[Mb-civic] NYTimes.com Article: Feel the Hate

michael at intrafi.com michael at intrafi.com
Fri Sep 3 12:31:01 PDT 2004

The article below from NYTimes.com 
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Feel the Hate

September 3, 2004


"I don't know where George Soros gets his money," one man
said. "I don't know where - if it comes from overseas or
from drug groups or where it comes from." George Soros,
another declared, "wants to spend $75 million defeating
George W. Bush because Soros wants to legalize heroin."
After all, a third said, Mr. Soros "is a self-admitted
atheist; he was a Jew who figured out a way to survive the

They aren't LaRouchies - they're Republicans. 

suggestion that Mr. Soros, who has spent billions promoting
democracy around the world, is in the pay of drug cartels
came from Dennis Hastert, the speaker of the House, whom
the Constitution puts two heartbeats from the presidency.
After standing by his remarks for several days, Mr. Hastert
finally claimed that he was talking about how Mr. Soros
spends his money, not where he gets it. 

The claim that Mr. Soros's political spending is driven by
his desire to legalize heroin came from Newt Gingrich. And
the bit about the Holocaust came from Tony Blankley,
editorial page editor of The Washington Times, which has
become the administration's de facto house organ. 

For many months we've been warned by tut-tutting
commentators about the evils of irrational "Bush hatred."
Pundits eagerly scanned the Democratic convention for the
disease; some invented examples when they failed to find
it. Then they waited eagerly for outrageous behavior by
demonstrators in New York, only to be disappointed again. 

There was plenty of hatred in Manhattan, but it was inside,
not outside, Madison Square Garden. 

Barack Obama, who gave the Democratic keynote address,
delivered a message of uplift and hope. Zell Miller, who
gave the Republican keynote, declared that political
opposition is treason: "Now, at the same time young
Americans are dying in the sands of Iraq and the mountains
of Afghanistan, our nation is being torn apart and made
weaker because of the Democrats' manic obsession to bring
down our commander in chief." And the crowd roared its

Why are the Republicans so angry? One reason is that they
have nothing positive to run on (during the first three
days, Mr. Bush was mentioned far less often than John

The promised economic boom hasn't materialized, Iraq is a
bloody quagmire, and Osama bin Laden has gone from "dead or
alive" to he-who-must-not-be-named. 

Another reason, I'm sure, is a guilty conscience. At some
level the people at that convention know that their
designated hero is a man who never in his life took a risk
or made a sacrifice for his country, and that they are
impugning the patriotism of men who have. 

That's why Band-Aids with Purple Hearts on them, mocking
Mr. Kerry's war wounds and medals, have been such a hit
with conventioneers, and why senior politicians are
attracted to wild conspiracy theories about Mr. Soros. 

It's also why Mr. Hastert, who knows how little the Bush
administration has done to protect New York and help it
rebuild, has accused the city of an "unseemly scramble" for
cash after 9/11. Nothing makes you hate people as much as
knowing in your heart that you are in the wrong and they
are in the right. 

But the vitriol also reflects the fact that many of the
people at that convention, for all their flag-waving, hate
America. They want a controlled, monolithic society; they
fear and loathe our nation's freedom, diversity and

The convention opened with an invocation by Sheri Dew, a
Mormon publisher and activist. Early rumors were that the
invocation would be given by Jerry Falwell, who suggested
just after 9/11 that the attack was God's punishment for
the activities of the A.C.L.U. and People for the American
Way, among others. But Ms. Dew is no more moderate: earlier
this year she likened opposition to gay marriage to
opposition to Hitler. 

The party made sure to put social moderates like Rudy
Giuliani in front of the cameras. But in private events,
the story was different. For example, Senator Sam Brownback
of Kansas told Republicans that we are in a "culture war"
and urged a reduction in the separation of church and

Mr. Bush, it's now clear, intends to run a campaign based
on fear. And for me, at least, it's working: thinking about
what these people will do if they solidify their grip on
power makes me very, very afraid. 



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