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GOP Fear-Mongering Now Includes Holocaust, Gay Uncle

October 26, 2008

The Republican Party may no longer be able to manufacture votes, but it can still produce its fair share of ironies. On the stump in Iowa, Sarah Palin warned supporters of the party of Mark Foley, Ted Haggard and Larry Craig to beware "Uncle Barney Frank." And in Pennsylvania, the McCain campaign official responsible for helping perpetrate the Ashley Todd hoax defended an email claiming an Obama presidency would augur a second Holocaust.
For her part, Governor Palin went for a two-fer in smearing the openly gay Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank. Palin, who staunchly supports the Republican Party platform's call for a constitutional ban on abortion even in cases of rape and incest, stoked fears of an all intrusive federal government she claimed would come with Democratic control of the White House and Capitol Hill. And in one fell swoop, she turned to the disgusting old stereotypes of the "red menace" and gay-baiting:

"Now they do this in other countries where the people are not free -- government as part of the family, taking care of us, making decisions for us. I don't know what to think of having in my family Uncle Barney Frank or others to make decisions for me."

Meanwhile in Pennsylvania, the dirty deeds of the McCain campaign reached a new low. On Saturday, the AP reported that an email to "fellow Jewish voters" paid for by the Republican Federal Committee of PA - Victory 2008 warned that a victory for Barack Obama would usher in a second Holocaust:

"Jewish Americans cannot afford to make the wrong decision on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008," the e-mail reads. "Many of our ancestors ignored the warning signs in the 1930s and 1940s and made a tragic mistake. Let's not make a similar one this year!"

For its part, the Republican Party in the Keystone State did not dispute that one of its committees produced the smear email sent to 75,000 people. Instead, it argues, the consultant responsible for it, the GOP claimed, did not have authorization to do so. As TPM reports, the consultant in question, Bryan Rudnick, claims otherwise.
Even more interesting is the identity of the Republican spokesperson doing the work to distance John McCain and the GOP from the hateful email bearing its name:

The McCain campaign also repudiated the e-mail. Spokesman Peter Feldman said Saturday night that McCain "rejects politics that degrade our civics."

That would be the same Peter Feldman at the center of the Ashley Todd fraud. As Greg Sargent detailed Friday, it was Feldman, McCain's communications director in Pennsylvania, who contacted Pittsburgh media to spread the bogus story that the young, white female McCain volunteer was targeted by a large African-American assailant. Despite non-sensical denials from McCain spokesman Brian Rogers blaming the Pittsburgh police and "sloppy reporting" for perpetuating the Todd slander against the Obama campagn, the campaign has not refuted Feldman's role in the affair.
And so it goes. As Election Day nears, the McCain campaign and its desperate Republican allies play on fear and hate - of African-Americans, of gay Americans, of immigrants and, above all, Muslims. Facing a potential electoral calamity on November 4th, "politics that degrade our civics " is all that's left for the Party of Hate.


Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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