This kind of rhetoric is incredibly alarming, and its intensity is escalating as conservatives see themselves losing their stranglehold on unilateral control. Consider for a moment that I have only scraped the surface of the eliminationist rhetoric spewed for public consumption—and that this is what's being said while they're in power. Any thought that things will "get better" if Democrats regain control of the House, the Senate, or the Presidency is foolish at best. We've only seen the tip of the iceberg. I dread what lurks below the surface.And so here we are on the precipice of not only a Democratic presidency after 8 years of exile from the Executive Branch, and not only a Democratic presidency with a potential Democratic Congressional majority, but a Democratic presidency with a potential Democratic Congressional majority in which the president is a black man or a woman.
It's no wonder the hounds of hell are barking bloody murder.
Pam wrote an amazing post earlier this week about the race-baiting tactics already being used against Obama, of which there are undoubtedly more to come (and were, this week), and the need to dig more deeply into these issues. And Echidne's written a great piece here about sexist attacks on Hillary, and the need to dig more deeply into those issues. Recommended reading both, if you haven't already.
In her post, Echidne links to this Seattle Times article about "Hillary hatred" having found "its misogynistic voice" online—and, even for this jaded old piece of leather, there was stuff that made my hair positively stand on end. So much for "Iron my shirt!" being an isolated prank:
Hillary Clinton offers young men on social-networking sites a ripe target for their aggression.The unadulterated contempt for a powerful women implicit in ordering her to iron shirts and make sandwiches and do the dishes is horrifying. (And I wonder just how many of the proprietors of these sites had mothers who made them sandwiches or "ran" the dishes?) And I quite genuinely recommend not looking at these Facebook communities (or their MySpace counterparts) if you don't want to be rendered excruciatingly sick by the unchecked misogyny being expressed, including, in some cases, threats of sexual violence being levied against Clinton.
…Facebook, popular with high-school and college students, has dozens of anti-Hillary groups, many of which take great delight in heaping abuse on Clinton as a woman, imagining her reduced to a subservient role, and visiting violence upon her.
One is "Hillary Clinton: Stop Running for President and Make Me a Sandwich," with more than 23,000 members and 2,200 "wall posts."
Another Facebook group, more temperate in tone and with about 13,000 members, is "Life's a bitch, why vote for one? Anti-Hillary '08."
Is this merely some adolescent "guys gone wild" (most but by no means all Hillary haters are male)? The rank rituals of the rec room revealed for the whole world to see?
The proprietors of the Facebook group "Hillary Clinton Shouldn't Run for President, She Should Just Run the Dishes," with 2,159 members, offer a pre-emptive disclaimer to offended visitors.
In a weird way, technology tends to peel back the thin veneer of civilization—and what's lurking below is profoundly disturbing. It is increasingly likely that Hillary or Obama will get the nomination, and I can't begin to imagine what ugliness stands to be unleashed.
It's going to be a fucker of a year, Shakers.