FASCIST IS AS FASCIST DOES

If right-wingers are too quick to use epithets against an argument they don't like, the left is just as guilty for throwing the word "fascist" around too quickly.

Now the White House speechwriters are tossing the f-bomb around on a PR offensive featuring the president talking to the VA--tough crowd, gutsy move. Apparently he's asking the rest of us to help him clean up the mess he himself made, a familiar litany in this man's life. The Donald (Rumsfeld) is using it too, talking about "a new type of fascism" and honking about appeasement, the broad hint being that anyone who opposes Rumsfeld must be an appeaser and a Very Bad Person.

Rove’s Republicans must have been concerned that the left still had one powerful word left in their quiver. Now every neo-con from Bush to Rumsfeld to Tony Snow to Rick “I didn't think I was going to talk about "man on dog" with a United States senator”Santorum to Majority Leader Bill “Cat Killer” Frist is evoking the shade of Chamberlain at Munich.

I try to stay close to the word's etymology: those who emulate a bundle of sticks or "fasces", a political organization wherein the individual is subordinate to the state, and things get damned uncomfortable for the sticks that don't quite fit.

The irony is that nothing resembles modern fascism quite so much as the Bush administration’s insistence on a monolithic point of view. The Japanese phrase “the nail that sticks up gets hammered down,” fairly describes the national dialogue during the rush to invade Iraq. Digby’s Hullabaloo has called them on it, and the Los Angeles Times are drop kicking the analogy as well. The Christian Science Monitor lets the word speak for itself. If this propaganda initiative fails, I wonder what vile phrase the Rover Boys will next tie to their test balloons.

Keith Olbermann has articulated as well as anyone why we refer to this administration as "fascistic”. I first saw Olbermann as a hockey reporter on ESPN, and still miss the phrase “drop the chalupa”, but an essay like this is worth his disappearance into the shadows of MSNBC.

2 comments:

Stewart Sternberg said...

Sometimes media follows Newton. For instance, Olbermann seems to have come around to the light side, but ABC (Disney's handpuppet) appears to be sliding into the dark side faster than Limbaugh can palm an illegal perscription. Right now, the network (which also has a right wing talk station on XM Radio) is planning on airing a 9-11 television show which seems to lay the blame at the foot of the Clinton administration.

For Halloween I'm dressing up as Jon Stewart

Ormondroyd's Encyclopedia Esoterica said...

I wouldn't mind a review of the Clinton administration's mistakes, if ABC would remind us WHY he didn't go after bin Laden with both guns blazing: we were neck deep in Monicagate, and every time Clinton took military action, the Republicans howled that he was trying to "distract" the Amurican people before an election.

This is hardly a sea-change at ABC. For years they've broadcast John Stossel, who makes his points by telling the half of the story that makes his targets look their worst so that he can look more righteous.

I also note that the story was written and produced by a pro-Shah Iranian, somewhere to the right of a Miami Cuban.

More on this here and here. A guy on Kos wants ABC to pull the show, something I'm not willing to support unless it shows Clinton eating a baby or something-- remember how we pissed and moaned when conservatives made CBS pull a James Brolin docudrama about Reagan? The fault, I suspect, is inherant in the docudrama format.