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October 9, 2008

Egging On

Lunatic-Fringer-3

So now, under the guise of a “town hall,” right wing crazies and otherwise economically shell-shocked citizens are encouraged to help themselves to a microphone and, serving as alter egos for McCain and Palin, vent their hatred toward Obama and progressive America?

The scene from Thursday’s GOP rally in Wisconsin was simply terrifying.  What is it going to take for McCain to put a break on this?  A lynching?

What’s even more blasphemous is how McCain clings to deniability in letting the despicable Palin and these alter egos speak the ugliest words.  If you can stand to watch this pathetic CBS campaign video — pathetic for amplifying McCain’s scurrilous exploitation of Bill Ayers … complete with historical and more recent video footage of the “domestic terrorist” himself — you’ll see how McCain tacitly eggs on these lunatics.

But, because it’s easy to miss, I wanted to highlight the top frame in particular.  When the fire breather in the scene above, stoked by the chest beating, gets up and announces he’s really hot, what does McCain do?  He encourages the guy with a vigorous thumbs up so that, when the guy follows by shouting how angry he is about “the socialists taking over our country,” the frenzied crowd jumps to its feet in approval.  Of course, McCain couldn’t look more smug as the guy finishes his rant.

… And to think, this could have all been avoided if Obama had just agreed to participate with McCain in one of these a week.

Update: Here’s an excellent, if chilling video clip of the event above, showing how McCain enables the hater, followed by Palin’s attack on the MSM, attributing her failure to coherently answer simple questions to “being frustrated.”

Note To News Orgs: McCain And Palin Are Largely Responsible For Unhinged Tone At Their Rallies (TPM)

(screen grabs: cbs.com. Waukesha, Wisconsin on October 9, 2008)

  • http://biobrain.blogspot.com Doctor Biobrain

    Terrorist!

  • Ti molo

    I see…..white people…..

  • Books Alive

    Imagine how a volunteer would feel after knocking on the front door of a person with this outlook as they canvass in Wisconsin for Obama and Biden! Maybe this explains why the destination is Milwaukee for the many hundreds who go up to canvass on Saturdays and Sundays from my area in Illinois.

  • bystander

    … And to think, this could have all been avoided if Obama had just agreed to participate with McCain in one of these a week.

    Seriously? Could be I’m in a bubble, but you are the first I’ve read to suggest this could have been avoided if Obama had agreed to do town hall meetings with McCain. I’m puzzled, and would like to know more.
    I am drawing a link between the stills you’ve captured here, and a post by Hilzoy and The Washington Monthly. Hilzoy writes about McCain’s anger issues, and makes the observation First, McCain must know that it would be disastrous for him to lose his temper at Obama. It occurs to me that given McCain’s sense of entitlement, he likely harbors a good deal of hostility towards Obama which he cannot trust, and should not trust, himself to express. So the crowds do that for him. McCain must feel an immense level of satisfaction at the crowd’s expressed blood lust.
    It also occurs to me that there could be plants in these crowds.

  • stevelaudig

    the thought occurs to me that these AWPs [angry white peeps] are probably just as mad at Bush but since W isn’t around they are a lost AWPM [angry white peeps missle] looking for a target and Obama is just too tempting since they’ve been primed since childhood to hate/fear based on color. We are seeing the Hitlerian 20% without their usual protective coloration of the presence of rational people that can oftentimes associate with the Repubs. Untreated mental illness is a big problem in the U.S.

  • Tom M.

    Bystander, methinks that’s sarcasm from the BAGster.

  • http://revolutionredux.wordpress.com/2008/09/26/overwhelmed-with-gratitude-and-education/ Annie

    That audience is the face of racism, bigotry, and violence. The more “Main Street”, apple pie and red, white and blue they look, the more vicious and un-American they are.
    Compare and contrast wide shots of Obama audiences and McCain audiences, and only one accurately reflects the make-up of Americans.
    I think that beyond pointing out so clearly that McCain is instigating and promulgating violence against Americans, that it is helpful to get this above the radar for ALL Americans.
    I really and truly think that the Republicans are fomenting a civil war to instigate a global nuclear war. And that this (McCain/Palin campaign of race-baiting and inciting riots) is but one volley in the initial skirmish.

