Rightbloggers' "Obama is a Tyrant" Message Moves Up Wingnut Ladder to Congress
In 1776, the Continental Congress signed a Declaration that they would separate from Great Britain because the King had unilaterally made changes to the national health care system.
OK, close enough. Last week the President delayed yet another part of Obamacare, and most Americans probably thought it was just more jerry-rigging of his Rube Goldberg health insurance scheme, little realizing that it was actually further proof that America has become a dictatorship. But it's no secret at all to those who follow rightbloggers -- or the growing number of Republican officials and rightwing publications who also reflexively accuse Obama of Caesarism.
Regular readers know that since January 20, 2009 it has been standard operating procedure for rightbloggers to compare the President with Hitler and other historical tyrants on even the slightest pretext, such as Obama addressing kids in school ("What Obama, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, And Freddy Krueger ALL Have In Common: Targeting Children").
Pretty much whenever the President takes any authority at all, rightbloggers put on the Hitler-colored glasses. For example, when Obama proposed new gun controls after the Newtown shooting, the brethren accused him of fascist overreach ("CHILDREN SURROUND OBAMA AS HE FURTHER DIMINISHES FREEDOM, JUST LIKE HITLER") and hinted that the masses would rise up in revolt against him. And his announcement last year that he would pull back on immigration enforcement made him "the most subversive chief executive in terms of eroding U.S. law since Richard Nixon," etc.
Most outrageous of all has been Obamacare, which from the moment it was proposed the brethren have considered Double Extra Hitler. That Obama has tinkered with the timing of some of the program's features -- as he did with the employer mandate last week -- makes it even worse, because though they're convinced it's illegal they can't quite figure out how to arrest him for it; conservative leaders like Republican Senator Mike Lee angrily tell us there is no mechanism for redress, because Obama was crafty enough to commit treasons that our Founding Fathers never envisioned. That's like super-villain evil!
And there are Obama's executive orders, which the brethren have taken to describing as the means by which Obama Hitlerized America. It has been pointed out many times that Obama has issued a historically low number of such orders but, on the rare occasions when they notice this, rightbloggers counter-argue So What.
"Constitutionality is what matters, not quantity," said Joel Pollak at Breitbart.com. For one thing, "Obama is using executive orders and actions to alter his own legislation," which, while not illegal, is no fair because no take-backsies. Plus, he only did that immigration thing "to outflank Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who was preparing his own version, embarrassing Obama among Latino voters. Such pettiness is rare." Overall, "Obama's executive excesses tend to make us less free," unlike, say, Lincoln's declaration of martial law, so boo to the Obama "apologists," who by the way Hitler also had.
This constant tyranny-yelling has over the years darkened the brethren's mood. Even the 4th of July has become for them a bitchfest about ObamaHitler. Sometimes a wingnut manifesto will stir them to mutterings about a new American Revolution. Sometimes they propose innovations to make the Founders' wills look explicitly like their own -- radio host Mark Levin, for example, has proposed 10 new Constitutional amendments, and others have called for a Constitutional Convention.
But though it has done them no personal good, their boy-who-cried-Hitler campaign has had an effect in the higher reaches of the conservative movement, among the more reputable publishers and even among Republican politicians.
Now, small-time Republicans have long been prone to ObamaHitlerisms, especially in the Southernmost parts of the Republic. For instance, there's Darren Yancy, a former candidate for the Texas Senate with the distinction of having lost a GOP primary to a RINO opponent who had pulled out of the race. "With apologies to T.H.White," wrote Yancy, "the reign of Barry Obama is no fantasy. In fact, this has been a 6 year reign of terror against Christianity, liberty, the Constitution, self responsibility, employment, and economic opportunity. I have been thinking of a new nickname for Barry to reflect his hacking away and massacre of America as she once was. Barry the Butcher has a wonderful ring to it, don't you think?" How the voters of SD-22 turned their back on this man, we'll never know.
But we're not just talking about small-time nuts here -- we're also talking about big-time nuts. Like, for example, Rep. Mark Meadows (R.-N.C.), who said Obama "has declared war, and not just on Congress but the American people." "On floor of house waitin on 'Kommandant-In-Chef"'... the Socialistic dictator who's been feeding US a line or is it 'A-Lying?'" tweeted Rep. Randy Weber (R.-Tex.). "It's hard to imagine exactly what [Obama's] goal is," GOP Senator Rand Paul told a Newsmax talk show, because "when you talk to him one on one, he sounds reasonable and like he's not trying to transform America into some socialist nightmare." This Newsmax headlined as "Rand Paul: Obama Turning US Into 'Socialist Nightmare,'" as did several other sources.
