Have you left no sense of decency?

These words spoken more than a half century ago about one of the Senate’s most vicious hate mongers have new relevance to Senator John McCain. Who we have largely taken to be a decent man has descended into the most dangerous attack on a fellow candidate in recent times. It is time he rescue his honor, remove Sarah Palin from his ticket and offer an apology to America and Senator Obama specifically. He has disgraced himself and unleashed forces that portend evil.

Palin’s irresponsible claim that Obama is a terrorist can fairly be interpreted as summoning up the crowd’s responsive calls for harm to his person. It is one thing to decry what proves to be a weak link between Senator Obama and William Ayers. It is quite another to claim that because of any such association Obama is a terrorist. That is irresponsible and beneath the dignity of the American people.

We should have gotten a clue of what the real purpose of naming Palin when as Frank Rich points out in the New York Times , she quoted Westbrook Pegler, a man who called for someone to splatter Bobby Kennedy’s brains; a man for whom hatred was the serum of life. We might have been wary when she told us she didn’t care what anyone asked she would say what she wanted heard.

Sarah Palin’s lack of contact with mainstream America of so many values and issues is troubling enough, but for her to become the cheerleader for hatred is beyond the pale. She has raised to the surface that strange brew of racism and violence unique to America in a way that is at once dangerous and insidious.

That senator McCain allows this horrible woman to spew hatred is unconscionable. It is both beneath his own standards but a complete repudiation of the one good attribute his candidacy once offered America – his willingness to bridge our divides. All that is gone, sacrificed to the evil god of ambition and hunger for power.

It would be nice to pretend that McCain is the victim of an out of control campaign and that he retains his basic goodness, but I can no longer do so. Many of us have long worried that his well known volatile temper would be a danger for anyone in the office of President. What we, or at least I, did not discern that his temper would find outlet through a woman of such little character as Sarah Palin.

This is a governor who was so petty as to use her influence to fire a former brother in law for personal reasons. This is a governor who doesn’t have a clue about what 90% of America deals with on a daily basis. She is either rather dumb or just not interested in using her mental resources. She is a joke that allows for no laughter.

All of that can be put into a “that’s politics” container – after all we made it through Dan Quayle. But it cannot be tolerated in modern America that she be allowed to work crowds into a lynch mob mentality where it is acceptable to call for killing the opposition candidate. It cannot be tolerated that McCain publicly asks for calm while his ads speak hatred and he retains the mistress of hate to share his ticket.

It is time for McCain to replace Sarah Palin or resign from it himself. Just as the junior Senator from Wisconsin brought dishonor to the Senate, McCain has brought dishonor to his party, the Senate and the electoral process.

Comments

  1. DonKrieger

    Betrayal:

    With this ad, and with his fear engendering robocalls, Senator McCain betrays both his supporters and his opponents.

    Senator McCain is shouting “fire” at the top of his lungs in crowded theater. How will those who are frightened by his shouting react to the election of President Obama? How can they fail to live with dread?

    And how will those who are unmoved by Senator McCain’s charges react to the election of President McCain? How can they fail to view him as having given up all of his integrity and honor?

    George W. Bush did a far better job of convincing us that he would be an acceptable president with his committment to “compassionate conservatism.” Senator McCain has long since given up on his claims of “reaching across the aisle” or “unifying the nation.”

    This ad and the William Ayers robocall are clear representatives of unacceptable political messages. They are over the line, not because they are lies, but because the undermine the presidency of both candidates.

    And they are financed with public money since Senator McCain accepted public financing. Our money need not be used in this way. The law should reflect that. If a candidate wishes to excercise his/her free speech rights in this way, they should do so on their own dime. And since the RNC is controlled by the Presidential candidate of the party, the candidate should be fined if the RNC places ads of this nature for him/her.

    Finally, why is there a Federal “do not call” list which only applies to “for profit” callers? We have been getting robocalls several times each day because we live in Pennsylvania. We don’t pick up, but the messages are run onto our answering machine. The “do not call” list should apply to non-profits as well.

    Don Krieger
    Pittsburgh, PA
    http://publicservice.evendon.com
    Everything is free and permanent.

  2. Phil Hoskins

    Well this is very far off topic, but I will risk the “he’s old” label and comment on the Kent State issue.

    First, it was clearly not national policy to shoot protesters. But I can attest from personal experience that beatings, arrests and harassment of various kinds was very much national policy.

