Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Michele Bachmann and The Rise of Neo Nazi Candidates

Don't be confused by the header, there are in fact, two separate articles, but many, myself included, would argue that they belong on the same page.

This was something I stumbled upon at Alternet while preparing the previous post, a little cream to go with the peaches, as it were.

Yes, She's Serious: While You're Laughing, Michele Bachmann Is Gearing Up To Fight

There's no such thing as bad publicity for the GOP's most unpredictable candidate.

Michele Bachmann, the Republican presidential candidate, is having a very good week. What's that, you say?

You mean even after she mistook serial killer John Wayne Gacy for right-wing culture hero John Wayne?

Even after her laughable attempt to claim a 9-year-old John Quincy Adams as one of the founding fathers, in a vain effort to justify her earlier claim that that august patriarchal body "worked tirelessly to end slavery"?

Even after her supporters apparently tried to edit Wikipedia's entry on JQA to support her claim? (Many chuckles to be had by progressively following all the links related to this Wiki entry. Only in Ameriki folks. only in Ameriki.)

You mean even -- even -- after ThinkProgress revealed that her husband had declared, on a radio broadcast, that gay people are "barbarians" who need "to be disciplined"? (Have a wander around the blog of gay girl, Pam Spaulding, I'm sure you will find bits of interest on Bachmanns both. Pam's House Blend)

(Update: Between composing this post and its publishing, a new article has appeared at Pam's House Blend. The subject? Marcus Bachmann's 'ex-gay' practice.

Yes indeed. With all eyes upon her, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., chair of the Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives, had an excellent week. Because she doesn't care what you think. She doesn't need you. And that's why you must take her seriously.

In our bizarre presidential primary system, it's the early states that really matter -- states whose populations do not mirror the diversity of the nation at large. Eager for a story, the national media begins to assemble on the ground the better part of a year ahead these early contests, which consequently serve as the nation's introduction to the candidates. And it just so happens that the three most important early states have populations that, among those who vote in a Republican primary, skew far to the right on the GOP stage. So Bachmann will enjoy an advantage -- at least in Iowa and South Carolina, if not New Hampshire -- among the battalions of evangelical Christians who will vote in those primaries. In addition to her religious cred, Bachmann's got the hearts of Tea Party enthusiasts, whose movement has significant overlap with the religious right.

Many are the progressives and liberals, all too inclined to look to the next election as the means of political salvation, who may actually cheer the ascendance of Bachmann as an obvious display of the crazy that underlies today's Republican Party, thinking that reasonable people will never vote for her in a general election. And they may be right in that assumption. But each time a politician as far to the right as Bachmann is accrues power in the GOP, the worse it is for all of us. The long-term process, you see, pushes the party ever further to the right, but sooner or later, voters tire of the Democrats and vote in the Republicans in an anybody-but-you-guys tantrum. And if, at that time, the GOP is ruled by the David Koch wing of the party, we're all pretty well screwed.

The Victim Card

One of the things right-wing leaders have done so brilliantly is to convince their constituents that the mainstream media are hopelessly biased in favor of liberals and liberal policies -- so much so, that virtually nothing reported by mainstream outlets is believed to be reported as simple matters of fact. Whether it's the science of climate change or the gaffes of Michele Bachmann, right-wingers reject every iota of the mainstream media narrative, turning their gaze and their ears instead to the spin of the right-wing media machine. It's a perfectly closed system, impenetrable by any who dwell outside the tribe.

Each mainstream media report of Bachmann's mangled version of history, and every question she gets from a journalist, such as [PDF] CBS News' Bob Schieffer (who is hardly a liberal, by the way), about her revisions to the nation's story, are regarded as attacks born of bias. Add in the long history of sexist treatment of women candidates (which is likely to continue for the foreseeable future), and Bachmann's defenders can earnestly exclaim to her base that she is treated differently from her fellow candidates, all men, by the sexists of the allegedly liberal mainstream media. And Bachmann will, no doubt, be subjected to sexist punditry at some point during the race -- and it will likely play to her favor. Go to page two.

Before moving on to the rise of the Neo-Nazis, let us take a humorous look at the ''gay cure.''

Easy you might think, to dismiss Richard Cohen as just another harmless religious whackjob, until that is, they become politicly active. Let's hear what gay girl Rachel Maddow has to say to Cohen.

