(via Jonathan Martin)
Steve Conn at Rustbelt Intellectual:
The vicious Brown-shirt displays we have seen in the last week at the McShame/Moosehead rallies aren’t the kooks – it is the Republican party – heart and soul – unabashed, unashamed, unhinged. It may make it easier for died-in-the-wool Republicans like Buckley to vote for Obama if they tell themselves that their party has been hijacked by the kooks. In fact, the Republican party has been the party of kooks for a long time.
After John Lewis’s remarks yesterday, John McCain called on the Obama camp to “to immediately and personally repudiate these outrageous and divisive comments that are so clearly designed to shut down debate 24 days before the election.”
It’s a completely tone-deaf response, sure. But it should also cast some skepticism on McCain’s supposed attempts to walk the nutjob contingent back from the ledge. He has a problem with the vitriol insofar as it is politically damaging to him, and as the most prominent member of his party, it’s likely that this mess is hurting Republicans in competitive races around the country.