This has gone beyond the usual politicking. It’s unsettling to watch John McCain openly express his dislike and disdain for Sen. Barack Obama during the debates. His referring to Sen. Obama as “That one” is fraught with negative potential. If Sen. Obama becomes President Obama, and many of us are hoping and praying he does, then will Mr. McCain disrespect the office of the Presidency by continuing to call him “That one”?
Now, so as not to be a hypocrite myself, I must confess to having no respect for our current President. I don’t support him, nor do I share his beliefs. But if I were campaigning against him, it would be my JOB to show him the respect the office of the Presidency demands under such conditions. When running for the office of the President yourself, you need to lead by example. Sen. McCain is referring to a man who will very likely be the next President. Even when Al Gore lost the election (er, won the election but didn’t actually get to be President), he stood before America and told his supporters that it was time to stand behind the President of the United States, as a nation. Will McCain be able to do that now?
But it gets so much worse than simple disdain. McCain and Palin’s rallies have reportedly become more and more hateful. Reports are coming in of McCain supporters in the audience calling Sen. Obama a terrorist and yelling out “Kill him!”. And what are Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin’s responses to that? Nothing. They continue on with their speeches allowing those threats to continue. Is that the same as condoning them? In a way, yes.
Here’s a video clip of Sen. McCain at one of his rallies. When he asks the question, “Who is the real Barack Obama?” someone in the audience yells back “A terrorist!” Mr. McCain seems to notice the remark, then chooses to ignore it and continue on with his speech which, by its very nature, is inciting this kind of very dangerous response. He sees a spark and he decides to add more fuel.
Earlier in the year while on the campaign trail against Hillary Clinton, McCain was asked directly by a supporter, “How do we beat the bitch”? McCain laughed and made light of it, as did everyone present, and then continued with “That’s an excellent question.” Here’s the footage:
But I’m afraid it gets far worse. Dana Milbank of The Washington Post reported on Monday of Sarah Palin’s unthinkable conduct during a rally of a few thousand in Clearwater, Florida. We all know that Sarah Palin has been linking Barack Obama to Bill Ayers lately and suggesting he’s been “palling around” with known terrorists, but what happens here is truly unsettling:
“I was reading my copy of the New York Times the other day,” she said.
“Booooo!” replied the crowd.
“I knew you guys would react that way, okay,” she continued. “So I was reading the New York Times and I was really interested to read about Barack’s friends from Chicago.”
“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.
Palin went on to say that “Obama held one of the first meetings of his political career in Bill Ayers’s living room, and they’ve worked together on various projects in Chicago.” Here, Palin began to connect the dots. “These are the same guys who think that patriotism is paying higher taxes — remember that’s what Joe Biden had said. “And” — she paused and sighed — “I am just so fearful that this is not a man who sees America the way you and I see America, as the greatest force for good in the world. I’m afraid this is someone who sees America as ‘imperfect enough’ to work with a former domestic terrorist who had targeted his own country.”
“Boooo!” said the audience.
This is beyond ugly politics. This is inciting violence and possible assassination. In England the other day, a man was shot three times for wearing an Obama t-Shirt. The Los Angeles Times reported today that Sen. Joe Biden commented on Palin’s attacks against Obama during a rally in Tampa Florida:
“This is beyond disappointing, this is wrong… [McCain and Palin are] taking the low road to the highest office in the land.”
Now this isn’t the first time Sarah Palin has remained quiet while faced with this kind of potential violence and/or its being condoned/supported by others. As was reported by Politico.com back in September, Palin’s church, the Wasilla Bible Church, invited David Brickner, the executive director of Jews for Jesus, up to the pulpit. Brickner explained terrorist attacks on Israelis in this way:
“Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. It’s very real. When [Brickner’s son] was in Jerusalem he was there to witness some of that judgment, some of that conflict, when a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment — you can’t miss it.”
