Sacramento County Republicans call for torturing Barack Obama.
Some random people at an anti-McCain rally wore mean t-shirts.
According to Marty Peretz, these two things are probably roughly equivalent.
There is a reason that people think that McCain supporters are getting crazy as all hell. It is because they are, in fact, crazy as all hell. Simply put, crowds of people declaring the opposition a murderer who not only wants to kill them, but also is deserving of repeated torture for such perfidy.
What makes McCain’s campaign so frightening, besides the whole specter of him leading the free world, is the fact that he’s decided to play full bore into the inherent resentment of the GOP base as his chances for winning have waned so rapidly. It’s like the Clinton years, except that whereas Clinton was simply a bad person guilty of many terrible things, Obama is supposed to be part and parcel of a system of evil that has murdered thousands of people. He’s provoking (and then not provoking, and then provoking all over again) a movement that’s perfectly fine with seeing opposition not as existential threats but as real, legitimate threats to their persons who are more likely than not worthy of being met with violence. Terrorists aren’t people you simply dislike and speak out against – you kill those motherfuckers.
It’s why the silly narcissism of McCain’s negativity is so insipid – McCain doesn’t want to seem like he’s the bad person that he is, so he leaks fights about going negative that show him in the best light but also push forward the narrative that he’s allegedly debating over. The only difference between “McCain raises Wright” and “McCain debates raising Wright” is that you can play the latter in the media a lot longer than the former.
Either McCain needs to admit that he is who he is or apologize for what he’s done, but it’s the worst kind of moral cowardice to be the bad man you’re saying you’re not and to attempt to profit from both the act and the denial. Or he can just continue to not judge what’s happening until he sees the “full context” under which a campaign co-chair called Obama a giant Jew-hater.