Friday, October 10, 2008

Fanning the Flames

This is really unpleasant.


• Did this teacher make up his very nasty acronym for CHANGE (read the article; let's just leave it at N stands for the proverbial "N-word"), or was it something he found on the interwebs?

• Why is the school system construing the teacher's transfer to the Adult Education program as a punishment? For whom, exactly? As a former Adult Ed teacher, those students have suffered enough and are in a position already insanely vulnerable without bringing a racist fuckwad in to instruct them, thankyouverymuch. Your school system failed these people already—I've got a great idea, why don't you send the dregs of your faculty in to fail and betray them again? ASSHOLES.

• What the hell is going on here?

Connor talked about this a couple of days ago, the climate of hatred springing up at McCain/Palin/McCain and Palin rallies. Perhaps a number of McCain/Palin supporters have always been that vociferously racist and nasty—in fact, I'm almost sure that's true—but it does seem clear that recently Palin in particular seems to be fanning the flames. It doesn't scare me so much that "Terrorist!" and "Kill him!" have been shouted as that McCain and Palin seem to have no interest in denouncing such comments, even as it's already clear that these tactics are gaining them no ground.

I mean, for fuck's sake, *Indiana* is a full-scale swing state. It went to Bush by more than 15% in the last two elections, and those who have lived in Illinois with me know how insane it is to imagine that Obama could win Indiana. But he could; McCain is only up by about three percentage points. Obama is up ten points in New Hampshire and five in Virginia. Right now I think he's going to win. As those who have been reading this blog for the last couple of months know, that feeling could change on a dime, but I think he's going to win.

What scares me is that I don't feel like McCain and Palin are trying anymore. These Ayers smear tactics are not working with anyone but their base, and they know it. Nor will a rerun of the Wright ridiculousness do anything productive with swing voters. They are not trying to win right now. They are trying to incite hatred. Serious, vociferous hatred.

I don't think I'm going to feel safe until Obama is inaugurated.


At 1:38 AM, Blogger Lawrence said...

so they're trying to incite hatred in order to do something other than win? would they seriously think that the production of hatred would be enough of a consolation prize during an Obama presidency? i mean, maybe, but... i still feel like inciting hatred was an effective Bush tactic in 2004, or at least inciting some kind of sinister subliminal dislike. it certainly at least seems like inciting hatred is a large part of what the war in Iraq (and getting people to believe in the war in Iraq) is about, as i think i wrote about in my livejournal sometime around March 2007. but then again, that's why i wouldn't think inciting hatred is below Palin/McCain.

At 3:28 PM, Blogger Milligan said...

You're right, they're not trying to win the election anymore, at least not in the immediate sense. McCain and the GOP have all but conceded the election in the past couple of weeks, and there is a rapidly hardening conventional wisdom that they're toast; that Obama may be headed for an electoral college landslide; that his coattails might even net him a filibuster-proof Senate. Just watch, in the next few days you'll see McCain soften and make a big show of denouncing the fire without actually trying to extinguish it, as he tries to salvage his post-2008 reputation.

I think Digby's nailed this one:

The short version is that they're actively laying the groundwork to delegitimize Obama over the next four years, by planting in their base now the narratives that will keep them chanting "not my president" until 2012. Otherwise they run the risk that under Obama's administration things might get appreciably less shitty, and people could start defecting from the conservative coalition.

While I'm sure the GOP planners would like to imagine staging a replay of 2006 in two years and maybe even trying for another impeachment (on charges of being a terrorist sympathizer, no doubt), they are realistically trying to set up Palin (or maybe Jeb or Huckabee or some Bush III empty suit who isn't on anybody's radar yet) to run in 2012 on a narrative of reversing a stolen election and taking the country back from the anti-American Arab Manchurian candidate.

In the meanwhile, even the Republicans know that they are terrible at governance, but they make one hell of an effective opposition party.

At 11:43 AM, Blogger Connor said...

I agree with Milligan, and while McCain himself is responsible (all decisions ultimately lie at his feet), I believe that this is really a strategy his advisors and campaign staff have pushed: Delegitimizing an Obama vistory is clearly a choice made with 2010 and 2012 in mind.

One hopes that victory is sufficiently complete that this remains a maginal view, but we're dealing with a group that, even in times of weakness, are endlessly inventive where bringing fringe views into the mainstream is concerned.

At 11:45 AM, Blogger Connor said...

Also, Tom has written eloquently on this subject:


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