Tag Archives: fringe

BACKLASH: GOP core members worried by angry fringe.

posted by GeoT

Crazylegs Beck

"Crazylegs" Beck


Some Republicans worry the party could squander an opportunity because they come off looking shallow, sharply partisan or just plain odd…

Many top Republicans are growing worried that the party’s chances for reversing its electoral routs of 2006 and 2008 are being wounded by the flamboyant rhetoric and angry tone of conservative activists and media personalities, according to interviews with GOP officials and operatives.

2 X Cuckoo

2 X Cuckoo

Congressional leaders talk in private of being boxed in by commentators such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh — figures who are wildly popular with the conservative base but wildly controversial among other parts of the electorate, and who have proven records of making life miserable for senators and House members critical of their views or influence.

Some of the leading 2012 candidates are described by operatives as grappling with the same tension. The challenge is to tap into the richest source of energy in the party — the disgust of grass-roots conservative activists with President Barack Obama and their hunger for a full-throated attack on his agenda — without coming off to the broader public as cranky and extreme.

2012 GOP Contenders

2012 GOP Contenders

Mitt Romney has purposely kept a lower profile and stuck to speeches on specific policy issues, in part to avoid the early trade-off between placating party activists and appearing presidential. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, one of the most active potential opponents for Obama in 2012, said that media portrayals of a narrow-minded party could make it harder to attract the middle-of-the-road voters needed to make the GOP a majority party again.
“The commentators are part of the coalition, not the whole coalition,” Pawlenty said in a phone interview. “The party needs to be about addition, not subtraction — but not at the expense of watering down its principles.”

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)

“We need more voices,” said House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia, one of the party’s up-and-coming leaders. “Our party’s challenge has been that we need to be more inclusive — we need to attract the middle again. … When one party controls all the levers of power in Washington, they’re going to try and villainize whoever they can on our side. It gives us an opportunity now to try and harness the energy and point it in a positive direction, so that we can attract the middle of the country to the common-sense conservative views that we have been about as a party.”

Read The Article Here: Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen politicologosmall

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under 2010 Elections, 2012, Democrats, Partisan Politics, Politics, Uncategorized

The Anger of the Festering Fringe by Roger Ebert

Op-Ed by Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

Chicago Sun Times/Roger Ebert—I’ve had these thoughts for some time, but have been reluctant to express them. Now so many others have voiced them that it’s pointless to remain silent. I am frightened by the climate of insane anti-Obama hatred in this country. I’m not referring to traditional conservatives or Republicans. They’re part of the process. I’m speaking of the lunatic fringe, the frothers, the extremist rabble who are sweeping up the ignorant and credulous into a bewildering and fearsome tide of reckless rhetoric.

There have always been nuts. Remember when the John Birch society thought Kennedy was a communist? In those innocent days most of the American people were reasonable. They’d shake their heads in wonder at such a weird notion. Kennedy might be one of those liberals, but he wasn’t a commie. And when people said Johnson murdered Kennedy? Also ridiculous. But slowly, ominously, things began to change. After his death, it was said that Edward Kennedy was a Soviet agent. These theories have rabid subscribers.

Obama is a Muslim. Obama was born in Kenya. Obama was a terrorist. Obama will destroy Medicare. Obama will kill your grandmother. Obama is a racist. Obama wants atheism taught in the schools. Obama wants us to pay for the health care of illegal immigrants.

These beliefs are held by various segments of our population. They are absurd. Any intelligent person can see they are absurd. It is not my purpose here to debate them, because such debates are futile. With the zealous True Believers there is no debating. They feed upon loops within loops of paranoid surmises, inventions which are passed along as fact. Sometimes those citing them don’t even seem to care if you believe them. Sometimes they may not believe them themselves. The purpose is to fan irrational hatred against our president.

