Sep 12, 2009

GOP Goes Bat-Crazy, Enjoy It

Update: See Media Matters - Fox News openly advocates against Democratic Congress, White House and watch Beck's Witch Hunt: The New McCarthyism.

Democratic strategists are enthralled by the 9-12 project, Rep Joe Wilson (R-SC), deathers, birthers and the GOP as the hatred of our black president becomes apparent, branding not President Obama but rather the Republican Party.

The last time the GOP went this crazy, actually impeaching a president after the GOP was trashed in the November 1998 election, President Bill Clinton’s approval ratings spiked upward. Look for more of the same.

Democratic strategists, if they were inclined, do not need to craft a straw man.

The GOP is building its own: Themselves, and apparently are not aware of this development as they scream how much they love America and want America back from the black man who took it a short eight months ago.

Rush, Glenn Beck and company are offending not only the fastest-growing demographics of our electorate, but also are turning off independents and firing up Obama’s progressive base.

And make no mistake. Beck, Rush and Fox are mainstream Republicans.

A Madison business owner with whom I often talk politics — an activist Republican and respectful, old-school politico — assures me that the 9-12 movement is mainstream in the GOP.

Even as President Obama delivers a message of inclusion, service and respect as we honor 9/11 this weekend, the GOP and the tea-bag types are drinking deep of McCarthyite hate. Reports David Paine in the Huffington Post:

This past August, a few months after the 9/11 community finally secured passage of bipartisan legislation that established 9/11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance, a writer for the American Spectator published an article entitled ‘Obama's Plan to Desecrate 9/11.’

The opening sentence read this way:

‘The Obama White House is behind a cynical, coldly calculated political effort to erase the meaning of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks from the American psyche and convert Sept. 11 into a day of leftist celebration and statist idolatry.’

Add to this bizarre but typical reprise of McCarthyism an even stranger development: The old-time segregationist religion is being openly revived with such enthusiasm that one wonders if the GOP knows that the 1950s-60s civil rights movement actually occurred.

The ignominious gloom of Ronald Reagan who championed foes of the civil rights movement by kicking off his 1980 campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi — the site of the 1964 murder of civil rights workers Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney (depicted above)— by calling for "states rights" and other anti-civil rights initiatives is casting its fetid vapor today.

As Ed Kilgore writes in Tim Pawlenty Climbs Aboard the Crazy Train:

The ‘state sovereignty movement’ is not, it's important to understand, just a group of people who think the federal government has too much power. Its central feature is the crackpot nineteenth century theory, revived most recently to resist civil rights legislation, that states have the inherent right to nullify federal legislation and court rulings that fall outside the enumerated constitutional powers of the federal government. And Pawlenty knows its extremist provenance: that's why he identified himself with Rick Perry, who's flirted both with nullification and with secession as part of his high-minded contributions to the ‘state sovereignty movement.’
Most Americans find open displays of racial hate and McCarthyite lies genuinely disturbing and indecent.

But we can watch and enjoy the GOP digging its political grave in one of the most outlandish moments of modern American political history.

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