After the election of Barack Obama in 2008, and purging over 15,000 users from his Little Green Footballs site, Charles Johnson apparently found it necessary to explain WHY. His list of 10 reasons of “Why I Parted Ways With The Right” received some attention at the time, yet he finds it necessary to republish it on a regular basis in response to anyone asking, “Hey, Charles. Didn’t you have a conservative blog at one time?”
Most will agree that the time has come to perform an autopsy of The List, line-by-line.
1. Support for fascists (see: Pat Buchanan, Robert Stacy McCain, etc.) and in Europe (see: Vlaams Belang, BNP, SIOE, etc.) .
[Facism was invented by a socialist, Benito Mussolini. He understood that socialism doesn’t work, so he created a system whereby the government allows an entrepreneur to keep his profits, yet dictates how the business is run and how much they could charge for their products and services. He destroyed his country’s economy, and at the end of WWII his own people hanged him. An argument may be made that many U.S. Federal Government regulatory departments are fascist in nature by definition, including the IRS, the EPA, the FCC, the FTC, the NEA and especially ObamaCare.]
Pat Buchanan is not the sum total of the “right” and is roundly disavowed – not supported – by Republicans, the so-called right and conservatives in general. At best, he falls in the category of “stopped clock, twice a day” and only with regard to illegal immigration issues. To Johnson, any group concerned for the future of their country in light of the slow encroachment of Islam and shari’a law (aka “creeping shari’a”) are in his mind Fascist. Pat Buchanan existed before 2001 and his support hasn’t increased between then and 2009. He also does not explain why Vlaams Belang, BNP are so-called “fascist” organizations.
And considering Johnson’s liberal definition of what is racist, it would not be outside the realm of skepticism to arch an eyebrow or two over his definition of fascism. He was very quick to ask about a flag with purported “fascist” symbols at a TEA Party rally and was unapologetic when it turned out to be the State Flag of Tennessee. If you LOOK for fascism you’ll either always find it or invent it if necessary.
Meanwhile, since Johnson’s conversion, Obama and company have provided immense financial support to the truly fascist regime in Iran, as well as support for the oppressive shari’a law laid down by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (the latter was such a failure the populace actually welcomed a military coup). Additionally, he has opened Cuba, under our local tyrant Fidel Castro, without extracting any concessions for freedoms for Cubans. For Johnson, support for fascism is apparently perfectly fine if those on the left provide the support beams.
2. Support for bigotry, hatred and white supremacism.
[Straw Man Argument. It’s an attempt to condemn a group of people for the actions of a few with neither attribution nor proof of support. Racial bigots and supremacists may be found in every political party; however, the Democrat Party was pro-slavery, fought against the 13th Amendment, promoted Eugenics, sterilization and abortion for blacks, enacted and enforced Jim Crow Laws, and fought against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.]
Again, no specific examples of wholesale support on the right for any of the accusations; the phrase is juvenile and unsupported. Bigotry taking the form of what? Since this predates #OccupyWallStreet, #BlackLivesMatter, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, et al., this must be referring to other events evidencing bigotry. What were they? One might assume (as this is post 2008 election) he refers to opposition to Barack Obama and his policies, yet he is non-specific.
Also, since the 2008 election, Johnson’s apparently not beyond a little bigotry and hatred himself with regard to Black Americans who embrace a conservative viewpoint, callously referring to them as “tokens” and “Uncle Toms”. Now that he joined the left, he’s untroubled by the viewpoint of the New Black Panther Party, and #BlackLivesMatter – no bigotry or hatred there, right? Only a call to murder cops and caucasians (aka, Whitey). Johnson’s also rather comfortable with anti-Semitism.
3. Support for throwing women back into the Dark Ages and general religious fanaticism.
[Straw Man Argument that makes no coherent grammatical sense. Islam is the only major religion without a Reformation that aims to force women (and everyone else) into religious slavery upon threat of torture and/or death. The term “The Dark Ages” refers to a period after the fall of the Roman Empire where the written historical record is sparse. It has nothing to do with Women’s Rights or religion.]
This statement is nothing more than melodrama. Opposition to abortion is not throwing women back to the Dark Ages and asking them to pay for their own birth control is not oppression. Modern methods and pharmaceuticals have literally eliminated the need for abortion if employed correctly. He also ignores that there is rising distaste in this country for abortion being used as birth control based on field research, and especially later term abortion. His use of “Operation Rescue” as an example of an oppressive organization, ignores the fact that Operation Rescue has been around for decades and was a functional organization when he swerved to the “right” after 9/11.
