Gifford’s Shooting, Tea Party Hate Speech and the Mainstream GOP
By: Jeanine Molloff
UPDATE: In light of the Tea Party’s push to link Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid to the Debt Ceiling–this piece has new importance as it establishes definite LINKS BETWEEN MAINSTREAM GOP AND THE TEA PARTY.
(Note: this is a repost. This piece was previously published on OpEdNews.
Quite a bit of rhetoric has been spewed forth in the few weeks following the tragic shootings in Tucson by a mentally deranged gunman. The suspect, Jared Loughner had been allegedly influenced by various extremist writings ranging from Hitler’s Mein Kampf to the Communist Manifesto. Parallels were mentally drawn between Loughner’s violent actions previewed in his rambling online postings, and the shrill chorus of hate speech coming from the far right, in the form of the Tea Party Movement.
When recent Tea Party campaign literature had come to light; the rhetoric of incitement became routine. Former GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin had organized a campaign against various US Reps, targeting each individual Rep and the district with the crosshairs of a gun target. Before the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords–her opponent–tea party candidate Jesse Kelly, sponsored a fund raiser aptly dubbed, ‘shoot an M16 with Jesse.’ In addition, calls from the likes of Glenn Beck were advocating violence against ‘liberals’ as Beck incited his audience to …”shoot them in the head.” A few weeks into the new congress; US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the same representative whose name and district had been targeted by the crosshairs of a gun–had been shot in the head.
US Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords was critically wounded, and several innocents were murdered in cold blood–including a nine year old girl who will never go to her high school prom, get married or run for political office.
President Obama’s Eulogy for victims…
President Obama traveled to Tucson to give a heartfelt eulogy to the survivors, and the nation. As far as his speech allowed, we were given the same spirit of kindness and compassion generated by true Christians, and for those words–we thank him.
Were his words enough of a response to a nation polarized by various renewed bigotries? No. Though the scene of the eulogy was not the appropriate venue for a political speech–one such speech addressing growing racism, anti-semitism, homophobia, etc., should have been prepared. A call to civility is inadequate when innocents are faced with bigots determined to annihilate them. That call to civility; would merely become collaboration with fascists, much as the French Vichy government collaborated with the Nazi threat some 70 years ago.
Palin Condolences disingenuous at best…
Then we have the ‘condolences’ sent by Sarah Palin–heavily sermonized and lightly peppered with accusations of her self-perceived persecution by a media directed…’blood libel.’ This is where my outrage begins.
Like Congressman Gabrielle Giffords–I am a Jew. When I heard Sarah Palin’s chiding that …”journalists and pundits should not manufacture a BLOOD LIBEL;” I could feel the cold, steely hand of prejudice choke out all true feelings of condolence on Palin’s part. In fact, I was so shocked Palin had the audacity to use this phrase, I had to view her entire speech. Here is the full quote I am citing:
The ‘blood libel quote’…
…”Vigorous and spirited public debates during elections are among our most cherished traditions. And after the election, we shake hands and get back to work, and often both sides find common ground back in D.C. and elsewhere. If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate that vision. If you don’t like their ideas, you’re free to propose better ideas. BUT ESPECIALLY WITHIN HOURS OF A TRAGEDY UNFOLDING, JOURNALISTS AND PUNDITS SHOULD NOT MANUFACTURE A BLOOD LIBEL THAT SERVES ONLY TO INCITE THE VERY HATRED AND VIOLENCE THEY PURPORT TO CONDEMN. THAT IS REPREHENSIBLE.”
(Source : http://dyn.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47478.html)
Now, Palin’s reference to various ‘journalists and pundits’ is a slap at opinions and accusations made by the political ‘left’ claiming that this violent day was the by-product of tea party hate speech inciting violence, more specifically Palin’s own calls for ‘reloading’ rather than politically retreating. Furthermore, she is chiding the ‘left’ for callously ‘using’ this tragedy for political gain.
Whether you believe Palin on this point, or those who assign some blame to the growing climate of intolerance and bigotry, recorded in the new online media (often by videos supplied by the very same Tea Party movement); is irrelevant. If Palin felt unfairly treated by the ‘left’–there were many other ways to express this complaint. Instead, she selected the most vile ‘code phrase’ used by bigots historically to slander an entire people and–yes– to INCITE genocide, namely the accusation of BLOOD LIBEL. Her buddy, Andrew Breitbart came to Palin’s defense in a piece where Palin explained the ‘definition’ of blood libel. Here is her take: “It means being falsely accused of having blood on your hands and in this case that’s exactly what’s going on.”
