Feb 12, 2010

Teabagger convention launches a thousand conspiracy theories

The media was focused on Sarah Palin at the big, expensive tea party convention in Nashville last weekend, but apparently, her ridiculous attacks on President Obama and the Democrats were mild compared to some other disgusting attacks from tea baggers.

Supposedly, the teabagger movement is all about bipartisan anger at big government and out of control spending, but that’s simply not the case. As I have said before, this is all too familiar to the anti-government rhetoric I saw in the mid-1990s when I went to work as a reporter in Lenawee County after being out of Michigan for a number of years serving in the military.

This militia movement is back, and we are seeing the same old anti-government, “New World Order” rhetoric and government conspiracies around every corner. The only thing these two eras have in common is that there is a Democratic President. This has always been a fringe group, but as the Republican Party veers ever farther to the right, the Militia, white supremacists and other, anti-government, rightwing hate groups are becoming mainstream.

Jonathan Kay, a conservative columnist, attended the convention as a participant, and even he was shocked at the anti-government rhetoric and conspiracy theories he saw.

“It has become clear to me that the movement is dominated by people whose vision of the government is conspiratorial and dangerously detached from reality,” Kay wrote. “It's more John Birch than John Adams.”

“Steve Malloy, author of Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Ruin Your Life, kicked off the first full day of conference proceedings by warning that Obama and his minions are conspiring to control every aspect of Americans' lives—the colors of their cars, the kind of toilet paper they use, how much time they spend in the shower, the temperature of their homes—all under the guise of U.N. greenhouse-gas-reduction schemes. "Obama isn't a U.S. socialist," Malloy thundered. "He's an international socialist. He envisions a one-world government."

There was “Texas radio host Alex Jones, whose documentary, The Obama Deception, claims Obama's candidacy was a plot by the leaders of the New World Order to "con the American people into accepting global slavery.” There’s that New World Order BS again.

There’s “Judge” Roy Moore, who is a darling of the right for, as an Alabama Supreme Court Justice, refused the orders of a Federal judge to take down a display of the Ten Commandments, in violation of the Constitution. In Nashville, “Moore warned, among other things, of "a U.N. guard stationed in every house.”

Then we have the most disgusting and racist remarks by former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colorado, who wants to go back to the deep south of the 1960s when African-Americans were barred from voting by a number of ways, including a literacy test. He called President Barack Obama a "committed Socialist idealogue" who was elected because "we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote."

The most disturbing thing is people actually cheered those remarks. So much for the alleged progress in race relations.

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