Saturday, October 11, 2008

The stump week that was: ugly Americans

Watching angry Republicans stand up at rally after rally, confront McCain, shout and boo him down, and toss out bigoted remarks about Obama, it's hard not to sense that the wheels are slowly coming off his campaign. Many Republicans, sensing the election slipping away, have grown increasingly restless and unhappy about the way McCain has waged his campaign, and they are now vocalizing it on at stump speeches around the country.

Plain/McCain unveiled a new strategy on October 6, when a top adviser was quoted as saying "if we talk about the economy we'll loose." Since then the camp has subtly attempted to paint Obama as a shadowy, untrustworthy, anti-American (moves straight out of Hillary's playbook). This began with Palin's comments on October 4 that Obama "... is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country." She also said, "This is not a man who sees America as you see America and as I see America." Recently the McCain camp has been trying to link Obama with William Ayers.

The tension has built up over the course of the week, as supporters at the McCain and Palin rallies tarted randomly screaming "terrorist!" and "off with his head!" and "treason!" and even "kill him!" at the mention of Barack Obama's name.

"I don't trust Obama. I have read about him. He's an Arab." said a woman at a McCain rally in Lakeville, MN today.

McCain's response was honorable. "No, ma'am. He's a decent, family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with (him) on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign is all about."

He was met with boos when he said, "I have to tell you, he is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States."

On Thursday in Wisconsin, when a man stood up to "ask" a "question" and, veins popping in his neck, delivered himself of the following: "I'm mad. I'm really mad. And what's gonna surprise ya is not the economy. It's the socialists takin' over our country. [Lengthy applause] Sit down. I'm not done. Let me finish, please [laughter] ... when you have Obama, [Nancy] Pelosi and the rest of the hooligans up there gonna run this country, we gotta have our head examined. It's time that you two are representing us, and we are mad! So go get 'em!" [Extended chanting: "USA! USA! USA!"]

Who, exactly, is the socialist? Obama, who has proposed to cut taxes for the middle class? Or McCain? Which one actively participated while the size of the government and defect ballooned under a Republican congress and a president who took six years to veto a spending bill? And what could be more socialistic than a plan to buy up bad home mortgages and renegotiate them? Whose idea was that? You might never know, but it wasn't Obama. It was McCain That One.

Meanwhile, yesterday in Alaska, a legislative investigator found that Palin violated state ethics laws and abused her power by trying to have her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper.

Smear ads and attacks and frustration seem to be all that Palin/McCain have left after a week in-which Obama's lead has reached double digits. This also after the "maverick" Senator suspended his campaign to skip the last debate and look into the economic crisis, only to return to debate and rubber stamp a $700 billion rescue plan. This also after Palin's embarrassing interview with Katie Couric, calling into question her preparedness for even the governorship of Alaska, not to mention McCain's sanity for choosing her to be the second in line to running the country.

Perhaps those angry should look not to Obama, but the ones they have chosen to run the country. From Bush 2000 and 2004, to McCain in 2008, it has been an exercrise in perpetual ineptness. The end of this comedy of errors is near. The curtain is falling to shouts and boos for one more pathetic act before and era comes to an end.

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