03 February 2011

Idiot of the Week: 'It's Carter's Fault'

Writing to the Troy Record's "Pulse of the People" page, Philip R. McNamee of Troy blames the alleged slandering of Republicans and Tea Partiers by liberals in the wake of the Tucson amoklauf on Jimmy Carter. The former President, however, is only indirectly responsible for the smear campaign against the undeserving TPs, who are, after all, only "ordinary Americans who have seen their country run and ruined by Marxists." Carter was one such Marxist, McNamee suspects. The writer will only go so far as to speculate that "President Carter was probably a closet Marxist himself. People found out and he wasn’t re-elected." By then, however, the damage was done, though Carter was at most only a transmitter of instructions from a more diabolical source. McNamee's revelations are stunning, the result of exhaustive intellectual labor. I assume, at least, that they left him too exhausted to do some admittedly trivial fact-checking.

Much of [Democrats'] actions are the result of the Carter Administration’s distribution of Saul O’Linsky’s little red book “Radicalizing America.” When Ronald Reagan was elected president, his workers found boxes of “Radicalizing America” in the basement of a building adjacent to the White House used by people in the White House. They discovered Carter and his cohorts were shipping these pernicious Soviet style books to all Democrat organizations and clubs across the country.

This theory may be original to McNamee. I can't find any prior assertion of it on the internet, though documenting it is made difficult by McNamee. For one thing, he is most likely referring to Saul Alinsky, the bloodstained terrorist reputed to have supernatural influence among community organizers of the Barack Obama ilk. For another, this Alinsky never published a book entitled Radicalizing America, no matter what the size or color. As most crackpots know, Alinsky's "Mein Kampf" is actually known as Rules For Radicals.

What the Reaganites' reputed discovery proves, if it can be proved itself, is unclear. Since an amoklauf was still a fairly rare event in Alinsky's lifetime (he died in 1972), it seems unlikely that he left instructions to blame them on Republican rhetoric, unless it happened that Alinsky himself had tried to hang Charles Whitman around Barry Goldwater's neck.

Alinsky, of course, is a keystone of TP conspiracy theory, which is founded on the classic McCarthyite principle of guilt by association -- as are, admittedly, conspiracy theories of all persuasions. Alinsky's name is a signifier of totalitarian tendencies, his influence on anyone proof of their hatred of freedom. He has somehow been blown up into the image of an American Stalin, as if he would have killed millions if given the chance to impose collectivist despotism on America. If that reading of his work seems slightly lacking in nuance, that's because the fine distinctions are meaningless to the likes of McNamee. He claims to quote an alleged authority on the subject: "Remember, Witacker [sic] Chambers said “Liberal is just another word for Socialist, Communist or Marxist.” Even if you use Chambers's correct name in your search, however, the quote does not exist online. The only source for it you find is Phillip R. McNamee from today's Record.

You won't be surprised to learn that President Obama, an admitted reader of Alinsky, is also a Marxist. His is a Marxist administration, McNamee concludes, because "they finagle to put all the power in the federal government’s hands." No matter that those hands aren't necessarily those of the working class; I doubt whether McNamee associates Marxism with working-class concerns at all. But whatever Marxism is, it's bad. After identifying Obama's "Marxist" agenda, McNamee closes, "We cannot let this happen." But before you interpret that as a call to arms, McNamee has already warned us that political violence is most likely to come from the left, not the right. Thanks to the inflammatory rhetoric of demagogues like Chris Matthews, he writes, " More pot smoking whackos might come out of the woodwork and take shots at prominent Conservatives." Of course, that will only raise questions about the violent effects of marijuana and the consequences of living in woodwork, but those would only be distractions. McNamee had earlier complained that liberals "are doing just what they are accusing the tea party people of doing." By the end, he's doing just what he accuses liberals of doing -- preemptively blaming violence on political rhetoric. You don't get so much idiocy in such a small dose every week, so make the most of this one.


Anonymous said...

And this, class, is why incest is illegal in most civilized states in the union.

Nap Warrior said...

It was Mark Levine that claimed when he and other Reagan staffers came in after Carter, they found a closet with copies of Rules for Radicals in it. The amount seems to have increased over the years, from what i originally heard, a couple boxes of them in a closet, to one I lately heard from a conservative, that there was a whole roomful, and they were being distributed to school children, lol. Truth is, they were distributed through VISTA, to potential community organizers and activists, and no matter who wrote it, its usefulness in that context is undeniable.