Frank Shaeffer, author of Crazy for God, and the son of one of the architects of the Christian right, delivered a devastating commentary on Rachel Maddow’s show last night, including the conclusion that for some on the far right, the election of Barack Obama “broke their brains.” Shaeffer makes a devastating and compelling argument that the loudest voices on the right, fueled by corporate money, including from the insurance industry, are stoking the truly crazy fringe elements among their base, who as authoritarian personalities, may well believe that it would please their dogmatic leaders — people like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannithy and their new queen, Sarah Palin — if the n—er in the White House wound up dead. Said Shaeffer:
When you start comparing a democratically elected President who is not only our first black President but a moderate progressive to Adolph Hitler, you have arrived at a point where you are literally leaving a loaded gun on the table and saying, ‘The first person who wants to use this, go ahead, be our guest.’
Now, all these people, when something bad happens, will raise their holy hands in horror and say, ‘Of course we didn’t mean that. We were just talking about being American. It’s American to protest.’ B.S. They know exactly what’s out there. There is a whole public out there that went out and stocked up on ammunition and guns, thinking Obama would take away their weapons. One such person shot down three policemen in Pittsburgh. I’d like to know exactly what Glen Beck, and Fox News, will say the morning after someone takes a shot at our President, or kills a senator or congressman. And if it’s one of the people who, we find a little note in their car or the literature or their television watching habits who’s tied to these people who are stirring the pot, or tied to these foundations that people like Dick Armey are running and trying to use insurance company money to make these fake grass roots movements, then we’ll see what happens. But at that point, we’ll be in a new zone, and it’ll be too late.
Watch the entire, chilling, segment:
For those on the right who dismiss Shaeffer’s critique, or who are shocked … shocked!!! … that anyone would call THEM Brownshirts (as opposed to their leaders calling a black man — President Obama — Adolph Hitler, and calling healthcare reform a modern-day “final solution…”) surf over to the Free Republic, or the Jawa Report sometime, and don’t read the posts, read the comments. I do so often, just to see what’s out there, and what’s out there on the right is truly scary. Does the left have its crazies? Of course. But the extreme lefties are, in the end, “anti-gun” pacifists. The worst they’re going to do is call George W. Bush illegitimate (due to the Supreme Court’s role in his ascension to the presidency in 2000) or not too bright, or launch the occasional pink-clad protest in the halls of Congress. On the right, their crazies are often fueled by racial animus, often angry and indulgent in violent, anonymous rhetoric and threats. Worse, some of them are heavily armed, and seriously dangerous.
People like Limbaugh and Beck are, in reality, no different than the radical Muslim clerics who insight their followers to murderous euphoria, and then send them out into the world, knowing — maybe hoping — that some of them will do violence. If there is a difference between the two, it is only in terms of religious sect. The smart people who program and perform on talk radio and Fox News (and in the halls of Congress) know exactly what Shaeffer knows, but their willing to risk the lives of everyone from police officers to members of Congress to the president of the United States anyway, just to keep their followers listening, and the cash rolling in.
If that isn’t un-American, I don’t know what is.
Related: A Koskid treats the fascism question from the other side.