The return of the vast rightwing conspiracy

Remember the vast rightwing conspiracy? It’s ba-a-a-ck, turning its considerable resources to ruining health care reform and wrecking legislation aimed at curbing climate change.

Despite the insistence of Republican leaders that the tea-party crowd and the town-hall protestors are merely concerned individuals who have spontaneously made the decision to shout and yell threats at public meetings, the protests are, in fact, prodded by networks of conservative activists. Richard Mellon Scaife, a Pittsburg billionaire who is the financial lifeblood of ultra-conservative activism, is a contributor, according to The Washington Post.

That’s not to deny the individual anger or anxiety on display on cable TV. Hardcore conservatives are quite unhappy, some over proposals for health care reform, many others over a wider range of policies and positions they associate with the Obama administration. If conservative voters weren’t already upset by cultural and political changes, they wouldn’t turn out, no matter how much they were urged on by networks of activists.

But urged they are, by old voices with the same old names, like Rush Limbaugh, or familiar conservatives, like former GOP congressman Dick Armey, now associated with a lesser-known outfit called Freedom Works, a conservative Washington-based advocacy group . Freedom Works has been heavily involved in turning out critics at town-hall meetings on health care reform; it’s Web site, urging raucous protests, features a quote from Armey; “If you are going to go ugly, go ugly early,” according to the Post.

In a 1998 TV interview, then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton famously blamed a “vast rightwing conspiracy” for the problems she and her husband faced, especially after his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky.

The controversies that engulfed the  First Couple weren’t exclusively the work of political enemies, of course; the Clintons provided some of the raw material. But it’s also true that wealthy rightwingers like Scaife tried their best to spoil Bill Clinton’s presidency.

Now they’re trying to spoil Obama’s. GOP Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) gave away his goal when he declared, last month, “If we are to stop Obama on (health care reform), it would be his Waterloo. It will break him.” Many of his fellow travelers have been more discreet, concealing their deep-seated ideological enmity underneath rhetoric about fiscal responsibility (a concern they rarely showed during the Bush years) or fear of “socialism.”

But ideologues like DeMint and Newt Gingrich have made it pretty clear that they’re not interested in finding the best approach on public policy or in helping Americans cope with skyrocketing health care costs. They just want to win political battles.

Some of the conservatives arrayed against Obama represent corporate interests. Armey’s FreedomWorks, for example, is funded by companies such as Philip Morris, which has fought government regulations on smoking for years now.

A conservative advocacy group called Americans for Prosperity, long known for denying the scientific findings on climate change, has started an offshoot called Patients First to fight health care reform. The Post reports that it receives funding from the Koch Foundation, affliated with a huge Kansas-based oil-and-gas conglomerate called Koch Industries. (Koch owns Georgia Pacific.) The Koch Foundation undoubtedly believes that slowing Obama down on health care reform will help to defeat his energy bill, which aims to curb carbon emissions and would affect Koch’s businesses.

There is nothing unusual about either the efforts of corporatists to protect their interests or the enmity toward government from ultra-conservatives. But there does seem to be something unusual about the raging paranoia and sheer lunacy from some of the protestors, especially those who have found it necessary to carry guns to rallies. If they are not threatening violent opposition, why bring guns?

Their paranoia is clear from their eagerness to believe the loopiest theories about the Obama administration, including the patently false notion that health reform legislation includes “death panels” to decide whether to euthanize the elderly and handicapped. And the Obama protesters are too busy denouncing non-existent tax increases to be persuaded that Obama signed the largest two-year tax cut in U.S. history; it was included in the stimulus bill. They wouldn’t believe that if  Limbaugh himself told them. (Don’t worry. He won’t.)

So far, the antics at rallies and town hall meetings have merely produced a little ugliness, like the swastika painted on a sign outside the office of U.S. Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) But it wouldn’t take much for one of these angry gunslingers to do some real damage at a public gathering.

Will the vast rightwing conspiracy own up to its handiwork then?

187 comments Add your comment

DeborahinAthens

August 19th, 2009
7:13 am

As a former Republican that gave up on the party eight years ago, I am disheartened to see how easily the Democrats are caving. I voted for Obama because I wanted radical healthcare reform with a SINGLE PAYER OPTION. I have an excellent job with good insurance, but if and when I retire, we will not be able to get insurance because my husband has a pre-existing condition. Everyone I know that has lived in Great Britain, France or Cananda have loved their health care system. The last numbers I saw show that Great Britain ranks 18th in healthcare among industrialized nations. The US is 37th. Our representatives are buckling under the screams and rants of idiots that don’t know, and don’t want to know the facts. By the way, the other major reasons I voted for Obama is that I thought he would close Guantanamo and end the war. It is insane that the United State sanctions holding anyone as a prisoner without charging them with a crime and having a trial to decide guilt or innocence. I also want the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over and done with. They are rat holes down which we are pouring billions that will not serve our interests. That money can be used to fund our deficit. The Dems have caved on these promises also. I am sick that I can no longer trust any representative to do what they promised. I am very disappointed in President Obama. I thought he would be different.

