Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Is Palin Trying To Incite Violence Against Obama?

At her last rally in Florida, Sarah Palin told the audience that Barack Obama "palled around with terrorists" adding,"I am just so fearful that this is not a man who sees America the way you and I see America." Upon hearing the Republican VP candidate's concern that Sen. Obama might be a terrorist, a voice in the crowd cried out 'Kill him!'

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank reported an incident at a Palin rally that should open America's eyes to the central role violent rhetoric now plays in the McCain campaign. Milbank describes how Palin told the crowd in Florida that Obama has close associations with a terrorist who sought to bomb the Pentagon and the U.S. Capital, in response to which the crowd responded with a threat on Sen. Obama's life:

"Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers...And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, 'launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,'" she continued.

"Boooo!" the crowd repeated.

"Kill him!" proposed one man in the audience.

Palin went on to say that "Obama held one of the first meetings of his political career in Bill Ayers's living room, and they've worked together on various projects in Chicago." Here, Palin began to connect the dots. "These are the same guys who think that patriotism is paying higher taxes -- remember that's what Joe Biden had said. "And" -- she paused and sighed -- "I am just so fearful that this is not a man who sees America the way you and I see America, as the greatest force for good in the world. I'm afraid this is someone who sees America as 'imperfect enough' to work with a former domestic terrorist who had targeted his own country."

Palin's new rhetorical strategy signifies an alarming new development in the 2008 Presidential election, and one that has been not only been documented by such high profile newspapers as the Washington Post, but confirmed by the McCain campaign itself.

"It's a dangerous road, but we have no choice," a top McCain strategist recently admitted to the Daily News. "If we keep talking about the economic crisis, we're going to lose."

The 'dangerous road,' however, is not just a generic attack on Sen. Obama's trustworthiness or honesty. Rather, the McCain campaign has chosen to stand before campaign rallies and accuse Sen. Obama of hiding sympathies with domestic terrorists--to accuse their opponent, essentially, of being a terrorist.

With the McCain campaign now using the Palin stump speech to accuse Sen. Obama of hiding a terrorist agenda, the McCain campaign has staked its future on rhetoric that skirts the boundary between character assassination and incitements of actual violence against their opponent.

Meanwhile, while McCain is not yet accusing Obama of terrorism in his own stump speech, the crowds at his rallies are.

In a recent video clip from MSNBC, McCain asked a rally, "Who is the real Barack Obama?" In response to McCain's rhetorical question, a voice from the crowd can be clearly heard to shout in response, "Terrorist!"

Since the start of the election campaign well over a year ago, voters have been subject to ongoing smear campaigns in emails and push polls accusing Sen. Obama of ties to and sympathies with domestic and foreign terrorist groups. No matter how many times these smear campaigns have been exposed, they continued. Now that John McCain and Sarah Palin have echoed these accusations--the idea that Sen. Obama is secretly a terrorist has the stamp of approval of a presidential campaign, but of a multi-term U.S. senator and a U.S. governor.

One wonders at this point how the various agencies charged with the responsibility of protecting the Presidential candidates from violence will respond to this latest tactic from the McCain campaign. If, for example, a McCain supporter threatens the life of Sen. Obama by shouting 'Kill him!' at a Palin rally, should Sen. Obama's Secret Service contingent launch an investigation? Having been accused of terrorist ties by the McCain campaign, will Sen. Obama's name be put on the 'No Fly' list, effectively making it impossible for him to engage in normal airline travel?

An even more basic question, perhaps: Is Gov. Palin trying to incite violence against Sen. Obama as part of an ill-conceived campaign strategy to change the topic from the economy at any cost?

Time will tell how law enforcement will respond, but one thing is already certain: the more Palin and McCain incite calls for violence against Sen. Obama, the more their chances of achieving a victory in November disappear.

-Jeffrey Feldman


emergencyphilosopher said...


Anonymous said...

Green Day summed it up best in their anthem "American Idiot" - an idiot nation controlled by the media; lowest common denominator kind of stuff. That there are people here in the US that are so blind and stupid to the fact that Palin represents and perpetuates the worst of stereotypes about Americans (and for the record, unfair and mostly untrue stereotypes) - narrow-minded, myopic, bigoted, insular and feeble-minded, gun-toting, loud, right-wing "kill anyone who isn't white and Christian and doesn't look and sound like us, gosh darn it" kind of morons. Elect her and suffer the ridicule of the international community for another four years. And in this day of global interdependence, not caring what the rest of the world thinks is short-sighted and delusional. Furthermore, Sarah Palin does not represent all women and candidly is an insult to intelligent, well-educated, well-traveled women who know that the veneer of folksy "I'm just like you" rhetoric is actually a thinly veiled attempt to hide the fact that she is in fact dangerous and just plain stupid. That she would not do anything to calm the incendiary "kill him" remarks at a recent rally just underscores her tacit bigotry and is shameful. And she purports to be a "Christian" woman? Just underscores the hypocrisy. How insulting for those of us who see through her charade.

Oh - and what's with the squirrel in her hair? I mean, really.

Anonymous said...

Green Day are idiots too.

Anonymous said...

the republicans are getting frustrated and now resorting to cheap shots. its getting dangerous. those bigots are really angry, and its because of palin. damn, the US is really dumb if that idiot becomes VP.

gil said it best "she’s a female Bush. Retarded. But just from what I can tell she’s a moron"