Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Steve Benen flags this story from Think Progress:

Last Friday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) joined radical conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on his radio talk show for an interview. Jones has made a name for himself propagating conspiracies ranging from the claim that Bill Clinton planned the Oklahoma City bombings to the idea that the attacks on 9/11 were orchestrated by a cabal of American and Israeli government officials.

During the 30-minute interview about "nation ending stuff," Gohmert used his opportunity on the Jones show to showcase his own odd anti-Obama conspiracy theories.

As Steve says:

Gohmert was on quite a roll, insisting that health care reform will "absolutely kill senior citizens," because the government will put older Americans on a list and then "force them to die early." He added that the government will also control what Americans eat and where we can live....

And on and on.

But why did he have to discuss this with a broadcaster who's widely perceived as a fringe kook? Plenty of "respectable" right-wingers maintain equally extreme beliefs about Barack Obama.

The most prominent radio broadcaster in America -- the de facto boss of the GOP -- has said on numerous occasions that he believes Obama is destroying the economy deliberately. This isn't a baroque, melodramatic scenario -- but really, how is it not equivalent to saying that the Bush administration caused 9/11? Allegedly willful destruction of Americans' lives vs. allegedly willful destruction of Americans' lives -- what's the real difference? Limbaugh said this most recently in a Fox News interview with Greta Van Susteren:

President Obama and the Democrats are destroying the U.S. economy. They are purposely doing it, I believe.

... This is not about health care, it's about control. It's about remaking the country, the economy. Look, proof of my point here that the joblessness is on purpose -- if your number one signature issue is health care -- and his is -- and if, which is true, that health insurance is not portable when you lose your job, what's the best thing you can do for yourself? Create unemployment. The more people unemployed, the more people losing their health insurance, the more people scared to death, the more people clamoring for it, Please save my health insurance, Please give me health insurance....

So all of this destruction is taking place -- redistribution of wealth. He wants to return the nation's wealth to its rightful owners.

He's said this before, of course -- in May, for instance, when he said Obama's "objective is unemployment," and in June, when he said Obama is "systematically destroying" the U.S. economy.

Congressman Pete Sessions -- not a back-bencher like Gohmert -- agrees. Roger Kimball, a fairly mainstream right-winger, believes it's a distinct possibility. The notion that Obama may be intentionally steering an economic plane into the towers of our economy is taken very seriously on the more respectable right-wing blogs.

And while Ben Stein -- a New York Times columnist and respected pundit -- doesn't say Obama is deliberately wrecking the economy, he did write this last week:

Barack Obama is a super likeable super leftist, not a fan of this country, way, way too cozy with the terrorist leaders in the Middle East, way beyond naivete, all the way into active destruction of our interests and our allies and our future.

The American people have already awakened to the truth that the stimulus bill -- a great idea in theory -- was really an immense bribe to Democrat interest groups, and in no way an effort to help all Americans....

Mr. Obama knows Americans are getting wise and will stop him if he delays at all in taking away our freedoms.

The respectable Dick Morris and Sean Hannity, meanwhile, believe merely that Obama has a plan to turn the U.S. economy over to Europeans:

Dick Morris ... tells Sean Hannity the globalists will put the "American economy under international regulation" and "those people who have been yelling, oh, the UN is going to take over... they've been crazy, but now they're right."

"Those conspiracy people," Sean Hannity interjects, "had suggested that for years... you’re not wrong."

It's the "international regulation of the financial institutions" we have to worry about, warns Dick Morris. It will happen under "IMF control... Remember, the IMF is run by the Europeans and backed by Americans."

So why run to Alex Jones? Nothing Gohmert said to Jones was crazier than what's mainstream in GOP circles.

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