Last weekend at a Republican party convention at the Missoula, Montana Hilton, an outhouse labeled "Obama Presidential Library" was plunked down in the middle of the hotel parking lot.
Ha! Good one.
The exterior of the portable comfort station was riddled with fake bullet holes. Inside, a pretend birth certificate for Barack Hussein Obama was stamped "bullshit," and jotted on the wall was the message, "For a good time, call 800-Michelle (crossed out), Hillary (crossed out) and Pelosi (circled in red)."
Yep, nothing cracks me up like the magical recipe of toilet humor, racism and misogyny. Keeps things light.
I'm starting to smell the singe of my own eyebrows so I should probably drag my canvas camp chair a couple of feet back from America's political bonfire...again.
It's been growing for a while; new logs have been added before the old ones have died, a few stray Styrofoam cups here, a Twix wrapper there. But now, someone's showed up drunk with bad intentions and a five-gallon can of ninety-two octane unleaded.
Politics is a dirty game—always has been.
While campaigning for John Kennedy during the 1960 presidential race, Harry Truman quipped, "If you vote for Nixon, you ought to go to hell."
Wow, such harsh words from a former commander-in-chief. At least it's not an order, it's more of a friendly suggestion.
In 1800, Thomas Jefferson wrote that President Adams possessed "a hideous hermaphroditical character which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman."
Come on now, Tom. You said this while wearing a wig.
A Republican pamphlet, in 1828, referred to Democrat Andrew Jackson as "a gambler, a slave trader and the husband of a really fat wife."
Jackson never forgave his opponents for such slander, vehemently denying that he'd ever gambled or traded slaves.
So it should come as no surprise that current day political vitriol—the "Willie Hortoning" of Michael Dukakis or the "swift boating" of John Kerry—relies on the same negativity for success that it's leaned on for centuries.
But here's the dangerous difference between now and every other era: The deadly combination of multi-million-dollar advertising pitches, combined with America's three-pixel attention span, assures that our country's massive cross section of lazy voters will cast their ballot based on thirty-second sound snippets wedged between American Idol contestants.
To exacerbate the systemic dysfunction, these information McNuggets will be promoted by groups like American Crossroads, seemingly benign organizations controlled and funded anonymously by corporate special interests.
In other words, we'll eat the Big Mac, but we won't know who made it.
Ever since a 2010 United States Supreme Court ruling enabled unlimited donations by corporations to political action committees, adverts will saturate our airwaves and the Kool-Aid will flow in the streets like never before.
It's the perfect storm. The Tea Party has emerged as America's racist backlash against its first black president. Intolerance and ignorance have blossomed to a bloom not seen since a wholesome Saturday night in Mississippi meant a pickup, a German Shepherd and a baseball bat.
Outhouses in Montana. Faux reporters and congressmen interrupting the President's speeches and governors finger wagging in his face.
That's disrespect not previously displayed for any President in America's history...and it's racism, pure and simple.
Republicans, what's the endgame here? Are you going to stand by and watch your party, with its centuries-old traditions of moderation and compromise, be callously hijacked by these faux patriots, these zealots?
As we speak, your candidate, Mitt Romney, is bending over so far for these folks, I thought I caught a glimpse of his limited edition underwear. Are you prepared to sell your ideals to the Joe the Plumbers, Sarah Palins and Karl Roves?
I thought you were smarter than that.
- Seattle, Washington,
- August 28
- I'm a middle-aged dad, clinging to my daughters' waning youth and my sanity.
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