The Grassy Knoll of the Far-Right Mind? After the Murder of Dr. George Tiller, Is President Barack Obama in Greater Danger of Assassination?

The grassy knoll of the far-right mind?

Salon today has a rather long article listing and discussing various right-wing Obama hysteria claims, such as:

  • Obama is the Antichrist;
  • he is determined to take away your guns; and
  • he is trying to flood America with Palestinian refugees

But what struck me as particularly disturbing about the article, especially in light of Bill O’Reilly’s repeated and vocal linking of Dr. George Tiller to Nazi eugenicists, is the far-right’s readiness to link Obama to Nazism and eugenics. Specifically, there are people on the right who loudly and persistently claim that Obama is a eugenicist, and he has a program in place akin to the Hitler Youth, which will be used by him to maintain his power via unlawful thuggery.

The clear implication of some of the far-right’s rhetoric is that Obama should be assassinated for the good of the Republic, and for the restoration of the rule of law.

In short, I can’t help but fear that the murder of Dr. Tiller was watched very closely by some Lee Harvey Oswald-type Dostoevsky “underground men” for clues as to how an Obama assassination might go down, and how it might be dealt with by right-wing media outlets. I felt, for example, that Bill O’Reilly’s shrugging dismissiveness and defiant—“I had nothing to do with it”—defense of his own rhetoric directed at Dr. Tiller is precisely the kind of response that Fox News and Shout Radio will muster in the event that President Obama is assassinated while in office. In other words, there are obviously people on the far-right who are hoping to generate the atmosphere for an assassination, even as they plan to declaim responsibility should it happen.

This is a painful subject for liberals, and we don’t even want to think about the assassination of President Obama, and what it would mean for America. Indeed, within the Salon article there is a sense of ironic disbelief, as if to say, “Surely, these people cannot be serious. They’re crazies. And the smarter among them must be joking!”

But the far-right is serious. Deadly serious. We are not even six months into Obama’s presidency, and since the election the far-right has become more hysterical, not less. That ought to tell us something. 

In fact, toward the beginning of the Salon article, the author was clearly trying to make light of—and mock—Obama hysteria by saying,

“Marooned on a grassy knoll of the mind, the right has spun new and scarier fantasies about the president, tales that would send any patriotic, gun-toting Christian fleeing across the border to Canada, if only the Canadians weren’t so damn socialist.”

Grassy knoll? Scarier fantasies?

Freud would say, “In your attempt to make a humorous remark, have your ears heard what your mouth has spoken?”

————-

Here’s O’Reilly defending his Tiller rhetoric in the aftermath of Tiller’s murder. For Tiller’s name, you can simply substitute Obama’s (should he ever be assassinated):

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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3 Responses to The Grassy Knoll of the Far-Right Mind? After the Murder of Dr. George Tiller, Is President Barack Obama in Greater Danger of Assassination?

  1. Veronica Abbass says:

    Santi

    Re: Freud would say, “In your attempt to make a humorous remark, have your ears heard what your mouth has spoken?”

    A better phrase to describe the Salon article is “From your mouth to God’s ear,” which a poster at http://www.answerbag.com says is an old Yiddish expression which means “I hope what you predict will happen.” Another way to describe the Salon article is an attempt to make self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Re: the right has spun . . . tales that would send any patriotic, gun-toting Christian fleeing across the border to Canada, if only the Canadians weren’t so damn socialist.”

    Gun-toting Christians should be advised that Canada requires visitors to check their guns at the border, and US citizens need an American passport to re-enter the US. Therefore, these fleeing Christians would be `up shit creek without a paddle` or, more accurately, in Canada without a gun.

    Veronica

  2. santitafarella says:

    Veronica:

    I understand what you are saying.

    But liberals are caught in a Catch-22. If you talk about it, you give it energy. If you don’t, then the far-right basically gets to turn up the temperature without resistance or push-back.

    I do think that the right, in its bad faith gestures toward the new president, is acting irresponsibly. We just have to hope for the best. History is not set in stone.

    —Santi

    • themadjewess says:

      Have you tried to really LISTEN to Hussein Obama??

      The right wingers are your fellow Americans, and YOU mean ZERO to Obama. He is a FAILURE already. But, not to worry, nobody will harm the false messiah.

      Bush had WAY MORE threats of assassination when he got in and then CODE PINK calling for the MURDER of US troops.

      Of course the right-wing is angry, they are NOT IN POWER ANYWHERE. This congress is ALL DEMS for OVER TWO YEARS, so NOBODY is representing 1/2 of your fellow countrymen.

      Get on the side with AMERICANS- for a CHANGE.

      If anyone will bring harm (if that would happen, Gd forbid), it will be a person of African descent.

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