Crockodile Tears

October 10, 2008 9:55 a.m.

From the Journal

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.

Borderline criminal incitement will do that. But hey, whatever it takes.

Late Update: Joe Klein is getting concerned too.

(ed.note: This is not a laughing matter. So I want to be clear what I was alluding to when I referred to “borderline criminal incitement.” John McCain has a first amendment right to smear and (at least free of criminal penalties) slander Barack Obama by suggesting he’s in league with terrorists. But as we’ve seen many times, even offhandedly threatening comments directed at a Secret Service protected individual, can earn you a visit from the guys with the earpieces. And McCain and Palin are now routinely holding rallies in which they whip supporters into such a delirium by castigating Obama as a dangerous terrorist-lover that members of the audience shout what can very reasonably be interpreted as threats against Obama’s safety. Am I saying they’re breaking the law? No. But I do think they’re nudging up against the envelope and getting near that line beyond which, if McCain were not a presidential candidate, his rallies would be getting some attention from those charged with protecting Obama’s safety.)

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