Saturday, January 23, 2010

'Live Free Or Die': Beck brings Goldberg on to promote his 'Liberal Fascism'-based 'documentary'

-- by Dave

Glenn Beck has a special "documentary" he's going to show his audience today on Fox News titled "Live Free Or Die," and what's evident is that the entire show is going to be predicated on expanding on Jonah Goldberg's fraudulent thesis in his bestselling book, Liberal Fascism, namely, that fascism is "properly understood" as "a phenomenon of the left."

What's apparent is that Beck intends to leap from this fraudulent beginning to the bizarre conclusion that the progressive movement has always produced genocide -- mostly by equating fascists with communists with progressives, which is part of the underlying illogic of Goldberg's thesis. It seems he will be promoting the conclusion that President Obama is leading America on a path to genocide as well.

Indeed, anyone who's been watching Beck's show the past year is aware that his continually building thesis about Obama -- that he is secretly a black radical Marxist/fascist/socialist/whateverist intent on creating a totalitarian regime in America -- is largely built on Liberal Fascism and its thesis. Beck has
had Goldberg on numerous times to promote the fraud. And his long-running attacks on the progressive movement as the "cancer" destroying the country -- which has been the entire point of Beck's show this week, including the conclusion that progressives may try to assassinate Obama if he moves to the center -- have been nakedly drawn straight from Goldberg's Planet Bizarro version of history. (The giveaway has been Beck's running insistence that Woodrow Wilson is at the root of this evil.)

Towards the end of yesterday's segment, Beck fretted that "the academic wing" of the progressive movement was going to attack him viciously for his "documentary." Goldberg notes that he's faced the same for his book -- though in reality, academics have been largely silent on the subject of Liberal Fascism.

That, however, is about to end.

I've already explained in some depth exactly why Goldberg's thesis is so profoundly dishonest, especially when it comes to the mountain of historical facts that contradict his claims, which he simply elides. But I'm not an academic -- just a journalist who has real-life experience writing about real American fascists.

Academic historians, in fact, have tended to shy away from tackling Goldberg's book, precisely because it is such an obvious work of propagandistic polemics, and his methodology so shabby, that they haven't considered the work (such as it is) contained therein to be worthy of academic consideration.

But because Goldberg's fraudulent thesis has now become conventional wisdom on the American Right -- and particularly among the Tea Party set, where signs equating liberals to fascists and Obama to Hitler have become commonplace -- many historians, especially those who have specialized in the serious study of fascism, have come to the realization that calling out Goldberg for his fraud is long overdue.

To that end, I began organizing last fall a series of essays from academic historians and political scientists critiquing Liberal Fascism. The essays are now ready, and this Monday, Jan. 25, they will be presented at History News Network.

In addition to my introductory essay, there will be essays by four widely acknowledged experts on fascism:

-- Robert O. Paxton, professor emeritus at Columbia University and the author of The Anatomy of Fascism.

-- Roger Griffin, professor of political science at Oxford Brookes and the author of The Nature of Fascism.

-- Matthew Feldman, professor of history at University of Northampton, and a co-editor of several academic texts on fascism.

-- Chip Berlet, senior researcher at Political Research Associates and the co-author (with Matthew Lyons) of Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort.

Beck will probably believe this response from academics is inspired by his show today, but only in a purely accidental sense: It's been in the works for some months now, and was more inspired by the broad absorption of Goldberg's thesis as conventional wisdom -- of which Beck's constant promotion of it is a not-insignificant part. Let's just say the timing will indeed be serendipitous.

Incidentally, Beck gave us a little preview of the "documentary" on his Tuesday show:

This is going to be such a vicious and historically skewed misrepresentation of "the progressive movement" that it looks like it will go down in the annals of fraudulent history.

I especially got quite a chuckle out of the chryons Beck's show displayed during yesterday's promotion, such as this one:


Talk about projection.

I've previously discussed what Beck leaves out when it comes to the history of the progressive movement and its real historical impact:

The United States has always been an essentially capitalist economic system. However, we have experienced periods in our history where this system has seriously malfunctioned, and we've made adjustments accordingly that have largely worked well making things better.

One of those dysfunctional periods came at about the turn of the last century, when McKinley was president, corrupt robber barons ran Congress, and the latter-day version of "strict constructionists" ruled the courts. "Laissez faire" capitalism ruled, and America was functionally an oligarchy.

Squeezed out were the working people: the average workweek was 80 hours, there were no weekends, no vacation, only a few holidays, and the barest minimum of pay. Benefits and health care were unheard of. Child labor was the rule.

