Sunday, July 6, 2008

Wingnut watch

I've been waiting to see signs of the wingers ridiculing Obama, and am finally seeing some activity. They were for him in the primaries, on the grounds that he was the easiest Dem to beat, but when it seemed any Dem would win in the fall, their enthusiasm for him, for all things political, cooled considerably. But last week I heard the ridicule start. Nothing specific yet (Who's voting for Obama? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! repeated in varied forms for about 30 minutes), but I'm sure the specificity will come in time. For such folks ridicule is a sort of fill-in-the-blanks activity, where the only thing that changes is the form the ridicule takes -- and even the form usually changes very little.

I think they are getting a little wound up because McCain, who ought by all rights be getting his ass reamed, is trailing only marginally in the polls, and they sense some hope, whereas they sensed none at all until recently. Even a close loss would be fine with them, as long as they don't get humiliated, as long as they don't end up looking foolish and weak. Looking foolish and weak is the worst thing imaginable to wingnuts, and when you understand that, you understand about half of what underscores everything they do -- including their love of ridiculing others.

Anyway, I'm curious to see what form Obama's ridicule ends up taking. What we're seeing so far from the Republican machine, "Obama's words don't mean what he says they mean" or some such is tea so weak it rivals water. My guess is they are feverishly searching for something that will pass muster with their friends in the media, and yet have some kind of racial tie-in. It won't be overt; rather, it will appeal to racial archetypes that their target audience will understand, and from which they can draw a negative picture of his character the watercooler wingnut crowd will sell to everyone else. The goal isn't even necessarily to win, which is still a longshot, but to weaken Obama so that once in, he's easily bullied -- as if he can be even easier to bully than he's displayed so far. My sense that Obama is a lose-lose proposition for the Democrats is growing. If he wins, he's going to be ineffective at moving any kind of meaningful agenda; if he loses, he loses. But that's for another day.