Even If Obama Wins — A Big “If” — GOP’s Latent Racism & Anti-Intellectualism Are Here to Stay

Some warnings for the progressive and liberal faithful: First, Barack Obama has won nothing yet, and the contest is closer than some media will tell you, and the GOP vote-theft apparatus is working overtime. (Keep fighting — lives depend on it!) Even Obama is the US president-elect come Nov. 5, Sarah Palin supporters — those Joe Six Packs who hate Muslims and smart people and folks from big cities with “funny” names and think they are better Americans than the rest of us — will still be here. And they will be a force to be reckoned with for a long time.

Geov Parrish at Eat the State says the so-called Palin Phenomenon is “appalling” in numerous ways:

Where to start? How about with the sad truth that Palin’s lack of experience is, in some quarters, an integral part of her appeal? Eight years ago, George Bush won the presidency or at least got enough votes to get him close enough to steal it, even though he wasn’t particularly experienced, in large part because his campaign convinced voters that this blue blood Ivy League son of a president was someone you’d wanna have a beer with. Since then, from “we create our own reality” in Iraq to an unprecedented contempt for the basic intellectual underpinnings of the scientific method, the Bush administration has in large part declared war on science and facts.

We’ve suffered the results of that anti-intellectualism. But Palin’s selection takes it one step further: from an affirmative action for the (rich) Harvard MBA to a “hockey mom” who went to five colleges in six years; from a largely ignorant and incurious man who learned to recite his lines well on the national stage to a largely ignorant and incurious woman who won’t even try to answer the question now if it stumps her. And it usually does.

And that, remarkably, is endearing Palin to a segment of our society who identifies with her–as in, “heck, if she can be President, I could be President” That debate wink was aimed squarely at this audience: “Yeah, I know I don’t belong here. Isn’t it hilarious?” It’s Mrs. Palin Goes to Washington, only without any of Jimmy Stewarts endearing qualities. But it’s the perfect myth for folks who think that any fool could do a better job of running the world than Those Damn Politicians. All it takes is some good old-fashioned common sense. And “small town values.”

And–lets spell it out here–what Palin means by that last phrase is “small town white values.” Palin’s attacks on Barack Obama, and in particular her coded racial references “Who Is Barack Obama”–answer: “Not One Of Us”; “Palling Around With Terrorists”–implication–“Since all Muslims are Terrorists, He’s One of Them” have opened up a remarkably ugly seam in American politics and culture.

The predictably bigoted ugliness and hatred this has spawned among some of Palin’s and John “That One” McCain’s audiences got so bad that finally, McCain actually had to call to task several of his more hysterical questioners in a town hall meeting. But this is no credit to McCain; he started this fire, and therefore deserves no plaudits for showing up later at the scene of the conflagration with a half-full bucket of water.

via Eat the State: The Permanent Palin Phenomenon

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