Wednesday, October 22, 2008

That One

“Mr. DuHaime rejected comments made last week by a Pennsylvania Democrat, Representative John P. Murtha, who told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, speaking of his home base, that ‘there is no question that Western Pennsylvania is a racist area.’

Mr. McCain referenced Mr. Murtha’s comments in his third stop of the day, at Robert Morris University here, when he said, ‘I think you may have noticed that Senator Obama’s supporters have been saying some pretty nasty things about Western Pennsylvania lately.’ As the crowd booed, Mr. McCain became tangled up in the rest of his remarks. ‘And you know, I couldn’t agree with them more,’ he said, to silence…”

-Elisabeth Bumiller & Jeff Zeleny; New York Times

Fourteen days ago Senator John McCain referred to Senator Barack Obama as “that one” in a debate in front of, at least, 90 million onlookers. The day prior to that, Senator McCain posed a simple question to a foaming crowd if we really know who the “real” Obama is. A worm in the crowd had an answer to that: a terrorist. The bellicose comment seemed to catch McCain briefly off-guard—that for a nanosecond he couldn’t believe what he has become: an angry threatened pol who will do anything to win. Joe Every-man is not on the good side of public perception. Death threats--Wallace, this rhetoric on both sides should end.

It is clear the McCain cadre gave the green light to race-bate this contest and caricature Mr. Obama as the mysterious otherman. This is the last resort, you see. Pat Buchanan volunteered his thoughts on the matter in saying, “he has to go there, or he will lose this election.” The spirit of Lee Atwater is alive and well in modern Republican politics.

The General Election has spiraled into the darkest of depths at similar speed to that of the stock market crash. Attitudes are vicious. There is now an element of hate and fear coming from Senator McCain's campaign that is careening out of control. The conservative intelligencia (Peggy Noonan; Bill Kristol; Christopher Buckley; George Will, and now, Colin Powell) have all rejected where McCain is going, in particular his nod to someone who equates seeing Russia from American soil to sound foreign policy experience. Senator McCain’s crowds have changed. They are not reflective or even remotely reminiscent of the bipartisan quasi-conservative lot that attended his primary experience.

What a difference a year makes.

Meanwhile, his opponent convenes an economic panel and a foreign policy panel to talk through the difficult issues we face.

1 comment:

Grant said...

I find it very telling that McCain has gone so uber-negative in his campaign, while Obama has, for the most part, kept everything above the belt. McCain's attacks on Obama are personal, and many of them have been proven inconsequential, while Obama's attacks tend to stay much more on topic: the issues facing Americans. I appreciate that Obama has mostly kept to his pledge to not go negative. It's refreshing.