What happened between then and now? "Progressives" began agitating for better working conditions, and began organizing as labor unions. After a long period of violent repression, these reforms gradually became government policy -- especially in the 1930s under FDR. Americans began getting 40-hour work weeks with weekends off, paid vacations and benefits.

Probably the most significant and lasting legacy of this period of "progressive" innovation was the progressive tax code. It has been a feature of the income tax since its institution in 1913. Who was one of its original champions? Theodore Roosevelt.

The fact is that the United States -- like nearly every single Western capitalist democracy -- is a variable blend of socialism and capitalism, free-enterprise economies with regulatory restraints and modest income redistribution. The result of those "progressive" reforms from 1900-1940 was the birth of the great American middle class and the quality of life we have enjoyed so long we've forgotten what it was like not to have it. People like Glenn Beck seem never even to have learned.

Indeed, when right-wingers like Beck and Goldberg attack "evil progressivism," it sounds a lot like they want us to return to the bad old days under McKinley, when American workers were indentured servants to the wealthy.

Of course, maybe now that they're both wealthy men, there's a simple explanation for that.

I think I can pretty much guarantee that Beck's "documentary" shows none of this history.

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.

After Dyer's rape arrest, 'Oath Keepers' disavow any association with onetime key figure

-- by Dave

Gossip Boy -- which has been all over the case of onetime "Oath Keepers" figure Charles Dyer, arrested for the rape of a 7-year-old girl -- is reporting that the leader of the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, is running away from Dyer as fast as he can.

Rhodes, as you can see in the video from his Oct. 21 appearance on MSNBC's Hardball, tries to project a straight-shooter image, even though the underlying beliefs of the Oath Keepers' "oath" is a swamp of bizarre conspiracies.

So now Rhodes has scrubbed any mention of Dyer from the Oath Keepers site, and is claiming to have had no association whatsoever with him:

“Charles Dyer never became an actual member of Oath Keepers. I met him when he attended our April 19, 2009 gathering at Lexington, and back then I considered him for a position as our liaison to the Marine Corps, but I decided against that when he made it clear he intended to train and help organize private militias across the country when he got out of the Marines. I considered such plans to be incompatible with the Oath Keepers mission and goals, and certainly incompatible with any leadership position within this org. He understood and agreed with my decision to not have him become officially involved with Oath Keepers. All of that was long before we even offered official memberships. So, he was never a member, and never in any leadership position.”

One little problem with this explanation, as Gossip Boy explains, is the evidence from our friends at Google cache:



Yep, that's the same Stewart Rhodes announcing that Dyer would be representing the Oath Keepers at the July 4 Tea Party in Broken Arrow.

Indeed, the reality is that Dyer has been a significant figure for the Oath Keepers all along. His first video, released in March, in fact put the Oath Keepers on the map Internet-wise by going viral.

As we noted, at least Dyer's friends at American Resistance are standing behind him. You can't blame Stewart Rhodes for wanting to cut and run, but he's not exactly helping his cause by being the opposite of forthcoming about it all.

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Unbelievable. Glenn Beck intimates that progressives will try to assassinate Obama if he moves to the center

-- by Dave

OK, OK, Glenn, we get it. The progressive movement is the root of all evil in America and must be purged by any means necessary to save the Republic. Really, we get that. You've been saying it for a long time now. And you've been repeating it a lot lately.

And yesterday's show was really just a continuation. We learned that the "coming civil war" for "the soul of the Democratic Party" will be fought as "progressives vs. Democrats -- it's blue vs. gray."

We also learned that when progressives lose, "all bets are off. They will cheat, they will lie, they will steal -- and they have in the past blown things up if it helps them win."

But really, do you think that progressives will try to assassinate Obama if he decides to move to the political center in the coming months?

Because that sure as hell was what you were getting at yesterday on your show. You fretted in the opening monologue, talking about that looming internal "civil war" among Democrats:

Beck: I believe it could get ugly -- so ugly, not only do I think the Republic is in danger, I think that we need to pay real attention -- I think this president could be in real danger as well -- something I have said for awhile.

However, he never fully explained what he meant by this remark -- mostly dropping further intimations, including the remark about progressives' supposedly violent tendencies, and then explaining "why the president is in danger" by running through one of his chalkboard talks showing Obama's connections to such nefarious progressive entities as SEIU and ACORN. Later, he added that these "radical revolutionaries" running the White House were planning to "deal a final death blow to the Constitution if they can."

Beck may have been a little oblique about this on his Fox News show, but earlier yesterday on his radio show he explained his thinking in more detail (via Media Matters):

Beck: The most dangerous time in any regime, especially a radicalized regime, is when it is in collapse.

