The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Friday, October 10, 2008

Reaping the Whirlwind

I've been saying for quite a while that it would take a national emergency to finally wake the non-insane from their Republican-induced slumber. It was just a question of how serious the emergency would have to be. The disastrous Iraq war wasn't enough, the lawlessness of the current administration wasn't enough, Katrina wasn't enough, and so on. Hopefully the market turmoil won't continue to worsen, but the way things are looking it could be the wake-up call that was needed to alert the country to the complete moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the American right in the last few decades.

Sensing this, wingers are doing just what extremists throughout history have done when their diabolical plans start to unravel: undertaken serious introspection, put the welfare of mankind above personal ambition and greed, and rolled up their sleeves to get to work on the business of making things better.

I'M KIDDING!!! Like extremists throughout history, they're letting the facade slip away in their anger, exposing themselves as loathsome cowards and avaricious miscreants who are more than happy to spread hatred, fear, and misery because they think it might be to their advantage.

On CNN last night, David Gergen, a Republican advisor to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton, commented on the "anger" evident at McCain/Palin rallies of late. "There is this free floating sort of whipping around anger that could really lead to some violence," Gergen said. "I think we're not far from that."

When Anderson Cooper expressed skepticism about whether violence was likely, Gergen said he "really worries" given "the kind of rhetoric" coming from the Republican ticket.

When a mainstream, Republican presidential advisor goes on national television and expresses concern that Republican voters might literally become violent in response to the Republican presidential ticket's rhetoric, it's safe to say we've reached a rather dramatic point.

This week has been unusually incendiary. The McCain campaign has deliberately been whipping the angry, far-right Republican base into a frenzy. That includes increasing frequency of "Hussein" references, but it also includes looking the other way while campaign supporters exclaim "treason!," "terrorist!," and "kill him!" during official rallies.

On Wednesday, during a McCain harangue against Obama, one man could be heard yelling, "Off with his head!" On Thursday, Republicans erupted when an unhinged McCain supporter ranted about "socialists taking over our country." Instead of calming them down, McCain said the lunatic was "right."

The Republicans want an angry mob, they need hysterical supporters, and so they've stoked the fires of hate, fear, and ignorance. It's become a surprisingly toxic cocktail.

Both the Washington Post and the Politico have good items today on the explosive, enraged emotions at this week's Republican rallies. Slate's John Dickerson described the participants' "bloodthirsty" tone.

Lord forbid that we see any violence, but that's the next thing you'd expect from a group of people who've been deliberately whipped into a frenzy by opportunistic politicians and talking heads. If you hear anything about pitchforks and torches being handed out at Palin's rallies, you'll know...