Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pit-bulls on parade

After Chicago it was a nice change to hear a few different things in the news other than The Campaign - things like the FTSE and Rooney's form. But now, just as I'm getting ready to start listening to it again, and just when I thought it was relatively clean, it's turning nasty. Here's Frank Rich in the NYT today:

'[...] what has pumped up the Weimar-like rage at McCain-Palin rallies is the violent escalation in rhetoric, especially (though not exclusively) by Palin. Obama “launched his political career in the living room of a domestic terrorist.” He is “palling around with terrorists” (note the plural noun). Obama is “not a man who sees America the way you and I see America.” Wielding a wildly out-of-context Obama quote, Palin slurs him as an enemy of American troops.

By the time McCain asks the crowd “Who is the real Barack Obama?” it’s no surprise that someone cries out “Terrorist!” The rhetorical conflation of Obama with terrorism is complete. It is stoked further by the repeated invocation of Obama’s middle name by surrogates introducing McCain and Palin at these rallies. This sleight of hand at once synchronizes with the poisonous Obama-is-a-Muslim e-mail blasts and shifts the brand of terrorism from Ayers’s Vietnam-era variety to the radical Islamic threats of today.

That’s a far cry from simply accusing Obama of being a guilty-by-association radical leftist. Obama is being branded as a potential killer and an accessory to past attempts at murder. “Barack Obama’s friend tried to kill my family” was how a McCain press release last week packaged the remembrance of a Weather Underground incident from 1970 — when Obama was 8.'

Not that I'm entirely in favour of that particular legislation, but I don't think that sort of talk is permitted in the UK these days. But then, neither are pit-bulls.

No comments: