New Obama/Media Attack Strategy: 'Angry Mob' Meme
After 8 years of watching while Democrats personally savage President Bush and conservatives with epiteths like "dictator" and "fascist," while seeing the rage on people's faces contorting in anger and hate, the press has discovered that this is not a good thing.
At least when Republicans do it:
With McCain passing up the opportunity to level any tough personal shots in his first two debates and the very real prospect of an Obama presidency setting in, the sort of hard-core partisan activists who turn out for campaign events are venting in unusually personal terms.The above, from Jonathan Martin of Politico, is noteworthy in this respect; examples of how unhinged the crowd at these events are center on one, lone individual shouting out something idiotic? "Terrorist, screamed ONE man." Or "He's a liar yelled A woman."
"Terrorist!” one man screamed Monday at a New Mexico rally after McCain voiced the campaign’s new rhetorical staple aimed at raising doubts about the Illinois senator: “Who is the real Barack Obama?”
"He's a damn liar!” yelled a woman Wednesday in Pennsylvania. "Get him. He's bad for our country."
At both stops, there were cries of, “Nobama,” picking up on a phrase that has appeared on yard signs, T-shirts and bumper stickers. And Thursday, at a campaign town hall in Wisconsin, one Republican brought the crowd to its feet when he used his turn at the microphone to offer a soliloquy so impassioned it made the network news and earned extended play on Rush Limbaugh’s program.
“I’m mad; I’m really mad!” the voter bellowed. “And what’s going to surprise ya, is it’s not the economy — it’s the socialists taking over our country.”
And Oh my God! Bumper stickers and chants of "NoBama." Quick, call the Secret Service before it's too late.
There doesn't appear to be chanting and screaming for Obama's head. There aren't calls to round up Democrats and throw them in a concentration camp. There are no racial insults being thrown.
This entire issue is a mirage .
Some McCain campaign officials are becoming concerned about the hostility that attacks against Sen. Obama are whipping up among Republican supporters. During an internal conference call Thursday, campaign officials discussed how the tenor of the crowds has turned on the media and on Sen. Obama.
Someone yelled "Off with his head" at a rally Wednesday for Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin in Pennsylvania. Later that day in Ohio, a man stood outside a rally holding a sign that said "Obama, Osama." At a rally in Jacksonville, Fla., on Tuesday, someone in the crowd wore a T-shirt depicting Sen. Obama wearing a devil mask.
Again, "SOMEONE yelled" off with his head. I didn't realize that one person quoting the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland meant that the GOP was committing a crime against humanity. And one idiot holding a sign that connected our messiah with a terrorist? Yes, there are some GOP nincompoops out there. Does anyone wonder what kind of ignoramuses are on the fringes of Obama rallies?
And would someone please arrest that "someone" in the crowd who dared depict Obama in a devil mask? A capital crime, it is.
Funny that when the President of the United States is burned in effigy. Or when his advisors are depicted as evil in any number of ways. Or conservatives in general are mocked, demonized, routinely referred to as fascists or authoritarian lovers, or mindless robots - or it is even suggested that Bush, Cheney, and conservatives be rounded up and shot - none of this seems to make quite the same impression on our Guardians of Civility in Politics in the press.
This is absolutely shameless. ALL Americans are mad at the moment. But to characterize crowds that attend McCain/Palin rallies as "mobs" by taking something that one or two fools shout out totally out of context is a deliberate attempt to scare undecided and swing voters into rejecting the GOP candidate. It is a despicable tactic and they should be called out on it.
Where have these people been for the last 8 years? Any kind of hatefilled rant against conservatives or the president appears to be perfectly acceptable to the press. All one need do is listen to Nancy Pelosi's floor speech immediately prior to the first bailout vote. She was accusing the president and Republicans of deliberately starting the economic crisis to satisfy their greed. I don't recall the press getting upset about that little performance.
Nor do I recall reading what one person might have shouted out at a Kerry or Obama rally about Bush or McCain. All sorts of shouts go up at political rallies. And yet all of a sudden - just in time to counter McCain's attack on Obama for his Ayers association - we get this grossly exaggerated, unfair, wildly selective attack on McCain hiding behind crocodile tears being shed because some people are mean to The One.
What a crock.
I've got more on this execrable meme on my own site.
Update: Thomas Lifson on the infiltration of GOP rallies.
Update -- Clarice Feldman writes: