The Legacy of McCain-Palin: Hate

The postmortem has begun as the GOP regroups and the new President-Elect gets to work. As we move forward, I can’t help but remain upset at what the ‘honorable’ POW and his mavericky running mate wrought upon this country.


And not the kind of hate we bloggers spew from time to time when venting, and not the kind of hate you may feel for higher taxes or broccoli.

No, these two ‘honorable’ mavericks ended their campaign by rallying the fringe portion of their party that lives on death, destruction, and imposing their way on the world at all cost.



We learn today that the US Secret Service, the agency in charge of protecting our President-elect and his family, dealt with an increase in death threats against Barack Obama coinciding with Sarah Palin’s ‘attacks’ on his patriotism.

“The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin’s attacks.”

According to the article, Michelle Obama (my fellow BlogHer) was so upset that she turned to her friend and campaign adviser Valerie Jarrett and said: “Why would they try to make people hate us?”

Now I will be the first to admit that we’ve all seen campaigns attempting to scare the American public for or against one candidate. However, those scares were always against the candidate’s tax plan. Or maybe his foreign policy, or perhaps his stance on abortion.

Those usual and predictable scare tactics weren’t good enough for honorable maverick #1 and #2. They had to go that extra mile and question the very core of exactly what their base was afraid of: who is this black man, with an arab middle name, and could he be the enemy?

Kudos to McCain-Palin because it worked. The fine Americans protecting our President-elect had to deal with an influx of death threats and step up their job.

The fringe whackos who should never end up front and center ended up on every front page, all over YouTube and infecting other Americans with their ignorant and embarrassing rhetoric.

Yes, the legacy of McCain-Palin is now an empowered contingent of this country arming themselves, spreading their lies, and genuinely afraid of the black man in office- because their hero Sarah told them it was OK.

Congrats Mavericks, your plan worked. Now your legacy will forever be tangled in hate, stupidity, and America at her absolute worst.


  1. This kind of thing is what makes me both sad and scared for my son, growing up in a world with people like this. I don’t want him to be a hateful person. Whatever happened to “love thy neighbor?”

  2. Seth Blank / AntiFreeze says:

    What really gets me upset is that McCain’s platform was based upon protecting us from Terrorists, from those who spread hate and fear against America and Americans. And yet, that’s exactly what the Palin camp was doing. Disgusting.

  3. I question whether it is worth giving this kind of thing air on the grounds that it may only serve to further empower those who would do evil.

  4. Thank you for this post. FYI, the Southern Poverty Law Center (where Klanwatch originated) – see – has some instructive comments:

    This election, of course, can never erase the ugly stain of slavery and cannot reverse overnight its terrible, enduring legacy of poverty, discrimination and bigotry.

    Nor does it mark the end of overt hate and racism. The campaign exposed deep hostility and even rage among some white Americans who cannot yet accept the idea of a black man as our nation’s leader. And many white supremacists believe this election will rally white people to their cause, especially when our economy is teetering on the edge of an abyss.

    I hope and believe that they are wrong, that the growing number of Americans who cherish justice and tolerance will drown out the fear and bigotry that have held our country back for too long.

  5. Queen of Spain says:

    I hear what you’re saying Dennis, but I also feel like this is confirmation of what we were all so upset about- and brushed aside as ‘oh, it’s just the whack jobs on both sides’ when really, her rhetoric created a sense of righteousness in these idiots.

    and yes, that was a total run on sentence.

    my point, they need to be exposed for what they are and it needs to be known so it’s never repeated.

  6. The McCain/Palin campaign is probably the scariest thing I’ve witnessed in my lifetime. Even if I agreed with everything on McCain’s political platform (and I did agree with some of it) I still would have voted for Obama for the simple reason that the tone of the McCain/Palin rallies was getting too dangerous/hateful to continue or control. It is a real shame because McCain spent many years in service to the USA and really was a “country first” “maverick” for a good portion of his military and political careers.

  7. Without wanting to be as prejudicial as the McPalin campaign, this was inevitable. We can perhaps be grateful that McCain (so it would seem) kept away from this. It was Palin, drunk with popularity and craving a greater level of FameCrack that brought us here. The public slaughter of Palin that Fox and the GOP are currently mounting should eventually make her disappear. Maybe, as the Republican Party reinvents itself, they’ll remember fear and hatred are not ideals that attract the young or Latino or Af-Am or the under $50k or over the $100k or the work at homers,or the work at workers or the…

  8. it sickened me to the core to see those crowd videos at rallies (usually where Palin was spreading her inflammatory message of fear and violence). Palin was the worst, but they both did their part in this effort incite the unwashed masses to grab their torches and pitchforks, and it worked.

    i can only hope that the progress our nation makes over the next eight years will knock the wind out of this new hate group’s sails. i don’t know if that’s a reasonable thing to hope for, i imagine the truly hard-core could easily manage to ignore all the good – but it will relegate them to the very edge of the fringe.

