Saturday, April 27, 2013


You may have seen this:
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) went after the Obama administration's handling of the Boston Marathon bombing investigation in a radio interview Thursday -- and along the way he claimed that Muslim Brotherhood members are in the administration and influencing its decisions.

"It's very clear to everybody but this administration that radical Islam is at war against us," Gohmert told WND Radio "And I'm hoping either this administration will wake up or a new one will come in at the next election before irreparable damage is done. Because radical Islam is at war with us. Thank God for the moderates who don't approve of what's being done. But this administration has so many Muslim Brotherhood members that have influence that they just are making wrong decisions for America."
(Emphasis added.)

Steve Benen says, "This is effectively what 21st-century McCarthyism looks like." Jonathan Bernstein accuses Gohmert of taking a "McCarthyite route."

I wouldn't call this McCarthyism -- not exactly. It's a bit different from the kind of thing Tailgunner Joe did. But it is reprehensible and dangerous.

McCarthy's accusations were taken very seriously by people with power. They could ruin lives. I very doubt that anyone is going to be fired from a job and rendered unemployable because of what Gohmert is saying.

The danger in this case is different. Powerful Republicans don't act on wild accusations of this kind by the likes of Gohmert (or Michele Bachmann), and occasionally offer tut-tutting condemnations, but the party takes full advantage of the fear stoked by this kind of verbal bomb-throwing.

This talk is the downmarket version of the way mainstream Republicans criticize the president, Democrats, and liberals -- notice how rapidly the Boston Marathon bombing has been turned into an Obama administration failure by Republicans, who didn't even pause briefly to treat the incident as one in which Americans ought to feel united. Gohmert is just cranking that message up to 11, and peddling his version to the more rabid members of the GOP base -- thus keeping those voters' fear and anger stoked, and solidifying their loyalty to conservative Republicanism.

If you're a "respectable" Republican, you think Gohmert is over the top, but you nod in agreement when the more responsible-sounding Lindsey Graham criticizes the White House on Sunday talk shows; to you, that's the "real" GOP. But if you're a World Net Daily fan, you need more than Graham -- and wen you hear Gohmert on WND Radio, you get what seems like the raw, angry version of the Graham message, and your party loyalty is reinforced.

So Gohmert and Bachmann aren't embarrassments to the party. They ensure that the party can effectively service all right-wing markets.


Victor said...

Yeah, this is very, very scary.

On the plus side, when the radicals in our loony right, talk about Muslim radicals, there are now some free-radicals in that radical right, who are starting circular firing-squads around other radical righties.

Here's Michell "RAGE JUNKIE" Malkin:

“If you go on my website right now,, I talk more about the first president of the mosque that the bombers attended, Abdurahman Alamoudi, who has ties to the GOP — and in particular Grover Norquist..."

I thinks MM's now jumping The Fonz, jumping that shark.

trnc said...

Spot on! Every time I read, "When will gop rep ___ lose their seat/committee spot/talk show invitation," I shout "Never!" because it's all part of the well oiled machine. Gohmert, et al make the other extremists seem mild by comparison. Meanwhile, our party can't wait to get rid of anyone more than 50 degrees of left.

Leah said...

Of course the Republican reaction to 9/11 was likewise designed to sharpen the divisions between Americans, rather than build on the incredible unity that emerged on its own beginning on 9/11 itself, when the Bush administration disappeared through-out the entire day.

People have forgotten how well Americans behaved, without any direction from authority figures.

I can't figure out why it's so difficult for liberals and the left to call out the fundamentally treasonous impulses of the right toward any American with whom they have a political disagreement.

They seem to hate so much of this country and so willing to subvert so much of its traditions and governance, not to mention the constitution, treasonous impulses doesn't seem too harsh a description.

Joan Didion wrote a remarkable essay about this subject after 9/11. She'd left the city on a book tour only days after, but was able to observe the reaction in the cities where she went, which schooled her out of her own numbness; what she found was citizens ready to engage in dialogue about the questions the attack raised.

