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Conservative theme of the day: The "Angry Left" and its media enablers--updated!

Here's LA Times political blogger (and former Laura Bush press secretary!) Andrew Malcolm arguing that the press isn't paying enough attention to nastiness among opponents of John McCain and Sarah Palin:

As a growing number of political bloggers, including Wake Up America, have asked in recent hours, how long do you think before the mainstream media starts reporting on scenes like a Philadelphia event on Saturday where people wore T-shirts that bore an explicitly crude reference to Sarah Palin? With 22 campaign days left, might perhaps the Democratic ticket also feel the need to warn its supporters to tone it down?

If these T-shirts showed up at a McCain event on people proudly posing like this to proclaim that Obama was the N-word, do you think we might have heard about it by now?

And here's the Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes making much the same point:

This morning at a McCain rally here, a bearded young man in the crowd responded to a McCain critique of Barack Obama by shouting: "You're a liar John!" He then hoisted a young woman with an antiwar poster onto his shoulders and began yelling antiwar gibberish as McCain tried to continue his speech. When McCain supporters ripped up the woman's sign, she unfolded another one and the spectacle continued.

Earlier, at a rally in Philadelphia, Obama praised John McCain's service to America and called for a civil debate over the final days of the campaign. He was lustily booed by his angry supporters.

And yesterday, at a McCain rally in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, another angry heckler shouted "Liar" and other insults at McCain from the crowd.

Can we expect stories on this disturbing trend? Don't bet on it.

You're be hearing this argument a whole lot more if McCain loses in November. So let's stop and consider a few points:

1. There's simply no Democratic parallel for the way the McCain camp, via Sarah Palin, has been actively stoking anger at Obama. You already know what Palin had to say about Obama "palling around with terrorists" (note the plural) and why that argument doesn't hold up. But you may have missed Palin's latest bifurcation of America into good guys and bad guys:

Help me, Ohio, to help put John McCain in the White House. He understands. He understands you. We understand how important it is that this team be elected. For one thing, we know who the bad guys are, OK?

We know that in the war, it’s terrorists, terrorists who hate America and her allies and would seek to destroy us, and the bad guys are those who would support and sympathize with the terrorists. They do not like America because of what we stand for. Liberty. Freedom. Equal rights. Those who sympathize and support those terrorists who would seek to destroy all that it is that we value, those are the bad guys, OK?

Does "palling around with terrorists" mean that Obama "support[s] and sympathize[s]" with them? Of course it does. QED, he's one of the "bad guys."

2. Despite his recent call for a more elevated tone in the campaign's closing weeks, McCain himself has taken a pass on condemning the nastier remarks of his supporters when given a chance. Here he is, for example, ignoring a supporter who shouts that the "real Barack Obama" (McCain's words) is a "terrorist" (the supporter's).

Maybe McCain didn't here shout in question. But here he is again, during a TV interview yesterday, refusing to condemn Virginia GOP chairman Jeff Frederick's equation of Barack Obama and Osama Bin Laden. Again, where's the Democratic parallel?

3. As I've previously noted, the notion that campaign ugliness is a particular problem for McCain-Palin isn't just a liberal or media talking point. It's also been advanced by former McCain chief strategist John Weaver, who recently told Politico:

People need to understand, for moral reasons and the protection of our civil society, the differences with Sen. Obama are ideological, based on clear differences on policy and a lack of experience compared to Sen. McCain....As a party we should not and must not stand by as the small amount of haters in our society question whether he is as American as the rest of us. Shame on them and shame on us if we allow this to take hold.

One more thing: those T-shirts Malcolm mentioned? Apparently, their designer is a libertarian.

UPDATE: Right on cue, here's Fox News with some bogus equivalency

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