Friday, January 08, 2010

Glenn Beck throws up a pre-emptive defense of the coming wave of anti-immigrant bigotry

-- by Dave

As I noted awhile back, when discussing the violent propensities of the white nationalists who have invaded the Tea Party movement:

One can't help but feel a sense of foreboding about what's likely to occur when immigration reform comes up on the national plate ... These people are already organized and already inclined to violence. If you thought the town-hall teabaggers went nuts over health-care reform, just wait.

We later got a prime example of this in the New Hampshire teabagger who shouted, "We don't need illegals. Send 'em home on a bus, send 'em home with a bullet in the head the second time!"

Of course, the problem isn't just the violence. Accompanying it, at every turn, is an overpowering nativist racism that opposes immigrants of every kind, and not merely the illegal ones.

Right-wingers love to whine that simply opposing illegal immigration brings charges of racism. That's what Glenn Beck was on about yesterday on his show.

Beck: The progressives must reactivate their far-left base, they must smear their detractors. They will call me and Fox News and anyone else if you believe that we are a nation of laws and not of men, you're going to be called nasty names. And they're not going to listen to any of the facts that you have to say.

That kinda sounds like Beck making excuses in advance, doesn't it? Because, heaven knows, the folks at Fox haven't indulged in racist stereotypes when discussing immigrants and crime, or don't reflexively demean them as "illegals", or mindlessly promote nativist operations like the Minutemen. Lord knows Glenn Beck would never do such a thing as help promote the white-supremacist based "Aztlan" conspiracy theory, or let the Minutemen smear the National Council of La Raza by comparing them to the Klan.

Perish the thought that they might continue resurrecting these canards during the immigration debate -- along with whatever new race-baiting memes they can come up with. (No doubt they'll be busily consulting Michelle Malkin on that front.)

You know, we'd love to have a debate about reforming our nation's immigration laws and policies that's sane and logical and free of the emotional taint of racism. But that will only be possible if the right decides to quit indulging it. If, in other words, hell freezes over.

Lou Dobbs was fond of this exact same whine -- even as he indulged in fake stories about immigrants spreading leprosy and attacked efforts to improve legal immigration, while hosting white supremacists and nativists on his program as "experts" on immigration.

It's one thing to hold a contrary opinion – which, despite the claims of Dobbs and defenders, was not what he was attacked for. It's quite another to irresponsibly demagogue and demonize an entire bloc of the American population with provably false information and paranoid conspiracy theories derived in large part from hate groups – which was in fact what he was attacked for. Dobbs wasn't in trouble with the public merely for opposing illegal immigration; a large segment of the public sought his removal because he had become an irresponsible font of false information and fearmongering, for demonizing and belittling Latino immigrants and peddling conspiracy theories; because he had indeed become a major conduit for right-wing extremism into the mainstream of our discourse. That's racism, and a whole lot more.

Of course, there was a special irony in Beck making this claim, especially when he went on:

Beck: Charges of racism deserve to be heard and debated -- if there is evidence. But there usually isn't.

Yeah, Glenn Beck would know all about that. Media Matters has the video:

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

This guy wants to be a leader in the Tea Party movement

-- by Dave

David Weigel at the Washington Independent dug up this photo of Dale Robertson, who heads up the would-be national Tea Party website, with the sign he was carrying at the February 27, 2009 Tea Party in Houston.

According to Weigel, Robertson was eventually kicked out of the event for carrying the sign. But as with most right-wing populist movements, the most extreme elements are very determined to shape the movement in their direction, and will inevitably find ways to float to the top. Especially when the supposed mainstream "just folks" who populate much of the movement turn a willing blind eye to the extremists who increasingly are leading them.

