Being a succesful politician requires being able to take an emotional posture. In recent elections, one key emotional posture is that of outrage. Something will trigger a posture of outrage and this will lead the person to make a remark that triggers a responsive posture of outrage and so on-until the news cycle dies down or is killed by a bigger outrage or story.
The most recent cycle of outrage involves the McCain camp and John Lewis. Seeing how some people in McCain and Palin events have taken a rather hostile turn towards Obama, Lewis remarked that McCain and Plain “are sowing the seeds of hatred and division.” He went on to draw an analogy between the current situation and the one involving George Wallace. He even asserted that Wallace created the conditions that lead to the terrible murder of four little girls when their church was bombed in Alabama. Lewis denies that he actually compared McCain or Palin to Wallace, but his remarks certainly appear to strongly suggest such a connection.
Not surprisingly, McCain took on a posture of outrage at this remark and insisted that Obama repudiate Lewis’ words. The call for repudiation is, of course, all part of the cycle of outrage.
McCain is, of course, not like George Wallace. There is no evidence that McCain has any racist or hateful tendencies. Further, he seems genuinely upset and angry when people make personal attacks against Obama that even hint at racism. I suspect that behind the orchestrated posture of outrage, Lewis’ remarks actually hurt McCain.
I’m not sure about Palin. She has a short track record and seemed to rather enjoy working the crowd up about Obama’s ties with Ayers. However, I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt. While Palin does not seem adverse to playing rough, there is no solid evidence that she is a racist or clearly intends to follow a path like that of Wallace. As such, Lewis’ remarks seem a bit unfair.
That said, Lewis’ remarks are understandable. The hostile words of some people at the McCain-Palin events no doubt brought up memories of an ugly time in American history. I found such behavior on the part of some McCain-Palin supporters worrisome and there is some reason to believe that race was a factor in them. For example, the woman who said that Obama was an Arab clearly did not think well of Arabs and perhaps she was considering using another word (perhaps one beginning with “n”). In any case, it was not a pretty moment. But what followed was a brighter moment-McCain spoke out in Obama’s defense and turned against that sort of hatred. As such, it is unfair to cast McCain as Wallace or to imply that he is a hate monger or racist. True, he has dabbled with negativity. But, he seems to be a man of character and clearly has no tolerance for intolerance.
Lewis is right to express concern about the nasty streak that has appeared. But, his comments against McCain were off the mark and unfair. As such, he should make amends with McCain and focus his words on those who deserve such remarks.
I agree that the McCain camp was sending out inciteful messages with the Ayers/terrorist connection. Palin used that connection to arouse anger and it went beyond what she expected -she underestimated the power of negative words. Especially when we are in such negative times.
McCain is trying to undo some of the damage, but today when one of his supporters said that Obama and Osama were alike because they both ….. he was again reminded of the carry-over hatred that the anti-Obama rhetoric is causing.
I understand what Rep. Lewis was saying. I wish he hadn’t used Wallace in his example. He could have gotten his message across by merely talking about the “hate language.”
I understood what Rep. Lewis was saying the first time I read his statement, that he was not making a direct comparison of McCain and Wallace, but a comparison in how McCain had been allowing the anger and hate to boil and escalate at his rallies. Lewis is right, smiling on that kind of behavior encourages it, and people become passionate and enraged, and that is how radicalism is born. People start getting that mob mentality, and it only takes a few yell rallys to get the blood of some crazies boiling. However, I feel that McCain is purposely taking the statement, and Lewis should have seen this coming, the wrong way and is now playing the ‘outraged’ victim, when there is definetely truth in what Lewis had to say. Lewis has also since, further clarified his statement for those looking to use it to their advantage, and frankly McCain needs to acknowledge that his rallies were becoming too angry (he acknowledged it in action last Friday by calming some people down). I’m tired of hearing McCain talked about how shocked he is, Lewis was not calling him a rascist and he knows it, so lets move on and talk about a more interesting story, like Bristol’s hunky baby daddy 🙂 hubba hubba…
Given the yells of “kill him” at McCain/Palin rally’s, Lewis has a very good point. They are inciting hatred and anger. What I find very unbelievable is that they’d actually be surprised by that. McCain is an old politian and he knows exactly what he’s doing.
The fact that this is an issue is ironically evidence of the progress we’ve made since the period of George Wallace’s segregationist stance. Most White Americans (but not all) are clearly more accepting of Black Americans holding powerful offices such as President. The fear and bias (based on race) of the past has decreased incredibly and we are very close to electing the first African American President. That doesn’t mean that racism no longer exists but it certainly has become far less acceptable to express it. It is interesting that the race baiting taking place with Obama is not that he is Black but that he may be associated with Islam. After 9/11 the words “terroist” and “Arab” have become connected in a very racist way. Anyone with half a brain would know that if you use the word “terrorist” when referring to a Presidential candidte with an Islamic name you are asking for trouble.