  9. Good post. Sad topic. I found myself often referring to right-wing talk shows this year as “hate radio” and to Palin Politics as a “hate campaign.”

    The H word is not one I’ve ever liked and we have always tried to avoid it in our house. That’s why a random line from Curtis Sittenfeld’s American Wife, A Novel, struck me: “Hate was such a melodramatic emotion, so blustery and silly.” I agreed with that statement when I wrote about it in a book review dated Aug. 28th. Ironically the review was written the day before Palin was nominated.

    Thanks to Palin I now have a whole different view of the word “hate.” Hate is not melodramatic, blustery and silly. It’s monstrous, ugly and dangerous.

  10. Queen of Spain says:

    Victoria it just baffles me that we even HAVE klanwatch…god. We are such a sad people.

  11. Thank you for writing this succinct critique of Palin’s role in stirring up extremist responses to Obama. It is very important to call out politicians and other public figures who indulge in rhetoric like Palin’s. Palin’s hate speech is not an isolated phenomenon; it is part of a general mainstreaming of extremism, which has been very well described and documented by David Neiwert.

    I have argued at length in “Rush, Newspeak and Fascism” that extremists are increasingly taking up the rightward flank of mainstream conservatism. Alliances that 10 years ago might have been unthinkable between the GOP and the far right have been forming at a rapid rate in recent years.

    One of the chief dangers of this, of course, is the rightward gravitational pull this exerts on the mainstream, dragging more and more conservatives into radical positions. The other, and perhaps more serious, problem is the way it enfranchises extremists, giving them real power in the political structure they might not have otherwise — and, rather than mitigating their extremism, encouraging it.

    So, yes: expose it, oppose it, call the so-called “conservatives” racist hatemongers, make sure the public knows what the Sarah Palins of the world actually believe and stand for.

  12. There’s an important component to the scare tactics that hasn’t been stressed enough: religion. As long as a good percentage of Americans are mindlessly Christian (I’m not talking about them all), they will back any candidate who will vote “morally” on issues like abortion, gay marriage, etc., by appointing conservative Supreme Court justices, et al.

    McCain and his people wanted those voters. They knew they had to find a person that was much more socially conservative than him to get them. I respected him before this blatant show of opportunism and exploitation: Palin was clearly an idiot, but more importantly to the campaign, she was an openly religious one.

    My mom is one of “these voters.” She couldn’t tell me why she would vote for Palin–rather, only her reservations about Obama’s middle name and “kinky hair.” Brilliant, sad strategy from the McCain camp.

  13. I also read a frightening report about gun sales spiking after he was elected. WTF are people afraid of, really?

  14. I was horrified by Palin’s constant harping on Obama’s “otherness” and also by McCain’s nutless lack of response as he stood by and watched the trainwreck happen. Whence the brave war hero, out there letting a hockey mom do the muckracking for him? If he had one ounce of honor, he would have shut it down the way Obama did when people booed McCain and he said “We don’t need that!” right away “All we need to do is vote.” He was right, thank goodness, and I hope that by him being right, political strategy will change forever.

  15. I’m stunned. I don’t believe McCain and Palin had that much power, power to influence others to make such horrible threats.

    And just who you are classifying as the “legacy” of McCain-Palin. Anyone who voted for them? All Republicans?

    I understand your anger at the McCain campaign for the negative attacks that were made, but please do not alienate the good people of the Republican party. We are not all “whackos”. Some of us are trying hard to unite with Barack Obama, to give him the chance he deserves. Some of us are ready to change our country for good.

    I’m appalled at the threats made at the Obama family. There is no excuse for that behavior.

  16. Queen of Spain says:

    As I said above, the fringe whackos of the party should have NEVER been front and center. Yet…they were. I truly hope those in the party committed to the country and to good (which I do believe are the majority) reclaim their party and take control.

  17. I find it abhorrent that you are still promoting hate and vitriol even after your guy won. The Telegraph article is inflammatory and shoddy journalism. What the Newsweek article actually says is:

    “I’m worried,” Gregory Craig said to a NEWSWEEK reporter in mid-October. He was concerned that the frenzied atmosphere at the Palin rallies would encourage someone to do something violent toward Obama. He was not the only one in the Obama campaign thinking the unthinkable. The campaign was provided with reports from the Secret Service showing a sharp and very disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October. Michelle was shaken by the vituperative crowds and the hot rhetoric from the GOP candidates. “Why would they try to make people hate us?” she asked Valerie Jarrett.”

