Sunday, March 06, 2011

When You Hitch Your Wagon to a Lie Machine....

Although it was Jonathan Capehart's response that first caught my eye, Stephen Stromberg wrote about Mike Huckabee's "slip", suggesting that President Obama grew up in Kenya,
It's the Republican equivalent of a Freudian slip....

This episode demonstrates something more pernicious than the existence of one more Obama conspiracy theorist. It demonstrates the extent to which references to birther-like mythology -- and its less-offensive-but-still-pretty-absurd cousin, the Dinesh D'Souza-inspired speculations about Obama's "Kenyan, anti-colonial worldview" -- have become embedded in conservative political culture. It demonstrates the extent to which Republican politicians feel the need to indulge the portions of the GOP base for whom Obama's "Kenyan" roots matter -- whether by asking for his birth certificate or merely suggesting that this man, who has in many ways lived a quintessentially American life, is nothing like the rest of us in some fundamental, worryingly foreign way.
In context, Stromberg is not describing an actual Freudian slip, but is suggesting that "Huckabee was simply floating around on auto-pilot, mouthing the sorts of things he heard at CPAC."

Capehart is less sympathetic, dismissing that the statement should be described as a "Freudian Slip":
A slip would be saying "Osama" instead of "Obama" when referring to the president. What the former Arkansas governor, who is reportedly thinking about running for the Republican presidential nomination again in 2012, did was inexplicably slide head-first into the far right's nether world of conspiracy and paranoia.
Capehart also notes that Huckabee's spoekesperson "misspoke" and meant to say "Indonesia" instead of "Kenya,
So, then, what about all that stuff about the British and Kenya and Obama's father and grandfather? Oh, nevermind.
Capehart is, of course, correct that this wasn't a Freudian slip and should not be dismissed as one. It means, as Stromberg suggests, that Huckabee is so immersed in a sea of disinformation that he can't see the shore - and that he either doesn't know or doesn't care. Huckabee should have taken full responsibility, not attempting to dismiss his spread of factually incorrect information as having "simply misspoken", but acknowledging that his speculation about the President went far into the realm of lies, delusions and/or fantasy.

I don't think Huckabee is planning a run for President. He's building himself a mansion, and is raking in a ton of money working for outfits like Fox that don't care if his comments are truthful. In fact, some of his paymasters may prefer that his comments about the President not be truthful. If you ask the age old, "Is he stupid or lying" question, what answer is implied when you follow the money?


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  2. I sent you a note? Did you subscribe by email, perhaps?

  3. you sent this as a comment on my blog
    Submitted on 2011/03/06 at 11:21 pm

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  4. Ah, yes. Sorry for the confusion.


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