How did we come to this pass?

Re this TPM post: I don’t really dispute that Nancy Pelosi is radioactive in much of the country. But how did we get here? The animus toward Pelosi strikes me as very similar to the crazy hatred I’ve noticed that many right-leaning white people have for Jesse Jackson – the intensity of the hatred is off the charts, but for the most part they they can’t point to specific reasons why they don’t like either. Sometimes you get “San Francisco liberal” for a reason for hating Pelosi, but that’s it.

To be blunt, I think it’s pretty clear that this feeling is manufactured and distributed by the Rush Limbaughs of the world. They are masters of creating these kinds of memes and know that white America’s latent racism/sexism/homophobia can always be counted on to spread them. Many heartland whites already weren’t disposed to like Jesse Jackson because he’s outspoken, powerful, and black. Right-wing talking heads just validate, codify, and reinforce these beliefs. My point is that if Democrats would rather not have some of their leaders singled out as the political equivalent of whipping boys, they need to develop a real PR strategy against the multi-year whisper campaigns that go on against these people on the airwaves. And fighting reactionary tendencies among white people is an important project in itself regardless of its impact on the Speaker of the House’s approval rating.

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