I'd like to give a shout-out to the Pittsburgh police. I know nothing about the officers who worked this case, but it seems unlikely that they are all Democrats, all Republicans, or all any political anything. They are professionals, and they did their jobs. If they hadn't, some tall black man who was just going to the store or taking a walk could have ended up in jail.But it took an especially big brain like the on sitting on top of Marcy Wheeler's head to really flesh this story out with some contemporary perspective as she reflected on sitting on the story.
I'd also like to give a shout-out to all the people who held off on this, and to Michelle Malkin, who did a lot to keep this story from getting completely out of hand. To the people who jumped on the bandwagon: think about the responsibilities that come with having an audience. When a story like this hits, you can try to convince people to withhold judgment until the facts are in, or you can lose your head along with everyone else. It seems like a pretty clear choice to me.
And to McCain's Pennsylvania communications director: now would be a good time to decide to spend more time with your family.
But as I researched this all day, I found myself to be less and less outraged about the McCain campaign's response to this specifically and increasingly outraged over McCain's response to John Lewis' rebuke of McCain's campaign tactics. As a reminder, Lewis said,Like Hilzoy and Marcy, I have to confess that of all people I must give credit to Michelle Malkin who resisted the bait on this one, which did a lot to encourage me to keep my powder dry and no doubt influenced a lot of others to wait for more facts to come in. (Here's a rare approving link to Michelle. She has a lot more rehabilitation to complete before I ever become a "fan," but she get's cudo's for this one.)
As one who was a victim of violence and hate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign. 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.
During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate. 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.
McCain, of course, lashed out at Lewis (and Obama) in response, ignoring his larger message about conditions that encourage things like Ashely Todd's race-baiting.
You see, as I researched this today, and concluded that--thus far--we have no evidence yet the McCain campaign did anything more than irresponsibly (but not surprisingly) push details it believed to be true, the part of Lewis' statement that talked about the "conditions that encourage vicious attacks" resonated more and more. As Scarecrow reminded me with this link today, Lewis' own history, and that of George Wallace, is a lot more ambivalent and ultimately extended far beyond Wallace's own violence. At this point, all of us have been thrust into a climate that encourages vicious attacks--and guarantees that vicious race-baiters like Ashley Todd will be guaranteed her 15 minutes of infamy.
Pam Geller of Atlas Shrugs is another story. This lady really gives anything she's associated with a bad name. Unsurprisingly she happily went down crazy lane and insisted on staying there well after Todd's outrageous claims were retracted because, well, you know a lot of other stuff she and her fellow inmates have accused Obama and his evil Democrat supporters of might be true -- but are covered up by the anti-Israel, anti-Atlas, anti-John Bolton international media conspiracy. I'm still waiting for Pam to escape from her cage and "bitchslap" Ashley.
Her non-retraction and failure to condemn her compatriots who pushed this story in the 'spere and in the McCain campaign which gratuitously added the blood liable lie to the travesty merely reinforces my long held conclusion that Geller requires psychological treatment, as much if not more than Ms. Todd.
It's in this way, with the disintegration of the conservative movement, Christopher Buckley's "Pup" may get his wish, the "kooks" are indeed being separated from the herd.