"the red meat of hate"


Frank Schaeffer, writing in the Baltimore Sun ...

John McCain: If your campaign does not stop equating Sen. Barack Obama with terrorism, questioning his patriotism and portraying Mr. Obama as "not one of us," I accuse you of deliberately feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate, and therefore of potentially instigating violence.

At a Sarah Palin rally, someone called out, "Kill him!" At one of your rallies, someone called out, "Terrorist!" Neither was answered or denounced by you or your running mate, as the crowd laughed and cheered. At your campaign event Wednesday in Bethlehem, Pa., the crowd was seething with hatred for the Democratic nominee - an attitude encouraged in speeches there by you, your running mate, your wife and the local Republican chairman.


John McCain: In 2000, as a lifelong Republican, I worked to get you elected instead of George W. Bush. In return, you wrote an endorsement of one of my books about military service. You seemed to be a man who put principle ahead of mere political gain.

You have changed. You have a choice: Go down in history as a decent senator and an honorable military man with many successes, or go down in history as the latest abettor of right-wing extremist hate.

(hat tip: TPM)


John McCain's answer...

And... if we're talking about it, i'd love to hear your thoughts on Charles Krauthammer's latest op-ed:

Dr. Lawley,

I've been reading your blog a lot lately -

Sorry my writing style is awful, so I'll do my best with this comment.

I just wanted to let you know, that readers of your blog do appreciate the politics as well as the tips on web design.

I actually saw the Katie Couric interview with Sarah Palin first on your site, and used it in a post on my own blog.

So... Keep up the citizen journalism! It's one of the greatest liberties we have.

Justin, I think it's perfectly reasonable for McCain to criticize Obama's poor judgment in terms of his past associations (although I'm not convinced that they haven't both made some bad choices in terms of associates in the past).

But the whipping up of xenophobic and racist hatred in rallies is a different thing entirely. I'm very glad that McCain repudiated it, but it shouldn't have started to begin with.

This post from fivethirtyeight.com shows the contrast between an ad that genuinely criticizes Obama's past associations and one that plays on negative emotions: http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/10/are-mccains-ads-dangerous.html

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