    The Other McCain actually bothered to find out the truth before propagating yet another lie.
    “Except for the post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy, there is no reason to connect (a) Sarah Palin with (b) assassination threats against Obama. You’ve got Democratic operative Craig (whom we remember from the Clinton impeachment) who’s worried about the “atmosphere” at Palin rallies. Then you’ve got a post-Labor Day increase in threats against Obama. And . . . that’s it?

    That all death threats are made by subnormal mouth-breathers, I take as a given. (If you really want to assassinate somebody, you don’t make threats. Sirhan Sirhan — to whom Bill Ayers dedicated a book — didn’t make threats.) The only threat against Obama that actually led to arrests was made by a couple 0f teenage losers in Memphis, Tenn., a place where Sarah Palin never campaigned. There was nothing Sarah Palin said or did that was responsible for threats against Obama. If the threats spiked up after Labor Day, it was only because subnormal mouth-breathers don’t pay attention to elections until after Labor Day.

    Newsweek clearly is trying to peddle a disgusting smear by the Obama camp, and in the process take out a potential future rival. Tim Shipman merely makes explicit what Newsweek implied, but it’s like Oakland — there’s no “there” there. The Secret Service did not — repeat, did not — blame Sarah Palin for threats against Obama, and Shipman’s story is thus a lie.”

  18. Queen of Spain says:

    Kat I’m not sure which part of “The campaign was provided with reports from the Secret Service showing a sharp and very disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October.” confuses you or you find to be misrepresenting.

    Claiming there was nothing Sarah Palin said or did to warrant those spikes is just the biggest whitewash of what really occurred, what we ALL witnessed, that I don’t even know where to begin.

    John McCain himself asked the questions just who IS barack obama. As if he were not a US Sentor, a patriot, or an American.

  19. This post and associated comments carry some heavy charges – that McCain and/or Palin engaged in “hate speech” that this is somehow responsible for increased death threats against now President-Elect Obama.

    The most inflammatory thing Palin said was that Obama “palled around with terrorists.” But – that’s objectively true. Obama did, in fact, freely associate (for political gain, no less) with Ayers and Dohrn, who, in fact, committed terrorist acts against the United States.

    If anything, the McCain/Palin campaign held back. Unlike the Clinton campaign, they refused to bring up anything have to do with Rev. Wright.

    McCain even went so far as to tell people at rallies that “Obama is a decent person and a person you don’t have to be scared of as president of the United States.” Hardly. Hate. Speech.

    And the left had plenty of it’s own “hate” issues you seem happy to glance over. This campaign saw Biden saying undecided voters were racist. We witnessed Obama-supporting Congressman John Murtha explicitly calling all of western PA racists. The Associate Press took every opportunity to denounce any attacks from the McCain/Palin campaign as being “tinged with racism.” The press as a whole was happy to run story after story that if McCain actually won it would be solely due to racism.

    Obama supporters were happy to joke we should “Abort Palin,” wear t-shirts calling her a “c*nt,” and in Philly, yell “Let’s stone her! Old school!”. Madonna used a video tying McCain to Hitler on her latest tour. A Columbia professor hung a Sarah Palin effigy from a noose.

    This is nothing new to the right. We’ve been listening to Bush=Hitler (or worse) for 8 years. The Obama assignation plot that got so much press a few weeks ago is worth denouncing as loud as possible, but it really had no chance of succeeding. In contrast, George W. Bush has survived two actual assignation attempts – not just failed “plots” but two actual real attempts involving real weapons being used. I would bet you and your readers can’t actually name these events though.

    There are haters on both sides. They should all be denounced. But McCain and Palin didn’t create them, and the legacy of their campaign is not “Hate.”

  20. Queen of Spain says:

    The proof is in the secret service report.

    Bury your heads in the sand all you like and claim ignorance, but our candidates were NOT on stages rallying the fringe.

  21. It’s sad that their tactis were effective. I don’t think they realized what they were doing or that their comments could in fact incite the insecurities in a group of people. There is in my mind a direct correlation.

  22. I am assuming then you have seen the actual secret service report and not just the reporting of it in Newsweek & The Telegraph?

    You are attributing causation unfairly as noted above.

    The questioning of one’s associates and past choices was and still is perfectly reasonable considering the job description of POTUS. Being a member of Congress, considering oneself a patriot, and being an American does not automatically guarantee good judgment or sound reasoning as we have seen in the past (Craig, Stevens, Ward, Rangel, Renzi, Abramhoff, Cunningham, McKinney, Jeffersson, Delay, Torricelli, Traficant, & Mezvinsky.)