    Remember Chicago? Oakland?

    Phil Hoskins

  3. gazelle1929

    The point I have been trying to make was that the Kent State Massacre was not a national policy of the United States, nor was it anything more than an isolated incident. From the wiki article:

    “There was a significant national response to the shootings: hundreds of universities, colleges, and high schools closed throughout the United States due to a student strike of eight million students, and the event further divided the country, at this already socially contentious time, along political lines.”

    Think about that. Eight million students. Out of a population of 203 million. That means that one out of 25 people in the United States participated in this strike in protest of Kent State. Had the Government wanted an excuse to crack down, it could have done so. In many countries throughout the world there would have been massive attacks on the strikers with equally massive fatalities.

    This whole subthread started when Ladywolf said that the Government turned on “it’s (sic) peaceful protesters” and killed them. I pointed out, quite correctly, that it was not a peaceful protest.

    And the bit about Sergeant Pryor:

    The four people who were killed were all over 85 yards away from the Guardsmen. Of the wounded, only two were less than 70 yards away, and one was 250 yards away. I assume some of you may have fired a Colt .45 pistol. At anything over 100 feet just about the only way you could hit anything aimed at is by accident. Granted there were a hell of a lot of people surrounding the troops, but isn’t it strange that almost no one really close by was shot? Does that not lend credence to the possibility that the Guardsmen were shooting more to scare than to do bodily damage?

    I will also point out that the National Guard troops were combat troops, neither trained nor equipped to deal with crowd control.

  4. ekaton

    “I’d like to add a note of sarcasm here: Throwing stones amounts to a reasonable excuse to kill 4 and wound 9 people with guns.”

    This seems to be the operative standing order for the Israeli military as well. Apoligies for going off topic.

    — Kent Shaw

  5. martman

    Your recollection of the happenings around Kent State are very cherry picked. Let us not forget that the Ohio Guard at the time tried to claim that snipers were firing on them in order to cover up this massacre.

    “The Adjutant General of the Ohio National Guard told reporters that a sniper had fired on the guardsmen, which itself remains a debated allegation. Many guardsmen later testified that they were in fear for their lives, which was questioned partly because of the distance of the wounded students. Time magazine later concluded that “triggers were not pulled accidentally at Kent State”. The President’s Commission on Campus Unrest avoided probing the question regarding why the shootings happened. Instead, it harshly criticized both the protesters and the Guardsmen, but it concluded that “the indiscriminate firing of rifles into a crowd of students and the deaths that followed were unnecessary, unwarranted, and inexcusable.””

    As for your defending Ohio’s National Guard:
    “Ohio National Guard barbarian dies

    Myron Pryor is dead — a leader of Kent State death squad in 1970

    The AKRON BEACON JOURNAL has reported the August 1, 2002, death of 71-year-old Myron C. “Mike” Pryor, a leader of the death squad of killer National Guardsmen at Kent State University on May 4, 1970. Pryor was photographed firing his pistol left-handed in front of the other rifle-killers of Troop G at Kent State.

    Too bad the newspaper obituary failed to even mention he was in the Ohio National Guard and only mentioned his 30 years experience in the “US Army”. Fortunately, some of us remember and know the pitiful history of this guy, the late Sgt. Myron “Mike” Pryor.

    Here is a more proper obituary for this despicable, wasted person named Myron J. “Mike” Pryor:

    Sgt. Myron Pryor was a beady-eyed, bald, 41-year-old Ohio National Guardsman in 1970. He was an experienced military “leader” with previous deadly action against African-Americans in bloodshed during Cleveland’s ghetto “riots” in the mid-1960s. Pryor was one of many very experienced, older guardsmen at Kent State which disproves the myth that the Kent State killers were just young, inexperienced triggermen.

    This hard-core guy was later plagued by severe guilt which contributed to his hard-drinking habit. After 1970, “Uncle Mike” Pryor was in charge of the Ohio National Guard unit’s headquarters in Barberton. Sometimes he would frequent bars in my Barberton hometown where he was known to drunkenly approach strangers and proclaim his “innocence” at Kent State.

    Pryor claimed he never fired his powerful .45 caliber pistol during the 13 seconds of deadly mayhem when 67 shots were fired into our crowd of unarmed students. However, photographs indicate he fired his weapon and ejected spent .45 caliber bullet-shell cartridges there at the scene of the crime. Others claim he fired his weapon and then switched guns with another guardsman to conceal his guilt.

