Hello Bloggers - If you read my earlier posts you would understand why I would like to agree completely with Rep. John Lewis (D) of Georgia, veteran of the civil rights movement, who said over the weekend that the negative tone of the McCain presidential campaign reminds him of the "hateful atmosphere that segregationist Gov. George Wallace fostered in Alabama in the 1960s."
One example is the photo accompanying this post. It was quietly released by the McCain campaign accompanying some daily news, and Reuters used it online. Say it so John? I don't care what you say, that photo is designed to anger Appalachian swing voters
Self-righteous McCain called Lewis' remarks "shocking and beyond the pale" on Saturday. Really Senator, how? Unfortunately the Obama campaign responded by saying the he doesn't believe McCain or his policy criticism is at all comparable to Wallace and his segregationist policies. Barack, that's not what John Lewis was trying to say. He said that he was creating a similar "hateful atmosphere."
I agree with Lewis that McCain and Palin are "sowing the seeds of hatred and division," and there is "no need for this hostility in our political discourse." He rightly said that "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."
Late Saturday, Lewis released another statement saying it was not his "intention or desire" to directly compare McCain or Palin to Wallace. I agree, he never said that. It was the stupid campaigns saying it. Lewis was being more general.
"My statement was a reminder to all Americans that toxic language can lead to destructive behavior," he said. "I am glad that Sen. McCain has taken some steps to correct divisive speech at his rallies. I believe we need to return to civil discourse in this election about the pressing economic issues that are affecting our nation."
McCain's response was absurd. "I am saddened that John Lewis, a man I've always admired, would make such a brazen and baseless attack on my character and the character of the thousands of hardworking Americans who come to our events to cheer for the kind of reform that will put America on the right track." You liar, he didn't attack your character or your supporters, just the atmosphere you were allowing to develop around you.
Reuters reported in August that McCain, while appearing at a forum on faith, was asked to name three "wise people" he would listen to. He cited Lewis as well as Gen. David Petreaus, head of U.S. troops in Iraq, and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, a top adviser to his campaign. In my opinion, he needs to listen to Lewis' wisdom now and stop driving the hate machine.
Monday's Political Rant #1 - Michael