If you thought last summer's Obama Beer Summit was troubling in terms of how far-right media partisans wallowed in the topic of race, early indications are this simmering season is going to be much worse as Fox News and its brigade of haters fan the flame of division and distrust.
There's no question that race peddlers went nuts last summer over the controversy involving Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates and Cambridge, MA police Sgt. James Crowley, as well as Obama's later involvement in the story. But this time around, 'wingers have removed all mechanical governors and are talking about race in America the way that perhaps they've always wanted to talk about it during the Obama era; in unapologetically ugly, resentful and divisive tones.
How else do you describe the emerging right-wing meme, pushed by Rush Limbaugh, that Obama is really some sort of Black Manchurian Candidate, fixated on exacting revenge from prejudice white America?
Aided by a storyline that involves a tiny hate group called the New Black Panther Party (so much more menacing that an aging Harvard prof!), the GOP Noise Machine has gone loco over a comically porous story of voter intimidation; a tale that even one Republican official with intimate knowledge has dismissed as "small potatoes" and not worth any attention.
Why is this kind of aggressive race-baiting thriving now? Aside from the arrival of the New Black Panther Party (non) story, it's because Limbaugh, and the rest of the full-time Obama haters who make millions spinning increasingly wild tales about the almost uncontrollable evil that drives Obama and his fellow Democrats, needs to continually come up with some sort of explanation for why Obama is bent on destroying America and shredding the Constitution, demonizing this country, trashing our allies, and purposefully making life miserable for most. I mean, that's not typically what U.S. presidents do, right?
The professional haters have to at least invent some reason -- an Obama motivation -- as to why. And right now the latest answer (coming in the wake of claims that Obama's love of socialism, and communism, and fascism was to blame) is it's because of racism. Specifically, the reason Obama wants to destroy what makes America great is because Obama himself hates America and its history of injustice. So now that Obama's sitting in the White House he's exacting revenge and one way to do that is to team up with the New Black Panther Party.
Read the full Media Matters column, here.
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