20 replies on “Republican rally audiences are riled up.”

  1. At first I was attributing the usual cries and whines of the Republican Party as standard run-of-the-mill election politics, but after seeing some of my old college friends have full-on flame wars on Facebook, I’m thinking ‘rage’ about sums it up.

    How did it get to this point? It seemed like it began Wednesday morning after McCain did so poorly in the debate, even though he was expected to do well. By Thursday, some of my acquaintances have been on the attack, going so far as blaming the entire economic crisis on the Democrats because they “forced” the banks to give loans to broke [black] people.

    BTW: Great podcast on the This American Life piece.

  2. Where is the Secret Service in this? I hope they are investigating the man who yelled “kill him”. It is a crime to threaten a candidate for President, a man in Florida was recently arrested for threatening Obama in some martial arts class and is facing 5 years in prison.

  3. This thing is killing the Republican Party. The press coverage has been damning.

    I really believe that all we have to do is point video cameras at the Republican Party for the next three or four weeks and they will literally self-destruct. No self-respecting person will want to associate with them.

    McCain finally had to chastise his own crowd today . . . and he was booed.

  4. I’ve got to give points to McCain for stepping in, or at least trying to. Seems to me, though, that he and Palin will need to take it up a notch. The angry right wants blood, and they don’t care whose it is. At this point, McCain’s is as good as Obama’s.

  5. The effigy lynching will occur when Pres. Obama requires us to “voluntarily” give up all guns that carry more than three rounds in the magazine, so as to keep our fellow citizens “safe.” Of course, he will be supported by a filibuster proof Congress, and his 1,2, or 3 newly appointed justices.

  6. The effigy lynching will occur when Pres. Obama requires us to “voluntarily” give up all guns that carry more than three rounds in the magazine, so as to keep our fellow citizens “safe.”

    That’s just not true, Tom. Obama has stated repeatedly and clearly that he favors second amendment rights, and that he believes they’re an individual right, not a collective right. As he said a month ago:

    The bottom line is this: You got a rifle, you got a shotgun, you got a gun in your house, I’m not taking it away. They can keep on talking about it, but it’s just not true.

    Let’s compare this to what the NRA has written about McCain over the years:

    … Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has now become one of the premier flag carriers for the enemies of the Second Amendment.

    And this:

    Anti-gun groups, led by Americans for Gun Safety, have teamed with U.S. Sen. John McCain to exploit terrorism in order to advance their gun control agenda…

    And this one’s a good one:

    …according to McCain and AGS [Americans for Gun Safety], the only safe gun is one that is completely inaccessible to the owner in an emergency.

    Of course, this is just the NRA being over-the-top, but you can see that they’re no fan of McCain. Face it, you’ve got two candidates with positions on guns that are the same—that’s why the second amendment hasn’t been an issue in this race. I’ve got three rifles in my house. They’re not going anywhere during the next administration, no matter who wins.

  7. An analogy comes to mind here.

    I was speaking to a National Conference of State Legislatures conference in Reno last weekend, and the topic turned to online community, or the lack thereof. An audience member asked me about the terrible comments that are found on so many websites, saying that they’re just so useless that she couldn’t understand why any legislature would possibly want to allow comments on their own websites. I explained, as I often do, whether or not these websites want to be doing so, they’re managing an online community. And managing an online community is an enormous amount of work. When a website’s (or blog’s) commenters are jackasses as a matter of course, that’s the fault of whomever is running the website. Inherently. That’s because it’s the job of the blogger to set the tone, to establish limits, and to generally define the norm.

    Ditto for physical community, of course. That, as I told the audience, was why no member of the audience had yet stood up and shouted obscenities. There a cultural norm for acceptable behavior at such events, reinforced by the relationships between the individuals who comprise subgroups there and the tone established by the speakers (me and two others).

    Yet at McCain and Palin’s events, supporters feel free to stand up and say such awful things—not rarely, resulting in being upbraided but routinely—because doing so is within the norms of the audience, and within the tone set by the speakers. As in any community, the fault for this lies with the leaders of the community—John McCain and Sarah Palin—for their implicit (if not explicit) failure to correct that.

  8. Yeah, I’m glad that no leftist has hung Bush in effigy. Because that would look very bad, especially if they supported Obummer

  9. Yes yes yes, and conservatives actually hung people in the form of the KKK, etc., etc. And this is how discussions become stupid and meaningless, when people blame other people for what similar but unrelated groups of people did in the past. Concentrate real hard next time you show up here and think about how you can actually persuade somebody to change their mind, rather than just lobbing a knee-jerk retort and running away.

  10. Bubby nailed it long ago, with his magical term ‘belligerent hillbilly’. They come in all sizes, shapes and yes, even colors. There is no uniform, they drive Escalades and F150’s. They work every type of job. When their beliefs are challenged, even worse, fueled…they respond. We all know, its far easier to stick to your belief than listen to anything that challenges it. Because that makes us think, evaluate…and most painfully of all, decide. This happens to us many times a day, and we usually dont even realize it.

    The weight of deciding to stay on the same path, has a cost. Imagine you put a small pebble in your pocket each time you decide to take another step with a belief. It gets uncomfortable at first, then becomes a weight you feel with every step. The anger comes from two places. The first stems from the belief the weight that keeps growing is someone elses fault, as if THEY are the one adding the pebbles to your load. Second and far more important, you are seeing the impact of challenge and belief.

