Via Kenneth In The (212): I have to agree with Thomas Friedman in his assessment that the ongoing steady drumbeat from the far right that's attempting—quite cannily—to delegitimize the presidency of Barack Obama and to delegitimize him as an American is also delegitimizing him as a human being for a small but virulently unhappy sector of the public.
This can only lead to an atmosphere where violence could ignite. The only logical outcome of constantly saying that someone isn't an American, is a liar, is a scary "other" (in this case a secret or not-so-secret Marxist), wants to kill off our elderly, is "an enemy of humanity" and is the same as Hitler is that someone will eventually seek to snuff out this monster. Do the Republicans really believe that the logical outcome is merely political impotency? No. They know what kind of fire they're playing with. This is not about disagreement or passionate criticism or even political sabotage, it's about blood.
In the run-up to the primaries, I had friends openly saying they wouldn't want to vote for him because he'd just be assassinated like all the other big black leaders. This infuriated me—what black leaders had been assassinated in the past 40 years? But I was operating on the assumption that the atmosphere would be the same during his presidency as before; after all, if you're a crazed racist, wouldn't you seek to end a presidency before it begins? Wouldn't you throw everything at him politically to keep him from office? He took some hits, but the birther and deather and other controversies did not truly heat up until he was six months in, and only then because the right wing and the haplessly controversy-driven media have ratcheted things up to an extent I never imagined. If we can't count on the media and the leaders of the Republican party to reign in the kooks and crazies, what's to stop them from accomplishing exactly what they want?