The dark heart of resentment

Scary column by Michael Tomasky about McCain’s tolerance of crazed racism and bigotry. It’s the cornered rat syndrome.

It built up over the course of the week, as supporters at the rallies of John McCain and Sarah Palin started randomly screaming “terrorist!” and “off with his head!” and “treason!” and even “kill him!” at the mention of Barack Obama’s name.

Then there was the man at a Florida rally who shouted at an African-American CNN cameraman: “Sit down, boy.” You don’t need to know your history of the American south to know that “boy”, directed at a black man, is overtly and undeniably racist.


He [McCain] and Palin – “his Sancho Panza”, as George Will mockingly wrote in the Washington Post – are deliberately stoking rage that is based on lies that they know to be lies (well, that at least McCain knows to be lies). The normally reserved commentator David Gergen said: “There is this free floating sort of whipping around anger that could really lead to some violence. I think we’re not far from that.”

We are seeing the dark, Gothic heart of resentment conservatism. It’s going to be a disgusting three weeks.