Saturday, October 11, 2008

Burning Down the House

Civil rights icon and Democratic congressman John Lewis called out John McCain on Saturday for setting the tone and allowing his campaign rallies to descend into despicable hate-fests. "Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse," he wrote in the "Arena" comment area on the Politico site. Comparing the impact of McCain’s recent acceleration of the politics of personal destruction to that of southern demagogue George Wallace in ‘68 and ‘72, Lewis said the doomed Republican ticket was "playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all."

McCain responded to Lewis’ broadside by saying the comments were "shocking and beyond the pale" and calling for Obama to repudiate the remarks. I don’t think he has done so, nor should he. Despite his pitiful efforts yesterday to lecture the hotter heads at his rallies, McCain is reaping exactly what he has sowed. His support in the polls and the electoral college cratering since his erratic antics in the early days of the financial crisis, McCain turned to the kind of desperate tactics that can only inspire desperate men. He asked for it, he got it, and now he’s pretending to be surprised and concerned about it. He made his bed, rolled around in it with the worst sort of charlatans and fools on the far-right, and now he has to sleep in it, bed-spooning with the Limbaughs and Hannitys of his rented, putrid world.

We saw the ugliness first-hand right here in metro Milwaukee, where McCain and Palin made an appearance on Thursday. The right-wing crowd treated national visitors to good, old-fashioned Wisconsin hospitality by swearing and giving the finger to the traveling press corps. Some guy got up and was wildly cheered for squawking about the "socialist" Obama. "So go get him," he growled, the veins bulging from his neck. Part-time radio clown James T. Harris gave McCain permission, apparently on behalf of all similarly deluded black guys, to "take it to" the first African-American nominee of a major party. Harris, who can’t be called a sell out because he never had any convictions to sell out in the first place, was rewarded with a handshake from McCain and he decided to raise the cringe factor even further by kissing Palin’s hand.

"I got the message," said the smiling McCain, as he happily accepted the hateful passion of the engorged masses. Other places last week, similarly overheated crowds have called Obama a terrorist and yelled out "kill him." All in a days work for the man from Arizona, whose only question for his handlers since he nailed down his dying party’s nomination was "Is that what you wanted? How am I doing?"

The stage for all this was set not so much by McCain, but by right-wing mainstream radio, which has poisoned the political environment by universally treating an Obama presidency as not just unwanted, but as outright unacceptable. Obama has been regularly called dangerous to national security, a traitor to his country, a socialist and a radical extremist. What else is a god-fearing right-winger supposed to feel other than hate and contempt for the guy? Why would they allow for him to take office without a fight – and I don’t mean electoral. Ever since America started settling on Obama a couple of weeks ago, the desperate McCain decided to get in the gutter with the rest of the clowns and make it personal. He didn’t create the situation, but now he’s opened the door. What did he think was going to happen when the official campaign finally gave its imprimatur to this kind of garbage?

How bad is it? Well, right-wingers love to point to anonymous comments made in left-wing blogs to show how wack the left is. Let me turn that tactic on its head for a moment and point to one comment made on a left-wing blog: Mine. Here’s a comment (since deleted) that someone posted anonymously yesterday to my previous post:

Mike,Your an idiot and a liar, McCains was topping out all the time, Hussiens was less than flat. You heard it hear first. The October surprise that I am predicting this year is that someone (not ME LMAO) will assasinate the dumb socialist nigger. The domestic terrorist Nobama will never assume the Presidency, even if he wins the election!!!!

Now, I don’t think this is at all representative of right-wing "thought", such as it is. This person is obviously disturbed. But this is what happens when you present a mainstream political result as unacceptable and dangerous. Stupid people start to believe it. The fact is that, if you believe the crap about Obama put out 24/7 by the national and local wing-nuts on the radio, you would be unpatriotic if you didn’t take some extra-electoral action against this result. How could you let it happen?

This is the world John McCain has bought into. He may even realize that things have gone around the bend. But he can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. He has already lost his soul and his hard-earned honor in this campaign. And for what? So he can make history as the worst loser in U.S. history? The old McCain deserved better. This McCain deserves nothing less.


Anonymous said...

Socialism - the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.

What part of Obama's plans are not similar to the above definition??? He has said that he supports wealth redistribution and a controlling of the capitalistic marketplace. Those are basic fundamentals of socialism, not to mention the scores of social programs he intends to implement.

But to you this is how America should work, to you this isn't socialism. That is what scares people.

I make nowhere near 250k and likely never will so under Obama's plan I'll get scores of government handouts which have been swiped from the "rich" and "big corporations." But I see the bigger picture, I see exactly why this is bad and why this is a slippery slope. This is why I don't support BHO. And this is why the democrat party will never truly put forth a centrist candidate or one with many right-leaning much the same McCain is for the Republican party.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mike - what about the countless death threats James T. Harris received as a result of his public support of McCain? To me that's a little worse than the labeling of Obama as a "socialist" by an angry white man. Call me kooky but that's just me. I'm sure you don't think that's a big deal because of your extreme jealousy that Harris has a radio show that will never ever have which is why you resort to calling him racial slurs like "clown."