What really pisses me off about this lot is, there are, as we speak, people around the world, children even, being stoned to death and hung from cranes for their sexuality, and at the same time, sanctimonious Bible clutching twats with an unhealthy preoccupation with the sexuality of others, have the fucking arrogance to say homosexuality is a lifestyle choice.

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And this is happening all over the US, not just the flat earth states.

White Supremacist Stampede

A startling number of white-power candidates are seeking public office. Eve Conant reports on their under-the-radar strategy and David Duke’s White House flirtation.
July 4, 2011

Add to the growing list of candidates considering a bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012 America’s most famous white-power advocate: David Duke.

A former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and Republican executive-committee chairman in his district until 2000, Duke has a significant following online. His videos go viral. This month, he’s launching a tour of 25 states to explore how much support he can garner for a potential presidential bid. He hasn’t considered running for serious office since the early '90s, when he won nearly 40 percent of the vote in his bid for Louisiana governor. But like many “white civil rights advocates,” as he describes himself to The Daily Beast, 2012 is already shaping up to be a pivotal year.

Former (and current) Neo Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members, neo-Confederates, and other representatives of the many wings of the “white nationalist” movement are starting to file paperwork and print campaign literature for offices large and small, pointing to rising unemployment, four years with an African-American president, and rampant illegal immigration as part of a growing mound of evidence that white people need to take a stand.

Most aren’t winning—not yet. But they’re drawing levels of support that surprise and alarm groups that keep tabs on the white-power movement (members prefer the terms “racial realist” or “white nationalist”). In May, the National Socialist Movement’s Jeff Hall hit national headlines in a bizarre tragedy: his murder, allegedly at the hands of his 10-year-old son. But before his death, he had campaigned for a low-level water board position in Riverside, California. The swastika-wearing plumber who patrolled the U.S. border paramilitary-style walked away with almost 30 percent of his community’s vote. “That’s a sizable amount of the vote for a person running openly as a Neo Nazi,” says Marilyn Mayo, co-director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism. While Hall’s political future—and life—has been cut short, Mayo points out that we should expect more white supremacist hopefuls next year.

Mayo and others date the current spike to 2008, and the election of the country’s first African-American president (an historic marker accompanied by a surge in the percentage of U.S. children born to minorities in 2008—48 percent, compared to 37 percent in 1990). “The immediate reaction after Obama was elected was of rage. They feel if a black man can get elected to office, why can’t someone who represents white interests?” Just a few weeks after Obama’s election, Duke gathered followers in Memphis to expressly strategize what to do next. The solution? If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Disappointed with Ron and Rand Paul and other leaders who they feel are close, but not close enough, to their views—the A3P has fielded candidates like Harry Bertram, who ran for the West Virginia board of education last fall, pulling down 14 percent of the vote. He’s now angling for governor. “My platform is conservative like the Tea Party but more racialist inclined,” Bertram says. Another A3P candidate won 11 percent of the vote in a recent run for a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Those numbers are small, but hardly laughable, especially for a new group explicitly running on a white-interest ticket. “We’re just beginning,” says board member Jamie Kelso, who says the group’s platform includes a complete moratorium on immigration. “But we’re filling a void.”

Some candidates for 2012 are already filling paperwork. “White people need to wake up to the fact that we’re becoming a minority in our country,” says John Abarr, a 41-year-old former organizer for the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, has filed to begin raising money for Montana’s lone U.S. House seat. He’s not worried that the Republican Party isn’t backing him: “I don’t think public opinion is all that much against us. Montanans are independent thinkers.” His key platform? Abolish the Fed, raise the military age to 21 to stop what he calls the “barbaric” practice of sending teenagers to war, end the death penalty, legalize marijuana (he doesn’t smoke or drink himself), establish a 5 percent flat tax, and help whites by fighting entitlements (like affirmative action and immigration) that he says favor minorities. He describes the Klan as a Christian, white civil-rights organization, and glosses over the brutality that has earned the group its bad name. “I can’t agree with lynching anybody for any reason, but that was a different time in our history.” He adds: “We already have a black president, and I’m not sure when we’ll have a white president elected again.” more


Anonymous said...

Himself said...

Thanks for the link.

Everything you need to know in one sentence.

So, she seems more concerned with dirty magazines than dirty water and doesn't see the contradiction in signing a document vowing to ban porn and to provide a "fierce defense of the First Amendment rights" at the same time. And some people honestly want her to be president?