Sunday, September 13, 2009

About the tea baggers, deathers, what have you

Greenwald and Somerby argue that the crazy folks on the right are in fact not a new phenomena, not something only recently inspired by the Obama presidency. Greenwald reminds:
In 1994, Jesse Helms, then-Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, claimed that "just about every military man" believes Clinton is unqualified to be Commander-in-Chief and then warned/threatened him not to venture onto military bases in the South: "Mr. Clinton better watch out if he comes down here. He better have a bodyguard." The Wall St. Journal called for a Special Prosecutor to investigate the possible "murder" of Vince Foster. Clinton was relentlessly accused by leading right-wing voices of being a murderer, a serial rapist, and a drug trafficker.
They have a lot of good examples.

So, if Greenwald and Somerby are correct, what would the implications be? For one, that this is not totally about race? (thought: if the Clintons were black, and the right went after them for murdering Vince Foster, would the dialogue not have been that the right was going after them because they were black?)

That said, clearly a lot of it is about race. Obama campaign volunteers and staffers who knocked on doors and talked to a lot of people know this particularly well.

So I'll try this: the right wing rage at Obama is partially race-based. But, the kinds of crazy things that right wingers are saying are not new; they said plenty of crazy things during the Clinton administration.


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