We’re Boned

19Aug10

As my apartment search is over, I hope to get back more into blogging. However, I don’t know how I’m going to stay sane if I do this I do this too frequently. Here’s why, via Time:

Yet the survey also revealed that many Americans harbor lingering animosity toward Muslims. Twenty-eight percent of voters do not believe Muslims should be eligible to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. Nearly one third of the country thinks adherents of Islam should be barred from running for President — slightly higher than the 24% who mistakenly believe that the current occupant of the Oval Office is himself a Muslim. In all, just 47% of respondents believe Obama is a Christian; 24% declined to respond to the question or said they were unsure, and 5% believe he is neither Christian nor Muslim.

I can’t get over the fact that my country is acting like this…even during the worst of the neocon Bush years, it never seemed to be this bad.

The difference appears to be that the GOP has managed to latch on to the “secret Muslim” meme, but decided it’s a good idea not to go raving about how Obama’s hiding it. Instead, the GOP has decided to let Obama stand up for religious freedom, thus exposing that he simply must not be Christian.

I’ve decided that’s what this is really about; we’re back to conservatives using codewords to attack the left. Talking points like “how do we explain gay marriage to our kids?” actually translate to “the gays are going to molest our kids!” Similarly, “it’s too insensitive to build a mosque near Ground Zero.” apparently translates to “Obama’s a Muslim and he wants Muslims to take over our country.”

The cynicism is most disturbing. Dig the quotes in this article, posted on a right wing website, no less:

One Republican consultant said flatly right after the remarks, “He is right on principle, but he will get slaughtered on the politics.”

“It’s almost like they’ve decided to throw in the towel” on the midterm elections, said the consultant, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “If the power to decide this was his alone, I could understand this, but it is not. He chose to walk into this from the sidelines, which seems to me a foolish waste of political capital on a local issue. A curious mix of ego and self-aggrandizement, albeit for the right cause.”

and

As a different Republican consultant said, “The president is on the wrong side of a 70-30 issue. It’s as simple as that.”

Of course, it doesn’t matter if he’s right if more people disagree with him! Further:

Neil Newhouse, a Republican pollster, said Saturday that he was surprised by the president’s remarks Friday night. “It’s hard to believe that he felt the need to insert himself into this issue,” Newhouse said. “Intellectually, he may be right, but this is a very emotional issue to many Americans, and by taking such a strong stand on it, it seems as if he has a tin ear to the politics of the issue.”

In other words, Obama could do something as simple as acknowledge our mortality, but then the GOP would see an opening. “People hate dying, so we can never acknowledge they’ll actually die.” Or, what might play better in the South “Obama’s thinks everyone’s a quitter and wants to send us to Muslim hell!”

This is Lee Atwater and the Southern Strategy all over again. Does this sort of thing sound familiar:

Atwater’s tactics in that campaign included push polling in the form of fake surveys by “independent pollsters” to inform white suburbanites that Turnipseed was a member of the NAACP. He also sent out last-minute letters from Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) telling voters that Turnipseed would disarm America and turn it over to liberals and Communists

Of course, theres this famous one from Atwater. Try to replace Muslim for Black and terrorist for the n word:

Questioner: But the fact is, isn’t it, that Reagan does get to the Wallace voter and to the racist side of the Wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps?

Atwater: You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”[6][7]

What makes Atwater’s deeds all the worse is that there’s a decent case to made that he actually knew better. In his other life as a musician, he played with many black artists and had black friends. Obviously, this does not excuse his racism, nor does it refute it, but it goes to show that even if Atwater wasn’t racist in his private life, he was cynical enough to use racism for his own personal gain.

That’s where we are with Muslims currently. There’s no shortage of GOP elite who know better than their rhetoric. They know what’s right and turn their backs on it anyway. It makes one wonder, if the GOP cannot facedown something as innately wrong as racism, who is to say that they actually believe extending the Bush tax cuts would help the deficit and economy?

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2 Responses to “We’re Boned”

  1. Hey Dan, thats a great post there. I believe that unless people are ‘educated’ and barred from right wing propaganda, there aren’t going to be many changes. Honestly, though coming across some fascists myself, it seems they enjoy having such ignorant and laughable views and opinions. I think there is definitely one thing we can point the finger towards, i.e, Fox News, it is mind washing people, it is telling you to LIE when you know what the truth is. When they can openly display their biased coverage of the Georgia-Russia war then you can only imagine what they are doing behind the scenes.

  2. 2 poliology

    thanks for reading 🙂


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