23 September 2008

The cult of hatred and rage and slime

Watching Sandra Bernhard choking on her own rage in an out-of-control explosion of profanity-laced bile (see posting below), inexplicably described by some Obama-leaning bloggers and other writers as "humor", reinforced what has been becoming clearer and clearer to me for months: the core of the Obama cult has simply lost its senses and all grasp of basic human decency.

I'm not talking about the kind of emotionally-charged tactics that always happens in politics, the denunciations and accusations and "swift-boating" and even outright lying. Such stuff isn't pretty, but it's normal. It's been around for as long as politics has existed.

I'm talking about the unprecedented torrent of hatred and rage and slime pouring from a large contingent of Obama supporters -- not from his campaign, but from supporters -- directed against first Hillary Clinton and then Sarah Palin, and against people who support them.

I'm talking about the protracted campaign of insults and smears documented in posting after posting on Cannonfire, to which I've repeatedly linked, and familiar to anyone who regularly reads PUMA sites and sees the pro-Obama comments there. I'm talking about weird, pornographic (in the worst sense) public obsessing and fantasizing over details of these female politicians' reproduc-tive processes, like Andrew Sullivan spending days picking over every possible aspect of Palin's having had amniocentesis, as if this had anything on Earth to do with her qualifications to be Vice President. I'm talking about comparing Palin to a character in a novel "who holds you down while they fuck you". About eruptions of bizarre, incoherent, inexplicable rage. About depicting a family as incestuous in the guise of satire. Public airing of McCain/Palin pornographic fantasies. Sweaty, drooling speculations that Palin's new baby might actually be her daughter's.

That's what a major faction of the party I supported has become. Sniggering frat boys gawking up a 17-year-old girl's dress.

Examples could be multiplied endlessly; everyone who has been paying serious attention knows how pervasive this stuff has been. (This site offers pages upon pages of anti-Palin cases.)

I'm 47 and I've been taking an interest in political campaigns since I've been old enough to vote, but I have never seen anything like this. Even in the current campaign, I haven't seen anything like it coming from the pro-Clinton camp or from the Republicans. It's been coming only from the pro-Obama camp.

Even McCain himself -- the actual Republican standard-bearer, remember -- hasn't been targeted in this way. He's been fiercely criticized for his positions on issues, and insulted because of his age, but as I said above, this is really "normal" politics. The weird sexualized filth, the choking fury and disdain, have been directed almost exclusively at Clinton and Palin (though after the primaries I did start to see a bit of this being aimed at Cindy McCain, before Palin came along and presented another target).

The people who write this stuff seem utterly unable to grasp the point that it cannot in any way be considered helpful to Obama, and indeed may even be harming him, by associating him in the minds of the voters with those of his supporters who produce it. Reading their sites, it's obvious why. They can't see this, or engage in any other kind of normal introspection about what they are doing, because they are blinded by their own hatred. They are so filled with hatred and rage toward their targets that those targets are no longer real human beings to them, but personifications of evil, for whom no amount of vilification or degradation could ever be enough.

Regardless of what you think of Clinton or Palin as politicians, this is a dangerous and disturbing frame of mind for large numbers of people to be in.

The targeting of Clinton and Palin obviously suggests that gender has something to do with it. But there are just as many women as men caught up in the furious hate-and-slime slinging, so there is something more going on than just males becoming agitated about females rising to power -- though I suspect that that feeling does play something of a role. (I think that certain aspects of female chimpanzee psychology offer hints about what might be going on under the surface, but that point is too complex to explore here. Maybe in another posting.)

And there are others -- people who aren't haters themselves, but are enablers, making excuses for the filth and trying to normalize it or trivialize it.

Has this always been down there somewhere, like the writhing stuff one sees when one turns over a big rock, and we just never knew about it until the internet became pervasive enough for it to explode out from under that rock and contaminate our national political discourse? Or is it just a form of mass insanity which has recently engulfed a certain hard core of Obama cultists?

I hope it's the latter, because it implies that in the long run most of these people will return to their senses. And I see real grounds for believing that this is the case. Some of the people who have been doing this stuff are people I "knew" on a mutual-blog-reading basis before they became caught up in the hatred. Back then, they were normal, decent people. If something transformed them into their own evil twins, what was transformed can be transformed back.

One thing I do know -- if the Democrats win this election, the slime-mongers will consider their tactics vindicated and justified. They will have no reason to change, and this sick mentality will become almost impossible to uproot from the Democratic party. The Republicans will become the only major party that people with a normal sense of decency can support. That's not a corner I'm willing to see us paint ourselves into. The Democratic party must lose this election, so that it can be saved from the demons possessing it.


