Friday, June 25, 2004

The Great State of Paranoia

Did North Carolina suddenly transform into Albania while we were dozing? You'd think these six Republicans vying for the privilege of running against Mike Easley this fall were running to be governor of Tirana, so xenophobic have their public utterances become. They compete with one another to bash immigrants as the greatest present threat to the well-being of The Tarheel State.

Now Fern Shubert, the only woman in this group of gnomes, has put up a TV commercial that the Raleigh News & Observer says comes within a hair's breadth of blaming the 9/11 attacks on Gov. Easley for his lax treatment of illegal immigrants. We didn't know this, but evidently those 19 terrorists were nesting in North Carolina all along, coddled by our Governor, who showered them with valid North Carolina driver's licenses just so they could move undetected among us. The radio ad version of the TV spot makes the logic simple -- your run-of-the-mill North Carolina voter can't tell one dark-skin from another: " stop Mike Easley from helping illegal aliens and the terrorists who hide among them."

Has the "moderate" frontrunner Richard Vinroot passed up this immigrant-bashing? His campaign website offers no search engine, so can't be for sure, but a quick scan of press releases doesn't include one about installing machine-gun checkpoints on our borders (though he's happy to play the anti-gay-marriage trump card).

Do we recall talk earlier in the year that the N.C. GOP wanted to "reach out" to the Hispanic population of the state? Or was that just one of our frequent hallucinations (which our doctors tell us are untreatable, at least with legal drugs). But maybe they meant "reach out" to Hispanics after the primary, since we know a Republican needs the racist base to win the first leg.

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