Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The GOP In A Nutshell (Pt. II)

Having decided to openly cede all serious discussion/debate of the issues to the Obama campaign* (except in tonight's debate, where McCain will attempt to appear sane), the GOP has made it clear there is nothing they won't say or do to win this election.

*(It was over a month ago that Rick Davis, McCain's campaign manager, said "This election is not about issues. This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates." So don't say they didn't give the country a heads up.)

They have even managed to out-insane the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign, something up until recently even cynical ol' me was not expecting. You see, Dick Cheney warned Americans that if they elected Sen. Kerry, that the U.S. would certainly be attacked by terrorists (true story). John McCain and the increasingly unhinged Sarah Palin are doing him one better... directly accusing Barack Obama of "palling around" with terrorists, and then indirectly implying he might be one too (also a true story). No doubt Sen. McCain will be re-suspending his campaign any minute now to chase this menace to the gates of Hell.

This new line of attack is giving America a real eye into the conservative base. Examples-

#1-
After John McCain delivered the central question of his speech today -- "Who is the real Barack Obama?" -- the first, and loudest, supporter seems to yell:

"Terrorist!"...

...McCain seemed to pause, and didn't denounce the epithet.

#2-
...Palin continued. "So I was reading the New York Times and I was really interested to read about Barack's friends from Chicago."

It was time to revive the allegation, made over the weekend, that Obama "pals around" with terrorists, in this case Bill Ayers, late of the Weather Underground. Many independent observers say Palin's allegations are a stretch; Obama served on a Chicago charitable board with Ayers, now an education professor, and has condemned his past activities.

"Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers," Palin said.

"Boooo!" said the crowd.

"And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, 'launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,'" she continued.

"Boooo!" the crowd repeated.

"Kill him!" proposed one man in the audience.

#3-
Worse, Palin's routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media." At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."

#4-
In the latest instance of inflammatory outbursts at McCain-Palin rallies, a crowd member screamed "treason!" during an event on Tuesday after Sarah Palin accused Barack Obama of criticizing U.S. troops.

"[Obama] said, too, that our troops in Afghanistan are 'air raiding villages and killing civilians,'" Palin said, mischaracterizing a 2007 remark by Obama. "I hope Americans know that is not what our brave men and women in uniform are doing in Afghanistan. The U.S. military is fighting terrorism and protecting us and protecting our freedom."

Shortly afterward, a male member of the crowd in Jacksonville, Florida, yelled "treason!" loudly enough to be picked up by television microphones.

Remember that this is a political movement that idolizes pundits and 'journalists' who decry liberals as possessing a mental disorder, as treacherous traitors, and-- yes-- as equivalent to terrorists with a smile on its collective face. Tapping into that-- and hoping that the great middle is still more afraid of these buzzwords and innuendo than they are of their economic future-- is the only hope McCain, Palin, and the GOP as a whole have left.

As cliche as this sounds, this election comes down to hope vs. fear. Which side are you on?

[PS- For a more humorous look at the Palin/GOP base... see this Daily Show clip.

UPDATE: And for a scarier, more in-depth look at that base... watch this video.]

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