By Brigitte L. Nacos
Last weekend, the Montana Republican Party held its state convention in Missoula. According to the local newspaper, there was “an outhouse labeled 'Obama Presidential Library' parked outside Missoula’s Hilton Garden Inn, where the convention took place.” According to the Missoulian, “The outhouse was painted to look as though it had been riddled by bullets. Inside, a fake birth certificate for Barack Hussein Obama made reference to the disproven controversy over the president’s origins. It was stamped ‘Bull––.’ A graffito advised 'For a Good Time call 800-Michelle (crossed out), Hillary (crossed out) and Pelosi (circled in red.)'”
If this sort of venom surprises you, I bet you haven’t sampled the hate speech that is common on the discussion boards and in comments sections of Tea Party, birther, and Obama-is-a-Muslim web sites and social network pages.
Here are a few of many, many examples:
"Obozo and his thugs will try to take over more of our nation. I can only hope this nation of once free people will wake up to Obozo's radical agenda before it is too late. We have to continue to fight the good fight or he will turn us into a socialist nation. My friends and I did not fight for this country to end up as Obozo plans. IMPEACH OBOZO!!!!!!!!!"
“If we secure the Whitehouse from the usurping criminal that is there, we will automatically secure the borders.”
"I am convinced the American people would demand impeachment if the media did not cover so much for Obama. to let that Muslim piece of manure free is [sic] so Obama can exit Afghanistan as a winner by appeasing the Taliban. All he cares about is retaining power"
“Obama has presided over an almost total infiltration of our federal government by Muslim terrorists. We must sweep out Obama and all Dems. We must clean house of all these people, or be destroyed from within, which is precisely what they want.”
There is good reason why we should not ignore the hate mongers and their e-messages. Tea Party ideology and demagoguery as well as an assortment of conspiracy theories considering Obama an illegitimate president and existential threat to America as we know it, have become the dominant forces in the GOP’s now mainstream conservatism. Whether congressional leaders or back benchers, presidential contender Mitt Romney or incumbents and challengers in races for local, state and federal offices, they all cater to right-wing activists, the advocacy organizations that guide them, and the multi-billionaires and –millionaires that fund them.
As the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank points out, “There are always going to be nuts at both ends of the political spectrum who do and say ugly things. Usually, leaders denounce the vile elements among them and try to distance themselves. Under the Obama presidency, however, conservative leaders are encouraging the vulgarity — if not joining in by heckling the president from the House floor. The Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, recently shared a stage with Donald Trump only hours after the buffoon tycoon had again floated the disproved allegation that Obama wasn’t born in the United States. Among many such episodes before that, Romney failed to challenge a supporter who suggested to him that Obama ‘should be tried for treason.’“
Nothing, absolutely nothing ranks higher on the agenda of the Tea Party GOP than the publicly proclaimed overriding goal to deny President Obama a second term. That objective guides all their decisions: Oppose everything that the president suggests—even policies that are clearly in the national interest and traditionally supported by the GOP.
To that end, Republicans reject all administration proposals to stimulate the economy for the sake of a more robust economic recovery and a meaningful decline of the unemployment rate. Their rationale is clear: The chances to beat Obama and make gains in Congress, especially in the Senate, is greatest, if the slow economic recovery is stalling by Election Day or, worse yet, slides back into a recession.
To defend a policy of obstruction that is indefensible, it is now mainstream GOP to vilify Obama. “Outhouse” politics is in.
Whether this calculus works or not, the American people will pay the price for the Tea Party GOP’s irresponsible and, yes, un-American political game.