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Sunday, October 12, 2008

John Lewis: McCain and Palin Playing With Fire

From my former boss, Congressman John Lewis:

"What I am seeing reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history. Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse. George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama...

As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all. They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better.



Anonymous Michael Westmoreland-White said...

I agree with Lewis, although I think invoking Wallace' name allowed idiots like Sen. Graham (R-SC) to accuse Lewis of "playing the race card," despite McCain's calling Lewis' a "wise man" whom he will consult if elected back when he did Saddleback.

I think this is too late for McCain to win, but not too late for violence--either against Obama or against African-American voters (or Arab-Americans, Muslims, etc.--since Obama is linked with all these "dangerous others."). This is worse even than G.W. Bush--who, at least stopped this line of rhetorich after 9/11.

I'm very worried. Obama could inherit not only all the other messes, but a country nearly ungovernable.

The Secret Service should tell McCain to cut it out since he's making their job of protecting Obama harder.

McCain tried to dial some supporters back and was booed--but then we find that VA McCain volunteers are being TRAINED to compare Obama to Osama! This is VERY dangerous.

More and more Republicans are going to have to tell McCain/Palin to stop it or they will abandon their support.

This is NOT "putting country first," not when it endangers the social fabric of the country.

Shame on John McCain. He has besmirched the uniform he once wore. Whatever happened to the days when McCain called Falwell and Robertson "agents of intolerance?"

12:01 PM

Blogger Georgia Mountain Man said...

I know what Lewis meant, but I think an experienced politician such as he, should know better than to invoke Wallace's name. He should know that the Republicans will use his words against Obama. Before they are through, they will be saying that Obama said it through Lewis. He should have let McCain's and Palin's actions speak for themselves. The American public can see that they are playing in the mud and inciting their followers.

2:37 PM

Anonymous Lee said...

It appears that the American people are reacting to this rhetoric of McCain-Palin by moving toward support for Obama. As the Republican ticket has become more shrill, the polls, including the ones the campaigns rely on for information with regard to allocating resources, show Obama gaining support. You never know. The "Swift-Boating" approach of Bush worked to cut Kerry out of just enough votes to win the election in 2004.

The violent reaction to those attending McCain rallies is frightening. Here you have people standing up, advocating a Machiavellian approach to winning the presidency, a "whatever it takes including lying if you have to" in order to win. That is far more frightening than anything the vague phrase cited by conservatives, "Obama scares me" would imply. Angry conservatives lead to the Timothy McVeigh's of the world.

4:55 PM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Lewis has a good point, but the Wallace thing took it into hyperbole, which doesn't help his cause one bit.

Anyway, at least this election seems to be proving the one thing I believe to be truer than anything else about American voters: all we really care about are our pocketbooks.

11:10 PM

Blogger Ken Coffee said...

Invoking race is always the ace-in-the-hole for the radical left. Now, if anyone disagrees with Senator Obama on anything, someone calls it racist. There is enough shame to go around. There are a lot of angry people out there these days and the rhetoric from both sides does little to further the discourse and alleviate the rancor.

12:00 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...


When a Civil Rights hero such as John Lewis, a man who is respected by millions, invokes "race" - perhaps it's time for folks to start listening.

"Radical Left" is a derogatory label that John Lewis doesn't wear.

His comments may not have been politically helpful for Barack Obama. Hyperbole or not, the time was right for someone with the credibility of John Lewis to speak out against McCain's recent tactics and what has been going on at his rallies.

6:13 PM

Blogger Georgia Mountain Man said...

I agree that it was good for a man of Lewis' experience to speak out. However, using examples of racist activities wasn't wise. I don't think McCain and the Bimbo's inciteful remarks were racially motivated. I think Lewis could have put his remarks in a different context and still made his point. Too many people in this politically explosive time are too ready to jump on racially toned remarks, especially with Obama in the position he is in.

7:37 PM

Blogger Alexis said...

I actually think it was a good metaphor for John Lewis to use. Given that individuals at McCain/Palin rallies have said such inflammatory things as "Bomb Obama", I think that the analysis of Wallace inciting individuals to violence is incredibly apt.

McCain and Palin ARE playing with fire. They are playing to a base using fear. We've had too many instances in our history where fear was used to turn humanity against each other in violent ways. The campaign needs to be a little bit more responsible.

8:18 AM

Blogger Cat's Dad said...

Obama's been playing the race card since the primaries--just ask Bill Clinton.

William Ayres is the closest in this race (race, as in contest, not skin color)we have to the Timothy McVeighs of the world, and I think he's Obama's friend.

And warm, fuzzy James Carville is the one who insinuates big riot trouble lies ahead . . . if McCain wins.

ACORD is blatantly registering 7-year olds and felons multiple times.

So, which side is playing--no, setting--fires?

3:11 PM

Blogger foxofbama said...

I got to come down with Ga Mtn man on this one.
As for Cat's Dad; have him take a look at the Frank Rich article in the NY Times today about the real terrorism in this campaign.
As for Ayers, he was on an education board in South Carolina with the governor who was classmate of Mac Brunson or thereabouts, so I guess FBC Dallas is a terrorist organization as well.
Come to think of it, in 1956 it certifiably was.

3:42 PM

Blogger Cat's Dad said...

No, Fox, I don't think we need to come down on second-level associations, just real friends.

'Bama and Georgia: Isn't "Bimbo" a gender slur? Just because you Dems don't a woman veep doesn't mean Republicans shouldn't, does it?

3:23 PM

Anonymous Karen G said...

So Palin is a Bimbo, Lindsey Graham is an idiot, McCain and Palin are inciting violence and endangering the fabric of the country, shameful McCain has besmirched his uniform, and all this "racially-toned" Republican slime and crowd violence and linking Obama to "others" and fear-mongering could lead to Timothy McVeigh, so Lewis used a good metaphor to n-word-using uber-racist George Wallace, maybe went a little far but the time was right for it.

And the post was about what?

9:35 AM


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