Debate Deux

Debate Deux October 8, 2008

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I couldn’t bring myself to watch the whole thing, but I saw a few outtakes of the second presidential debate.

I’ve already seen three mentions in various news stories about McCain’s use of the “that one” phrase in this debate.

Over the past couple of days I’ve been seeing stories about the atmosphere of Palin’s weirdly closed and secretive campaign. One story said the press not only doesn’t get the chance to question Palin, they don’t get the chance to question Palin supporters.

After accusing Obama of “palling around with terrorists,” Palin told a Florida crowd of 8,000 on Monday that Obama “launched his political career in the living room of a domestic terrorist!”

“This is not a man who sees America the way you and I see America,” she said in another Florida appearance. “I’m afraid this is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to work with a former domestic terrorist who had targeted his own country.”

A Washington Post columnist, Dana Milbank, said today

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.”

I’ve been watching the partisan divide in America widen over the past 10 years or so, and I don’t see that widening as the result of anything liberals or moderates are doing. It seems more a result of the conservative base rocketing off ever rightward. Clearly, since Sept. 11, 2001, right-wingers have considered those who disagree with them to be traitors and terrorist-sympathizers, if not outright terrorists themselves.

I was thinking tonight that if I were at a Palin appearance and had the chance to ask her a question, the question would be: “How will you feel if the result of your careless campaign rhetoric is to get candidate Obama – or even President Obama – killed?”

Palin and McCain are out to win at any cost, and I don’t think they have any idea of the damage they’re doing, what sort of flames they’re fanning. Nor do I think they care, any more than Bill O’Reilly cares, or any of the other puppetmasters of rage on the right.

These people scare the holy heck out of me. I’ve said many times I believe they’re capable of anything imaginable. In their pursuit of power and, I imagine, safety from investigation and probable prosecution (I’m talking here about the crew  who have inhabited the White House over the past 8 years), they could do anything.

They’d bring down an entire nation just to keep themselves safe and wealthy.


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