Here come de judges, and de hate
If you want to know what the Republicans are up to politically, what they're planning by way of tactics, about all you need to do is to analyze the accusations they make against their opponents.
Inevitably, when they're up to no good they accuse others of what they are doing or planning to do themselves. The accusations divert the corporate press from looking into who really is doing what, with which and to whom.
Given that truism -- you can check it yourself easily; just pick an issue and pay close attention to Republican accusations vis-a-vis what they do themselves -- we're in for a nauseating, hate-spewing congressional campaign this year.
That probably won't come as a surprise to anyone.
The omens have become increasingly ominous over the past two years, and real attacks on the chosen victims have become more relentless, but the certain giveaway is the growing one-note chorus from the right-wing propagandists about “Bush hatred.” The line has been around for awhile, but the volume was turned up, suddenly and on cue, a couple of months ago.
All of the singers of the official Bush tune, from Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh (singing base, and no, that's not a typo) to scratchy sopranos such as Ann Coulter and Minneapolis' own almost incomparably silly Katherine Kersten, reprise the number with increasing frequency and volume.
Easily swayed types such as as the New York Times' perpetually lost David Brooks inevitably get suckered into helping the right wingers sell their cover story.
If you are angry about the utterly needless slaughter in Iraq, and demand a plan to get out, you're a “Bush hater,” according to the propagandists. If you're outraged at the flow of public money into the pockets of favored corporations and crooked executives, you're a Bush hater. If you are furious that the destruction of the earth's atmosphere goes on with the blessing of the Republican leadership, you're a Bush hater. If you object to torturing (often illegally held) prisoners in the name of the people of the United States, you are a Bush hater. If you object that Bush claims to be above all law, you are a Bush hater. If you are disgusted by the corruption of this administration and the Republican-ruled Congress, you are an irrational Bush hater. And on. And on.
Every person who takes a stand against any or all of the stupidities, incompetence and crimes of the Bush administration and the right-wing leadership in Congress does so because of “an irrational hatred of George W. Bush,” the story goes.
Like so many Bush Gang creations, it's very neat. No need to address the complaints if they come from irrational haters of the Bush. And the obvious corollary is that if you oppose Bush, you are irrational, the victim of an insane passion.
I maintain that to despise George W. Bush and all of the high-level members of his administration is to demonstrate common sense and genuine patriotism, but that's a different subject.
The point here is that in attempting to preempt “hate” as an issue, the Republicans are telegraphing their plans for this year's elections.
It's going to be more of what they've done for a long time now, but with a heavy emphasis on “more.”
In fact, the smearing and efforts to rouse knuckle draggers against liberal to moderate candidates already is underway in some places.
One example: In the San Diego area of California, Francine Busby, a Democrat, is in an apparent dead heat in a campaign to fill the seat vacated by Republican Duke Cunningham, who is serving time after conviction on bribery and corruption charges. Her opponent is another right-wing Republican.
The Republican National Campaign Committee, desperate to hang onto the crook's seat, has been running vile and totally false attack ads against Busby, continuing even though the lies have been exposed by several publications and on-line news services. One ad falsely accuses her of “sympathizing” with a former teacher who was found to possess child pornography, even though Busby was the one who moved to have his teaching license revoked.
Another Republican ad blames her for the present severe financial difficulties of the school district where she was a board member for several years. The facts are that the district was in excellent financial shape during her years on the board and got into trouble after she left when the state (remember Republican Gov. Awnald the Terminator?) drastically cut school funding.
The big emphasis is on the lies involving the teacher. Apparently the Republicans figure they'll get votes by playing to the idiots who react automatically to any charge of sexual deviancy, even by association, without bothering about facts.
Are they right? Don't know.
Anyway, the Republicans already have signaled that their hate campaigns will go beyond individual smear jobs.
