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  1.  (4005.1)
    One week to go. And then I'll launch a final thread on election day itself.

    You know the rules. Begin.
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      CommentAuthorNygaard
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2008
     (4005.2)
    So, BoingBoing says someone yelled that the O-word is an N-word at a Palin rally. The public opinion seems to be that she should have immediately drawn her gun, shot and then field-dressed the sadsack who did it. Since she didn't, she's now a racist.

    Is there a history in the US of speakers being blamed for what their spectators yell at them? I myself can't do the mental gymnastics that will make this accusation make sense.
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      CommentAuthorLokiZero
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2008 edited
     (4005.3)
    My father-in-law told me over the weekend he's going to be a poll monitor in Missouri on election day. He would've in Kansas (He lives in Lenexa, outside of KCK), but that state is going red no matter what.
  2.  (4005.4)
    I'm kind of dubious about that clip. Not that Palin isn't tapping deep into the race-crazies, but the complete lack of ANY reaction? Those people aren't too sharp, but there would be someone booing that.

    But again, Palin and McCain are tossing so much shit in the air at this point god only knows the crazy we will see in the next week.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2008 edited
     (4005.5)
    @orwell

    I don't think it's too beyond the pale that she wouldn't re-act at all to it; whether she didn't hear it because she was concentrating on her speech (and she was looking down a lot at her podium) or because she didn't care (and there have been some constituents of her's that say she's got some definitely race-biased personal views).

    And the crowd not booing it? Why would they? You said it yourself the race-crazy is coming out. There's also the by-stander effect to consider; the people around the person (if the video is legit) may not have boo'd because they didn't want to interrupt the rally and have the pressure of the attention of everyone else on them or that they felt that someone else would start complaining first and then didn't complain when no one did.
    • CommentAuthorJo
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2008
     (4005.6)
    If it's one person, a few people, saying something particularly nasty, I have to agree. There are crazies everywhere, of all stripes, and who's to say a speaker can even hear everything shouted by every nut in every crowd?

    The problem isn't that Palin didn't call out/go after this particular shouter; it's that the shouter's message is seen as acceptable by a large swath of the population, so the shouter is not called out by his/her peers, and that there are large number of shouters, a pattern of shouters, if you will, and a bunch of them are attending rallies. One shouter is just a cranky, misguided individual, and is no more the responsibility of the campaign than the lady who yells about condoms in the grocery store. Many shouters in one place, shouting similar things, become something the campaign should worry about. The campaign wants to direct the public opinion, wants to streamline and effectively utilize the feelings of the crowds that show up at the rallies. They want to aim that portion of public opinion in the direction that will most efficiently encourage people to vote for them and work against the other guys. The crowd is their support and their ammunition, and the crowd's presence and enthusiasm indicate that its members think the people on stage believe the same things they do, and it's okay to shout about those things. Perfectly normal, all political movements do it, and all political movements recognize the power and momentum that a sense of "belonging to a crowd" can lend.

    However: If large numbers of people are shouting about violence and racial discrimination and are not given any reason to believe they are not "on message" and neatly in line with the ideals of the public figures they are shouting in front of, then yes, that's a problem. The crowd wouldn't be a crowd, wouldn't be organizing and self-reinforcing, without the catalyst of the rally/public figure, so the campaign ABSOLUTELY must take some responsibility for the crowd's message. Anything else is at best bad branding for the campaign and at worst incitement to riot/encouragement of hate crime. And if the worst of the shouters really are on message, if the public figures really do agree with the shouting, then they can't claim clean hands and say they don't approve when shouters act on what they say.

    It's an issue of scale. No campaign can or should be expected to keep track of every person who vocalizes their support, but if there's a pattern, especially a pattern that edges on hate speech, lack of response is tacit approval.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2008
     (4005.7)
    @Jo

    it's that the shouter's message is seen as acceptable by a large swath of the population, so the shouter is not called out by his/her peers, and that there are large number of shouters, a pattern of shouters, if you will, and a bunch of them are attending rallies.

