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Friday, March 23, 2007

The Republicans' Other Base

Free Image Hosting at I'm kind of at a lost as to how to begin here. Morons like Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh always call those they disagree with as 'far left.' Media Matters, for example, is far left. So is John Murtha, Nancy Pelosi, network news reporters and anchors, and, I'm pretty damned sure, Woodsy Owl (environmentalist, you see).

So terms like 'extremist' and 'far whatever pole' have been devalued. In fact, they've become meaningless. 'Left' is no different than 'far left' and 'extremists' is synonymous with 'not republican.'

My problem here is that I'm going to be talking about the far right and the extreme right. The paranoid and squirrellier-than-a-walnut grove right and the positively evil right. And I need to make the distinction. So, for the purpose of this post, 'far right' means all the fruitloops who think the UN is taking over the world and global warming is a scam to bring back communism.

'Extreme right' means what it always has -- freakin' nazis.

We'll start with a warning from the far right:

Jerome R. Corsi (one of the 'swift boat vets'), Human Events:

President Bush is pursuing a globalist agenda to create a North American Union, effectively erasing our borders with both Mexico and Canada. This was the hidden agenda behind the Bush administration's true open borders policy.

Secretly, the Bush administration is pursuing a policy to expand NAFTA politically, setting the stage for a North American Union designed to encompass the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. What the Bush administration truly wants is the free, unimpeded movement of people across open borders with Mexico and Canada.

President Bush intends to abrogate U.S. sovereignty to the North American Union, a new economic and political entity which the President is quietly forming, much as the European Union has formed.

Kind of a mix of the true and the nuts. Bush undoubtedly wants to expand NAFTA, but there's no evidence at all that he's pursuing a 'North American Union' comparable to the EU. Which brings us to the extreme right.

Prophecy Club, via Right Wing Watch:

From her own experience, Mrs. Kitty Werthmann will help you see we are walking the same path as the Nazi's. She was 12 years old living in Austria. At that time, there was order, prayer and pictures of Jesus. Hitler took over and all that was removed! Unemployment rose to 35%, bank loans rose to 25%, unions called strikes, all this with 98% of the people claiming to be Catholic!

Soon there was massive welfare. Cries went out for equal rights for women. Socialism took women out of the home, raising the children, and into the factories. They took the children away from the family and raised them by the state. The Health department offered training for the elderly but they were killed.

Hear her tell how the U.S. is going the same way!

This idea, that the US is about to be taken over by nazis, is being pushed by Phyllis Schlafly and the Eagle Forum. You might've noticed how the nazis made a little historical shift here -- instead of being radical opponents of communism, the nazis have been recast as communists (or, at least, socialists) themselves. Believing this stuff requires a jawdropping ignorance of history. Welcome to the world of the far right.

Rather than distancing themselves from this kind of nuttiness, republicans are embracing their 'other' base. While the religious right believes that almost no one is christian enough, the far right is a group of paranoid nationalists believe no one is conservative enough. Even George W. Bush is too liberal and willing to hand over the US to fascists.

Yeah, the irony of that one isn't lost on me, either.

For instance, Schlafly sees the current crop of republican presidential candidates as unsatisfying, but not unredeemable.

Right Wing Watch:

Conservative movement stalwart Phyllis Schlafly, scourge of the ERA and founder of the Eagle Forum, has made clear her dissatisfaction with the ideological performance of Republican presidential candidates. But Schafly apparently falls into the school of thought that the fierce competition among candidates for right-wing favor gives activists the opportunity to "get involved and try to change the candidates' perspectives now," as Richard Land put it. And so she told supporters in New Hampshire, the early primary state, "You have the opportunity here to work these guys over... We're trying to pin them down."

She looks at John McCain and sees her strategy working:


Sen. John McCain's new attention to, and possibly new position on, illegal immigration is being credited to a grassroots program implemented by Phyllis Schlafly, who is training Eagle Forum leaders how to question presidential candidates on key national issues...

In the 109th Congress, McCain co-sponsored with Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass, S.2611, a "comprehensive immigration reform" bill supported by the Bush administration that included provisions calling for "guest workers" and a "pathway to citizenship."

But after facing intensive questioning in Iowa about immigration issues, McCain is widely reported to be considering a change in his position, requiring illegal immigrants to return home before applying for citizenship, suggesting a compromise measure similar to that proposed by Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind...

"What McCain probably has not realized," Schlafly told WND, "is that Eagle Forum has made sure that the grassroots are well informed about immigration and other issues. It may be a surprise to presidential candidates like McCain, but the Eagle Forum grassroots are not going to accept the typical politicians' platitudes."

We've seen what 'well informed' means in Schlafly's world. The idea that John McCain is even seeming to address these lunatics' concerns is disturbing. We already have candidates kissing up to the religious right. The last thing we need is candidates trying to pass the purity test of this second bunch of nuts.

If the influence of the religious right in the republican party is a problem for you, wait until the paranoid nationalist right has influence on foreign policy.