(Source : http://www.breitbart.com/print.php?id)
In reality, the definition of ‘blood libel’ according to The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions 1997 Edition is the following:
Blood-libel. “The accusation that Jews murder non-Jews to obtain blood for Passover rituals. The accusation was repeated in many places in the Middle Ages and was the cause of anti-Jewish riots and massacres. It was a regular motif in anti-Semitic propaganda until the Second World War.”
(Source : JOHN BOWKER. “Blood-libel.” The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. 1997. Retrieved January 18, 2011 from Encyclopedia.com :http :www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O101_Bloodlibel.html)
This anti-semitic canard inspired some of the most heinous genocides in Europe, ( including the Spanish Inquisition and the holocaust of some 6 million Jews),–so when a possible presidential contender from the ‘Tea Party’ abuses this term–anti-semitic intent will be suspect.
Politically Correct Language vs. Political Judgment of Presidential Contenders…
Without meaning to sound ‘politically correct,’ a presidential contender MUST carefully choose their words. Often potentially explosive international incidents can occur when presidents or presidential contenders use words carelessly–especially words which carry such bigoted import.
When Mrs. Palin chose the phrase ‘blood libel,’ she chose a phrase so inflammatory that it rivals Nazi jargon straight from the ranks of the Third Reich.
Her remarks regarding ‘blood libel’ charges were either the by-product of gross diplomatic incompetence or the ‘artifact’ of an anti-semitic mind. Though Palin claims to love the Jews and Israel, (she has a flag of Israel in her office);–she chooses to invoke the most racist, anti-semitic code words known to history.
There are those who claim that Palin was using a phrase which is meaningful to evangelical zionists. That may be, but both Palin and such evangelical groups should not be shocked when Jewish groups scream foul. For Palin to compare her alleged political persecution to that of the Jewish people through the history of the Diaspora is disingenuous at best and suspiciously close to what the Tea Party leaders would label …a scam. If she has such a poor sense of diplomacy, history and international relations–then you have to wonder what GOP leaders are thinking granting her serious consideration as a presidential contender or running mate.
Is Palin and the entire Tea Party Movement an aberration of the times–or a vehicle mainstream GOP corporatists are using to fully enact a corporate dictatorship? In short–how mainstream is the Tea Party and various Tea Party ‘stars’ such as Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Andrew Breitbart, etc.?
Contacting GOP Leaders Regarding Palin’s Remarks…
Since Palin’s most recent blunder; I decided to contact GOP leaders regarding her politics in the Tea Party, her competence and obviously her choice of diplomatically explosive language which has aired internationally. I contacted via phone the offices of GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, her former presidential running mate Senator McCain, and House Majority Leader John Boehner. Though each office took a message which was meant for each legislator’s respective press secretary; no response has been received as of this writing.
Tea Party Leaders and Consultants Dick Armey & Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks Have Official GOP Credentials…
During this war of words between the Tea Party, Sarah Palin and the Jewish-American community–various ‘mainstream’ GOP politicians have offered modest criticisms or corrections of Palin’s ‘blood libel’ shout-out. The overall impression becomes one of cautious coddling of Tea Party Grand Dame Palin, and an equally cautious political distancing from what could be a media implosion.
Even the political ‘left’ (including the Anti-Defamation League) offered anemic statements of regret rather than outrage. Very little was said about the possibility that this term was used as political code to various white supremacist, anti-semitic and neo-nazi groups. Consequently, I decided to investigate the relationship between the Tea Party, the Tea Party consultants, the mainstream corporate led GOP and–of course–Sarah Palin.
The Media Implosion to Come–aka the Politically Incestuous Relationship Between Official GOP, Koch Family Foundation and the Tea Party…
Two of the major Tea Party ‘gurus’ are former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, and former Senior Economist at the Republican National Committee Matt Kibbe. Both men have been the recipients of Koch family money in various incarnations. Koch Industries is the largest privately held corporation in the US, rivaling the likes of Microsoft. In short, Koch Industries IS the mainstream GOP.
