will mccain know when to stop for the good of the country, and does he even care?

I saw a video today of a severed snake head that kept snapping long after having been separated from its body, and it occurred to me that it was the perfect analogy for the McCain campaign… It’s dead – too much in shock or too dumb to know it – and involuntarily spraying venom in all directions. With less than a month to go, and, in the opinion of many, down too far in the polls to carry several vital swing states, the McCain campaign has instinctively “gone negative,” playing up Obama’s tenuous associations with somewhat controversial figures and calling into question his love for this country. And, on some level, it seems to be working.

Earlier this week, at a rally, after John McCain suggested that we, the voters, don’t really know Barack Obama and his agenda, someone in the crowd, which had been whipped up into a frenzy, yelled out that he was “a terrorist.” During a different campaign stop, someone in the audience, after hearing about Obama and his association with “domestic terrorist” Bill Ayers, shouted, “kill him.”

In an email to supporters this afternoon, Joe Biden said, “The McCain campaign is on the ropes, and sadly it’s no surprise they’re responding with attacks and outright lies.” He went on to say that McCain and Palin were, “setting a new low in presidential politics with their dishonorable campaign.”

While there haven’t been incidents of violence yet, at least in this country, there certainly seems to be a growing concern that, if the rhetoric isn’t toned down, it could lead somewhere very dark indeed. This is especially true given the state of hopelessness and economic despair that men and women across our country are dealing with at the moment. This was hinted at in today’s “New York Times” editorial, where it was said that McCain and Palin had “gone far beyond the usual fare of quotes taken out of context and distortions of an opponent’s record — into the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia.”

John McCain showed us, in his choice of Sarah Palin as a running-mate, that he cared only about winning, and not about the future strength, security and prosperity of this nation. For political reasons, he chose a running-mate that he knew was unqualified to run this country — in order to appeal to the fundamentalist Christian base of the Republican party — and, in so doing, he showed us his true character. And that’s what concerns me. Given that, and his history of recklessness, I’m not so sure he’ll know when to stop. I’m afraid that he may take down the country with him.

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  1. Andy
    Posted October 9, 2008 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    I just found, among the wireless networks bradcasting in my Ypsi apartment building, one called “Fuck U Obama”. Scary.

  2. Doug
    Posted October 9, 2008 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    I’ve heard the phrase “Obama Scares Me” in a bunch of different contexts lately – on a button, said out loud in person, on TV. That’s pretty nearly transparent racist rhetoric if you ask me.

  3. Brent
    Posted October 9, 2008 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    I recieved a message from a friend via facebook who commented on my status (which had some comment about that I couldn’t wait to vote for “that one”) in which she went into some rambling conspiracy theory that Obama was ultimately the devil – quite literally. Now this person is normally fairly well reasoned, but not politically engaged. It was very clear that she is being spoon fed this information form, you guessed it, the mega-church she attends.

    But on the flip side, I have a dear friend in Chicago, a Republican who supported Bush the first time, barely voted for Kerry last time, and who is a full on Obama supporter this time (maybe living across the street from Rahm Emanuel is doing her some good). She comes from a long line of rural Ohio republicans, and her parents still live in rural Ohio. They are both voting for Obama, the first time they have voted Democratic for a president – ever. The strange issue comes in that her father, who served in Vietnam, has very real concerns about McCain’s mental health, and far beyond what you might imagine. He truly has fears about McCain being an Manchurian Candidate.

    So I guess it slices both ways, some people just vote out of a place of fear of a percieved unknown. (Although by sharing this point, it makes it appear as though I keep strange company.)

  4. Meta
    Posted October 9, 2008 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    See also:


  5. Ted
    Posted October 9, 2008 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Ad this:


  6. designated republican
    Posted October 9, 2008 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Mark – “John McCain showed us, in his choice of Sarah Palin as a running-mate, that he cared only about winning, and not about the future strength, security and prosperity of this nation. He chose a running-mate that he knew was unqualified to run this country for political reasons…”

    That’s very funny.

    I’m voting for McCain because Sarah Palin will be his Vice President – not because she’s a good candidate but rather because she is probably more qualified to serve as Chief Executive than McCain – and most definitely more qualified than Senator Obama. Every time Sarah Palin speaks her mind on the issues facing this country, McCain’s poll numbers creep up another notch (despite the relentless MSNBC et al mantra that “it’s all over for McCain”).

    Don’t worry. With less than a month to go, Senator Obama will be able to return to his Senate duties soon.

  7. Posted October 9, 2008 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    “but rather because she is probably more qualified to serve as Chief Executive than McCain”

    Good god, you are clueless. McCain is an excellent Republican candidate. He was probably the best they had in many, many ways but most certainly for his abililty to make decisions our of reason and not necessarily for partisan politics. I have been extremely disappointed in how his campaign has been run, but on matters of foreign policy and realistic conservative fiscal policy, there really was no better candidate. Palin is a small town moron who doesn’t see America for the extremely pluralistic society is is and really can’t think outside the box to save her life. She calls herself a “maverick” but really what she is, is a right wing idealogue.

