Rush Limbaugh has been persistently promoting, at his website and on the air, this psychopathic image of Barack Obama as a zombie cannibal blood-mouth malevolently committed to bringing socialism to America:
Limbaugh’s attempt to link Barack Obama’s character to Heath Ledger’s Joker is no joke. He really believes that Obama possesses the metaphysically evil qualities of the comic book film character. He’s serious about this—making real links between them. Here’s what he said about Obama on Tuesday of this past week:
[The Joker] had a big damn chip on his shoulder about his childhood and about a bunch of other things. His goal was to undermine the whole system. . . . And to effect the change that the people of Gotham City didn’t want, the Joker created chaos upon chaos. The whole city was focused on him and what he was going to do next. He viewed crisis as an opportunity. So the Joker orchestrated crisis after crisis after crisis. And the Joker wore a mask. I mean whoever put this poster together is pretty smart because there are some similarities here to what the Joker did in that movie and what Obama is doing to this country.
Limbaugh, it should be recalled, reaches some twenty million people a week, and there are people in his audience who are unstable and with access to weapons. How can Limbaugh responsibly turn the president into a blood-mouthed psychopath and not bring unbalanced people to the hysterical conclusion that Obama must be stopped by any means necessary?
Here’s more of what Limbaugh said Tuesday:
Obama has admitted to wearing masks. In “Dreams from My Father”: (paraphrasing) “It was usually an effective tactic, another one of those tricks I had learned. People were satisfied so long as you were courteous and smiled and made no sudden moves. They were more than satisfied; they were relieved, such a pleasant surprise to find a well mannered young black man who didn’t seem angry all the time.” This is his tactic for fooling white people. This is the mask.
By making these links between the Joker and Obama with so large an audience, Limbaugh is fueling mass psychological projection onto Obama of the most malignant sort. He is blatantly generating collective suspicion, paranoia, sexual anxiety, and racial anxiety in his audience. And he’s making the object of these volatile emotions Barack Obama, our first African American president. This is the gasoline for violence. Rush Limbaugh gleefully provides everything save the match. He’s like Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello. And think about how vile and racist that is, for Limbaugh to do such a thing, and how he could be setting the country up for an assassination tragedy. Already, the image has been faxed to a congressman with an implicit threat towards Obama. This appeared yesterday in The Hill :
The Secret Service may investigate a fax sent to a Democratic lawmaker that depicts President Barack Obama as the Joker and warns of “death to all Marxists.” The black-and-white fax portrays Obama in makeup similar to that worn by actor Heath Ledger in his portrayal of the Joker in last summer’s “The Dark Knight.” On Obama’s forehead is a communist hammer-and-sickle insignia, and beneath the image is the text: “Death to All Marxists! Foreign and Domestic!”
This death threat directed towards the president (and presumably the congressman who got the fax) is one of the fruits of what happens when, Iago-like, you irresponsibly pour poison into the ears of frightened people, and set images before them like the Obama poster above, and give them broad circulation and legitimacy. As the poet William Butler Yeats wrote in “The Stare’s Nest By My Window”:
We had fed the heart on fantasy,
The heart’s grown brutal from the fare.
Barack Obama has been president for just six months. Six months. And the right has already hit the highest panic buttons it can reach. If Obama ends up dead from a gunman in his first term of office, we’ll know who generated the climate for this tragedy, won’t we?
Oh, and here’s a link to the “traitor” flyer that was circulating in Dallas just prior to President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. Sound and look familiar?