Panic attacks: Voters unload at GOP rallies

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

    71,621 Messages
    14,146 Likes Received
    Jonathan Martin
    Fri Oct 10, 5:44 AM ET

    The unmistakable momentum behind Barack Obama's campaign, combined with worry that John McCain is not doing enough to stop it, is ratcheting up fears and frustrations among conservatives.


    And nowhere is this emotion on plainer display than at Republican rallies, where voters this week have shouted out insults at the mention of Obama, pleaded with McCain to get more aggressive with the Democrat and generally demonstrated the sort of visceral anger and unease that reflects a party on the precipice of panic.

    The calendar is closing and the polls, at least right now, are not.

    With McCain passing up the opportunity to level any tough personal shots in his first two debates and the very real prospect of an Obama presidency setting in, the sort of hard-core partisan activists who turn out for campaign events are venting in unusually personal terms.

    "Terrorist!” one man screamed Monday at a New Mexico rally after McCain voiced the campaign’s new rhetorical staple aimed at raising doubts about the Illinois senator: “Who is the real Barack Obama?”

    "He's a damn liar!” yelled a woman Wednesday in Pennsylvania. "Get him. He's bad for our country."

    At both stops, there were cries of, “Nobama,” picking up on a phrase that has appeared on yard signs, t-shirts and bumper stickers.

    And Thursday, at a campaign town hall in Wisconsin, one Republican brought the crowd to their feet when he used his turn at the microphone to offer a soliloquy so impassioned it made the network news and earned extended play on Rush Limbaugh’s program.

    “I’m mad, I’m really mad!” the voter bellowed. “And what’s going to surprise ya, is it’s not the economy – it’s the socialists taking over our country.”

    After the crowd settled down he was back at it. “When you have an Obama, Pelosi and the rest of the hooligans up there gonna run this country, we gotta have our head examined!”

    Such contempt for Democrats is, of course, nothing new from conservative activists. But in 2000 and 2004, the Republican rank-and-file was more apt to ridicule Gore as a stiff fabulist or Kerry as an effete weathervane of a politician.

    “Flip-flop, flip-flop,” went the cry at Republican rallies four years ago, often with footwear to match the chant.

    Now, though, the emotion on display is unadulterated anger rather than mocking.

    Activists outside rallies openly talk about Obama as a terrorist, citing his name and purported ties to Islam in the fashion of the viral emails that have rocketed around the Internet for over a year now.

    Some of this activity is finding its way into the events, too.

    On Thursday, as one man in the audience asked a question about Obama’s associations, the crowd erupted in name-calling.

    "Obama Osama!" one woman called out.

    And twice this week, local officials have warmed up the crowd by railing against “Barack Hussein Obama.”

    Both times, McCain’s campaign has issued statements disavowing the use of the Democrat’s full name.
    A McCain aide said they tell individuals speaking before every event not to do so. “Sometimes people just do what they want,” explained the aide.

    The raw emotions worry some in the party who believe the broader swath of swing voters are far more focused on their dwindling retirement accounts than on Obama’s background and associations and will be turned off by footage of the McCain events.

    John Weaver, McCain’s former top strategist, said top Republicans have a responsibility to temper this behavior.

    “People need to understand, for moral reasons and the protection of our civil society, the differences with Senator Obama are ideological, based on clear differences on policy and a lack of experience compared to Senator McCain,” Weaver said. “And from a purely practical political vantage point, please find me a swing voter, an undecided independent, or a torn female voter that finds an angry mob mentality attractive.”

    “Senator Obama is a classic liberal with an outdated economic agenda. We should take that agenda on in a robust manner. As a party we should not and must not stand by as the small amount of haters in our society question whether he is as American as the rest of us. Shame on them and shame on us if we allow this to take hold.”

    But, if it were up to them, such hard-edged tactics are clearly what many in the party base would like to use against Obama.

    That McCain has so far seemed reluctant to do so has frustrated Republicans.

    “It's time that you two are representing us, and we are mad,” reiterated the boisterous Republican at McCain’s town hall in Wisconsin Thursday. “So go get 'em!”

    "I am begging you, sir, I am begging you -- take it to him," pleaded James T. Harris, a local talk radio host at the same event, earning an extended standing ovation.

    “Yosemite Sam is having the law laid down to him today in Waukesha, Wisconsin,” quipped Limbaugh on his show Thursday, referring to the GOP nominee. “This guy, this audience member is exactly right,” the conservative talk show host said of the first individual.

    “You are running for president. You have a right to defend this country. You have a responsibility to defend this country and not just fulfill some dream you had eight years ago running for president against Bush. It's time to start naming names and explain what's actually going on, because Senator McCain, the people of this country are dead scared about what we face if you lose.”

