Extremism, always a co-conspirator of the GOP in their quest for absolute control of the nation, is emerging as the dominating force in the Republican Party’s new war against Democrats and President Barack Obama.
Led by hate-spouting iconoclasts like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich, Republicans are comparing Obama to Hitler, Democrats to Nazis and invoking all the fear they can muster in an effort to turn back and the clock and restore their political fortunes.
But the extremism that worked so well for Republicans in the past doesn’t stir Americans of the present. The excessive patter from Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney and other GOP sycophants isn’t selling in today’s America.
Americans today want hope, not fear. They’ve been fooled too many times by the fearmongering tactics of the rabid right wing. The hate politics of the past won’t be the future.
Still, the hate continues to flow from GOP mouths like regurgitated bile and there are always those on the fringe who will lap it up.
Writes Michael A. Cohen in The Politico:
Watching Fox News’ new sensation Glenn Beck is not for the faint of heart. It is a disquieting entree into the feverish mind of a conspiracy theorist who believes, among other things, that the government wants to remotely control our thermostats, that the relaxing of the ban on stem cell research — as well as efforts to prevent global warming — is reminiscent of Nazism, that the Federal Emergency Management Agency might be setting up concentration camps and, finally, that the country is on the path to socialism or possibly fascism but definitely some “-ism” that should be avoided.
Yet for all of his conspiracy-addled and occasionally tear-filled declarations, Beck has become the new darling of the conservative right. His show is a regular stomping ground for Republican congressmen and party pooh-bahs like Karl Rove, Sarah Palin and Michael Steele, and his ratings rival those of Fox stalwarts Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly. According to The New York Times, Beck has become “one of the most powerful media voices for the nation’s conservative, populist anger.”
Populist agitators such as Beck are nothing new, particularly in times of economic instability — and they aren’t restricted to the right. During the Bush years, liberal anger over the administration’s policies bred bizarre conspiracy theories of its own, like accusations that the Sept. 11 attacks were an inside job.
However, Beck’s paranoid style is seeping into the discourse of conservative politics, which should be of concern to Republicans. The charge that President Barack Obama is a socialist, first raised in the 2008 campaign, has become a de rigueur epithet heard not only on talk radio but in the halls of Congress. Calls by China to consider replacing the dollar as the global reserve currency have been met by bizarre warnings from congressional Republicans that the Obama administration wants to scrap the greenback for a new global currency. Thirty-four House Republicans have even signed on to a constitutional amendment that would prevent this from occurring, though no such proposal is being considered.