The Watering Hole; Thursday March 5 2015; Of ‘Demagogues and Stooges’

“If we don’t find alternatives to this corrupt ‘two’ party system, our Representative Republic will die and be replaced with what we are rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland.” ~Cindy Sheehan; May 28, 2007

Earlier this week I happened across a New York Times Op-Ed on the subject of American Fascism, a topic which, when blended with the myriad press releases recently emerged from the annual CPAC event in Washington DC, can quickly capture one’s attention. Below are selected excerpts from the Times article which, even though they represent only about a third of the original document, do nevertheless convey an incredibly clear message that describes precisely what we in this country are now witnessing each and every day upon our corporate and political stage.

A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends. The supreme god of a fascist, to which his ends are directed, may be money or power; may be a race or a class; may be a military clique or an economic group; or may be a culture, religion, or a political party.

[. . .]

The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others.. . . The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.

[. . .]

If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. . . . They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.

American fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners of public information, and those who stand for the K.K.K. type of demagoguery.

Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion. . . .

The symptoms of fascist thinking are colored by environment and adapted to immediate circumstances. But always and everywhere they can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and vanities of different groups in order to gain power. It is no coincidence that the growth of modern tyrants has in every case been heralded by the growth of prejudice. . . .

The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy . . . to conceal their own selfish imperialism. . . .

. . . Monopolists who fear competition and who distrust democracy because it stands for equal opportunity would like to secure their position against small and energetic enterprise. In an effort to eliminate the possibility of any rival growing up, some monopolists would sacrifice democracy itself.

[. . .]

Democracy to crush fascism internally must . . . develop the ability to keep people fully employed and at the same time balance the budget. It must put human beings first and dollars second. It must appeal to reason and decency and not to violence and deceit. We must not tolerate oppressive government or industrial oligarchy in the form of monopolies and cartels. As long as . . . this liberal potential is properly channeled, we may expect the area of freedom of the United States to increase. The problem is to spend up our rate of social invention in the service of the welfare of all the people.

[ . . .]

It should also be evident that exhibitions of the native brand of fascism are not confined to any single section, class or religion. Happily, it can be said that as yet fascism has not captured a predominant place in the outlook of any American section, class or religion. It may be encountered in Wall Street, Main Street or Tobacco Road. Some even suspect that they can detect incipient traces of it along the Potomac. It is an infectious disease, and we must all be on our guard against intolerance, bigotry and the pretension of invidious distinction.

Granted, the author did not name names; he did not identify any particular “on the air and in the press” . . . “perversion of truth and fact” events or examples, he simply pointed to ALL those who exhibit that “insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives.” He didn’t mention Fox News, or Rupert Murdoch, or the Wall Street Journal, or Rush Limbaugh, or Glenn Beck, or George Bush, or Dick Cheney, or Pat Robertson, or Ted Cruz, or Lindsey Graham, or the Koch Brothers, or Sheldon Adelson, or the Tea Party, or Steve King, or Sarah Palin, or Rick Perry, or Newt Gingrich, or John Boehner, or Mitch McConnell, or Scott Walker, or . . . the list of every political voice and/or corporate entity that puts money and power ahead of human beings is as interminable as it is familiar.

There is, however, another reason why none of those names familiar to us were mentioned in the referenced article — it was published by the New York Times on April 9, 1944. It was written by then Vice President Henry A. Wallace at the request of the Times who asked him to, as Wallace noted, write a piece that answered the questions “What is a fascist? How many fascists have we? How dangerous are they?” I first ran across word of the Wallace essay in a 2004 Common Dreams article by Thom Hartmann. A google or two later, I located the complete essay entitled The Danger of American Fascism from which the excerpts above were chosen.

In Wallace’s day, the consummate fascist models were Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, and their respective fascist regimes in Italy and in Germany. Ironically, Wallace’s essay was published just short of one full year prior to European fascism’s final collapse. It also seems ironic that today, just short of SEVENTY YEARS beyond European Fascism’s final collapse, “We the people of the United States” sit smugly and/or blindly back as we allow the rise and institutionalization of American Fascism. We listen as its agenda is shouted regularly and loudly by its professional adherents, by its candidates, and by the media — and all with nary an informative grunt from any official opposing voice to be heard. One can only wonder, where is a Henry Wallace voice when we really need one? More importantly, where is the mass media? Why the silence? When will come the moment for everyone to finally hear the truth — out loud and with CLARITY — that the American GOP has sufficiently morphed itself to become today’s AMERICAN FASCIST MOVEMENT?