  8. Ted
    Posted October 9, 2008 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Designated Republican, I’d love to get your impression of this-


    Do you agree that Obama is “a one man terror cell”?

  9. not one of the cool kids
    Posted October 9, 2008 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Just quickly – posters here keep giving links to go and look at in order to “get your point.” I wish you guys would at least write some sort of comment or describe what may be in the link before I waste my time surfing the net to find your point. (And many times I have already read what you are asking us to view.) Exchange your own ideas please!

    Okay, the hateful way that McCain and Palin are going after Obama just confirms what I have thought about the Republican party all my life…they use and hide behind Christianity while they spew hate and racial/social/economic division. So, yes this new trend is scary, but don’t let it scare you too much, we must stay positive.

    That is what I was just thinking this morning while sitting in the sun in my living room. I was thinking about my home state of Indiana, and how it fills my heart with hope that Barack Obama is neck and neck with McCain there. Not only because Indiana historically votes Republican for Pres., but because Indiana has been a pretty prejudice state in my live time. So this news is so amazingly beautiful to me. I went onto think about how emotional I will feel on election night when American elects the first non-caucasian President. That is what we should be talking about! Sure, talk about how awful McCain’s campaign is getting, but make sure you talk about the, well, hope that Obama, Biden and their wives are spreading.

    But, if something unthinkable does happen because of McCain’s campaign, I will physically be there on the streets showing my disgust.

  10. Posted October 9, 2008 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Mark, you are right on about this, although you certainly don’t have to worry about McCain taking down the US, because he has almost no shot winning at this point.

    Here’s the thing though – the more McCain desperately and immorally attacks Obama’s character, like his rediculous and inacurate ads linking Obama to Ayers, the more he proves that he’s the one with character flaws, not Obama.

    The cream will rise to the top, and the truth will be revealed. I trust in the American people right now, and the poll numbers show that. If you want to look at Obama’s character and judgement, look at how he has served his community and country his entire life. Look at his strong, intelligent, and compassionate wife Michelle and his two bright children.

    Barack Obama is motivated by serving our country for the best interests of the American people and the worldwide community. I want my daughter to grow up under his leadership, to thrive in a country with great education, infrastructure, healthcare, and a greener environment.

    I don’t want negativity and fear to dominate our media and country agendas; I don’t want John McCain as president.

    But I’m not worried because Barack Obama will be our next president – it’s in the books.

  11. js
    Posted October 9, 2008 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Mark, I love you and Biden, but I gotta put the breaks on this as the “lowest” campaign. It’s got nothing on Lincoln’s elections (where the term “miscegenation” was coined in a pamphlet alleging that Lincoln would force white women to have sex with black men), or the riots of Old Hickory or Old Kinderhook… I mean, I think that the slanders from McCain are pretty vile, but compared to 19th century politics, this is a tea party (though I do sometimes pine for the days in which it was considered beneath the station of a candidate for the presidency to actually campaign for the presidency).

  12. js
    Posted October 9, 2008 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Put the brakes on, obvs. Too much time away from an auto center.

  13. mark
    Posted October 9, 2008 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    That footage is chilling, Ted. I’m putting it up on the front page tonight so everyone can enjoy the dark thoughts that I’m thinking about Ohio right now… And you might be right, JS. Things may have been worse, back in the day, when the American landscape was filled with piles of arms and legs bigger than haystacks. I didn’t mean to suggest that we were facing something as huge as the Civil War. I do think, however, that there could be riots and mob violence in this country. I hate to say it, but I think it’s possible.

  14. laura Herman
    Posted October 10, 2008 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    my half brother is convinced Obama is one of those ‘secret Muslims’. i’m pretty sure he gets this from a.m. talk radio.

    when asked to explain his point of view, my brother cites the whole flag pin/hand over the heart during the pledge of allegiance thing. but it’s just an excuse — he’s racist and would vote for Obama if he was the only candidate.

  15. Robert
    Posted October 10, 2008 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    The Secret Service is by far the best security and protection organization in human history. Loons and racist morons have no chance of ever even being close to getting at a US president on their own. Only a sophisticated, inside connected, well organized, military intelligence level operation could have even a remote chance of pulling anything off, and of course part of that operation would be a front of racist or otherwise moronic loons who’d be set up as the fall guys. Those are just facts, none of which anyone on this site has ever been able to effectively argue against.

    If there were ever race riots in this country they would only be the result of misdirected frustration of poor, stupid masses, manipulated by more established interests looking to benefit themselves by inflaming such irrational hostilities. Fortunately, the stupid masses of this country are still not THAT poor yet.

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