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Thursday, March 25, 2010

We are all David Neiwert Now
Posted by Jill | 9:31 PM
David Neiwert is the author of The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right (which you can buy by clicking the link in the left-hand sidebar). He blogs, when he's actively blogging, at Orcinus, and he's been writing about the extreme right in this country for years.

But in recent days we all have become David Neiwert, as we document the thuggery and the terrorist threat presented by those who have been whipped into a frenzy of fear and loathing, all of it completely irrational, by wealthy hate radio and TV hosts who make millions off fanning the flames of fear, and by opportunistic Republican politicians taking advantage of those afflicted.

And so today we document the latest adventures in brownshirtism by the right:

Authorities are investigating a package with white powder and an angry letter that referenced the health care legislation that was sent to Congressman Weiner's Kew Gardens office today.

The letter said the Congressman should "drop dead" and complained about the historic health care legislation passed by Congress this week.

Preliminary field tests showed the white powder was harmless. Such testing is routine to determine whether the substance is in any way hazardous. It is being sent to a lab for further detailed testing as a precaution -- also common practice. Most often, officials say, these letters are hoaxes.

Weiner's fifth-floor office in a building on Kew Gardens Road was evacuated as were a doctor's office and a law office on the same floor. Nine people were inside Weiner's office at the time. The workers were decontaminated as a precaution.


NYPD spokesman Marc Nell said the note was handwritten, contained white powder "and field tests conducted by the Emergency Service Unit determined the material to be non-hazardous."

FBI spokesman Rich Kolko said the FBI was treating the case as a threat against the congressman. "The communication in the letter could be deemed threatening. It was related to the health care but would be inappropriate to say more at this time."


A senior Senate Democratic leadership aide tells Fox that there have been threats made against the Senate Parliamentarian, Alan Frumin, who has come to prominence in the health care debate as he has weighed GOP challenges to reconciliation legislation.

In an off cam talk with Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-ND, the senator referred to those threats, noting the irony in them.

"The irony here is that he has people threatening him, but here's a guy who's held against us," Conrad said, referring to Frumin's ruling Wednesday night that will effectively send the bill back to the House because of minor changes.

3) I actually took this poll, but my answers weren't like this:
Majorities of Republicans believe that President Obama:

* Is a socialist (67%)
* Wants to take away Americans' right to own guns (61%)
* Is a Muslim (57%)
* Wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a one world government (51%); and
* Has done many things that are unconstitutional (55%).

Also large numbers of Republicans also believe that President Obama:

* Resents America's heritage (47%)
* Does what Wall Street and the bankers tell him to do (40%)
* Was not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president (45%)
* Is the "domestic enemy that the U.S. Constitution speaks of" (45%)
* Is a racist (42%)
* Want to use an economic collapse or terrorist attack as an excuse to take dictatorial powers (41%)
* Is doing many of the things that Hitler did (38%).

Even more remarkable perhaps, fully 24% of Republicans believe that "he may be the Anti-Christ" and 22% believe "he wants the terrorists to win."


The less education people have had the more likely they are to believe all of these statements. Consider these differences between those with no college education and those with post-graduate education:

* He is a socialist (45% and 20%)
* He wants to take away Americans' right to own guns (45% and 19%)
* He is a Muslim (43% and 9%)
* He was not born in the United States so is not eligible to be president (32% and 7%)
* He is a racist (28% and 9%)
* He is anti-American (27% and 9%)
* He is doing many of the things Hitler did (24% and 10%).

Lobbyists like Dick Armey, slick opportunists like Sarah Palin, and talking heads like Glenn Beck are making millions exploiting these people. Those with less education are more likely to work in jobs that are disappearing, more likely to lose their health insurance, more likely to need unemployment compensation (another extension of which Republicans are blocking), more likely to be foreclosed. But if Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin and the rest of these pourers of gasoline on open flames can whip these people into enough of a frenzy about Barack Obama, perhaps they won't notice who's been making millions for the last decade exploiting them for the benefit of Republican power.

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Anonymous jb said...
Lincoln said the nation could not survive half-slave and half-free. Neither can it survive half-educated and half-ignorant. I fear that because it's easier to be ignorant, the ignorant are going to win.