Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wingnuts: Off the Deep End Edition

Aravosis: THIS JUST IN: Top GOP news portal discusses military "coup" against Obama 
This is beyond the pale. If the Democrats don't step up and shut this kind of talk down right now, I fear we are going to see violence in this country. And yes, it will be the Republicans' fault. But it will also be the fault of the Democratic party for watching the crazy talk grow, and not doing a thing to stand up to it. At some point, silence abets.
Imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the Constitution through an interim administration that would do the serious business of governing and defending the nation. Skilled, military-trained, nation-builders would replace accountability-challenged, radical-left commissars. Having bonded with his twin teleprompters, the president would be detailed for ceremonial speech-making.

Military intervention is what Obama’s exponentially accelerating agenda for “fundamental change” toward a Marxist state is inviting upon America. A coup is not an ideal option, but Obama’s radical ideal is not acceptable or reversible.

Unthinkable? Then think up an alternative, non-violent solution to the Obama problem. Just don’t shrug and say, “We can always worry about that later."

Smooth Like Remy: Republicans/Conservatives Do Not Live On The Same Planet As The Rest Of Us 
Jon Stewart takes a look at what is most important to Republicans and their wingnut base compared to what is important to the rest of us.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
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Healthcare Protests

The shot at Tucker Carlson is an added benefit ;)

Rep. Trent Franks (R) of Arizona has been moving fairly aggressively lately towards the edge of the right-wing cliff. By agreeing to appear at an extremist conference in St. Louis over the weekend, Franks further cemented his position as one of the caucus' most unhinged members.
But if there are any lingering doubts, consider the fact that the Arizona congressman labeled President Obama an "enemy of humanity" at the event.
"Obama's first act as president of any consequence, in the middle of a financial meltdown, was to send taxpayers' money overseas to pay for the killing of unborn children in other countries...there's almost nothing that you should be surprised at after that.
"We shouldn't be shocked that he does all these other insane things. A president that has lost his way that badly, that has no ability to see the image of God in these little fellow human beings, if he can't do that right, then he has no place in any station of government and we need to realize that he is an enemy of humanity."
Remember, he thinks the president is "insane."
At the same event, Franks said Obama "acts un-American," and "doesn't want people to see" his birth certificate.
Think Progress: Right-wing icon Schlafly: Feminism is ‘the most dangerous, destructive force in our society today.’ 
Phyllis Schlafly, the anti-Equal Rights Amendment activist who heads the Eagle Forum, hosted the right-wing conference How To Take Back America last weekend. Several GOP members of Congress attended the conference, and each paid their respects to Schlafly for her leadership in the conservative movement. Schlafly delivered several speeches and led a discussion advocating traditional roles for women as well as warning about the dangers of feminism and blasting single mothers:
I submit to you that the feminist movement is the most dangerous, destructive force in our society today. [...] My analysis is that the gays are about 5% of the attack on marriage in this country, and the feminists are about 95%. [...] I’m talking about drugs, sex, illegitimacy, drop outs, poor grades, run away, suicide, you name it, every social ill comes out of the fatherless home.
Watch it:

At the closing ceremony, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) thanked Schlafly for her critical support of his candidacy last year, and Mike Huckabee stood by as she was presented with the “American Hero of the Century” award. “God bless you,” said Huckabee, “and God bless Phyllis Schlafly most of all.”
John Cole: Who Could Have Thunk It? 
I’m sure you are all shocked:
Conservatives were quick to insist that the near-riot — the first of many town-hall mobs that would dominate the headlines in August — was completely spontaneous. The protesters didn’t show up “because of some organized group,” Rick Scott, the head of Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, told reporters. “They’re mad about the stimulus bill, the bailout, the economy. Now they see that their health care is about to be taken over by the government.”
Behind the scenes, top Republicans — including House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, Minority Leader John Boehner and the chairman of the GOP’s Senate steering committee, Jim DeMint — worked hand-in-glove with the organizers of the town brawls. Their goal was not only to block health care reform but to bankrupt President Obama’s political capital before he could move on to other key items on his agenda, including curbing climate change and expanding labor rights. As DeMint told an August teleconference of nearly 20,000 town-hall activists, “If we can stop him on this, the administration won’t be able to go on to cap and trade, card check and the other things they want to do.”
I eagerly await the folks at Reason explaining that really, the health care protesters were just advocates of limited government.