Watch the uber-Left. Pray that Obama moves to the center. If he does, pray that the Secret Service care for that man. That that man is never left alone. He has invited 9-11 Truthers into the White House and into his administration! If they believe that he's 'just another one of these guys,' he is in danger.

Actually, Glenn, a far more likely scenario under which President Obama would be endangered were if he were to move away from the failed center where he's been operating and tack left, especially in a populist sense, by tackling issues like banking reform and immigration.

Because then we can be certain the dogs of the TeaPartying GlennBeckian Right will not merely be howling at full bay, as they have for the past year, but literally frothing at the mouth. Then, I would have even more concern for his well-being than I do now -- which is plenty.

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.

'Oath Keepers' Leader Arrested for Child Rape; Cops Find Stolen Grenade Launcher In His House

-- by Dave

We first noticed Marine Sgt. Charles Dyer, aka "July4Patriot," back in March, when we ran one of the first reports on the "Oath Keepers" bloc of the Tea Party movement -- an organization devoted to recruiting military and police-force veterans into a Patriot-movement belief system predicated on a series of paranoid conspiracy theories, especially the notion that the federal government intends to begin rounding up citizens and putting them in concentration camps.

Dyer played a prominent role in connecting the Oath Keepers to the Tea Party movement, speaking at a July 4 Tea Party rally in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. And he's been involved in organizing militia "maneuvers" in Oklahoma.

Dyer cropped up again in the news -- this time in the police blotter for allegedly raping a 7-year-old girl:

An ex-military man has been arrested on charges of rape of a child and forcible sodomy.

Charles Alan Dyer, 29, of Marlow, was arrested Tuesday afternoon by Stephens County Sheriff’s deputies, said Sheriff Wayne McKinney. Dyer served in the United States Marines in Iraq.

Oh, and guess what police found when they searched his home:

During the search the sheriff’s deputies noted several firearms and a device believed to be a Colt M-203, 40-millimeter grenade launcher, a complaint filed in the United States District Court of Western Oklahoma by Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco Special Agent Brett Williams said.

As the story from KAUZ-TV notes, Dyer had a history of making bizarre claims in his videos -- as well as violent fears of being arrested.

“We come home and those bastards want to talk about how we’re domestic terrorists and a threat to this country. It makes me so angry,” said Charles Dyer, who has been accused of committing rape.

... More incriminating evidence against Dyer has surfaced in a YouTube video. The video shows Dyer, a former U.S. Marine, talking proudly about domestic terrorism. “Join the military?”, said Dyer. “Depends on what you want to do with it. Me? I'm going to use my training and become one of those domestic terrorists that you’re so afraid of from the DHS reports.”

... “I’m certainly not going to be hiding from my command anymore. I’m not hiding from ATF. Not hiding from FBI. Any organization. If they want to come get me I’m not going to be afraid,” Dyer said.

“Patriots, we are not overpowered. If we united under one banner and fight for our children’s liberity and the constitution, our resolve is invincible to any standing army,” Dyer said.

GossipBoy is reporting that the rape victim was a close family member. They also report that Dyer had been in touch with a fellow militiaman linked to explosives dealing, and that when bomb-sniffing dogs searched Dyer's home, they indicated explosives had been stored there recently.

Meanwhile, unsurprisingly, the folks at American Resistance Movement -- a group Dyer was also prominently involved in -- are claiming that Dyer was set up, and the girl who accused him was "programmed" to do so. Accordingly, they've set up a "Free July4Patriot" fund, with a little button on their front page so you can donate.

Also, Dyer's YouTube page remains active.

Every movement attracts its freaks. But the Patriot movement attracts an inordinate number of them -- and particularly people with a pedophilia problem. (I can list at least 10 different prominent figures in the Northwest's Patriot movement in the 1990s who had a history of being charged with abusing and abducting children.) Evidently, being a pedophile leads to resentment of the government -- probably for its desire to lock you away.

We'll reserve judgment on Dyer's guilt or innocence for after the trial. But let's just say that the predictable claims that he's been arrested as part of a government plot to silence him are not exactly compelling in this case.

[Thanks to Susie for her help with this post.]

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Beck's eliminationist tirade against progressives: If Dems don't change course now, we'll know they're Marxist radicals

-- by Dave

Glenn Beck was in top form yesterday, anticipating Scott Brown's win in Massachusetts by launching into yet another tirade about the Monstrous Evil Known As Progressivism. This one was flat-out eliminationist, describing progressives variously as objects fit only for extermination, including diseases and monsters:

Beck: Progressives were lurking like a virus, waiting for their chance to suck all of the blood out of the Democratic neck. They were looking for the opening to infect the system. And once they were inside that system, I warned in 2004, the Democrats -- it will be a battle to the end of your party to get them out.