And what constitutes “general religious fanaticism”? In truth, Johnson only sees Christianity as the true culprit here but seems rather unwilling to say it.. Currently, the greatest religious fanaticism can be found in the teachings of Islam – read Andrew McCarthy who really IS an expert on Islam.
4. Support for anti-science bad craziness.
[Straw Man with no citations. “Anti-science” presumably refers to those who recognize that the theory of anthropological global warming is a perpetrated hoax based upon manipulated data for purposes of expanding government control and taxation. “Bad craziness” is a non-sequitur phrase stolen from Hunter S. Thompson that means nothing in this context.]
If there is any anti-science in evidence in the AGW argument, it lies with the so-called climate scientists, who are using nothing more than computer models as evidence instead of the empirical model that is customarily demanded by science. Contrary to claims, Polar bear populations are increasing. The expected hurricanes have never arrived. Any climate situation or fact is immediately cited as a result of global warming, whether it be a lessening or worsening. Al Gore was sanctioned from the bench in the United Kingdom for his duplicity in “An Inconvenient Truth” What is surprising that Johnson is not appalled by the absolutely hypocrisy, for instance, of the Anti-Global Warming crowd’s use of private jets, yachts, etc. Al Gore has a 35,000 sq. ft. house.
Of course, there’s also those people that don’t “believe” in evolution. So what? It’s a belief. I’m pretty sure they held the same beliefs in 2001. Suppose these same people believed the Earth was flat? Wouldn’t change anything. Schools would not toss all their globes off the roof or use them for stickball. Evangelicals are supposedly a danger because- they believe God created everything. This is not a “new” development. One of the reasons Intelligent Design was formulated was to help reconcile the belief in creation with the theory of evolution. There has been no demand that the teaching of evolution be dropped from the school. And I do not know of wholesale demand from the right that Intelligent Design be added to curricula.
5. Support for homophobic bigotry.
[Strawman. The latin term means “fear of the same.” No citations or evidence to prove widespread support of bigotry against homosexuals. The EEOC Laws address and give legal support to homosexuals and others, and were part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that was opposed by the Democrat Party. The ADA Act of 1991 addressed the same, and created a nation-wide litigious framework for retribution.]
Redundant. Bigotry is bigotry and it was already covered in No. 2. So now, by the fifth item he essentially repeats himself. True, many on the right believe homosexuality is not normal. And since Johnson is non-specific as to how, if at all, this “bigotry” and prejudice against homosexuals is manifest in right-wing policy, we are left pondering what the right is supposedly doing on a wholesale basis. Laws discriminating against homosexuals? No. (Be mindful that this predates the gender neutral bathroom controversy.) Gay marriage? At the time Johnson wrote this, both Obama and Clinton had doubled down on their opposition to same. And also be mindful that in Johnson’s home, California, Proposition 8, which was a Constitutional Amendment for Traditional marriage, passed in a state with 3 to 1 Democrat voter registration. PASSED. In the same election that had Barack Obama on the ballot. Hmmm……what could have been the reason? It was passed because Black and Hispanics, voters traditionally on the left, voted for it.
6. Support for anti-government lunacy.
[Government is necessary and in this country has a limited purpose as defined in the Constitution. More government control equates to less freedom and eventually leads to a totalitarian State. Many citizens believe that our government has devolved into Fascism.]
Again, no specific examples of this are offered. In absence of this, one can only presume Johnson is referring to the TEA Party, since up to this official parting, he was obsessed with it. Had he actually done any research he would have seen that that it was the MEDIA that smeared the TEA Party, calling them anti-government lunatics. They asked for adherence to the Constitution and a reduction in government spending. They weren’t ready to entrust the government with 20% of the economy (health care) when they had never managed a single program in the black. And the anti-government spending movement reaches farther back than simply the election of Barack Obama. The election of 2006 was the right’s first major move against runaway spending. And BUSH was President at the time.
As it turns out, they were right about ObamaCare. Which is why the Democrats are now begging the Republicans to help them out of the mess they created.
8. Support for conspiracy theories and hate speech.
[Strawman. In this country citizens are free to come to their own conclusions and express them. The term “hate speech” implies that a free opinion, voiced or otherwise, should be regulated and/or squelched – a clear violation of the First Amendment.]