Joe Klein (Time Swampland): Philo-Semitism Gone Amok
Mike Gerson and Ezra Klein are two of the more temperate partisans I know. Gerson is an evangelical conservative whose speeches sometimes managed to make George W. Bush look like he sorta knew what he was talking about; he was also among the rare Bushies who supported faith-based social programs because of the impact they made on the lives of the poor, rather than on the President's poll-ratings among evangelicals. Klein--no relation, except friendship--is a wise-beyond-his-years policy wonk, who has moved to the Washington Post from the American Prospect, and has done some of the very best reporting on the health care issue.
So what is to explain this weirdly intemperate attack by Gerson on Klein?
Beats me. But it is part of a pattern among neoconservative Likudniks--including the lead Likudnik, Benjamin Netanyahu--and their evangelical running mates: Jews who disagree with them on Israel or the seriousness of antisemitism (on the internet or in the world) are either self-hating...or anti-semitic or, as Gerson spews about Klein:
Those, like Klein, who trivialize evil are actually making its advance more likely. Their cynicism and ideological manias are the allies of genuine bigotry, because they blur its distinctive shape and cover its distinctive smell.
This, because Ezra propounded the factually indisputable proposition that flaming bigots like Rush Limbaugh (who was fired after one week as a football commentator on ESPN before he made a racially idiotic statement about the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles) have far more influence over the intemperate nature of the public debate than various internet commenters and bloggers.
Now, let me say there is a fair amount of anti-semitic intemperance on the internet--including some on the left--and certainly, out in the world, among purposely provocative public haters like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (who still doesn't have control of Iran's nuclear or national security portfolios). Historically, though, anti-semitism has found its true home on the populist right.
But there has been a curious, and growing, phenomenon in the evangelical community in recent years: they just love us Jews. They just love Israel, uh, to death. For many, I'm sure, there is real admiration of Israel's pluck and toughness and democracy. For others, as Lieutenant General William Boykin said after 9/11, there's something of a "my God is bigger than your God" attitude toward Muslims in general--and the Israelis are on the front line of the war against the "infidels." And then, there are those who take the Bible literally, especially the weird, fever-swamp hallucination of the Book of Revelation. This odd addendum to the New Testament has taken a disproportionate place for many evangelical Christians who believe in the Rapture--that is, a sequence of events that begins with the Jews regaining control of the Holy Land, fighting a climactic battle against the infidels (Muslims) at Armageddon (Megiddo, in the Jezreel Valley), after which Jesus returns, believers Go Straight to Heaven...and all non-believers, like any remaining Jews who don't accept Jesus, are incinerated.
I have my doubts about those who believe such nonsense being true allies of Israel. Likudniks, though, don't have very many allies in the world; some of them tend to see the Evangelical literalists, who bring significant amounts of tourist money to the Holy Land and have influence in the Republican Party, as useful idiots. "Prophecy" for the literalists requires that Israel retain control of Judea and Samaria (i.e. the West Bank). A great many Jews disagree, including me. They believe that to retain those areas is not only unjust, and illegal, but spells long-term demographic doom for Israel. This is not even a remotely radical position; it was held by the last three Israeli Prime Ministers, including Ariel Sharon.
I'm not saying that Gerson, or his evangelical Bushie running-mate Pete Wehner (who writes on the Commentary blog and piled on when the Likudniks called me anti-semitic), believe in the Rapture. In fact, both Gerson and Wehner, when they have their heads screwed on right, have occasionally been lonely voices reminding the evangelical community of Jesus's social gospel (except when it comes to raising taxes to pay for them; somehow that old, inconvenient "easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter heaven" business doesn't play in Evangelical America). In any case, I don't know how literally Gerson and Wehner take their Bible. I don't know if they're snuggling up to the Likudniks because of philosophy, prophecy or some combination of the two. But I'd advise caution when they question the Judaism, rather than the politics, of those, like Ezra Klein, who disagree with them. It's obnoxious enough when Bibi Netanyahu calls David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel self-hating Jews or when silly old Abe Foxman calls me anti-semitic.  But after the last two thousand years, when a non-Jew indulges, it is prohibitively creepy.