Brickner believes that terrorist attacks on Israelis is God’s “judgment of unbelief” of Jews who haven’t embraced Christianity. Sarah Palin was at church that day. She said nothing. Now, let’s be fair, it’s not easy to stand up and speak out in such a setting, I understand. And listening doesn’t necessarily mean condoning… But it is this kind of silence that can be extremely dangerous. It’s ironic that with this past Palin still insists on trying to link Obama to terrorists in what has been debunked by CNN and almost all other media outlets as completely untrue and unwarranted, while she herself has sat through sermons actually “condoning” terrorism against Jews and Israel!
Barack Obama’s connection to Bill Ayers is tenuous at best (they served on a board together) and Sen. Obama has publicly stated that Ayers was:
“Somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8.“
But Palin’s connections get even worse. Far worse than anything she is currently accusing Barack Obama of. Many of you have already seen the video of Palin being “blessed” by visiting “witch doctor” Pastor Muthee. Well, here’s an excerpt of his speech which can be interpreted as blaming Jews for our economic problems and calling them “corrupt” and “wicked”. Not only did Sarah Palin not object, but she then joins the pastor up on stage. Since Pastor Muthee’s accent is quite thick, I’ve included a transcript so you can read along:
“The second area whereby God wants us, wants to penetrate in our society is in the economic area. The Bible says that the wealth of the wicked is stored up for the righteous. It’s high time that we have top Christian businessmen, businesswomen, bankers, you know, who are men and women of integrity running the economics of our nations. That’s what we are waiting for. That’s part and parcel of transformation. If you look at the — you know — if you look at the Israelites, that’s how they work. And that’s how they are, even today. When we will see that, you know, that the top transporters (?) in the lands, we see, you know, the bankers, we see the people holding the parts (?), they are believers, we will not have the kind of corruption that we are hearing in our societies.”
The point of all this is that people MUST speak out against this when it is brought up. Otherwise we are equally responsible for what happens as a result of keeping silent. It is, of course, far more horrifying and despicable when YOU YOURSELF are the one making accusations, as Sarah Palin is now by linking Barack Obama with terrorists and allowing her supporters to call for his assassination!
According to Baratunde Thurston over at Alternet.org:
I was at Obama’s rally at Independence Square in Philadelphia back in April. When he mentioned Hillary Clinton’s name, the crowd booed, and he told them to stop. Barack Obama intervened when his supporters booed his opponent. He called for civility. Yet, when faced with supporters who label senators terrorists and call for their assassination, John McCain and Sarah Palin said nothing.
Ironically (what, there’s more?), McCain-Palin campaign spokesperson Nancy Pfotenhauer on CBS’s Early Show attempted to defend Gov. Sarah Palin’s debunked claims against Barack Obama. Referencing a recent New York Times article, Pfotenhauer said this:
“The article also concluded is that if Senator McCain had hung out with somebody who had bombed abortion clinics, no one would consider [raising the issue] illegitimate.”
Here’s where the irony enters in. On multiple occasions throughout his career, according to Thinkprogress.org, McCain actually sought to limit the government’s ability to punish violent anti-choice fanatics by:
– Voting against making anti-choice violence a federal crime. As the Jed Report notes, McCain voted in 1993 and 1994 against making “bombings, arson and blockades at abortion clinics, and shootings and threats of violence against doctors and nurses who perform abortions” federal crimes.
– Opposing Colorado’s “Bubble Law.” McCain said he opposed Colorado’s “Bubble Law,” which prohibited abortion protesters from getting within 8 feet of women entering clinics [Denver Post, 2/27/00]. The law was later upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
– Voting to allow those fined for violence at clinics to avoid penalties by declaring bankruptcy. NARAL Pro-Chioce America notes that McCain “voted to allow perpetrators of violence or harassment at reproductive-health clinics to avoid paying the fines assessed against them for their illegal acts by declaring bankruptcy.”
It is our responsibility to confront both McCain and Palin for this conduct and ask them to take responsibility. What they are doing is horrifying and extremely dangerous. I hate to think what they would do and how they would act if given the power of authority over our nation.