Sunday, May 10, 2009

To be fair - now a Right Wing Wingnut

Former Rudy Giuliani speechwriter John Avlon, author of Independent Nation: How the Vital Center Is Changing American Politics, has a new feature for CNN’s “American Morning:” Wingnuts of the week.
Here’s how Avlon introduces the segment:
We’re trying out a new segment on “American Morning” called “Wingnuts of the Week.” It builds on a simple premise – the far-right and the far-left are equally insane.
What’s a Wingnut? It’s someone on the far-right wing or far-left wing of American politics – the professional partisans and the unhinged activists – the folks who always try to divide rather than unite. In our polarized two party system, they have disproportionate influence and too often define the terms of debate. With this segment, we’re going to try and take that power back.
Michele Bachmann come on down!
Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann first became nationally known in the late innings of campaign ’08, when she told Chris Matthews, “I am very concerned he [Barack Obama] may have anti-American views.” Undeterred by common sense or common decency, she followed that with a call to investigate all members of Congress for anti-American views. The media fallout made her, if anything, more beloved by conservatives. She was subsequently selected to be the master of ceremonies at the Conservative Political Action Committee’s Presidential Banquet. But the howlers have kept coming – recently put in a handy compendium by my colleagues at the Daily Beast.
This past week, in an interview with she took another leap too far, saying, “I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter.”
Two things: First, the bemused reach for causality between pandemics and Democratic presidents is a great illustration of the Wingnut’s impulse to blame everything bad in the world on the opposite party. Second, she got her facts wrong. It was under the administration of Republican President Gerald Ford that swine flu last reared its porcine head.
But Bachmann’s had chronic trouble with facts, including a recent congressional floor speech in which she again confused a Republican for a Democrat, claiming that it was FDR who signed the “Hoot Smawley” tariffs that helped propel the USA from a recession into the Great Depression. The “Smoot Hawley” Act was signed by Republican President Hoover. To round out her week’s trifecta, Bachmann reached for an awkward metaphor when describing the generational theft of today’s unprecedented deficits and debt, saying “it’s the mother of all ironies ... that the kids who voted en masse for Barack Obama are the ones being fitted with shackles and chains.” The “irony” of slavery metaphors to describe the Obama generation? Really? Really.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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