What has America become when, over the past five years, the right-wing Republican conservatives have produced a Party full of hate? Each of us can probably rationalize one political party disliking the policies of another; that’s the American way. But never in my wildest imagination would I have believed that disliked policies would take a back seat to personal hatred. “Hate” is a nasty word and sources define it as an “intense or passionate dislike for someone.” Most of us can recall that during the 2008 elections, Tea Party conservatives and others raised disgraceful signs containing hateful messages with one single purpose – to show that Barack Obama was different; that he was a Muslim; a non-American. This hate-filled fringe who calls themselves “real Americans” did not want to be too obvious by associating Obama’s difference with his race; they opted to use controlled rhetoric effectively calling him an alien. Equally astonishing is that many of these hate-filled Americans call themselves “Christians,” yet their deeds and actions are completely contrary to Christian doctrine. The Christian Bible says that, “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.“ (1 John 3:15) In spite of the hate-filled idiom, a sensible American people overwhelmingly rejected the hate and elected its first African American President.
As a result of that unprecedented election in 2008, the Republican Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, announced publicly that the Republican Party’s top priority was to deny President Obama a second term. McConnell’s plan was immediately placed into operation and the “destroy President Obama” scheme was preceding full-steam ahead. In July 2009, Tea Party Senator Jim DeMint, said that, “If we’re able to stop Obama on [health care reform], it will be his Waterloo. It will break him and we will show that we can, along with the American people, begin to push those freedom solutions that work in every area of our society.” Fortunately the Democratic Party was able to pass health care reform despite Republican obstructionism.
Because economic recovery was not moving fast enough, the 2010 elections resulted in a flood of Tea Party candidates in Congress, state and local legislative bodies and the hate-filled rhetoric was enhanced, not only against President Obama, but against minority populations across the country. Since 2011, more than two dozen states under the control of Republican governors have passed voter registration laws; not because there has been any significant cases of voter fraud but to disenfranchise minority voters. The Republican Party is determined to prevent the kind of minority turnout in the 2012 election like there was in 2008.
On May 17, 2012, we learned that the New York Times obtained a leaked copy of a proposal given to conservative billionaire Joe Ricketts for an ad campaign aimed at tarring President Obama with the most outrageous things said by his former Pastor, Jeremiah Wright. This ad campaign was drawn up by Fred Davis who became famous for his viral campaign commercials like Demon Sheep. It also came with an explosive memo in which Davis slams McCain for not using this material in 2008, and outlines strategies for using it without being labeled a racist. This plan would have used an “extremely literate conservative African-American” as a spokesman to argue that Obama is not the “metrosexual, Black Abe Lincoln” he allegedly made himself out to be in 2008. In addition to buying television advertising, the campaign called for a plan to “jolt” the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, at summer’s end with newspaper and outdoor ads and aerial banners over the convention site one afternoon.
According to the NY Times, Billionaire Joe Ricketts commissioned this study from a “group of high-profile Republican strategists” to “attack President Obama in ways that Republicans have so far shied away from.” This $10 million study is called “The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good” and suggests mentioning every Republican’s favorite black pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. who has said things like the U.S. deserved the 9/11 terror attacks, “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.” Ricketts owns TD Ameritrade and the Chicago Cubs and intends to use his millions to get Mitt Romney elected by potentially rolling out a “provocative” super PAC campaign. Following the NY Times article, Ricketts’ spokesperson issued a statement saying the billionaire is “neither the author nor the funder of the so-called ‘Ricketts Plan’ to defeat Mr. Obama.” It is obvious that Ricketts was not the author, Davis was, and it was leaked before it could be funded by Ricketts.
Mitt Romney’s team issued a statement that it didn’t condone such efforts, but at the same time slammed President Obama.
“Unlike the Obama campaign, Gov. Romney is running a campaign based on jobs and the economy, and we encourage everyone else to do the same,” Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades said in a statement. “President Obama’s team said they would ‘kill Romney,’ and, just last week, David Axelrod referred to individuals opposing the president as ‘contract killers.’ Its clear President Obama’s team is running a campaign of character assassination. We repudiate any efforts on our side to do so.”
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina issued a statement strongly denouncing the proposal and what he believes was a weak response from Romney’s Campaign.
“This morning’s story revealed the appalling lengths to which Republican operatives and super PAC apparently are willing to go to tear down the President and elect Mitt Romney. The blueprint for a hate-filled, divisive campaign of character assassination speaks for itself. It also reflects how far the party has drifted in four short years since John McCain rejected these very tactics,” he said. “Once again, Governor Romney has fallen short of the standard that John McCain set, reacting tepidly in a moment that required moral leadership in standing up to the very extreme wing of his own party.”
The hate continues. Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett decided to fan the birther flames in his state this week, petitioning the state of Hawaii to confirm the existence of President Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate that the White House released last year. In a radio interview with KFYI’s Mike Broomhead, Bennett said he would consider keeping the President off the ballot if Hawaii failed to answer his request. Bennett is preparing for a gubernatorial run in 2014 and said that his action was not a move to gain favor with fringe elements in Arizona. He claimed it was a standard response to pressure from over 1,200 Arizonans who had emailed him with concerns about the President Obama’s eligibility and the authenticity of his birth certificate.
“I’m not a birther. I believe the president was born in Hawaii — or at least I hope he was,” Bennett told Broomhead. “But my responsibility as secretary of state is to make sure that the ballots in Arizona are correct and that those people whose names are on the ballot have met the qualifications for the office they are seeking.”
Make no mistake, these hate filled actions by the right-wing component of the Republican Party has nothing to do with President Obama’s policies or even where he was born; it has everything to do with the fact that he is an African American presiding over the most powerful country in the world. This radical fringe wants to ensure that this country will never again elect another person of color to this prestigious post and intends to start with denying President Obama the opportunity to serve a second term. I believe that most Americans are bigger than this radical hate-filled group and will not fall into this bigoted trap being unfolded by the radical extreme.
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