Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

DOUBLE STANDARD

Friday, August 7, 2009

ASTROTURFING AT TOWN HALL MEETINGS, PART II



Limbaugh called Speaker Pelosi "deranged" for saying that attendees at town hall meeting were showing up with Nazi swastikas.

Pelosi did not call the people attending the meeting Nazis, but that swastikas were present at these gatherings.

Limbaugh attacked her and the Democratic Party.


LIMBAUGH: "The Speaker of the House accusing people showing up at these town hall meetings of wearing Swastikas — that is not insignificant folks. This woman is deranged. They are unraveling. But that is not insignificant. You have the Democrat Speaker of the House saying that people — citizens — who are concerned about health care are now wearing Swastikas. She’s basically saying that we are Nazis. She is saying that the people who oppose this are Nazis. [...]
This party, the Democrat Party, and where it’s taken this country — the radical left leadership of this party — bears much more resemblance to Nazi policies than anything we on the right believe in at all."


Please see above the photos taken at recent town hall meetings.

*********************************




MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE TOWN HALL MEETING, HEATHER BLISH, DISGUISED AS "JUST A MOM..."


Rep. Steve Kagen (D-WI) faced a “heated” discussion about health care at a town hall meeting yesterday, with people in the crowd who were heckling, interrupting, and filibustering him.

One vocal attendee was a woman named Heather Blish, who identified herself as “just a mom from a few blocks away” and “not affiliated with any political party.” When interviewed by the local NBC affiliate, Blish insisted she was not a member of the Republican Party. “I left the party,” she said. Blish’s statements, however, are distortions. From NBC’s report:


Her LinkedIn page shows something different. She was the vice chair of the Republican Party of Kewaunee County until last year. She worked on the John Gard campaign, who ran unsuccessfully against Kagen last year. And it says she’s a part of the Republican Party for Kagen’s district, as well as the Republican Party of Wisconsin, and the Republican National Committee.

19 comments:

Gerard said...

I find it hard to understand the frantic level at which the Obama=Nazi/ swastika thing has been glommed onto around the sphere the last couple of days.

Surely, the Bush years and the use of those symbols has not dropped entirely down the memory hole already. It can't be that people are that obtuse.

At any rate I'll see your 4 carefully caught images of swastikas at townhall meetings And raise you 2,090,000 @ easily found using the string nazi bush @ Google Images

I suspect a lot of this is the left's shock at seeing some actual rightwing out in the street and in your face protests complete with signs and symbolism.

After all, the left's gotta think, ":Hey, that's our thing."

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Earlier this week, I saw this report:

“Since Mr Obama took office, the rate of threats against the president has increased 400 per cent (…) including an alleged plot by white supremacists in Tennessee late last year to rob a gun store, shoot 88 black people, decapitate another 14 and then assassinate the first black president in American history.”

Even more disturbing, the Secret Service has directed these over-worked agents to put in longer hours and forgo training exercises and tests.

I don’t find this amusing or entertaining: The rightwing blather that inspires and incites the nut jobs who phone in those threats. If radioactive hatred were merely some universal constant of protons and morons, I might be inclined to attribute Gerard's comment to the juvenile sandbox logic of "you started it first."

But this is no statistical outlier, and that is what makes this rabble intolerable.

Gerard said...

I couldn't agree more that any increase in threats against the President is extremely distressing. But I think that is beside the point in the current discussion.

Indeed, there's nothing in the original post that even glancingly touches on threats against the president so I fail to see how that even begins to enter in. I mean the way you'd want to couch it would be:

A) 4 Signs with swatiskas show up at townhall meetings
B) 2 million + signs are paraded around against Bush over the years

so....

C) Threats against the President are way up because of ..... A?

Sorry I don't think that follows. And in any case I think we can agree to agree that any threat or attempt against this President would be pretty much the worst thing that could happen.


