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Larry Gellman Headshot

Time For Hannity and Friends to Take a Xanax

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Every day I receive four or five emails from my Republican friends to make sure I haven't forgotten what a horrible socialist terrorist liar Barack Obama is and how the Democrats -- who have had essentially no power since 2000 -- are really responsible for everything that's wrong with America.

I appreciate that. Occasionally I forget. I hope and assume that in a week or so when the election is over that those emails will stop. I have already noticed that some of my friends have started to lose a little of their energy as it has become increasingly clear that the presidential race is already decided and Obama has not only won -- he has won in a landslide. Those who disagree are in luck. They can get 8-1 odds on McCain on intrade.com right now so if they bet enough, they can make back what they've lost in the stock market this month.

There are some diehards and true believers who think the game isn't over. That's fine. This is America. That doesn't bother me a bit. What does scare me are the vicious and hateful attacks against Obama that seem to be gaining in frequency and toxicity on Fox News, Townhall.com, and talk radio even as the math makes a McCain win a virtual impossibility.

When the McCain campaign first started going negative a few months ago, the party line was that Obama was too risky and inexperienced. He sat in a church for 20 years and listened to hateful sermons, he used to hang out with shady guys, but mainly he was not ready to be president or commander in chief on day one and McCain was. Obama put politics before country while McCain put "Country First" all the time. Many people found that to be both a compelling and encouraging sales pitch.

But look what has happened as the Straight Talk Express has become a train wreck. First McCain started calling Obama a traitor who tried to lose a war. Then Obama played the race card. Then Obama palled around with terrorists. Now, depending on which furious true believer you listen to, Obama is a foreign socialist agent who was not born here and wants to destroy America, Obama is a terrorist, Obama is a liar, Obama is a criminal, Obama supporters are big black guys who attack and carve their initials in the faces of McCain supporters, and so on.

Meanwhile, McCain has steadily frittered away all of his credibility. His "Country First" and "ready on Day One" credentials went out the window with his pick of Sarah Palin. Then he came across as frantic and very confused about the economy. In August and September, he echoed President Bush 17 times stating that the economy was fundamentally strong.

He proudly called himself a deregulator and stated firmly that he was against "the bailout of AIG or anyone else." Then two days later, he said we were facing the greatest economic crisis in 75 years and that he supported the bailout of AIG, the $700 billion rescue plan, and promised more regulation when he's president. Right after voting to socialize our banking system, he started accusing Obama of being a socialist.

During the three debates, he looked angry and confused while Obama looked controlled and presidential. All the polls showed voters thought Obama won each of the debates by a margin of 2-1.

Then, as a perfect metaphor for the whole campaign, McCain introduced us to Joe the Plumber, a guy who owns a business, makes more than $250,000 a year, and is upset that Obama will make him pay more taxes. Of course the guy's name isn't Joe, he's not a licensed plumber, he doesn't own a business, he doesn't make $250,000 a year, he is delinquent in his current taxes, and under Obama's plan he would get a tax cut. Other than that, McCain nailed it perfectly -- the new Straight Talk Express.

McCain hasn't been done in by the Left Wing media or by ACORN or by the economy or because he's a Republican in a bad year. Obama has had his own challenges since 33 percent of all voters have said they know someone who won't vote for Obama because he's Black.

Obama has won the election fair and square because he has been the more appealing candidate to most Americans and McCain has lost it. There are dozens of Republican and Conservative newspapers, public figures, and columnists who have announced during the last few weeks that they are supporting Obama or that they simply can't support McCain-Palin. They have all cited the sleaziness of McCain's campaign and the poor judgment he has shown on the economy and with his pick of Palin. There have been no such defections from the ranks of Obama supporters because they have no reason to defect. Obama has delivered and McCain has not.

It's over. The American people have spoken. If this was a basketball game, it would be time to clear the benches and let the subs play out the clock.

But instead, the fanatics on the Right -- particularly on Fox and the radio -- are committing hard fouls and trying to injure the winner. It's ironic since these are the people who claim to be pro-America patriots. Where I come from, patriots fight hard but when the game's over, they unite behind the winner and work hard to help him succeed. We're all Americans and in this together.

Because of all this hate and ugliness, what was shaping up as a Republican defeat is turning into a Democratic landslide that is spreading to Congress and might give the winners a filibuster-proof super majority in the Senate. If that happens -- a thought that scares me as an Independent -- it will be a harvest reaped by the voices of hate. They have turned off, frightened, and disgusted not just the Left but also virtually every Independent and moderate Republican voter in the country. And it's getting worse by the day. The more vicious and loud they become, the further behind the Republicans fall in the polls.

I worry about the country and I also worry about Obama's safety.

Many of my Republican friends are also staunch supporters of Israel. When they are not reminding me how horrible Obama is, they are making sure I realize what a threat Islamic terrorism poses to Israel and Jews everywhere. There is certainly a lot of truth in what they say.

But what they seem to have forgotten is that the only Israeli prime minister ever assassinated was not killed by an Arab or a Palestinian terrorist. Yitzhak Rabin was murdered by a ritually-observant Jew named Yigal Amir -- a young yeshiva honor student who listened attentively when his rabbis told him that Rabin was a traitor for negotiating with the enemy. So Amir -- a Jewish Israeli patriot in his own mind -- murdered Rabin.

Today, 12 years later, recent polls have shown that 38 percent of religious Israeli Jews consider Amir a hero and rallies demanding his release are held on a regular basis.

It's one thing to say the other candidate is not ready or experienced enough to lead our country. It's another thing to call him a traitor, a socialist foreign agent, a terrorist, and a person who wants to destroy our country.

This has been a tough and energizing campaign and it's about to be over. Isn't it time to start chilling out and cutting back on the most extreme and inflammatory of rhetoric and to get about the business of rebuilding and reuniting our country? Isn't it time for Hannity and Friends to go back on their meds?

All the pro-America patriots I know feel that way. There's probably a name for people who feel differently, but they're not patriots. Not even close.

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