Time Magazine reports that Senator John McCain was enthusiastically applauded when he told a crowd gathered at a New Hampshire VFW hall that MoveOn.org should be thrown out of the United States. McCain is quoted as saying:
"It's disgraceful, it's got to be retracted and condemned by the Democrats and MoveOn.org ought to be thrown out of this country, my friends."
Regardless of what one thinks about MoveOn.org, thoughtful persons should recognize that McCain appealed to an authoritarian inclination to silence or eliminate those with whom one disagrees. That the crowd reacted enthusiastically to his comment only adds to a troubling perception of a compromised man playing to a mindless mob.
A once moderate Republican, McCain has repeatedly sidled up to the authoritarian branch of the party because appeasing authoritarians has become the linchpin of Republican victory over the past thirty years. After being smeared in the 2000 primaries by the Bush team's dirty race politics, the war hero has recognized that the path to victory in his party demands a roll in the filth along the way.