Returning to New York, she felt that unity either hadn't happened, or was coming apart. Then she read in an alumni paper from Berkeley a professor who had been in New York on 9/11 and after, who observed the same phenomenon that she had across the country.

For her trouble, Andrew Sullivan picked her as liberal idiot of the week, finding it

If anyone is interested the essay is here My apologies if my html doesn't work; I'm a bit rusty.

The essay is called Fixed Opinions, or the Hinge of History.

Victor said...

Right after 9/11, W had a moment when all Americans, and most of the world, was with him, and America.

And he, Cheney, Rummy, and Rove, decided that was the perfect opportunity to politicize the disaster, so that they could follow their beloved PNAC plan - which let us to perdition.

Now, I don't know if a President Gore might have avoided 9/11 - but I'm very damn sure that he wouldn't have followed the Bust/Cheney/Rummy/Kristol/ laser-light sh*t-show that was the invasion of Iraq.

And Gore might, just might, have taken the opportunity to do a Marshall Plan for Afghanistan, whether or not he decided to go into that country.

We had the worst possible people in the country in charge, in the lead-up, and the aftermath, of 9/11.

Unknown said...

I almost feel bad for Louie, him being so abysmally stupid and all, and then I think about how much damage the Louie Gohmerts of the world have done.

Ten Bears said...

Gosh Vic, Leah, you make it sound almost as if some bright boy was counting on that reaction, almost as if it were... planned that way.

The Truth is Out There...

No fear.

Examinator said...

I couldn't agree more.
This is what we get when treat politics like a product.
You get all the same attitudes and marketing "fixes" you get with market share war Ford V General Motors.
i.e. the "product and the brand" become more important than the consumer or the function.
It is no longer about transportation or good governance it’s about every thing else... prestige, national loyalty, self expression, freedom, salve for insecurities, statement of virility even a substitute for identity.

Internal to the organizations it's all about ambition, personal power et al.
To maintain all of these the organization’s longevity becomes the primary purpose. This is what underscored the Catholic Church moving rather than exposing pedophile priests...the church (brand) must be protected, before the devotees. We have this infrastructure, jobs, good to do (read protect my career etc.).

You may note that the missing item in all this that corporations, political parties and Churches ore man created tools to serve the people not people to serve the tool.

In the case of 911 the PEOPLE *world wide* rallied to a people catastrophe as they did after Sandy Hook. The key here is people. But true to form before the bodies were cold The Good old America turned it into a political product.

Contrast this to the reaction to Port Arthur massacre in Australia …both sides of politics voted to control firearms.
England after the July 7th rail bombings …both sides concentrated on fixing the problem. Same went for the Anders Brevik shooting spree. Proportionally they were about the same as an affront to the citizenry and population sizes. The incidents didn’t become a crisis of national pride or identity.

One would be hard pushed to prove that the citizens of the other countries are any less Patriotic than Americans. However they are all *generally* less inclined to respond so readily to Neo conservative pap on partisanship or national exceptionalism.
One could argue that this hyper nationalistic as opposed to national response to every thing has the effect of desensitizing a greater swath of the American public to nuance/proportion.

In this way Americans fail to heed the wise words of the C18th British *conservative* Brit who warned “[excessive (my emphasis)] Patriotism is the last resort of a scoundrel” By that he meant if Patriotism is the only reason for some action, the *national* interest is the last thing on their mind, (and it’s probably dodgy).

To me this is clearly the case with Louie and certainly Pox media and Murdoch.
Murdoch is quoted as indicating that he changed his nationality to expand his empire (access to owning US media). It’s clear from that his real allegiance isn’t National interest (patriotism) but money, self aggrandizement etc. One should not expect the vampire to collect blood for the needs of the public.
One simply can't make sense of politics unless we also factor in the context.

PS Australia doesn’t want him back and neither do the Brits given the shenanigans News Corp got up to there.