Here’s a curious post trying to get at the bottom of all the hate and bile flowing from the right. It highlights a curious conundrum…
The answer is that until the advent of the Obama presidency, Republicans had no reason to scapegoat Muslims or demonize Islam — and indeed, they could not have inflamed those prejudices without damaging their own leaders, especially George W. Bush.
Evidence of the blatantly partisan character of the current anti-Muslim campaign can be found everywhere — on Fox News Channel, cable channel of the GOP; in the latest excrescence of Newt Gingrich and David Bossie; and in the roster of speakers at Saturday’s “no mosque” rally, which featured a video message from John Bolton, the Bush administration’s former ambassador to the United Nations.
The presence of Bolton is telling because he served a president who articulated precisely the same benign view of Islam — which Bush famously described as a religion of peace — as his successor. But the political and cultural messaging that Republicans and conservatives accepted quietly from Bush is today considered tantamount to treason when promoted by Obama.
Oh, it’s more than that. The debts ran up under Bush and Reagan were quietly accepted, if not celebrated, until Obama, then they became considered tantamount to treason. Unfunded mandates (Medicare Part D) were quietly accepted, if not celebrated, until Obama, when *funded* mandates (Health Care Reform) became considered tantamount to treason. Heck, Obama ending Bush’s wars is considered tantamount to treason by the Right, despite the fact that it was they, and their lying President, who started them.
The reason they can do this, and their core batch of ignorant bigots eats it up, is their branding of Obama as *the Other*. 40% of Republicans think he’s Muslim. Over half aren’t sure he was born in this country. They get to load up all their hate and fear and project it onto *the Other*.
Rather despicable that they can get away with it, but in a media age when the “liberal” channel is run by a combination of a convicted monopolist and a huge defense contractor, it’s not surprising this kind of crap gets a pass.
One would hope to see this tactic of motivating by hate and fear dissipate after the Republicans shamelessly use it to gain back some power in November. Taking a quick look at the history of democracies in the throes of financial turmoil (and our own history which is replete with this stuff), I’m guessing this hate-tactic is going to be around for a while. After all, it certainly can’t be the rich, white folks who ran our military into stupid wars (while cutting taxes, no less) and off an the economic cliff.
No sirreee, they’d never do such a thing. They’re like “us”, responsible people who love good things.
It has to be the Muslims/Mexicans/Socialists/’Pick Your Fear Group’. After all, “they” don’t like good things at all, and in fact want to destroy everything you love. Right, Republicans?