max-blumenthal-repbulican-gomorrah.thumbnail.JPG[Welcome Max Blumenthal, and Host Watertiger - bev]

"The lust for power is not rooted in strength but in weakness. It is the expression of the individual self to stand alone and live. It is the desperate attempt to gain secondary strength where genuine strength is lacking."

– Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom

The G.O.P. of the 21st century bears scant resemblance to the Party of Eisenhower. It has been coopted by authoritarians like James Dobson and Tom DeLay, people who, as predicted by psychologist Erich Fromm nearly 70 years earlier, in an attempt to deny their own human flaws, have risen to power by donning the armor of religious, bullying self-righteousness and imposing their misdirected anger on others.

Certainly, the Left has been quick to point out each example of blatantly hypocritical behavior of these conservative politicians drunk on sanctimony, and religious leaders on the Right who rarely, if ever, practice what they preach. But there’s more to the story than just these acts themselves. Why have these particular actors’ personal psychopathologies of sadism and domination struck a nerve with a sizable portion of the country and had such a major impact on politics?

Picking up from where John Dean’s Conservatives Without Conscience and Jeff Sharlet’s The Family have left off, Max Blumenthal’s < Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party continues the conversation by offering a psychohistorial analysis of the authoritarianism of the Religious Right and the damage it has wrought on the Republican Party as a whole. Republican Gomorrah is more than an exposé of the salacious, outrageous scandals of the "Family Values" party; it is a withering dissertation on the underlying psychological and ideological dysfunction that serves as the emotional foundation for the Mike Huckabees, Sarah Palins and Ted Haggards of this world.

What’s more, Republican Gomorrah is an implicit indictment of a compliant national media that has eagerly rolled over for these über-Christian, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic, racist chest-beaters and provided them with a megaphone from which to blast their messages of hate, intolerance, and self-immolation. 

Max rose to journalistic prominence as he bravely dug through the pile of toxic rubble that is the fundamentalist Religious Right, unearthing and filming the cynicism, hypocrisy, and general psychosis that runs rampant through its ranks of politicians and religious figureheads. (Who can forget the damning and hysterical YouTube sensation he created in 2007, when he interviewed a group of utterly tone-deaf, apologist College Republican National Convention attendees?) At a time where the Religious Right still manages to control the national discourse, it is vitally important and refreshing to have someone like Max out in the field, continuing to shed new light on this rotting darkness within the Republican Party.

And on that note, it is my distinct honor to welcome Max Blumenthal to Firedoglake. 

278 Responses to “FDL Book Salon Welcomes Max Blumenthal, Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party”

BevW September 19th, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Max, Welcome to the Lake.

Watertiger, Thank you for Hosting today’s Book Salon.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

My pleasure, Bev. Welcome to Firedoglake, Max!

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:03 pm
In response to BevW @ 1

Hey, it’s great to be here. L’Shana Tovah and Eid Mubarak!

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:04 pm

What struck me about the book is just how closely all the players are related. How far along in the research were you when you realized that there was this network of . . . well . . . madmen (and women)?

dakine01 September 19th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Good afternoon and welcome to FDL Max. I have not had an opportunity to read your book but the title gives me a question. Do you really think the Republican Party is actually destructing? I ask this as someone who watched them being pronounced as dead or dying multiple times over the last fifty plus years.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:06 pm
In response to watertiger @ 4

I have covered this movement for six years. After visiting James Dobson’s mountain kingdom in Colorado Springs in 2006 it became clear to me there was a culture of personal crisis lurking behind the right’s histrionics and resentment. But it took me a few another year before I discovered Eric Fromm’s analysis, which articulated what I had witnessed among the Christian right.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Great intro watertiger. Max, I have been so gratified and appreciative of your commentary interviews on radio. Thanks for coming.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:08 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 5

The party has been reduced to evangelical, white sections of the Deep South (like Joe Wilson’s district) and some depopulated areas of the midwest. For now, its capacity to hold national power has been shattered. I actually think the party could have been shattered by Al Gore’s victory in 2000 but with the SCOTUS installation of Bush and then 9-11, which electrified the right’s radical domestic agenda, we had to wait until the scandals of Tom DeLay’s Congress and then Sarah Palin to witness the shattering.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:08 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 6

I think it’s pretty clear from the book that Dobson serves as a lynchpin/figurehead for this latest incarnation of the religious right. It seemed to me that all of the parties are connected to him, somehow.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:09 pm
In response to libbyliberal @ 7

THanks libbyliberal. This is my first online book salon so it’s great to be here.

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Welcome Max.

I haven’t read the book yet, but surely will. However, enough of the diagnosis. What’s the cure?

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:10 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 8

Mike Huckabee, one of the stars of the book, won the Value Voters Summit straw polls today in a landslide. What does this say about the longevity of the party as it exists today?

Oval12345678akaJamesKSayre September 19th, 2009 at 2:10 pm

The Fox News Channel (FNC) is a malignant tumor that is growing on the American body politic. It needs to be removed as soon as possible.

The Fox News Channel (FNC) (Faux Noise) needs to be taken off the air, off of cable television and off satellite television. For almost thirteen years FNC has been spreading lies and smears about Democrats, President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama. FNC is promoting violence, hatred, racism and extremism. As conservative folks used to say after the nine-eleven attacks, “our Constitution is not a suicide pact.”
FNC is fear-mongering, war-mongering, and trying to frighten and terrorize the American people. FNC uses lies, distortions, smears and omission of facts to propagandize the American people. Now, eight months into the Obama Administration, FNC is actively trying to forment violence against liberals, Democrats, gays, medical doctors and Democratic leaders. FNC needs to be removed from our American airwaves. FNC does not add anything positive to our national political conversations.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:11 pm
In response to watertiger @ 9

Indeed. And while Dobson may not be around much longer, his influence will be felt for a generation. As I write in my book, he is the man who converted Jim Talent from secular Jew to hardcore Christian, “Hot Tub Tommy” DeLay from a philadering, drunk nobody into “The Hammer,” and Ted Bundy, the worst serial killer in history, into an anti-pornography spokesman whose death row interview with Dobson won the latter national fame.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:11 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 11

Well, i can cross that question off my list. ;-)

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Certainly, the Left has been quick to point out each example of blatantly hypocritical behavior of these conservative politicians drunk on sanctimony, and religious leaders on the Right who rarely, if ever, practice what they preach. But there’s more to the story than just these acts themselves. Why have these particular actors’ personal psychopathologies of sadism and domination struck a nerve with a sizable portion of the country and had such a major impact on politics?

I like wt’s use of the word “drunkenly”. It does feel like the nation is a dysfunctional family. The “addict” parents of the family, the Far Right Repubs leadership, or those thrusting themselves into the vacuum of Repub leadership (the shock jocks and in your face racist and greedy Repubs) and the “coaddict” governmental reps (the Dems and even Pres) enthralled to them, enmeshed with their insanity as an alanon spouse would be, and the neglected and dysfunctional children (the uninsured dying for the medical machine and the betrayed soldiers dying for the military machine), many enthralled to the crazed authoritarianism of the untrustworthy “crazed sociopathological narcissists.”

Why is their gridlock with these crazies?

We need an intervention of sanity. Of moral courage.

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 2:13 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 8

What happens if the R 2012 ticket is Pretreaus/Gates, running on a platform that they are the only ones who know how to wins the wars and defeat terrorism? Assuming, of course, there are no Obama holes-in-one in the interim.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:13 pm
In response to watertiger @ 12

Huckabee is a central player in the GOP, a very clever politician who should be able to compete again for the nomination in 2012. If someone like Romney is nominated, someone detested by much of the Christian right, Huckabee is a logical VP pick to bring the movement on board — just as Palin was for McCain. I show in my book how Huckabee understands through his background as a Bapist pastor the nuances and language of the Christian right subculture, and how this is the source of his political appeal.

magnolia September 19th, 2009 at 2:14 pm

With so many on the Christian radical right acting like high school bullies, why are so many members of Congress reluctant to really stand up to them? No one addresses these issues of mental health (lack of) and emotional immaturity. What can be done?

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Max, can you discuss the role of the media in enabling the Dominionists/Family members? For example, why was there no mention of the Religious Right’s involvement with the Teabagger parties?

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 2:15 pm
In response to watertiger @ 15

Here’s two others you can cross off:
1. Why did the other Rs let it happen?
2. Why are the Ds so whimpy in their response?

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:16 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 17

Petraeus could only win as John McCain did, by holding on until Palin, Romney and Huckabee split the Christian right vote. But I doubt he has the political skills to run a viable campaign. He is a Princeton guy, even more out of touch with the modern know-nothing GOP than Bob Dole.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:16 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 18

But . . . but . . . he doesn’t LOOK like Ultimate Fighting Jesus!

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

You speak of how Dobson seduced people with his down home authoritarian psychology. Anti-Dr. Spock. I have read Alice Miller, Prisoner of Childhood, For Your Own Good, Thou Shalt Not Be Aware, who wrote about how Nazism got a foothold with the partriarchal religiosity of Germany. The authoritarianism of the religiosity made things ripe for the horrors of Nazism.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:18 pm
In response to watertiger @ 20

Excellent question. The media constantly wishes the Christian right away and lacks the expertise to detect its presence. However, the American Family Association played a central role in shepherding shock troops to the rally. And they did so on the basis of the false rumor that Obama’s healthcare plan would force taxpayers to subsidize abortion.
I’m constantly frustrated by the lack of cable news commentary on the right from people who actually cover the movement. Are Eugene Robinson, Frank Rich and Clarence Page really qualified to opine on this complex movement?

Teddy Partridge September 19th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Welcome, Max, and thanks, WT, for that great intro.