Factcheck.org has caught Sen. Barack Obama seriously distorting Sen. John McCain’s position on Social Security personal accounts as well as important details about Republican proposals for such accounts, all apparently to scare seniors out of their wits about the Republican nominee.
Factcheck.org reports the following in a summary of its analysis of charges Obama made while campaigning in Florida today:
In Daytona Beach, Obama said that “if my opponent had his way, the millions of Floridians who rely on it would’ve had their Social Security tied up in the stock market this week.” He referred to “elderly women” at risk of poverty, and said families would be scrambling to support “grandmothers and grandfathers.”
That’s not true. The plan proposed by President Bush and supported by McCain in 2005 would not have allowed anyone born before 1950 to invest any part of their Social Security taxes in private accounts. All current retirees would be covered by the same benefits they are now.
Obama would have been correct to say that many workers under age 58 would have had some portion of their Social Security benefits affected by the current market turmoil – if they had chosen to participate. And market drops would be a worry for those who retire in future decades. But current retirees would not have been affected.
In his more detailed analysis, Brooks Jackson also wrote that McCain hasn’t made Social Security private accounts a central part of his campaign:
While McCain has voted in favor creating private Social Security accounts in the past, and endorsed Bush’s 2005 proposal (which never came to a vote in Congress), he is not making a strong push for them as part of his campaign. In fact, a search for the term “Social Security” on the McCain-Palin Web site brings up the following: “No doc u ments were found.”
If the Democratic nominee knows all of this yet persists in saying what he does about McCain’s position and the Bush proposal then he could rightly be accused of lying.
And if he doesn’t know the details of what McCain and Bush have supported, the question would be why not?
Either way, it doesn’t help his argument that he is the candidate of “change” he campaigns as. This is old-fashioned political fear mongering based on misstating and twisting the facts.
And it smacks of hypocrisy since he has complained loudly about McCain and his campaign distorting his record.
Just when you think that, in politics, “there’s nothing new under the sun,” well, along ambles something that is, in fact . . . NEW. As someone who’s spent a generation-and-a-half in politics, one development that saddens me is the notion that candidates (B.H.O. the worst offender) should always “humor” the American people, promising “tax increases” for the rich an example to the 50% of American Company’s who pay no federal taxes.
Will G.W.B. really give the following speech? No. Should he? Maybe.
“Remarks by G. W. B. to American People”:
Normally, I start these things out by saying ‘My Fellow Americans.’ Not doing it this time. If the polls are any indication, I don’t know who more than half of you are anymore. I do know something terrible has happened, and that you’re really not fellow Americans any longer.
I’ll cut right to the chase here: I quit. Now before anyone gets all in a lather about me quitting to avoid impeachment, or to avoid prosecution or something, let me assure you: There’s been no breaking of laws or impeachable offenses in this office.
The reason I’m quitting is simple. I’m fed up with you people. I’m fed up because you have no understanding of what’s really going on in the world. Or of what’s going on in this once-great nation of ours. And the majority of you are too dam ned lazy to do your homework and figure it out.
Let’s start local. You’ve been sold a bill of goods by politicians and the news media.
Meanwhile, all you can do is whine about gas prices, and most of you are too da mn stupid to realize that gas prices are high because there’s increased demand in other parts of the world, and because a small handful of noisy idiots are more worried about polar bears and beachfront property than your economic security.
We face real threats in the world. Don’t give me this ‘blood for oil’ thing.. If I were trading blood for oil I would’ve already seized Iraq ’s oil fields and let the rest of the country go to he ll.
And don’t give me this ‘Bush Lied…People Died’ crap either. If I were the liar you morons take me for, I could’ve easily had chemical weapons planted in Iraq so they could be ‘discovered.’ Instead, I owned up to the fact that the intelligence was faulty.
Let me remind you that the rest of the world thought Saddam had the goods, same as me. Let me also remind you that regime change in Iraq was official US policy before I came into office. Some guy named ‘ Clinton ‘ established that policy. Bet you didn’t know that, did you?
Now some of you morons want to be led by a junior senator with no understanding of foreign policy or economics, and this nitwit says we should attack Pakistan , a nuclear ally. And then he wants to go to Iran and make peace with a terrorist who says he’s going to destroy us.
While he’s doing that, he wants to give Iraq to al Qaeda, Afghanistan to the Taliban, Israel to the Palestinians, and your money to the IRS so the government can give welfare to illegal aliens, who he will make into citizens, so they can vote to re-elect him. He also thinks it’s okay for Iran to have nuclear weapons, and we should stop our foreign aid to Israel
Did you sleep through high school?
You idiots need to understand that we face a unique enemy. Back during the cold war, there were two major competing political and economic model s squaring off. We won that war, but we did so because fundamentally, the Communists wanted to survive, just as we do. We were simply able to outspend and out-tech them.
