This is what our country has come to. Thank you, John McCain. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) wonders (seriously) how many of the “leftist, liberal” members of Congress are “anti-American.” And she wants the mainstream media to investigate. A John McCain supporter, she was interviewed this afternoon by Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball. I was listening, shocked and wondering whether I’d been transported into some surreal high-def version of the 1950s. Holy shit.
Of course Rep. Bachmann’s remarks come on the heels of Sarah Palin’s chilling statement at a rally today that she was glad to be in one of those “pro-American” parts of the country. Until today, I was unaware of any “anti-American” parts of the United States (unless you count the separatists in Alaska who belong to the Alaska Independence Party).
And on the heels of John McCain’s latest “robo call” — automated calls targeted at undecided voters in swing states. “Hello. I’m calling for John McCain,” starts the call. “You need to know that Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed… and killed Americans. And Democrats will enact an extreme leftist agenda if they take control of…”
Of course the phone call suggests, by association, that Obama is a radical leftist himself, allied with the sentiments of people like Bill Ayers (with whom Obama served at the Woods Foundation along with Ronald Reagan associate Walter Annenberg). Guilt by association, innuendo, and sound bite. Chilling. They say that time isn’t a fixed construct (in science fiction, anyway).
Chris Matthews asked Bachmann if she genuinely believes that Barack Obama has anti-American views, as evidenced through his association with Bill Ayers. “Absolutely,” she said, unequivocally. “Absolutely. I’m very concerned that he has anti-American views,” she repeated to Matthews, in case anyone missed it. Pressed further about others in Congress, specifically Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and their feelings about America, she argued that she was also concerned about them, and that the media should investigate their anti-American sentiment.
“I would consider them as having far leftist views,” Bachmann asserted.
“Do you think those 30 percent of Americans who consider themselves liberal are anti-American?” Matthews asked.
“I think those people that Barack Obama has been associating with are anti-American by and large,” she said. “People who are radical activists. These are his associates.”
“How many people in Congress are anti-American?" Matthews continued along this line of questioning. “You’ve already suspected Obama; are there others?”
“The news media should do an expose and take a look at the views of people in Congress and see if they’re pro-America or anti-America.” The ghost of Joe McCarthy is alive and well and living in Minnesota. Chilling. Simply chilling.
This sort of incendiary language is nothing that I’ve (thank God) heard in my lifetime and have only read in history books. I fear for a time in perhaps the not so distant future when those in power might knock on my door, asking, “Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the ACLU? Are you now or have you ever been a card-carrying member of any liberal organization?”
This language is toxic, and the road now being taken by McCain and his surrogates, no matter whether he wins or loses in November, has the potential to lead to the sort of extremism that has me as an American, as a religious minority, and a human being fearful. It is chilling. And it has to stop. And John McCain is the only one who can stop it. It is a Pandora’s box that only he can close. And he must do it. NOW.