Monday, April 12, 2010


Steve Benen is appalled by GOP congressman John Fleming's recent article for the Daily Caller, which criticizes the Obama administration's foreign policy, particularly on nuclear issues, and concludes:

Simply put, President Obama is disadvantaging the United States one step at a time and undermining this country's national defense on purpose.

(Emphasis in original.)

Yes, as Steve says, Fleming is essentially accusing Barack Obama of treason. But this isn't surprising.

One of the right's rhetorical tropes for a while now has been the argument that Obama is destroying the economy on purpose. Rush Limbaugh said it in so many words last July: "President Obama and the Democrats are destroying the U.S. economy. They are purposely doing it, I believe" Limbaugh previously Congressman Pete Sessions said the same thing in May, as quoted in The New York Times:

In an interview, Mr. Sessions cited rising unemployment in asserting that the administration intended to "diminish employment and diminish stock prices" as part of a "divide and conquer" strategy to consolidate power.

Mr. Sessions, in his seventh term, said Mr. Obama's agenda was "intended to inflict damage and hardship on the free enterprise system, if not to kill it."

John McCain flirted with this argument earlier this year when he ran a campaign ad in which we were told, "President Obama is leading an extreme left-wing crusade to bankrupt America."

At one point I referred to this as "deliberatism." Fleming's just extending deliberatism to the foreign policy sphere.

Which was inevitable, I suppose. We really are dealing with hardcore paranoia here -- like paranoid schizophrenics, right-wingers today see everything as not only hostile but intentional. To the schizophrenic, a random passerby's conversation on the street is a threat, a deliberately suggestion of hostility; to the right-winger, policies disagreed with are calculated attempts to destroy America.

There's very little difference in the mentality of the perceivers of these "deliberate" acts.

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