Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's Getting Ugly Out There

In Caledonia, WI:
Police in Caledonia are investigating the assault of a campaign volunteer as she was canvassing for Senator Barack Obama Saturday afternoon.In an exclusive interview with 12 News, 58 year-old Nancy Takehara of Chicago says she was going door-to-door when she came across a disgruntled homeowner.“The next thing I know he’s telling us we’re not his people, we’re probably with ACORN, and he started screaming and raving,” Takehara said. “He grabbed me by the back of the neck. I thought he was going to rip my hair out of my head. He was pounding on my head and screaming. The man terrified me.”

The man eventually stopped and the Caledonia police were called. Takehara was asked if she needed medical assistance, but she was not seriously injured. Instead, she says she was shaken up by the homeowner’s reaction.“This negative stuff has to stop,” said Takehara. “We’re all Americans. This is all about protecting our democracy, not about attacking each other.”

Takehara was encouraged when she had a message waiting at home from the candidate she is fighting for. Takehara called back and she and Senator Obama talked one-on-one.Takehara said, “Senator Obama understood… it was wonderful. It made me feel wonderful. It made me feel connected to this government again.”The Obama campaign did not want to comment on the incident at this time.

Police tell 12 News they are still investigating the case and will forward the complaint to the Racine County District Attorney’s office after it’s completed.
I wish this was the first time I'd read something like this but it's becoming all too common... I'm starting to sense a trend. McPalin has done everything possible to incite exactly this kind of behavior... this is what happens when you go out of your way to appeal to people's fear and prejudices. I'm sure they did not expect it to manifest in the form of physical attacks but I have seen so much ugly video, read so many nasty reports, read so much ugly, ignorant online commentary that I'm actually starting to doubt that Obama would make it out of a presidency alive. Seemingly normal people -- the kind of folks you run into at the grocery store or a kids sporting event -- turn into foamy mouthed lunatics with their ACORN, Ayers, terrorist, Muslim paranoia. It's scary... very scary... to think about how some of these crazier people might vent their anger if Obama actually wins.

John Cole has similar thoughts:
The violence will not be anything that the National Guard can suppress. It will be big Republican guys beating middle aged volunteers, vandalism, potshots in the night. Like they did in the 90’s, super-patriots will wall themselves off in little clans. If they feel the need to act, they will follow McVeigh and Rudolph’s example and bomb something.

You cannot ‘put down’ festering bitterness like this. It will become a part of life like bad weather and dog crap on the sidewalk. It’s pretty easy to avoid, but we’re past that point now. John McCain decided to lose ugly. The party, always captive to the whims of the top of the ticket in the best of times, eagerly followed suit. Clever people at the top of the party are saying things that can only lead to violence if simpler folks in the ‘base’ take it seriously.

To illustrate my point, you can’t find a simpler bunch of base minds than rightwing blogs. When Republicans lose huge, let’s see what fraction honestly tries to account for the GOP’s failures and come up with a strategy to fix them. If more do that, as Kos did to the dismay of conspiracy theorists on the left, then I will never be happier to be wrong. But I seriously doubt that will happen. Most of the none-too-sharp rightwing bloggers will egg on the evil Democrat/ACORN conspiracy story, and their even dimmer readers will take the next logical step.


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