Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Let the Scurrilation Begin

If you're stupid enough, venial enough, angry enough, then no pretext is too slim to demonize your opponents.

On Tuesday, June 3, when Barack Obama clinched the Democratic nomination for president in St. Paul, Minnesota, he and his wife exchanged a fist bump (and the more conventional hug and kiss) on national television.

Much has been made of "the fist bump heard 'round the world," as the Washington Post called it. Underreported, but plain to see in the stills and video, is Michelle Obama's sly, spouse-to-spouse grin when they bump fists. It was human and endearing and I think spoke volumes about their relationship. It could all be acting, of course: this is politics we're talking about, but it would be a relief to have a good actor in the White House after eight years of Walker, Texas Ranger reruns.

On June 6 (the 64th anniversary of the allied invasion of Nazi Europe, if anyone cares), Fox Barking Blonde E.D. Hill spoke these immortal words (emphasis mine): "A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab? ... We'll show you some interesting body communication and find out what it really says."

In the ensuing "conversation," Hill never does unpack what she meant by "terrorist fist jab," but of course she didn't have to. The message was clear as a dog whistle to the White Pride xenophobes and droolers that make up the Fox base: Them folks ain't like us.

Never mind that you would have to live in a Siberian salt mine beneath a radioactive lake to have never seen a fist bump before--they are ubiquitous in professional sports, one obvious example to which even the inbred degenerates who make up the Fox News viewership would have been exposed--what I find more disturbing is the readiness, the eagerness, of the Nativists to go to the worst possible label (in their cramped, febrile imaginations) for an unfamiliar behavior: "Terrorist."

This is what it's going to be like all the way to November: a public race to the bottom among all the race baiters, ideologues and microcephalic onanists. If Obama is "postracial," the campaign against him will certainly not be so. The possibility that the United States might elect its first black president a mere 146 years after the slaves were freed fills the bitter, the stunted and the entitled with an existential fury. They will not go gentle into that good night, but will rage against the dying of the white supremacy.