Friday, June 25, 2010

GOP Congressman Compares Obama to Hitler

It seems right-wing intellectuals and clean energy foes - including Sarah Palin - have taken a page out of Glenn Beck's playbook.

Not long ago, Daily Show correspondent, Lewis Black, diagnosed the beltway pundit with a case of "Nazi Tourettes," referring to Beck's propensity to liken anything and everything he doesn't like to the actions of Hitler and the National Socialist party (watch Black's rant here). Now, other prominent conservatives are exhibiting signs of the same condition.

Thomas Sowell, a conservative columnist, recently wrote an editorial in which he compares the BP escrow fund to something Hitler might have done.

Tuesday night, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) took to the House floor to regale his colleagues with the comparison:

GOHMERT: There's a brilliant man named Thomas Sowell. And, um, I didn't vote for Barack Obama in 2008, but I sure would have voted for Thomas Sowell. This man, well, his article says quite a lot. His editorial, um, says here — and it's just been posted this week — but it says, "When Adolph Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920's" — and I'm quoting from Thomas Sowell in his editorial:

...leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics.

Such people were a valuable addition to his political base, since they were particularly susceptible to Hitler's rhetoric and had far less basis for questioning his assumptions or his conclusions.

"Useful idiots" was the term supposedly coined by V.I. Lenin to describe similarly unthinking supporters of his dictatorship in the Soviet Union.

And this isn't in the article — this is my comment — but we do have useful idiots today, who are heard to say, "Wow, what we really need is for the president to be a dictator for a little while." They know not what they say.

Gohmert continued reading approvingly from the column, including the part in which Sowell bashes Obama for his handling of the Gulf disaster:
Just where in the Constitution of the United States does it say that a president has the authority to extract vast sums of money from a private enterprise and distribute it as he sees fit to whomever he deems worthy of compensation? Nowhere.
Wow. Just wow. Where to begin on the absurdity of this. Sowell's main argument (and therefore, Gohmert's) is that both President Obama and Hitler were able to motivate people who aren't normally interested in politics. Funny ... the same could be said of the Tea Party.

And speaking of the Tea of their favorites, Sarah Palin, took to Twitter also to hype Sowell's outlandish analogy:

I'll bet you'd find a few Palin supporters in Louisiana and Mississippi, but try telling some Gulf Coast residents that President Obama's attempts to help them make him like Hitler. See what they say. It seems Joe Barton (R-TX) isn't the only GOP legislator who is completely out of touch with reality.

Click here to read Sowell's entire article. Watch the video of Gohmert's statement below:

Big Oil Front Group Doubles Down On Tried-And-True Strategy: Make Stuff Up

Yesterday, multiple outlets reported that the League of Conservation Voters was joining clean energy allies VoteVets, SEIU and the Sierra Club as part of a campaign to help ensure the Senate acts on comprehensive energy and climate legislation this summer.

How did Big Oil respond to this news? With made-up, over-the-top attacks, naturally.

@IERenergy Environmental groups to spend $11M on ad campaign calling for purity on carbon criminalization vote
That's the Twitter handle for the "Institute for Energy Research," a behemoth lobbying group funded by major oil companies like ExxonMobil whose main purpose in life, according to SourceWatch, is to advocate "positions on environmental issues including deregulation of utilities, climate change denial, and claims that conventional energy sources are virtually limitless."

Oh, and its president used to be the communications director for Enron. So they seem to have all of their "bad guy" bases covered.

That's why I suppose we shouldn't be too shocked that IER has decided that "criminalization" is the right word for legislation that would limit carbon pollution. According to that logic, limiting anything is the same as criminalizing it: limiting drivers to 25 miles per hour in school zones "criminalizes" driving, and limiting hunters to five bucks a season "criminalizes" hunting.

There is one thing that IER doesn't seem to worried about limiting, however: oil spills. While a seemingly limitless gusher of oil from BP's sunken rig continues to destroy the Gulf of Mexico, IER wants to make sure you know how strongly it opposes any efforts to limit future spills. Because that would be "anti-energy," which is basically oil-biz-speak for "un-American."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Absolutely Painful Video Of Rep. Eric Cantor Defending Joe Barton

This video, in which House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) defends the decision to keep BP apologizer Joe Barton as the top House Republican on energy issues, is just awkward:

Bear in mind that the tough questioning here is coming from Joe Scarborough, himself a former Republican member of the House.

Some transcript highlights:
Joe Scarborough: Why is Joe Barton being allowed to keep his job when Joe Barton apologized to a corporation that is destroying my hometown's economy and destroying the economy across the Gulf Coast?

Eric Cantor: Joe, listen, Joe Barton is not the issue. You know, Joe Barton apologized...

Scarborough: Well he kind of is, though. If he's the most powerful Republican on the Hill right now when it comes to energy, he is the issue, isn't he?

Cantor: No he's not!
And, best of all:
Eric Cantor: Joe Barton has said he was wrong. He actually stepped before our entire conference yesterday and said, "If a Texan can be humble, I apologize. I was wrong." Okay? I think he has said it.

Joe Klein (Time): But Congressman, right after that -- I mean to me, the most amazing thing about this is that Joe Barton tweets, and right after that --

Joe Scarborough: Oh, this was unbelievable! Hold it, hold it, stop for a second. Let's just look at Eric, because you know what poor Eric's thinking? He's thinking, "This jackass has hurt the Republican Party, I'm out here defending him, and then the dumbass goes out and tweets. So, talk about this tweet!

Klein: He undercut his apology! I mean, this guy just can't get to "I'm sorry!"

Scarborough: Tell him he can't tweet for the next six months! But Eric, go ahead, I'm sorry. But you've got to admit that he it was stupid to go ahead and tweet after the apology, "Joe Barton was right."

Cantor: I don't even think he knew the tweet went out.


Scarborough: Wow. Let me just say, and put Eric's face up on the camera. We always talk about political athletes, guys who go out and have to fight the good fight, but they're running straight uphill with barbells on their back. Well this guy Eric is doing a great job despite the fact that he's having to carry Joe Barton's hulking mass up a mountain. Eric, good luck with Joe Barton in the future.