Times have changed. Time was when an Ann Coulter could spout off a line like “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity,” or muse dreamily about what might have been if Timothy McVeigh had bombed the New York Times, and it would barely have raised more than a guffaw among the right-wing chattering classes. It certainly wouldn’t have harmed Bush’s re-election prospects.
In 2008, the ritual brainfarting that ensues each time a drooling authoritarian follower decides to open its mouth is embarrassing the Republican presidential team. Said team, of course, executed the initial shooting of itself in the foot with its desperate attempts to link Obama to terrorism. As this footage of a McCain rally in Ohio demonstrates (and where you’ll hear the “bloodlines” soundbite), where authoritarian leaders lead, authoritarian followers follow, with consequences by turns outrageous, racist and stupid:
There’s even more in this NBC report, in which political analyst Richard Wolffe advises the Republican team to take a leaf out of the Australian conservatives’ playbook and engage in dogwhistle politics rather than foghorn politics which, he suggests, will turn off the swing voters and independents.
As you can see, much has changed since 2004. The fallout from the Obama=terrorist smear campaign now has McCain and Palin at loggerheads.