Thursday, August 13, 2009

Only in America.

It amuses me that the people turning up at public events attempting to silence debate, the people carrying guns openly in the streets in an attempt to intimidate, are the very same people who accuse their opponents of engaging in fascism.

The health debate in the US is taking an ugly turn with Barack Obama and other Democrats pushing reform being compared with Nazis and one congressman having a swastika daubed outside his office.

The FBI is investigating the swastika that the staff of the congressman, David Scott, found painted on a sign bearing his name near the entrance to his office in Smyrna, Georgia.

The police hope that the incident might have been picked up on surveillance cameras.

The incident came less than a week after a rowdy town hall meeting in which Scott was involved in acrimonious exchanges with critics of Obama's proposed health reform.

In a separate incident, police admitted they were helpless to do anything about a man who openly carried a gun outside the venue where Obama addressed a public meeting on the health issue at Portsmouth, New Hampshire yesterday.

The man, William Kostric, held up a sign reading "it is time to water the tree of liberty," an apparent reference to a letter written by Thomas Jefferson that the the tree of liberty "must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants".

I suppose the truth is that they are too stupid to actually know what fascism is, and use the term as loosely as their leader, Glenn Beck, uses it. Beck thinks the terms socialist and fascist are all interchangeable. He actually once said this:
Okay let me just explain what happened in Nazi Germany. Remember, it was "National Socialism". We are talking now about nationalising the banks, and we are also putting in socialised programmes. National socialism.
It's clear that he simply has no idea what he is talking about.
Hitler's National Socialism was founded on a Weltanschauung, or translated "World View", in which history was reducible to a racial struggle in the Social Darwinian sense. National Socialism was thus a Messianic movement, centered in the Fuhrerprincip and anchored in the thesis that only through racial purity could Germany find her salvation. The movement was based on anti-Semitism, anti-Marxism and hyper-nationalism, manifesting itself through Pan-Germanism and the quest for Lebensraum.
To compare anything which the Obama administration is doing to Nazi Germany is insane. And yet it has now become almost routine for some American right wingers to do so. And, worse, it elicits almost no real condemnation from the American media.

Here is Charlie Brooker's take on the insanity currently afflicting the American right wing media:

That's how insane they appear from outside of America's borders. It is true to say that there is no British equivalent to these people. I can think of right wingers who have access to the nation's airwaves, Richard Littlejohn, Nick Ferrari and Jeremy Kyle; but none of them are ever as truly insane as people like Beck are on a daily basis.

And, while they rant about the same subjects - immigration, benefit fraudsters and left wingers in general - it's impossible to think of a British audience being as worked up over nothing as these American anchors have managed to achieve with a section of the American public over universal healthcare.

They have managed to get people on Medicare to protest against government run health schemes. They have managed to get blue collar workers to protest that the rich are being taxed too much. To have the people disrupting public meetings and preventing discussion of healthcare reform somehow believe that they are the victims of intimidation.

That's remarkable.

And I think their success is in many ways indicative of the nutbags which now constitute the Republican base.

As Howard Fineman recently said:
When the river is low, the river bed is exposed. The river is low in the Republican party right now and you are seeing the rocks at the bottom.
We are indeed seeing the bottom of the Republican pond at the moment. It is not a pretty sight.


This is an example of just how ugly this is becoming.

Click title for full article.


daveawayfromhome said...

Your definition of National Socialism makes me want to do a little word exchanging:

Republicanism is currently based on a Weltanschauung, or translated "World View", in which history was reducible to a financial struggle in the Social Darwinian* sense. Republicanism is thus a Messianic movement, centered in Authoritarianism and anchored in the thesis that only through market forces could America find her salvation. The movement was based on "personal responsibility", anti-Marxism and hyper-nationalism, manifesting itself through American Exceptionalism and the quest for Increased Profit.

Is this that far off?

Kel said...

Spot on, Dave. Spot on.

And they have the nerve to call us the fascists?