Friday, October 10, 2008

The politics of hate

(Palin: "Hey, I'm just askin' questions,")

Inflammatory Republican rallies raise concerns

Shouts of "terrorist" and "treason" aimed at Barack Obama have echoed around Republican rallies, whipping up into alarming, hate-filled frenzies against the Democratic White House hopeful.

Republican presidential nominee John McCain has taken to asking, "Who is the real Barack Obama?" at rallies this week, leading one supporter in Pennsylvania, a blue-collar battleground state to shout back, "he is a bomb."

Before the rally, local Republican leader Bill Platt warmed up the crowd by several times referring to "Barack Hussein Obama," focusing on the Illinois senator's middle name, trying to highlight his differences with other Americans.

Chants of "Nobama, Nobama" mingled with cries of "terrorist," as one banner in the crowd declared: "Go ahead, let the dogs out."

Yeah, it certainly is a bit concerning that Republican rallies have become hate-filled frenzies directed against a black Presidential candidate, calling him a "terrorist" and a "traitor". Here's Glenn Greenwald:

Just look at the videotapes of the angry, hateful hordes attending these rallies — screaming that Obama is a socialist; that he’s both a Muslim and a terrorist as proven by his “bloodline” and his name; that his supporters are “commie faggots”; that he’s guilty of treason; underscored by increasing racial invective and even punctuated in one case by a call from an audience member for someone to be killed. These aren’t just isolated individuals; these sentiments are common at these rallies and becoming increasingly virulent and enraged — at the rallies and otherwise

And worst of all, all of this rage and this innuendo is taking place in the most volatile climate of all — one of severe economic distress and anxiety — and these mobs are increasingly becoming convinced, because the Right and the McCain/Palin campaign is leading them to believe it, that this economic crisis is the fault of the black candidate — Obama — for making banks give mortgages to racial minorities. As an email printed just now by Jonah Goldberg put it — defending someone at a McCain/Palin rally today who screamed he was “very angry” at Obama the “socialist”:
He, and the rest of the conservatives in this country are sick and tired of
being taken for granted, having our money stolen by the government and given to
lazy, ungrateful people who don’t contribute or produce (or often, aren’t even
citizens) anything.

This is what happens when you stoke the fury and resentments of people looking for scapegoats and work them into a blind rage. And they didn’t just pop up and start believing this. They’re saying this because the core premise of the McCain/Palin campaign has become that Barack Hussein Obama is a Terrorist-sympathizer, being funded by secret Arab sources, who hates the military and the troops. As McCain now asks in his most sinister tone in every speech: Who is the real Barack Obama? As National Review’s illustratively deranged Andy McCarthy put it: ” Someone is either a terrorist sympathizer or he isn’t; someone is either disqualified as a terrorist sympathizer or he’s qualified for public office.”

Look at those videos linked above if you haven’t seen them (this one, this one and this one). Is there anything even remotely comparable taking place at Obama rallies? Are the accusations against McCain even arguably similar to the Right’s relentless and self-evidently dangerous depiction of Obama as a military-hating, subversive Muslim and Terrorist? What do we do with Terrorists and traitors — or, in the past, with those wanting to take over the U.S. with a secret socialist agenda? We kill them. If that’s what Obama is, if that’s what hordes of enraged right-wing mobs are becoming convinced of and having those passions stoked, then what should be done to Obama — just merely defeat him in the presidential campaign?

Yeah, don't we kill terrorists and traitors? All I can say is that the Secret Service better be extra-vigilant from now until November 4th, because this is an extremely dangerous thing that McCain/Palin are promoting.

It's pretty damn scary, and a perfect illustration of how morally and intellectually bankrupt the American Right has become. While their "intellectuals" debate over the extent of Obama's Communist beliefs, their foot soldiers rile up crowds with inflammatory and racist language.

This is all they have left.

For a more visceral illustration of this phenomena, watch these videos:

And the funny thing is that Obama predicted this exactly:

Next week, as the stock market keeps tanking and McCain falls ever further in the polls, expect to hear a lot more about an individual named Jeremiah Wright.

(Photo: Chris Carlson / Associated Press)

1 comment:

El Cid said...

Very sickening. I'm appalled to think that some of this ignorant trash actually hold positions where they may deal with the public. What a bunch of bottom feeders.