Obama is Not a Traitor

The McCain/Palin ticket is still trying to paint Barack Obama as dangerous, as the ‘other’, who is so frightening and unpredictable that he can’t be elected America’s first black president.

At a 6,000-strong rally in Pennsylvania this week, as the two candidates on the Republican ticket waited backstage, a senior party member asked the crowd how they would feel about having a president with the middle name Hussein.

“Think about how you’ll feel on 5 November if you wake up and see the news, that Barack Obama – that’s Barack Hussein Obama – is the president-elect of the United States,” said Bill Platt, the Lehigh County Republican chairman. The crowed booed, jeered and hissed at the very thought. Then another speaker, Peg Ferraro, denounced the Democratic candidate’s “background and affiliations”, saying they were “questionable” and asking: “Do we know who his friends are?”

The remarks were later condemned by the McCain campaign as “inappropriate rhetoric, which distracts from the real questions of judgement, character, and experience”.

It’s another example of McCain’s behaviour after the bailout deal. In one sentence he attacks Obama on a flagrantly (and mendacious) partisan basis, then segues into a denunciation of partisan attacks. But he’s continued this pattern of behaviour as recently as yesterday:

Loud cheers from 4,000 people gathered at a sports complex near Milwaukee greeted McCain’s attacks over Ayers, who helped found the Weather Underground, a Vietnam protest group that bombed government buildings 40 years ago. Obama has noted that he was a child at the time and first met Ayers and his wife, ex-radical Bernadine Dohrn, a quarter-century later.

“Look, we don’t care about an old, washed-up terrorist and his wife,” McCain said. “That’s not the point here.”

“He’s a terrorist!” a man in the audience screamed without making clear to whom he was referring.

“We need to know the full extent of the relationship,” McCain replied. Later, McCain told ABC News: “It’s a factor about Sen. Obama’s candor and truthfulness with the American people.”

Obama has denounced Ayers and his violent actions and views. He dismisses McCain’s criticism as an effort to “score cheap political points.”

But it also appears as though, if seeing the probable outcome of this strategy as an Obama victory on November 4th, there are some jitters running through the GOP:

Some McCain campaign officials are becoming concerned about the hostility that attacks against Sen. Obama are whipping up among Republican supporters. During an internal conference call Thursday, campaign officials discussed how the tenor of the crowds has turned on the media and on Sen. Obama.

Someone yelled “Off with his head” at a rally Wednesday for Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin in Pennsylvania. Later that day in Ohio, a man stood outside a rally holding a sign that said “Obama, Osama.” At a rally in Jacksonville, Fla., on Tuesday, someone in the crowd wore a T-shirt depicting Sen. Obama wearing a devil mask.


8 responses to “Obama is Not a Traitor

  1. meh, I’ve seen far worse denunciations of Bush and that doesn’t seem to bother you. It’s just politics, that some people want to tie it to his skin color is just their take. Others see it as partisan bickering. I think all in all it’s generally reduced from where it was 4 years ago.

  2. Maybe it has reduced, I really couldn’t tell. The quality of this behaviour is the issue. To call Kerry ‘unamerican’ was one thing; to whip the crowd into a murderous frenzy is quite another! That is something which noone has come close to attempting with Bush, at least in public, to my knowledge!

  3. Before we make a choice we may regret for the next four years, the accusations against Barack Obama should be carefully considered, as they are here.

  4. Sadly having seen this behavior first hand, and i must admit that democrats have been horridly uncivil, always under the guise of “patriotic outrage”. Perhaps the same can be said of republican rallies but I haven’t seen anything like that. No one has burnt any obama effigies or even made effigies while democrats see to have a love of burning giant puppets.

  5. Can I just confirm Tim that you meant to quote the parties the other way around? Because by all accounts if you mean exactly what you wrote, then it’s frankly not believable. The Democrats have been horridly uncivil?!

  6. Well considering that I’ve heard multiple democrats talk about shooting republicans because it’s for the country’s own good, versus my mother talking about how Obama would make the country godless. If I had to compare the two behaviors I would say that the violent death dealing response was more uncivil. I have also heard many republicans say that they hate McCain on domestic stuff and obama on foreign stuff and which they could splice them. I think that seem pretty civil.
    I personally have not heard anyone say they should not vote for obama because he is black, i have heard the muslim meme though i make sure to educate them on that, though a few have had surprising rejoinders citing the muslim position on apostates .
    I typically dismiss television moments because there is no context, nor can you tell if the people making comments are plants, which happens fairly often to both sides. I think so far at least here in Oklahoma, the election is less decisive than 2004. That one got really ugly.

  7. I think the point can’t be whether or not Democrats or Republican party supporters attack each other, the candidates or each other. That’s going to happen with every party for every election everywhere. The point is that McCain, Palin and their campaign are using dangerously inflammatory rhetoric, which has actively rather than accidentally generated outright hate for Obama. Obama’s campaign conversely is not doing the same in reverse.

  8. Exactly how is the McCain/Palin rhetoric more inflamitory ? Obama has actually run more negative adds. The adds of neither party are particularly truthful. Obama sought out “Joe the plumber” not the other way arround, and Obama made the “spread the wealth remark”, It is Obama talkin on the 2001 interview about the Supreme Court. Ayers may not be bombing people today, but he is unrepentant and pretty damn radical, and even if you give Obama a total pass on all of his former friends who have suddenly turned into somebody I might have met – does Obama actually have any friends, anyway, exactly what is wrong with taking a serious look at his performance running CAC and the Woods Foundation – the only executive positions he has ever had. We know McCain – virtually his whole life has been examined. We know the reason for every demerit he received at Anapolis (and every one his father received, and grand father, and …) We know about Keating, we know about the skin cancer, we know about his temprament, and his penchant for sarcasm. Even if you discard all the mud being flung at Obama, we do not really know him. He has left damn few fingerprints anywhere he has been. He has held an increasing collection of impressive jobs, but what exactly has he done ? I do nto take either candidate at their word. Neither is likely to do a fraction of what they propose – and on all too many issues what they say is not that far apart. I have some pretty good clues as to what McCain will do as opposed to what he says, What basis do I have for beleiving Obama (I do not really beleive either of them, and I particularly hope Obama will NOT do what he claims, we can not afford New Deal II), or deciding what he actually will do as opposed to what he has said ? The reasons the Republican attacks work is because we really do not know Obama. The reasons the Democratic attacks are less effective is because whether we like him or not we do know John McCain.

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