Tag Archives: Michelle Goldberg

Michele Bachmann’s Unrivaled Extremism

The last GOP nut job of the day is Michele Bachmann…

The Daily Beast

Her anti-gay platform has alienated parts of her family. A mentor she described as a “great influence” has a history of addresses to white supremacists. A book she collaborated on advocates theocracy. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s impressive performance at Monday’s debate has catapulted her near the front of the GOP pack, but the radical roots of her ideology remain poorly understood. The Daily Beast’s Michelle Goldberg reports.

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Belief is the key to understanding Michele Bachmann, who announced her presidential candidacy during Monday’s Republican debate. Her impressive performance, which catapulted her close to the front of the presidential pack, surprised some, who perhaps expected her to be as inarticulate as Sarah Palin, to whom she’s often compared. But in Minnesota, even those who don’t like her politics say she shouldn’t be underestimated. “The fact that she’s not a heavy lifter, the fact that she’s relatively unconcerned about the substance of legislation, does not mean that she’s not crafty, that she’s not intelligent and she’s not fast,” says former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson, a Republican. Her ideological radicalism should not be mistaken for stupidity.

 

On Monday, Bachmann didn’t talk a lot about her religion. She didn’t have to—she knows how to signal it in ways that go right over secular heads. In criticizing Obama’s Libya policy, for example, she said, “We are the head and not the tail.” The phrase comes from Deuteronomy 28:13: “The Lord will make you the head and not the tail.” As Rachel Tabachnick has reported, it’s often used in theocratic circles to explain why Christians have an obligation to rule.

 

“Michele Bachmann says certain things that sound crazy to the general public,” says Frank Schaeffer. “But to anybody raised in the environment of the evangelical right wing, what she says makes perfect sense.”

Indeed, no other candidate in the race is so completely a product of the evangelical right as Bachmann; she could easily become the Christian conservative alternative to the comparatively moderate Mormon Mitt Romney. “Michele Bachmann’s a complete package,” says Ralph Reed, the former Christian Coalition wunderkind who now runs the Faith and Freedom Coalition. “She’s got charisma, she’s got an authentic faith testimony, she’s a proven fighter for conservative values, and she’s well known.” She’s also great at raising money—in the 2010 cycle, she amassed a record $13.2 million in donations. (Bachmann’s office didn’t respond to requests for comment.)

Bachmann, who was born in Iowa, was in high school in Anoka, Minnesota, when she was swept up in the wave of evangelical Christianity then surging through the country. “People were coming to the Lord left and right,” she said in a recent speech. A pretty cheerleader, she was a member of student government and was elected to the homecoming court. But her family life was unsettled. Her parents divorced in 1970, and her father disappeared from her life and those of her three brothers. When she was in high school, her mother remarried, to a man with five children of his own. Working-class Democrats, the family went to a Lutheran church regularly, but it wasn’t until she was born again at 16, she has said, “that the Gospel finally made sense to me.”

Much more here…

 

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The Right’s Egypt Freakout

Apparently, the right wing noise machine no longer views the Middle East as the perfect place to instill democracy…

The Daily Beast

Glenn Beck blasts the uprising in Cairo as a threat to our way of life. Michelle Goldberg on how the rebellion is splitting U.S. conservatives—and the fallout for the 2012 presidential campaign. Plus, full coverage of Egypt’s protests.

Store food and prepare for the coming global insurrection: That’s the warning Glenn Beck issued Monday. The Muslim Brotherhood and American radicals, he informed us, are operating in tandem to bring about “the destruction of the Western world.” On his Fox show, Beck presented a clip of Mohamed ElBaradei calling for a “New Egypt that is democratic, that is based on social justice.”

The phrase “social justice” flashed on the screen, because in Beck’s world, it’s a code word for a totalitarian leftist agenda, just as the Egyptian protesters’ use of the phrase “day of rage” signals their kinship with Bill Ayers of the Weather Underground. “We’ve shown you tonight that Hamas, Code Pink”—the feminist anti-war group—”and the Muslim Brotherhood are all linked together.” With the future bleak, Beck called on his viewers to pray for “our way of life” and for Israel.

Since the war in Iraq, it seems, Beck, like others on the right, has changed his mind about the desirability of Middle Eastern democracy.

It was only a few years ago, you’ll remember, that conservatives were crowing about a new birth of freedom in the Muslim world. Gunning for war with Iraq, conservatives attacked earlier generations of foreign-policy realists for propping up Arab dictators, arguing that political oppression and corruption created stultifying societies were terrorism bred. George Bush made the rhetorical championing of Middle Eastern democracy a centerpiece of his presidency. In a 2003 speech at the American Enterprise Institute, he promised that a “liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region, by bringing hope and progress into the lives of millions.”       More…

 

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Filed under Glenn Beck, Glenn Beck Conspiracies, Glenn Beck Delusions, GOP, GOP Agenda, GOP Hypocrisy, GOP Leadership Quagmire

Fox News Backs Beck In Face Of Anti-Semitism Charges

News Hounds

As I previously posted, Jewish and other religious leaders have vehemently protested Glenn Beck’s recent attacks on George Soros, suggesting, among other things, that he was a Nazi collaborator. But Fox News has apparently turned a deaf ear on those concerns and is standing behind Beck. At least in public. At least so far.

The New York Times reported yesterday,

Fox stood by Mr. Beck. Joel Cheatwood, a senior vice president at Fox News, said in a statement Thursday afternoon that the “information regarding Mr. Soros’s experiences growing up were taken directly from his writings and from interviews given by him to the media, and no negative opinion was offered as to his actions as a child.”

The Times also notes that Daily Beast writer Michelle Goldberg called Beck’s attacks “a symphony of anti-Semitic dog-whistles.” She also wrote, “Nothing like it has ever been on American television before.”

Anti-Defamation League director Abraham Foxman is one of the Jewish leaders who has condemned Beck’s attacks. Citing one of our posts, Think Progress noted that in the past, Fox News made a point of trumpeting and overblowing Foxman’s concerns when he spoke out in a measured way against the so-called Ground Zero mosque.

This time, Foxman has been far more emphatic as have other Jewish leaders. Yet Fox has turned what seems to be a deaf ear to their concerns.

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Filed under George Soros, Glenn Beck, Glenn Beck Delusions, Glenn Beck Lies