Presently, Armey and Kibbe run the Tea Party consultant group Freedomworks. Recent reports in progressive media have linked Koch Industry and/or Koch Family Foundation monies to alleged tea party astroturf groups, FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity. Officially, the Koch Industries Communications Director has stated that the Koch family does not fund FreedomWorks–a closer examination of that statement reveals some interesting double-talk. Here is the statement provided by that same communications director :
…”Koch companies value free speech and believe it is good to have more Americans engaged in key policy issues. That said, Koch companies, the Koch foundations, Charles Koch and David Koch have no ties to and have never given money to Freedom Works. In addition, no funding has been provided by Koch companies, the Koch foundations, Charles Koch or David Koch SPECIFICALLY to support the tea parties.”
(Source : http://crooksandliars.com/Karoli/Koch-industries-denies-funding-freedomworks)
SPECIFICALLY, is the key word which makes previous word parsing look so inconsequential that it is
the semantic equivalent of being …’a little bit pregnant,’ ultimately–you know the end result.
Closer examination reveals some interesting public relations and legal wrangling with an entity little
known outside the DC , K Street ‘beltway,’ by the name of Citizens for a Sound Economy or CSE.
CSE, vs. FreedomWorks…different name, same players, same funders…
Like far too many things in DC–the ‘revolving door’ rules supreme with Tea Party apparatchniks as well. CSE or ‘Citizens for a Sound Economy was the predecessor to FreedomWorks. Spearheaded with money from the Koch brothers, the Coors Family and the Olin and Scaife Foundations respectively, CSE morphed into FreedomWorks in 2004. Additionally, the CSE foundation was rebranded that year and became the second astroturf group–Americans For Prosperity. In fact, between 1985 and 2002 CSE received some 12 MILLION from the Kochs alone. Furthermore, David Koch is the co-founder of CSE. So much for alleged outsider status.
What is also interesting is the curious link between mainstream GOP leaders, the Tea Party extremists and the hate speech that punctuates Tea Party rallies, featuring broadcast icons like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Andrew Breitbart. When examining Glenn Beck’s 912 Project, which staged the first Tea Party march on DC, in September of 2009–we find FreedomWorks under Dick Armey responsible for the logistical planning of that event. Each pundit bristles at any suggestion of Tea Party sympathies and/or support for racist, anti-semitic or neo-Nazi groups; rather they collectively accuse the political ‘left’ of the very fascism routinely seen on parade at Tea Party rallies. The evidence, often found on Tea Party sites, proves the talking heads to be raving liars. Below is a small list of tea party leaders sporting white supremacist and/or neo-Nazi ties.
Tea Party Leaders with anti-democratic, Racist, Anti-Semitic or Neo-Nazi Sympathies…
Judson Phillips–Tea Party Nation President
Tea Party Nation President Judson Phillips has a peculiar view of various constitutional rights, especially voting rights. On November 17, 2010 Judson advocated restricting voting rights solely to citizens WHO OWN PROPERTY. Judson has also gone on record pushing the repeal of the 14th amendment which grants citizenship to immigrant children born here, and repeal of the 17th amendment which mandates the public election of US Senators. Before the 17th amendment, US Senators were appointed by each state legislature. Judson sounds more like a political royalist than a populist.
(Source : http://www.teapartynationalism.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=135:tea-)
Judson responded to the GIffords’ shooting by sending a flurry of mass e-mails to Tea Party Nation member urging them to scapegoat liberals for the event.
Sal Russo–Chief Strategist of Tea Party Express
A colleague of Judson’s, Sal Russo, chief strategist for Tea Party Express told Fox news that suspect Jared Loughner..”was obviously a leftist. He admired Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto. These are not volumes that are popular with the Tea Party so he was obviously a left-wing anarchist, he was probably anti-Semitic.” Russo’s poor command of history fails to realize that Hitler despised communists and included that group in the Final Solution for extermination. Furthermore, Karl Marx was a Jew who wrote the manifesto as a remedy to the extreme poverty and cruelty of the Czars.
