Op-ed by Paul Krugman
New York Times/Paul Krugman—Last Thursday there was a rally outside the U.S. Capitol to protest pending health care legislation, featuring the kinds of things we’ve grown accustomed to, including large signs showing piles of bodies at Dachau with the caption “National Socialist Healthcare.” It was grotesque — and it was also ominous. For what we may be seeing is America starting to be Californiafied.
Paul Krugman, New York Times
The key thing to understand about that rally is that it wasn’t a fringe event. It was sponsored by the House Republican leadership — in fact, it was officially billed as a G.O.P. press conference. Senior lawmakers were in attendance, and apparently had no problem with the tone of the proceedings.
True, Eric Cantor, the second-ranking House Republican, offered some mild criticism after the fact. But the operative word is “mild.” The signs were “inappropriate,” said his spokesman, and the use of Hitler comparisons by such people as Rush Limbaugh, said Mr. Cantor, “conjures up images that frankly are not, I think, very helpful.”
What all this shows is that the G.O.P. has been taken over by the people it used to exploit.
The state of mind visible at recent right-wing demonstrations is nothing new. Back in 1964 the historian Richard Hofstadter published an essay titled, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” which reads as if it were based on today’s headlines: Americans on the far right, he wrote, feel that “America has been largely taken away from them and their kind, though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion.” Sound familiar?
But while the paranoid style isn’t new, its role within the G.O.P. is.
Posted by Buellboy
TPM—In a new post on the official White House blog, an administration official specifically names Fox News for lying about the administration’s push to bring the Olympics to Chicago.
“Last night Fox News continued its disregard for the facts,” the post begins, “in an attempt to smear the Administration’s efforts to win the Olympics for the United States.”
The author, White House online programs director Jesse Lee, goes on to point out several quotes from Glenn Beck, which it says are lies, and the truth behind them. (“Rhetoric: Beck said Vancouver lost $1 billion when it ‘had the Olympics.’ … Reality: Vancouver’s Olympics Will Not Take Place Until 2010.”)
“In the past, hosting the Olympics has been a source of pride and unity for the country, but once again Fox News’ Glenn Beck program has shown that nothing is worthy of respect if it can be used as part of a partisan attack to boost ratings,” Lee writes.
The post ends with a link to Politifact, “for even more Fox lies.”
Warning: This video is potentially hazardous to your health. It can only be viewed safely if you are wearing a tin-foil hat.
Glenn Beck the Brat
Gregg Mitchell/HuffPost—I have no quarrel with TIME magazine devoting a cover to Glenn Beck — so long as the accompanying story sticks to hard facts and harsh truths. The issue coming tomorrow, online today, sadly fails to do so in an apparent effort to woo the rightwing with a ludicrously “balanced” treatment of equally dangerous and wacko “ranting” coming from left and right.
It starts right away with a first paragraph that claims that only “liberal sources” estimated the protest crowd in D.C. last weekend as about 70,000, while conservatives say up to a million or more. Actually, virtually all mainstream media sources, along with nonpartisan factchecking organizations such as PolitiFact, cite the lower number.
Reading The Pictures: Glenn Beck’s Organ. TIME’s Dime by Michael Shaw
Brought to you by Max Blumenthal and Alternet.org
Max Blumenthal covers the 9.12 anti-Obama rally on the National Mall, where teabaggers demonstrated their opposition to healthcare reform by calling Obama the biggest Nazi in the world, claiming he wants to put “real” Americans in concentration camps, and was born in Kenya.
But how many of them have health insurance, and do they know they’re pawns in the game of healthcare industry front man Dick Armey? Of course not.
In his article, 9/12 Protest: Here’s What Fox News Didn’t Broadcast, Max explains what he witnessed in Washington:
My video tour of the 9.12 Project is yet another exhibit of how the Republican Party’s big tent became a one-ring circus that operates according to the rules of P.T. Barnum: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
For the inside story of how the radical right took over the GOP and drove it to the margins, check out Max’s new book, “Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party”