norman ravitch

August 19th, 2009
7:33 am

The vast rightwing conspiracy which first showed its head during the Clinton years actually began during the New Deal. It reveals itself when the material interests of a certain ruling group is threatened; then they embark on a scheme to frighten the yahoos in our society, people whose intelligence never rises above vitriol. H.L. Mencken had their number. Now they have re-emerged to challenge O’Bama. The president does threaten their interests: he is a black man who, against all tradition and common sense, was elected president of this white nation. He must be repudiated; the rightwingers are doing a good job of repudiating him, as is O’Bama himself. Had the economy not tanked and had the GOP not picked senile John McCain to run for president with an even more senile Sarah Palin, O’Bama would still be a Senator.

mike

August 19th, 2009
7:34 am

Typical Tucker hypocrisy.

Just to be clear: liberals protesting policies they don’t approve of is admirable, conservatives doing the exact same thing is a “right-wing conspiracy”.

It is amusing that Tucker is such a hypocrite that she can talk about “conspiracies”, yet label those who dare to disagree with her intrinsically correct views as “paranoid”. What a hypocrite.

mike

August 19th, 2009
7:36 am

norman ravitch –

I don’t know which is more embarrassing, your baseless claims of racism or your inability to spell the name of the President of the United States.

M Sharp

August 19th, 2009
7:38 am

It’s not republicans who are PAYING people to show up and protest. It’s not republicans PAYING to have people bused in and providing them with professionally painted signs. NO, that’s the CONSIPIRACY of SEIU and AARP and other LIBERAL groups. Since when do a few radio hosts and commentators urging people to express their views to their elected officials constitute a “right-wing” conspiracy. There was no conspiracy then and there’s certainly not one now. Why is it that when the agenda of the left gets questioned, the left attack the questioners? There is no vitriol like that of you people who support this president and this socialist agenda and that is proved by the personal attacks you make to defend yourself. You have shown yourselves for the hypocrites you are.

Turd Ferguson

August 19th, 2009
7:41 am

Yet again Tucker is incorrect and presents baseless arguments.

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator :-) You Whine :-(

August 19th, 2009
7:42 am

I’m baaaaaccckkk.

A simple minded column for simple minded people, typical Queen Pinko.

More citizens identify themselves as political conservatives than as political liberals in every state in the U.S., according to results of a Gallup Poll announced yesterday.

There’s your conspiracy, right there^^.

If I’m wrong and Tuck is right, perhaps somebody can explain why Obozo kampaigned as a Conservative?

Tax cuts?

More troops in Afghanistan?

These are policy planks of the democrat party?

And why, pray tell, did Sotomayor parrot Clarence Thomas at here Senate Confirmation hearing?

Is she a vast white winger?

Munch on your comfort food, dullards, it’s all ya got.

Turd Ferguson

August 19th, 2009
7:43 am

Agreed Sharp…was watching local news and they actually had footage of ACORN groupies being bussed in to some town hall meeting.

Tucker and her ilk are shameless and arrogant.

Steven Adams

August 19th, 2009
7:47 am

You misspelled Pittsburgh.

mike

August 19th, 2009
7:52 am

You ever notice that none of the health care reform’s supporters never make a case for their policy? Instead they just tell us that they hate conservatives. We knew that you felt that way already folks. How about making the case for the policy that you support instead of just trying to demonize its opponents?

[...] The return of the vast rightwing conspiracy [Atlanta Journal-Constitution] [...]

Uncle Jake

August 19th, 2009
8:19 am

Perhaps a few of us have been around long enough to know that when the govt gets involved with most any program, said program turns to shiat.

We support the free enterprise system as its served us seniors well for many years and now that we reach our twilight years the govt wants to screw us over? I dont think so Mister. We built this Country and we are not about to sit around and allow the likes of obama, pelosi, reid, frank ruin it for us and the rest of you.

Yes…we may not know much but we KNOW the govt screws up most anything it touches. All these giveaway and freebies. Nothing is free and thats my hard earned money, as well as yours, going to support a group of freeloaders.

With regard to tucker…she has been out of touch for years.

Davo

August 19th, 2009
8:32 am

“But it wouldn’t take much for one of these angry gunslingers to do some real damage at a public gathering.”

Which is secretly what you want, isn’t it Tucker? A little mayham from a civil war reenactor would really seal the deal on gun control, health control, mind control etc. That’s why you would rather sling mud and demonize than ’seek bi-partisanship’ (remember that column? Who wrote that?) I guess if you goad the public long enough you will get what you ask for.

Pennsylvanian

August 19th, 2009
8:38 am

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator :-) You Whine :-( @ 7:42

norman ravitch reports the president is Irish. That is O’bozo to you.

