As America Is Attacked By Religious Extremists Abroad, Christian Right Leader Incites Hatred At Home
Across the Islamic world, mobs are attacking American embassies because of a hateful film made by an Egyptian Coptic Christian. And in Washington a rightwing Christian leader is inciting hatred toward the poor (and people of color) in midwestern cities who he says will illegally vote for Obama. And this poisonous venting is cheered by fellow Repubicans.
As noted on Talking Points Memo (video excerpt below), Gary Bauer of the Family Research Council has shown he is no better than the thuggish clerics urging angry young men in the Middle East to vent their frustrations towards the easy American scapegoat. In Bauers' case, he directed his bile during the absurdly named "Values Voters Summit" on Friday, venting at "people who depend on checks from their fellow taxpayers."
But Bauer didn't stop there. "My prediction is after all the votes are counted — even the dead votes of Democrats in Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland — I predict that we will win, that this nightmare will be over and America will finally be on the road to recovery."
Let's first unwrap this racist and partsian voter fraud canard. Are the only people who die and whose names are not instantly taken off voter rolls Democrats--not Republicans? No, that's not how it actually works in election administration, but who cares about annoying facts. And isn't it curious that dead Democrats happen to be from cities with large African-American and minority populations?
What's really ugly is how blinded by hatred Bauer and the throngs that cheer him on are. Facts don't matter to this ilk. The people who he berates for being on the receiving end of federal benefits are NOT just inner-city poor (who in his twisted universe are always on welfare, can't find job, but somehow are smart enough to execute large-scale voter fraud that is not caught by law enforcement). He conveniently forgets that elderly senior citizens on Social Security and Medicare, soldiers at home and abroad, farmers recieving crop subsidies, firemen, cops, teachers, social workers and even murdered diplomats are (or were) on the public payroll.
All this would be more predictable hatemongering from a well-known creep, were it not for this week's events in Libya. But Bauer is no better than the other provocateurs in this week's news: irresponsible clerics who are urging young men to attack American buildings abroad in response to a film made by an Egyptian. Or Mitt Romney choosing to attack Obama's foreign policy after he knew of the U.S. Libyan Ambassador's death.
These displays show the depths to which the Right will go to 'win' this election. Let's hope the Americans on the public dole (starting with retirees) and legal voters who Bauer attacks are paying attention and will take extra steps to update their credentials for this fall (being properly registered and having the requisite voter ID).
The last thing we need on election night is more hatemongering from creepy provocateurs if the results are close in swing states. A strong turnout will do more to throw a wet blanket on Bauer's fire and brimstone than anything else.