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The Rage won't End on Election Day
 by Frank Rich


Carl Paladino began his campaign by bragging he’d "clean out Albany with a baseball bat."
When an ally likened his main Albany target, the (Jewish) leader of the State Assembly,
to "an antichrist or Hitler," he enthusiastically endorsed the slur. We also learned of Paladino’s
repertory of gag e-mails - among them a pornographic picture of a woman having sex with a horse
and a photo of an African tribal ritual captioned "Obama Inauguration Rehearsal."

How blind we were not to recognize that his victory under the proud Tea Party banner was inevitable...

But if New Yorkers may take comfort from the pratfall of this particular barbarian at their gate,
the national forecast is not so sunny. Paladino is no anomaly in American politics in 2010. He’s just
the most clownish illustration of where things have been heading for two years and are still heading.
Like the farcical Christine O’Donnell, he’s a political loss-leader, if you will, whose near-certain defeat
on Nov. 2 allows us to indulge in a bit of denial about the level of rage still coursing, sometimes violently,
through our national bloodstream.

That wave of anger began with the parallel 2008 cataclysms of the economy’s collapse and Obama’s win.
The mood has not subsided since. But in the final stretch of 2010, the radical right's anger is becoming less
focused, more free-floating - more likely to be aimed at "government" in general, whatever the location or
officials in charge. The anger is also more likely to claim minorities like gays, Latinos and Muslims as
collateral damage. This is a significant and understandable shift, if hardly a salutary one. The mad-as-hell
crowd in America will lash out at any convenient scapegoat.

Yes, we are living in a nation of crazy people.

Bush burned down our house, and when Obama tried to rebuild it,
they accused him of going on "an out-of-control
spending spree."

Did they not want the house fixed?
Did they not want the banks and Wall Street saved?
Did they not want to GM and Ford saved, along with those millions of jobs?


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