    A good example is the ‘voted to not fund the troops’ bullshit. Does ANYONE think that a sitting US Senator who ever wanted to get elected again, would do anything to leave a single US solider hanging, much less all of them? Even the dullest knife in the drawer would think that a dumb move. The way bills are structured and amended, you can make any politician the villain with minimal effort.

    To any Republicans reading, there are belligerent hillbillies in the Democratic party too, so take that pebble out you just threw in while reading this and deciding I am full of shit. (I am by the way, depending on the topic) This problem is operating far above politics (despite politics high opinion of itself), it’s a human thing. It will not be legislated, and can only be solved at the individual level. Unfortunately by the time most of us work out our inner hillbilly someone else is making our funeral arrangements, and another is born. Rinse. Repeat.

  11. Josh Marshall does a good job today of describing how schizophrenic that the campaign has become at this point. The campaign is running ads that basically claim that Obama is anti-American while McCain is simultaneously claiming that he’s “a person you do not have to be scared of as President of the United States.” This could be viewed as intentional, but I’m inclined to agree with Marshall’s interpretation—that confusion reigns in this campaign.

    A lot of conservatives are now claiming that McCain knows he’s going to lose, and he’s trying to suck up to President Obama. I don’t think that’s true. False bravado of this blog entry aside, there are any number of reasons why McCain could still win. It’s the same reason that Jim Gilmore remains in the race against Mark Warner—one never knows what could happen between now and November 4. I think McCain is just torn between wanting to win and wanting the admiration that much of the country once held for him.

    In these videos, I see a glimmer of the McCain that once was, the McCain about whom I often said that I wouldn’t vote for him—because I disagreed with him about so many fundamental matters—but I would certainly respect him as president. It’s tough to remember that very John McCain is still in there somewhere. Yesterday he made that a bit easier.

  12. I think that’s an enormously generous view of McCain, Waldo. Another – and more accurate, in my opinion – view is that McCain is smart enough to know how this is going to end, and is just doing everything he can to salvage what he can of his future. I think the past 8 years stand as ample evidence that McCain is someone who will say/do anything to advance his personal ambition (seriously, can anyone point to a single topic of importance that he *hasn’t* compromised on, in order to secure the nomination?). If you can overlook attacks on your minor daughter in order to win the good graces of your party, you’re capable of pretty much anything.

    McCain is a hollow shell of a man, bereft of any claim to principle. The only good thing? He’s smart enough to know what he’s done, and will suffer his conscience the rest of his life, for it.

  13. I’m taking this as a sign that the die-hard racists are the only people who will still attend a McCain rally…

    Even then, my roommate theorizes that Obama may get a significant percentage of the prized “racist vote” this Nov … those who are reluctant to vote for a black guy, but who have been so disaffected by the McCain campaign that they’ll do so in the hopes of saving the economy.

  14. “Every side has its nut cases.”

    Yes. The difference is that racists and nutcases comprise a large portion of the Republican base (which is not to say anything about anyone here), whereas the nuts on the left are more likely to vote Green or be disgusted by the Democratic party’s centrist policies.

  15. Oh, I think it’s true that every political group has its fringe, its own loonies, its own jerks, few of whom should be taken as evidence that the whole group thinks like that. But it’s when those individuals are elevated or given the spotlight by party leaders that we see things differently. For instance, Jim Gilmore’s nomination allows us to see that the general opinion of Virginia Republicans likely aligns with his on economic policy. Likewise, the recent statements made by RPV chairman Jeff Frederick and fellow McCain volunteers during a Time Magazine interview allow us to see that these perspectives are acceptable in the McCain camp.

    No, what’s interesting here is that the fringe is being actively courted by the campaign, and then being given a platform to make their views known. That’s the point at which they cease to be the fringe, and start to become the mainstream of the party.

  16. “The difference is that racists and nutcases comprise a large portion of the Republican base”

    Thanks for keeping an open mind.

    Things must be very simple in your world.

  17. Watts,

    Evangelical churches that believe the end times are upon us have a big hand in the Republican party. See McCain’s own John Hagee, who founded Christians United for Israel, whose supporters seem largely to desire to provoke the battle of Armageddon. And this is not an isolated example.

    As for the racist claim, see Trent Lott, Strom Thurmond, ads about Willie Horton, the ads run against Harold Ford Jr., etc. Since the time of the Dixiecrats, the Republican party has actively courted the racist vote. I don’t believe most Republicans (elected or not) are racists, but that racists do comprise an important part of the base.

    I don’t even know what you mean by “thanks for keeping an open mind.” If you mean that I reached a conclusion, and thus my mind is not open, I don’t think you understand what it means to have an open mind. I’m willing to hear counterarguments, but you neglected to give me one.

    And for the record, I don’t think the issue is that Democrats won’t stoop to pandering to dumb groups of people whose votes they might get. The problem is that the radicals on the left don’t have the organizing structure of the church to drive them to vote. It’s like herding cats, and I’m thankful for that, as we don’t need any more Cynthia McKinneys making the rest of us look bad.

  18. Sorry for the double-post, but on the topic of Republicans inciting people to violence against Barack Obama, here’s a nice one from the Republican party of Sacramento, CA:


    Apparently, Barack Obama is the same as Osama bin Laden (and what do we want to do to bin Laden?), and they actively encourage people to use “harsh interrogation techniques” on Obama.

    It’s a good thing this is just another isolated incident, like the Unitarian-Universalist church massacre.

Comments are closed.