Race not the only reason for jump in Obama assassination threats

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President Obama has gotten more death threats in a shorter period of time than any other president in US history. The legion of right side talk radio gabbers, the GOP induced professional mobsters who commit orchestrated mayhem at health care townhalls, t

President Obama has gotten more death threats in a shorter period of time than any other president in US history. The legion of right side talk radio gabbers, the GOP induced professional mobsters who commit orchestrated mayhem at health care townhalls, the birthers, the countless Web sites and chatrooms that crackle with anti-Obama venom, and the endless montage of race baiting cartoons, characterizations and depictions of Obama and First Lady Michelle have created a viperous climate of hate and that knows no bounds.

The stock assumption is that race is the reason that Obama is a bigger target than any other president. That’s a huge factor. The mere sight of a Black man at the helm is more than enough to drive countless loose screw unreconstructed KKK, Aryan Nation, Skinhead and the just plain wacky fringe into a froth. But anti-Black hate is only one reason for the record number of death threats against him. Threats against presidents often come fast and furious immediately after their election. The reasons are varied; many are the chronic cranks and nut cases, others hate the views of the president, fear change or just get a titillation from making the threat.

But the GOP strategists and their stealth talk radio and blog allies are playing for much bigger stakes than just bashing a Black president. The stakes are a rework of the GOP to take back power. A full throttle destabilization of the Obama administration on everything from the economy to health care is the obvious attack point. The GOP and their surrogates have snatched a page from the playbook used against every Democratic presidential candidate and president by the GOP since Nixon. That’s create havoc through character assassination, rumor mongering, fear, intimidation and emotionally charged code words. The operative tag they’ve slapped on Obama is socialist. That sets off a Pavlovian drool, reason quickly goes out the window and the red flags run up the mental flagpoles of countless Americans.

Obama’s message of hope and change feeds into rightist paranoia. He has drawn an instant global throng of admirers who see in him the embodiment of change and a fresh direction for US policy on the war and the easing of global tensions. He’s also seen as a potential president who can put a diverse, humane face on American foreign policy.

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