    John J. Pitney Jr., a political science professor at California’s Claremont McKenna College and former Republican operative, suggested core Republicans were acting out their longstanding frustrations with their self-proclaimed maverick nominee.

    “McCain has always frustrated the Republican base,” Pitney said. “In this campaign, he has alternated between partisan attacks and calls for bipartisan cooperation. It’s nice that he thinks he can round up congressional votes the way a border collie rounds up sheep. But you can’t be a border collie and a pit bull at the same time. The crowds want a pit bull.”

    There is also the belief that taking out Obama is the only way to win.

    “They know that when McCain has taken off the Senate mantle and put the stick to Obama (celebrity ad, as a case in point) we get movement in the polls,” said Rick Wilson, a GOP consultant not working on the presidential race. “They want McCain to call out Obama -- on the Fannie/Freddie mess, on Wright, on Ayers, on guns, on ACORN -- because they know that if McCain says it, it penetrates the MSM filter… .Only McCain and Palin can really drive that message.”

    The two have begun to get more aggressive on many of these topics, with both discussing Ayers in multiple venues Thursday. The RNC is also going up for the first time with an ad featuring the former domestic terrorist.

    It was enough to stir hope that McCain may stay on the offensive, even in Limbaugh who has often criticized the Arizona senator for working with Democrats more than attacking them. The radio host praised his sometimes-nemesis for singling out Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Christopher Dodd as partly responsible for the credit crisis.

    “McCain/Palin fired back today in Waukesha and 15 years of frustration is coming out joyously in the voices of GOP supporters at these rallies,” Limbaugh wrote in an email, arguing that Republicans were fed up with having been portrayed as the bogeyman for myriad issues since the Clinton years.

    But to the exasperation of many in the party, Obama’s pastor, the most damning of all his associations, remains off-limits, at the express desire of McCain. Palin ignored Wright and focused on Ayers when she was asked about the two in an interview Thursday with conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham. And McCain only focused on Ayers when he was asked an open-ended question at the town hall about Obama's “associations.”

    “It is a shame McCain took Wright off the table,” lamented one prominent Republican operative not working on the race. “He is a legitimate issue and we may look back and realize he was the issue that could have changed the race.”

    For now, though, party members don't seem to be looking back with regret as much as fearing what lies ahead.

    “McCain is behind in the polls and the Republicans have no chance of regaining control of Congress,” Pitney noted. “Republicans are facing the prospect of unified Democratic control of the government for the first time since the first two Clinton years. And even then, Clinton’s agenda had moderate elements (e.g., NAFTA and deficit reduction). With Obama, Reid, and Pelosi in power, Republicans worry about a hard push for a hard-left agenda.”

    Amie Parnes contributed to this report.
  2. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

    43,820 Messages
    3,379 Likes Received
    McCain has got to take the gloves off. I wonder if he will- or if he can. And for the life of me I cannot figure out why he doesn't.
  3. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Hunka Hunka Burning BP Staff Member

    66,171 Messages
    11,468 Likes Received
    Because he is probably battling the idea of losing his integrity vs losing this election.

    Or...he might actually be the only one in his campaign or voting base smart enough to realize that every time he goes negative in debates the undecided and uncommitted voters (esp women) don't like it and it hurts him.

    I think the very thing that you, and others want him to do, is the very thing that can actually make this worse for him.
  4. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

    43,820 Messages
    3,379 Likes Received
    Show where you are right about that. I wait with baited breath.
  5. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

    71,621 Messages
    14,146 Likes Received
    The polls for one... But in the article, this stood out as well

  6. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

    85,509 Messages
    8,249 Likes Received
    No doubt many conservatives are frustrated on how McCain is conducting the campaign and feel he has missed several oppertunities to counter Obama and failed to do so. I hear it every day on the local political talk shows. Now what some in the crowd are saying I would agree is way overboard, I make no excuses for those people.
  7. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Hunka Hunka Burning BP Staff Member

    66,171 Messages
    11,468 Likes Received
    During the last debate. They had a group of uncommited Dems, Repubs and Ind voters. Around 25 if I recall.

    They gave then dialers so they could use during the live debate. They would dial up if they liked what the candidate said or dial down if they did not like what the candidate said.

    Almost every time McCain started going negative the lines from the dials when right down. He would be speaking on foreign affairs and he was about as far as you can get on a top line going straight across the board for a good bit and as soon as he mentioned a negative about Obama those lines when right down.

    They would go to the next question and he would start answering, the lines would be going up, he would do another negative about Obama and the lines would basically make a U-Turn.

    Again these were Uncommitted Repubs, Dems and Ind voters not just dems.

    The only group of national voters that is getting whipped up about these negative attacks and messages in their rallies is the very base that was going to vote for them anyways.

