Friday, August 08, 2008

"He attacked the man most likely to help him."

First, remember (i.e. re-read) what I said about scape-goating. Then read Chet Scoville's post about Straw Liberals. Ok, now here's a portion of an e-mail I sent to another blogger:

Another issue that this brings to light: Thomas Frank has a new book coming out in a few days called The Wrecking Crew about how the conservative movement in power yields incompetent and ruinous government. Yet, whether in power or not, the noise machine figures spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week blaming "liberals" for all problems in America.

For example, they say vote for Republicans as a solution to fiscally irresponsible Democrats. They get in power and bankrupt the country and then say vote for Republicans as a solution to fiscally irresponsible Democrats. You get the idea ... they're very good at scapegoating, not so good at governing.

This guy Adkisson felt down and out. And he scapegoated "liberals" in the same terms that the authors of the books found in his home scapegoat "liberals" on a daily basis. I turned to Hannity's radio show yesterday - no lie - randomly and the instant I flipped it on I heard Hannity telling me "liberals" are to blame for high gas prices and that if Obama becomes president his tax policy will cause another Great Depression.

Kevin Phillips - a disenchanted Republican - had a chapter in his 1993 book Boiling Point about how middle class frustration after a decade of Reaganomics gave rise to "the politics of resentment" during the '92 presidential campaign which resembled the dynamic by which national socialism began to flourish in the Weimar Republic (remember that David Duke was making his runs for office back then.)

Fascism's violent populism tends to prey upon people feeling down and out like Adkisson - who read Michael Savage who pretty much is a fascist - and gives them a Demon to hate. This review of Boiling Point touches on the subject

While today's middle-class revolt is just the latest manifestation of a populist thread that has run through American history, a hidden danger exists. Not all populist movements were inclusive. As John Judis points out in the summer 1993 issue of The American Prospect, while some populists in the late 1800s unwaveringly supported a movement of black and white, many southern populists, particularly after 1892, sought to exclude blacks. Similarly, while many populists during that era and in the 1930s identified the privileged elite as business tycoons or financiers, others identified the members of the elite as Easterners and even as Jews.

In other words, one current of populism has always sought to unite the middle with the bottom of society, including whites and blacks, small business owners and labor, tenants and homeowners – against uncaring big business and the wealthy. The other tendency pitted the people against both the top of society and the bottom including blacks and immigrants. The more inclusive populism formed the underlying rhetoric of progressive populism. The more exclusive populism underlaid the appeal of modern conservatism represented by people like George Wallace, David Duke and Pat Buchanan.
Allright, now listen to what Rev. Chris Bruice, pastor of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, has to say about Jim Adkisson.

1 comment:

Sheldon said...

"You get the idea ... they're very good at scapegoating, not so good at governing."

And, ironically, one of their key mantras is "personal responsibility". Yet they as a movement of as individuals never want to take responibility for anything.