Bob Barr, a former Georgia GOP Congressman, told truther Alex Jones that he wanted to impeach Obama ("We don't operate that way in America," Barr fantasized telling Obama, "and you are not going to be permitted any longer to do that"). Steve Stockman, a sitting GOP Congressman, said he, too, wants to impeach Obama, to the delight of several nuts. ("Finally!" cried Floyd Brown at the Western Center for Journalism. "...someone on Capitol Hill still has a spine.")
"Let's not go rushing around trying to use these words to condemn President Obama as a tyrant," said West, but "these words are evidence of how absolutely stupid Obama is to say so -- at a time when he actually is doing whatever he wants. This joker does a good enough job condemning himself." Elsewhere West said, "At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I must again state we are facing a constitutional crisis in America as we head into tyranny... Barack Obama is not a god who must be worshipped, he is a man, and a dangerous individual. He must be removed from office."
Alan Keyes, who once ran against Obama for the Senate, denounced not only "Obama's unconstitutional abuse of executive orders," but also "the GOP's quisling leaders" who, he claimed, "have collaborated with Obama's radical socialist schemes, giving him mainly ineffectual, lip-service opposition." Hardcore, cowboy! In consequence of their treason, added Keyes, "Obama has behaved in a more and more openly dictatorial fashion," and America's only hope is to elect the better sort of Republicans -- that is, those like Alan Keyes -- in 2014, to ensure "constitutional majorities pledged to impeach/remove Obama and his collaborators." By the way, you know who else had collaborators?
And then there's the conservative press -- not only the lightly-read bottom-feeding blogs, but also the big-time, well-funded websites and magazines, and, of course Rush Limbaugh. "We've never encountered this kind of lawlessness before," claimed Limbaugh. "We've never encountered a president who just makes the law up as he goes, and specifically for his own political benefit, ignoring Congress, ignoring the Constitution... We have a president who's acting as though the Constitution doesn't matter. He's king. He's playing dictator." Playing? Limbaugh previously referred to the State of the Union speech as the "State of the Coup," presented by a "dictator."
At Reason, Did-You-Know-He-Used-To-Be-A-Judge Andrew Napolitano scored "Obama's Executive Order Tyranny." He referred to Obama's "pen and phone" crack about executive orders as "menacing," but rather than refer to the high-crimes-and-misdemeanors part of the Constitution, as is traditional, Napolitano reported the Founders "inserted the word 'faithfully' in the presidential oath when describing his enforcement obligations, and then they inserted the oath itself into the Constitution," and this was actually what Obama was breaking -- clever, huh?
"Where will he strike next?" gasped Napolitano in closing. "How will this end? Will this deliver us to tyranny?" before collapsing in a righteous heap downstage center to rising applause and bouquets of bacon roses.
Diana West, author of FDR Was a Commie, said her Danish friend perceived "Obama rules by decree and neglects the Constitution." West of course agreed, and accused the President of "systematic assaults on constitutional governance," for which she considered impeachment the best solution. To her chagrin, though, "mostly people seem to shut out the background noise of an aggressively collectivizing government doing business." Maybe they're just not susceptible to this kind of high-minded argument.
The Tea Party supergroup Freedomworks alerted us to "new and coercive rules made by bureaucrats" under Obama, including "limiting trans-fat in snack foods" and "reducing sulfur content in gasoline." Gasp! "Of course," Freedomworks concluded, "this violates our Constitutional order... President Obama and his vast bureaucracy do not respect the honor of our Constitution."
"Tyrant Obama will force liberalism on America," wrote Washington Times editorialist Emily Miller. "The president thinks the American people will view him as a benevolent leader and not a tyrant for dictating policy...The president is openly abusing the powers of the executive branch to go around the 'people's house' so that he can force his leftist agenda on Americans. He has to be stopped."
Until recently National Review, the preeminent rightwing magazine once held into something like presentable shape by the late William F. Buckley, had to import syndicated lunatics like Thomas Sowell to write things like "Barack Obama: Dictator of the Left." Now, the magazine's correspondents find it easy enough to hyperventilate over Obamatyranny on their own.
"Obama, like a standard-issue leftist dictator, is complementing lawlessness with socialist irrationality," recently claimed Andrew C. McCarthy. "Obama used to sigh that he was not a dictator who could act unilaterally," said Victor Davis Hanson. "No more... For the first time since 1974, America is no longer quite a lawful place."
