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Where Will Conservative Frustration Lead?

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Cross posted at Daily Kos.

About a month ago, at the end of the business day, I was talking with someone I work with. He was tired, leaving a couple of minutes early. I was working on some tedious but mission critical task, happy for a break. Somehow, the subject of retirement came up.

“Well, I was hoping to retire in a few years,” I said, “But now it looks like I have to work til I’m 70.”

“I hear ya,” he answered, and the floodgates opened. Not about intimate, personal stuff, but about the frustration that comes with being a middle class American in the year of the Common Era 2008.

He allowed as how the state of the economy was causing him significant heartburn. And he was pretty fed up with Bush and company, though he considers himself a Republican.

This was in the middle of the week that began with a huge drop in the Dow and the first reports of Paulson’s initial request, and my colleague’s anxieties regarding these matters were heightened, a common condition it seems fair to say. So his venting continued.

My suspicion that he has always been a habitual GOP voter was confirmed, but he’s fed up with Bush and thinks McCain is nuts. The thought of a Palin Presidency fills him with dread.

He is not, however, completely sold on Obama. The only one of the four major party candidates he is comfortable with right now is Biden. Still, there is a very good chance that he will vote Democratic, at least at the top of the ticket. I suspect he is leaning toward Obama, but won’t know how he is voting until Election Day.

And the financial crisis was bothering him a lot. The crisis and the cratering Dow left him feeling vulnerable and insecure — and angry of course. Angry about the bailout because it’s 700 billion; angry because of his delayed retirement. Mad about a lot of stuff.

Fast forward to now. We’ve had the four debates and a stock market roller coaster. As of now, the polls in the presidential race have moved Obama’s way. I haven’t talked with my colleague, but I suspect that his frustration and anger are reflected in those poll numbers.

There certainly are a lot of high profile Republicans coming out publicly in support of Obama. The latest is former South Dakota Senator Larry Pressler. Like Colin Powell, Pressler is a Vietnam veteran, adding to a long list of et tu’s for McCain to deliver someday (thanks to Talking Points Memo for making me aware of Pressler’s endorsement).

As has been amply documented in blogotopia and elsewhere, many Republicans and conservatives are not taking these developments very calmly. The more conservative and GOP endorsements Obama earns, the more ferocious grows the response from Republican die hards. There are a ton of Youtube videos out there capturing McCain and/or Palin rally goers making racist and maybe threatening statements.

And this was included in a Peoria Journal Star discussion forum last week:

For you Obama supporters my only advice is be careful for what you wish for and heaven help you if you ever remotely think about straying from the liberal plantation.

I wonder what the writer has in mind for his liberal neighbors.

But wait – there’s more. Crooks and Liars provided me with this video of the action at a pro Prop 8 demo and counter demo in California:


The Face of Proposition 8 from Theremina on Vimeo.

As Digby notes in relation to this incident and all the others:

Conservatives are starting to feel very, very freaked out. And they tend to be the type of people who believe violence is the best answer for everything.

I wouldn’t tar all conservatives with the same brush, but the atmosphere is getting tense and ugly. That’s one helluva boil this country seems to be lancing.

A question that rolls around my brain: If Obama wins, will this stuff increase or abate after the election? Or the Inauguration? I don’t mean the political and media opposition to a President Obama, reality based or not. I am referring to the violent street action. How far will they go?

Written by slothropia

October 26th, 2008 at 9:56 pm

Dear Editor:OBAMATERRISTSOSHULISTBABYKILLERAARGH!!!

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Cross posted at Daily Kos

Many newspapers in Real America are receiving letters like this one I found in my local fish wrapper:

I am writing to make an appeal to the voters of this great nation of ours. Please do not elect Sen. Barack Obama to the presidency.

The Democrat-controlled Congress is on the fast track towards socialism. Obama does not seem to have any ties at all to groups or individuals who have love of country or a sense of duty for the common good of the United States of America.

His ties are with America haters and radicals that seek to take away our greatness. We have a chance on Nov. 4 to save our country and our Constitution. Our economic woes and stock market slides will be nothing compared to what lies ahead if Obama is elected.

Is this a letter based on GOP talking points? Dunno, but it certainly seems inspired by McCain/Palin rhetoric.

Reading this angry little screed would make me very angry, were I Colin Powell, Susan Eisenhower, Christopher Buckley or Warren Buffet. But since I am not, I can afford the luxury of laughing at the way McCain’s nasty tactics continue to blow up in his face.

Written by slothropia

October 20th, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Small Town News

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During my lunch period today, I spread the current edition of the Peoria Journal Star on my cubicle desk to catch up with current events. I always read the editorial page because it makes me so mad and increases my adrenaline levels, what with the right wing editorials and the right wing letters to the editor, and the artless right wing cartoon. Grrr!!

Google it and see for yourself. No link from me.

Today’s page was especially fish wrappery. There were about half a dozen letters all dealing with Obama and Ayers or Wright. I smell astro turf. The cartoon was also about Obama and past associations. There was an editorial about a forgettable local issue, but the rest of the page was all anti-Obama.

Now, the PJ Star can print whatever it likes on any of its pages, but I don’t know why the Obama hate fest. Are they encouraging the McCain campaign’s race baiting and attempted character assassination?

I don’t quite get why they would allow the Republicans to take over their editorial page. But what do I know about the newspaper business?

Ironically, local Congress Person Ray LaHood said today that he doesn’t like “the reportedly incendiary tenor” Sarah Palin’s rallies, at which Sarah Palin induces her supporters to cry things like “Traitor!” or “Kill him!”.

All this comes on a day on where Senator McCain himself was booed when he called for Senator Obama to be give respect.

And on a day when the stock market tanked again (no link necessary, I am sure).

Written by slothropia

October 10th, 2008 at 11:02 pm

McCain/Obama II: The Thrilla in Nashville

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A quick post to record my reaction to tonight’s ‘debate’ before pundits pollute my perception.

First off, Tweety, on the pre-fight warm up, made me roll my eyes, curse and kick my dog (no, not really – I love my dog). He kept looking for sports metaphors and finally settled on a bull fighting analogy. McCain was the raging bull and Obama the elegant toreador.

Puhlleeze! Gag me with a spoon. Hey Matthews, look up the word ‘policy’ in the dictionary.

Anyway, they got started and I had this feeling about Brokaw, the moderator. And I was right. I think. Granted, I am not objective, but I thought that Brokaw was too deferential to McCain and gave him too much time v Obama. Until Obama took control and stood up for himself.

And why should this media meta crap matter, with all the real issues facing this country and the world? Sigh. But I guess it does.

In terms of substance, nothing new came up. Those of us who have been following the campaign were surprised by exactly nothing that was said. McCain performed better than he did two weeks ago, but Obama won by not losing.

Now, on to Hofstra!

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October 7th, 2008 at 9:07 pm

New McCain Campaign Tactic

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Talking Points Memo reports thus:

WaPo: McCain Camp Plans New Assault On Obama’s Character
The Washington Post reports that the McCain campaign is planning a new offensive against Barack Obama for the home stretch of the campaign, relying less on talking about John McCain’s biography and more about taking On Barack Obama’s personal character. “There’s no question that we have to change the subject here,” said a Republican operative.

Here is a new GOP ad attacking Obama’s character. I think it is to be targeted to rural markets.

Written by slothropia

October 4th, 2008 at 11:47 am