Midterm Election 2010: America At Crossroad

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[Black Star News Editorial]

Even Before Obama Was Sworn In, Fear Mongers Hijacked Agenda

Ironically the racist luddites who form the bulk of the Tea Party may in the end help the Democrats retain the Senate by a small margin.

As soon as the nation elected its first African American president, die hard racists began to sow the seeds of insurrection and chaos. They were not happy that millions of White people had teamed with African Americans, Latinos, and Asians to help elect the best candidate in the 2008 race, then Senator Barack Obama, who had bested all the other candidates during the primaries and then defeated John McCain in the general election.

The racist fear-mongers knew that if indeed, people in this country were to be judged by the "content of their character" as Dr. Martin Luther King had advocated, then people who live well by pandering to base instincts --including racial animus-- would be out of jobs.

So it was no surprise that the Grand Wizard of racism, Rush Limbaugh, who pretends to be a radio "journalist”, fired the first shot. "I hope he fails," he famously declared, even before Obama was sworn into office.

The nation was losing close to 800,000 jobs a month, families losing their homes, and millions filing for bankruptcy as medical bills brought ruin, and a demagogue proclaims that he hopes the newly-elected president fails.

Of course Limbaugh and his lot knew that there was a reason why Obama had been elected president--he had won because he had proven to be the most intelligent and articulate of all the candidates. So rather than focus on any intellectual deficiencies --or lack of such deficiency-- people like Limbaugh resorted to racist attacks. In Obama's America, Black children were beating up White children while Blacks proclaimed "right on." The preposterous concoction --nobody in the Black community says "right on" anymore-- would have been laughable if Limbaugh's hate speech did not reach millions of listeners. The man earns tens of millions as a racial arsonist--it's a good life for him. He doesn't care about the consequences.

So it was no surprise that by last summer, during the town hall meetings to debate the merits or lack thereof of healthcare reform, storm troopers began showing up to derail the discussions and to intimidate citizens, in some cases bearing arms, and in many cases holding posters depicting President Obama as the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler or as a Kenyan "witchdoctor." Many of these folk were the ones who later became supporters of the Tea-Party, a hate organization financed by the wealthy Koch brothers.

One of the most despicable leaders of this "movement" was Mark Williams, who headed the Tea Party Express.

Williams wrote a "letter" on behalf of Black people to Abraham Lincoln and posted it online, and in part read: "We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!"

Yet this hate-monger, who wishes that he could somehow turn back the clock to 1860, had even been allowed frequent appearances on CNN.

The kind of racism espoused by the Tea Party, and its minister of propaganda Rush Limbaugh, was effective in intimidating level headed Republicans who had initially shown a willingness to work with President Obama. Thereafter, few dared to be seen as "crossing" the racial line to work with a Black president. It wasn't even a matter of opposition to President Obama's policies.

The economy was in free fall, yet the president was demonized for successfully pushing through a stimulus package to help create jobs or to maintain existing ones--this policy was opposed. The auto industry had collapsed, and the President helped rescue it with a multi-billion dollar package which has worked so well that some of the companies are actually hiring now and considering the sale of shares to repay taxpayers--this program was opposed.

The huge banks were paralyzed and Great Depression like situation with people making a run on the banks was imminent. The President's intervention saved the banks, and the country--this bailout was also opposed.

The disingenuous excuse was that the government was "spending money it didn't have." Yet, not a single Republican or Tea Party member has stepped forward to proclaim that he or she rejected a job which was created by the stimulus or intervention. In fact, scores of Republican lawmakers wrote letters urging that stimulus funds be deployed in their districts.

So this is where we've arrived at--polarization manufactured by Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party.

Most accounts suggest that Republicans will take control of the House and that a sweep may have only been barely averted with the emergence of patently unqualified Tea Party candidates like Christine O'Donnell --who in fact claimed she was a witch-- in Delaware, boosting prospects of some Democratic candidates.

Then what happens the day after? Will Republicans act responsibly and join in governing this country? Will they focus on what Senator Mitch McConnell recently said, which is to ensure that Obama is a one-term president, even at the cost of inviting further economic ruin, as they did during George W. Bush's eight years in office?

Only Republicans can answer that question.

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