The McCain campaign invited me to visit Frederick and the Gainesville operation on Saturday morning, to get a first-hand glimpse of its ground game in Prince William County, Virginia, a fast-growing area about 30 miles from Washington, D.C.
With so much at stake, and time running short, Frederick did not feel he had the luxury of subtlety. He climbed atop a folding chair to give 30 campaign volunteers who were about to go canvassing door to door their talking points — for instance, the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden: "Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon," he said. "That is scary." It is also not exactly true — though that distorted reference to Obama's controversial association with William Ayers, a former 60s radical, was enough to get the volunteers stoked. "And he won't salute the flag," one woman added, repeating another myth about Obama. She was quickly topped by a man who called out, "We don't even know where Senator Obama was really born." Actually, we do; it's Hawaii.
As I'm sure most sane people would agree, this type of rhetoric - comparing the Democratic presidential nominee (and soon-to-be 44th President!) in any way, shape or form to the evil mastermind of 9/11 - is unacceptable. Obviously, it's false; Obama was a little kid (just 10 years old) when the Weather Underground planted a bomb in a Pentagon restroom, and Bill Ayers is NOT Barack Obama's friend). Besides being completely false (and unhinged), Frederick's comments are also ironic, given that John McCain has criticized Barack Obama for supposedly being too aggressive in his stance towards capturing or killing Osama bin Laden. It's also ironic given that John McCain says he "knows" how to get bin Laden, but won't share that information with the military, the President, the CIA, or others who might be able to act on that "knowledge."
Anyway, here's the bottom line. What Jeff Frederick said in Time Magazine is stupid, hateful, and completely beyond the pale. It's no better than the racist and anti-Muslim rantings of Bobby Lee May, who was forced to resign a few days ago as chairman of Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign in Buchanan County. So, when will the "leaders" of Virginia's Republican Party - Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling, etc. - demand Jeff Frederick's resignation as chairman of the RPV? When will John McCain and Sarah Palin repudiate Frederick's remarks, just as John McCain grabbed the microphone away from a bigoted supporter who called Obama an "Arab" (as if there's anything wrong with that)? If these people do NOT repudiate Frederick and force his resignation, can we conclude that they agree with his remarks? What about Frank "The So-Called Moderate" Wolf? What's it gonna be, guys?
P.S. Remember, this wasn't some offhand remark by Frederick; he said it knowing that a reporter from TIME MAGAZINE was in the room taking notes for a story! Imagine what he says when the media isn't present?!?
UPDATE: I agree with The Anonymous Liberal:
...The McCain campaign is playing with fire. They are actively and intentionally encouraging racism, xenophobia, and wildly paranoid and inaccurate beliefs about who Barack Obama is. It's dangerous and if it's not stopped, it may well lead to violence. It is several orders of magnitude more serious and more reckless than even the most despicable tactics used by Republicans in recent presidential elections. When something bad happens, it will look crystal clear in retrospect what led to it. We shouldn't have to wait for that to happen.
UPDATE #2: Check out the "outright racism from the RPV," according to NLS. Believe it or not, this is from the RPV website, refers to a "Black Value System," talks about Obama being "The Messiah" and Sarah Palin as "very attractive." Jeff Frederick & Co. are truly bizarre. When will Frank Wolf condemn Frederick and demand his resignation, or does Wolf approve of Frederick's behavior?
UPDATE #3: According to the Washington Post:
James E. Hyland, chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee, said he thinks that the GOP efforts to link Obama to Ayers could backfire.
"I don't think the associations with Ayers is going to work in Fairfax," Hyland said. "What we are looking for up here is answers on the economy, experience and impact of [McCain's and Obama's] policies on the federal workforce."
Good for Mr. Hyland, now what about Frank Wolf?