And I here I thought former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey (R), whose propensity for misinformation is practically limitless, couldn't possibly appear any less credible. I stand corrected.
McCaughey, of course, has been a leading conservative opponent of health care reform in 2009, frequently straying from the truth (and reality) to trash Democratic proposals. She's also known for playing a similarly destructive role in 1994, when McCaughey positioned herself as "a scrupulous, impartial, independent scholar who, after leafing through the endless pages of the Clinton health proposals, had been shocked by what she found."
What we don't know until very recently is that McCaughey, when she wrote her infamous 1994 New Republic article that contributed to reform's defeat, she was working in secret with corporate interests who were lobbying against the Clinton plan.
Writing for Rolling Stone, Tim Dickinson reports on documents obtained from a Philip Morris lobbyist
[W]hat has not been reported until now is that McCaughey's writing was influenced by Philip Morris, the world's largest tobacco company, as part of a secret campaign to scuttle Clinton's health care reform. (The measure would have been funded by a huge increase in tobacco taxes.) In an internal company memo from March 1994, the tobacco giant detailed its strategy to derail Hillarycare through an alliance with conservative think tanks, front groups and media outlets. Integral to the company's strategy, the memo observed, was an effort to "work on the development of favorable pieces" with "friendly contacts in the media." The memo, prepared by a Philip Morris executive, mentions only one author by name:
"Worked off-the-record with Manhattan and writer Betsy McCaughey as part of the input to the three-part expose in The New Republic on what the Clinton plan means to you. The first part detailed specifics of the plan."
Media Matters added, "This latest disclosure, combined with a previously exposed conflict of interest, should destroy any remaining credibility she has with the media as an expert in health care reform acting in the public interest."
Indeed, it should. But will it? How soon until a major media outlet once again turns to McCaughey for "analysis" of health care policy?
Kevin Drum recently noted, "McCaughey is pure poison. She cares about nothing except making sure that no healthcare reform of any kind is ever adopted in the United States, and in that cause she's willing to say or do anything."
Think Progress: Right-Wing Panel Agrees Obama Is The ‘First Muslim American President’ 
At the How to Take Back America conference last weekend, attended by several Republican lawmakers, former Reagan official and prominent neoconservative Frank Gaffney, right-wing historian Bill Federer, and Christian activist Walid Shoebat hosted a panel on “How to understand Islam.” An attendee of the panel asked the three speakers if they would consider President Obama a Christian or a Muslim, given his “roots.” While Gaffney gave a now familiar response linking Obama to the Muslim Brotherhood, Federer and Shoebat provided new theories, which elicited praise from the crowd:
GAFFNEY: If Bill Clinton, on the basis of special interest pandering and identity politics, was properly called the first Black American President, on that same basis, Barack Obama should be called the first Muslim American President. […] But there is evidence that a lot of Muslims think he is Muslim. But whether he is or whether he isn’t, the key to me, is is he pursuing that is indistinguishable in important respects from that of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose mission ladies and gentlemen, we know from a trial in Dallas last year, is to quote to destroy Western civilization from within by its own miserable hand. That’s what we need to keep our eye on.
FEDERER: In Islam, if your father is a Muslim, you’re automatically a Muslim. Since Barack’s father, stepfather, and grandfather were all Muslim, the Muslim world views him as Muslim. Mohammad allowed his warriors to say they’re not Muslim to gain advantage and um, but he’s uh, Islam permits you to lie to advance Islam, Saul Alinsky allows you to lie to advance your communist agenda, you can put them together.
SHOEBAT: I came from an American mother, Obama came from an American mother. I came from a Muslim father, Obama came from a Muslim father. […] Did you know that your President knows how to do the call to the prayer in eloquent classical Arabic? […] No one can do this in classical Arabic language unless he grew up and was raised as a Muslim.
Watch it:

