Glenn Greenwald calls them the “Authoritarian Cultists,” and that works for me.
I have been fulminating over this since Coretta Scott King’s funeral, and it’s finally boiled over as They plot to pulverize the 4th Amendment. These reactionaries have no respect for history, and they feel fairly certain that they can spin any sort of half-truth or bald-faced lie in the interest of advancing their agenda.
Let’s begin with the slander of the memory of FDR. Does anyone else recall the (now mercifully dead) movement to take FDR off of the dime and replace him with Iran-Contra Ronnie? FDR pulled the United States out of the Depression and helped to win the war against fascism. For this alone, he should be included in the pantheon of great American Presidents, along with Lincoln and Jefferson. The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Work Projects Administration were brilliant and innovative programs to aid the poor and bring the nation up from it knees as it struggled out from under the mess that Herbert Hoover (the first “CEO President”) had gotten us into.
FDR managed to do all of this while battling the crippling effects of childhood polio. He also founded the March of Dimes in 1938. (which is why he’s on the dime. duh.) True American Hero, right?
Not so fast. Jonah Goldberg, on FDR and Social Security:
I have some advice for the real small-c conservatives and reactionaries in the debate over Social Security reform: Franklin Roosevelt is dead. Get over it. It seems every time I turn on the TV or the radio, I hear some opponent of reform whining that we’re tinkering with FDR’s “legacy.” Who gives a rat’s patoot?
Of course, liberal mythology about the New Deal legend is, uh, legendary. Still, it’s worth noting that the New Deal surely prolonged the Depression and did far less for poverty than the textbooks claim. The first point is not even particularly controversial. The second is debatable. But what isn’t in dispute among scholars is that it was World War II, not the New Deal, that served to pull America out of its economic doldrums.
Glaring historical inaccuracies aside, that’s some prime wingnut dung flinging, isn’t it?
See, no reputation is unbesmirchable in the Authoritarian Cultists’ pursuit of whatever flim-flam they’re trying to pull on the public.
Let’s move forward to Biscuit, Skeeter and Possum at the Powerline Blog. I believe it was Possum, maybe Skeeter who said this:
We have touched on Jimmy Carter’s political failings, but we have barely begun to exhaust the subject. He was certainly the worst president of the twentieth century. He vies with James Buchanan for the title of worst president in American history.
Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1978, anyone? Hello? I mean, it’s no seven pound bass, I grant you, but it’s a little something to put on the mantle.
These are just a couple of examples, but they bring me to the historical revisionism that I find most troubling, which is the sullying of the Civil Rights Movement.
You will of course recall what Ben Domenech said about Coretta Scott King. Do I have to repeat it? Here, see for yourself.
And he said it ON THE DAY OF HER FUNERAL.
OK, look. The American Civil Rights Movement is one of the greatest struggles for justice the world has ever known, and it is revered around the world as such. You don’t just toss off 400 years of oppression and inequality overnight, and established society threw everything it had against the people who were brave enough to struggle for what was right. Police dogs, firehoses, “nigger-killin'” lawmen… And yet, humble, brave people struggled to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, into a whirling rain of billyclubs and fists, clouds of tear gas and packs of police dogs, knowing that if they were crippled or even killed by the police, no judge would convict their assailants. No jury would ever see that justice was done.
And yet they came anyway, with nothing more than their faith in God and belief in Justice to protect them.
But Ben Domenech thinks Martin Luther King, Jr. was a communist.
And Jonah Goldberg would like you to know the following:
Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Eli Wiesel, Captain Jean Luc Picard, as well as countless politicians have said something to the effect of “we are only as free as the least free among us.”
It sounds nice, of course. Unfortunately, it’s also a crock, factually, logically, and morally.
First, facts and logic: Remember how we all agreed at the beginning of this column that there’s undoubtedly an innocent person in prison right now? Well, he’s not free. Are you only as free as him?
I believe that they are as blind to history as they are because, frankly, one can only assume from that bit of exposition that they are TOO STUPID TO COMPREHEND IT.
Which explains a lot, really. A lot.