Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Extremism at the White House

Joe Conason nails the vice president for playing the role of extremist transmitter:

Dick Cheney performs straight off of a John Birch Society script
The former Wyoming congressman is an unreconstructed, old-fashioned right-winger with about as little respect for multilateral organizations and alliances as that old John Birch Society bumper sticker, circa 1962: "Get the U.S. Out of the U.N."

Of course, as I noted earlier, President Bush himself has expressed his own high level of comfort with the worldview of the Birchers:
"I don't listen to this noise that goes on around here, and I don't pay much attention to those people who want to stay here, he said. I came from Texas, and I'll go back to Texas. And in Midland, Texas, when I grew up, there were more signs saying Get us out of the UN' than there were saying God Bless America.' And there were plenty of God Bless America' signs."

I remarked a couple of days ago that one of the keys to combating the intermingling of extremist and mainstream conservatism will entail calling out those reputedly middle-of-the-road Republicans when they promote far-right worldviews. Joe, as usual, has a nice head start on the rest of us.

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