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And Now, Some Overheated Rhetoric From the Obama Side

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Over the weekend, Democratic Representative John Lewis of Georgia released a controversial statement condemning the John McCain campaign. Lewis claimed that McCain and Sarah Palin are stoking the fires of hate and had this to add:

During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate. George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.

Understandably, the McCain campaign is upset at the remarks and have called them “outrageous.” The Barack Obama campaign has stated that there is no comparison between McCain and Wallace but they have not repudiated Rep. Lewis in full. Lewis, for his part, denies he was making a direct comparison, which is one of those ridiculous denials politicians release. The context makes the comparison obvious.

I’m not sure why the Obama campaign hasn’t whole-sale repudiated Lewis for his remarks. It’s not acceptable to relate the McCain campaign to the Birmingham church bombing, even if that relation is indirect.

The Obama campaign can’t cry foul over the deplorable remarks of empowered McCain supporters without policing the unacceptable remarks of their own supporters. Hate can be fueled from both sides.