See this billboard in Grand Junction, Colo.?
From what I can remember of my college American-history coursework, this would be at least as nasty as any cartoon ever drawn of an American president by an opponent who absolutely, positively hated his guts. Maybe a little more nasty.
It's as nasty as anything the Federalists aimed at the Democratic-Republicans. As over the top as anything the Know-Nothings threw at . . .well, anybody. As nasty as anything a South Carolina Democrat threw at Abraham Lincoln before South Carolinians unilaterally declared him Not Our President and shot up Fort Sumter.
By the time people hate their government -- and its leader -- so much that they're depicting the president of the United States as an Islamic suicide bomber, a stereotypical gay man, a gangster and a Pancho Villa-knockoff Mexican bandit, I think it's safe to say the country is sitting on a powder keg. And here comes a bunch of tea-party crazies knocking flint and steel together.
ACCORDING TO The Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction, the billboard came from the “constitutionalist libertarian” mind of "artist" Paul Snover. He told the newspaper he wasn't "allowed to say" who bankrolled it.
THE ARTICLE in The Daily Sentinel also gives us some idea of the contempt Snover -- who has described himself as a supporter of tea-party organizations and Glenn Beck's "9/12" movement -- has for the country's duly-elected government:
The billboard, erected along the I-70 Business Loop between 28 1/2 and 29 roads sometime Monday, depicts the four “Obamas” sitting around a table with playing cards showing only sixes bunched in groups of three.
Also on the table is a copy of the Declaration of Independence, a liberty bell, a toy soldier and a statue of Justice holding a balance.
Beneath the Obama caricatures are numerous rats, some of which are labeled as the IRS, trial lawyers, the EPA and the Fed. Sitting above all that is a line, “Vote DemocRAT. Join the game,” which is positioned between two vultures, one of which is labeled the U.N. and the other with the name Soros, a reference to George Soros, a major national Democratic financial supporter.
“The Constitution has been thrown in the trash and burned by our very own government and we the people watched TV while America burned! The enemy is not at the gate, it is a cancer within our own borders,” Snover wrote on the Mesa County Second Amendment Task Force website. “From what I have learned of history and what I see going on in all levels of government, I can but conclude that there is no constitutional republic any more, only a sick tyrannical twisted dictatorship."IS THIS what tea partiers see as "American values," as opposed to "Marxist" ones?
That Grand Junction billboard and its creator's paranoid screeds are what "patriots" think is appropriate public discourse today? Goodness, what would tea-party favorite John Adams say about this kind of thing?
I think I have the answer to that.
He'd call it sedition, and they'd all be in jail right now.
Be careful what you ask for when you "take back America," people. You just might get it.