    Ohio National Guardsman Sgt. Myron Pryor has gone to hell where he joins others responsible for the Kent State massacre, including former Ohio Governor James Rhodes and Ohio National Guard generals Robert Canterbury and Silvester Del Corso. In Kent, Ohio, people remain hopeful that other guardsmen still alive will not also take the truth about Kent State to their graves.

    To see the late Sgt. Myron Pryor in action firing his pistol out in front of his fellow-killers during the Kent State massacre, check this well-known photograph taken by KSU journalism student John Darnell on May 4, 1970:

    http://www.library.kent.edu/exhibits/4may95/box113/113exhibit34.html

    I’d like to add a note of sarcasm here: Throwing stones amounts to a reasonable excuse to kill 4 and wound 9 people with guns.

  6. Carl Nemo

    My apologies gazelle 1929 for my negative comments towards your post. It’s foolish for me to rant about something that happened so long ago and to vent on you. I think I was simply having a “sore arch” evening. It won’t happen again.

    I’m happy to hear you are supporting Obama although that in no way influenced my need to apologize.

    Carl Nemo **==

  7. ekaton

    Sadly, the only thing this government seems to understand is violence. How many more tax dollar thefts are we to allow? Complaining about these fascist actions obviously doesn’t work. Peaceful demonstrations are ignored. “Free speech zones” far from the protested events are provided for ignored demonstrations. How many more trillions must be spent on illegal wars for “American Interests” otherwise known as tax dollar gouging crony capitalists? How many more trillions must be spent to bail out so-called private enterprises whose losses should be borne by stockholders but are assigned to taxpayers instead? Peaceful demonstrations don’t work. Voting doesn’t work. How many more times before the sleeping beast awakens? Or is the beast not sleeping, just dead?

    — Kent Shaw

  8. gazelle1929

    Dear Ladywolf:

    You asked me to get my facts straight. These are the facts that I set forth previously.

    “Sorry, they were hardly peaceful protesters. At least one of the Guardsmen had just been injured by a thrown rock. They had been pelted all morning, and several said they felt justified in shooting because they were in fear for their lives. And if you look at the distance the dead students were from the firing line, you can make a very good case that the troops were firing over the heads of those closer to them.

    “Remember, that riot had been going on for days, and at least one building was torched, firefighters were pelted with rocks and had their hoses slashed.”

    Please point out to me which facts are incorrect and your citation to a credible site to support that conclusion. I based my statement of facts on the wikipedia.org article on the incident.

    I suppose I could have made the first sentence say “The rioters facing the Naitonal Guardsmen were hardly peaceful protesters.” But the “they” referred not to the victims but to the protesters. If spending three days torching at least one building, trashing cars, throwing stones, cutting fire hoses, etc., is peaceful I wonder what you would consider a violent demonstration.

    I disagree with your conclusion that the Guardsmen were cowards on an ego trip. They were a few scared scared young men, 77 in all, most of them not much older than the hundredss of rioters who surrounded them. throwing rocks and tear gas canisters at the guardsmen. Of those 77, 29 fired a total of 67 bullets.

    If I have any facts wrong, please correct them rather than firing nasty-grams at me.

  9. Ladywolf55

    Rocks against guns. The Guardsmen were COWARDS of the worst sort, on a power trip.

    The people who were killed were not all being aggressive. One was shot in the back, another was just a student walking to class, not even involved in the demonstrations. Although some of the protesters were not peaceful, I admit, some of the ones killed by our own government weren’t even involved in the protest. They were innocents.

    You will find the facts here:

    http://dept.kent.edu/sociology/lewis/lewihen.htm

    You, Gazelle1929, need to get your facts straight before posting.

  10. gazelle1929

    I said it was OK for a guardsman to shoot a citizen? Shirley, you jest. I said no such thing. Go back and look. All I did was try to show a big picture aspect to it. It was the only incident of its kind during the entire period and people here keep bringing it up to show how big and bad the Federal Government is/was.

    Your conclusion is incorrect:

    I ask questions and get no answers. This makes me bad somehow? For having the temerity to question supposed facts and to impale on the lance of scrutiny the often times strange ideas set forth here? Ideas like 9/11 having been planned by the Bush Administration. Little things like that. I ask for clarification and get nothing but obfuscation. I ask for citations to support facts alleged here and get things like the post above. But I continue to ask because it might make one or two others ask questions and challenge the status quo here and elsewhere.