During the panel, Shoebat advocated entering Arab countries and converting Muslims to Christianity. He also went on a rant about how Muslims in meat packaging plants are contaminating America’s food supply because their hands are unclean.
Gaffney has a record of comparing Obama to Hitlera major theme of the conference — and spreading other absurd reasons for why he thinks Obama is Muslim. As Matt Duss has noted, although it may be difficult to take Gaffney as a serious analyst, his “transparently bigoted” attacks are given a platform on major media outlets. This reason alone is why Gaffney’s smears shouldn’t be ignored.
In the past week alone, Gaffney has appeared as a pundit on Fox News and MSNBC, has been featured in an article in NewsMax, and wrote an opinion column for the Washington Times.
Neiwert, C&L: Lou Dobbs doubles down on gun paranoia by claiming Sunstein will be 'gun czar'
From the very moment he was elected, right-wingers have been waiting, hoping, and watching anxiously for President Obama to take some kind of action -- any kind of action -- relating to guns. Just so they can start screaming, "He's trying to take away our guns!!!! Lock and load!!! Molon labe!!!"

Of course, he's done nothing. Nada. Zippo.

Which means they're now forced to just make stuff up.

This is never a problem for the paranoid, gun-toting right anyway. It's what they do.

Lou Dobbs was out leading the parade last night:

DOBBS: A record 1 million background checks on gun sales were completed by the FBI in the month of August alone. Those numbers show that gun owners are increasingly concerned that the Obama administration is on a mission to restrict Second Amendment rights in this country.

Supporters of those rights gathered in St. Louis over this weekend to fight attempts to strip Americans of their right to keep and to bear arms. Bill Tucker with our report.

And what exactly is the source of that fear? Um, well ...

TUCKER: Ask them why, and they recall the words of Attorney General Eric Holder on the need to ban assault weapons to help reduce drug violence in Mexico.

They point to the president's regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein, who personally is not just opposed to hunting, but said back in 2007 it should be banned. Or they will point to the president's consistent voting record for gun control, both in the Senate and back in Illinois.

Nor do these gun rights enthusiasts trust the newest Supreme Court justice, who in her only ruling on gun rights said the Second Amendment could only be applied to the federal government.

Hmmm. This sounds like almost exactly the same charges the NRA has been peddling since January, and yet the Obama administration has not acted on guns in any fashion.

The only new thing is the bit about Cass Sunstein, the demonization of whom began with Glenn Beck and has now spread to Dobbs' show. Dobbs and Tucker delve this in more detail:

TUCKER: All of them, of course, united under the banner of securing their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. For his part, the president does say he respects the constitutional right and promised that he will "protect the rights of hunters and other law- abiding Americans to purchase, own, and transport, and use guns."

But gun activists remain skeptical -- Lou?

DOBBS: I mean, the attorney general, Eric Holder, has said "They just want to do a few things with the Second Amendment." And the czar here, Cass Sunstein -- I mean, what's his deal?

TUCKER: He's a vegetarian, and he believes that hunting ought to be banned.

DOBBS: So, he's not big on hunting.

TUCKER: He's not big on hunting at all. But he has openly supported the right of animals to sue. He believes animals ought to have rights...

DOBBS: I'm sorry, repeat that again?

TUCKER: He believes animals should have rights, which would include the right to sue if they have been mistreated.

DOBBS: If they were hunted.

TUCKER: Or I guess hunted.

DOBBS: If they were hunted -- really?

TUCKER: I can't explain it, Lou, I'm just telling you.

DOBBS: I just think we should let this sort of percolate, because, presumably, the president knows this man, knows who he put there...


DOBBS: ... as the regulatory czar over guns. That's truly, truly interesting.

Thank you very much, Bill Tucker.

TUCKER: You're welcome.

Cass Sunstein, the regulatory czar over guns? Not exactly. And by "not exactly," we mean, "not even remotely related to the truth."

Sunstein has been nominated to head up the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, whose role it is to review draft regulations under Executive Order 12866; additionally, "OIRA reviews collections of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act, and also develops and oversees the implementation of government-wide policies in the areas of information technology, information policy, privacy, and statistical policy."

Guns are nowhere near this picture, except hypothetically (it would be possible, as a matter of conjecture, that Sunstein's office would review the efficacy of proposed gun regs coming out of the ATF). And that's it. That's the entire "connection" here.

But hey, don't worry, Lou. When the next Richard Poplawski kills three cops because he was afraid Obama was gonna take his guns away, we'll know who to thank.

1 comment:

  1. That Newsmax thing is disturbing, but really, you've spent the past eight months pointing out things that should be beyond the pale - this is just another instance.
    The real question is, is the author basing this off of anything, or is he just making things up?

    I can't imagine a military coup is good for business - which means that the MI complex probably doesn't want to rock the boat like that.