    Sure, but then again that's nothing new; I'm sure that racists have attended political rallies in the past. We're also seeing one shout here another shout there; it's not like the crowd is all chanting racial slurs.

    No campaign can or should be expected to keep track of every person who vocalizes their support, but if there's a pattern, especially a pattern that edges on hate speech, lack of response is tacit approval.

    But when is the response necessary? People criticized McCain for not responding (other than a possible wince) when a man shouted "Terrorist!" during one of his speeches but at another rally/speech he corrected two other individuals who said something similar.
  3.  (4005.8)
    @RenThing:

    Don't buy into the notion that all the people at those rallies are zealots. There are any number of people there who would be horrified at someone yelling a slur and say something. Being intangible and assuming anyone who isn't on your ideological team is only capable of the very worst has been the MO of the right for decades.
  4.  (4005.9)
    I've seen that video and it looks like Palin does hear it but just decides to ignore it.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2008
     (4005.10)
    @orwell

    Don't buy into the notion that all the people at those rallies are zealots. There are any number of people there who would be horrified at someone yelling a slur and say something. Being intangible and assuming anyone who isn't on your ideological team is only capable of the very worst has been the MO of the right for decades

    Believe me, I don't think that everyone who attends those rallies is a zealot but my point was that there is a great amount of pressure to not cause a disturbance when you are in a large crowd, even if you might be reacting to something you personally find incredibly disagreeable, if that disturbance might cause a negative reaction to you. My comment to Jo was that the racist shouts of one or two people at a rally in one area and another shout in a different rally in a different state are not indicative of the theme of the campaign or the understanding of those supporting the campaign.

    While I'm generally a pessimistic guy when it comes to considering the worst in other people, I don't think that we've gotten to the point where the majority of McCain/Palin supporters are racist, but the fact that there are racists among their supporters should be a given.
  5.  (4005.11)
    I don't think that we've gotten to the point where the majority of McCain/Palin supporters are racist, but the fact that there are racists among their supporters should be a given.


    Not to totally derail the thread or cause a firestorm (like anyone cares) but I think the Democratic party has a very deep and very nasty strain of racism running through it from way back. Obama's ascension has countered a fair bit of that, but come see the Daley Democrats in Chicago for some of the ugliest racial bullshit you're likely to find.
    • CommentAuthorJo
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2008
     (4005.12)
    @Ren Thing:

    I completely agree that it's difficult to see a hard-and-fast line where a campaign-level response is "required," and that it's stupid and damaging to assume that the people shouting racial epithets or violent threats represent an entire political party, or even an entire campaign or rally. Please note that my initial response referenced Palin but applied to all similar situations (crowds and shouters, the desire for political support versus the dangers of mob mentality). I am neither a politician nor a psychologist, and I can't speak to the McCain campaign's motives or plans. I can only observe, from the outside, that I've seen a fair amount of damning video of McCain/Palin supporters, and that it's kind of scary. I don't have to know where that specific cutoff point is to look at all the video and say "This seems kind of out of hand. I wouldn't want these people representing me, unchecked, if I were running for President. I wish McCain would say something conclusive about it."

    To my mind, the logical response would be to use a few valuable seconds of press or rally time to say something simple, something like what Colin Powell said about how dangerous and divisive it is to encourage racism in a national campaign, something like "I thank you for your support, and value your enthusiasm more than I can say, but I cannot encourage racial and religious discrimination against my fellow American citizens, Barack Obama first among them. If you refer to him as a terrorist or imply that his racial background makes him unfit for office, it undermines this very important political contest--one which I am dedicated to with all my heart and which I believe I can win on issues and convictions." Maybe one more sentence. Imagine how intelligent and sincere and respectful that would be. Try to think of a good reason for McCain, Palin, or another high-ranking member of the Republican campaign not to have done it. The only explanation is that they are unwilling to risk alienating a group of people who are threatening and insulting other citizens, and who are already making the campaign look bad. That's reprehensible.