What are we to make of the recent suggestion on the “respected” right-wing site NewsMax, later withdrawn, that “it might not be such a bad thing” if the U. S. military rose up and overthrew Obama in a coup? That sort of talk belongs on a password-protected neo-Nazi or Klan site, not in a place where ostensibly intelligent people look for information. Where were the editors? What did they think? If they’re “conservatives,” do they support the overthrow of our government by a coup?

More @ chicagosuntimes_logo_red

3 Comments

Filed under Editorial, Media and Entertainment, Opinions, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, TV Shows, Uncategorized

The Wizard of Beck by David Brooks

Op-Ed by David Brooks

David Brooks

David Brooks

New York Times/David Brooks—…So what is the theme of our history lesson? It is a story of remarkable volume and utter weakness. It is the story of media mavens who claim to represent a hidden majority but who in fact represent a mere niche — even in the Republican Party. It is a story as old as “The Wizard of Oz,” of grand illusions and small men behind the curtain…

In 2008, after McCain had won his nomination, Limbaugh turned his attention to the Democratic race. He commanded his followers to vote in the Democratic primaries for Hillary Clinton because “we need Barack Obama bloodied up politically.” Todd Donovan of Western Washington University has looked at data from 38 states and could find no strong evidence that significant numbers of people actually did what Limbaugh commanded. Rush blared the trumpets, but few of his Dittoheads advanced.

Over the years, I have asked many politicians what happens when Limbaugh and his colleagues attack. The story is always the same. Hundreds of calls come in. The receptionists are miserable. But the numbers back home do not move. There is no effect on the favorability rating or the re-election prospects. In the media world, he is a giant. In the real world, he’s not.

But this is not merely a story of weakness. It is a story of resilience. For no matter how often their hollowness is exposed, the jocks still reweave the myth of their own power. They still ride the airwaves claiming to speak for millions. They still confuse listeners with voters. And they are aided in this endeavor by their enablers. They are enabled by cynical Democrats, who love to claim that Rush Limbaugh controls the G.O.P. They are enabled by lazy pundits who find it easier to argue with showmen than with people whose opinions are based on knowledge. They are enabled by the slightly educated snobs who believe that Glenn Beck really is the voice of Middle America.

So the myth returns. Just months after the election and the humiliation, everyone is again convinced that Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and the rest possess real power. And the saddest thing is that even Republican politicians come to believe it. They mistake media for reality. They pre-emptively surrender to armies that don’t exist.

They pay more attention to Rush’s imaginary millions than to the real voters down the street. The Republican Party is unpopular because it’s more interested in pleasing Rush’s ghosts than actual people. The party is leaderless right now because nobody has the guts to step outside the rigid parameters enforced by the radio jocks and create a new party identity. The party is losing because it has adopted a radio entertainer’s niche-building strategy, while abandoning the politician’s coalition-building strategy.

The rise of Beck, Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and the rest has correlated almost perfectly with the decline of the G.O.P. But it’s not because the talk jocks have real power. It’s because they have illusory power, because Republicans hear the media mythology and fall for it every time.

Read the entire article @ New York Times/Thomas Friedman

***Update***

Limbaugh, Levin Respond to Brooks Column

Source: Politico

Can you say JEALOUS?” Limbaugh told POLITICO in an email.

Limbaugh brushed off the Times columnist’s criticism by asking “how many Americans know who David Brooks is?”

Mark Levin, author of the best-selling “Liberty & Tyranny,” asked two questions in an email to POLTICO: “David Brooks? Does he run Brooks Brothers?

Here’s a little insight into conservatives, conservatism, and talk radio—we don’t care what David Brooks has to say,” Levin said. “He is irrelevant. He is incoherent. And you guys should rely less on the New York Times. Its circulation is plummeting for a reason.

Sounds like Levin and Limbaugh didn’t read Brooks’ column. Specifically the lines about: “They still ride the airwaves claiming to speak for millions. They still confuse listeners with voters.