(Source : http://www.teapartynationalism.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id-137:tea-)
1776 Tea Party …Steve Eichler and Tim Bueler
Steve Eichler and Tim Bueler run the 1776 Tea Party group. Buehler is also connected with the Minuteman Project which has been implicated in the murder of 9 year old Brisenia Flores and her father Raul Flores in–Arizona. Both Brisenia, and her father were murdered in a home invasion conducted by Minutemen members and directed by their ‘border operations director,” Shawna Forde. According to incident accounts, Brisenia’s father was shot, then her mother. When Brisenia asked why they shot her mother; one of the Minutemen responded by pointing a gun at her head and firing off two rounds. Shawna Forde’s trial begins this week. The incident took place May 30, 2009.
(source : http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-01-20/in-giffords-shadow-trial-of-arizona-minuteman-accus)
The similarity of Brisenia’s execution (gun shots to the head at close range); with the Giffords’ shooting is not accidental. This execution style has been sponsored by the cable television program of–Glenn Beck. Beck has preached violent executions of President Obama, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and so on. His prescribed execution style…”shoot them in the head…before they shoot you,” is filmed with Beck seated at a desk in front of a SWASTIKA decorated board.
Beck issued a ‘denunciation’ of the very violence he incited earlier on 01/10/11–after the Giffords’ shootings. Attorneys for Fox have denied any responsibility or incitement from Beck’s multiple broadcasts where he routinely fantasizes about violent murders of political opponents.
Larry Pratt is a member of Tea Party Nation and the 1776 Tea Party. His more prominent affiliation with various hate groups dates back to 1992, when he was a speaker at a combined meeting of Aryan Nations leaders, Klu Klux Klansmen, and “Christian Identity” adherents. The Christian Identity movement labels Jews as ‘satanic’ and persons of color as ‘mud people.’ Pratt wrote a booklet which espoused militias assuming the role and power of law enforcement. After Pratt’s views and questionable associations went public; he was forced to resign as Pat Buchanan’s Republican Party campaign co-chair in 1996.
(Source : http://www.teapartynationalism.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=108:larry…)
Gemma is a member of the ResistNet Tea Party faction, and has served as head of Design, Marketing and Advertising for the Council of Conservative Citizens newsletter. The Council of Conservative Citizens officially recognizes confederate flags and aligns itself with other white nationalists. Gemma is also a Holocaust denier who has been a featured speaker at the Institute for Historical Review, a virilent anti-semitic group. Gemma has written pieces advocating against non-white immigration, claiming that such immigrants were transforming the US population into a “slimy brown mass of glop.”
Billy Roper…his dream of violent of genocide…
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Roper is the …”uncensored voice of violent neo-Nazism.” (Source : http://www.slpcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/profiles/billy-roper). Roper is with the National Alliance, a group spouting obvious Nazi sympathies. Shouts of ‘Seig Heil and the wearing of swastikas are routine. The National Alliance was founded by William Pierce, the author of the infamous ‘Turner Diaries.’ The Turner Diaries were designed as a blueprint for violent overthrow of the US Government. Roper became deputy membership coordinator, attempting to draw sympathizers from various Tea Party groups but was fired from the National Alliance after Pierce’s death for “tactical as well as personal differences.” (Source : http://www.adl.org/learn/ext_us/w_revolution.asp?xpicked=2&item=WR_BR)
The most effective way to denounce Roper’s bigotry is to use his own words. In a 2005 interview on Blood & Honour Radio, Roper gave his sentiments regarding peaceful coexistence between races.
…”Every non-white on the planet has to become extinct. We need to remove these minor-league amateur races out of the game, and refine the playoff brackets a bit, if you get my meaning. THE WHOLE WORLD IS OURS, AND THE ONLY PART OF THE EARTH THAT NON-WHITES SHOULD INHERIT IS HOWEVER MUCH IT REQUIRES TO COVER THEM.”
Roper claims further that any accusations of racism, anti-semtism, etc. are nothing but ‘mere by-products’ of a ‘jewish’ controlled media. (Source : http://whiterevolution.com/?page_id=21) I didn’t know that Rupert Murdoch or Sean Hannity were Jews. Roper’s delusional thinking continues as he explains that the term ‘racist’ is merely an adjective for…”one who is an advocate of or for one’s own people,” and not the ‘perjorative’ insult it has been fashioned into.
