Wednesday, March 05, 2008

It is going to be bad

"[I]n a populistic culture like ours, which seems to lack a responsible elite with political and moral autonomy, and in which it is possible to exploit the wildest currents of public sentiment for private purposes, it is at least conceivable that a highly organized, vocal, active and well-financed minority could create a political climate in which the rational pursuit of our well-being and safety would become impossible." - Richard Hofstadter, "The Pseudo-Conservative Revolt"

If a Democrat becomes president expect to have our public discourse overtaken and overwhelmed with the most extreme, insane, and rotten attacks and smears from the conservative movement that you can possibly imagine. We've already been hearing the buzz about both Obama and Clinton being fascist/communist Hitler/Stalin reincarnated and what not ... and now we have a primetime host working for CNN wonder on air if Obama is the antiChrist.

BECK: Let me ask you, because I got — I get so much e-mail on this, and I think a lot of people do, and I`ve only got a couple of seconds. They say Glenn, you and the media, you`ve got to wake up. Barack Obama`s making people faint and cry and everything else. And he`s drawing people in.

There are people — and they said this about Bill Clinton that actually believe he might be the anti-Christ. Odds that Barack Obama is the anti-Christ?

HAGEE: No chance. He has a lot of charisma. There`s a media love affair with him right now. He is a very formidable political person. I believe the best leader for America in the future is John McCain.
Did that really happen? Did two lunatics really just consider if Obama is the anti-Christ on a major (supposedly) news network? This is passable discourse now?

Belief that Bill Clinton was the anti-Christ was a principal belief of militia movement extremists. If either Obama or Clinton becomes president look for a resurgence in the patriot movement, with these folks going off into the woods, stockpiling weapons, and preparing to wage war with the anti-Christ.

But excluding some sort of national catastrophe, the real threat is not going to be them. (Although the families of those killed by Timothy McVeigh might beg to differ.) The bigger threat is the one Hofstadter recognized, that this kind of endless mindless drivel that comes from the Drudge-Hannity-Limbaugh axis of misinformation will create a political climate in which rational pursuit of our well-being and safety is impossible.


Sheldon said...

Yep, its pretty bad when the sensible one in the exchange is Hagee!

C2H50H said...


I'm sorry, there isn't a sensible one in that exchange. Hagee is, by his own words (check around, you can find them) a complete whack-o. What the exchange proves is that Beck is also insanely willing to lower the level of public discourse to the point where Hagee sounds sensible.

It's only appearances. That these people are on widely-broadcast media is the clearest indication possible that this country has about had it.

NAL said...

Belief that Bill Clinton was the anti-Christ was a principal belief ...

Pet peeve :)

Hume's Ghost said...

Thanks, I spell words like that wrong all the time.

Sheldon said...

Yes of course Hagee is not sensible. I am familiar with his poppycock.

Beck: Odds that Barack Obama is the anti-Christ?
HAGEE: No chance. He has a lot of charisma.

But in the exchange between him and Beck, he is COMPARATIVELY sensible. And that is why it is so bad, because even Hagee, a certified religious nut and bigot, dismisses the idea that Obama is the anti-Christ.