  • http://www.doves2day.blogspot.com g

    you are the first I’ve read to suggest this could have been avoided if Obama had agreed to do town hall meetings with McCain
    bystander, McCain himself suggested that. The Bag was being sarcastic.

  • demit

    bystander, in the despicable one’s own words, from http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0908/13412.html on 9/13/08:
    “…The defense from the candidate himself — heard only on “The View” because he hasn’t held a news conference in more than a month — is to essentially assert that he’s savaging Obama because the Illinois senator wouldn’t agree to the series of town hall meetings McCain proposed at the end of the Democratic primary season.
    “If we had done what I asked Sen. Obama to do, because I’ve been in a lot of other campaigns where I have appeared with the opposition with the people and listened to their hopes and dreams and aspirations, I don’t think you’d see the tenor of this campaign,” he said.
    That’s the candidate’s public answer — and one that a former adviser suggested that McCain may have convinced himself to believe is true. …”

  • KansasKowboy

    This guy is also a plant. This rant was planned and staged. As was McCains response to him.

  • http://www.rhubarbpie.typepad.com Megan

    I don’t know whether he is a plant, and don’t think he needed to be. But I did think that he was marvelously clear and emotive. I could see why he got a strong reaction. But the thing that I wondered at was that he was bossing around McCain, and McCain was yielding. Called him Sir, and then jumped a little to realize he’d done so. Maybe I have a ridiculous conception of the charisma and alpha-ness of presidents, because we’ve seen lots of pictures of Bush deferring to others. But no matter the content, the mad guy in the audience was very clearly not speaking out of respect and deferrence. McCain doesn’t even get that from his own.

  • http://imtalkinghere.typepad.com Victoria

    I try to stay on visual analysis here, but this time I just can’t help myself:
    (1) Someone commented on McCain’s “anger issues” – and that’s pretty much what I see, too; an arena acting-out of McCain’s internal imbalance, apparently severe. And apparently shared with a large number of Americans who support him.
    I mean look at these scenes – something about toxicity feels good to them.
    (2) I worry at what McCain-Palin-Ilk are whipping up (among the emotionally immature), but – at a much deeper level – I feel like they are mainly hurting themselves. Wishful thinking on my part?

  • josh

    That’s the highest I have seen McCain get his arm up.

  • bystander

    Thanks, everyone. I appreciate the interpretation. Color me clueless on this one. I’m grateful for the help!

  • Bugboy

    “… And to think, this could have all been avoided if Obama had just agreed to participate with McCain in one of these a week. ”
    You can’t be serious…really, Obama needs to stay as far away from these brownshirt conventions as he can. They are nothing but staged photo-op angst-fests. People are angry and McCain is handing out the pitchforks and torches and pointing “that way” in Obama’s direction. He would stand to gain nothing at these circuses.

  • Bugboy

    Sorry, I was too quick with the click to see the responses to bystander’s comment, of course I knew McCain was claiming this. These days it’s hard to tell if people are being sarcastic or not, look at the foul garbage spewing out of Palin’s mouth, which passes for sarcasm. And sarcasm is what Coulter calls her own pea soup as well.

  • http://home.comcast.net/~sfs73/images/WordyGrrrl.jpg MonsieurGonzo

    imho, It is interesting to note in many of the Faces In The Crowd, and of Mr. McCain in particular: the pleasure of torture.
    It is also interesting to note this aspect, quite apparent in Mrs. Palin’s character. That is to say (and this has been pointed out by many recognized “conservative” intellectuals as well), it is one thing to j’accuse! a U.S. Senator of “being un-American,” but it is another thing, altogether to appear to enjoy doing so, rather than some expression of a profound sadness, that the reality of a political leader who would pervert core American principles is nothing to celebrate, to derive pleasure from all this pain.
    And we ask, So, who is being tortured, here ? ”
    For torture by remote-control, where one does not see, hear or feel the pain of the Other, is un-satisfying to the torturer Self.
    Not unlike an artist, perhaps a dedicated chronicler of current events, or one who aspires to enlighten US in that rôle of our Cultural Anthropologist who, instead devolves into a Cultural Pathologist ~ obsessively seeking only pathos ~ tortures US… and by doing so reveals profound self-loathing: there is no JOY to be found not only in his work, nor in the realization that it is the Artist, not his wounded, suffering subjects (ourselves) for whom we feel pity. Great sadness.

