Pam Spaulding

The GOP ticket draws, and apparently embraces, the bigot eruption crowd

Filed By Pam Spaulding | October 07, 2008 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: 2008 Election, John McCain, McCain/Palin, Racism, Republican mob, Republicans, Sarah Palin

As we've seen time and again over this year, the fantasy of a post-racial election (held by many across the political spectrum) has been predictably obliterated as the fears and prejudices of way too many of our fellow Americans has bubbled up, first just beneath the surface, and now powerfully breaking the waves.

Isn't it interesting that Barracuda Bible Spice, deemed the "portrait of Christian motherhood and womanhood" by James Dobson, draws out The Base in a way that makes them feel free to express their inner bigot. She's ready to go there.

McCain had said that racially explosive attacks related to Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, are off limits. But Palin told New York Times columnist Bill Kristol in an interview published Monday: "I don't know why that association isn't discussed more."

Worse, Palin's routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media." At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."

And at another rally, a supporter yelled out "Kill him!" in reference to Obama, who Palin had just riled up the crowd talking about his "association" with Bill Ayers. In neither case did Palin say anything. But let's give her the benefit of the doubt, perhaps she didn't hear it.

Palin was put on the ticket to solidify this voter bloc. The Republican Party embraces them, and clearly knows they cannot win without them. What does it say about the GOP base that is turning out to listen to her (and to John McCain) and the level of vitriol and potential racial violence that is clearly out there?

If McCain and Palin had any true sense of "Country First," after seeing the reports of this kind of behavior going on at their rallies, they would make declarations at these events that racial animus has no place in their campaigns, and given this historic election, has no place in the public sphere.

I won't hold my breath.

Here's just a sampling of what has gone on this cycle (never mind all the noose hangings):

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It has been coming for a while now. I am split on the issue of exactly what it is. It could be a resurgence of bigotry or it could be the last gasping attempt to rally as the throws of demise descend. I hope that it is the pitiable struggle of a dying gasp as its' head is help under just a little longer.
This election will help decide the issue I think, if the Republicans dominate (I can't say win because we would all lose) and we have three-peat then bigotry will find fertile fields in which to grow especially if the second string QB gets into the game.
But if reason prevails then we shall see it become clear that this sort of thing must sink into the nightmares of our past and be only horrible memories that we tell in stories of how cruel we humans have been to one another.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | October 7, 2008 9:57 PM

The Republican Party is sinking lower than ever this election cycle. McCain and Palin have to know that they are playing off the prejudice and bigotry that still infects some in our country.

It shows why they should be let nowhere near the White House.

Absolutely despicable. This is the type of leadership they would provide - encouraging hate and discrimination.

Melanie Davis | October 7, 2008 11:09 PM

Those of the baby-boom generation in my life (even the gay ones) are voting for McCain, mostly because Obama is part black. One thinks that he's going to be assassinated, and claims not to want to be responsible for his murder. Most of the others give some variation on the "Black people will think they are entitled to it all, then. There'll be riots!" No kidding, that's an actual comment. Just what "it all" is referring to, I didn't find out. Like maybe access to political power, equality, the ability to decide the futures of white people?

Sad, but these people are also lamenting the end of white majority. If only I could give them all a good cuffing, but what good would that do? All we can do is debate their ignorance.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | October 8, 2008 8:45 PM

Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but the sort of ugly mob mentality that seems to be a part of every McCain or Palin public appearance now totally freaks me out.

When does it cross the line from mere rowdiness to out and out fascist violence?

You know, one of the danger signs for a potential rise of fascism is economic collapse.

Just sayin'.