Many web communities who styled themselves as progressive lost their collective minds during the prolonged Democratic primary, some worse than others, but none more completely, I venture to say, than No Quarter. Their combination of racist rhetoric and right-wing regurgitation has done more than given many bloggers terrific material for the last few months--it's turned them into something resembling performance art, but without the hip, ironic detachment.
Witness, for instance, this lovely piece by PaganPower, which seems to argue that Obama supporters are terrorists-in-training, intimidating anyone who dares speak a negative word against their candidate.
I don’t know how many times it has happened or to how many people. But more than a few Hillary supporters that refuse to support Obama have been accused, intimidated, threatened and attacked with an alarming increasing frequency."I don't have any actual proof that this is happening all over the place, but I just know it is." Right. So long as we're clear about the basis for this rant you're about to take off on--nothing at all.
So just what is it that drives seemingly otherwise reasonable people to have such little regard for the rights and opinions of others? Are they under some magic spell and just can’t help themselves? Because it sure seems that way. Is it any wonder that many of us refer to Obama followers as Cultists? Because that is the way they act, swarming like a mob at anyone and anything in their path.Here's where the explaining needs to begin. See, PaganPower, there are 300 million people in the US, a fraction of whom can be considered Obama supporters. Let's even limit this discussion to an estimation of the number who will likely vote for Obama in November--65 million. If even 1% of those people are assholes--and I think that limiting the asshole percentage of the population to 1% is being gracious beyond belief--that means there are 650,000 assholes who will vote for Obama in November.
Is being verbally abusive to someone who disagrees with you an example of asshole behavior? Absolutely. Is it a good thing? Absolutely not. Is it limited to people who support Barack Obama? Only if you're an idiot.
But PaganPower can't just put this down to general assholishness. No, there's something in the candidate's background that's caused this kind of behavior in his supporters. What could that be?
While trying to come up with a reasonable answer as to why all of this is happening I am reminded of Obama’s upbringing. And especially of the central characters closest to him, the ones that helped him formulate his sense of self. And when I look at people like Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger and Louis Farrakhan and Bill Ayers it is very easy to see why Obama has turned a deaf ear to these many despicable transgressions.Oh right. The Jeremiah Wright whose church feeds the needy and offers after-school care for parents and sends underprivileged kids to college. The Louis Farrakhan who Obama both rejected and denounced at the behest of Hillary Clinton. The Michael Pfleger who, his ridiculous sermon about Hillary Clinton notwithstanding, has done a huge amount of social good in Chicago, just as Jeremiah Wright has. The Bill Ayers who was once a Weatherman, but who has been a respected academic for the last 20+ years. Because Obama knows these people, his supporters are terrorists-in-training. It's not that a certain percentage of the population just happens to be assholes--no, it's all about Obama's acquaintances.
I could simply scroll through the comments of nearly any thread on No Quarter and point out equally intolerant or hateful remarks that are met with approval and applause, but that would only play into PaganPower's stupidity. Besides, I get dirty enough from reading the posts.