    However...keep going negative and it could make things worse than they are right now. McCain, by national polls over all, is down but not out of it, he keeps up with the tactics his Campaign want him to do and he could very fall down so far in the polls that he could very well be out of it before the election.

    Again, the only people that the negative tactics, and their lack of stepping in after some audiences OVER THE TOP comments, is the very base itself.

    You are not a dumb man Burm. We might argue a good deal, You may fail to really read a post before attacking, you may be so far to one side of the spectrum that you do not consider anything from the other...but you are not a dumb man. I think you see how this is going and this game plan by McCain is a hail mary...most times hail marys don't work in the last second of the game...this hail mary shot might not only not work, it may make it worse like getting picked off and returned for a TD.
  8. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

    43,820 Messages
    3,379 Likes Received
    If you lose you lose. Don't lose by not trying everything.

    And as for focus groups I spit on them. They KNOW they are being watched. So frankly I consider them bogus.
  9. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Hunka Hunka Burning BP Staff Member

    66,171 Messages
    11,468 Likes Received
    You really need to go see about getting some meds.
  10. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

    43,820 Messages
    3,379 Likes Received
    They are bogus. ANYONE who KNOWS they are being watched and observed will act differently. THAT is why these FOCUS groups are bogus.
  11. Maikeru-sama

    Maikeru-sama Mick Green 58

    14,547 Messages
    1 Likes Received

    And take Cajun with ya.
  12. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Hunka Hunka Burning BP Staff Member

    66,171 Messages
    11,468 Likes Received
    And I think the same of most politicians but that does not mean I would Spit on them or even imply/infer that I would.

    Well maybe one, but I have been a few feet away from him and did not spit on him so...
  13. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

    71,621 Messages
    14,146 Likes Received
    The mentality expressed in this article is the same I see when people wanted Parcells and now Wade to attack, attack, attack. Well like BP said, there are two sides to that coin. You can get burnt by attacking like that and it seems that everytime McCain does it, he gets burnt.

    IMO, I think it's too late for him to turn the tables now and focus on those things. It's obvious to me, at least, that it hasn't worked.
  14. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

    12,748 Messages
    3 Likes Received
    Get ready for the...

    You Stupid...dumb...ignorant...incabable of understanding Neanderthal.

  15. Temo

    Temo Well-Known Member

    3,846 Messages
    175 Likes Received
    I am an independant... and a guy with an economics background, so you know where my chief concern lies (ie, not social conservatism, but rather fiscal conservatism and free trade).

    At first I was pretty sure I was going to vote for McCain because Obama said some anti- free trade things, and I generally trusted McCain to be middle of the road kinda guy. Plus I trusted him more with Iraq.

    Then he selected Palin as his VP instead of the guy we all know he wanted- Joe Lieberman. It was the ultimate sell out move (no one can tell me that Palin at all embodies McCain's ideology). So I flipped to "undecided" again.

    Then Palin started taking the offensive, seemed to start carrying the message of the campaign instead of McCain. Things have gotten pretty ugly over the past two week, as I see it.

    So now I'm voting for Obama. Take from this what you will, but taking the offensive like this (while it will please the true-blue republicans) will not get people like me to vote for McCain. It's a very risky strategy.
  16. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

    12,748 Messages
    3 Likes Received



  17. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

    23,805 Messages
    2,525 Likes Received
    That is a great quote and right on.
  18. Angus

    Angus Active Member

    5,079 Messages
    10 Likes Received
    McCain would like to have the independents, but the true target for his and Sarah Palin's verbal attack is Obama's character, a matter that is important to all those Reagan Democrats who are still undecided or who can be swayed.

    The reason they are undecided or persuadable is fear that they really don't know who Obama is or where he came from.

    Hillary Clinton would have been ahead by 15 or 20 points at this stage, not because she is really a good candidate for the presidency but because she is a known quantity, like Joe Biden is, more or less.

    There is no valid reason for the Democratic candidate to have not closed the deal -- having a misunderstood and mistrusted Republican incumbant in the White House, a financial meltdown to point to, and a great deal more money to spend on the campaign than McCain -- other than a fear of Obama and his wife as a team and of their true intentions if they win.

    If he is still ahead by no more than 4 or 5 points just before the election, I think he will lose, especially if McCain and Palin keep the character questions at the forefront, which include those of his dishonesty about socialistic or communistic activities and his complicated residential and religious histories.

    They could put Obama in a box. Unless he opens up his past, he stands to lose; but if he does open it up to show his true character, he will certainly lose.

    Catch 22.
  19. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods Zone Supporter

    5,887 Messages
    1,039 Likes Received
    Not just for him but for the party. I think some of the frustration among McCain supporters is the dawning realization that by and large Americans are rejecting what their party currently represents.
  20. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

    23,805 Messages
    2,525 Likes Received
    That is strange because Palin is even less known than Obama.

Share This Page