Friday, November 30, 2007


-- by Dave

I'm pleased to announce that in addition to my weekly posts at The Big Con, I'm now going to have a weekly slot at Firedoglake. Jane's about to kick off a redesign/reimagination of the site that I think is going to take FDL to another level, so I'm excited to be aboard. I've been posting there awhile off and on, but it's nice to have a regular gig.

Look for me on Thursdays at 6 p.m. FDL time. My inaugural post went up last night. It's about how immigrant-bashing at the higher levels of movement conservatism play out on the ground in the shape of hate crimes:
If it weren’t already crystal clear that the right-wing approach to the immigration debate has had the effect of infusing movement conservatism with the toxic sewage of the racist right — all the way to the highest levels — last night’s GOP presidential debate drove the point home rather vividly.

Rick Perlstein surveyed the damage and acidly observed:

The Republican YouTube debate was an astonishment. Not a single second on the economy, which may well be on the verge of collapse, with the middle class potentially more vulnerable than its been at any point since the 1920s. And yet, as my colleague Bill Scher points out, twenty-three minutes of ranting about the dusky hordes invading our shores. Is a great American political party really going to base its entire presidential appeal on scapegoating the Other?

Question answers itself, I guess.

The problem, however, isn’t limited to the Republican candidates — what the debate last night reflected was how thoroughly the discourse has become infected with this sewage. Those candidates wouldn’t have been careering off the rails on immigration if they didn’t believe that was what their voters wanted to hear.

We can object to this kind of scapegoating on logical grounds, but we should also be really outraged on a moral level as well. It’s important to remember, after all, that this rhetoric manifests itself in the real world as a much more visceral and vicious kind of hate — most especially as hate crimes.

Enjoy. And be sure to tune in weekly.

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