The Critical Mass

Andrew Breitbart and the party of family-friendly, neo-Nazis

A 64-year-old insurance salesman who organizes family-friendly, neo-Nazi events around Adolph Hitler’s birthday is running for a seat in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional district. Arthur Jones of Lyons, Ill., said last week that the “Holocaust never happened.”

“As far as I’m concerned, the Holocaust is nothing more than an international extortion racket by the Jews,” Jones said. “It’s the blackest lie in history. Millions of dollars are being made by Jews telling this tale of woe and misfortune in books, movies, plays and TV.”

I bought this prophetic book at the library discard sale.

I bought this prophetic book at the library discard sale.

“The more survivors, the more lies that are told.”

Now, why is it that I didn’t even have to tell you this: Arthur Jones is a Republican.

Also last week, Rush Limbaugh referred to a woman who he disagreed with as “a slut.” I probably do not have to remind you that Limbaugh is a Republican.

And again last week, Montana’s chief federal judge admitted that he forwarded to “six old buddies” an e-mail comparing African-Americans to dogs and implying that President Barack Obama’s mother had sex with animals. Judges aren’t supposed to display political affiliations. But it’s fair to point out here that Richard Cebull, who admits “I am not a fan of our president,” was appointed by George W. Bush, a Republican.

And finally last week, a story in Bloomburg News quoted a Wall Street 1 Percenter: “People who don’t have money don’t understand the stress. Could you imagine what it’s like to say I got three kids in private school, I have to think about pulling them out? How do you do that?”

I don’t have a smoking gun. But I’m 99 percent sure that guy is a Republican.

Perhaps a campaign season soiled by Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Perry and the final four apostles of anger – Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and the horrifying Republican reptile that walks on two legs,  Newt Gingrich – make crazy seem like the new normal.

By the way, how is it that Rick Santorum, a college-educated man who lives in the 21st century, can say he believes in Satan, and yet he’s not laughed out of Ohio? What kind of reaction do you suppose there would be if he said he believed in Santa Claus?

Almost all of the crazy these days oozes from Republicans. If we were keeping standings on crazy, Republicans would be so far out in front that for the rest of the year they could play the B-team (TV evangelists captained by Pat Robertson and Franklin Graham) and still look like the 1927 Yankees. With Sarah Palin cheering from the sidelines (”I love that smell of the emissions!” she said while riding on the back of a motorcycle during a 2011 rally). Who’s the Democrats’ heavy hitter in this game? Anthony Weiner?

The craziness has bled into all aspects of life. Particularly the Republican-dominated media. You know the history there: Birtherism, Obamacare death panels, Muslim terrorist cells in your backyard. Crazy talk from individuals like Limbaugh (“The only way to reduce the number of nuclear weapons is to use them”) and Christine O’Donnell (“You know what, evolution is a myth. Why aren’t monkeys still evolving into humans?”). You have to laugh, except you know that six old buddies in Montana are erupting into knee-slapping guffaws when they hear this stuff.

Andrew Breitbart died last week. He was only 43. It’s a tragedy for his family. Here’s what Newt Gingrich Tweeted: “Andrew Breitbart was the most innovative pioneer in conservative activist social media in America. He had great courage and creativity.”

Creativity? Oh, yes. Breitbart was a liar. He slandered honest people with selectively edited tapes. His targets were big – Barack Obama. And small  –  the  Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture. Her name was Shirley Sherrod, and perhaps you remember how Breitbart posted a video that twisted one of her speeches into making it appear that Sherrod, an African-American woman, was guilty of discriminating against a white farmer. Further examination of the entire video – which Breitbart claimed he had never seen – demonstrated that Sherrod was making the exact opposite point. The farmer and his wife backed up Sherrod’s version of the events. She sued Breitbart for defamation, and that interesting lawsuit remains ongoing.

So we have a demonstrably proven liar heralded as a conservative journalistic lion. He was also, of course, a Republican.

You may file Breitbart’s unsteady body of work alongside other videotape masterworks such as Fox News using images of other rallies to make it appear that Tea Party gatherings were larger than they actually were (Fox was tripped up by the green trees of summer, when the trees should have been wearing their fall colors). And last year’s video allegedly proving that street violence was occurring at protests against anti-union legislation in Wisconsin (Madison does not have palm trees, which were clearly visible in the video).

In fact, a lot of this craziness is calculated. Republicans aren’t stupid. But they believe you are.

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