To revisit some old news for a moment. In their faux outrage that someone should tell a small joke about George W. Bush Matthew Yglesias notes the party that ran the last election cycle distancing themselves from the Bush-Cheney era and which gave us the supposedly new and true conservatism of the tea smokers gave themselves away, McCartney Mocks Bush, Boehner Demands Apology
I think the interesting thing here is that conservatives are frequently pretending to dislike George W Bush and his policies, but at the end of the day they just can’t quit the man or stop defending his honor and his legacy. His economic priorities—help rich people pay less taxes, let business rum amok—are theirs. His religious-inflected strain of violent nationalism is theirs. His love of violence is theirs. If they return to government, they will continue with Bush-style policies and we’ll get Bush-style results.
Boehner(R-OH) has embraced the tea party movement – you know the one that is supposed to be about change. Boehner and the tea bags are the political equivalent of sleazy snake oil salesmen. Having been caught selling a worthless concoction, they’ve just relabeled it.
Second of all, Halliburton became notorious for its malfeasance in Iraq. It allegedly tried to cover up the gang rape of one of its contractors, knowingly exposed U.S. troops to deadly toxins, and ignored warnings of unsafe electrical wiring that led to the death of U.S. soldiers. In 2007, federal auditors told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that the government had wasted $10 billion on “overpriced contracts or undocumented costs.” Of that amount, $2.7 billion was charged by Halliburton.
Much like Sarah Palin’s regular eruptions I have the deepest appreciation for Liz Cheney’s. She unabashedly stands up for corporate corruption, crony capitalism, authoritarianism, war crimes and the rule of the elite. Without conservative spokespersons like Liz and Sarah people would not have as clear a picture of what they are voting for.
On his radio show today, Glenn Beck heralded and promoted the work of Nazi sympathizer Elizabeth Dilling, who spoke at rallies hosted by the leading American Nazi group and praised Hitler. Today, Dilling is heralded by White Supremacists and White Aryans who revere her “fearless” work against Jewish people.
[ ]…British Professors Christopher Partridge and Ron Geaves wrote that Dilling was a “pro-Nazi anti-Semite” who disseminated Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. The ADL describes Protocols as “a classic in paranoid, racist literature. Taken by the gullible as the confidential minutes of a Jewish conclave convened in the last years of the nineteenth century, it has been heralded by anti-Semites as proof that Jews are plotting to take over the world.”
Beck’s severe case of Nazi Tourette’s is part of the Conservative Circus and Clown Show, but he and his writers make the choices of words and imagery for a reason. Like all zealots Beck and his supporters have to give the impression there is an evil out there only they can perceive. An easy way to describe that evil is to invoke already well known historical references for oppression. At the end of the day the Beckians still have to define who they are and what they stand for. While it is not full-bore fascism it is a soft species of fascism whose demons are anything and anyone that they see as a threat and responsible for the homeland not living up to its destiny. Day after day, Beck and other far Right zealots are pushing their generation’s brand of eliminationism.
Dilling called for appeasing Germany; she blamed the war on Jews and Communists and accused the Roosevelt administration of being controlled by Jewish Communists. … After Pearl Harbor, Dilling resisted wartime rationing and denounced the Allies.
The demagoguery Beck uses is similar, Glenn Beck’s express hatred of progressives, embodied in his CPAC speech
To wild applause, he labeled this alleged tumor of “community” the supposedly evil “progressivism” — and he told disciples to “eradicate it” from the nation.
The lesson was eminently clear, coming in no less than the keynote address to one of America’s most important political conventions. Beck taught us that a once-principled conservative movement of reasoned activists has turned into a mob — one that does not engage in civilized battles of ideas. Instead, these torch-carriers, gun-brandishers and tea partiers follow an anti-government terrorist attack by cheering a demagogue’s demand for the physical annihilation of those with whom he disagrees — namely anyone, but particularly progressives, who value “community.”
No doubt, some conservatives will parse, insisting Beck was only endorsing the “eradication” of progressivism but not of progressives. These same willful ignoramuses will also likely say that the Nazis’ beef was with Judaism but not Jews, and that white supremacists dislike African-American culture but have no problem with black people.
Ultimately Beck and the Right’s reinvented fascism-lite is nothing more than the projection of their uber-nationalism and authoritarianism based on fear of the ominous other. While they seem to have some reading material in common Beck is not a Nazi. The Right in the United States is not composed of the smartest kooks, but they are clever enough to know that only a new brand of fascism has a chance of succeeding. Why go through all the trouble of rounding up those dirty progressives, the wide array of secular and religious Americans that believe in social justice, the intellectual college professors, those dirty Hollywood actors, the union members that include police and nurses, when you can use a combination of corporate money and media power to lead the sheeple to carry out your polices. Some of this goes back to Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter with Kansas? where ordinary working people vote themselves and their children into lifelong relatively powerless workers living from hand to mouth, a pay check or two away from disaster in order to fight back the supposedly creeping socialism of corporate regulation that would keep companies from destroying the Gulf of Mexico, Medicare and holding health insurance companies accountable.