David Shuster subbing for Keith Olbermann gives us a lovely dose of the hate mongering and openly racist protests that were Glenn Beck's 9-12 rally in Washington DC, and some clips of Republican politicians who thought fomenting this hatred by participating was a good idea.
Howard Fineman weighed in and said that there are a lot of Republicans who don't like what's going on because it's going to lose them independent voters that they need to win elections, but are afraid to say so in public. So much for any of them standing up for the courage of their convictions.
Shuster: Howard, the Republicans are not merely condoning the behavior of the fringe element of their party but embracing it. A message of intolerance helps the Republican Party how exactly?
Fineman: Well it doesn’t help them. And they’re not all embracing it but I’m sorry to say they’re afraid to say so on the record. I talked to numerous Republicans today. A lot of them are very upset that for example Joe Wilson, the Congressman from South Carolina, a lot of them don’t think someone like Glenn Beck is doing the Republican Party any good. The Republicans need not just their core voters to thrive in the 2010 elections, which they indeed may. They need independent voters in the middle and there’s a tug of war going on David between the desire of independents to support the Republicans over issues like the debt and the deficit and the way some of the Republicans are behaving that repels those very independents.
Shuster: Well speaking of Sen. DeMint told the crowd on Saturday and repeated today that the protesters were informed. Given what some of those signs had to say about the President, wouldn’t that be fomenting hatred, if not violence?
Fineman: Well, at the very least it’s looking the other way and they’re looking at the glass of tolerance half full when in many cases there isn’t even a glass David. But what the Republicans I talked to today said was this. These people are there because of big government. They’re there because of fears about the debt and the deficit. And I think to some extent that’s true. I’ve been to Tea Parties. I’ve been to town hall meetings. I can sense that.
But there’s something deeper and darker that’s also there and we may as well look straight at it. There are racial fears. There are religious fears. There are regional fears. There are ethnic fears. These are coming to the surface. Like depth charges our politics has now brought all this to the surface and that’s also what we saw out there on the Mall. There’s no question about it. And there are not enough Republicans who are willing to say that on the record.
Shuster: Glenn Beck’s stated goal of wanting to move this country back to where it was on 9-12-2001 when the country was united, how did that work out for him?
Fineman: Well, he can pretend to cry all he wants on the stage and call himself a televangelist. He’s not into uniting the country from everything I’ve seen. He’s making a boatload of money dividing the country. When you say with no real evidence whatsoever that the President of the United States hates white people, you aren’t behaving in the spirit of 9-12. You’re behaving in a spirit that we thought we gotten rid of in the end of the Civil War and at the end of the second Civil Rights movement. So, you know, he can cry crocodile tears all he wants. That doesn’t seem to be what he’s actually doing.