Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Pathology of Losing

It seems we can't go a day without some fringe element repeating long-discredited slurs against the current occupant of the White House. G. W. Bush polarized and energized the center and left of the political spectrum. Now Barack Obama has the same effect on the members of the right, the further right the more effective.

The latest arises from a now-defunct Facebook page created by the mayor of Arlington, Tennessee. According to Greg Mitchell's reporting, Russell Wiseman promoted the idea that President Obama, a secret Muslim, scheduled his speech from West Point in a deliberate move tp preempt the annual broadcast of "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Apparently, there's something in the Q'uran about beagles, footballs, and security blankets being signs of the infidel.

This latest is a symptom, I think, of the far right's inability to accept the outcome of the elections. After enjoying the reins of political power for years, they became convinced of the inevitability of their point of view. When God and Government are on your side, the only way you can lose power is by subterfuge, some malign scheme by evildoers who, once having toppled the anointed, then move on to sacred cultural icons, like Charlie Brown.

Democrats should not be too quick to dismiss these paranoid ideologues. They exists in a fever of humiliation, one that very well might power them to the polls on 2010. Midterm losses are expected, but a pissed off base could change the balance of power even more than usual.

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