Friday, October 10, 2008

Playing With Hate

We're hours away from the investigator's report on whether Governor Palin abused her power. Judging from the preemptive claims that came from the McCain campaign, they expect the report to be damning.

Probably not so damning as the extent of the Palins entanglement with Rabid Rightists in Alaska (as well as secessionists of the South) that make our worst seem like bunny rabbits in comparison. Or VP candidate Palin's own Fascistic rhetoric, and the loud shout-outs of racism infecting the McCain campaign from top to bottom that even the major media is noting.

Race is the topic of the day it seems, and whether Obama has a ceiling to his support, whether the Bradley effect is still real or relevant, or even if race is a factor in just one direction.

Racism works especially well when the rich and powerful are able to use it to divide the middle class and poor people, and divert them from blaming the real culprits causing their plight--namely the rich and powerful. That could be happening in this economic crisis, but it probably hasn't had time to build that way just yet. And it may not at all this time. People are looking at Wall Street first, and the subtext of blaming this all on people of color who got houses they couldn't pay for hasn't caught on as the main explanation.

But the Republicans are still trying, especially those local pols who are trying to position Obama as a street thug. Unfortunately for them, except in a few isolated pockets (and even they have television), white people are experienced enough with the variety of non-white individuals and families to differentiate (as opposed to discriminate).

Still, it is a time for vigilance, and all racism must be pointed out and condemned. Even if it continues, such vigilance may encourage a purging of this poison from the body politic.

This racism and other will go on at some level for the rest of the campaign, peaking on election day in mail boxes stuffed with hatred (and that New Yorker cover.) Whether McCain and Palin themselves can keep doing this is still an open question. Some pundits believe they have nothing else, and expect to see it in the debate Wednesday. But one, Lawrence O'Donnell maintains that it is polling so badly that McCain will give it up by the time of the debate.

Maybe so. O'Donnell says McCain is too impatient to stay with it, and that may be so. But his violent and abusive temper, revealed in this incident of screaming at a woman at a Vegas craps table, is not only a disqualification for the presidency, it could yet mean more incitement to violence.

Update: TPM notes that Obama has recognized the McCain-Palin rallys at which "It's easy to rile up a crowd by stoking anger and division." First Read quotes this and the McCain response, accusing Obama of trying to silence ordinary Americans. So I guess that makes them official Fascists. Meanwhile, a Fox News poll asked about the Ayers attacks and found that people aren't interested.

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