"We stand for the maintenance of private property...We shall protect free enterprise as the most expedient or rather the sole possible economic order." -Adolf Hitler
"I cannot admit that any man born ...has either the knowledge or authority to tell other men...what God's purposes are." -Judge Ben B. Lindsey
"The tendency to claim God as an ally for our partisan values and ends is...the source of all religious fanaticism." -Reinhold Niebuhr
Selective memory is often found in political commentary. Selective perspective also. What is the most despicable are those comments and commentators that assume a lofty, honest, religious perch and conduct their lives quite differently.
It is easy to remember Richard M. Nixon and his talking "down" to people he considered below him morally and ethically. He liked to lecture about others personal behavior, sexual practices, "liberal" morality, and so forth. He was the darling of those who hold such "better than thou" positions. And then came the Watergate scandal. And then came the gutteral, filthy language from the White House tapes.
Along came Ronald Reagan. Oh, how he and his wife liked to exhibit their pure life, lifestyle, and lofty observations about others' beliefs and behaviors. Of course much of the public was counted on to forget or not acknowledge Ronnie's indiscretions while married; his reputation as a guy who bedded some of the most attractive women in Hollywood (and elsewhere). Nevertheless, in the White House we received the pure messages from the guy who saw America as a movie set, with all the good guys and bad guys and the closing morality messages. Of course, not only was Ronnie a dispersed lover, he was in the hip-pocket of the biggest and most greedy corporations in America. And, oh, by the way, he also made secret armament trades with the horrible, extreme, Moslem nation of Iran. Overlook it.
The first President Bush became president after he called Ronald Reagan's financial program suggestions, "voodoo economics." Nevertheless he carried out the voodoo very well upon winning the election and following Reagan to the White House. His family's long standing personal and economic ties to Saudi Arabia were happily exhibited when Saddam stupidly invaded the Saudi neighbor, Kuwait, and threatened to invade the Arabian Peninsula next. Bush One gladly (and correctly) helped to throw Saddam out of Kuwait, and let it go at that. The Saudis were pleased with that result and Bush One saw no further exploits in Iraq, something that would have angered our NATO allies and others. Of course his son saw things differently, and his big military-industrial supporters needed more military income. Bush One remains to this day active in Saudi business enterprises...and receives handsome pay-offs.
Along came that horrible man, Bill Clinton. Right-wingers love to call him "trailer trash." Of course the right-wing sleaze has proven to make even the most immoral trailer resident blush. But when Clinton irresponsibly engaged in sexual activities in the White House with an intern, the right-wingers saw a marvelous opportunity to get even about Richard Nixon's impeachment and guilty charges. And they pounced on it. It was a comic opera. The man who led the impeachment in the House was adulterer Henry Hyde. Newt Gingrich, another adulterer, was lauded by his fellow Republicans. When things began to unravel in Newt's life and an expose was about to take place, he left the House. The right wing had trouble replacing Newt. The guy from Louisiana that they chose for the job turned out to be an adulterer himself. Shades of Monty Python!
In my previous blog I covered the sleaze factor with George W. Bush and his fawning over big corporations, tax cuts for the wealthy, attacking money spent on the poor and middle class, and desire to fill the coffers of the military-industrial giants. He created a boom for Halliburton [his vice president's former employer] and the likes of Blackwater and the usual corporate suspects who care little about the men and women sacrificed if it means big profits in wars.
That brings us to the right-wing ranting and shouting about ACORN. Gosh, they got tons of headlines about ACORN. Far worse were the actions of the right-wingers who engaged in uncovering ACORN and left in their right-wing wake some broken laws, felonious activities, and illegal break-ins. Eagerly supported by Republican and right-wing money, the likes of names like O'Keefe, Basel, Dai, Flanagan, Wetmore, et al broke in to try and get info on Democrat Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana. This cabal of right-wingers have been planning and acting around the nation. Some are conservative college newspaper editors. Others search the limelight, regardless of the task or political crimes. As reported by Jim Rutenberg and Campbell Robertson in a news service story last week: "Those methods took root on college campuses in the latter half of George W. Bush's presidency, fostered by a group of men and women in their early 20s with a taste for showmanship..." Money was made available by old Republican families like the Coorses and Scaifes, and the conservative Leadership Institute's Balance in Media grant program.
So there you have a small taste of what is in store for us in the future. Using high-sounding and moral words, these charlatan right-wingers have slithered into American society in a big way. They do not want to promote anything for the common good, they want to destroy progressives ...period. And for the past 30 years or so the right-wing has stooped lower and lower to achieve their goals. Listen to Rush Limbaugh, and the other screamers on the air. They are not entertainers, they represent what is more and more being adopted as right-wing politics. We are a lesser nation for it.