  23. Erin, you’re trying to describe the color yellow to someone who has been blind all their life. They do see it and never will. Partly because they agree with the hate speech but are too proud to admit (at least openly) that their fears are racist, and partly because they don’t want to admit that someone with a prominent place of power on their side could ever be the bad guy. Palin could have stood up there, gun in hand, and called for his death and they would white wash, side step, and argue against logic all day long to defend her. And, in turn, defend themselves. Take hope that each new generation born is more progressive, tolerant, and hopeful than the next. Someday they will be a fringe movement only read about in history books.

  24. “Why would they try to make people hate us?”

    She’s a black woman in America and she had to ask this?

    George W. Bush isn’t Hitler, he’s just somewhat fascist. In terms of a body count he’s doing “better” than Saddam did

  25. You would not even believe the stuff my seven year-old is hearing at school. The first thing was that Obama is going to “take away Christmas”. It just gets worse from there. I wrote about it on my blog because it is just so alarming how crazy some people are post-election.

  26. Oh right, use the McCain quote about Barack being a “decent family man” as a defense. Remember that what he was responding to was a comment about Barack being a MUSLIM.

    So McCain says, “No ma’am, he’s a decent family man” as if Muslims can’t be and that’s the only defense anyone has to the fact that the McCain/Palin campaign wasn’t racist.

    Totally. Believable.

    Look, I don’t think anyone is disputing that John McCain was fairly honorable and didn’t go out of his way to encourage hate amongst his followers. Palin? Palin is another story. That woman did everything she could to enrage the fringe followers of the campaign. She stood right in front of someone yelling KILL HIM! HE’S A TERRORIST! And smiled as if it’s perfectly acceptable to listen to death threats to a US Senator and not react.

    That’s disgusting and the votes proved that most people are on my side on this issue. So, if the Republicans want to continue to pander to the crazy fringe go ahead because it’ll only help us win more elections!

  27. conservative thinker says:

    i find it amusing that sarah palin’s being dragged through the proverbial mud and labeled a hate-mongering, religious lunatic by folks who apparently feel no compunction whatsoever in labeling their own candidate the ‘messiah’.. priceless. 😉 and what was the grave transgression that palin is being accused of?? oh that’s right.. merely voicing some extremely disturbing facts shared by a huge proportion of this country’s voting population concerning obama’s past.. namely his 20-plus-year-long ties to unrepentant racists, domestic terrorists, communists, and black panther extremists.. or the fact that the mainstream media willingly ‘forgave’ obama for all of these glaring ‘character’ failings and looked the other way without a care in the world, in essence enabling the so-called ‘messiah’ to use the race card (i.e., anyone who disagrees with a black man, must automatically be deemed a kkk-affiliated, bible-thumping, racist lunatic fringe member) to further his campaign… after all, why spoil a good ‘messiah’ buzz with facts, right?? how dare sarah palin think she could tell the truth? who does she think she is?amusing to the extreme.. obama=good and pure, opponents=evil, racist nutniks.. nifty how that works. the facts is that obama was ‘never’ taken to task by the media, as everyone was all too happy to dismiss his ‘sordid’ past or nonexistent experience/record as a mere trifle completely unworthy of the slightest mention.. i mean, it’s not like obama was running for president or anything, right? oh wait… he actually was.. umm. never mind.. i’ll simply close by saying that for all the boastful predictions that obama/biden would simply obliterate mccain/palin, they only won by 52% of the vote.. not exactly the landslide victory that had been predicted for the great ‘messiah.’ and just think.. even with the media’s full propagandist support, as they were clearly in the tank for him from day one, the landslide never materialized.. perhaps this had a little to do with the demonization of sarah palin.. yes, it would appear that the shameless way in which this brave and most pupolar governor in the country, a woman with more executive and administrative experience than both obama and biden put together, was raked through the coals for merely attempting to expose obama for the fraud that he already represented to millions of americans long before she joined the republican ticket, had something to do with offsetting the so-called messiah’s landslide train.. sarah palin is the future face of the republican party.. she singlehandedly revived the republican ticket.. and the more liberals attempt to dismiss and demonize her, the stronger her grassroots support will be… so, i say: keep demonizing her, folks.. in fact, never stop.. you might just help get her elected our first female president one day…—> 2008 presidential campaign: never has experience (or the lack thereof) counted for so little.


  1. […] This Telegraph piece came to my attention after the Queen of Spain tweeted it. Checking her site I see she’s got a good post up reacting to the report. […]

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