Recently, my colleague Allen Clifton wrote an article in which he pleaded for moderate Republicans to take their party back. I know there’s some left, but then there’s far too many like Pete Santilli. If you’re not familiar with this guy, you can catch the back story on a number of sites, including Right Wing Watch.
In the wake of the embarrassment and anger Fox viewers found themselves dealing with after the results of the 2012 election, there was an expansion in the very profitable niche market of ultra-conservative media. No longer satisfied with the smug, self high-fiving sermons of Bill O’Reilly and the flawed predictions of Steve Doocy, the hate junkies have been looking for a new source of confirmation bias for their irrational conspiracy theories and bigotry.
In the race to pick up this small but passionately ignorant segment, right-wing radio hosts and social media personalities have resorted to shock-jock antics to stand out in the crowd.
I’ll give Mr. Santilli credit, he has done two things with the following statement (and I quote):
“I want to shoot [Clinton] right in the vagina and I don’t want her to die right away; I want her to feel the pain and I want to look her in the eyes and I want to say ‘on behalf of all Americans that you’ve killed, on behalf of the Navy SEALS,’ … the families of Navy SEAL Team Six who were involved in the fake hunt down of this Obama bin Laden thing, that whole fake scenario – because these Navy SEALS know the truth, they killed them all – on behalf of all of those people, I’m supporting our troops by saying we need to try, convict, and shoot Hillary Clinton in the vagina.”
First of all, he has brought attention to the horrific sentiment that a lot of the fringe element like to express in the company of trusted friends. This isn’t just the rantings of a madman on some 3 AM radio show heard only by lonely truck drivers in the middle of the desert — this is the voice of quite a few seething nutjobs who are just one missed dose away from going postal on government officials.
Second, by doing this, he’s also just set the GOP back another election cycle. Most of them won’t publicly denounce Pete Santilli or others like him because they don’t want to possibly alienate that small segment of voters. These are the rabid base, the ones who decide primaries and put people like Ted Cruz and Michele Bachmann in office.
And besides, if Hillary Clinton and President Obama were indeed the malevolent assassins he claims they are, I’d imagine Pete Santilli would have been dead by now, or at least locked away somewhere worse than Guantanamo. Clearly, that’s not the case.
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