Despite their increasing isolation in ex-urban white enclaves and rural hollows, the religious right does one thing well: they breed, homeschool, and then send into our body politic newly indoctrinated blind adherents to the authoritarian leaders.

What do you think is the best way to confront these people, raised as they are within the bubble of Xtianism, and turn them into proper Americans with an understanding of our shared values and history instead of people who don’t know where our country came from except a whim of Jesus?

Thanks for chatting today. I really appreciate your brave work in the belly of the beast, Max.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:20 pm
In response to libbyliberal @ 24

Alice Miller is an excellent source for understanding the psychology of the right. I quote another academic who has written about the role of child abuse and corporal punishment in forming authoritarian attitudes, Philip Greven, a religion professor at Rutgers, who wrote an excellent book called Spare The Rod.

Scarecrow September 19th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Max — it seems much of the evil you describe has had a huge resurgence viat the town halls, the birthers, the deathers, and the massive media coverage, much of it telling us this is just people concerned about big government its proponent, Obama. Is the movement gaining strenght and legitimacy? Or this just an illusion produced by the sloppy media coverage?

Ruth Calvo September 19th, 2009 at 2:20 pm
In response to watertiger @ 20

The media aspect seems pretty much the whole thing to me, as well.
I was watchng Max B’s interviews with teabagger/Millionish Moran Marchers on Bill Moyers’ Journal last night, the whole event was pretty amazing, but do you think that media is building a movement out of whole cloth? The crowd was drummed up by Glen Beck, who doesn;t to my mind have a big following of active voters, is this for real, or just a bunch of Jerry Springer wannabes

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

I watched Jeffrey Brown on the Newshour this week let John Boehner announce that the U.S. had the BEST health care system in the world. Ahem. Why would you not call him on that. We are ranked 37th by the WHO. This is not Fox news. This is the respectable Newshour.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:21 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 25

is extremist religion a third rail for the media? or is it still a matter of the suits bending over backward to prove they’re not “liberal”?

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:21 pm
In response to libbyliberal @ 24

Greven: “The roots of this persistent tilt towards hierarchy, enforced order, and absolute authority–so evident in Germany earlier in this century and in the radical right in America today–are always traceable to aggression against children’s wills and bodies…”

spocko September 19th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Max. I’m looking forward to reading your book. I’m with eCAHNomics. What’s the cure?

I like to look for leverage points that are economic. When I went after KSFO in 2006/07 it was the lose of advertising revenue that really pissed them off.

But this won’t work for all players. However I think that investigating the real sickness in the industry might give us levers. Can you tell us about sicknesses that are not only illegal but people might not know about.

I think that laws broken by right wing propagandists like Rush and Hannity would be good to know of, and when coupled with morally repugnant acts, (sex tourism for Rush) might be enough to weaken them.

Paul September 19th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Max,

Is it ‘Escape from Freedom‘ that has Eric Fromm’s analysis? Is this analysis in other works of his which you’d recommend?

Scarecrow September 19th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Has there been any study/analysis on the overlap between the folks you’re describing and those who’ve been dominating the news as “protesters”? Same groups, allies, different people?

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Max, have you ever considered Eric Berne and his transactional analysis. Three ego states, the parent, the adult and the child. But there is a subgroup in the child ego state, that imitates the “parent”. It is called the “pig parent” that seduces by sounding like a parent but is primitive and narcissistic. And the “child ego states” of others get seduced by the “pig parent” state of the McCains, Limbaughs, O’Reilly’s, GW Bush, Cheney especially, etc.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:24 pm
In response to Ruth Calvo @ 29

Here’s the full version of my coverage from 9/12: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UASS1qFAIQ8
Glenn Beck is Fox’s top-rated host and he has tapped into a huge wellspring of resentment. I could not quantify this amorphous movement’s power but I assert in my book that they have achieved unprecedented domination over the GOP, which is weaker than it has been in a generation as a result.
Interestingly, all of the people I spoke to at 9.12 seemed to have been instructed to say “We’re Americans!” instead of “we’re Republicans!” And many were (weirdly) disappointed that the GOP had not yet moved to topple Obama as it did during the impeachment of Clinton.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 2:24 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 32

And then children when they grow up…. identify with their aggressors…. have been indoctrinated … and instead of freeing themselves they are lost in denial and they perpetrate the aggression onto other vulnerable children or child-like adult victims.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:25 pm
In response to spocko @ 33

Even when these crazies break the law, the stories get buried. Rush and his little drug problem? Why the hell didn’t he do any time for that? Where did the stories go?

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:26 pm
In response to spocko @ 33

The “cure” is elusive, but one of many cures is a health care program with a public option. Since the Christian right has been so successful leveraging personal crisis into political gain, a government healthcare plan that works for average Americans — including their followers — is a nightmare for the right. It will ameliorate the source of so many personal crises, healthcare costs, depriving the right’s crisis industry of a pool of potential converts.

Teddy Partridge September 19th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Questions coming thick and fast!

What do you make of the reports of financial stress at the center of the movement? Tony Perkins operation and Dobson’s crew are both laying people off. Is it simply that their small donors are so badly hurt by the Bush Recession? Or is there a larger turning-away happening?

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:27 pm
In response to Paul @ 34

My book was inspired primarily by Fromm’s Escape From Freedom but also by his excellent work, The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, which he wrote during the tumult of the 1960’s and reads like a sequel to Escape, which was written right after he escaped from Nazi Germany.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 2:27 pm

There was something titillating and enmeshing about the unpredictable rage of say McCain with his press corps entourage. Almost a case of the Stockholm Syndrome, when you are with someone who is a rageaholic and you don’t know whether Dr. Jekyl or Mr. Hyde will appear. You get addicted to their excitement. Watching Bush to see if he would finish a sentence or would say something adolescent but nasty to a reporter, making fun of some physical characteristic they have. Bullying behavior grabs attention. Fear and intimidation.

Ruth Calvo September 19th, 2009 at 2:29 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 37

thanks for that link!
the GOP had not yet moved to topple Obama as it did during the impeachment of Clinton

Clinton of course came out far more popular in ratings than before the ‘impeachment’, I wonder, was this a lesson learned. The Take Back America theme seems to me, too, to be a big talking pt. The implication of overthrowing democratic gov’t seems to be a counteraction of whatever appeal this group might have, tho, which I find very reassuring. The mad max quality of the demonstrators looks like a deterrent to reasonable types, the ones who vote. Am I just too optimistic.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:29 pm

The movement lost funding under Bush because it had been coopted by Washington. The right functions much better in opposition; it is most skillful when exploiting resentment for financial gain. A right-wing friend of mine maintains that conservatives want a healthcare bill to pass so they can ramp up the anger of their followers and ask for more donations. I have heard unsubstantiated reports that Focus on the Family’s PAC is seeing huge donations pour in since the healthcare battle began.

BevW September 19th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Max Blumenthal on Bill Moyers Journal, Sept 18, 2009

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:31 pm
In response to Ruth Calvo @ 44

I’d like to think that the country isn’t comprised primarily of gramatically-challenged nativists.

perris September 19th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

it’s my opinion rove/limbaugh have been responsible for the mass exodis from the republcian party far more then bush was

I have fun calling rush a secret democrat since he seems to be chasing repubs from that party and into ours

the problem with that is we are growing with people who are not real progressives, however the good part is the fact that most people become progressives when they understand the issue beyond politician and corporate speak

spocko September 19th, 2009 at 2:32 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 25

Here is another thing. The religious left have no desire to fight the religious right or their supporters in the media.

I’ve been trying to find someone from the Catholic Church to “educate” Hannity about torture. To point out to Sean, a Catholic, that his views of torture are not in line with the current Church teaching. Nobody want to challenge him.

The torture issue is not only a legal and constitutional issue, it is a moral issue. And I’d like to have some religious left leaders pick a fight on this topic with Hannity (Catholic) and Rush (Methodist).

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:32 pm
In response to Ruth Calvo @ 44

The histrionics of 9.12 was a PR disaster for the GOP. Anyone not white, conservative and extremely irritable was turned off by what they saw. But Glenn Beck and Dick Armey don’t care about the GOP very much. They have their own agenda. And as I show in my book, the modern right-wing follower doesn’t care how he appears to mainstream secular society. He lusts for the euphoria of fervent political activity and needs the security of a community of like minded people from a similar cultural background.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

The Right still gets so much mileage out of wedge issues like abortion and immigration and guns. They push the buttons and set the lazy-assed narcissists with their faux-religiosity off.

We are in the moral fight of the century.

hate2haggle September 19th, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Hello Max. I really enjoy your work, thank you. Any chance I can coax you into hanging out at C Street for a few days just to see what is happening there? I’d give a body part to watch Price, Demint and the rest of them squirm as you interview them. Loved what you asked Ralph Reed, too.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 2:33 pm
In response to BevW @ 46

Thanks, Bev. Can’t wait to view.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:33 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 40

so you’re saying that if they can get better health care, they won’t have to rely on Jesus to cure their ills?

Cliff Schecter September 19th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

No question Max. Just wanted to come by to say great work buddy! And congrats on making the NY Times list. Well deserved!

Cliff

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:34 pm
In response to spocko @ 49

The religious left, to the extent that it exists, has never provided an effective counterpoint to the Religious Right, partly because of its kumbaya sensibility and partly because it is small. What’s more, the Christian right has been very effective in mau-mauing progressive Christians over doctrinal issues. Bishop Harry Jackson calls them “cereal Christians,” or fruits and nuts, and they never hit him back.

Ruth Calvo September 19th, 2009 at 2:34 pm
In response to watertiger @ 47

But we have fallen pretty far in level of educational attainment under the years of domination by the right… and No Child Left Behind’s enabling of the family’s business/ed. Yes, it would be nicer if articulate came back into vogue in D.C.

