Monday, October 20, 2008

Get your goggles, umbrella, and a bottle of bleach

It's going to get fugly out there.

Josh Marshall:
But you need to play close attention to the McCain campaign's final weeks' strategy under and just above the radar. McCain's final strategy relies on two pillars. The first is aggressively playing to voters' fears of electing a black president. Make no mistake: not just his campaign in a general sense, but McCain himself and his top handful of advisers, are banking on the residual racism in a changing America to get them over the finish line. The second is an aggressive use of innuendo to convince casual voters that Obama is in league with Islamic terrorists bent on killing Americans.
(Notice how they've tried to keep Bridget McCain out of the conversation?)

Roy Edroso of the Village Voice:
But there was one area in which this drive to lower the tone was a resounding success: among the Republican candidates themselves.

On the stump, both McCain and Palin suggested that Obama's plans for America amounted to "socialism." Palin also said she loved visiting the "pro-American parts of the country," presumably more than she enjoyed the anti-American parts. And a McCain advisor told MSNBC that only the Republican parts of her home state were the "real Virginia," because they were "more southern in nature, if you will."

Rightbloggers were beside themselves with glee. "McCain finally calling Obama what he is… a Socialist!" crowed Tennessee Talk. They rushed to defend their newly wised-up champions. Michelle Malkin explained what Palin meant, showing shots of obnoxious protests in San Francisco, Chicago, and Portland, Oregon. (Don't worry, she still hates New York, too.)

Mustang Bobby of Bark Bark Woof Woof notes Bill Kristol's denial of anti-Islamic rhetoric:
That right there should tell you that Mr. Kristol has obviously taken leave of his senses. The anti-Islamic rhetoric, demagoguery, and hysteria that took over this country after September 11, 2001 is not only well-documented in case after case of vandalism, threats, physical assaults, terror alerts, and other acts of mindless hysteria, it has never stopped. It is still going on today and is playing a major role in the presidential campaign -- Obama is a Muslim! His middle name is Hussein! For Mr. Kristol to say that there was no "Islamophoba or xenophobia" is pretty much the same as saying that there was no popular hysteria or scapegoating of the Japanese after Pearl Harbor.
The political rhetoric of the McCain campaign has loosed the rabid hounds:

The Right Wing Smear Machine going after ACORN has led to very predictable violence. David Neiwert:
John McCain has played a leading role in whipping up this frenzy of hatred. In Wednesday's debate, he charged:

We need to know the full extent of Sen. Obama's relationship with ACORN, who is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.

This is consistent with the hateful language being spewed from the right by the likes of Lou Dobbs, who has taken to routinely characterizing ACORN as a "radical left-wing activist group" as well as "a Democratic Party adjunct".

In fact, the hysteria's being generated across a broad spectrum of the Right, from Outer Malkinite Wingnuttia to Inside Beltway Villagers, from McCain and Palin to the frothiest freepers.

And we can see what's coming, too: We're being set up for a running yammer from the right after Obama wins questioning his legitimacy because of a supposedly "tainted" vote. Conspiracy theories and talking points from the right will circulate, driving up the temperature and feeding the right-wing populist frenzy.
Neiwert points out why this hateful focus on ACORN:
Sometimes you have to wonder what Republicans have against democracy.

Because that's what this whole "voter fraud" foofara is about. John McCain and Sarah Palin and Lou Dobbs and the rest of the right-wing torch brigade that have been after ACORN and the Ohio Secretary of State aren't concerned about protecting people's right to vote -- and in fact, their efforts largely go toward directly stripping citizens of their legitimate voting rights.
Glenn Greenwald discusses Colin Powell's disappointment over John McCain's demonizing Muslims and makes this observation:
A major enabling factor in convincing the population to support unnecessary and brutal wars -- and to perceive the "need" for endless expansions of federal surveillance and other police powers -- is the demonization of large groups of people both inside and out of the country. The Right's ongoing, intense obsession with demonizing Muslims and Arabs is, for that reason, not only repulsive but also quite destructive. The core of the Republican Party has degenerated into the unrestrained id of its worst impulses, and it was good to see Powell specifically cite (and condemn) those elements as a principal reason why he is turning away from the party he has served for so long, and instead supporting the Democratic nominee.
Via Morse of the Media Needle:

Remembering the good old days of McCarthyism, Rep. Michele Bachmann:
In a television appearance that outraged Democrats are already describing as Joseph McCarthy politics, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann claimed on Friday that Barack Obama and his wife Michelle held anti-American views and couldn't be trusted in the White House. She even called for the major newspapers of the country to investigate other members of Congress to "find out if they are pro-America or anti-America."

Appearing on MSNBC's Hardball, Bachmann went well off the reservation when it comes to leveling political charges against the Democratic nominee.
Take hip-waders to the polls, but vote. Vote as if your life depended on it!

Update: A horrific example of voter intimidation.

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