Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Beef is when I see you
Guaranteed to be in ICU
--Notorious B.I.G.

If you have been watching the speeches and ads by McCain-Palin, you probably know they have gone massively negative. This is typical in a presidential campaign where the stakes are high and negative advertising has been a known and useful commodity. If anyone knows how effective negative advertising is, McCain would know as he was subjected to the notorious South Carolina Primary attack by W. in 2000:
The Arizona Republic would write that the McCain-Bush primary contest in South Carolina "has entered national political lore as a low-water mark in presidential campaigns", while The New York Times called it "a painful symbol of the brutality of American politics".[118][128][129] A variety of interest groups that McCain had challenged in the past ran negative ads.[118][130] Bush borrowed McCain's earlier language of reform,[131] and declined to dissociate himself from a veterans activist who accused McCain (in Bush's presence) of having "abandoned the veterans" on POW/MIA and Agent Orange issues.[118][132]

Incensed,[132] McCain ran ads accusing Bush of lying and comparing the governor to Bill Clinton, which Bush said was "about as low a blow as you can give in a Republican primary".[118] An anonymous smear campaign began against McCain, delivered by push polls, faxes, e-mails, flyers, and audience plants.[118][134] The smears claimed that McCain had fathered a black child out of wedlock (the McCains' dark-skinned daughter was adopted from Bangladesh), that his wife Cindy was a drug addict, that he was a homosexual, and that he was a "Manchurian Candidate" who was either a traitor or mentally unstable from his North Vietnam POW days.[118][128] The Bush campaign strongly denied any involvement with the attacks.[128]

This was about as hardball as politics gets, and Bush pulled out all the stops. But McCain didn't just suffer abuse, he took notes for the future. Today, Palin is whipping up the dark undertows of fear and hatred that only a desperate candidate can:

In case you missed it, the audience member yelled out "Treason!". Treason, of course, is the most unusual but also amongst the highest of crimes in the US. The most well-known traitors of the US, aside from Benedict Arnold et al, are the Rosenburgs:

Julius Rosenberg (May 12, 1918 – June 19, 1953) and Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg (September 28, 1915 – June 19, 1953) were American communists who were executed after having been found guilty of conspiracy to commit espionage. The charges were in relation to the passing of information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. Theirs was the first execution of civilians for espionage in United States history.[1]

You can see where I am headed with this: If treason is the charge, what is the punishment?

Just as alarming was this exchange during a McCain campaign stop:

That's right - One crowd member screams "Terrorist!", while others shout "Kill him!"

McCain seems surprised, but does not correct or scold the audience for these outrages. At this point it should be remembered that the US has a history of massive political violence: Assassinations are a matter of course, which Hillary raised to some alarm in the primaries.

McCain should now realize he is flirting with a national disaster by grooming his supporters to feel outright hatred for his black opponent. He is painting a picture of Obama as the feared "Other", the "terrorist", and wrapping him in the flag of "extremist" and "muslim", as they invoke his middle name to cheers at every turn:

I'm reminded of a long discussion by several hip hop artists of the group dynamics that surround big name stars' entourages. According to the theory, the foot soldiers of the hip hop artists are usually not skilled at much else other than fighting, so when there is an opportunity to prove their worth to the larger group and specifically the hip hop artist themselves, they go to bat as goons as often as possible. Eminem specifically discussed this in a few songs, stating also that their entourages and even distant acquaintances will take their queue to attack from the hip hop artists' monologues, dialogue, rhetoric and battles.

McCain, knowingly or otherwise, is tipping off his supporters to attack. They take their queues from the leader. The leader who won't shake hands with his enemy:

They take their queues from their leader who refers to his senator opponent as "that one".

I think if something were to happen to Obama at this point, McCain would be culpable for racketeering. The dark undertones of the McCain campaign have become that serious.

No comments: