Who will counter the cankle of divisive assholes?
The attempt to establish a Muslimfrei zone around Ground Zero isn’t about 9/11. The wingnut solicitude for “Dr.” Laura’s supposedly lost First Amendment rights isn’t about “Dr.” Laura’s right to repeat racial slurs on the radio.
Fox News’ relentless pimping of the New Black Panther Party non-story isn’t about voter intimidation. Arizona’s anti-immigration law isn’t about illegal immigration. Breitbart’s Shirley Sherrod smear wasn’t about “reverse racism.”
The persistent suggestions from multiple quarters on the right that President Obama isn’t a Christian or an American aren’t about his religion or nationality. And the Prop 8 campaign wasn’t about protecting straight marriage.
What this is all really about is the most orchestrated, widespread attempt to divide this country since George Wallace’s presidential run. Scratch that—Wallace was never more than a regional candidate. This may be unprecedented in living memory.
Will Bunch posted an excellent piece yesterday summarizing the broad effort currently underway to rip this country apart in the name of taking it back. An excerpt:
America, we are in for the bumpy political ride of a lifetime. It will take enormous courage for defenders of two centuries of religious freedom and tolerance toward both religious and economic refugees to stand firm in the face of the kind of raw public anger and emotion that have caused backbone-impaired politicians like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid or supposed progressive stalwart Howard Dean to wither in mere days.
Let’s face it: This country has long had its Know-Nothings and its Birchers and its McCarthyites, but it never had gizmos like Fox News or Sarah Palin’s Twitter feed to fuel toxic ideas so far so fast. It’s time we admit these seemingly disconnected battles over “anchor babies, mosques, and a black man in the Oval Office are all part of the same war against “the Other,” and that we are in the fight of a lifetime.
Bunch has that right. The presence of racists, homophobes, nativists and religious bigots is nothing new. But the spectacle of nutcases like Pam Geller being ventriloquized by top Republicans like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich is.
This isn’t a fight any progressive worthy of the name can afford to sit out. Even if Obama hurt their feelings once upon a time.