And now a message from the Dark Side of the Force....
As I discussed in my recent blog entry
, that demographic known as the Republican base has a much different image of Obama. Indeed, to even a moderately informed individual, the nature of that image crosses the border into delusion land.
They consider Barack Obama the enemy and really resent him undoing their little coup. They'll start undermining his presidency just as rabidly as they did Clinton's in the hope that something like an illicit blow job will shake out.
Because he's not legitimate, just like anyone else who doesn't believe in their well ordered, narrow minded, positively medieval little world.
This image of Obama: he's a Muslim, a Marxist, a socialist, a terrorist and wasn't born in the U.S. therefore he can't be president.
...But rumors about Obama's religion persist. In the new NEWSWEEK Poll, 12 percent of voters incorrectly believe he's Muslim; more than a quarter believe he was raised in a Muslim home. Newsweek
Now, I'm of the mind that 'fair and balanced' is a deceptive lens through which to view current events. Consider, would Rush Limbaugh demand that Josef Goebell's be given a forum to present his side of the story?
You get my point.
There's the truth, then there are lies, plain and simple. There's the tolerance that's really demanded by American principles, then there's chauvinism.
I wouldn't be talking about this here if recent events hadn't brought it rather concretely front and center. Mrs. Clemsy teaches at the middle school I recently left for the more sophisticated literature and astronomically more planning and grading of the high school. However, I worked at the middle school for nineteen years and know the faculty as well as may be. Watching the uninformed moderates switch gears from "support the president at all costs" to "what the hell have we done" has been rather interesting. These folks all voted for Obama... even one individual in particular who once said to me in reference to Iraqi civilian casualties, "They should kill them all!"
This group is like a microcosm of the general population, indicating that the very demographic the Republicans have depended on to maintain power, the under informed moderates, could only take so much before their eyes were forced open. McCain lost because the strategy of repeating the same lies over and over, whether right out loud as in Obama "pals around with terrorists." or through surrogates who claim he's a Muslim mole, no longer worked.
Yet, for that group of true believers who need to believe whatever it takes to maintain their world view, that strategy continues to work.
So, one colleague rails against another, "You're one of those assholes who voted for that Muslim!" loudly in a faculty room. Another, a fundamentalist Christian who is the kindest, sweetest person you'd ever want to meet, says with absolute confidence, "He's going to have all of us wearing burkas. They're going to start killing Americans." (Ironically, the one who told me we should kill all the Iraqis responded, "Yeah? What's George Bush's body count up to?")
Consider for a moment what the reaction would have been if someone had reacted in a similar manner when George Bush was elected.
The response to this image so far has been one of disdain. I believe that as long as the Republican Party grants this particular demographic legitimate status, dismissing them as irrelevant is dangerous.
David Brooks believes they'll will actually gain power in the Republican party over the short term. LINK
Traditionalists own the conservative mythology. Members of the conservative Old Guard see themselves as members of a small, heroic movement marching bravely from the Heartland into belly of the liberal elite. In this narrative, anybody who deviates toward the center, who departs from established doctrine, is a coward, and a sellout.
This narrative happens to be mostly bogus at this point.
They are already beginning their campaign against Obama:
This from Sean Hannity's website:
"I've been racking my brain to find methods of openly, actively, and legally opposing this tyrant in the making. Any suggestions?"
"The Obama recession is in full swing, ladies and gentlemen," Limbaugh told his radio audience of 15 million to 20 million last Thursday. "Stocks are dying, which is a precursor of things to come. This is an Obama recession. Might turn into a depression."
Millions listen to this man.
The militant right, and most especially the Christian Nationalists, won't give up. They will attempt to undermine Obama's administration as relentlessly as they did Bill Clinton's. We need to stay vigilant. To quote myself once again:
This is the demographic of any culture that's always more than ready to don their brown shirts and start making the kind of history we say "Will Never Happen Again" when the fires are finally out.
(Sarah Palin's) attacks provoked a near lynch mob atmosphere at her rallies, with supporters yelling "terrorist" and "kill him" until the McCain campaign ordered her to tone down the rhetoric.
But it has now emerged that her demagogic tone may have unintentionally encouraged white supremacists to go even further.
The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin's attacks. LINK
Enjoy the moment, but keep your eyes open. This shadow's nature and impulse is one and the same with that of the ethnic monotheism which divides us into a black and white, dualistic world.
Its remedy is the bright light of reasoned awareness.