That’s not the case this time. The soldiers of our new enemy don’t care if they survive. In fact, they want to die. That’d be fine, as long as they weren’t also committed to taking as many of you with them as they can. But they are.
They want to kill you, and the bas tards are all over the globe.You should be grateful that they haven’t gotten any more of us here in the United States since September 11. But you’re not. That’s because you’ve got no idea how hard a small number of intelligence, military, law enforcement, and homeland security people have worked to make sure of that.
When this whole mess started, I warned you that this would be a long and difficult fight.. I’m disappointed how many of you people think a long and difficult fight amounts to a single season of ‘Survivor.’
Instead, you’ve grown impatient. You’re incapable of seeing things through the long lens of history, the way our enemies do. You think that wars should last a few months, a few years, tops.
Making matters worse, you actively support those who help the enemy. Every time you buy the New York Times, every time you send a donation to a cut-and-run Democrat’s political campaign, well, dang it, you might just as well FedEx a grenade launcher to a Jihadist. It amounts to the same thing.In this day and age.
It’s easy enough to find the truth. It’s all over the Internet. It just isn’t on the pages of the New York Times, USA Today, or on NBC News. But even if it were, I doubt you ‘d be any smarter. Most of you would rather watch American Idol or Dancing with Stars.
I could say more about your expectations that the government will always be there to bail you out, even if you’re too stupid to leave a city that ’s below sea level and has a hurricane approaching. I could say more about your insane belief that government, not your own wallet, is where the money comes from.
But I’ve come to the conclusion that were I to do so, it would sail right over your heads.
So I quit. I’m going back to Crawford. I’ve got an energy-efficient house down there (Al Gore could only dream) and the capability to be fully self-sufficient for years. No one ever heard of Crawford before I got elected, and as soon as I’m done here pretty much no one will ever hear of it again. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to die of old age before the last pillars of America fall.
Oh, and by the way, Cheney’s quitting too. That means Pelosi is your new President. You asked for it. Watch what she does carefully, because I still have a glimmer of hope that there are just enough of you remaining who are smart enough to turn this thing around in 2008. So that’s it.
God bless what’s left of America .Some of you know what I mean. The rest of you, kiss off.
This is typical of Obama supporters using the race card. Every time it get a little hot for Obama here comes the race card. Get over it. It’s not his color. I’m an independent voter and I vote for the person, experience, and what he or she has done while in office. I was voting for Obama. As you I to was blinded by his charms. But I checked out the facts: Please America for the sake of your kids and grand kids don’t let Obama steal this election. Anyone voting for Obama I beg you to check out his record. You will find out as I have, He’s a politician that is full of lies and wants socialism for the USA
He talks a good game but has no substance. Can you believe that taxing the people that make over 200,000.00 a year is going to work. Fact::: No it will not. Large corporations with the present tax code don’t pay any taxes at all. How can you get something from them. It’s not going to happen. O yes and if you do, Guess what we still pay they pass the cost down to the consumer. So you tell me Who Pays (We do all of us) The hurt will be in small businesses that don’t have the money to hire the tax guru’s to find them the loop holes. Where most of the small businesses the law will not apply. Obama will kill the small businesses, this will be a fact. The best thing is no additional taxes. No tax for all Americans is the only way to go. McCain will do what Palin did in Alaska get money from the oil Companies and pass it on to us. She did it there and will do it when McCain becomes President because he (McCain) said that was going to be her job to go after the oil companies and the corruption in Washington. Why do you think the main stream media and the demadogs are after her so hard. They are scared as hell.
I have been outraged that the McCain/Palin campaign has not brought up the Obama/Ayers connection sooner and more voiciferously. Imagine the outrage if someone, who admitted to being involved in the Oklahoma City Federal building, had given McCain over $100 million dollars for his campaigns.
O.C. Federal building bombing that is. I need editing capabilities on this blog Dr. Labossierre. 🙂
Michael LaBossiere says
Obama only has a fairly minimal connection with Ayers. If he is, in fact, a terrorist, then Palin and McCain should demand that he be arrested. I think that the Ayers connection is no more important today than the fact that McCain was part of the Keating Five. If the past is truly past, then it is time to let it go.
No editing capabilities for Druids. They post too much stuff about trees and squirrels.
Yes and if OJ Simpson was a murderer they should arrest him too. Oh, wait they did just like they arrested Ayers for Terrorism at one point. Unlike Simpson, Ayers admitted to terrorist activity. It is all about the associations we keep. Speaking of Squirrels I know my birds too and a wife that introduced Obama to one Ayers can be quite an influence on the candidates shoulder. ‘chirp” ‘chirp’
Oh by the way I think McCain was the only Republican as part of the Keating Five. Both he and John Glenn, unlike the other three Democrats, were cleared of any wrong doing. The two cleared were accused of bad judgement but nothing more. Ayers on the other hand admitted to terrorist activities. I am pretty sure that the prosecution fell apart on Ayers.