In a true and genuine Democracy such as America pretends herself to be, there would be no problem; the free voice of Truth would be loud and clear, shouted from the rooftops and broadcast via media outlets everywhere. Such is clearly NOT the case, however, and for the obvious reason that when corporate media monopolists who fear competition and who distrust democracy because it stands for equal opportunity are faced with the truth vs. propaganda option, it’s no secret their choice will be to poison the channels of public information..

In any case and for whatever reason, this year’s CPAC ‘revelations’ in combination with detailed analyses of reality (such as Wallace’s, above) also reminded me of the quote William Shirer used to preface his historical treatise, “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” — the George Santayana line that reads:

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Wake up, America. Call out your demagogues and stooges.  If you dare. If you care.

OPEN THREAD — Feel Free to Call Out DEMAGOGUES and STOOGES Here!

 

49 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Thursday March 5 2015; Of ‘Demagogues and Stooges’

  1. Funny how the only indication of the time frame when the piece was written is its reference to Tobacco Road. Otherwise, it’s dead-on-balls accurate for today.

    • The ‘dead-on-balls’ accuracy is exactly what caught my eye when I first read it. In the full essay, Wallace also refers to Mussolini and Hitler — accurately — because they were then at the top of the fascist totem pole. The only “inaccuracy” in the whole thing (in today’s context) was the line, “Some even suspect that they can detect incipient traces of it along the Potomac.” Today, DC has a massive overload of ‘elected’ fascists (Republicans), placed in Congress either by fascist voters or ignorant voters (I’ve met plenty of each).

  2. Speaking of chilling, I’m really effing sick of snow. All I can say is that I’m glad I’m not in Boston (although they should get a miss from Thor today.)

    • Looks like here at the foot of the Rockies weather relief is FINALLY on its way. It quit snowing around noon yesterday and is supposed to warm up to near 60 by Sunday. FINALLY!

  3. Coconut Creek (Florida) “Cover Up” In Man’s Death

    Nearly a week after a man died in police custody, the Coconut Creek Police Department still refuses to provide any information, declaring his death “confidential.”

    Calvon Reid, 39, died in police custody after apparently being Tasered by several Coconut Creek Police Officers. Police Chief Michael Mann refused to even acknowledge or confirm the name of the person who died, citing the federal healthcare privacy law known as HIPPA.

    This case screams for a DoJ investigation.

    • He’s made the fascist honor roll; Fascism, point 3 of 14: “Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.”

      Of course we already knew he was one of them, but this makes it official. God what a dismally stupid and seditious bastard he is.

  4. Sources: WLS ready to drop Rush Limbaugh

    Rush Limbaugh, who’s been a fixture on WLS AM 890 for more than 25 years, is about to get the bum’s rush from the Cumulus Media news/talk station, sources said Wednesday.

    If all goes as planned, Limbaugh’s syndicated talk show, which airs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, will be dropped by the end of March, according to insiders at WLS.

    A Cumulus Media spokeswoman declined immediate comment. But a source familiar with the decision said it was based on the show’s diminished ratings and failure to generate advertising revenue for the station, adding: “It’s impossible to sell.”

    Thursday morning update: A Cumulus Media spokeswoman is denying plans to drop Limbaugh from WLS. “This is not at all accurate,” she said. “Any report to the contrary is false.”

    Well, if it is true, we’ll know in about three weeks. This is a Cumulus station, not a Clear Channel one. Rush will probably move to a CC affiliated station in the Chicago market.

    • That is great news!

      Yes, free the captive sea creatures. They don’t need to entertain the bipeds!

    • Since Batscat Bachmann has left office I think that “The Gopher” is now the craziest critter (No relation to us Zoo critters, of course.) in Congress. Others might manage to match or exceed his level of crazy on occasion but I don’t see anyone competing for the sheer volume. Every time he opens his yap some form of absolute batscat spews out. In fact. I don’t know if a whole lifetime of Google searching would be able to find a single statement of his that is entirely true and rational.

