I commented on this just several days ago in an earlier post, but it seems even ordinary Republicans are commenting on the very real dangers inherent in this sort of irresponsible campaigning. While the “lynch mobs” are getting their anger and hatred fueled by both McCain and Palin, the “real” Republicans are starting to insist that this has nothing to do with what they signed on for and some are actively beginning to revoke their support for McCain/Palin.
At a McCain rally just last Wednesday in Pennsylvania, a woman yelled out about Obama, “He’s a damn liar! Get him. He’s bad for our country.” Activists are openly calling Obama a terrorist. At another rally on Thursday, the crowd busted out with name calling with one woman ranting, “Obama Osama!” , while local officials at other McCain/Palin rallies have warmed up the crowds by railing against “Barack Hussein Obama.” In the meantime, John McCain and Sarah Palin have done nothing to temper this behavior, but have, in fact, continued to incite it!
Even John Weaver, McCain’s former top strategist, has openly commented that it is McCain and Palin’s responsibility to temper this behavior:
“People need to understand, for moral reasons and the protection of our civil society, the differences with Sen. Obama are ideological, based on clear differences on policy and a lack of experience compared to Sen. McCain. And from a purely practical political vantage point, please find me a swing voter, an undecided independent, or a torn female voter that finds an angry mob mentality attractive.
“Sen. Obama is a classic liberal with an outdated economic agenda. We should take that agenda on in a robust manner. As a party we should not and must not stand by as the small amount of haters in our society question whether he is as American as the rest of us. Shame on them and shame on us if we allow this to take hold.”
Today, former Republican Gov. William Milliken reported that he will no longer be supporting John McCain:
“He is not the McCain I endorsed. He keeps saying, ‘Who is Barack Obama?’ I would ask the question, ‘Who is John McCain?’ because his campaign has become rather disappointing to me.
“I’m disappointed in the tenor and the personal attacks on the part of the McCain campaign, when he ought to be talking about the issues.”
Milken, who is 86, went on to comment about the McCain/Palin ticket:
“I know John McCain is 72. In my book, that’s quite young. [But] what if [Palin] were to become president of the United States? The idea, to me, is quite disturbing, if not appalling.
“Increasingly, the party is moving toward rigidity, and I don’t like that. I think Gerald Ford would hold generally the same view I’m holding on the direction of the Republican Party.”
Lincoln Chafee, a former Republican U.S. senator from Rhode Island, said he’s voting for Obama and urging others to do likewise:
“That’s not my kind of Republicanism. I saw what Bush and Cheney did. They came in with a (budget) surplus and a stable world, and look what’s happened now. In eight short years they’ve taken one peaceful and prosperous world, and they’ve torn it into tatters… there are a whole lot of us deserting.”
Bob Eleveld, a former Kent County Republican chairman who led McCain’s West Michigan campaign in 2000, had this to say:
“I think the straight talk is gone. I think he’s pandering to the Christian right. That’s some straight talk from me.”
Here’s a video from a McCain rally in which Senator McCain lets a supporter rant about “socialists taking over our country” and refer to Barack Obama and other Democrats as “hooligans.”:
John J. Pitney Jr., a political science professor at California’s Claremont McKenna College and former Republican operative, had this to say about Republicans acting out their longstanding frustrations:
“McCain has always frustrated the Republican base. In this campaign, he has alternated between partisan attacks and calls for bipartisan cooperation. It’s nice that he thinks he can round up congressional votes the way a border collie rounds up sheep. But you can’t be a border collie and a pit bull at the same time. The crowds want a pit bull.”
I said it earlier and I’ll repeat it because it bears repeating. This is dangerous. This is not a battle of ideologies, but a lynch mob. There is very real violence that can erupt out of this and people may be killed as a result. McCain and Palin are losing this election and they are desperate. Desperate enough to incite the most dangerous and long-brewing characteristics of their worst followers. And this is the team running for highest office in our land? Is this what we’ve been reduced to? A country built on angry mob mentality? This country has been split in ways not seen since the Civil War and only nearly matched by the protest movements of the Vietnam era. Do not underestimate the power of people when they become frightened and feel cornered and their hatred, fear, and anger is given fuel.