A recent post by Media Matters, Fox’s Obama “socialism” smear comes straight from the top,
In an interview, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes referred to President Obama’s policies as “socialism.” Ailes’ opinion is shared by his Fox News employees, who regularly characterize President Obama and his administration as “socialist.”
[ ]…Hannity: Obama has done “so much damage with his failed socialist policies” On the October 26 edition of Hannity, Sean Hannity said: “I remember when I interviewed Rush [Limbaugh] at the beginning of the Obama presidency and he said I want him to fail. It made all that news. You know what, I don’t want his policies to succeed. I want him out of — I want him to be a one term president because he’s doing so much damage with his failed socialist policies.”
If Fox News personalities were standing on soap boxes on street corners dressed in dirty old clothes we’d throw a quarter in the cup out of sympathy for the poor nut jobs. Apparently not even real socialists think Obama is anywhere near being a socialist. Fox’s job, proto-fascist right-wing radio punks like Limbaugh and hundreds of far Right newspaper columnist have one job. To distract people from some essential truths. The USA is run, not in the sense of some shadowy conspiracy, quite openly by large corporations and their well funded special interests groups. Time is short today so just one big example, Ghostwriting the Law
Though it calls itself “the nation’s largest bipartisan, individual membership association of state legislators,” ALEC might better be described as one of the nation’s most powerful — and least known — corporate lobbies. While other lobbyists focus on the federal government, ALEC gives business a direct hand in writing bills that are considered in state assemblies nationwide. Funded primarily by large corporations, industry groups, and conservative foundations — including R.J. Reynolds, Koch Industries, and the American Petroleum Institute — the group takes a chain-restaurant approach to public policy, supplying precooked McBills to state lawmakers. Since most legislators are in session only part of the year and often have no staff to do independent research, they’re quick to swallow what ALEC serves up. In 2000, according to the council, members introduced more than 3,100 bills based on its models, passing 450 into law.
Not surprisingly, many of the bills benefit the companies that helped write them. Consider ALEC’s “Environmental Audit Privilege,” a measure that relieves companies of legal responsibility for their own pollution. The bill got its start in 1992, when Colorado regulators fined the Coors Brewing Company for smog-inducing air emissions at several plants. ALEC was quick to respond, drafting a measure to prevent firms from being fined if they report environmental violations at their facilities, and to keep such disclosures secret.
[ ]…In another instance of profitable policymaking, ALEC drafted a model “truth in sentencing” bill that restricts parole eligibility for prisoners, keeping inmates locked up longer. One of the members of the task force that drafted the bill was Corrections Corporation of America, the nation’s largest private prison company, which stands to cash in on longer sentences. By the late 1990s, similar sentencing measures had passed in 40 states. “There was never any mention that ALEC or anybody else had any involvement in this,” Walter Dickey, the former head of Wisconsin’s prison system, told reporters after his state passed a version of the measure.
[ ]….In a report issued earlier this year, Defenders of Wildlife and the Natural Resources Defense Council denounced ALEC as a vehicle for corporations to buy access to state legislatures — often with a little help from taxpayers, who in many states foot the travel bill for legislators who attend ALEC meetings. The report found that the group’s corporate donors — some of whom pay membership dues of $50,000 a year — have included Philip Morris, Amoco, Chevron, Enron, and the American Energy Institute. ALEC enjoys what it calls an “impressive presence” among the leadership of state legislatures, with a membership that includes speakers, presidents, and majority and minority leaders in 22 senates and 30 houses. The group’s alumni also include nine governors and more than 80 members of Congress… ( this article was written in 2002 so some of the conservative leaders in Congress have changed).
The political spectrum in the U.S. is not some blurry middle with Democrats huddled around the center to center left with some over lap with some mythical centrist conservatives and the rest just Right of center. Democrats are around the center and Republicans are so far to the Right they have earned the title of proto-fascist. Hannity conveniently forgets it was conservatives who bear most of the blame for driving the economy off the cliff – the economy was hemorrhaging jobs before Obama took office and the housing bubble was well underway in 2006. It is now conservatives who are more concerned with cuddling rapists and child molesters while trampling over the rights of women. The Rights constant substanceless name calling is all about deflecting attention away from their disastrous policies. They are a political movement who imitates the man who keeps banging his head against the wall expecting different results. Something that conservatives and libertarians ( Lew Rockwell and the Mises Institute in particular) have in common is the belief, which has all the taint of unreasoning religious zealotry, that America is so much better off having faith in Exxon or BP or Enron than elected officials. Not a great choice but at least the latter can be voted out of office.