EdwardTeller September 19th, 2009 at 2:35 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 37

I regard Beck as the most destructive force in the history of American TV. Hopefully, one of the next things he will destroy is his own image – for good.

I just posted an appreciation of Max at the Seminal, thinking the book salon with Max began in two more hours, rather than now. Oops…

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:35 pm
In response to Cliff Schecter @ 55

Cliff!!!

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 2:35 pm
In response to perris @ 48

but the 60,000 or so throwing their tantrums have more clout with Obama’s consideration than the 80 million of us that fought to get him elected against McCain!

And the media gives more air time to those 60,000, even when mocking, than to the moral issues expressed by the 80 million.

Cliff Schecter September 19th, 2009 at 2:36 pm
In response to watertiger @ 59

Hey Watertiger! Great into, btw

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:38 pm
In response to libbyliberal @ 60

It certainly doesn’t help when the WH cuts people loose because Glenn Beck had a hissy fit.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:39 pm
In response to hate2haggle @ 52

C Street was only interesting to me because it provided an evangelical frat house for so many philandering right-wing lawmakers. Chip Pickering reportedly had sex inside the house. And John Ensign’s rommmate, anti-condom activist and Senator Tom Coburn, who I write a lot about in my book, knew about his affair for 18 months but said nothing while another C Streeter, Mr. Man-on-Dog Rick Santorum, compelled his buddies to keep quiet about the affair. So C Street was important in encouraging these “family values” figures to form a Christian sexual mafia, but I question the influence of “The Family” or Doug Coe on public policy.

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 2:39 pm
In response to libbyliberal @ 24

Thanks for the Alice Miller memory jog. I read almost everything she wrote, but over 20 years ago.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:39 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 56

How do you counter a movement based on fear and self-loathing?

JeffCO September 19th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Thanks, Max, for your efforts to inform the rest of us of what’s going on under our noses. I agree wholeheartedly with the comment about widely available affordable healthcare. Arguably even more so than education, solidly grounded emotional health provides robust inoculation against the authoritarian messages looking for a foothold in the national psyche.

I think it’s one of the sad ironies of the subculture you describe that the emotional impairment itself prevents most of the members from coming to awareness of the fact that they are impaired. Just as many of the overtly racist images and statements come from people denying they are racist, some of whom even seem to believe it. It suggests that a rational counter is simply not going to get anywhere with this group. Instead the left would do well, as Spocko suggests, to look for the emotional fault lines in the leadership and drive hard toward those. And then follow through by pushing an alternative narrative, one in which the scary brown person next door is not the one making your life miserable.

Ruth Calvo September 19th, 2009 at 2:40 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 50

the security of a community of like minded people from a similar cultural background.

this is what I see influencing people to shut their minds and go with the flow, when it’s obviously against their own interests. Is there a cure? I really think that Pres.O’s election was a huge surprise to the Chamber of Commerce, South, as a whole. Yes, it was great for those of us who’ve been mostly rational for most of our lives, but can we hold off the baying morans? and how?

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 2:40 pm
In response to watertiger @ 62

YES!!! Van Jones was supposed to be a Stepford person? You have a realistic history and you are lunchmeat? Bush gave a medal to his cronies as they are taking a perp walk. Obama cuts the targets of the right loose without loyalty. WTF????

allan September 19th, 2009 at 2:40 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 50

The histrionics of 9.12 was a PR disaster for the GOP.

I hope that’s the case, but it seems that the MSM has been very squeamish about
showing the worst of the protesters, their chants and their signs.
That gives space to the likes of David Brooks to claim that racism isn’t behind the protests.

spocko September 19th, 2009 at 2:40 pm
In response to watertiger @ 39

Rush is “owed” by the people who make millions off of him. They will protect him.

Who would make money with Rush in jail and not broadcasting? Would those people help?

Rush is currently undergoing and IRS audit. Will criminal behavior be revealed? Probably. Will he get a fine and not a jail sentence? Probably.
So we need to go for criminal and morally repugnant criminal behavior.

Addicts often fall off the wagon. He has been a sex tourist before.
A private eye with photos and evidence that could go to a prosecutor would do the trick. But there is not a family like the Scaife that will fund this. We wouldn’t even have to make up crimes like they did with Clinton!

But we also need to find someone who would BENEFIT from Rush going into the pokey. Because the people who DO benefit fight, and fight hard to protect their Goose with the Golden Microphone.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:41 pm
In response to watertiger @ 62

Cutting Van Jones loose was a major tactical error by Obama which led to Acorn and the targeting of Cass Sunstein and Valerie Jarrett. It also gave Beck the aura of credibility. Beyond that, it contributed to an ongoing deflation in confidence among the left in Obama’s leadership qualities and progressive credentials. I have a lot to say about Beck and hope we get a chance to discuss him more.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 2:42 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 64

:) … yes, ecahn. lately I have pulled her books out and Scott Pecks, especially his People of the Lie. Such insights into sociopathology. He says evil is laziness to the nth degree. Moral laziness.

Eric Berne with his ego states stuff is very old stuff, but the “pig parent” theory has always stayed with me.

hate2haggle September 19th, 2009 at 2:43 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 63

…, but I question the influence of “The Family” or Doug Coe on public policy.”

That’s refreshing to hear, coming from you. Thanks Max.

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 2:44 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 50

One of the callers on Washington Journal segment about racism this morning, Michael Eric Dyson was the guest, was a black man who’d been to 9/12. He complained about all the blacks who claim victimhood. I wanted Dyson to ask him how many other black (and brown and yellow and red) people were there, but alas, Dyson was too polite to ask.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:44 pm
In response to spocko @ 70

and if Scaife closes his wallet, there is the Ahmanson fortune, which Max details in his book.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:45 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 71

ooh, let’s do!

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:45 pm
In response to JeffCO @ 66

Authoritarian movements and societies function best when followers self-censor. Usually actual censorship of opinion and cracking down on dissent is not necessary until the movement begins coming apart. So naturally racists will deflect any accusation of their racism by shouting “You lie!” It was amazing to see so many signs at 9.12 defensively and preemptively declaring “It’s not about race!”

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:46 pm
In response to libbyliberal @ 72

I really enjoy the work of Ernest Becker, whose “Denial of Death” I refer in my section about End Times followers/Left Behind/Pastor Hagee. But his “The End of Evil” is also important. In a nutshell he says the most evil acts in history have been committed in the name of good. Iraq would certainly confirm his thesis.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Given that the Christianists hate the Mormons, why do they follow Beck, a converted Mormon?

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

It’s amazing. The old, “they don’t deserve the dignity of a response” adage has proven fatal to the Dems. With Dukakis, with Kerry.

And media declares the “winner” whoever is the biggest sociopath not sweating in front of the camera. Like Cheney. It is all about gamesmanship and morality has been thrown out with the bathwater.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:47 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 74

I recall seeing one black person at the 9.12 rally. He was a small boy being pushed in a wheelchair by a white family. He appeared so severely handicapped he could not speak or see.

JeffCO September 19th, 2009 at 2:47 pm
In response to watertiger @ 62

Aak, no, no it doesn’t. Why is it that virtually any elementary school child in the world could tell you that giving in to a bully guarantees they’re coming after you again the rest of your life, but the WH cannot grasp even this simple lesson? On this one point I tend to agree with the wingnuts – continually backing up and tossing your friends under the bus makes you look weak and unprincipled. The Right loves to scream that Dems stand for nothing and the Obama WH sits down to listen to them. At what point does 12-dimensional judo just become failing to deal with the threat?

Ruth Calvo September 19th, 2009 at 2:48 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 63

By all rights, the C Street group, the Vitter diaper filler, the tapdancing in toilet stalls, Rove’s boyfriend in Austin, Sandford Appalachian trialing, should have an effect, but only Dems seem to get any of the onus when they have their occasional probs. Is it because a dirty mind isn’t a big deal for us? and how to solve this?

NorskeFlamethrower September 19th, 2009 at 2:48 pm

AND THE KILLIN’ GOEZ ON AND ON AND…

Citizen watertiger and the Firepup Freedom Fighters:

I for one am tired of reading about all the brilliant new publications that tell us about the truths of the experience we all share and the knowledge that history has laid before us to this date…I am more interested applying our understandings of ideas and power to break the hold wealth has over the application of democracy to changingthe human condition. What I mean by that is, how do we use the power we have always had and certainly have at this moment in history with the majorities in congress and the White House to impose the will of the majority onthe power of the wealthy few.

Example: For at least 29 years we have experienced the phenomenon of having a minority control the levers of elected power when the majority votes against it’s own interests. Then when the majority gains control of the machinery of governance, the elected leadership refuses to impliment the power given it arguing that just a few more seats in congress will allow the will of the people to be applied. Now,instead of using the power of the votes of the people and the mass of their desires to force the elected leadership to comply, the leaders of popular will (like FDL and Daily Kos) buy ad time to pressure elected politicians in safe seats instead of using their resources to empower the elected progressives to challenge the corrupt leadership of their own party.

We all know the truths of the history of fascism in our country and the world and we know the dynamics of the application of wealth to corrupt the power of majoritarian democracy…what we need right now is the application of that knowlege combined with the few resources we still have to force our leadership to do what we tell them to do.

No more books about what we already know…

KEEP THE FAITH AND PASS THE AMMUNITION, YOU DON’T BEAT FASCISIM AND FASCISTS WITH REASON!!