    If you don’t like my questions and comments you are free to ignore me.

    For the record I have been a supporter of Barack Obama since 2004 when he delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. I recognized in him a man who was capable of galvanizing our country, in particularly our younger voters, and turning us away from the toxic sort of politics and politicians who at that time held sway in Washington and elsewhere in the country.

    I will stop calling you Shirley.

  11. Carl Nemo

    Yo gazelle 1929…

    I’ve read your posts over time and have come to the conclusion that you sir, are an “incendiary” poster; ie., an agent provocateur!

    Your thoughts are always totally juxtaposed against common sense with resultant judicious outcomes.

    So now you think it’s okay that a national guardsman should have the authority to shoot a college student that’s pitching rocks at them…NO?!

    Although Kent State is an event of many years past it indicates to me that you are a “reichwing” sympathizer and a supporter of Bushista freedom destroying, retrograde policies.

    “Tragic though it was, the “Massacre” was an isolated incident”…extract from your post

    Tragic > isolated > incident = death to a protestor against an over-reaching government then as now; evidently no big deal by your standards. They were just doing their duty…no?! : |

    I’m sure you are voting for McCain/Palin and you’ll also surely get the government you so sorely deserve in spades!

    Carl Nemo **==

  12. Hoosier_CowBoy

    The NeoCon Noise machine crossed the border between spin, distortion, and outright lying about Obama. They have no shame.

    The level of vitriol has increased markedly within the last two days, and multiplies by the hour.

    I can’t take much more. I will vote early and go out on a whopper of a bender, lapsing periodically into unconsciousness and waking up long enough to get wasted again. I will not watch the boober.

    Hopefully I will wake up to a better post election world, if not, I will be ready for the consequences of a McCain presidency by staying toasted.

    It will be up to the intelligence of the average American voter to discern between truth, spin, distortion, and lying.

    If the process takes more than ten seconds, Obama is in trouble.

  13. bryan mcclellan

    Ah to be far under the magic number 60.
    I remember May 5 1970, Sarge called us together and announced.
    Boys we’ve just invaded Cambodia, drop your c#*ks and grab your socks, pack your grip we’re takin a trip.

    I’m a hair under Richard and I hear you loud and clear,we need the young to interact with because at this very moment our history is being politically corrected and theirs is in peril.

    Great point and a much needed observation. Thank You.

    Just an Ancient Cavalryman.

  14. gazelle1929

    Sorry, they were hardly peaceful protesters. At least one of the Guardsmen had just been injured by a thrown rock. They had been pelted all morning, and several said they felt justified in shooting because they were in fear for their lives. And if you look at the distance the dead students were from the firing line, you can make a very good case that the troops were firing over the heads of those closer to them.

    Remember, that riot had been going on for days, and at least one building was torched, firefighters were pelted with rocks and had their hoses slashed.

    Definitely not a peaceful protest. YCLIU.

    And it was hardly a matter of the Government’s turning on its citizens. This was the only incident that resulted in a death, so far as I know. Tragic though it was, the “Massacre” was an isolated incident.

  15. Ladywolf55

    I am under 60, also. I do remember the 60’s well. I was a young child, but I remember the turmoil, the sadness, fear,the pride in Martin Luther King and his courage (I’m caucasian, but have great pride and admiration in what MLK tried to accomplish), and well remember Kent State where our own government turned on it’s peaceful protesters and killed them. Our government is slightly DIFFERENT today, it’s worse. Beware.

  16. Timr

    Richard, I am under 60. Just because I remember the LBJ Daisy ad-I think that I was in HS or maybe jrHS then-does not make me an old person, could be that some of the commenters looked up on that ol internets-you know, the series of tubes thingy-and that is how they know about how politics was back in the day.

  17. RichardKanePA

    Many the commenters above, talked about what they remembered. I wonder if any of us commenting on this blog are under 60 years old. Perhaps CHB needs to appeal also to younger readers. Perhaps the latest October surprise piece will do that, “node/11569”.
    RichardKanePA

  18. Carl Nemo

    I’m actually glad that McCain/Palin have chosen a path of vile slander against Obama. It is their undoing and will insure victory for Obama. : )

    They’ve crossed the Rubicon and there is no turning back…!

    Carl Nemo **==