So what did Barack Obama say when questioned about the weird and terrible plot on his life by those idiot neo-Nazis the ATF busted? He was not angry or outraged or even really sad or shocked. He just said, "I think what has been striking in this campaign is the the degree to which these kind of hate groups have been marginalized." He's, uh, totally right! There was a tendency in New York, among liberals used to assuming that the elections are all stolen anyway, to assume the Obama campaign was doomed before it began because of his blackness, plain and simple. There was, similarly, a dark speculation, sometimes in the form of macabre joking, sometimes serious paranoia, that Obama would not survive the campaign if he got too close to the prize. What that didn't take into consideration was that as he looked more and more electable, more people liked him. Honestly, some thought Iowans were more likely to shoot him than vote for him. Then he proved them wrong, and the paranoia lifted, slightly. And the fact is, with the economy in the toilet, those bitter and ignorant poor whites are finding their distaste for Republicans is beginning to supersede any distaste for Blacks they might also feel. Crazy white power types found their numbers swelled a bit by the immigration "debate"—remember the Minute Men? they were certainly on TV a lot!—but now, the crazies are almost resigned to an Obama presidency. It's actually kinda shocking how few death threats we've heard about, especially considering the attention this patently ridiculous one received in the media. (Though we'd figure the ATF would be more likely to crow about breaking up an assassination attempt than the Secret Service, who tend to prefer to keep things quiet and not encourage the crazies.) But don't get too complacent! A Missouri Nazi tells The Guardian that a couple more Nazis will still promise to kill Obama, and Andrew Krucoff finds proof that Mississippi is still, you know, Mississippi. But Obama's right—they're marginalized. The debate's shifted immeasurably, even from a couple years ago. As a fine measure of how far we've come, the GOP has to use code words for "Muslim terrorist" this year instead of just reminding us of his conventional, acceptable Blackness. God bless us all!
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