Who didn't see this one coming? Sean Hannity has been one of the worst race baiters of the bunch on Fox "news" ever since it became apparent that then Sen. Barack Obama was going to win the Democratic nomination, and he hasn't stopped yet. This Tuesday evening, he of course defended the rodeo clown, who found himself banned after this stunt at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.
Hannity used one of his favorite tactics, which is to bring someone on the air who is probably not used to appearing on television, and browbeat them if they don't answer his questions in a satisfactory manner. The willing participant to put up with his abuse this time around was Democratic Missouri State Representative Steve Webb.
The second favorite tactic he used here is to bring on a black "conservative" to play the spoiler and defend what to anyone with two eyes and half a brain recognizes as really offensive racist behavior. I suspect West went off script just a bit here though, because even he admitted that maybe it was a little over the top to have the crowd cheering wildly for having a chance to watch "President Obama" being run over by a bull.
Hannity's logic for why no one should be upset by the incident is that people said bad things about George W. Bush, some anonymous people posted some nasty pictures online of Bush, and there were Bush masks made back in the day -- as though anything that went on when Bush was president and when liberals were upset with him for lying us into war and torture justifies or makes what happened this week all right. As the Democratic rep he had on did manage to point out, two wrongs don't make a right.
For Hannity to try to deny there were any racial overtones to the incident this week is just ridiculous. I live in Missouri and sadly, I've seen more overt racism since President Obama was elected that it just turns my stomach, and it's not confined to the rural areas. This type of incident shouldn't be used to paint everyone in the state with a broad brush, but it's damned embarrassing to see this go on and have it associated with the state.
It's shameful. And Hannity should be ashamed of himself for defending it.
If someone had a liberal crowd roaring at some event where there was someone with a Bush mask on and a broomstick stuck up their rear end, Hannity would have been on the air railing about the disrespect and demanding to have the name of the person so he could announce it to the entire country. All you have to do is look at how the Dixie Chicks were treated after one of them made an extremely tepid remark about Bush to see the glaring double standard with right-wing hypocrites like Hannity.
What makes all of this infuriating as hell is that most of these people who just hate President Obama are completely incapable of articulating a single policy that's based in reality or reason that's not just made up B.S. for being upset. There are plenty of liberals upset with President Obama, but here's the big difference between the majority of them and these wingnuts... the liberals who are upset actually have reasons based in reality, as opposed to wingnuts who don't know the difference between communism, socialism and Marxism and use the three interchangeably.
You've got morons like this Texas rep who was telling constituents we could impeach President Obama without bothering to let them know why. You've got these birthers out there pretending he's illegitimate, or idiots out there claiming the defunct ACORN stole the election.
When the majority of these people start getting upset with the president or with Democrats for legitimate reasons like the abuses of Wall Street and them not being reigned in and income disparity and the list goes on and on with things average Americans ought to care about, maybe someone will take them seriously. When they're chanting birther nonsense in a crowd, it makes me wonder what universe these people are living in... and the answer is frightening.
Hannity can pretend that there's no racial overtones to all of this, but the truth of the matter is, there's a good chance that a lot of that crowd reacted the way they did because of the lies they're being fed by Hannity and his ilk on right-wing hate talk radio and on Fox.
He's got an interest in pushing the lie that there was no racism there, because to admit otherwise might mean him having to admit his part in feeding it, and he's never going to do that.