Saturday, October 11, 2008


Courtesy of Eschaton, from Paul Krugman's blog Conscience of a Liberal:

One thing that has been sort of written out of the mainstream history of politics is the sheer insanity of the attacks on the Clintons — they were drug smugglers, they murdered Vince Foster (and lots of other people), they were in league with foreign powers. And this stuff didn’t just show up in fringe publications — it was discussed in Congress, given props by the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, and so on.

What it came down to was that a significant fraction of the American population, backed by a lot of money and political influence, simply does not consider government by liberals (even very moderate liberals) legitimate. Ronald Reagan was supposed to have settled that once and for all.

What happens when Obama is elected?

More here.

Krugman is riffing on the recent hate speech shouted by supporters attending McCain and Palin rallies, stuff like "traitor" and "kill him," and I agree there's a lot more going on than simply some angry assholes at political events. The Conservative Movement is, as far as I can tell, primarily composed of people who continue to be extraordinarily pissed off by the 1960s even though the 60s ended decades ago. Shit, man, there are people in the Movement who are too young to even remember the 60s--mostly it just seems to be tribal hate aimed at a straw man liberal constructed by right-wing myth makers. This tribal hate has been successfully channeled in various directions which are useful to conservative power weilders.

One of those hate-directions is the non-conservative notion that government ought to play a strong role in the economy: clearly, this non-conservative notion must now be regarded as absolutely true, given current events. Unfortunately, the tribe has been strongly indoctrinated, and god knows what the faithful must now think. I'm betting that many of them must be going through some strong cognitive dissonance at the moment. But add to it the sense of dysphoria and disappointment after nearly eight years of Republican rule: no WMD in Iraq, no capture of bin Laden, no reversal of Roe v Wade, no prayer in school, no crackdown on immigrants, and need I even go on? You get the idea. This country must be a very frightening place to the true believers.

And now a black guy stands ready to take the Oval Office!

It must feel like the Apocalypse to most of these fuckers. (Aside: why haven't they been Raptured up to God yet?) Krugman says he wouldn't be surprised by some anti-Obama violence. Neither would I. Some of these right-wingers are being driven spanking bonkers insane right now. Get-a-gun-and-start-shooting insane. I mean, they love their guns anyway, so this is bound to happen. It's already happened with that nutjob at that Unitarian church in Tennessee. But who's going to be the first to take a shot at President Obama? Who's going to be the first to take out Rachel Madow?

Remember the militia movement of the 90s? That was just a bunch of stupid rednecks worried about globalization and their new draft-dodging, dope smoking, wife trading, fucking hippie President Clinton, not even really a liberal by historical standards. I mean, Obama's not really much further to the left than the man Michael Moore has called America's "best Republican president," but to conservative diehards I'm sure he's the devil.

What's going to happen while conservatism continues to be torn to shreds by reality? What's going to happen when a black Democrat takes the White House? Hopefully nothing. But I think there's potential enough to be worried.

As if there wasn't enough to worry about already.