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      From the useful Elija Mangnier, 1 – Adherence to Iran’s right to nuclear enrichment and everything related to this science at all costs. Nuclear enrichment is a sword Iran can hold in the face of the West, which wants to take it from Tehran. It is Iran’s card to obstruct any US intention of “obliterating” […]
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Eric Boehlert Needs to Get a Grip

Eric Boehlert is the guy on the left.

Eric Boehlert is the guy on the left.

I love Eric Boehlert. His book, Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush, was terrific. And he even mentioned The Confluence in his recent effort, Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press. But really, this is too much.

A President was killed the last time right-wing hatred ran wild like this

I’ve been thinking a lot of Kennedy and Dallas as I’ve watched the increasingly violent rhetorical attacks on Obama be unfurled….The radical right, aided by a GOP Noise Machine that positively dwarfs what existed in 1963, has turned demonizing Obama–making him into a vile object of disgust–into a crusade. It’s a demented national jihad, the likes of which this country has not seen in modern times.

Here is the link that Boehlert used to back up his claims of violence and racism at Glenn Beck’s September 12 event. It shows a number of tasteless signs that attack President Obama and a couple of wacky videos of Glenn Beck and Orly Taitz.

Eric, are you serious? I have no doubt that some of the right wingers who have attended the tea party events are racists, but that doesn’t make their attacks on Obama worse than the ones previous Presidents have endured. Have you forgotten the incredibly vicious attacks on President Clinton in the ’90s? If you’ve forgotten where the term “right wing noise machine” came from, here is a short reading list to refresh your memory.

Joe Conason and Gene Lyons wrote a whole book about it, remember?

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

Their book was even made into a documentary that was shown in theaters.

Here is a great summary of media attacks on the the Clintons:

eRiposte: THE MEDIA’S GORE-ING OF PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON (AND HILLARY CLINTON)

And to refresh your memory about the vicious attacks on Bill and Hillary Clinton by “progressives” during the 2008 primary campaign, here’s another piece by eRiposte at The Left Coaster: Clinton Derangement Syndrome = CDS = Clinton Double-Standard.

Finally, here is a recent blog post by Glenn Greenwald at Salon: Is the Right’s attack on Obama’s legitimacy new or unprecedented?

The attacks on Obama are far from unprecedented, and they are nowhere near as vicious as the ones I can recall lefties using against Richard Nixon or the ones that the right wingers used against the Clintons.

As much as I hate to admit it, even George W. Bush was ridiculed in some pretty nasty ways. The Nation lampooned him as Alfred E. Newman. And he was likened to a chimp all over the internet, here for example I’d say that’s pretty demeaning.

I can’t stand Glenn Beck or the rest of the rabble rousers at Fox “News” Channel. And I certainly have no patience for the nutty folks who believe that Obama was born in Kenya or that he’s a closet muslim. But every President faces public attacks and ridicule and yes–even the risk of assassination attempts. JFK was the last U.S. President to be assassinated, but have you forgotten that Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan were victims of assassination attempts? Both men were Republicans, and their failed assassins weren’t crazed right wingers.

Squeaky Fromme made a weak attempt to shoot President Ford in September, 1975. She later claimed she did it to bring attention environmental issues. Later that same month Sara Jane Moore shot a gun at President Ford and was stopped by a bystander. According to the LA Times,

Moore was an FBI informant who was enmeshed in radical politics after moving to the Bay Area. A peripheral player rather than a leader, she volunteered for a group that distributed $2 million in food, as had been demanded by the Symbionese Liberation Army, the extreme leftist band that kidnapped newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst.

The man who tried to assassinate Ronald Reagan was John Hinkley, Jr., a paranoid schizophrenic who was trying to impress actress Jodie Foster. I don’t think there was any right-wing hatred involved with that one either.

There have been people who tried to assassinate every modern President, including Richard Nixon. Wikipedia has a list of recorded assassination attempts here.

The truth is there are nuts on both sides of the political spectrum. I guess it depends on whose ox is being gored. And please don’t accuse me of calling President Obama an ox, okay? No doubt there are plenty of right wing nuts who hate Obama. But that’s politics. It ain’t beanbag, you know. Let’s hope the Secret Service does its job well and keeps President Obama safe.

In the meantime, Eric, please get a grip.

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Saturday Morning in March

Seriously, guys, I have to break out the vacuum and the Clorox cleanup today and start pitching stuff out. But before I get to that, and I suspect I will procrastinate quite a bit, here are some interesting things for your perusal and reflection:

  • Let’s start with Mawm, the comedic genius I found at Taylor Marsh’s site in the comments. First, let me back up to a passage in Obama’s letter on the Huffington Post where he throws his pastor and member of his campaign’s spiritual advisory board under a bus:

    The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign.

    We’ll get back to Obama’s declaration in a sec. But for now, here’s Mawm’s suggestion for a skit:

    I’d love to see a skit where Obama is watching a Wright sermon that is nothing but love and peace talk. He has to get up to go to the bathroom. As soon as he leaves, Wright launches into one of his tirades. When Obama comes back Wright starts talking nice again. This could go on for 20 years in the skit. Have you noticed Obama is never around when he might have to take a stand?

    Why, yes, Mawm, I *have* noticed that. And as I have said before, I don’t want to dwell too much on a few examples of Wright’s psychogenic fugues that have been taken out of context and blown up to monumental proportions. Yeah, it’s not pretty but we all occasionally reveal a darker side to our natures. However, I do find it interesting that Obama states that he knew about the Reverend’s offensive language at the time he began his presidential campaign, which would make that over a year ago. What does it say about his judgment that he let the thing fester to this point? The thing that jumps out at me over the past couple of weeks during the Samantha Power kerfuffle, the piling on of Geraldine Ferraro (and how much Obama’s campaign enjoyed it) and this latest turmoil over Wright is how Obama and his camp seem to think their feet don’t get dirty in all of this. They’re still floating above it all, at least in their own minds. It’s annoying to them that the rest of us don’t see them as simply too young, beautiful and creative to be dragged into the mud. No doubt they are sighing with exasperation and impatiently glancing at their watches, wondering when it will all be over so they can get back to disenfranchising those pesky voters in Florida who are standing in their way. Little do they know that this is just the beginning. But I wonder who has been giving them assurances that this too shall pass, it’s all in the bag?

  • Florida might need to rethink its mail-in primary. Actually, it was my impression that they had studied it for more than a year. In any case, an expert from Washington state says he doesn’t think that fraud or coercion will be big problems but that logistics for the state of Florida will make it very challenging to distribute ballots to everyone who needs one. Let’s hope the Florida Democratic Party has mindmapped and Gant charted this adventure. Of course, probably the best solution would be for Obama to wave the rules and have the delegates seated as is. It would save him the humiliation of losing a second time.
  • Congratulations American Federation of Concerned Bloggers! You have been cited on many blogs as of this morning including MyDD, Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic, and Taylor Marsh. I seem to recall there were others. When I find more, I’ll update. People are taking notice. Good work!
  • Jamison Foser at Media Matters highlights journalistic inconsistency between reporting on Democrats vs Republicans. (Well, that ought to be an easy job) Specifically, he is referring to the issue of the Villager’s harping on Hillary’s tax returns but *not* harping on John McCain’s, who also hasn’t handed it over for us to examine in minute detail. If the Clintons have planned this well, there will be a big lead up to the PA primary in April, then they will release the returns and the media will discover… nothing.
  • Geordie reminded me of this scene from The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Yes, we are sanctuary.