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:49 pm
In response to watertiger @ 79

Beck has advertised his conversion much as the evangelical Christians from my book have: He said he recovered from a massive personal crisis, namely cocaine and alcohol addiction, only through the wonder working power of God, or at least the Mormon God Elohim, who according to Mormon theology had sex with the virgin Mary. Beck is confirmation of my book’s central idea, that behind the right’s politics of resentment is a culture of personal crisis.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 2:49 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 78

And their inability to respond to reality as things in the name of right go more and more wrong. EGO and HUBRIS gets involved… and denial and intimidation.. forcing results, ends justifies the means justifications. Responsibility equals the ability to respond. We have a response-less country in an accountability coma. And Obama has entered the coma or was compromised to embrace it.

Scott Peck says mental health is dedication to reality at all costs. Rachel Maddow says right now we have an “ethical freakshow of a universe.”

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 2:50 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 78

My personally coined phrase for that is: religion has killed more people than it’s saved.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:50 pm
In response to Ruth Calvo @ 83

This leads us back to the media, IMO, which refuse to apply the same standards to the Republican scandals as they do to the Democrats.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:51 pm
In response to Ruth Calvo @ 83

I think the Republican sex scandals have devastated the party and the movement that buffets it, and Rove said as much in 2006 after Foley and Haggard cost the GOP 6 seats in the Senate and dozens more in the House.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:52 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 85

For a virgin, Mary sure got around.

I’m sorry, I had to say that. I’ll atone for my sins next week.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 2:52 pm
In response to watertiger @ 88

yes, what a gapping double standard. And how immediatley, self-forgiving the Repubs are as the Dems hide away in shame. The Right’s born-again redemptions are faster than the speed of light.

spocko September 19th, 2009 at 2:53 pm
In response to allan @ 69

Allan: You are very right about them not showing the worst signs.
Look at the New Yorker profile of Savage, the Time profile of Beck. Their worst comments aren’t even brought up. The New York Times, when they covered my campaign agaisn them wouldn’t reprint the actual comments that Brian Sussman, Melanie Morgan, Lee Rodgers and “Officer Vic” said on the air. The media are protecting them.

Why?

And it’s still happening Lee Rodgers called for the Genocide in Iraq

Lee Rodgers on the Iraq people. “You people do what ever you want to each other and this country just don’t give us a reason to come back or we’ll massacre every last damn one of you.”

Link

This is Hutu Power Radio folks. Rodgers is not some shock jock, he talks to Republican and conservative leaders everyday. Why will nobody with in ABC Radio say anything about this? Because he makes them money. Until he becomes a bigger liability than an asset he will continue to be protected.

EdwardTeller September 19th, 2009 at 2:53 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 81

I’ve covered four teabagger rallies in Alaska. This is a picture of the only black people I’ve seen. I found out later that the man’s boss told him he had to attend.

Ruth Calvo September 19th, 2009 at 2:53 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 89

That certainly makes me feel better. With watertiger, I feel like the media just hummms and looks the other way.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:54 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 85

So it doesn’t matter WHICH God you find, so long as you’ve been “saved”?

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:54 pm
In response to watertiger @ 88

However, I think the treatment of Eliot Spitzer’s affair compared to David Vitter’s was unbelievable, but it was encouraged by a fundamental difference between the parties. The power-mad GOP welcomed Vitter back into the Senate with a standing ovation with Spitzer was ousted by fellow Democrats. Later Roger Stone, the admitted swinger and famous Republican operative, revealed that Spitzer was the victim of a Wall Street-funded sting operation that he was a part of. Stone first learned of Spitzer’s affair through his own contacts in the Miami sexual underworld, so this Democratic scandal began through Republican connections to the world of swingers and leather dungeons.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 2:55 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 85

It’s like people who are “dry drunks” … white knuckling their morality and project their own vulnerability onto others and punish them. Their indoctrinated self-hate gets projected outward. This is fascinating stuff, Max, and rings so sadly true.

The victims become victimizers. Like boys who are molested become adult molesters. Tragic and stunningly sad and dangerous and crazymaking.

Teddy Partridge September 19th, 2009 at 2:56 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 81

Blogger Oliver Willis, who is black, also attended the 9-12 Beckapalooza, but as an observer.

Peterr September 19th, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Max, if Huckabee is so great at getting the Christian Right behind him, why did he fail so spectacularly in the 2008 primaries?

Huckabee is not particularly trusted by the TheoCons, because he was insufficiently hardcore in various battles to cleanse the SBC of its moderates.

Sarah Palin, OTOH, is exactly what the TheoCons are hungry for.

JeffCO September 19th, 2009 at 2:57 pm
In response to libbyliberal @ 80

Something few Dems seem to grasp – though I recall Cliff Schecter does an *excellent* job when he’s allowed on TV with the professional GOP pundits. I think people responded to Obama because he dangled the prospect of Leadership with a capital L, meaning not just that he would pursue policies they agreed with but that he would stand up to the domestic bullies. That he would be a sort of anti-Bush, a good-daddy to Cheney’s evil-daddy. I think his post-election seeming disinterest in taking on that mantle will prove to be bad politics in the midterms. Quiet dignity may be fine for calm times, but as Krugman has been saying for over a year, when the people are demanding bold leadership, succeeding with bipartisan half-measures may be far worse than going down fighting for principle.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 2:58 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 96

[bangs forehead on desk] This is where I get so incredibly frustrated – if you point this out this rather salient fact to one of the believers (or Kyra Phillips), the response is: *crickets*

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 2:58 pm
In response to watertiger @ 95

Romney has never drank a drop of alcohol and has been faithful to his wife of 30 some years, but he was never saved from himself, so the evangelical wing of the GOP has no means of relating to him. He doesn’t understand the role of crisis and confession in the Christian right, despite all of his desperate attempts to court the movement’s support. Beck on the other hand has sinful past to bawl about. So Beck rises while Romney constantly treads water.

Teddy Partridge September 19th, 2009 at 2:58 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 85

Beck does not strike me as someone who has stopped using cocaine. Your thoughts?

SouthernDragon September 19th, 2009 at 2:59 pm
In response to watertiger @ 90

LOL

oops, broke cover

Hi Max, heard ya on Terry Gross and WMNF. Great interviews. I’ll read the book soon as I finish The Keynes Solution.

Ruth Calvo September 19th, 2009 at 2:59 pm

also attended the 9-12 Beckapalooza, but as an observer.

as did about half of the statistics we’re reading now.

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 3:00 pm

How do the neocons & the Xtianists get along?

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 3:00 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 85

Bush’s crisis, like Beck’s, and his “redemption” was his con to seduce the religious right. Apparently he never brought up religion to his children. Not evidence of someone highly religious.

Was it you who said that Palin’s crisis with her baby and then again with her acting out daughter made her so relate-able to the religious right and Dobson made and still is making plenty of hay out of that.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:00 pm
In response to Peterr @ 99

Huckabee did do well in the 2008 primaries and with negligible funding. By the time he dropped out he had destroyed Romney and cleared a path for McCain to win, while paving the road for his political career to blossom on the national stage. The libertarians hate Huck for criticizing Wall Street and raising taxes in Arkansas.

EdwardTeller September 19th, 2009 at 3:01 pm

We sensibly UA school bus drivers. Why not FOX luminaries and AM radio hate freaks?

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Beck is a dry drunk who has transferred his addiction to drugs into frenetic behavior and an inflated sense of self-importance. Bush exhibited the same behavior. Michael Savage is another figure who struggled with insanity and can only function normally when ranting before a microphone.

Peterr September 19th, 2009 at 3:02 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 56

Sorry, Max — the Christian Left is not small. It is, however, not seen as terribly newsworthy. A bunch of progressive Christians get together and call on Congress to enact health care reform? “Yawn” says the media. A bunch of TheoCons get together and lob verbal bombshells at Nancy Pelosi? Says the media: “Where do we set up the cameras?”

valletta September 19th, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Hey Max, you were great on Ron Reagan’s show this week, really awesome
I look forward to getting the book….but I wish it were in audiobook format, I am ADDICTED to audiobooks!
Keep up the good work:)

jayt September 19th, 2009 at 3:02 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 89

Hi Max – thanks for being here, and I always love reading your work.

think the Republican sex scandals have devastated the party and the movement that buffets it, and Rove said as much in 2006 after Foley and Haggard cost the GOP 6 seats in the Senate and dozens more in the House.

Really? Other than the Foley debacle, and its attendant timing, I haven’t seen any evidence of that. Certainly the Vitter and Ensign affairs drew a collective yawn from the media. I think that if Sanford had an iota of sense as to when to sut up, he’d have slipped under the radar as well.

Or are you saying that the Xtianst’s actually noticed all by themselves, without any substantial help from national media?

allan September 19th, 2009 at 3:02 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 96

For the record, the newspaper of record currently
has had The John Edwards Drama on its front e-page all day.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 3:03 pm
In response to Peterr @ 99

Another irony: Sarah Palin, who has Jewish forebears, gets blessed by crazy Bishop Thomas Muthee, who thinks, according to the book, “Christians like Palin should ‘invade’ government in order to seize the reins of the world’s economy from the Jews”…

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 3:03 pm
In response to JeffCO @ 100

Quiet dignity may be fine for calm times, but as Krugman has been saying for over a year, when the people are demanding bold leadership, succeeding with bipartisan half-measures may be far worse than going down fighting for principle.

So well said. That is my posture on single payer rather than public option. Might as well go for the principle, if you are going down in flames let them be righteous ones. Instead of watching those who have sold out parse principle, kill the spirit of the law and bills, while torturing the letter of them.

Is this a personality trait with Obama or did Obama sell out before stepping into office and must compensate his enablers. He is not beholding to the 80 million citizens who got him there clearly.

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 3:04 pm
In response to valletta @ 112

I second the audio book suggestion.

SouthernDragon September 19th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

I’m hearing more and more from the Libertarians. Law and order scaremongering along with the usual stuff.

