Friday, October 10, 2008

Rage Overcoming

It's amazing to me that the element of conservative rage -- and the McCain campaign's efforts to stoke it -- has begin to creep into mainstream media coverage. Obviously, bloggers have been mentioning it, and the issue of McCain's temper has simmered amongst the liberal set, but it is always rare for mainstream media sources to really get in touch with conservative rage. The left is angry, the right is stupid; that's the usual negative meme the media trots out.

I think the McCain campaign, and particularly Sarah Palin, have stepped a little closer towards direct appeals to the conservative id than is normal for national level Republican politicians. That, mixed with the fact that Barack Obama's race makes everyone at least a little more sensitive to the prospect of fostering extremist violence, means that even the "see no [right-wing] anger" media is taking note.

UPDATE: Ezra Klein is right that we should give John McCain credit for stepping in at one of his rallies to start stamping some of this crazy out. But Klein is also right that our credit ought to be tempered if McCain keeps fanning the flames by running ads basically calling Obama an un-American terrorist sympathizer. You can't give with one hand and take away with the other.


Jake Liscow said...

I'm not really surprised that the media is finally picking up on this. It seems to me that Bushites and McCain's lackeys are all the same people that probably don't know what they're talking about. Most conservatives I seem to run into are either economically conservative, xenophobic, or very religious. Everyone else is kind of turned off by the "rage" prerequisite to supporting a GOP candidate - or the moral laughingstock that Republicans in Congress have become lately in terms of civil/human rights/liberties.

PG said...

In fairness, the sane conservatives -- the ones who aren't convinced that Obama is a Maoist -- have been talking about McCain's temper problem for a while. See, e.g., George Will. The same story about McCain's insults to Bradley Smith, and refusal to shake his hand, also showed up at NR -- it's just that the NR folks have terrified themselves into being resigned that McCain's the candidate. Will is pretty much the isolated example of a true conservative trying to see this election clearly.

Parker got all huffy over the hate-mail when she dissed Palin and may not be fair anymore. Krauthammer has lost it and declared everyone who has shaken hands with a former Weatherman to be indecent and obscene. Considering the very large number of people who have worked with just Ayers and Dohrn, never mind some of the other ex-Weathermen, that's making for a long list of Evildoers.

Bill Abendroth said...

I had heard vague snippets of the McCain-Palin crowds getting racous--but didn't give it too much thought...Heck, I remember the old Reagan nutballs. Then, I saw some clips-----Not even Nixon pulled crap at that level back in the bad old days of his run for Governor of California, when he told everyone who would listen that Pat Brown is soft on communism. You have to go back to Wallace's 1968 race baiting (and I know Nixon-Brown was in '62).

To call Senator Obama a terrorist, and play the race card the way Sarah Palin does (Please--I was born at night, but it wasn't last night), that's reprehensible.

I don't like George F. Will or David Brooks, but I have to say that I am finding their POV refreshing: "Conservatives, stop playing the 'dumb' card." Less than ten days after the President has signed a bill given Paulson $700 billion USD, McCain in the debate is complaining about a $3 million USD projector for a planetarium. Three million! Heck that one debate alone in Mississippi cost over five million USD........

Bill Bishop wrote 'The Big Sort,' describing how American neighborhoods are now self separating not only along race and class, but also on political opinion. I can't really speak for any where else, but in Oregon, the Portland metro area voted 70% for John Kerry, and the rest of the state (outside of Corvalis and Eugene--which are college towns (kind of)) went for Bush close to 60%.

But I mean, if you're a Republican, ---what do you have? Rossi is running hard for Governor of Washington state, and not only did he NOT attend the GOP convention, he's not even listing his 'party' as Republican. The ballot will identify Rossi as a member of the GOP. In Oregon, Senator Gordon Smith also did not attend the Convention, because he was "too busy campaigning." Right.

Now--you're demonizing Bill Ayers? Be careful what you wish for, GOP. To the extent that Weather Underground had enough people to have 'wings,' Ayers wanted to blow up buildings without injuring people. Why? Because of the US genocidal war in Vietnam. Kids (ie people younger than 30--and shut up!) that look at the relative morals of Bill Ayers et al planting puny pipe bombs v. John McCain's 33 missions bombing 'military' ie civilian targets in Hanoi--I don't think that's a comparison Republicans want made.

I would argue that McCain's selection of Palin, and Palin's willingness to be such a shallow stooge, is opportunism at its worst: whatever short-term gains the GOP get will be more than lost in the next two election cycles.....

Of course, pretty much every since I could vote, I've never voted for a winning candidate. Sigh.