Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"Gloves are off"

And so are all pretensions the GOP presidential ticket is going to run a campaign of honor and decency in these final weeks before Election Day.

I'm so relieved that I wasn't in Clearwater to cover Sarah Palin's appearance yesterday. Looks like I wouldn't have been welcome, on a number of fronts:

Worse, Palin's routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, 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." 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."

In fairness, some parts of the Tampa Bay area have yet to evolve beyond 1968. But Palin - and McCain - have essentially tossed a burning match into field of embers. This sort behavior from the stump is irresponsible and is creating the sort of atmosphere that once worried Alma Powell. Summing up the mood heading into tonight's debate between McCain and Obama, here's Steve Benen:

The reckless and irresponsible rhetoric McCain and Palin have used has contributed to, if not practically created outright, an overheated political environment. It's in this environment that furious right-wing activists feel compelled to use racial slurs against journalists, and shout assassination requests at political rallies.

The responsible thing for McCain and Palin to do would be to turn down the temperature a bit and insist, in no uncertain terms, that they have no tolerance for the kind of ugliness Americans saw yesterday from the GOP.


maria said...

mc cain isn't interested in being responsible. he wouldn't have picked palin if he was. this behavior is abhorrent and hopefully getting attention.

stay safe. jesus.

blackink said...

It seems that these irresponsible tactics are gaining some notice but, still, McCain and Palin insist on stoking those fires. Even today.


I wonder if Obama will call McCain on this during the debate tonight. Somehow, I doubt it.