Ruth Calvo September 19th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

while paving the road for his political career to blossom on the national stage

sorry, I don;t see this happening. He’s getting air time, but no creds with the inside party mechanism, which we know is controlled by business interests. They’re not letting a religious personage inside.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:05 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 106

Irving Kristol, who just died, was the first to urge Jews to form a tactical alliance with anti-semitic evangelicals over Israel. That alliance, which became a neocon-Christian right unity pact, still endures. However some neocons like David Brooks, Sam Tannenhaus, and Francis Fukuyama seem to have crossed over into the Obama camp for now. Their motivations vary but I think many neocon intellectuals are disturbed by the crude barbarity of the Republican base. Unfortunately they never acknowledge their role in cultivating it.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:05 pm
In response to valletta @ 112

We just sold the rights to the audiobook. I hope Ving Rames or James Earl Jones is the reader.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:06 pm
In response to Ruth Calvo @ 119

Sarah Palin is the biggest fundraiser for the GOP right now. She just netted $61K from some rube who wants to have dinner with her. Palin and Huckabee will compete for the Christian right vote in 2012. Huckabee is a viable candidate though I doubt he can win.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Karl Rove was an evil genius who made the wedge issue abortion issue a way to force a coalition with many heretofore anti-Repubs, the Blue State Catholics, I discovered, who felt obliged to vote for Bush on that issue. It was stunning.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:08 pm

The American right’s combination of authoritarianism and libertarianinsm is totally unique. All factions of the right despise the federal government and their campaign against Obama is really a campaign against the United States government. Remember who blew up the Oklahoma City Federal Building in 1995. It was a right-wing anti-government terrorist. And he did it right after Newt Gingrich shut down the federal government.

Peterr September 19th, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Clearing a path for McCain to win is hardly evidence of doing well.

The TheoCons are a sizable chunk of the GOP, but not necessarily a majority. The CorporateCons view them with complete disgust behind their backs, and the NeoCons use them and their Dominionist views to further the NeoCon foreign policy objectives.

Huckabee did respectably, but never did he catch fire or stir a crowd like Sarah Palin — even among the religious voters that were his base.

spocko September 19th, 2009 at 3:08 pm
In response to JeffCO @ 82

Exactly.

Why don’t people look two steps down the media response.
Beck loses 62 advertisers. Beck lashes out. Needs to prove his manhood.
Goes after the people who hurt him OR THEIR FAMILIES.

Now what should have been our prepped response? We should have had Van Jone’s back.
What could that have looked like? Determining how this action by Beck will cost Fox their broadcast license. (Or a major fine.)

We needed to lay the ground work for step two in media response to proactive campaigns.

So for example, I pointed out to the owners of KSFO that if there was violence at the Tea Party they sponsored they should be prepared for the liability and that their insurance carrier should be notified. I notified the media who was in charge of this party and who would be getting the bill if someone was hurt. I then contacted the DA saying if there was a riot these were the people to look too for the criminal charges.

These actions prepped the way for a civil and criminal case. These are the things that corp American is afraid of. Beck is walking the line of inciting to riot and nothing will stop him at the FCC. Only his bosses at Fox will IF THEY ARE AFRAID of losing a license or a lawsuit.

Ruth Calvo September 19th, 2009 at 3:09 pm

A fundraiser indeed, but resigning from office, no I don’t see her becoming an insider, or Huckaby either. The party using them isn’t letting them inside, imho.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Oh, man, to be a fly on the wall of that recording studio. This book is sooo much fun to read aloud.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 3:09 pm

We laugh at “tea bag” term but it was pretty brilliant p.r. Jingoistic. Pretend you are a “patriot” …. enjoy the fantasy and the righteousness. The Repubs destroy the country and two seconds later they have a self image that they are rescuers of the country they destroyed, not Obama and the Dems who have been there so briefly. Revisionist surreal historians. Beck and his founders crap now. Wow.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:09 pm

In my book I identify R.J. Rushdoony as one of the intellectual authors of right-wing libertarianism. He’s a fascinating figure we can talk about more.

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 3:09 pm

The cspan 1995 interview of Irving Kristol is playing on cspan2 as we type.

As for my Q, I’d had a brain fart. I knew about the connection you mentioned, so thanks for repairing my brain.

SouthernDragon September 19th, 2009 at 3:10 pm

I agree.

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Bravo on audio book. My “reading” is about half & half dead tree books and audio books.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 3:11 pm
In response to spocko @ 126

We should have had Van Jone’s back.

Yes, but so many fresh hells and fires. And many on left can’t stomach hearing these shock jocks and rubes on radio and tv. But we need to watch these enemies.

Wingnuts are being manipulated so well to fight against their own interests.

The same Kerry swiftboater is swiftboating still, right, against health care reform now.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:11 pm
In response to libbyliberal @ 129

I hear Frank Luntz, the Republican propaganda consultant, is working on a new campaign for “restoring the American dream.” The Party will use the “American dream” as a code word for nostalgia for the white-dominated, patriarchal Christian America that exists in the right-wing imagination, and will identify Obama as the destroyer of that dream.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 3:12 pm

I readily admit that I had never heard of Rushdoony before I read the book. But he really did start the ball rolling, didn’t he.

Ruth Calvo September 19th, 2009 at 3:12 pm

All factions of the right despise the federal government and their campaign against Obama is really a campaign against the United States government.

And the whole ‘get gov’t out of my medicare’ is laying waste to their ignorance, as Pres. O. has pointed out on the podium. (and see my post about getting gov’t out of border control at the seminal.firedoglake.com)
It’s even becoming clear to the media that this is totally gaga.

SouthernDragon September 19th, 2009 at 3:12 pm
In response to watertiger @ 128

Really? I plan on starting it tomorrow and will try that first. Tigers will think I’m nuts.

jayt September 19th, 2009 at 3:13 pm

All factions of the right despise the federal government and their campaign against Obama is really a campaign against the United States government.

ummm – no.

I noticed no particularly strong anti-government campaigns during the Bush years.

This shit is very personal.

EdwardTeller September 19th, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Palin may be a hot fundraiser, but she will never be a candidate for major office again. Max’s role in getting the truth out on Palin was very important at a key point in the fall 2008 campaign. (Supposed to be a reply to #123)

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 3:14 pm

I never heard of Rushdooney before. Do hum a few bars so we can pick it up.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:14 pm
In response to watertiger @ 136

Rushdoony gave the Christian right its blueprint from “reconstruction” secular society along ultra-right Christian guidelines. He influenced everything from the homeschooling movement to Bush’s faith based initiative (which continues under Obama) to the anti-gay movement. Of course, under Rushdoony’s interpretation of biblical law, gays would be executed — call it the Christian right’s trigger option.

SouthernDragon September 19th, 2009 at 3:14 pm

The era of the white slave owning aristocrats who wrote the Constitution.

spocko September 19th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

What would it take to get someone brought in on sedition charges? As we know, they always blame us for what they are actually doing.

dakine01 September 19th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Oh the irony.

allan September 19th, 2009 at 3:15 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 131

TBogg’s post on Kristol, father and son, is required reading, as are the comments.

valletta September 19th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Woohoo!
I have found that I might read a book once or _maybe_ twice but I will listen to one multiple times and really absorb it, while exercising, sitting on the beach or even while sleeping! :)

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:15 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 140

If she does not run, she will remain a Republican folk hero all candidates will have to pay fealty to. Her endorsement will be sought after like the holy grail.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Chutzpah on steroids.

Amazing how our far right mirrors the Taliban principles or anti principles of patriarchy.

Sentimentality overrides reality. Justifies.

McCarthyism returns. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible said it all.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:16 pm
In response to allan @ 146

Now we only have Kristol-lite. Or Billy Kristol — the one who is only unintentionally funny.

JanMar001 September 19th, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Welcome Max

A quote from daily kos caught my eye. “…what defines modern conservativism?

An almost autistic sociopathic indifference to the thoughts and feelings of others?

After watching your interviews @ the Beckapaolooza, I would say this hits the nail on the head.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 3:17 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 140

Never underestimate the stupidity of the masses.

Phoenix Woman September 19th, 2009 at 3:17 pm
In response to libbyliberal @ 134

Yup.

NorskeFlamethrower September 19th, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Citizen Max Blumenthal:

“The American right’s combination of authoritarianism and libertarianism is totally unique.”

That is complete bullshit. The ideology that controlled America for it’s first 68 years, the ideology that justified slavery and advanced behind states rights, was the perfect combination of authoritarianism and libertarianism and since the triumph of capitalism over the peculiar institution and merchantilism, that ideology has been used to impose minority rule (at least since 1877). Come on Max, America invented fascism and institutionalized it in the original Constitution.

Ruth Calvo September 19th, 2009 at 3:17 pm

The Party will use the “American dream” as a code word for nostalgia for the white-dominated, patriarchal Christian America

If Luntz hasn’t lost control, which I think the 9-12 march has precipatated. Sorry, I believe Beck, Rush, Hannity have taken over the wingers’ party and they’re not in control anymore. The insiders of what used to be the party will not let them in, which is going to lead to a split. which way it goes will be exciting.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

The fact that Rushdoony used the John Birch Society as one of his models…

JeffCO September 19th, 2009 at 3:18 pm
In response to spocko @ 126

As I said earlier today at Eschaton, I think Beck and the others are really hoping for one of the weaker-minded people they have been poking and prodding and inciting to violence to snap and really do something awful. I might be willing to give them some credit and assume they’re not necessarily fully aware of wanting it, but I don’t think they can help themselves. As with their previous addiction-related behaviors, there’s a compulsive aspect to their hate-mongering and calls for violent acting out by their followers. That is, even though the repercussions for themselves might materially be damaging (paying a fine, losing their jobs), the emotional gratification would be enormous, and they would dine out for years on their feelings of persecution being vindicated by someone actually holding them responsible for the consequences of their actions.