Given that I seem to recall that while the previous administration was around there was a movie made and shown about concerning the assassination of George Bush as well as a novel or so with the same theme. I also seem to recall a lot of other stuff being passed around wishing for the death of the then President. I think you would have had to have been unconscious to have missed it.

This is not really a "you did it first" kind of argument but only one that expresses my mystification that the left seems to be discovering for the first time in living memory that trotting out swastikas is not a good idea. And it seems to be discovering in in a kind of self-willed blindness fashion.

My other point is clear from just a cursory search of the record that the use of fascist symbolism was for quite some time a kind of cultural hamlet of the left. I remember it from decades ago when I was a member of the FSM, the VDC and other groups at the time. It's a favorite meme and it has never been disowned.

I repeat that it must be a shock to see even the smidgen of an iota of a jot uncovered here employed by an actual group of protestors from the Right.

In that regard, it's new even if there was a best-selling book, Liberal Fascism, out last year. I understand that it lays out the history of this sort of thing on the left, but I haven't read it.

I lived inside it for long enough.

Again, as for incitement, you had to have been dead not to see it in copious quantities since the 2000 elections. It's not really a matter of "who started it" since that's pretty clear. It's a matter of "who perfected it" and that's also pretty clear and it wasn't Rush Limbaugh or any of his listeners.

Tom said...

It's not a matter of who perfected it, it's a matter of who's more successful at it. Republicans are winning that rat race currently.

Conservatives make better party followers than liberals, always have.

Democrats have the majority, but can't come up with a majority vote (health care) so far.

Republicans see that crack in Democrat solidarity and are hoping to bust the majority vote in Congress.

The President will lose his health care bill because of Democrats, not Republicans.

Gerard said...

I wouldn't be so sure about that. I think that there will be a bill passed in the Fall. Exactly what sort of bill the final one will be I can't say, but I can't see the Party not giving the President something to sign that can be construed as a HealthCare Bill.

Tom said...

Your right.

I should have added the word "if" the President loses ........

My Sarcastic Opinion said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rude and Arrogant Ass said...

It's not looking good.

dmarks said...

Octo: Two entirely different subjects. Gerard was talking about the Hitler insults, not death threat plots.

Not even an overlap here. Most white supremacists admire Hitler, and would not use Hitler/Nazi insults against Obama.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Surely, the Bush years and the use of those symbols has not dropped entirely down the memory hole already. It can't be that people are that obtuse.

Gerard,

I'm surprised that you use the "Hey they did it too!" excuse for outrageous behavior.

I don't know about you, but when I was growing up, my parents never allowed me to use that excuse for acting rotten.

Also, I don't remember this sort of reaction to Mr. Bush's policies 6 months or less into his presidency--before the country could assess how his policies were affecting America.

I do remember this bad behavior occurred AFTER America had suffered through his and his administration's incompetence [not that that excused it then either.]

Also, the Left did not have the number of loud-mouthed demagogues on talk radio and cable news stations inciting people to act like bullies over their grievences.

IIRC, the stupid behavior ont he part of the Left was mainly on the internet.

This coordinated thuggery seems to me an action that the Right was itching to retaliate with as soon as Mr. Obama became president--no matter what his policies were.

It is the Right's way of "getting even" for everything the Left did in criticizing Bush during our long national nightmare.

Also, can you find anything as horrifying as what (O)CT(O)PUS reported about the Tennessee plot to assassinate Mr. Obama as early into Mr. Bush's presidency as it is in Mr. Obama's?

I see this as a coordinated effort to deligitimize this president--from the idiotic Birthers to comparing Mr. Obama to a mass murderer.

And the Right has an almost endless supply of talk-radio and cable news joitheads to keep weaker minds riled up enough to do some unspeakable mischief.

TRUTH 101 said...

The right also has an endless supply of foot soldiers like Heather Blish. They claim to be independents while writing the letter hitting on all the right's talking points and going to rallies to do nothing more than disrupt and be a general nusaince.

My hometown is full of these wingnuts.



