Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pantload's Gift -- Was Regifted?


While covering the rally, I witnessed sign after sign declaring Obama a greater danger to America's security than al-Qaida; demonstrators held images that juxtaposed Obama's face with images of evildoers from Hitler to Pol Pot to Bin Laden; others carried signs questioning Obama's status as a U.S. citizen. "We can fight al-Qaida, we can't kill Obama," said an aging demonstrator. Another told me, "Obama is the biggest Nazi in the world," pointing to placards he had fashioned depicting Obama and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi in SS outfits. According to another activist, Obama's agenda was similar to Hitler's: "Hitler took over the banking industry, did he not? And Hitler had his own personal secret service police. [The community-organizing group] ACORN is an extension of that."

The seemingly incongruous Tea Party propaganda recalled signs waved by right-wing Jewish settlers during rallies against Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and his support of the peace process, portraying him as an SS officer and as the French collaborator Marshall Petain. In 1995, amid the provocative atmosphere, a young right-wing Jewish zealot assassinated Rabin. The Israeli tragedy was a cautionary example of targeted hatred leading to violence.