Palin's routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater [FL], arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media."So, it's the fault of the QUESTIONS? So she thinks interviewers are not supposed to ask questions?
At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."(emphasis mine). Why is this not on national news? Why aren't people reacting with outrage? This isn't democracy in action. This is cynical demagoguery. The article continues:
Palin, speaking to a sea of "Palin Power" and "Sarahcuda" T-shirts, tried to link Obama to the 1960s Weather Underground. "One of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers," she said. ("Boooo!" said the crowd.) "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.)Palin did not reprimand the man. When an audience member for a McCain appearance called Obama a terrorist, McCain did not correct him either. They are inciting assassination.
"Kill him!" proposed one man in the audience.
By the way, the New York Times, far from supporting Palin's accusations, pointed out that there is little evidence for any meaningful association between Ayers and Obama, just casual interactions. Indeed Ayers' ties with domestic terrorism are in the distant past. Obama and I are almost the same age. We were children in the 1960s when Ayers was a radical; Obama met him 26 years after the fact. The McCain camp is lying, knowingly and deliberately.
The deliberate lies, the veiled slanders, the incitement to violence against "the other", the touting of "Country first": this is not conservatism. This it not Repbulicanism. This is certainly not American. It is deeply disturbing and cynical pursuit of power. (You can see the same strategy at work in the hard-right attacking your presiding bishop; see the comments to the post below.) I am sure I am not the only one with an interest in history who looks back at the utter economic collapse of Germany in the 1930s, and sees disturbing parallels with the Nuremberg rallies. Only this time, it will be blacks and gays they go after first.