Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Eliminationists

by tristero

Last night, Dave Neiwert's brilliant new book, The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right arrived. I've already read half of it and man is it a page turner of the first order. More importantly, it is essential reading if you want to understand clearly the danger posed by the likes of Limbaugh and Beck. Dave makes a convincing case that they are not mere buffoons whose eliminationist rhetoric can be downplayed or safely ignored, as it was recently in a disgracefully misleading front-page Times article on Beck. (Nowhere in the article did Brian Stelter or Bill Carter (or their editors) find the space, for example, to mention, as Dave does, that when he was on CNN Headline News, Glenn Beck publicly endorsed the John Birch Society or that Beck has continued to push Birchers in his new job on Fox.)

But Neiwert also points out that, to the extent that the term "fascist" means something specific, Limbaugh, Beck, and others are not exactly fascists (yet), although they have served as mainstream transmitters for various memes in circulation among genuine American fascists. Lest you think Dave's trying to let these scoundrels off the hook, let me point out that Dave's purpose is clear: we cannot successfully parry the challenges of the modern conservative movement unless we understand precisely what it is and how it operates. Neiwert proposes the term "para-fascism" to describe the movement and that seems about right. (I should note that I tend to think that the rightwing is more openly fascistic than Dave does, and although it's a subject that I try to follow, I am hardly an expert and scholar of the Right as Neiwert and Chip Berlet, for example, are.)

Following Paxton, Dave writes that fascism feeds upon - thrives on - democracies in crisis. With that in mind, I had a frightening thought this morning.

It has often been noted that to the Right, 9/11 provided an opportunity to "get Vietnam right," by invading Iraq and "winning" rather than ignominiously withdrawing. Despite the fact that by any rational metric, the Bush/Iraq war was an unmitigated disaster and the situation today is only slightly less anarchic than a Hobbesian State of Nature, it is a given among movement conservatives - and their enablers in the press - that the "surge" worked and "we" are winning in Iraq.

What if, I woke up thinking, the current economic crisis is perceived by the Right as nothing less than a splendid opportunity to get the Depression right? In fact, around the time Roosevelt took office, there were nationwide calls for a dictator to take over the government, a call Roosevelt wisely, and fortunately for the world, ignored. But according to the Right, both then and now, Roosevelt was a socialist, barely distinguishable from Stalin (!) and a class traitor who prolonged the economic hardship and established a godless, feminized, communistic America.

Perhaps the Right, in its typically delusional state, finds the current worldwide financial collapse a perfect opportunity to do today what Roosevelt derailed, ie, implement a dictatorship. They would then reason that for the political climate to be ripe for such a takeover, it would require that Obama fail and that the rightwing be held in no way responsible for that failure.

Suddenly Limbaugh's publicly uttered wish that the president fail, the lockstep Republican opposition to Obama's economic proposals, and the "disappearing" of the true cause of our woes - the spectacular incompetence of the administration of George W. Bush - from polite public discourse takes on a deeply ominous cast.

In any event, buy Dave's book. It's absolutely fantastic.