As Weigel notes, Robertson has arranged a series of "Liberty Concerts" to help promote the Tea Party movement. An e-mail sent out to subscribers to news from ResistNet -- one of the major clearinghouses of Tea Party activist information -- described Robertson's plans:

Robertson is molding the Tea Party events to empower Citizens so they will make a difference in the November 2010 elections. The ongoing tactics are to prioritize States, creating a durable model for ballot access, voter eligibility, precinct chair/county chairs, and candidate awareness. The Tea Party is actively seeking candidates that represent Conservative Constitutional Values. It appears the Major Parties can’t get in step with such a complex idea as Conservative Constitutional Values; therefore, the Tea Party will make it easy for the Independent Parties to break the glass ceiling and get on the ballot.

The ‘Liberty Concerts’ event taking place in Stafford, Texas is a developing prototype, which when successful, will allow the Tea Party to create a thriving event not in months but days. We will be quick on the draw, sure fired and ready to rock in a matter of only a few days. This Tea Party formula will work against incredible odds and will be nothing short of a miracle, but Robertson believes with all his heart all the pieces will fall into place.

Does the Tea Party really believe it can make a difference in November? “Some say, “talk is cheap” but 2 years ago when I started the modern day Tea Party no one believed it could work now 7 million strong, the world is listening and America is hoping, we will not fail.” Dale Robertson –

As Tars Tarkas notes, the folks at ResistNet put out a disclaimer of sorts:

This is in response to the blast mail you received regarding the Liberty Concert being promoted by the National Tea Party group. The purpose of the email was to share an opportunity for you to experience the fellowship and company of other conservatives, as we kick off the election season and strive to take back America, restoring it to the Constitutional Republic it is meant to be. While they are a separate group from us, we share many of the same goals, a free, conservative America, and fiscal responsibility within our government. We are not necessarily promoting their complete ideology.

It's hard to say why ResistNet is even bothering to distance itself; it is, after all, a site riddled throughout with extremists of various stripes, as suggested by its reference to "the Constitutional Republic" in its disclaimer. After all, this is a site that hosts a copy of Louis Beam's essay, "Leaderless Resistance," which was nothing less than the basic blueprint for forming cells of "citizen militias" and "lone wolf" domestic terrorists as the blueprint for action of the white-nationalist far right. Beam, you may recall, was a leader in the Aryan Nations.

This is a movement that is not only riddled throughout with far-right extremists, but is increasingly being led by them. And no doubt they'll keep producing reminders of that for us.

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

GOP candidate Allen Quist: 'Obama, Pelosi, Walz, they're not liberals, they're radicals!'

-- by Dave

Allen Quist is one of a bevy of wingnuts lining up to take on Democratic Rep. Tim Walz in Minnesota's 1st District. He's already making appeals to the Tea Party crowd, and now he's taken to channeling Glenn Beck, as you can see from the video above:

Quist: I, like you, have seen that our country is being destroyed. I mean, this is -- every generation has had to fight for freedom. This is our fight! And this is our time. This is it! Terrorism, yes, but that's not the big battle. The big battle is in D.C. with the radicals! They aren't liberals, they're radicals! Obama, Pelosi, Waltz, they're not liberals, they're radicals! They are destroying our country! And people all over are figuring that out.

This was from a mid-December Christmas party for the Wabash County Republicans.

Richard Alan Smith at VoteVets notes that Quist's smear includes Tim Walz, a decorated veteran:

Sergeant Major (Ret.) Walz's service to his country apparently means nothing to Allen Quist, one of the Republicans lining up to challenge Walz in this year's mid-term election. Here is a video of Quist, who has never worn the uniform of his country, telling you that this brave American is a "radical", is more dangerous than a terrorist and is out to destroy the country he served for 24 years...


Allen Quist, a politician who has been chasing office since 1982, should be ashamed of himself. A year before Quist began his desperate attempt to become a career politician, the man who's patriotism he attacks put on an Army uniform at the age of 17 and wore it for 24 years, rising to the highest enlisted rank and becoming the highest ranking enlisted soldier in southern Minnesota. A man who has so little respect for the service of America's Veterans has no business serving in Congress.

Yeah, well, the only problem with teabagging Republicans is ... they have no shame whatsoever.

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.