Here are some of the issues already cooking:
As the New York Times reported May 8, the Republicans are going to start another fight over Bush's judicial appointments, several of which have been in limbo for many months. In fact, the hootin' and hollerin' probably already has started as you read this.
All of the appointments that have been ignored in recent months are bad, and some are sickeningly wrongheaded. Brett Kavanaugh, an unqualified White House aide and toady, has been nominated for a federal appeals court seat, and the nasty Terrence W. Boyle, a federal district judge in North Carolina has been picked for an appeals court despite his barely, or rarely, concealed dislike for racial minorities, civil rights and claims by the disabled for equal treatment under the law.
The Times quoted several Republicans who openly admitted that they are itching for the fight for purely political reasons, because the push for right wing judges (and, though they didn't say it out loud, racist judges) energizes large segments of the right-leaning electorate. The appointments are barely concealed appeals to racists, extreme anti-abortion voters and others who hate everybody who isn't them.
Another bigotry-laden issue created entirely for this political season is the move by a group of Congressional Republicans to forbid bilingual ballots and the providing of translation assistance for voters at polling places.
Those services are provided under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which is up for renewal. The group of 56 Republicans wants them stripped from the law. The Los Angeles Times, which has done the only serious reporting on the situation I've seen, said May 6 that the effort is unlikely to succeed, mainly because other Republicans fear “that it could further offend Latino voters upset by the enforcement-only immigration legislation the House passed in December.”
Well duh, as the kids say.
But the 56 right-wing clowns probably knew from the git-go that the stated aim wouldn't be achieved. They also know, however, that it will draw votes from racists and immigrant haters. (Remember, we're talking here not about brand new immigrants, nor illegals, but people who are U.S. citizens.)
And that comes on top of all the other tough talk about immigrants, and to most of the haters “immigrant” means Latino.
For the next seven months, the air will be befouled by venomous talk aimed at brown folk. Much of the ugliness will be disguised, but only thinly, as upset over illegal, as opposed to legal, immigration. No matter how vile it gets, you will see the Republican Party openly supporting the attacks and spending enormous sums to fire up the “base.”
This won't be a good year to be female in the Corporate States of America, either, unless you believe men should control your bodies and determine how you lead your lives.
Fanning the passion of anti-abortion fanatics far beyond the push for extreme right judges is a given, but it's not going to end there this year. Several reliable publications have reported recently on pending attacks on the availability of contraception, as well. That's apparently playing well to the snake handlers.
As elections draw nearer, you'll seem some right wing politicians yapping about new laws to support pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for birth-control pills and devices, among other things, and some of the anti-abortion organizations will leap right in. And they'll tell their members and sympathizers who they should vote for, and the candidates they support won't be liberals in any sense of the word.
At the moment, as I read the reports from around the country, that tactic is going to play biggest in the South and a few other places such as South Dakota and Kansas, where major segments of the populations define morality mostly by whether one does or doesn't actually enjoy sex.
And then, of course, we can expect a frenzy of gay bashing. The cover story, as everyone in the country over the age of seven knows, is that “marriage of one man and one woman” must be
“defended” against gay activists who (Gasp!) demand to be allowed to marry each other and thus destroy the sacred family unit.
No need to talk here about what a load of horse-fallacy those arguments carry. The fact is that in their greed and desire to continue holding power, the Republicans will consciously unleash the haters to visit whatever evils they choose upon homosexual Americans. (But we ain't got no Nazis here. Nossir.)
Other appeals to bigots, the ignorant and disgruntled will pop up; we just don't know where yet.
The point of being aware of what's coming – indeed, of what already has started – is to bring it into conversation often over the months ahead, especially into conversations with sane conservatives.
If you accurately predict these things will happen, if you point out that the money for the ads comes directly from the Republican Party and/or its big financial backers, you can show others that the Republicans in charge today are deliberately inflaming the less savory segments of our society and doing deliberate serious harm to others for purely political reasons.
That can have some effect on decent human beings who vote, regardless of traditional party affiliations.