"Barack Obama talks like an aspiring tyrant ...warning that he will step in if the country's turbulent legislators refuse to get with his program," said Charles C.W. Cooke. "...Obama's metastasizing do-what-I-want-or-else approach is redolent of a 'threat,' Senator Rand Paul complained fairly this week. It is, yes." Cooke also said that Obama's verdict on the end of one form of Senate filibuster -- "ultimately, if you got a majority of folks who believe in something, then it should be able to pass" -- represented a "dangerous, repugnant theory that could be used as an excuse to undermine almost every part of the American constitutional settlement."
As did Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Rogers, the Hitler and Stalin of daytime TV.
Cooke specializes in ferreting out tyranny that others don't see. When, for example, a court ruled that the feds can't put licensing requirements on tax preparers of the sort that states often put on, say, real estate brokers, ordinary news outlets reported it with headlines like "IRS Lacks Authority to Regulate Tax Preparers, Court Says." Cooke, however, headlined, "Court Slaps Down IRS Power Grab," and continued, "More often than not, conversations about the Obama administration's executive overreach end up with apologists asking, petulantly, 'well, what are you going to do about it anyway.'" Regrettably Cooke did not supply a source for this quote -- nor for other alleged liberal-fascist quotes he likes to use, such as "this is too important for the rules" -- but he did inform us that "courts have often slapped this president on the wrist for imperialism," on which we didn't know there were formal statutes.
With the big boys stepping up their game like this, the usual suspects have had to work hard to out-crazy them. Some of them have done pretty well at it, though.
Obama's policies "may be archetypically liberal," snarled FrontPageMag's Daniel Greenfield, "but Obama carries his own reality with him, his own mathematics, his own history, his own dictionary and his own moral code which he adapts to the moment." Soon he'll have his own social studies, algebra, and home economics -- that's how much of a tyrant he is!
PJ Media's Bryan Preston shook his fist at the most fascistic liberal-fascist fascism of all -- gay fascism. "At some point, a church somewhere will lose a lawsuit over gay marriage in an activist court, and then the state will feel free to crush what's left of Christian faith in America under its boot," cried Preston. "Go ahead and scoff. It's coming." He also told conservatives who do not hate homosexuals as much as he does that "without the core organization, finances, manpower and ideological support that social conservatives provide to the broadly defined Right, support which the libertarians can never provide just because the numbers aren't there, what's left of the Right will end up as gravel embedded in the road to serfdom."
The brethren amplified the message. "Could tyranny come to America? Is it already here in a nascent form?" asked Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily, who found evidence in the fact that Bob Schiefer told Ted Cruz he was out of time while he was talking about accused campaign finance fraudster Dinesh D'Souza, whom rightbloggers naturally consider a victim of the Obama SS. "The indictment of D'Souza should have been the biggest news story of the last few days," claimed Farah. "It should have overshadowed Obama's State of the Union Address and even his latest attempt to subvert the Constitution by raising the minimum wage without congressional action..." His colleague Selena Owens said "Barack Obama is killing off freedom and liberty by signing one executive order after another without congressional approval... And sheeple swallow it hook, line and sinker... America's imperial president is full throttle, shackling his subjects," etc.
"Obama Admits He is Lawless Dictator," cried The Road to Concord. "...Everyone reading this post needs to understand that the rule of law is dead in the United States. This nation is no longer the land of the free, and the fact that Obama has not been impeached, convicted and removed from office also confirms that we are no longer the home of the brave..." "Obama Is Getting Ready To Proclaim Himself Dictator For Life," claimed Susan Duclos at Before It's News.
They're hitting Obama high and low, so to speak. Yet the sheeple aren't biting: A recent poll shows most Americans aren't convinced that Obama's executive orders mean we're living under the Third Reich. Conservative Allahpundit of Hot Air concluded from this result that the poll respondents included too many "lefty hacks who hate that the Republican House won't rubber-stamp Obama's agenda, so they feel obliged to rubber-stamp his power grabs instead." We wonder if it occurred to him, even for a minute, that the lack of actual concentration camps, pogroms, and Reichstag fires might have something to do with it -- and no, FEMA camps, the Depopulation of Montana, and the death of Bin Laden don't count.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.
- Seventeen Millennials Arrested as Police Bust Elaborate Credit Card Scheme
- Video: Brooklyn Flag-Burning Protest Erupts in a Few Almost-Fights
- The NYPD Has Installed Cameras Across the City So You Won't Be Tempted to Set Off...