Wednesday morning a window at the Mobile, Alabama Democratic headquarters was shattered after being hit by a bullet. Police are still investigating and haven't said it's related to political differences, but you have to wonder what other reason there would be for firing gunshots at a window when there were volunteers and employees inside the building. Fortunately, no injuries were reported, though everyone was shaken by it.
Alabama Democratic Party Executive Director Brad Davidson issued a warning this morning for Democratic candidates and workers to remain vigilant and consider their safety ahead of all else, which seems to indicate there is some real concern that it was politically motivated.
According to comments on the Daily Kos report, there were volunteers inside the building phonebanking into Florida. One commenter also noted that there were four bombs in Indiana yesterday, including one placed in Democratic candidate Brad Mullens' mailbox, which actually exploded.
Let's get real for a minute. It's pretty difficult to imagine these incidents are not politically motivated when they're targeting Democrats in conservative Tea Party states. When people like Judson Phillips send out email blasts six times a day to the Tea Party faithful around the nation making false claims using incendiary language, it's hardly surprising.
As Mitt Romney sinks lower and lower in the polls, the desperation is mounting. On Monday, Joshua Holland at Alternet wrote a chilling prediction: If Barack Obama wins the election, a wave of domestic terrorism might be triggered.
It's an exceptionally dangerous game that the right-wing media are playing. If Obama wins – and according to polling guru Nate Silver, he'd have a 95 percent chance of doing so if the vote were held today – there's a very real danger that this spin -- combined with other campaign narratives that are popular among the far-right -- could create a post-election environment so toxic that it yields an outburst of politically motivated violence.
A strategy that began with a series of rather silly columns comparing 2012 with 1980, and assuring jittery conservatives that a huge mass of independents was sure to break for Romney late and deliver Obama the crushing defeat he so richly deserves, entered new territory with the bizarre belief that all the polls are wrong. And not only wrong, but intentionally rigged by “biased pollsters” – including those at Fox News – in the tank for Obama. (See Alex Pareene's piece for more on the right's new theory that the polls are being systematically “skewed.”)
Indeed, Mitt Romney himself amplified this theme yesterday at Education Nation when he told a parent the polls about parents supporting teachers were "flat wrong."
Republicans are building a narrative that is intended to leave their base firmly entrenched in the belief that 2012 was stolen from them by the "liberal media" and "liberal pollsters."
Just today, the daily Gallup tracking poll shows Obama widening his lead to 50-44, but Rasmussen's tracking poll, known to skew conservative, has them neck and neck at 46-46 with 3 percent looking to other candidates.
I don't see how you can take data like this alongside violent acts toward Democratic candidates and headquarters, and not see political implications. But for now, let's just pretend it was a random bullet shot into the air by a random gun owner who was celebrating...something.
At some point we're going to have to deal with the hate in this country, and those who incite it. Perhaps a beginning would be making sure everyone who can vote, does vote. Sweeping those lunatics out of office is at least a start.
Update 5:00pm Now there are reports that it wasn't a gunshot, but just a window breaking on its own from prior damage. Color me skeptical.