    from A Face in the Crowd : As a “Cracker Barrel” broadcast ends, Rhodes is shown, with sound off and an announcer doing a voiceover, smiling and waving to the camera as he speaks contemptuously of his audience. In the control room, Jeffries and the technical staff hear him continue to mock his viewers as “idiots,” “morons,” “guinea pigs.” Fed up with Rhodes’s betrayal, aware she helped create the monster, Jeffries pushes slide switches that throw Rhodes’s comments on the air. In minutes, furious, betrayed fans who heard the remarks are calling the network. In a symbolic moment, an unaware Rhodes’s popularity is shown plummeting as he rides an elevator down following the show. The film ends with a meltdown at Rhodes’s penthouse apartment, as Jeffries admits she betrayed him and Matthau predicts his future: that he’ll return to the air but it won’t be quite as fancy. In the end, he is basically telling Rhodes he is finished. An uncredited Rip Torn is shown at one point as “Barry Mills,” the next young Lonesome Rhodes, waiting in the wings.

  • g

    It is also interesting to note this aspect, quite apparent in Mrs. Palin’s character.
    I can’t find the link, but when Palin’s candidacy was first announced, there was a recording going around the internet of her being interviewed on a radio show by a couple of shock jocks. The two jocks said vile things about a female political rival of Palin’s – calling her fat and saying they hope she’s got cancer – and all Palin did was giggle.

  • http://www.woodka.com donna

    McCain finally called on his crowds to be “respectful” today.
    Given the example he and Palin set, I don’t see how they demonstrate any respect themselves for others to follow.
    BTW, I voted today! Yay!!!

  • http://profile.typekey.com/[email protected]/ DennisQ

    This doesn’t help McCain. These people are clearly trying to make up in intensity what they lack in numbers. They’re not as victimized as they claim to be … or alternatively, they are misdirected in their anger over the victimization they perceive. Either way, these histrionics are unwarranted and unwelcome. What is this guy’s beef?
    Socialists aren’t taking over America. Where did he get such a notion? He’s so poorly informed that he loses the support of people he might actually reach. My hunch is that he’s upset that life is passing him by. What’s America coming to, that any mumble mumble can run for president and get elected? O tempora, O mores!

  • -

    Maybe a beer hall would be the more fitting venue?

  • zzyzx

    Author Drew Westen was asked how can Obama fight back against these racist attacks and such. His reply was to bring them into the open air and talk about them. Which Obama apparently seems to be doing. Also what The Bag is doing. These hatreds always flourish subrosa and bringing them to light of intelligent discussion shows them up for the stupidity they are.
    But why are McC-P doing this? For Palin, she’s simply an ignorant rovean who will blindly do anything she’s told. She has no brakes on her emotional responses and no empathy for anyone else. As for McCain, I have not seen such a good example of passive-aggressiveness since my mother died. Couple that with his innate cowardice and he is what he looks like, an explosion waiting to happen. His barely-controlled anger is evident whenever he is challenged in any way by anybody, all of whom he considers beneath him. Cindy’s recent comments about her cold blood only indicates that they are well matched. I think only the chorus of conservatives speaking out in abhorrence of his statements have made him dial it down. If they had not turned on him, I don’t think he would have stopped this behavior, indeed, he may not have been able to stop on his own. Interesting.
    Remember this started before the last debate, and while McCain was pouncing and dancing around and fuming, he could not bring himself to face Obama like a real person and challenge him. IMHO, when people with personality disorders age and slide into some form of senility, their personality disorder gets more evident and more aggravated. Could this be what we are seeing in McCain?
    MonsieurGonzo, I don’t see torture here. Bush as a torture maven, yes, but McCain? He’s way too self-involved and thinks others too far beneath him to bother with torture. Perhaps we should save the T word for more drastic events, like GITMO. Abu Gahrib, et al. McCain was a bomber pilot and as such has the fascination with war that only those far removed from the mud and blood can have. He didn’t worry/think about killing “gooks” on the ground because he was way, way above them, as a pilot and a white man. I do not see in him self loathing, in Bush, maybe, not McCain.
    As for the speakers being ‘on call’: http://bbsnews.net/article.php/20081010004010613

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