There is a properly angry piece by Glenn Greenwald in Sunday’s Salon about the way reporters and pundits are either dismissing or minimising the dangers inherent in the way that the Republicans are now conducting their campaign to get McCain into the White House.
Today, Time’s Karen Tumulty reports on what she heard after being invited by the McCain campaign to observe its “ground game” in Southern Virginia. Tumulty reports on a speech she heard delivered to gathered McCain volunteers by the Chairman of the Virginia Republican Party, Jeffrey M. Frederick — no “low-level party activist” he:
With so much at stake, and time running short, Frederick did not feel he had the luxury of subtlety. He climbed atop a folding chair to give 30 campaign volunteers who were about to go canvassing door to door their talking points — for instance, the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden: “Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon,” he said. “That is scary.”
After noting that this is “not exactly true,” Tumulty described how that accusation was nonetheless “enough to get the volunteers stoked”:
“And he won’t salute the flag,” one woman added, repeating another myth about Obama. She was quickly topped by a man who called out, “We don’t even know where Senator Obama was really born.” Actually, we do; it’s Hawaii.
This is why it is so disgraceful for reporters and pundits to minimize and dismiss what the McCain/Palin campaign, and Republicans generally, have been doing as they become increasingly desperate. Here is the top Republican official for the State of Virginia comparing Obama to Osama bin Laden and provoking claims that he hates the flag and isn’t really even American. The raw tribalism and resentments that are being stoked here, and the pure hatred against Obama based on his Terroristic Foreignness, is unprecedentedly ugly and dangerous, and reporters who dismiss and minimize it all through false equivalencies and other justifications are doing nothing less than aiding and abetting it.
The Guardian’‘s Michael Tomasky, writing on Saturday October the 11th, concluded that what we are witnessing in Republican campaigning is the “dark, Gothic heart of resentment conservatism”. “It’s going to be a disgusting three weeks.”
It’s going to be an even more disgusting three weeks if we have to witness the sorry sight of those who should know better – the people Greenwald fingers – defending the indefensible or excusing the inexcusable.