As we prepare ourselves for the false face of the Republican Party (McCain, Giuliani, Schwarzenegger), let us recall the real one. I saw it on a bumpersticker Sunday morning, next to several Bush-Cheney stickers and a staggeringly nonsensical pro-gun slogan (approximately: "Guns cause violence like flies cause garbage." Sure, it's cute, but what does it mean? That guns hover around violence after the fact? That guns feed off of violence? Ah, well, making sense isn't really part of the agenda, is it?).
It said: "There are Americans ... and then there are liberals."
Now normally when I see a Dubya or other conservative-oriented bumpsticker on a car I feel a vague irritation and then move on. This time, however, I found my self desperately wishing thatI had a black magic marker in my car so that I could scrawl Fuck You! across this hateful bon mot (mind you, I'm a bit too sedate to be even a casual vandal). Or even to wait for the owner to come out and say, "Is this your car? Well then, Fuck You!" Sure, we can disagree about politics, and we can even say the other guy is an idiot or immoral for saying and believing what he does. I happen to agree with what Garofolo says about supporting Bush at this point being a character flaw. But I would never deny their right to be flawed, or even to claim that my belief that they are flawed is itself deeply flawed.
It is from conservatives that this deepseated vitriol emerges first and foremost (can anybody really doubt this? after however many years of Limbaugh cursing Hillary and attacking 12 year old girls?) There are, apparently, some conservatives that would expel all liberals from America. Or to deny that we are American at all. If this seems overblown, just consider: there is a place selling these bumperstickers (on the internet no doubt), and the person who owns this car presumably has friends and family, and none of them recognized that this is beyond the pale. And again: can you even imagine anyone ever producing the following:
"There are Americans ... and then there are conservatives."
So any time you hear Ed Gillespie or any of their other propagandists try to babble on about the "haters" on the left, just remember, the hatred is all theirs. It isn't just Anne Coulter claiming that we have all been traitors for the past 50 years (for some of us, that is, we were traitors long before we were born).
I saw the real face of the Republican Party in a parking lot Sunday morning.
About a year ago there was a site called "thenleave.com."
It was a contest promising to pay for a one-way ticket to get a non-Bush supporting liberal out of the country.
I liked your piece, but I feel this isn't a new probelm. Rather, it is only what happens when the Bush supporters can't take hearing what they don't want to hear and now want to literally exile their opposition. If GW gets re-elected, I fear we'll see even more of this, to the point where people will start gladly leaving the US.