Thursday, April 14, 2005

Who Among Us Does Not Love Virulent Hate?

Some goon at Power Line - whom I won't dignify with a link - is singing one of the Right's classic dirges:

There is no parallel in modern American history for the virulent hate that the left has generated against President Bush.
Okay, I know the drill. At this point, I'm supposed to bring up a series of dreary facts about the Right's jihad against Clinton. Among other things, I'm supposed to point out that it spent more money on Whitewater alone, than BushCo spent on the 9/11 and Enron investigations put together.

Instead, let's go back a bit further. Some folks may know that about a hundred years ago, William Randolph Hearst's papers attacked President McKinley viciously and violently. Eventually, the Hearst-run Journal editorialized to the effect that "if bad institutions and bad men can be got rid of only by killing, then the killing must be done." McKinley, of course, was shot and killed a few months later.

As for FDR, Hearst called him "Stalin Delano Roosevelt." He was also attacked ceaselessly by the American Liberty League and America First, by Charles Lindbergh and Father Coughlin and the DuPont family.

The American Liberty League was pretty much the model for today's wingnut thinktanks; it was funded largely by hard-right industrialists, it produced reams of propaganda for dissemination to the media, and it filed frivolous legal challenges to progressive legislation. Further, the evidence that the ALL planned a military coup against FDR is compelling, if not conclusive; you can read a summary of the case here. And you can also ponder what William Dodd, US ambassador to Germany, said in a 1936 letter to Roosevelt:
A prominent executive of one of the largest corporations, told me point blank that he would be ready to take definite action to bring fascism into America if President Roosevelt continued his progressive policies. Certain American industrialists had a great deal to do with bringing fascist regimes into being in both Germany and Italy. They extended aid to help Fascism occupy the seat of power, and they are helping to keep it there. Propagandists for fascist groups try to dismiss the fascist scare. We should be aware of the symptoms. When industrialists ignore laws designed for social and economic progress they will seek recourse to a fascist state when the institutions of our government compel them to comply with the provisions.
Today, of course, the Internets are infested with hysterical conservatives who screech that "FDR was a socialist" who "nearly destroyed the country," and was - with Carter and Clinton - one of the three "worst presidents ever." The Right's hatred for FDR - which is weirdly immediate and personal, considering the man's been dead for sixty years - matches anything today's liberals are saying about Bush. If we're still reflexively ululating about Bush's crimes sixty years from now, and detecting his malign influence anywhere we think to look for it, Power Line might have a right to slap our wrists for our "virulent hate."

Let's see...Joseph Welch of the John Birch Society called Eisenhower a "dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy." That's fairly hateful, I'd say. And LBJ's civil-rights legislation? That earned him a wee bit of resentment from the Right, if memory serves...tedious echoes of which are still reverberating on sites like FR and LGF.

But never mind the hypocrisy; let's focus on the stupidity. The Left's hatred of Nixon is a perfectly valid "parallel in modern American history" for its hatred of Bush, as is its hatred of Reagan. And the fact that BushCo comprises some of the most corrupt of the old Nixon and Reagan men might even explain some of the Left's outrage, if you stop to think about it.

It's really amazing how these schmucks can mistake any gibberish that comes into their heads for God's Own Truth.

3 comments:

roger said...

ah yes, history. thank you, phila. as i do know a bit of US history i am always amused, well actually appalled, at charges from either side that the country is polarized as never before and that political viciousness is the worst ever, to say nothing of the complaint that the press has never been so bad.

we are in dire straits. we could learn from history.

janeboatler said...

ah yes history.

You don't even have to know history; you only have to have been sentient during the Clinton administration. I don't even know if it's worth the energy to answer these people any more.

cookie jill said...

it would be nice for those thugs to actually have studied some history before opening up their pie holes....