Het rude arrogant guy. How many blogs do you have? One of them is open and the link to your comment here is closed.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Rude and Arrogant Ass seems to be a fan of Lenny Bruce. Which can only be a good thing.

Proud Liberal said...

The Anti-Defamation League is out with a statement shaming Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives for bringing Nazi and Hitler comparisons into the debate on health care. ADL’s national director Abe Foxman takes direct aim at the radio talk show host for his extended comparison, on yesterday’s show, between the modern Democrats and the Nazis, like smoking bans and being “against big business.”

Comparisons to the Nazis are deeply offensive and only serve to diminish and trivialize the extent of the Nazi regime’s crimes against humanity and the murder of six million Jews and millions of others in the Holocaust.I don’t see any comparison here. It’s off-center, off-issue and completely inappropriate.

The whole statement:

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called attempts by some opponents of health care reform to bring Nazi imagery into the debate, “outrageous, deeply offensive and inappropriate” and condemned remarks by talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, who compared President Obama’s health care logo to a swastika, and policies championed by the Democratic Party to those of the Nazis.

“Regardless of the political differences and the substantive differences in the debate over health care, the use of Nazi symbolism is outrageous, offensive and inappropriate,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor. “Americans should be able to disagree on the issues without coloring it with Nazi imagery and comparisons to Hitler. This is not where the debate should be at all.”

In recent days, street protests against President Obama’s health care plan have gotten ugly, with some protestors appearing in photographs wearing swastika and SS symbols.

That prompted Rush Limbaugh to remark on his radio program that, “They accuse us of being Nazis, and Obama’s got a healthcare logo that’s right out of Adolf Hitler’s playbook.” He went on to compare certain Democratic Party policies to those of the Nazis.

“Comparisons to the Nazis are deeply offensive and only serve to diminish and trivialize the extent of the Nazi regime’s crimes against humanity and the murder of six million Jews and millions of others in the Holocaust,” said Mr. Foxman. “I don’t see any comparison here. It’s off-center, off-issue and completely inappropriate.”


Rush Limbaugh is a dirtbag.

Arthurstone said...

VDC. FSM. SDS. Etc.

Pajamas Media

One extreme to another.

Oh so wrong then.

Right now?

Not so likely.

Although to be fair it's interesting how folks on both sides of this partisan struggle still consider Berkeley the center of the entire galaxy. Oddly enough the rest of the world sort of existed outside of that narrow slice of middle-class American exuberance.

Gerard said...

If it's not too much of a strain, subtract

1967

from

2007

I'll make it easy since math seems to be as hard as history:

2007
-1967
------
40


Then reflect and recollect, if you can manage it, what changes have been wrought in 40 years for all.

Arthurstone said...

George Carlin had a line, "You know, you grow"

Occasionally that's true.

Sometimes one's pendulum merely swings in the opposite direction. Tick. Tock.

Still, those must have been (pardon the pun) heady times way back in Berkeley with the free speech movement, the discovery of tie-dye and the invention of sexual intercourse.

Indeed I often hear the argument that the 'sexual revolution' and all its ramifications, from uppity women to (especially) the mainstreaming of pornography, is as much (if not more) of a threat to the dear, old republic than the 'Marxism/socialism' which has 'infected' the actual governing of the nation.

Gerard said...

With all due respect (as the English inflect so well), you know very little about history, near or far, if you think any of that is, strictly speaking, true.

But I think we should both decline to hijack this thread further.

Arthurstone said...

Here's another way to look at 40 years.

1967 Mario Savio

2007 Pamela Geller

Have a great weekend.

dmarks said...

Speaking of astroturfing, many photos (such as here) show the anti-Obamacare protesters with mostly hand-made signs.

My local newspaper this morning ran a photo this morning of pro-Obamacare protesters. Most of the signs they had were professionally printed by multi-million dollar lobbying/political pressure groups.

Which group is really more "grass roots"? There is big money and profit to be made on the pro-Obamacare side, and groups like the SEIU pushing it in order to get rich, not out of concern for the good of the country.