I look forward to reading Max’s book – it’s very clear many of these figures are emotionally damaged, sick specimens. Of course, being an adult means they can make choices regardless of their histories, and thus not all people subjected to emotionally damaging environments act out through their adult lives. Though, most people are not encouraged by the mass media to maintain their illnesses.

Unfortunately, what we have here is a failure to stop enabling.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:19 pm
In response to valletta @ 147

It’s worth noting that my book is the only progressive title on the NY Times bestseller list right now. The other political titles are by O’Reilly and Malkin, who have regular Fox News appearances to promote themselves. I am almost never on TV and therefore have relied on sites like FDL and independent media to propel my book. If we can push my book ahead of Malkin it will be one of the greatest demonstrations of the power of the left blogosphere and indy media.

EdwardTeller September 19th, 2009 at 3:20 pm

filled to the brim with moose stew in a purple kool-aid broth.

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 3:20 pm
In response to allan @ 146

Thanks. I’ll read it later. I muted the sound on the TV, as the reading is more interesting than Kristol. I muted out when Brian Lamb, the interviewer read the list of neo-s that Kristol had moved thru in his life. I think the only missing item was neonazism.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:20 pm
In response to JanMar001 @ 151

My book defines conservatism as a movement devoid of ideas or even ideology. It can only be defined by a sensibility or social psychology that values constant frenetic activity against evildoers and masochistic displays of power worship above anything else.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:21 pm

I also like what Rod Dreher said: conservatism is not dead, it is undead. It is a zombie staggering towards Obama mumbling, “Brains! Brains!”

JeffCO September 19th, 2009 at 3:21 pm

You, sir, are treading dangerously close to sounding just a tad shrill. ;)

JohnEmerson September 19th, 2009 at 3:21 pm

The American right’s combination of authoritarianism and libertarianinsm is totally unique.

It’s very peculiar indeed. Scalia is an extreme Hamiltonian Federalist authoritarian, and a lot of the rank and file are extreme Jeffersonians or even little-government anti-federalists. It’s like desperate thrashing around, and the rank and file are often unaware of any contraditction.

Gold-bug populists also deserve a mention.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 3:22 pm

I voted last Tuesday in the primary in Manhattan, in a Blue State! With one hour left, I was told there had been only 67 of us show up to vote. That is less people than in my 8 story apartment building. Oy vey.

We need to stop looking at the psycho leaders emerging in this country, and look at the “good people” doing nothing… passive … narcissistic… cynical… uninvolved.

3 types of people, those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, those who too late ask, WTF happened? We are like Chauncy Gardner in Being There, like we can turn off danger with our remote for the tv.

Flood waters of Katrina coming after us, too.

Ruth Calvo September 19th, 2009 at 3:23 pm

It is a zombie staggering towards Obama mumbling, “Brains! Brains!”

Perfect analogy.

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Oh, dear, that means I need to clear out my amazon shopping cart and do an actual delivery. Or does the sale get counted when I put it in my shopping cart. I’ve read only about half the 20 books in my prior shipment. But for you, I’d do it.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:24 pm
In response to watertiger @ 156

Right, Watertiger, Rushdoony was good friends with Robert Welch, the John Birch Society founder, and was mightily inspired by his organizational methods. I also write about how the Birchers (forerunners of the deathers and birthers) pasted signs of JFK with cross hairs around his head all over Dallas the week before he arrived in town. As Eric Boehlert pointed out, the last time we saw displays like the histrionics of 9/12, a president was killed.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 3:25 pm
In response to JeffCO @ 157

They’re already playing victim, freaking out over and siccing their people on the FCC’s Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer, Mark Lloyd, because they’re so terrified of the return of the Fairness Doctrine (which ain’t gonna happen).

spocko September 19th, 2009 at 3:25 pm
In response to Peterr @ 111

Boy, do I hear you. I spent last week trying to find someone in the religious community who would force the conversation about torture and the right wing media. I developed a plan, key messages, sound bites, etc but nobody wanted to take the fight to the right wing media.

Maybe they were afraid they would be attacked like Van Jones.

Who provides Hannity’s moral touchstone on torture? Cheney? Yoo? It certainly isn’t the current teachings of the Catholic Church.

Envision this quote:

“We would hope that after 20 years sitting in our pews hearing us speak about love and compassion Sean would have gotten the message,’ Torture is morally wrong. Pope Benedict XVI has said that the prohibition against torture ‘cannot be contravened under any circumstance.’ I personally tried to educate Sean about torture, said Fr. Smith, “but he insisted that Dick Cheney’s national security arguments supersede everything.

Teddy Partridge September 19th, 2009 at 3:25 pm

You are in great company, Max, in Amazon’s current “Frequently Bought Together” recommendation: The Family + Idiot America. I can’t imagine a better reading list than you, Sharlet, and Pierce.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:26 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 167

The sale isn’t counted until the book is delivered.

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 3:26 pm
In response to libbyliberal @ 165

Yep, floods in Manhattan happening soon, with global warming.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 3:27 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 173

:) … yeah, literally and figuratively. Good point.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:27 pm
In response to spocko @ 170

Why hasn’t anyone pointed out amidst all the right’s cries for freedom and getting the government out of their lives that just a few years ago, one of its most revered media personalities, Michele Malkin, advocated concentration camps for Americans?

Ruth Calvo September 19th, 2009 at 3:28 pm
In response to spocko @ 170

spocko, try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zan_Wesley_Holmes_Jr
for getting on about torture.

Teddy Partridge September 19th, 2009 at 3:28 pm

And yet when Nancy Pelosi candidly and personally discusses our own city’s history with political violence, she is criticized on the right for fomenting discussion of assassination!

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:29 pm
In response to watertiger @ 169

Warning of secular persecution has been a great fundraiser for the right. The Christian right’s opening volley against Obama was accusing him of wanting to bring the fairness doctrine back. I wish he would but of course he has no plans to do it. And they know that.

JanMar001 September 19th, 2009 at 3:29 pm

You need to go on Racael Maddow with this Max.

Many of us have been chatting you up on the Mudflats and Margaret&Helen.

I would love to see you knock Malkin down a notch.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 3:30 pm

corporate media talking points memo.

Ruth Calvo September 19th, 2009 at 3:30 pm

The Terry Schiavo episode was hilarious also, in view of the new Get Gov’t Out of our health care routine.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:30 pm

We have already witnessed political violence during the OBama era by a neo-Nazi fan of Glenn Beck: http://www.thedailybeast.com/b…..hing/full/

Why no one refers to this incident is beyond me.

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 3:30 pm

OK. OK. For you (and for the Billy Joel album also in my shopping cart), I just placed the order.

jayt September 19th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

It is a zombie staggering towards Obama mumbling, “Brains! Brains!”

So which is it – conservatives hate the federal government – or they hate Obama?

As our esteemed commenter Hugh pointed out here recently, Obama campaigned as a liberal, because he’s a politician, but is governing as a centrist, because that’s what he is.

Obama has done not one goddamned thing which *should* anger true conservatives.

As I said above, this shit is very, very personal – and very, very ugly. It also has nothing whatsoever to do with the political agenda – and certainly not the accomplishments, of Obama.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:31 pm
In response to JanMar001 @ 179

I wish Maddow would have me on. But she seems to have a small mafia of guests who keep coming on over and over again.

Raven September 19th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Mitt:

“That is why I believe that this spending and borrowing is not just economically irresponsible, it is morally wrong.”

He blasted the Obama administration’s financial track record and its decision to consider prosecuting intelligence agents who violated government protocols on the interrogation of prisoners. “[President Obama] can spin a speech, but he can’t spin his record,” said Romney. “And I’ll bet you never dreamed you’d look back at Jimmy Carter as the good old days.”

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

That’s cause she didn’t use the dog whistle.

Teddy Partridge September 19th, 2009 at 3:32 pm

You are great whenever I see you on television, Max, and yet you don’t appear nearly enough. Why is that?

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 3:32 pm
In response to Ruth Calvo @ 181

The left makes the mistake of applying logic to the situation. Truthiness c/o Colbert is where it is at. Right playing tiddly winks with reality. Obama has a chess mind trying to strategize. Forget it Obama. just speak out of truth and morality.

spocko September 19th, 2009 at 3:32 pm
In response to Ruth Calvo @ 176

Thanks! Have you heard him talk on the torture topic?

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Will email her an encouraging note with a link to this post.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:32 pm
In response to Ruth Calvo @ 181

I write about the Schiavo affair as the moment when mainstream America finally rejected the Christian right after witnessing its authoritarianism explode into the open. And the irony of Tom DeLay, who authorized having his father, Charlie Ray, being removed from life support after a major accident, could not be overlooked.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Surprised you have not been on. Will encourage her.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Good queston, Teddy. Your guess is as good as mine.

Teddy Partridge September 19th, 2009 at 3:33 pm

I am emailing Rachel right now at rachel@msnbc.com.

Others may also do so if they wish.

JeffCO September 19th, 2009 at 3:34 pm

Well, duh! When anyone on the left acknowledges a social ill, through their magical incantations they cause it to appear! When the right does all but come out and suggest someone shoot the President, they are speaking *metaphorically* of the evils of government, or as Spocko often notes, they declare “Sweetness, I was only *joking* when I said I wanted to murder you all in your beds.” Not their fault if anyone takes them literally.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 3:34 pm

And indirectly there was the moment Gingrich announced to his wife he was divorcing her when she was just out of cancer surgery. You can’t make this stuff up. No wonder they freaked out on the word “empathy.”

