After I wrote in my last blog about incivility in politics I went to my files to find more examples from a national perspective.
It's never a secret that for the sake of winning one side wants to create an image of their opponents as agents of Satan, but the demonizing of a person for the purpose of politics just shows a certain mentality. It's not flattering to those doing the demonizing. It can backfire.
I've yet to figure out these pictures that come from Lyndon LaRouche's LaRouchePAC showing President Obama as the demon, Hitler.
Hitler started wars, Obama is trying to end them. In the second place, and in case the Obama-as-Hitler gang doesn't realize this, if Barack Obama had lived in Germany in the 1930s he would have probably been one of the first in line for the death camps. Anyone who wasn't Aryan was less than human. So the Obama/Hitler posters are a real cheap shot, and people who wave them around probably don't know anything about Hitler.
I got this trifold mailer from the Democratic party a few weeks ago, using Sarah Palin in the role of demon.
From my observation over two years, Palin is whoever you want her to be. You want her to be a sweet, flag-waving American soccer mom, you can see that. If you want to see her as an aggressive, disagreeable, take no prisoners liar, then she's those things too. I see Palin as being a political opportunist. I've read the stories of her home life (see Vanity Fair #602, October 2010), how it doesn't jibe at all with her fans' image of her. I've seen the adoring mobs showing up at book signings, as if she actually had something important to say. The smiling, gregarious Palin of those signings doesn't match up with the volcanic, paranoid person as she's portrayed by people who have known and worked with her.
But even with all that Palin doesn't rise to the level of demon. I see her more as a fly buzzing around the head of the body politic. She's annoying enough you can't ignore her. I wouldn't bet on her getting very far in a run for president in 2012, if that's her goal. But some of the Tea Party types she tends to attract can be very dangerous, and even a failed run for the presidency could bring more lunatics out from beyond the fringe.
...and it's those people that are troubling to Republicans. Palin bothers Republicans because she has her base of noisy followers who are threatening their status quo. But the Republicans can't mount an all-out assault on Palin and the Tea Partiers. All they can do is further demonize Obama, make him and the Democrats even more Satanic to the conservatives:
"Ooooooo, they want to appease gays and repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell...oh, horrors, they want to take away big tax breaks for the rich and give breaks to the poor and middle class. that's Socialism, isn't it? They want to make sure health care is available to everyone. Oh my Lord, how un-American is that? We all know only people who can afford health care should get it. It's nature's way of thinning the herd. "
OK, let's get the mouths that roar, the hired gums, the Becks, Limbaughs and O'Reillys, to get on the air and characterize Democrats as minions of Lucifer and see if it plays to some dumbass Americans. And by golly it does! I can practically feel the heat from the fires of hell burning the soles of my feet right now.