Mike Plaisted said...

"He has said that he supports wealth redistribution and a controlling of the capitalistic marketplace." Um, no, he hasn't.

Harris hasn't quoted any death threats, he just said he got some (countless?), which I frankly doubt. Mr. Nation of Victims is the first to claim victimhood for himself whenever his thin schtick is exposed as the fraud that it (and he) is.

It is interesting that he and you are willing to pull out the race card when he is challenged -- that's one fo the reasons he is so useful to those he signed up with. I have also called Belling, Sykes and others "radio clowns" because that is their job position description. They describe themselves as "entertainers" and, if they are not trying to be funny, I can't see what else they are doing. I mean, they can't be serious, can they?

Anonymous said...

Mike, BHO has said that he will raise taxes for those over 250k to help fund his 3 trillion in new government handouts. This is wealth redistribution at its finest.

Race card? You're the one who called him a racial slur.

Anonymous said...

Additionally, go check out James T's blog and read the threats he's received. But to you I'm sure they're no big deal because you think James T deserves it for being a "clown" and a sellout.

Other Side said...

I don't believe anything Harris writes. As far as I know he probably had some of his clown friends send those to him.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Mike, looks like your beloved Obama has in fact said that he "wants to spread the wealth around." Socialism at its finest!

Anonymous said...

Obama has said he will not raise taxes on 95% of people. The probelm here is that at least 30% of people pay little or no taxes at all. That five percent at the top already pay the vast majority of taxes. He also says that he would close loopholes and make business pay its fair share; the problem is that businesses don't pay taxes ever, shareholders and consumers do.

As we raise taxes on both of these groups, the incentive they have to increase economic activity decreases since an increasingly large share of profits gets taken by the government. Businesses look even harder for shelters and wealthy Americans look for residences off-shore. Small business owners decline the opportunity to become large businesses and the system collapses.

Obama promises so much that he can only deliver with new taxes; he'll start by ending the Bush tax cuts which to people who life in the real world is raising taxes.

Meanwhile, as he starts new social intitlements, he takes the country across a line past which it cannot return. The damage will be permenant unless he has some magic way of ending an entitlement program.

We don't have to call him a socialist if it hurts your feelings, but he comes promising gifts he cannot deliver otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Mike - you said that Obama hasn't said that he supports wealth redistribution and I proved to you that he does in fact support it. Will you admit that you were wrong? Doubtful.

Anonymous said...

Isn't is part of wealth's natural cycle to be redistributed? The whinging over WHO does the redistributing is immaterial. If it doesn't get spread around, it stagnates and doesn't do anyone any good.

Other Side said...

It's not supposed to be redistributed, that's way too fast -- it's supposed to trickle down.

Anonymous said...

My God, I cannot believe you anony 10:52, how on Earth could you honestly believe that? So someone that saves their money in a bank is bad because their money stagnates and doesn't do anyone any good? Evidently you'd support the government seizing that money and making it do "good." Why don't we let those who have earned their money be the ones who determine how and when it's spent????

Anonymous said...

Nobody's money sits in a bank. The bank lends the money to people who need the money to engage in other economic activity--start a business, buy a house, get some education. These loans are then repaid; the interest rate generates a profit. Part of this goes to the person who made the deposit, part to the bank.

When some guy points a gun in your face and asks you to hand it over, you might be fine with that--he is just redistributing your wealth. He may even take that money to buy medicine for his sick and starving children. And some--liberals I suppose--would argue that the end justifies the means. But what has been take is the time, labor, and intellectual value of what the victim created. His freedom has been taken.

Government does not create anything. It merely takes and promises to deliver something in return. While we all benefit to some extent from this exchange, government conducts its part of the bargin with no risk and no real accountability if it fails to deliver on its end of the bargin. We can ask a contractor to make repairs to hold up his end of a contract, but we cannot say to government, "hey, we've given you 50 billion to fight durgs, but they're still here. Gimme my money back."

America is about the freedom to choose, and in taxes we surrender choice. That, if for no other reason, is why it matters who is redistributing the fruits of my labor, the value of my ideas, the resources I might do with what I wanted.

And while we all would like to help those less fortunate than we are, there is terrible danger that in taxing the rich, no matter how they became rich, to such an extent that 40 or 50% of people are contributing nothing to government that we damage both the economy and the social contract.

Joe Biden said it was patriotic to pay taxes--and it is--but only when each contributes something.

Anonymous said...

BTW - we're still awaiting Mike's "mea culpa" when he claimed that Obama has never said that he would redistribute wealth. I guess when Mike is caught with his pants down, he crawls back into his hole with egg on his face.

Since liberals love the idea of paying more taxes, why don't they just write out a check from their personal account and send it to the government? Oh that's right, liberals are good at spending OTHER people's money. Nevermind.

Anonymous said...

Boy Plaisted, you sure don't like it when someone proves you wrong do you? Your silence is proof enough.