JanMar001 September 19th, 2009 at 3:34 pm
In response to Ruth Calvo @ 166

That’s a keeper Ruth!

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:34 pm
In response to Raven @ 186

Mitt Romney should be attacked as the Circuit City candidate. His job at Bain Capital was helping companies efficiently outsource their American workforces to foreign countries.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 3:35 pm

The red-alert level of shrieking seems to have its intended effect.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Yeah, that important point was so well-documented by the press.

Oh, wait.

What DO they put in the cocktail weenies?

Ruth Calvo September 19th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Death panels again! As ll notes, expectations of logic, however, do not apply.

yes, spocko, quite an ethicist, took a course on Disciple with him.

jayt September 19th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

I give up.

good luck with the book.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:37 pm
In response to libbyliberal @ 197

As I write in my book, Newt left his first wife because she wasn’t pretty enough to be first lady, then left his second wife while she recovered from a major operation for a woman 20 years younger than him on the congressional payroll. All of this led him to a major confession on James Dobson’s radio show in 2007 right before he attempted to recussitate his political career.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Thanks, Teddy!

Teddy Partridge September 19th, 2009 at 3:39 pm

It’s very irritating to me to hear Romney described by TradMed as a “businessman.” He’s a privateer pirate. His “business” is sucking the lifeblood (jobs and goods) out of American companies.

That’s not the kind of “businessman” we need in the Oval Office, but of course neither did we need a failed oilman and baseball team “owner.”

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:39 pm

I should say, because he said, “She wasn’t pretty enough to be first lady.”

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 3:39 pm

But they won’t accept Rudy Giuliani and his passel of ex-wives, because he refuses to be born again.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Awesome. Must have been a compelling performance. Timing (and faux sincerity) is everything.

But we must spotlight ourselves. These grandiose a**holes manage to hypnotize so many, cheerled on by corporate media. Cronyism for selling out … style without substance prevails. The nervier the more celebrated these people are. Palin’s notorious unprofessionalism excites. Her supporters are scary gun-toters.

That authoritarian enmeshment you speak of, Max.

spocko September 19th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

In the Chronicle’s comment section on this did you notice that about 300 of the 1300 comments violated the Chronicle’s commenting guidelines?

I think that the reason Brian Sussman was forced to move his Faux Town Hall tea party to Justin Herman Plaza is because the event in front of Pelosi’s office (where it was planned) was just too much a risk for a host who poses with a gun in the KSFO promotional photos (link)

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

And yet Romney is going to campaign on his supposed economic expertise. I would be surprised if he makes it through the primary but with Sanford out of the race, anything is possible.

JanMar001 September 19th, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Max

FDL readers need to let Maddow know the importance of having you on her show.

Your 3 part interview on YouTube is what made me purchase your book and brought me here today.

You have an important message and the reviews have been excellent.

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 3:41 pm

I had a little email list at the time and would send around items of interest that I saw because I had more time than the people on the list. The only one I ever got responses to was my Terry Schaivo rant. You are right that it was a turning poiint.

EdwardTeller September 19th, 2009 at 3:41 pm

I’ve referred to it, but – you’re right! – few have. It was an important incident. Beck had to do some backpedalling on this shortly afterward, IIRC.

You’re book successfully ties together a lot of strings others had failed to see in context. Meanwhile, Beck, in his increasingly weird rants, almost seems to be wishing he could do as well as you on tying up loose ends.

Peterr September 19th, 2009 at 3:42 pm
In response to spocko @ 170

Spocko, the pope came out hard against the pre-emptive war in Iraq (before it was launched and afterwards), and did that stop Hannity from cheering Bush on? Several recent popes have come out strongly against the death penalty, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has been condemning it for over 25 years, and still Scalia not only allows it to continue but mocks anyone who comes to SCOTUS raising questions about it.

If they won’t listen to the pope, I doubt that the voices of any progressive religious leaders will change their minds. Not that we won’t keep speaking, mind you, but if they changed their minds, it would be a miracle.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:42 pm
In response to watertiger @ 208

I remember watching Giuliani two years ago at the Value Voters Summit declare, “I’ve made lots of mistakes and I’ve learned from them.” The whole crowd groaned. He never reversed his pro-choice stance as Romney did and he never even attempted to use the confessional language of the movement that controls the party. I knew he was toast, but Frank Rich went on to predict Rudy’s victory and described as evidence of the death of the Christian right.

Ruth Calvo September 19th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Thanks for the correction. Does anyone ever get as annoyed as I do that the first Mrs. McCain who nursed the ex candidate thru almost fatal wounds never gets a mention either? no beer fortune.

Amd we’re back to the problem taht our media doesn’t revel in right wing escapades and can it be? that it doesn’t bring in the big bucks.

JeffCO September 19th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Max, before we run out of time, I wanted to ask, if the Right is acting out their emotional illness on a grand scale, and forcing the rest of us to deal with it, then a “cure” is not really possible, is it? If the analogy holds, it would seem the entire movement has to suffer a major crisis before there is any impetus at all to look inward, and there will be all manner of options for them to turn to other than coming to grips with the need to make changes. So does the GOP eventually turn its life around, or does it OD trying to kill the pain? Does it completely succumb to religious fervor? Could it ever become a self-actualized party?

Peterr September 19th, 2009 at 3:43 pm
In response to jayt @ 184

Well said.

Teddy Partridge September 19th, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Don’t you think Newt’s resuscitation is going particularly well, though? His recent open letter to Sarah Palin was quite clever, I thought, positioning him as the Wise Man of the Party advising a Young Upstart how to organize her career to seek the presidency — later.

For a philandering, twice-divorced and disgraced former Speaker of the House, he retains remarkable credibility within the Beltway. I was amazed that nowhere in the discussion the legislative rebuke to Joe Wilson, for instance, was it mentioned that the last time the House took such an action was in 1997 — against Newt.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:44 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 213

I think Rick Santorum’s role in the Schiavo charade was important in staining the Republican brand. I feel a tingle go up my leg every time some pundit explores the possibility of Santorum running in 2012.

spocko September 19th, 2009 at 3:45 pm

I thought that the reason Giuliani wasn’t elected was he wasn’t pretty enough to be first lady,
:-)

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 3:45 pm
In response to JeffCO @ 218

The lightbulb has to WANT to change.

Does the Republican Party go the way of the Whigs? And what takes its place?

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:46 pm
In response to JeffCO @ 218

I am only interested in offering my critique, not any cure-all. However, I think I demonstrate quite clearly in my book and reporting that the modern GOP has no capacity for bipartisan compromise. Those who fantasized about Obama overcoming the partisan divide were delusional and never understood the nature of the threat. After Chuck Grassley entertained death panel rumors, I think Obama should have come to the same conclusion I did after I first started covering the right — they have a pre-existing condition and should be denied coverage.

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 3:47 pm
In response to JeffCO @ 218

There’s this “intervention” program on A&E. Perhaps we could get them to take on the GOP in one episode.

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Just don’t see stars when he winks at you.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 3:47 pm
In response to JeffCO @ 218

I wanted to ask, if the Right is acting out their emotional illness on a grand scale, and forcing the rest of us to deal with it, then a “cure” is not really possible, is it?

But there is emotional illness on the left and center, too, given the fact that these crazies have so much power right now to keep the country so toxically conservative.

There is the addict, but then the addict needs co-addicts to enable them. To run around their high chair trying to placate their shrieks, their tantrum and irrationality.

What is with the “passivity” emotionally illness of country not fostering critical thinking among themselves or their children? Learned helplessness?

What of a country where only 1 of 4 people are totally against torture?

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:48 pm
In response to watertiger @ 223

Will the GOP go the way of the Whigs? I was talking to Tucker Carlson a few months ago and he told me he’s no fan of the Christian right but there is no one else the GOP can rely on for votes. So they must rely on this radical movement that has driven the party outside the mainstream and prevented it from winning outside the South. Barring any major crisis (ie a terror attack) the GOP is heading for a catastrophic internal conflict.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 3:48 pm

As Gore Vidal calls it, “The United States of Amnesia”.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 3:48 pm
In response to spocko @ 222

HAHAHA!

What Giuliani failed to realize is that he can wear all the women’s dresses he wants . . . just not in public.

Ruth Calvo September 19th, 2009 at 3:49 pm
In response to JeffCO @ 218

If the analogy holds, it would seem the entire movement has to suffer a major crisis before there is any impetus at all to look inward

Never forget, the End Is Near, so all failures are overlooked since really, it’s all about getting over the Bar – and the slate is self-cleaning.

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 3:49 pm
In response to spocko @ 222

Your comment needs a link.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 3:50 pm

But look at the damage McCarthyism did to so many as he had his “run” before he FINALLY fell out of favor. Any way to cut short the political life spans of these dangerous egomaniacs? Instead, McCarthy now being channelled through Beck, et al.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:50 pm
In response to spocko @ 222

Rudy was pretty enough to cross dress and be smooched by DOnald Trump.

Ruth Calvo September 19th, 2009 at 3:51 pm

the GOP is heading for a catastrophic internal conflict.

Could not agree more. And admit I am a cynic; Is this why most major corporations are not locating hq onshore?

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:51 pm
In response to libbyliberal @ 233

See my intro on how Eisenhower destroyed McCarthy by releasing damaging files about him to the press. Obama needs to be at least as aggressive about his opponents and I have heard through a pretty knowledgable source that he’s tasked a few oppo researchers with going after Beck.

spocko September 19th, 2009 at 3:51 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 232

I was counting on you to supply it!

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 3:52 pm

I’m trying to imagine what that crisis is going to look like, and what may emerge from the smoking ruins.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:53 pm
In response to spocko @ 237

I’m working on it. I am getting closer…

JeffCO September 19th, 2009 at 3:53 pm

I agree with you on that. I also don’t believe anyone other than the DC punditry would suggest the task the people who voted for Obama wanted him to fulfill was achieving bipartisan nirvana with the people not content with throwing themselves off the cliff but trying to drag the rest of us with them.