... What we are talking about is an ideological movement that has set its sights on the destruction of the Constitution and the fundamental transformation of our Republic. It is called the progressive movement, and it has been using both parties for a long, long time.

But mainly, it's the Democratic Party that has played host to it. And this parasite has been feeding on that host.

If Obama does the smart thing and re-energize his base, however, Beck will consider that confirmation of his running theory that Obama is a closet black Marxist/fascist radical bent on destroying America:

Beck: America, if these people are only politicians, they will do what they did in 1994, and they will migrate, starting tomorrow, right to the center.

But if we're right, that these are Marxist revolutionaries, that these are progressives who follow Mao, they are gonna put the foot on the gas -- it's not gonna be pretty. And they will eat their own, the Democrats, first.

Beck is obviously reading the Massachusetts results as proof that voters are buying into the Tea Party movement's right-wing panaceas and are repudiating health-care reform. That may not be the case: Media Matters notes that Massachusetts voters already have universal health care, and the issue wasn't of much importance to Brown supporters.

But watch in the coming weeks for calls to Democrats to expel the evil progressives from their midst.

And Republicans, too, no doubt. Which will mean, according to Beck, driving out evil "progressives" like John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.

Bill O'Reilly gets nostalgic about those Golden Years when ethnic slurs were no big deal

-- by Dave

Well, apparently one good way to make sure your music video gets lots of airtime is to mention Bill O'Reilly flatteringly. Mr. Falafel Head will be sure to bring you on for a talk segment, as he did with Ray Stevens on Monday night.

Nevermind, of course, that Stevens' hit "Tea Party anthem" features a lyric about euthanizing Grandma, which he heard about "from Hannity, Beck and Limbaugh". O'Reilly replayed that part for us approvingly again.

But then he launched into a discussion with Stevens about his lame old 1962 hit novelty record, "Ahab the Arab," the video for which O'Reilly also played. And then he whined about how it's so politically incorrect to say that stuff now:

O’REILLY: So 48 years ago — 48 years ago in this country we could make fun of Arabs. … We could make fun of people in a general way, and certainly, Ahab was the Arab was a general parody. But now, we can’t. What has changed in America?

STEVENS: I think we’ve gone overboard with the political correctness just like so many other people think the same way about that. And I don’t know. We’ve got to come out of that, I think.

Yeah, it's just tragic. As Adam Serwer observes:

The subtext of this lament is O'Reilly mourning the demise of what he refers to as the "white Christian male power structure." It's not really that you "can't" make racist jokes anymore; it's that you when you make them, you can't expect everyone to remain silent as you assert your cultural or racial superiority through humor.

Still, while we're clearly a country where simply "making fun of Arabs" is seen in most circles as inappropriate, we are a country where it's not as taboo to whine about no longer being able to make fun of Arabs. Meanwhile there's also a bipartisan consensus that anti-Arab racism can be government policy.

But hey, what's racial profiling, indefinite detention, and unprecedented levels of warrantless surveillance when white guys can't publicly tell racist jokes? I think we know who the real victims are here.

Transcript via Think Progress.

Priscilla at NewsHounds has more.

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Compare and contrast: Glenn Beck and Father Coughlin

-- by Dave

One of Glenn Beck's favorite claims about the Tea Party movement -- and the surge of right-wing populism that he's leading -- is that it isn't about parties, it's about being American. And being American, of course, means being conservative.

He was on this briefly again last night:

Beck: Well, the media may be surprised, but I'm not. I think the days when people vote for Democrats or Republicans no matter what -- you know, if it's an R or a D, I'm just gonna pull it -- I think we're seeing the end of those days. For so long, we've bought into the Rs and the Ds -- you know, we're really at a one-party system at this point. We needed to identify ourselves as one or the other, even though it didn't really make a difference. And that label was much more important than the real label we all should have been wearing, and that is, American.

Progressives have put their agenda now into hyperdrive, and it is so crystal clear that their final goal is anything but American.

This claim -- to represent the real America, one that transcends political parties -- is the historic claim of right-wing populists throughout history.

Compare Beck's rant last night with this remarkably similar rant from Father Charles Coughlin, the renowned anti-Semitic radio preacher, in 1936:

And yes, Glenn Beck shares Coughlin's views on the Federal Reserve, too.

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.