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There is more than Obama's legacy at stake here.

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The GOP appeals to the baser emotions of fear and hatred. The intended audience for their tactics is the under-educated, low income red stater whose existence is bereft of hope. Liberals appeal to the intellect of the higher educated and higher income populace. The progressives can't believe that all of the anti-Obama tactics are really working, but the Democrats only have to look at history and they'll see the GOP using the same tactics repetitively--maintaining their base and attracting some independent stragglers.

Red staters watch WWF wrestling because it appeals to their desire to have simple minded entertainment that provides a cathartic release to the anxieties of their daily lives.

Dealing with the hard political facts is the article "Biden on 2010: If GOP Succeeds, It's 'The End of the Road for What Barack and I Are Trying to Do'" at

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/09/biden-on-2010-if-gop-succeeds-its-the-end-of-the-road-for-what-barack-and-i-are-trying-to-do-1.html

which states "Vice President Joe Biden said today that if Democrats were to lose 35 House seats they currently hold in traditionally Republican districts, it would mean doomsday for President Obama's agenda. Biden said Republicans are pinning their political strategy on flipping these seats."

The euphoria of the election has cleared. "What didn't seem possible just a few months ago, appears to be the topic of conversation even within the upper echelons of the Obama White House," said Ken Spain, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. "It is interesting to hear Vice President Biden admit that the administration's effort to double down on a partisan agenda of government takeovers could possibly mean the 'end of the road' for their political viability."

We've had a summer full of virtually constant pictures of the GOP attacking Obama. The combative rhetoric has come at the town hall meetings, by GOP Congressional leaders during the most formal processes of our government and everywhere in between. It has come verbally but also visually with the insane image of GOP protestors showing up at meetings with weapons.

It is not just the cessation of Obama's dreams that are endangered. We could descend into violence against a President again.

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The article "The Last Time Right-Wing Hatred Ran Wild Like This a President Was Killed" at

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/print/23941/

discusses the parallels between now and when J.F.K. was assassinated, and concludes "Today, conservatives are expressing outrage that Rep. Nancy Pelosi had the nerve to raise concerns about the onrush of violent political rhetoric." The Noise Machine claims it has no idea what Pelosi's talking about. But the truth is, America's most famous bouts of political violence (i.e. JFK, Oklahoma City, etc.) have always been accompanied by waves of radical, right-wing rhetoric.
Given that history, the GOP's insistence that the hate now filling the streets couldn't possibly inspire violence seems woefully naive.

Just because the GOP has from Nixon to the present day resorted to atrocious rhetoric does that mean that Democrats should respond in kind? Of course not--we'll lose as many votes from our base--if not more, than we could conceivably gain from the GOP base. These tactics also can't be left unchallenged though.

The article "Why Isn't There a Left-Wing Conspiracy?" at

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http://www.smirkingchimp.com/print/23937/

summarizes how in 1998 First Lady Hillary Clinton labeled GOP tactics as a "vast right-wing conspiracy" and the article states "The conservative attack machine has three components. The first is political".
The GOP's daily messages are relentlessly negative and designed to evoke fear:
Everything you hold dear is about to be taken from you. While some Republican missives seem nonsensical -- Obama is not an American citizen -- their thematic unity plays on visceral conservative emotions: People who are not real Americans are ruining the US."

The article deals with how strict message adherence by all members of the group amplifies the message for the apathetic, downtrodden masses as it continues "The second component of the right-wing media strategy is sociological. The conservative attack machine broadcasts to those who did not vote for Obama in November - 46 percent of voters who are overwhelmingly white, Protestant, and conservative. The negative messages resonate because Republican voters operate in an information "silo," where their news is supplied by reactionary radio hosts, Fox News, and conservative Christian ministers."

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