  5. WATB alert! Ken Ham just can’t seem to face a life without receiving special privileges granted due to his extremely insane religious beliefs. For the life of me I can’t seem to figure out how the psychochristians came to believe that “religious freedom” means a right to practice discrimination anywhere outside one’s church.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/ken-ham-will-be-second-class-citizen-without-tax-breaks-his-creationist-theme-park

    Here’s a wild idea. If one wants to run a business based on personal religious beliefs then declare said business a nonprofit, charge cost for any goods or services provided, refuse a salary, and call it a effing church! It seems pretty straight forward to me.

    What’s that? Ol’ Ken is raking in millions of dollars of personal income each year and doesn’t want to pay any taxes? I say; tough shit!

    • He’s obviously not praying hard enough.
      Father/Son/Holy Ghost should be the one(s) assisting with the money for a
      ridiculous, false spewing, museums!
      Ken should become a woman if he wants to know truly second-class citizens!

  6. Hillary announced she intends to comply with any and all subpoenas. Will anyone in the “librul media” even mention a certain Administration that made a regular habit of defying any and all subpoenas? My guess is no.

  7. Harrison Ford Seriously Injured in Plane Crash

    Actor Harrison Ford was seriously injured Thursday when a vintage World War II training plane he was piloting crash landed on a Mar Vista, California, golf course.

    The actor was stabilized and taken to a local hospital. Sources said he sustained cuts to head. There was no word on other injuries or what caused the plane to crash. It appeared he was flying solo.

    Howard Tabe, an employee at the Penmar Golf Course, said ‘There was blood all over his face … Two very fine doctors were treating him, taking good care of him. I helped put a blanket under his hip.”

    Two very fine doctors…on a golf course. He sure knew where to land, didn’t he?

  8. A Kickstarter campaign has been launched to bring a Hillary Clinton action figure onto the market. Artist Mike Leavitt has fashioned a scale version of the 67-year-old former First Lady, Secretary of State, and would-be President. Mrs Clinton is depicted in 6ins high plastic.

  9. The latest bit of bile from Nancy Grace has forced me to relate one of the funniest experiences of my life. I’m pretty sure that everyone here will understand my use of “the word that shall never be spake” and get a laugh. If I shock or offend anyone? I was wrong and am very sorry and won’t do it again. Here goes.

    Many years ago a group of us were watching some godawful slasher movie on a rented VCR. (Yes. I’m old enough to remember when people who were not rich had to rent VCRs.)

    We got to the obligatory scene where the heroine smacked the slasher with a frying pan and knocked him unconscious. Then she ran out of the kitchen without checking to see if he was dead or picking up the machete he dropped or even retrieving the frying pan.

    My friend, Matt, said; “that’s a dumb-c_nt move for you”.

    My other friend’s girlfriend jumped up, red faced, and yelled; “that’s a very poor choice of words”.

    Matt, without missing so much as a heart beat said: “You’re right. When you call a bitch a c_nt, the dumb is implied”.

    She stormed out while the rest of us laughed so hard and long that no one remembers, to this day, what movie we were watching.

    I sincerely hope that everyone accepts this story in a jocular spirit and, if not, I am truly sorry.

    http://crooksandliars.com/2015/03/jeffrey-toobin-calls-out-nancy-graces

  10. There’s too many oil trains derailing to be a coincidence. One went up near Galena, Illinois today. The Republicans would love to get to 67 votes for the KXL, just to screw Obama. An R house rep was on Ed today discussing putting the KXL in with a major infrastructure spending bill.

  11. GOP leaders to skip Selma event

    Scores of U.S. lawmakers are converging on tiny Selma, Alabama, for a large commemoration of a civil rights anniversary. But their ranks don’t include a single member of House Republican leadership — a point that isn’t lost on congressional black leaders.

    None of the top leaders — House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy or Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was once thought likely to attend to atone for reports that he once spoke before a white supremacist group — will be in Selma for the three-day event that commemorates the 1965 march and the violence that protesters faced at the hands of white police officers. A number of rank-and-file Republicans have been aggressively lobbying their colleagues to attend, and several black lawmakers concurred.

    That’s it, GOP. Keep on reaching out to those minority voters!😉

  12. Under all that snow, these Eagles are incubating two eggs!
    (Hanover, PA)
    Do hope the picture posts.

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