I look forward in a decade or so to your book on the psychology of the Obama White House and the progressive movement. Fromm aside, Jung would surely have seen in the modern GOP the shadow version of today’s vacillating Democratic Party, embodied as it were in the walking corpse that is the Senate Majority leader. I wonder what it will take for the rank and file leftie to decide it’s time to step up and reclaim the Party.

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Your comment also deserves a link.

Ruth Calvo September 19th, 2009 at 3:53 pm
In response to watertiger @ 238

Intoning “Brains! Brains!”

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 3:54 pm

See, now THAT’S what I’m talking about! About effin’ time, too.

JanMar001 September 19th, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Pass this onto Maddow. This is a must watch interview all 3 parts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhoGLYxhg5I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..re=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..re=related

Kuddos Max

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:55 pm
In response to watertiger @ 238

Expect some Republican primary candidate to flaunt his or her conservative credentials by taking a stand against Limbaugh — and to not back down like Michael Steele and Phil Gingrey. Perhaps it will be Huckabee. This conflict will be a divining rod on the future of the party. I would also watch the Senate primary in Texas between Hutchinson and Perry, a battle between the right and the far-right.

BevW September 19th, 2009 at 3:56 pm

As we come to the end of this great Book Salon,

Max, Thank you for stopping by the Lake and spending the afternoon with us discussing your new book and the Republican Party.

Watertiger, Thank you very much for Hosting this great Book Salon.

Everyone, this is a great book and a must read, if you haven’t bought one yet, here is a link.

Thanks all.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Expect popcorn futures to shoot through the roof.

Ruth Calvo September 19th, 2009 at 3:56 pm
In response to JeffCO @ 240

I wonder what it will take for the rank and file leftie to decide it’s time to step up and reclaim the Party.

This is what separates us from the right wing, we believe in democratic gov’t. We’re going to work for the public intersts while even hell freezes over.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 3:57 pm

a battle between the right and the far-right.

then will there be a not battle, but re-bonding, between left and far left? I think that reckoning needs to happen, too.

bluejeansntshirt September 19th, 2009 at 3:57 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 241

Hiya kiddo,

Your links need spew alerts. hehehe

JeffCO September 19th, 2009 at 3:57 pm
In response to libbyliberal @ 227

Yes – and every time in the HCR debates I hear Obama defended as the good daddy and the Senate vilified as the real culprit, setting the groundwork for exculpating the WH should the entire effort turn to crap, I think of the emotional need by some on the left to maintain the structure of the status quo while reversing the valence, as it were. The argument that the structure itself is irretrievably broken just goes nowhere.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Max, you are awesome. Thanks. Eager to read your book, visit the you tubes.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:58 pm
In response to JeffCO @ 240

I have thought about writing a book about the Obama worship that dominated the 2008 primary and general campaign and how it was based on a projection of liberal aspirations on Obama, a centrist Democrat with no experience in combatting the opposition, and how it fizzled out soon after. But we have to watch and wait. Obama may yet succeed, I haven’t completely given up, though I can say I’m pretty disappointed with him and with everyone who imagined him as a political panacea, and not as just another politician.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 3:58 pm
In response to BevW @ 246

Thanks again to you, Bev, for arranging this Salon, and to you, Max, for all the work you put into the book.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 3:58 pm
In response to JeffCO @ 251

well said, once again!

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:59 pm
In response to BevW @ 246

But for now I’m sticking to the Republicans, who are far more fascinating in this environment.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 3:59 pm
In response to watertiger @ 254

Thanks Watertiger and Bev, and everyone who joined in the Book Salon. I can’t say how much I appreciate your support.

Max Blumenthal September 19th, 2009 at 4:00 pm

And again, if we can compete with Malkin and O’Reilly in the bestseller list, it demonstrates the power of progressive online media against the right-wing megaphone.

watertiger September 19th, 2009 at 4:00 pm

We will spread the word!

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 4:00 pm

I heard Moore goes after Dems in new movie, but holds back from Obama in hopeful (?) wait. Sigh.

We gotta embrace principle and not wait around for personality to prove itself. We don’t have that kinda time and opportunity. HCR … this window is closing fast. And Obama is willing to put anything on his resume to get it done, change or not change to believe in. IMHO

eCAHNomics September 19th, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Hi backatcha.

Teddy Partridge September 19th, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Thanks, Max, and WT, and Bev. Great Book Salon today.

EdwardTeller September 19th, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Anyone who will be in Anchorage next Saturday-Sunday should check Max’ schedule of appearances there at this link. I’ll be producing Max at UAA on Saturday, the 26th. Max will be on the national webcast of KBYR’s Shannyn Moore Show, from 6:00 to 8:00 fdl time on the 26th. The link to the show’s url is here.

JeffCO September 19th, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Thanks, Max, looking forward to a great read!

spocko September 19th, 2009 at 4:07 pm
In response to Peterr @ 215

If they won’t listen to the pope, I doubt that the voices of any progressive religious leaders will change their minds. Not that we won’t keep speaking, mind you, but if they changed their minds, it would be a miracle.

Of COURSE they won’t listen to the Pope. I don’t expect them to. I don’t expect them to change their minds. This is about creating a narrative. Start a fight with the right. Why are we never in the front of stories but always on the defensive? Because we don’t start ‘em. I’m tired of playing defense with these folks. It’s not rocket surgery.

Watertiger talks about Max’s book in relation to Dean’s book which drew heavily on Bob Altemeyer’s – The Authoritarians
Hannity is a Right Wing Authoritarian, but there IS someone who is higher in the ranks than him, The Pope. My mom is a Hannity listener but if it came down to the Pope or Hannity on issues of morality she is going to go with the Pope. But the point is it will give the “real” media an opportunity to talk about how torture is being discussed in RW media. And to point out that they are ALL going against their own faith’s values and signing on with the TV writers of 24, Dick Chaney and John Yoo. That is the moral touchstone, not the bible, the teachings or the teaching of their stated faith.

The Church doesn’t want to talk about torture with Hannity. But they need to. Because for all the jokes about “The Spanish Inquisition” I expect they actually have a decent position on torture now and they could use it to support their ‘dignity of life” issue that they hammer with babies. It would at least be consistent. But they don’t want to use their moral authority as a club against someone like Hannity who is “pro-life”.

So, force them. Do it for them. Right now I’m gathering data from already released statements from the Church and other religious organizations.

I need someone who is the religious equivalent of Jesse Ventura or Malcolm Nance to challenge Hannity on torture.

NorskeFlamethrower September 19th, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Citizen Max Blumenthal:

I wonder if you don’t show up on Maddow because she doesn’t think you have anything new to say that hasn’t already been said at least as well by others…JEEzus, to whine about not gettin’ face time on one of the few really progressive programs on cable is a bit weak!

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 4:13 pm
In response to spocko @ 266

Didn’t the Vatican compromise seriously with the Nazis iirc? Ugly stain. Need to google to jog memory on those circumstances. Sorry.

Sins of omission in not defending principle. Silence means assent and is taken that way, even subconsciously to surface later.

E.g., Obama not addressing what will happen to immigrants upon Joe Wilson’s shriek out. Hastening to detach from that “problem” group, rather than being a guardian of all residents of the US. Gamesman not statesman.

ps Altmeyer’s book is profound. Someone here suggested it. Great read.

libbyliberal September 19th, 2009 at 4:37 pm

?

Hey, Citizen!

Gitcheegumee September 19th, 2009 at 4:38 pm
In response to spocko @ 266

Perhaps you could remind the Catholics about the Corporal Works of Mercy,and the Eight Beatitudes?

I think those came from a higher authority than the Pope,btw. *G*

Gitcheegumee September 19th, 2009 at 4:44 pm

The solemn blessings (beatitudines, benedictiones) which mark the opening of the Sermon on the Mount:

•Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
•Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
•Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted.
•Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
•Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
•Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
•Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
•Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Gitcheegumee September 19th, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Corporal Works of Mercy

Feed the Hungry •
Give Drink to the Thirsty •
Clothe the Naked
Shelter the Homeless •
Visit the Sick •
Visit the Imprisoned •
Bury the Dead

“Whatever you do for the least of my brothers and sisters, you do for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

These charitable actions for the common good and basic human welfare reflect the Church’s teachings on Catholic social justice.

foothillsmike September 19th, 2009 at 4:59 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 272

I don’t see where it says picket abortion clinics.

Gitcheegumee September 19th, 2009 at 5:26 pm

There’s a LOT I don’t see there…like hating people for their skintone or sexuality…or supporting the imorality of false wars…

john in sacramento September 19th, 2009 at 5:57 pm
In response to spocko @ 49

Drive by …

You’re right that the American Catholic Church has been far too silent on the multiple issues of morality and I haven’t run across anything on torture (doesn’t mean it’s not there, I just haven’t found it). I’m pretty sure John Paul II has spoken against it … pretty sure Ratzinger has too

But as to the issue of the moment, there is this article I found yesterday or the day before

Debating Health Care: The Catholic Center Pushes Back

solerso September 19th, 2009 at 6:33 pm
In response to Max Blumenthal @ 81

How terribly symbolic

Neil September 19th, 2009 at 7:27 pm
In response to spocko @ 190

It this the wedge you’re looking for?

Not even Focus on the Family wants 2B associated w/Glenn Geck. In Dec. 2008, pulled from site interview w/him. http://bit.ly/3kXnA

shekissesfrogs September 19th, 2009 at 7:43 pm

No more books about what we already know…

Kanye West much?

I love your videos Max!

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