Tuesday, February 10, 2009

(updated with Limbaugh's words)

I'm not sure, but take a look at this sloppily written blog account from one of Rush Limbaugh's ideological soul mates, the Anchoress:

Rush Limbaugh: I missed the beginning, so I didn't catch the source, but he was playing tapes of someone talking about an "electronic run on the banks" in September/October that was probably the source for the information take to Bush with the advice, "something drastic must be done or the whole world's economy will tumble." I didn’t hear it all - it sounded hot - but Limbaugh wonders if Mr. Soros, who has a history of playing with economies, was involved.

The Anchoress links to this post at Sweetness & Light, which includes a C-SPAN clip (posted to YouTube by conspiracy nut Alex Jones) in which Representative Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) asserts that there was a $550 billion "electronic bank run" on September 18; Kanjorski doesn't finger a culprit for this alleged run, the result of which, he says, was that the Treasury Department "closed down the money accounts," but the Sweetness & Light post ends with

Mr. Kanjorski is talking about the events circa September 18, 2008.

Which, you will recall, was also around the time in the presidential campaign when Mr. McCain passed Mr. Obama in the polls.

Does anyone know what Mr. Soros was doing that day?

I don't know what Rush actually said; I'm looking for a transcript (UPDATE: see below for transcript). But if he's giving any credence whatsoever to the notion that Soros single-handedly brought down the entire global economy merely to defeat John McCain, he's gone way past his usual character assassination into muttering-in-the-street tinfoil-hat land.

There's your spiritual leader, Republicans -- and you can have him.


UPDATE: Did Rush really go there? Yup. (Click to enlarge.)


UPDATE: A gloss on the Kanjorski portion of this story from Felix Salmon of Portfolio magazine:

This is the way that memes propagate: after appearing on LiveLeak and being picked up by Zero Hedge (twice), Paul Kedrosky, and Clusterstock, it hit BoingBoing, and now it's everywhere: Panzer, Alphaville, SAR, the Economist, you name it. I've been ignoring it until now, but it's reached ubiquity, and so someone needs to start asking whether it's true....

The problem is that none of this has been reported anywhere else, and I for one can't remember any reports of money-market funds being closed down or Treasury suspending withdrawals. Kanjorski is talking anecdotally in the context of a C-Span phone-in, and even Kedrosky describes him as "semi-coherent". So by all means let's ask him to clarify what he meant, or ask Treasury whether there's any truth to all this. But let's not just keep on passing around this videoclip without trying to work out what the facts of the matter are.

Thanks for trying to get everyone to take a deep breath, Mr. Salmon, but the wingnuts, including (apparently) Wingnut #1, have taken this to the next level, speculating that Soros is to blame and suggesting that he'd put the world on the verge of a depression to put a Democrat in the White House and restore Big Government. The paranoid style, I think it's called....


UPDATE -- WHAT RUSH SAID: Here it is -- here's the paranoid poison he's injecting into the discourse:

...Now, let's assume for a second here that elements of this are true. Let's assume that there was a $550 billion run, electronic run on the banks and money market accounts in one to two hours. The question is who was doing this? Who was withdrawing all this money? And the next question is why? That's where my mind starts exploding, and this is dangerous to have these explosions going this way. Could it have been George Soros? Could it have been a consortium of countries -- Russia, China, Venezuela -- countries that are eager to have Barack Obama elected because they know that will make it easier for them to continue their own foreign policies in the world?

...I have been suspicious of all this that happened last fall. It just seemed too perfectly timed.... The Drive-By Media, any longer, is worthless in ferreting out the truth involved in events. They totally exist on the surface. They exist with a path of least resistance particularly with Democrats in power, because with the presumption that Democrats could abuse power or commit ethics violations just doesn't even cross the radar. It doesn't even show up on the radar. It's not possible for Democrats to behave in that fashion, and so all this stuff goes on below the surface and we find out about it much later after the fact.

Sorry -- I know I'm boring you with this. But way too many Americans are going to take this seriously and believe that the Bush administration was blameless and the financial institutions weren't among the principal culprits -- it was that sneaky cloven-hoofed George Soros, or countries full of people who aren't Anglo-Saxons and Protestants. They're also going to believe that the financial crisis was that easy to set off, so why do we need a big rescue package to fix it?

This is way beyond the usual Limbaugh swill.

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