    It would be smart for the campaign and smart for the social health of the nation for a respected figure to address these prejudices directly, because right now, said prejudices nearly cover the face of the party. That's what I mean by responsibility. It would take a pretty clear chain of well-documented incitement and endangerment to make them legally/criminally responsible for the actions of their supporters, and I hope that doesn't happen. Not good for anyone. As it stands, though, the pattern is established enough that by their lack of coherent response, they are by default sanctioning hate speech.
  6.  (4005.13)
    From Huffingtonpost
    One of John McCain's advisers recently called his running mate Sarah Palin a "diva" after she went off-script at a rally, and suggested she was looking after her own political future over the current campaign. Now another adviser ups the ante in a conversation with the Politico's Playbook, labeling Palin a "whack job."


    The rats have grabbed all the good deck chairs, start using steerage kids as flotation devices!
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      CommentAuthorrickiep00h
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2008
     (4005.14)
    @orwellseyes

    I think she knows that she has more electability than McCain, as evidenced by the numbers rise that she gave the ticket. Of course, this electability is if you discount the portion of the population that actually takes some time to think about its decisions. She's been called a very shrewd politician by most everyone that's worked near her. I'm sure she just sees this as a step toward the presidency for her more than for McCain.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2008
     (4005.15)
    @Jo

    But even then, total up all those video clips that you've seen (or the faces saying the things you disagree with) and, really, is the number so high? Yes, you can disagree with them and not want a person who has supporters such as those in office but, as orwellseyes pointed out, the other side has people just as bad.

    Try to think of a good reason for McCain, Palin, or another high-ranking member of the Republican campaign not to have done it. The only explanation is that they are unwilling to risk alienating a group of people who are threatening and insulting other citizens, and who are already making the campaign look bad. That's reprehensible.

    I can't agree with you more.

    @orwellseyes
    Yeah, I pointed out yesterday that the Republicans are already tearing at each other with Mitt Romney's crew already going after Palin.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2008
     (4005.16)
    @rickiep00h

    It'd be interesting to see how many people stuck by McCain/Palin because they believe McCain to be the best choice for President but who can't stand Palin.

    Honestly, I don't think she has as much electability as McCain; she's proven more ignorant of the issues and I think anyone who can see beyond her gender or appearance and actually think critically about the things she says won't vote for her past the Primaries.
    • CommentAuthorScottS
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2008
     (4005.17)
    Steal a McCain sign? Get shot.

    Reading the story this is what I question: the guy had time to go and "get his rifle" .. but it didn't occur to him to maybe.. oh.. I don't know... call the cops? And his warning shots HIT THE VAN? where was he aiming these warning shots?

    I won't argue a guy has a right to protect his property, but come on... using a rifle because someone is stealing your yard sign?
    •  
      CommentAuthorthom_wong
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2008
     (4005.18)
    Currently Obama is splased across the DNC homepage. McCain is completely absent.

    Also - McCain advisor calls Palin a "whack job."
    http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&nolr=1&q=whack+job&btnG=Search
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      CommentAuthorrickiep00h
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2008
     (4005.19)
    @ren

    Sorry, I mean "I think she thinks" not "I think she knows". My mistake. I don't think she stands a chance of making it through a full primary cycle, but I'm sure she'd love to get tacked on to a ticket every year for the next 12 years, either for president or vice president. She's savvy enough to know that she's got marketability to certain segments of the population. That's my point. I'm sure the gears are grinding in her head, trying to figure out a way to spin what will almost assuredly be a landslide loss into something bigger for herself.
  7.  (4005.20)
    @Thom:

    That's nothing new, McCain has been absent since long before Palin joined the trainwreck.

    So Fox News is just out and out calling Obama a Marxist now. Seven days to go, I'd bet one whole American dollar that someone on Fox slips and calls him a a racial slur by the election. The crazy genes are now fully expressed in the right-wing beast.

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