminals, I see it as protecting the basic rights and freedoms of each person against a government that seems to think the constitution and the bill of rights are only "suggested guidelines" I want to go into politics one day.

    I am stuck wondering, what would they say about me and MY funny name(my parents were both born in Nigeria, I was born in texas)

    its just really depressing to be reminded that huge parts of this country hate me simply because of the color of my skin,

    Not huge anymore... (5.00 / 0) (#26)
    by stevea66 on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 07:25:04 PM EST
    Have faith.  Things are changing, surely.  Obama will be the next president.  I teach high school and just don't see the kind of bigotry I used to see.  In every class I have black, white, and latino.  It's just not really an issue with these kids.  Sure, here and there, but it's mostly personality conflict rather than a racial thing.

    We're getting there.


    Agree (5.00 / 0) (#64)
    by dead dancer on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:52:16 PM EST
    fully with what u have said, but; Obama must win otherwise we can all take two steps back, and two more, and two more, and ...

    Not true at all (5.00 / 2) (#144)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:58:55 PM EST
    Please do not let politicians convince you of something that is not true.  The VAST majority of Americans don't care what color you are.  We are not racists.  We do not care about skin color.  Please, ignore the politicians who try to make race an issue when it isn't.  

    Uh oh (none / 0) (#5)
    by andgarden on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 06:28:03 PM EST

    Yeah. (none / 0) (#36)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:15:26 PM EST
    You know, (none / 0) (#7)
    by shoulin4 on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 06:36:51 PM EST
    It's kind of interesting, because I think McCain really has some honor deep down in there somewhere. For example, in the clip of his rally where an audience member shouted "Kill him!" in reference to Obama, McCain visibly cringed, as if he was thinking "What the hell did that guy just say? Who let the crazies into my rally?" I think somewhere in his gut, McCain doesn't believe half the sh*t he's been saying/implying and he just wants to win his campaign.

    However, Sarah Palin is an entirely different story. I think she really believes the things she says at her Klan rallies. Just recently, she has turned her attention from "he pals around with terrorists" to "he has an extreme view on abortion (which I personally believe is a  classic pot-meet-kettle example)." I may be wrong. Maybe the reason the Palin/McCain ticket has gone so nuclear with their attacks on Obama was to soften the blow (whatever blow there was to be had) from the Trooper-Gate report. If everyone is afraid that Barack Hussein Obama is an Arab-Black-Radical-Christian-Muslim-Terrorist who wants to hire Ludacris to paint the White House black and force everyone in America to have gay-abortions, then who cares if Palin was proven to be that much more like Cheney and that much less of a "maverick"?

    Isn't McCain accountable (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:59:49 PM EST
    for allowing Palin to rile up the crowd using veiled epithets about Obama?  In his defense, I think he may not have realized how things were getting out of hand until he confronted it head on, and then he himself dialed it back; but it was McCain who allowed this type of campaigning to go on at the outset. It is his campaign, not Palin's.

    If McCain didn't realize (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by themomcat on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:33:10 PM EST
    that Palin's rallies would result in threats from some of the people in the audience, then shame on him. McCain doesn't deserve to be president if he didn't see this coming.

    Let's see...hmmmm... (none / 0) (#23)
    by stevea66 on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 07:17:22 PM EST
    While I'm thinking about this...what the hell is it about religious conservatives?  Really.  They lie, cheat, steal.  They invade other countries because they feel like it.  They fire people who disagree with them - repeatedly.  They impose their "faith" on other people.  They're the ultimate hypocrites.

    Guliani's employee, Monsignor something, who was stripped of his priestly duties, has covered for sexual predator clergy.  And Guliani has the gall to talk about the 'associates' of Obama.  This is someone who he still calls friend.  Someone who still works with him.  Hannity hangs with racists.  I mean, what the hell is it with these people?

    Why do I have this sneaking suspicion that religion is simply a convenient way for some to achieve some type of power, connections, a hiding place for the greedy, who feel more guilty than the rest of us because, well, because they are.

    I haven't gone to church since the day I turned 18 and can honestly say that how I've lived my life is supremely more honorable than most of these freaks.

    And those who are voting for them because of religion are sorely mistaken.  At the end of the day, when they ask themselves, "Am I becoming more Christ-like (which should be their goal)?," the answer will hit them like a ton of bricks...well, I guess they'd prefer being hit by a ton of diamonds, just so long as poor folk don't try to take it from them.

    This is hardly new (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 07:58:21 PM EST
    since the earliest years of this country; see the Salem Witchcraft Trials, the persecution of Anne Hutchinson, and more.  There is a reason why the Framers wanted religion out of our politics -- and why it is so awful to see it promoted into our politics . . . and by both parties now.

    Keep resisting it, take back at least one party, and maybe we'll live long enough to see the end of this madness, this regression to a sad past.


    I'm scared for Obama (none / 0) (#134)
    by gentlyweepingguitar on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:30:17 PM EST
    I've seen too many assassinations in my lifetime. This is so frightening to me. I hope McCain continues to put a stop to this. And what about that woman calling Obama an "Arab." Like all Arabs are bad? McCain had an opportunity to explain the difference between regular Joe Arabs, and terrorist Arabs, and he didn't.

    Please try not to worry (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:14:13 PM EST
    People with severe mental illnesses, delusional schizophrenics, assassinate people.  It has nothing to do with anything said by a politician at a rally.  

    Remember John Hinckley who was trying to impress Jody Foster when he shoot Reagan.  He, like Ted Kaczinski, Mark Chapman, and Squeaky Fromme, were not in touch with reality.  We can't guard against crazy.  


    I'm thinking about (3.00 / 2) (#152)
    by gentlyweepingguitar on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:18:02 PM EST
    Robert Kennedy , John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, John Lennon, and the fact that McCain and Palin have been inciting and attracting this type of personality to join their ranks.

    Surely you don't think (none / 0) (#155)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:34:06 PM EST
    That all those assassins were driven by what someone said at a political rally.  Look at the differences in their backgrounds and beliefs.  Sirhan Sirhan and James Earl Ray had little in common.   Mark Chapman and Lee Harvey Oswald didn't share much in common either.   Even the two women who tried to kill President Ford had little in common.  Their attempts certainly had nothing to do with something they heard at a rally.   It's mental illness that drives assassins, not some comment at a political rally.  So try not to worry.  Our secret service does a very good job at keeping nuts away from our Presidents.

    The ones who get tv time (none / 0) (#159)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:57:17 PM EST
    like the woman who can't separate Arab heritage centuries ago from Arabic countries today -- well, she already got what she wanted; she got tv time.

    Remember, Wallace got shot, too.  There's no logic to such insanity.  There's only far, far better Secret Service protection that candidates get now.  (And we can't even get close to the White House since the threats against Clinton.)


    "...but he's got Muslim in him!" (none / 0) (#168)
    by Roschelle on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:50:36 AM EST
    Follow up interview with poor old lady that thinks Obama is an Arab! Sad on so many levels

    Thanks -- that was in Minnesota? (none / 0) (#178)
    by Cream City on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:52:17 AM EST
    The early media report I heard then of the site was wrong (surprise; media mix up Midwestern states).  Anyway, this gave me her name to go find more and better reports from the Star Trib, Pioneer Press, etc. -- as the video I saw was so edited that it also didn't have that the crowd then booed McCain.  And in Minnesota!  More to suggest how weird it must be there, with the polls all over the place -- I saw two polls within a day this week that had Obama ahead by one point and then by 18 points.  Or maybe it was vice versa . . . but either way, that remains a strangely toss-up state this time.  I never would have thought that wild rally was there.