“FIRE!” and Crowded Theaters

The top story on Memeorandum all day has been Dana Milbank’s piece in the Washington Post detailing exactly what the pitbull in lipstick looks like when she’s finally taken off the leash.

I actually didn’t make it around to reading that story until now.  You see, my goal over the past twenty-four hours or so has been to engage in tit-for-tat.  It wasn’t my desire to stir up violent animosity towards the Republican ticket so much as it was to simply show that if the McCain campaign really wants to take it there, well, their closets are filled with enough skeletons to make it at the very least a fair fight.

But there’s something disturbing in Milbank’s article, something that we’ve been seeing a frighteningly large amount of from the moment the McCain campaign decided it was going to “take the gloves off.”  True Hatred.

Keep in mind, there’s no love lost between the age old enemies of the right and left, and often that relationship can be described as hate, but nothing on par with what we’ve seen since the McCain campaign’s desperation has thrown all caution to the wind.  This is dangerous.

In the past four days, McCain-Palin supporters have been caught on mic calling Obama a “Terrorist”, have shouted, “Kill Him,” and accused him of “Treason.”

This is bad enough.  Sure, political leaders are open season for some of the worst epithets imaginable, they should be able to take it, but as pointed out in Dana Milbank’s article, the hatred is not being limited only towards Obama.  During one of these frenzies, a Palin supporter turned to an African American sound man and shouted, “Sit down, boy!”

The hatred that the Republican ticket is attempting to generate towards the Democratic candidate is in and of itself horrifying.  I need not remind anyone that this is already the first African American presidential candidate running for the highest office of a land that is still plagued with deeply rooted racism in many parts.  As Oliver Willis pointed out the other day, there have already been two potential plots on his life; the last thing that any of us needs is for the sentiment to be whipped up to such a frenzy that encourages even more.

“Terrorist!”

“Treason!”

“Kill Him!”

“Sit down, boy!”

But it may already be too late as racially charged animosity continues to spill over, even as far as London where a man wearing an Obama t-shirt was shot three times.

I wonder if they realize this; McCain and Palin.  I wonder if they realize that what they are doing is the equivalent of yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, only in this instance the actual yell is “Terrorist,” or “Arab,” or “Angry Black Man!” in a crowd of white supremecists.

I wonder if they realize how dangerous this is, and how much more danger they’ve put a candidate for president we all know is already more at risk simply due to the color of his skin.

I wonder if they understand just how irresponsible they are being, and I wonder if they have the capacity to feel shame as a result.

I wonder these things, but I don’t have high hopes that they actually grasp any of it.  They know their chances to win the presidency continue to drop on a daily basis, and they seem unperterbed by the moral stain that their new tactics leave not just on themselves, but on this country.

They don’t seem to grasp how sick all of this is.  But I do, and I know for certain that no two people this irresponsible can ever be allowed near the White House.

2 Responses to ““FIRE!” and Crowded Theaters”

  1. tas says:

    I wonder if they understand just how irresponsible they are being, and I wonder if they have the capacity to feel shame as a result.

    You needn’t worry — gcotharn will just deny everything and talk about how tolerant Republicans really are!

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