-- by Dave
Well, we've known for some time that Pat Boone has gone wingnutty, but his latest column for the wingnutty WorldNetDaily is one of the most vile pieces of eliminationist rhetoric to come down the pike in awhile:
In time, it seems to happen to all older houses, no matter how well tended they may be.
All manner of parasites, vermin, roaches, rats, worms and termites find their way into the building. Long before they're detected, they infiltrate the walls, the floors, the roofs – and then chew their way into the structure, the supporting beams and the very foundation of the house itself. Silently, surreptitiously, whole communities of invaders make places for themselves, hidden but thriving, totally unknown by the homeowner.
Then, in time, tell-tale signs are seen. Little droppings, discolored trails, proliferating piles of residue appear in corners, on tabletops, little hanging sacs from ceilings – alarming evidence that the grand old dwelling has been invaded. Decidedly unwelcome creatures have made this place their home, and by their very existence will eventually destroy the house and bring it to ruin.
What can be done, when you learn that your house has already been invaded?
Well, the tried and true remedy is tenting.
Experts come in, actually envelope the whole dwelling in a giant tent – and send a very powerful fumigant, lethal to the varmints and unwelcome creatures, into every nook and cranny of the house. Done thoroughly, every last destructive insect or rodent is sent to varmint hell – and in a day or two, the grand house is habitable again.
I believe – figuratively, but in a very real way – we need to tent the White House!
For reasons only he can explain, the current occupant has purposely brought a whole flock of social and political voracious varmints with him into our House. He doesn't own it; he hasn't even rented it; we the people have simply given him the keys and invited him to live there for four years, making it convenient to serve us better, to carry out our expressed wishes for our country.
To the dismay of millions of us, this occupant seems to think we need an emperor. Even though all polls show that the majority of Americans don't want a whole new government-run health-care system, detest the trillions of dollars in un-payable debt he has foisted on us, question the whole "global warming" scare and disagree with him on many other issues, he boldly announces: "We're going to fundamentally transform America!" And he makes it clear that he is going to cram things down our throats whether we want them or not.
Boone then launches into a tirade based almost entirely on the Glenn Beck program (with a dash of Sean Hannity thrown in for good measure): A laundry list of the supposed Marxist radicals who have "infested" the White House, from Van Jones to Kevin Jennings. If you watch Fox, all this is familiar territory.
But what's disturbing about all this is that Boone seems to want the White House "fumigated" right now -- though he's vague on the details of just how we do that. What matters is the vile "varmints" Obama has let into his administration:
No, he wants people who think like this, in order to "radically transform America," as he has pledged.
And they will do just that, drastically … unless we act, decisively and powerfully. Our White House is being eaten away from within. We urgently need to throw a "tent" of public remonstration and outcry over that hallowed abode, to cause them to quake and hunker down inside. And then treat the invaders, the alien rodents, to massive voter gas – the most lethal antidote to would-be tyrants and usurpers.
We must clean house – starting with our own White House.
Tyrants and usurpers? A duly elected president? And when, exactly, does Boone foresee applying the "massive voter gas"? Because, you know, 2012 is quite a ways off still.
This kind of talk is an open invitation to violence; it creates permission for someone to act on this kind of exhortation, especially because it not only dehumanizes, it reduces people to the level of vermin, objects not only fit but desired for elimination.
If Pat Boone is any kind of gauge of the state of mainstream conservatism, I think it's safe to say these people have gone over a cliff and into a deep, yawning abyss.
Remember my discussion of this kind of rhetoric in The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right:
What motivates this kind of talk and behavior is called eliminationism: a politics and a culture that shuns dialogue and the democratic exchange of ideas in favor of the pursuit of outright elimination of the opposing side, either through suppression, exile, and ejection, or extermination.
Rhetorically, eliminationism takes on certain distinctive shapes. It always depicts its opposition as beyond the pale, the embodiment of evil itself, unfit for participation in their vision of society, and thus worthy of elimination. It often further depicts its designated Enemy as vermin (especially rats and cockroaches) or diseases, and disease-like cancers on the body politic. A close corollary—but not as nakedly eliminationist—are claims that opponents are traitors or criminals and that they pose a threat to our national security.
Eliminationism is often voiced as crude "jokes," a sense of humor inevitably predicated on venomous hatred. And such rhetoric—we know as surely as we know that night follows day—eventually begets action, with inevitably tragic results.
Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.