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The swirl of speculation, invective and silliness reached truly epic proportions this week, hence my title.

The idea is this: Can President Obama magically instill the fear of a dragon in Republicans bent on destroying the republic, or will a credulous, untutored America, like the Woolly Mammoth that required grasslands when climate change brought forest, lumber into extinction?

The back cover of the September issue of In These Times presents a tale that everyone should read: “The Manchurian President: Chicago’s Commie Liberal Puppet” by Chip Berlet.  The title evokes McCarthyism for good reason. As Berlet says for openers: “America is in the midst of a 21st century witch hunt. A loose-knit network of right-wing ideological strategists, Republican Party operatives and media demagogues generate the odious smears. Their goal is to stymie the Obama administration’s policy initiatives, capture Congress in November and unseat President Barack Obama in 2012.  This propagandizing echoes the scapegoating of liberals, union and community organizers, peace activists, gay people, Jews and people of color during the anti-Communist witch-hunts of the McCarthy era.”

Berlet recalls that flyers claiming Martin Luther King Jr. was the dupe of a communist conspiracy were distributed nationwide, depicting liberals as either tools or agents of a plot to build collectivism and global governance.  FDR had been labeled a fascist, now Obama is tagged as both Hitler and Stalin.  Yet Kennedy, who famously exhorted “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” was never accused of submitting the individual to the state.

A new book entitled The Manchurian President accuses Obama of ties to communists, socialists “and other anti-American extremists”.  According to the right-wing authors, Obama was “groomed for office by a nest of socialists, communists and other dangerous radicals based in Hyde Park, the South Side neighborhood that includes the University of Chicago.”

According to a public relations consultant quoted by Berlet, Obama’s opponents cannot attack him openly on race or on his qualifications, so they “map out ‘who-knows-who’”(known as guilt by association).

In these efforts the conspirators stumble all over the fateful combination of “socialist” and “democratic”,  boastfully condemning the idea of “social democratic organization based on the idea of local autonomy”.

The right-wing version of local autonomy is ‘every man for himself’, while the social-democratic idea favors the solidarity of the group toward the individual. The two political currents criticizing Obama are like two careening bumper cars in a theme park, and we can’t foresee whether the left's magic dragon will win out over the fate of the right's woolly mammoth, the danger being that some among the public will confuse the two.

Originally posted to Deena Stryker on Sat Aug 21, 2010 at 03:12 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, Greg in TN, allep10

    Otherjones. Insights and Ironies.

    by Deena Stryker on Sat Aug 21, 2010 at 03:12:12 PM PDT

  •  Personally, I'll take a 'socialistically' (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, funluvn1

    groomed president over a corporation groomed one any day.

    Just take everything that book says and replace all the 'Marxist' slurs with 'capitalism' 'bigotry' and 'xenophobia' and you have the GOP talking points.

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Sat Aug 21, 2010 at 03:22:09 PM PDT

  •  The RW really isn't "every man for himself" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allep10

    so much as they are interested in every rich man grouped together to not allow anyone else to join the club.

    The riff-raff simply will never do as equals, my God!  What if they invent the next OxiClean, get rich and then marry our daughters?

    Their greed lies so many layers deep it is unfathomable and their bigotry towards anyone that doesn't belong to their perceived "club" as it stands today is vehement.

    The Woolly Mammoth's will die off, never seeking the change that is necessary to keep their kind alive.  Would that it could have happened already, but they insist on not paying attention to the times and the "little people" that share their air.

    Their insistence that all minorities, including women, should be ostracized and minimized is losing favor with the people of this country and this world by extension. When a group is so forwardly bigoted against so many minority groups, it doesn't take much for other minority groups that have not been in their sights to realize that they could be next.

    Sarah Palin 2012!!! Prove the Mayans right...

    by funluvn1 on Sat Aug 21, 2010 at 03:26:12 PM PDT

  •  It's Looking Like a Comet May Have Killed Mammths (0+ / 0-)

    Possibly from planet Citizens United.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Aug 21, 2010 at 04:15:41 PM PDT

  •  I know, invoking Godwin is bad news, (0+ / 0-)

    but lately the rhetoric from the right wing sounds more like the coming of the Fourth Reich, than from McCarthyism.

    McCarthyism was bad enough, but there the major thrust was ideology, tinged with racism.

    Here, this is a race based attack, through and through: Obama far away from socialism, as are most of the other American politicians, and certainly further away from socialism than any member of the House CPC or about two dozen Democratic US Senators.

    He's a left-centrist, at best, similar to Bill Clinton, if anything to the right of Clinton. He's certainly to the right of Al Gore when it comes to how the corporatocracy is viewed.

    Almost all the 'politics' coming from the Republican Party is about racial and religious "purity".

    Many in the Republican Party have split away because of the hatred and bigotry, already.

    As Tea Baggers continue to establish themselves as a viable representative of the lunatic fringe dead-enders, the 20%, and as they gain power inside the Republican Party, more people will be become disgusted and break away.

    This election cycle is becoming a referendum on the 20%, more than anything else. Watch as the left drops the resistance and does fight back at the polls by voting for Democrats [in most cases, as the most heinous Blue Dogs and DINOs are in serious trouble].

    •  Voting the right people in (0+ / 0-)

      is no longer going to be enough.  All but a handful of Democrats are so fare behind the times that they are irrelevent.

      Did you ever hear a Democrat talk about moving toward deliberate no=growth, job sharing?

      Otherjones. Insights and Ironies.

      by Deena Stryker on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 08:57:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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