1 Comment

Filed under Democrats, Editorial, Media and Entertainment, Opinions, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Uncategorized

Where Did We Go? By Thomas Friedman

Posted by Audiegrl

New York Times/Thomas Friedman

New York Times/Thomas Friedman

New York Times/Thomas Friedman—I hate to write about this, but I have actually been to this play before and it is really disturbing.

I was in Israel interviewing Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin just before he was assassinated in 1995. We had a beer in his office. He needed one. I remember the ugly mood in Israel then — a mood in which extreme right-wing settlers and politicians were doing all they could to delegitimize Rabin, who was committed to trading land for peace as part of the Oslo accords. They questioned his authority. They accused him of treason. They created pictures depicting him as a Nazi SS officer, and they shouted death threats at rallies. His political opponents winked at it all.

And in so doing they created a poisonous political environment that was interpreted by one right-wing Jewish nationalist as a license to kill Rabin — he must have heard, “God will be on your side” — and so he did.

Others have already remarked on this analogy, but I want to add my voice because the parallels to Israel then and America today turn my stomach: I have no problem with any of the substantive criticism of President Obama from the right or left. But something very dangerous is happening. Criticism from the far right has begun tipping over into delegitimation and creating the same kind of climate here that existed in Israel on the eve of the Rabin assassination.

What kind of madness is it that someone would create a poll on Facebook asking respondents, “Should Obama be killed?” The choices were: “No, Maybe, Yes, and Yes if he cuts my health care.” The Secret Service is now investigating. I hope they put the jerk in jail and throw away the key because this is exactly what was being done to Rabin.

More @ New York Times/Thomas Friedman

Leave a comment

Filed under Democrats, Domestic Terrorism, Hate Crimes, Media and Entertainment, Opinions, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Uncategorized

Law Professor Confronts O’Reilly Over Fox News And The Far Right: “Fox News, Far Right Have A Race Deck, And They Play The Ace Of Spades Every Day”

Posted by TheLCster

O’Reilly tries his best to talk over Professor Levitt, an avowed Republican conservative. So right off the bat, O’Reilly was not able to dismiss him as a liberal or Democrat. I agree that all conservatives and Republicans are not racially biased against the President. But it was humorous to watch the Professor read off racially-tinged signs at Fox’s News’ 9/12 demonstrations in Washington, and ask O’Reilly why the Republican party was not discouraging this right-wing fringe behavior.

Dr. Jeremy Levitt

Dr. Jeremy Levitt

Dr. Jeremy Levitt, a law professor at Florida A&M University, confronted Bill O’Reilly tonight over Fox News’ role in fomenting racial tensions regarding President Obama. Specifically Dr. Levitt cited Glenn Beck and the network’s role in encouraging the 9/12 protests, which featured an assortment of racist signs.

Here is the link to the article written by Professor Levitt, that got O’Reilly’s attention.

President Obama, Race and the Unpatriotic Right

3 Comments

Filed under Law, Media and Entertainment, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Uncategorized

Fringe Tea Partiers: Obama Is Both Goebbels And Mengele

Tea Party Protesters n Las Vegas

Tea Party Protesters n Las Vegas


Posted by HershelWallingtonIV

Zachary Roth @ TPMMuckraker—So as you may have heard, the Tea Partiers are set to get back in the news next weekend with a big “March on Washington” to protest health-care reform, the bailout, climate-change legislation, and all those other intolerable encroachments on freedom that the Obama administration is planning.

The Tea Party Patriots — which, along with the corporate-backed FreedomWorks, is the prime organizer of the march — have worked hard to portray their movement as a reasonable, principled, non-violent opposition. Among the confirmed speakers for the rally are GOP lawmakers who are leaders of the conservative movement like Jim DeMint, Mike Pence, and Marsha Blackburn.

But sometimes the darker side of the Tea Party scene slips out.

Cont’d

1 Comment

Filed under Bailout, Civil Protest, Economy, Media and Entertainment, News, Politics, Stimulus