Don't believe the nonsense that the offenders are a minority who have attached themselves to well-meaning protesters.
On this day they were clearly the majority and everyone cheered them on when they performed these miserable acts.
Making all this even more reprehensible were the actions of many Republican members who took to appearing on a balcony overlooking the legislature's lawn and urged on the chanting crowd
...I've seen these crowds before. In the 1960s in the American South when I was reporting on the growing civil rights movement.
But never did I expect to see this kind of uncontrolled anger in a cosmopolitan city such as Washington, at the foot of the Capitol building no less [Henry Champ, "The Dark Side of American Protest," CBC News, 2010.03.24].
Such rage is possible only when we dehumanize our opponents. Republicans are doing their best to dehumanize President Barack Hussein Obama, assigning him to categories that strain credulity but make it easier to wave posters of nooses and coffins. The Daily Beast reports a Harris poll that finds that among Republicans...
- 67% think Obama is a socialist (not that there's anything wrong with that)
- 57% think Obama is a Muslim (not that there's anything wrong with that)
- 45% think Obama was not born in the U.S. (Hawaii, 1961... hello?)
- 38% equate many of the President's actions with Hitler's (o.k., even Hitler brushed his teeth)
- 24% believe Obama "may be the Antichrist" (not that... oh, wait... liberal tolerance circuit breakers go off: being the Antichrist would be bad)
Update 12:01 CDT: Kudos to Republican Congressmen Mike Pence and John Boehner for decrying the intimidation tactics.
Update 2010.04.17: Ah, but the Harris poll was sloppy. There probably aren't as many people as this poll indicates who believe such nutty things about the President. But the poll still found people who need a whack upside the head with the reality stick.