Two articles on the Tea Party appeared on the OpEd page of the Toledo Blade today, one by Tomas Friedman of the New York Times and the other by local right-winger Jack Kelly. Kelly, naturally, was in full-support of the Tea Party movement. Kelly even came close to defending Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh, trying to prove that McVeigh would not have been a Tea Party attendee, but rather was motivated by revenge for Waco.
“Mr. Clinton expressed in the New York Times his fear that harsh criticism by talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh and others could inspire another Timothy McVeigh,” said Jack Kelly, but McVeigh made it clear that what provoked him was the FBI assault precisely two years earlier on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.”
What ‘provoked him’ according to Kelly, was not talk radio, not the daily hate rhetoric spewed out by Limbaugh, the Nazi references, the socialist tags, hatred for Democrats and the President and the daily dose of ‘them versus us.’ No, that could never ‘trigger’ someone like McVeigh. He was a lone wolf, self-directed and didn’t need a Limbaugh to incite his violence.
Although I do not listen to Limbaugh, apparently he has a faithful audience all across the land. From the clips I’ve heard, he and Joseph Goebbels have similar attributes and talents, although Goebbels was much more learned and accomplished.
One biography on Goebbels [Wistrich, Robert S. Who’s Who in Nazi Germany, Routledge, 1997] said of him, “[he had] an overwhelming need to destroy everything sacred and ignite the same feelings of rage, despair and hatred in his listeners.” It goes on to say, “It was in the Nazi Party that Goebbels’s sharp, clear-sighted intelligence, his oratorical gifts and flair for theatrical effects, his uninhibited opportunism and ideological radicalism blossomed in the service of an insatiable will-to-power.”
‘Insatiable will-to-power.’ That’s Rush Limbaugh. In video clips of Limbaugh, he often bounces from his chair when making a point, as if giving a grand speech on a podium before millions of cheering supporters.
“[Goebbels]had already become the most feared demagogue of the capital city, exploiting to the full his deep, powerful voice, rhetorical fervour and unscrupulous appeal to primitive instincts. A tireless, tenacious agitator with the gift of paralysing opponents by a guileful combination of venom, slander and insinuation, Goebbels knew how to mobilize the fears of the unemployed masses as the Great Depression hit Germany, playing on the national psyche with “ice-cold calculation.”
With a change of only a few words in the quote above, the statement could define Limbaugh.
“Goebbels’s deeply rooted contempt for humanity, his urge to sow confusion, hatred and intoxication, his lust for power and his mastery of the techniques of mass persuasion were given full vent in the election campaigns of 1932, when he played a crucial role in bringing Hitler to the centre of the political stage.”
There are those in the blogosphere who warn about using Hitler-references in any discussion. OK, sure. But there is a remarkable resemblance in style and psyche between Hitler’s propagandist and today’s leader of the Republican party.