"Don't you know about them?" One of the greatest lines in a great movie, "Twelve Angry Men." A classic case of guilt by association. Someone is guilty because, "he's one of them." In "Twelve Angry Men" such a thought is so un-American that it alienates the guy who held it. But in our culture today, such thoughts and words resonate, and influence votes. That is how far our republic has declined. That is how far the Rovian world view of wedge strategies has worked into the manichaean world view of good vrs evil. Our populace, seeming to be less American, and more Taliban over time, might still elect McCain despite how inept and catastrophic has been his Republican would be predecessor.
When you are losing your shirt, your retirement, and the roof over your head, your fear of "them" might just take second stage. But it also might give you a scapegoat for your own bad actions. It was "them" who took out bad loans and destabilized our finacial system. It wasn't me and my over-reaching ambition, it was "them" getting mortgages they shouldn't have.
We need a "them". It certainly beats a careful examination of our own decisions. It is certainly easier to find a scapegoat for our problems than to admit our own bad decisions. Republicans who have had effective control over government for nearly a decade, want to divert attention to their own mismanagement by looking for a "them" to blame things on. It is an act of blatant intellectual dishonesty, and a window into the soul of a soul-less group of people whom we never should have given a modicum of authority to.