Blogger Christy said...

Just remember....Obama is not his "camp".

Stick to his real flaws, and don't become part of the smoke screen.

Lots of people you might find repugnant also back McCain--will they say vile racist things and feel vindicated if he wins?


But that's not the point.

It isn't about the political machines, and to make it so is wrong.

On either side, or even in response.

Who has the better bailout plan?

Who has the safer method of getting out of Iraq?

That's all I need to know.

23 September, 2008 10:22  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

The topic of this posting is Obama's cult -- not him.

My reasons for believing that their behavior makes it important to prevent the party from winning the Presidency this year is explained in the last paragraph (and in previous postings).

Nothing coming from McCain's supporters even approaches the vileness of this. Not even close. There's no comparison.

As for Obama, there is of course the issue of corruption and thuggery in the caucuses, his past associations, and so on -- but those are a different topic.

23 September, 2008 10:32  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

How can I argue this? I simply cant and am ashamed that some of those who claim that their liberated and for being fair,and all the other crap they claim they are,are more hypocritical then the extreme right.True..I been an Obama supporter since before he was actually in the pop culture starlight with this cult following. I truely like what he has to say..and actually wish he would tell these folks to just shut the hell up.I am for dark humor for instance and much more sexually liberated then even the most liberal of liberals by human standard's.But I never thought it was proper to shove it in the faces of the mainstream,and as far as I,m concerned..the internet is the "mainstream".And some of it frankly tread's even on the line of hate crimes and sexual dicrimination actually,some of it runs a very tight line.I have been seeing more and more of this,since I am new to this internet.I dont understand how they can support Obama...yet destroy his campaign and image with this propaganda,I just cant imagine what they are thinking.I dont know how to respond to the sexual perversity aimed at Palin. I find her to be a very attractive woman myself,but that's it. These attacks on her daughter is not fair at all...even Obama himself spoke against it,I guess these supporters of his..are not listening to even what their candidate is saying or asking.These same actions also allow these religious right wing fundamoralists make a solid case of how wrong the left is as well.So it is damaging to more then just Obama.But these cracks about Palin for instance from some of these guys..I dont know how to paint them,for all we know it just might be some pencil dick yuppie/geek's or whatever who obviously dont get laid enough. I'll put a cap on it.

23 September, 2008 10:52  
Blogger Christy said...


23 September, 2008 10:56  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I'm glad some Obama supporters recognize the problem.

My choice of McCain is based on more conventional issues too, not just this.

As for Republican or pro-Clinton bloggers being equally vile about Obama -- well, it's not hard to imagine what that would look like. A months-long campaign of lurid public fantasies about Obama being lynched or enslaved. Baseless rumor-mongering about raping white women and stealing watermelons. About his wife and daughters -- no, I'm not even going to go there. If I were seeing that systematically spread all over the internet in the same way, by whole legions of bloggers, then I'd say yes, the other camps are just as bad as the Obama cult.

Trouble is, I'm not seeing that. Because the other camps aren't doing that kind of thing. Isolated lunatics maybe, but not any major bloc of Clinton or McCain supporters -- and the rest of us wouldn't hesitate to condemn it if it did start happening.

23 September, 2008 12:39  
Anonymous handmaiden said...

You know me, I'm one of those bleed'n heart liberals & I'd never condone this. On the other hand I do agree with you that this kind of behavior is vile. One thing that really upsets me is that it makes all of us liberals look bad.

My take on it is, that the very nature & competitiveness of political races brings out the worst in some people.

Candidates can't always help what their constitutes do & say. This IMO is no reflection on Obama.

23 September, 2008 19:36  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Not in the same league, but this is pretty ugly. I can't wait for this thing to be over.

24 September, 2008 16:53  
Anonymous handmaiden said...

It will soon be over & a distant memory. Also, a lesson to all of us about how NOT to act. Let's concentrate on the good things in life. :) Love & the pursuit of happiness.

24 September, 2008 20:36  
Anonymous USpace said...

Sandra Bernhard's biggest attraction was always just an ugly woman trying to be funny. These Leftist women are really losing their minds. Rosanne wondered on Bill Maher's show whether McCain would take away women's right to vote. Even Maher's audience thought that was a nutso thing to think.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
never elect a woman

who's a conservative
she's just a gender traitor

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
just HOPE to pay more taxes

DREAM about high fuel prices
CHANGE PROGRESS to move backwards

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says

OR a minority
if they are Right of center

All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech there can be no real freedom.
Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon
Help Halt Terrorism Today!


27 September, 2008 22:24  

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