The National Socialism Movement …within the Tea Party
The National Socialism Movement is a white supremacist group sharing sentiments similar to other neo-Nazi groups. They have a 25 point plan for retaking the nation which includes a virtual call for secession from the union. They also demand that all non-whites residing in the US be required to leave and return to their …’land of origin,’ …”peacably or by force.” (Source: http://www.nsm88.org/25points/25pointsengl.html) The fact that calls for secession constitutes treason does not enter the discussion. In spite of the overt declaration easily found online at their website; no federal prosecution has occurred. In this case, Julian Assange is a traitor for publishing what the press should have covered, but neo-Nazis advocating secession are left in a ‘safe’ zone.
Mainstream GOP Cannot Divorce itself from Tea Party Incitement to Riot…
In light of recent hate crimes against ANYONE not deemed ‘white enough’ or ‘Christian enough–the mainstream GOP must decide which side they represent. Simple statements of mild denunciation are not acceptable; rather they represent premeditated collaboration with insane bigots.
Various Tea Party candidates are now officeholders in the US Congress. They include the self-appointed titular head of Tea Party Inc., ‘Capitol Hill’ division–Senator Jim DeMint. Demint is also the top Senate recipient of Koch Industries PAC money. (Source : http://www.alternet.org/news/148598/tea_party_inc.%3A_the_big_money_and_powerful_elites_behind_the_right_wing’s)
Other Tea Party congresspersons include Rep. Michelle Bachman (who has made the permanent phase-out of Social Security her life’s mission), and Rep. Mike Pence–the House GOP Conference Chair. None of these officeholders have denounced any white supremacists or neo-Nazis in the ranks of various Tea Party groups.
Gabrielle Gifford’s Opponent Jesse Kelly & His Neo-Nazi Affiliations…
Tea Party candidate Jesse Kelly, who ran against Gabrielle Giffords also retains ties to these hate groups while showing no compassion towards his slain competitor. In fact, Kelly has accepted support from a group named ALIPAC, which according to McCain spokesman Brian Rogers, is allegedly …”backed by white supremacists, neo-Nazis and anti-Semites.”
Shortly after this quote was issued, McCain did a ‘flip-flop’ and attempted to justify Kelly’s acceptance of ALIPAC’s support by stating that …”A lot of people support me that I don’t agree with.” “And just because they support me doesn’t mean anything about my views.” (Source : http://ndn.org/blog/2010/10/az-8-gop-candidate-jesse-kelly-accepts-endorsement-group-backed-white-supremacists-neo) To date, the ALIPAC group has been condemned by the Anti-Defamation League and subsequently ‘outed’ for their affiliation with the neo-Nazi group, aka the National Socialism Movement. (Source : http://www.adl.org/main_Extremism/White+Supremacists+Promote+ALIPAC.htm)
The following DCCC press release reported Kelly’s acceptance of ALIPAC’s endorsement : …”In his questionnaire seeking ALIPAC’s endorsement this year, Kelly signed a pledge that he would use “the full power of my office, including impeachment if necessary” to force the President to bow to the group’s radical demands.” McCain’s office has not issued another comment since on this issue of national importance.
In partial conclusion…
After reviewing numerous sources; one thing has become clear–there is no separating the Tea Party, the white supremacists and neo-Nazis in their ranks, the mainstream GOP leadership and a growing corporate oligarchy strangling our democratic experiment. The growing rhetoric of violent incitement and overt nazism is merely a symptom of a civilization in extreme spiritual decay. While the Tea Party, Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck may not be directly responsible for the actions of Jared Loughner–they do share responsibility for creating a climate of hatred and contempt for the rights of others. The mainstream GOP under George W. Bush began this climate of fear, which usually degenerates to the type of barbarism we have witnessed through various Tea Party groups.
Aside from the Tea Party; blame must also be shared by the present administration which has rewarded corporate hydras at the expense of the average person. Hatred and bigotry requires desperation and fear as fuel, and dire poverty provides that desperation. We cannot continue to pay Wall Street at the expense of Main Street. We cannot continue to grant tax exemptions for health insurers who deny care to terminally ill children. We cannot continue to remain silent in the face of injustice and cruelty–otherwise we are nothing more than cowardly collaborators enabling our willing fascist executioners
- Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.