John McCain: Desperate, Despicable, Dishonest, Dishonorable, and without the Character We Need in a President - Steven Waldman
Atlantic Monthly Death Spiral Watch (Yet Another Marc Ambinder Edition)

John McCain: Desperate, Despicable, Dishonest, Dishonorable, and without the Character We Need in a President

From the Obama campaign:

Obama Campaign: Sen. Obama does not believe that John McCain or his policy criticism is in any way comparable to George Wallace or his segregationist policies.

But John Lewis was right to condemn some of the hateful rhetoric that John McCain himself personally rebuked just last night, as well as the baseless and profoundly irresponsible charges from his own running mate that the Democratic nominee for president of the United States ‘pals around with terrorists.’

As Barack Obama has said himself, the last thing we need from either party is the kind of angry, divisive rhetoric that tears us apart at a time of crisis when we desperately need to come together. That is the kind of campaign Sen. Obama will continue to run in the weeks ahead.

And one of Ta-Nehisi Coates's commenters writes:

sgwhiteinfla: I don't think I have ever been ANY prouder of Barack Obama than the moment on MSNBC when they read his statement and he said that John Lewis was "absolutely right". I admit I was a little nervous that John McCain with his rhetoric might push Obama in a direction of trying to keep his nose clean and distancing himself from John Lewis. But I would have lost TONS of respect for Obama if he had done that and I don't think he would have ever looked the same to other black men either. As a black man I recognize and realize EXACTLY what John McCain is trying to do. I wrote an amaturish post about it on daily kos but the tone of it was real.

It's evident to me that its not really the muslim or terrorist angle John McCain is shooting for. Those goals are too high. He simply wants to muddy the waters enough so that you see him as a typical N word. Its a disgrace and its dangerous and personally I am glad somebody called him on it.

In closing let me point out that on Rick Warren's Saddleback forum John McCain said John Lewis woudl be one of the three wisest people he would get advice from if elected president. Now I wasnt buying that and a subsequent interview that did with Representative Lewis confirmed that even though they have been in Congress together for over 20 years, John McCain has NEVER sought John Lewis out for advice on any matter. I am sure he never asked him about whether Arizona should recognize MLK jr.s birthday. (yes I am still heated about that). But I say all of that to say that in the first instance that John McCain had to receive some advice from John Lewis, instead of heeding it he instead tried to throw the man under the bus. If anybody needed anymore proof that John McCain is a liar and a hypocrite I think this should be all you need!

And the few remaining grownup Republicans weigh in:

Recent Comments on McCain Campaign Rhetoric:

Former Top McCain Strategist John Weaver: “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.” “John Weaver, McCain’s former top strategist, said top Republicans have a responsibility to temper this behavior…’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.’” [, 10/10/08]

Former Republican Michigan Governor William Milliken Asked “Who Is John McCain?” And Said “He’s Not The McCain I Endorsed. … His Campaign Has Become Rather Disappointing To Me.” “But, now, who is John McCain? That's what William Milliken, former Republican governor of Michigan and a supporter of McCain in the party primaries this year, is asking about a candidate who, in Milliken's view, appears to have lost his way in this fight for the White House. ‘He is not the McCain I endorsed,’ Milliken, reached at his Traverse City home on Thursday, told the Grand Rapids Press for today's editions. ‘He keeps saying, 'Who is Barack Obama?' I would ask the question, 'Who is John McCain?' because his campaign has become rather disappointing to me.’ ‘I'm disappointed in the tenor and the personal attacks on the part of the McCain campaign, when he ought to be talking about the issues.’” [Chicago Tribune, 10/10/08]

Republican Rep. Ray LaHood Said Palin Should Cool Her Rhetoric Toward Obama. “Republican Rep. Ray LaHood of Illinois said Friday that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin should cool her rhetoric directed at Barack Obama. ‘This doesn't befit the office that she's running for. And frankly, people don't like it,’ LaHood said during an interview on WBBM, a Chicago radio station. Palin has accused Obama of ‘palling around with terrorists’ and of putting ‘political ambitions in front of doing what's right for our troops.’” [Politico, 10/10/08]

WSJ -- “Some McCain Campaign Officials Are Becoming Concerned About The Hostility That Attacks Against Sen. Obama Are Whipping Up Among Republican Supporters.” “Top McCain campaign officials are grappling with how far to go with negative attacks on Sen. Barack Obama in the final weeks of what is turning into a come-from-behind effort. Sen. John McCain has allowed a series of increasingly harsh broadsides in new campaign ads and in speeches by his wife, Cindy, and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin. But the Arizona Republican has rejected pleas from some advisers to launch attacks focusing on Sen. Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Some McCain campaign officials are becoming concerned about the hostility that attacks against Sen. Obama are whipping up among Republican supporters. During an internal conference call Thursday, campaign officials discussed how the tenor of the crowds has turned on the media and on Sen. Obama.” [Wall Street Journal, 10/10/08]