Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Smear, Smear, Smear-- It's All They've Got


I'm downstairs at the computer but I left the TV on in my bedroom and I hear the singsong musings of Palin's fingernails on chalkboard voice whipping a crowd of out-and-out bloodthirsty fascists into a frenzy. The whole ugly scene is abetted and encouraged by Republican Party TV's viciously anti-Obama biopic, “Obama & Friends: The History of Radicalism,” which was hosted by Josef Goebbels Sean Hannity. Whipping up fear and loathing for Obama won't have much of an impact on normal Americans but the hate-obsessed, low-IQ Republican base eats it up and gets itself into a lather and frenzy of bigotry and self-righteous rage.

As Dana Milbank pointed out in today's Washington Post fascism is alive and well at Palin rallies. Obama has pulled ahead of McCain in Florida polling but that doesn't mean the KKK is dead and buried-- and they're all coming out for the Sarah Palin Show. The McCain has "let Sarah loose" and Republican racists have taken this as a signal that they're free to scream racist epithets and give voice to the hatred that drives their lives.
Palin's routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media." At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."

And it isn't just rednecks who are susceptible to the blandishments of Hannity and Palin. The extreme right GOP front group, the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) has been trying to trick Jews into thinking Obama is anti-Semitic with ads screaming: "Barack Obama's Friends: Pro-Palestinian. Anti-Israel. Hostile to America." Spending over a million dollars the RJC has:

- Linked Obama's name and picture to Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Ayatollah Khomeini, and Pat Buchanan among others.

- Not so subtly threatened "tragic outcomes for the Jewish people" in a headline over a photo of Obama speaking in Berlin.
- Called Obama advisors "anti-Israel" and "pro-Palestinian" for arguing for American diplomacy intended to achieve Middle East peace.

These ads play on the deepest fears and worst prejudices of the Jewish community-- and they are everywhere. They're running in local Jewish newspapers in places like Miami, Philadelphia, and Columbus, Ohio where they can have maximum electoral effect.

More and more observers are aghast at how viciously the McCain campaign-- mostly via Palin-- has been inciting the right-wing faithful, who don't need much incitement-- to scream for the assasination of the Democratic candidate! So on the day a veterans group has reported McCain's real record on the troops and on vets-- it ain't pretty-- Palin is shouting about Obama not being one of us and inciting violence. Anything to change the subject away from McCain's ghastly record on things that are important to normal Americans. And it is clear, that by watching how McCain and Palin react to the vicious, racist behavior of their base, these are two people utterly unfit for national office.
A true leader would stop their politicking for a moment to remind the crowd that we are all Americans, that a sitting U.S. Senator is not a terrorist, that calls for murder have no place in a democracy because we work out our differences through debate and argument and law.

A true leader would recognize the pain ripping through his or her people and would seek to comfort them and then inspire them. A true leader would empathize with his or her people and then ask the nation to rise above our baser instincts, to come together as we’ve done before.

A true leader would lift his or her people up, not prey on their fears, their insecurities, their ignorance and their anger.

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At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few days ago I was saying that the media should just stop giving coverage to anything Palin says UNTIL she gives a full press conference... where she has to answer real questions from real reporters.

Now I'm thinking there should just be a press blackout on this woman.

The "palling around" comment was absolutely disgusting. (How does she sleep at night with all these lies?)

But now we have reached new lows with this racial hatred... and I haven't heard a word of condemnation from the McCain/Palin camp.

And you're right -- it's all a distraction. Like a magician waving his hands to make the audience look one way so they don't notice what he's REALLY doing.


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