Monday, October 13, 2008

Some Quick Observations about the Fascist/Racist Wind Being Whipped Up by McCain/Palin

From Consortium News:

Why Are McCain Backers So Angry? [an excerpt]

By Robert Parry
October 12, 2008

From Republicans at political rallies to GOP lawmakers on TV talk shows, McCain-Palin supporters are angry, very angry – and they seem to think their anger justifies whatever they do: from calling Barack Obama a “terrorist” to shouting “kill him” and “off with his head” – to getting huffy when their violent rhetoric is challenged.

They’re even angrier now after Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, a veteran of the civil rights movement, chastised John McCain and Sarah Palin for whipping Republican crowds up into the kind of fury that can set the stage for murder.

Lewis, who marched and bled with Martin Luther King Jr., accused McCain and Palin of “sowing the seeds of hatred and division” in a way reminiscent of Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who rallied white anger against black civil rights advances in the 1960s.

“George Wallace never threw a bomb,” Lewis said Saturday. “He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights.”

While Lewis’s warning could have been an opportunity for McCain to reflect on the tone of his campaign, it became another excuse for him to get angry.

McCain – who has elicited some of the harsh crowd responses by asking ominously “who is the real Barack Obama?” – denounced Lewis’s statement as “a character attack against Governor Palin and me that is shocking and beyond the pale.”

Rather than apologize for his own recklessness – or, perhaps, pull a campaign ad that accuses Obama of lying about his association with a “terrorist,” former Vietnam War-era radical William Ayers – McCain demanded that Obama repudiate Lewis.

(Obama’s campaign responded by saying Lewis was right to condemn “hateful rhetoric” at the rallies but distancing itself from the Wallace comparison.)

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Parry has many useful things to say in this piece, excerpted above, but he frames this overall as a contradiction between the fact that some GOP supporters are spewing venom towards Obama when they really should be angry at their own party.

He's right about this, but the main aspect of this ugly wind being whipped up from rally attendees saying things like "Bomb Obama" and "Kill Him!" is something else. It's not erroneous thinking. It's some of the more blatant signs of a fascist movement's character being displayed.

When Palin, for example, stated at the RNC that "Al-Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America and he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights" she was none too subtly fanning the flames of xenophobia and ugly know-nothingism.

The extremism that McCain and Palin represent is no laughing matter, even if SNL has been having a hilarious field day mimicking Palin and even if her stupidity and willful ignorance are painfully obvious. Their ugliness as a team and the depravity of their followers is not something McCain and Palin are so stupid as not to welcome as the desired outcome of their overall stance. In order to carry forward the Bush Program, these GOP leaders are cultivating their "army" of know-nothing fanatics because you can't carry these terrible things forward without such an army as a battering ram.

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