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Woman wearing a tinfoil hat
Dave Weigel reads wingnut history books so you don't have to.
In the Schweikert/Dougherty telling, Obama's rise to power can only be explained by the compliance of a biased media. Where was he born? The authors don't say, only noting that his "place of birth continued to be questioned in lawsuits two years after his election." Obama's 2012 re-election is noted as "perhaps one of the most unexpected political events of the last seventy-five years." How did he win, they ask, when he told one Virginia crowd that the small business owner "didn't build that" infrastructure that allowed him to live his life? "Obama's phrase by then encapsulated the Keynesian and even quasi-socialist views of the mainstream Democrat Party that economic growth emanated from government, not the private sector," write the authors. "Astoundingly, the comment did not sink Obama's campaign."
The suspiciously born Obama beating obvious shoe-in Mitt Romney in 2012 is one of the most "unexpected" events in decades? Oh dear. I can only presume it comes with a Glenn Beck coloring book for the kids.

Weigel suggests that A Patriot's History of the Modern World, Vol. II is "so often wrong that it probably shouldn't wind up anywhere," but it does again raise the question: Do you think the authors, Larry Schweikart and Dave Dougherty, set out to make a book that documented what their fellow conservatives want to believe, or do they actually believe these things themselves? Are the various factual errors inserted as a result of intellectual sloppiness, or are they there because the authors firmly believe, say, that an underground race of lizard people have buried the truth about what three percent means or how the "Democrat Party" plotted to "eliminate firearms"?

The effort is obvious propaganda peddling—the effort is to get the alternate version of history on enough bookshelves that some percentage of not-very-bright people will soon accept the faked history as the true version—but I will always wonder whether these sots do it for the money or because they consider themselves revealers of secret, hard-won truths, valued leaders in the conservative Church of the Unending Dumb.

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