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That's nice. So nobody actually said "Kill him," and politicians are being politicians. What, exactly, is the argument here?

If we reserved the presidency for those who never stretched the truth the election would be between two or three no-name eighth and ninth party nominees. If one is going to argue that their particular candidate has not stretched the truth in a similar fashion already this election I will laugh at their ignorance of their own candidate. This is American politics where everyone involved is a little corrupt.

If you really want to focus on character rather than ideology (and why would you?), perhaps you should explain why it is not undesirable to host political rallies where the tribalism is so manifest that a false death threat "given" at one isn't immediately assumed to be false because it fits with the style of the proceedings. We're seeing even Senator McCain having to try to tone things down to the disapproval of his audience.

Also, how is this different from the John McCain continuing to harp on ACORN to the American public when he knows (or at least should, if he's involved) that his campaign's claims about the organization continue to be refuted by independent research? Thus, going back to my point that lying is not something that is only evident on one side of this many-sided thing called "politics".

Just because they cannot verify reports that someone said "kill him" at a rally, does not put into dispute that there are *very* verifiable troubling reports coming out of McCain/Palin rallies (reporters being attacked, videos with the word "terrorist" clearly being yelled). If you want, I can hunt up some links.

I'll confess that I'm an Obama supporter and am biased, but I think it's perfectly legitimate for him to point out that there's some very troubling things being said and done about him (even if one particular "kill him" statement is not verifiable).

Dave,

What, exactly, is your point? As Seraphine points out, there are verified reports of troubling behavior at McCain/Palin rallies. Hateful language at these events has been documented and is readily available on YouTube. That one particular incident is in question seems irrelevant.

That violent threats have apparently been made at McCain/Palin rallies is certainly not out of the question; at the very least, such violence seems to be just below the surface. The hatred has gotten out of control, and neither McCain nor Palin has taken substantial steps to diffuse the situation. In fact, by perpetuating the myth that Obama actually has a close relationship with "domestic terrorists," they are throwing fuel on the fire.

And do we really want to argue about which candidate has been more truthful or shown more integrity throughout his campaign? McCain's pretty deep in the mud, and has been for some time.

Hatred? Even a cursory familiarity with human nature and politics shows that that "hatred" (or whatever emotion or action you put under that label) is fairly evenly distributed across the various demographic slices of the American electorate. Suggesting Republicans are "hateful" is as silly as claiming Democrats are somehow more "loving." No party has a monopoly on any particular virtue or vice. Responding to criticism of a false claim by Obama with a charge that Republicans are "hateful" says more about the one responding than about Republicans. It's no different than the usual assortment of epithets often hurled at minority groups.

Has politics degenerated to the point that one simply makes unfounded claims, then calls opponents who show the claims are unfounded "hateful"?

No one seems willing to confront the problem that Obama was willing to make a statement he and his campaign knew lacked any supporting evidence to an audience of sixty million Americans. A statement that was calculated to rile up partisan discord.

How about someone fill in the blank in this sentence. "Sen. Obama knowingly made false claims of death threats being directed at him at Republican rallies because ..." Just explain what he's thinking when he does this. And don't tell me all politicians do this.

Steve can correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounded to me like he was labeling the language used at some Republican rallies "hateful" (not the Republicans themselves). Nor did he seem to be implying that Democrats are more loving. You're right that vice and virtue can be found on both sides of the policial divide. However, if you cannot recognize the problematic rhetoric that has been quite rampant at McCain/Palin rallies as of late, then I'm done with this conversation.

I think the difference between McCain and Obama's lies is that McCain doesn't have a hope in hell of being President whereas Obama will. After 16 years of lies by Clinton and Bush couldn't we have someone willing to speak the truth? While I never agreed with his politics I really respected the man Obama in the primaries. I lost a lot of that respect the past 3 months. (I'm still voting for him - but since I live in Utah it's a pointless vote and it's not like I'll be very happy with many of his decisions)

Hateful language as of late? The most tiring part of politics these past eight years has been enduring the constant chatter of people with severe cases of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

For example Nobel Peace Prize winner Betty Williams:

"Right now, I could kill George Bush,” she said at the Adam’s Mark Hotel and Conference Center in Dallas. “No, I don’t mean that. How could you nonviolently kill somebody? I would love to be able to do that."

More here:

http://michellemalkin.com/2007/07/12/when-peaceniks-attack/

Notice the nice illustration of George Bush's head chopped off and blood gushing out.

Mark,

Hyperbole is a legitimate form of human expression. Not every word is intended to be taken literally. In such a pep-rally, overstated rhetoric is common.

Common or not, civilized people don't talk like that. It is a national disgrace.

Mark -

don't you get it?

When conservatives talk like that it's evil, hate filled stuff. When liberals do, it's merely overstated hyperbole.

It's all clear to me now!

All you libs, your mega hypocrites! How about all the assassination fantasies about Bush "Death of a President" movie, also some lame play about someone planning to kill Bush I think it was, so many lib celebrities saying some form of "kill", "die", burn in hell, etc. etc.
And for all this garbage about how to explain away Obama's possible defeat (Americans are stoooopid) I got news for you: I don't agree with Obama's policies!
I'll be happy to say more about that later, but for now, stop insulting me with arguments about how dumb I am because I don't THINK like you or DISAGREE with you.
I mean, really, I cut people slack if they don't agree with me, wonder what their view is, but as soon as they say something like, "Why can't you be like the intelligent ones?" or some such nonsense they lose credibility with me.
Get over it!!

A quick search on youtube yielded these two vids, as well as several more, in which you can hear shouts of 'kill him' and 'terrorist.'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoY6-ZTqIAY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KckKPVy0FwQ

(Note that I hesitated to include the second since it's by Robert Greenwald and is a bunch of clips spliced together for maximum, anti-McCain impact. The reason I included it is because it has a clear clip from a McCain rally with a crowd member yelling 'terrorist.')

So, whether or not Newsweek's sources or the Secret Service members heard the shouts, they apparently did happen. It may be (probably is, in fact) being blown out of proportion by the press & Obama campaign, but they do appear legit. So, it doesn't appear that Obama was lying on this particular issue.

When conservatives talk like that it's evil, hate filled stuff. When liberals do, it's merely overstated hyperbole.

It's all clear to me now!

Thanks, JP, for clearing up that point. I'm glad to know that at least someone understands the rule. Otherwise I would be given to a sneaking suspicion that the is some kind of inconsistent or arbitrary standard in play.

Ross Douthat also agrees with me:

http://rossdouthat.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/10/haters.php

everybody knows that conservative hate - especially when it comes from anonymous hecklers at massive rallies, or when it involves booing the press - is fascism come round again, but left-wing hate is just, well, kitschy and adorable.

Dave,

Seraphine got it right. I was referring the language at McCain/Palin rallies--which the candidates themselves have fueled--as hateful. I did not label Republicans in general as hateful or Democrats as more loving. God knows there are hateful liberals out there.

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