And we’re back to No. 2 again. Isn’t hate speech part of bigotry and hatred? And the only “conspiracy” theory I can think of he could be referring to must be birtherism. And frankly, as far as birtherism is concerned, the fault for this so-called conspiracy resides with Obama himself. He allowed a book to give his bio as being born in Kenya as well as news stories saying the same when he was elected to the Senate in 2004.[i] And it was Sid Blumenthal in 2008, working in the Clinton campaign, who called up news outlets asking them to investigate.[ii] By the way, the Democrats pulled the same stunt with McCain, who was born in Panama. What did McCain do? Immediately produced his long-form birth certificate, and legal scholars pointed to the statutory law that designated such births “native born.” What did Obama do? He sealed his transcripts, his records and produced a short form birth certificate. Oh, and by the way. That’s not a “conspiracy.” Let me tell you what is a conspiracy — the IRS targeting right wing non-profits. Sending a man to jail to lend credence to a made-up story about a video to cover up an attack on a Consulate in Libya and then sending out an Ambassador to every Sunday show to spread the lie. THOSE are conspiracies. Oh, and your defense of Van Jones . He’s big on 9/11 being an inside job. You now make excuses for him.
8. A right-wing blogosphere that is almost universally dominated by raging hate speech.
[Strawman. The phrase “Almost universally” means nothing, as does the undefined phrase “raging hate speech.”]
Picking out five comments at a website does not condemn the entire right wing blogosphere. However it is always important to bear in mind that it was at one of those sites where one of your “Monitor Lizards left a few “n” turds of his own in the middle of the night when the moderators were asleep. And the same scrappy little minion always seemed to find all the nasty mean right-wing comments. And you wonder why we always hit you with the side-eye when you make your reports of the raging hate speech on the right. Thousands of comments at a website, three are questionable and to you, the entire section is an Aryan infestation. But hate speech from the left is applauded. Again, not the “what” but the “who”.
Also something cannot be “almost universally” just as it cannot be “very unique” – the adjectives stand alone.
9. Anti-Islamic bigotry that goes far beyond criticizing radical Islam into support for fascism, violence and genocide.
[Strawman. Fascism is a construct of the left. Bigotry exists everywhere if you hunt for it, and support for the U.S. Military doesn’t equate to support for violence, it’s a support for peace with a powerful deterrent. The G.O.P. is not calling for genocide.]
And this is a combination of 1 and 2, it would seem. Again, there are no examples. Certainly there are individuals on the right that do support this. They are a percentage of a percentage. But again, Johnson paints the entire right as stamping their approval. What is most telling is that after Johnson’s break with the right, he never commented on the genocide of Christians by ISIS in the Middle East, which went unremarked upon by the leftist media.
10. Hatred for President Obama that goes far beyond simply criticizing his polices, into racism, hate speech and bizarre conspiracy theories.
[Strawman, accusations without merit. Paints the entire Republican and Libertarian Parties with racism while ignoring historical facts. The Democrat Party was founded upon racism, defended it, supported segregation and fought the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Republicans abolished slavery in 1865 despite Democrat opposition.]
And we’re back to racism and hate speech and conspiracy theories. Johnson does not have, essentially, an original point to make here – all he has done is insert Barack Obama as a focal point. Hatred is hatred, bigotry is bigotry and he’s already covered “conspiracy theories” in a previous item. So now Johnson is onboard with Obama’s policies, then? It would appear so. Again, Johnson fails with any specificity to state how this supposed hatred manifests himself. It is essentially a frivolous attempt to now align himself with the new administration and establish street cred with the left.
In truth, Johnson is being as disingenuous in this list as he has been since the election of Obama. It was nothing more than a “Look at me!” device. And it got him an afternoon’s worth of attention from a couple of lefty quarters, like the LA Times. Why he feels the need to resurrect it every so often is a mystery. It’s not well written, it’s long on vague and short on specific, and tells you nothing.
[i] Including one by the Associated Press: http://classic-web.archive.org/web/20040627142700/eastandard.net/headlines/news26060403.htm
[ii] http://www.mediaite.com/online/journalist-says-that-clinton-ally-blumenthal-once-spread-the-birther-rumor-to-me/ Mediaite is not exactly a “right wing” website.