The Advent of Socialism/Fascism
Most historians would agree that fascism and socialism represent vastly different ideologies and historical phenomena. But not the historians at Fox News! Since Obama took office, right-wing pundits have lobbed these smears interchangeably, not quite clarifying whether Obama is leading the proletariat to a glorious utopian future or trying to bring the master race to world dominion.
Obama’s Nefarious Plan for the Nation’s Genitals
When news leaked of a CDC report recommending that boys be circumcised as a preventative measure against HIV infection, right-winger conspiracy theorists began to fret that the federal government would mandate circumcision.
Since Patrick Henry isn’t around, it was up to Rush Limbaugh to sound the rallying cry against tyranny: “Leave our penises alone, too, Obama!” roared Limbaugh in a July 24 radio broadcast.
The next day, while discussing an unrelated dispute with Jay-Z, the talk show host said, “I would remind the rapper Jay Z; Mr. Z, it is President Obama who wants mandated circumcision. We had that yesterday. That means if we need to save our penises from anybody, it’s Obama.”
Needless to say, Obama had nothing to do with the CDC report, and doesn’t appear to have ever publicly uttered the word “circumcision.” Nor did he recommend the CDC promote circumcision.
None of this, of course, discouraged Limbaugh from running with the best metaphor for white male anxiety about a loss of power and masculinity in the age of Obama, ever.
There have been many brands of socialism, but true adherents to any of them probably find president Obama a huge disappointment. During the Savings and Loan crisis of the 80s Ronald Reagan seized some of the worse S&Ls. A step that many progressives thought would save tax payers billions, but Obama and Larry Summers (White House’s National Economic Council) decided not to. That somehow it would be better to be part owners, keeping in tact the status quo of the last thirty years. The title of this essay by Tana Ganeva is off base by labeling all the conservatives who perpetuate these inanities as “stupid”. Many of them are bright enough to know that Obama and Democrats are not determined to force anyone to have a circumcision ( or has plans for internment camps, or to ration health-care, etc), I don’t think that even Limpie Limbaugh believes it. It serves their purpose to lie. If lying gets them their way, conservatives consider the lie necessary and even noble. Sure integrity gets thrown under the bus, but in their view that is a tiny sacrifice if it discredits Democrats.
The Republican ( far Right) battle to privatize everything is a form of collectivism. Remember that Republicans are not just for privatizing everything from the military to Medicare to covert intelligence, they can always be counted on to defend monopolies and oligopolies(the insurance industry) and be against worker’s rights. Massive corporation will own the means of production and being too big too fail, the American work force will be mere wage slaves. Republicans have absolutely so interest in competitive markets. President Obama by not dividing up companies like Goldman-Sachs and Bank of America has demonstrated that as far as economics go he’s another Republican-lite president like Bill Clinton. Sure the President and Secretary Geithner are planning more regulation, but that regulation is required to keep playing the same game, keep the top 10% wealthy beyond any work they have done to earn multi-million dollar salaries and bonuses.
H/T to Newshoggers for this story, “Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party”
JUAN GONZALEZ: You have a whole chapter on James Dobson, and calling him perhaps the most influential and respected member of the radical Christian right in America today. Talk about Dobson’s influence, his—how he was shaped by some of these other figures you’ve talked about, and his relationship to Sarah Palin.
MAX BLUMENTHAL: Right. And Dobson was, you know, a key acolyte of Francis Schaeffer. But Dobson’s a central figure in my book. And, you know, a lot of commentators now—Frank Rich, for example—say that Dobson’s influence is on the wane. But I credit Dobson, who has the third largest radio show in America, whose organization Focus on the Family has $150 million in its coffers and thirty-six policy councils in the States and is widely credited for electing George W. Bush and the Republican Congress in 2004, with cultivating the sensibility of the movement that I’m writing about in my book, Republican Gomorrah, that controls the Republican Party.
Dobson is a fascinating figure, because although he’s leading what is widely considered a religious movement, he’s not a religious leader. He has no theological credentials. He’s not a preacher. What is he? He’s a child psychologist. And the way that he’s won so many followers is by, you know, doing radio shows about common, mundane problems, like bedwetting, for example, or dealing with a child that has, you know, issues with their sexuality, something like that. And he has a correspondence department in Focus on the Family that’s so large it occupies an entire zip code in Colorado Springs. People write in with their personal problems. He sends them—his workers send them Dobson-approved advice. After they get into the database that Dobson maintains, he bombards them with political mailings and slowly cultivates them into Republican shock troops. So Dobson has, you know, turned personal crisis into political resentment.
Where did Dobson’s fortune come from? How did he erect this empire? It came mainly from one book, which I quote from extensively in my book, Republican Gomorrah—Dare to Discipline, which is essentially a manual for corporal punishment, for beating your child. In this book, he says pain is a marvelous purifier that a child should be—that pain goes a long way with a child, that pain should be dispensed sufficiently enough to make a child cry, but then the child will crumple to your breast, and you should welcome the child with warm, open arms. This is a recipe for sadomasochism.
Democrats and independents ask themselves why don’t Republicans see how broken and frequently cruel our current corporate profit worshiping health-care system is. Why are they unmoved by 180 million uninsured Americans. Americans forced into bankruptcy by insurance rescission. Why do at least some of them know health-care costs have doubled over the last ten years and will likely double in the next ten. The majority of conservatives lack the kind of compassion a mentally healthy person would have. They also tend to believe any hardship any American is enduring is hardship they deserve. Those that complain about fairness and compassion are seen as weak. A real man, a real American would find a solution on their own. There’s an old political joke that a Democrat is a Republican that has been through some hard times. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) is a great recent example of the Republican Party’s inability to even acknowledge there is a health-care crisis in America, Kingston Claims Health System Worked ‘Very Well’ For Bankrupt Cancer Survivor Without Insurance
At a recent town hall held by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), an elderly gentleman named Jim Parker stood up and told the congressman that he was recently treated for colon cancer. “I did not have insurance,” he said, because “things didn’t quite work out” after he started his own business. Parker informed Kingston that “a friend of mine was in the same position, and we buried him last January.”
Kingston responded by telling the man that “you did do very well” because he was able to get treated when he arrived at the hospital. Parker responded, “I am functionally bankrupt!” Kingston cut him off and reiterated his point:
But you did get coverage. You didn’t get the insurance, but they won’t turn you down at the door. And we do need to focus on people like you. However, here’s the problem: among other things, in countries that have socialized medicine, you have longer waiting lines, you have bureaucracy…it does lead to rationing.
Kingston’s argument is a familiar conservative trope. In July 2007, President Bush claimed that “people have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room.”
Of course, just going “to an emergency room” is what drives up health care costs for all Americans. “Access to emergency room care is not the same as access to comprehensive, coordinated, and timely health care services—the kind of care that coverage facilitates.” And as the town hall attendee noted, without insurance, a hospital visit commonly leaves Americans bankrupt.
Kingston has been telling the media that the August town halls have helped to defeat Obama’s health care plan. And he recently told Politico that the GOP is “going to keep the nightmare going through the fall.” A nightmare all too real for people like Jim Parker.
Kingston is either lying about rationing health-care under health-care reform or like many conservatives does not the slightest idea of what he’s talking about. We already ration health-care here and here. Emergency rooms are not health-care. Because people like Kingston and the tea smokers have been using guilt to embarrass people with the nonsense that their inability to get adequate insurance at all times is their fault; thus we see about 18,000 adult deaths per year because people do not want to burden others with their medical problems.