Pennsylvanian

August 19th, 2009
8:42 am

Cynthia –
Please remind us about how President O’bama (thank you, norman) won the election, and has a mandate for change. How he is empowered to fix the climate, and health care. And close Gitmo this year. And no new taxes on the middle class. Please? I need a laugh.

cliff zeider

August 19th, 2009
8:54 am

Hey Cynthia, Did you catch your pal, the lovely Shelia Jackson Lee making a damn fool out of her self. She was at a town hall meeting and answering the phone during questions. cz

Joey

August 19th, 2009
8:55 am

The goal of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy is to protect the People of the US and our US Constitution from the actions of the Less Vast Left Wing Conspiracy has never stopped.

It never will.

lovelyliz

August 19th, 2009
9:00 am

I told you so! I told you so! I knew I smelled the stench of Richard Mellon Scaife. I guess his tawdry second divorce went better than was originally thought (adultery, assault, no prenup) if he still has his family $$$ to throw around his pet causes.

lovelyliz

August 19th, 2009
9:01 am

Joey
Where were you guys from 2000-2008??????????????????

mike

August 19th, 2009
9:02 am

lovelyliz –

Hmm. Another liberal judging the morality of others. Such hypocrisy.

Goldie

August 19th, 2009
9:08 am

The goal of the Vast Right-wing Conspiracy is to rule America by whatever means necessary — totalitarianism or theocracy — in order enable the Big Corporations to make our laws and to keep Americans trembling with fear…

Jeff

August 19th, 2009
9:12 am

Of course it’s up to the people of the Massachussets 4th congressional district, but after seeing Barney Frank in action last night at a Dartmouth townhall meeting, if I were one of his constituents – regardless of party affiliation – I certainly wouldn’t vote to return him to office. He epitomizes congressional arrogance. It’s time for him & those of his political ilk to go.

Cindy

August 19th, 2009
9:20 am

Mike’s room temperature IQ and associated Rush Limbaugh talking points are pretty typical are they not?

Jay "Numbnuts" Bookwoman

August 19th, 2009
9:21 am

Blame it on the “machine” Tucker. In a nut shell folks, Sinthia is telling us that Americans aren’t smart enough to know what’s right and it’s all the talk show hosts fault for spreading lies. Get with the program SISTA!

Cindy

August 19th, 2009
9:22 am

What is a “admirable conservative” Mike? I’ve never seen one of those. Unless being a hateful, bigoted, scared shi%less, angry at the world cretin is what you are talking about.

[...] Cynthia Tucker on the return of the vast rightwing conspiracy. [...]

Jay "Numbnuts" Bookwoman

August 19th, 2009
9:25 am

ilk – I really hate that word. It’s completely overused in these political discussions.

Jay "Numbnuts" Bookwoman

August 19th, 2009
9:28 am

Look in the mirror “Cindy” Lou Whoo.

Bob

August 19th, 2009
9:29 am

Pass health care reform with a public option then pass immigration reform, and vast right wingnut crowd is dead in the water forever. They understand this and therefore their behavior. I am waiting for one of them to draw his gun at one of these meetings. You know it’s coming, and when the Secret Service blows him away these fools will use that as a rallying cry. No more ignorant group has ever been collectively assembled as these right wing ignoramuses. But guess what? They live by the sword and they will die by it. Good riddance to right wing rubbish.

norman ravitch

August 19th, 2009
9:29 am

I always try to refer to our president as O’Bama because if I can pretend he is Irish I can curb my dismay at who he really is.

Cindy

August 19th, 2009
9:35 am

Jay “Numbnuts” Bookwoman

August 19th, 2009
9:28 am

Look in the mirror “Cindy” Lou Whoo

If I do that I will see you looking back at me and the thought of that is way too horrible to contemplate.

Sam S.

August 19th, 2009
9:37 am

lovelyliz

August 19th, 2009
9:01 am

Joey
Where were you guys from 2000-2008??????????????????

They obviously spent them with their heads up their azzez lovelyliz.

Jay "Numbnuts" Bookwoman

August 19th, 2009
9:41 am

Hey – I resemble that remark!!!

Sam S.

August 19th, 2009
9:44 am

Where were you morons when Bush did the medicare prescription bill?

Jay "Numbnuts" Bookwoman

August 19th, 2009
9:58 am

Where were you Sam S?

Warren Bonesteel

August 19th, 2009
10:07 am

Hmm. Cynthia’s premises are that anything to the political right of Pelosi, Reid and Obama is the result of a “conspiracy,” that health care “reform” is good and that the science behind AGW (”climate change”) is settled. (Hint: Their ‘puter models can’t even ‘predict’ well-known historical weather patterns and cycles, let alone predict future events and cycles. GIGO. Hint #2: If the theory doesn’t match reality and isn’t predictive, the theory’s no good. Hint *3: The IPCC and AlGore overlooked that big yellow thingy in the sky, basically implying that the sun has no effect upon Earth’s climate. So, AlGore got a Nobel Peace prize for ignoring the sun…)

The rest of the logical fallacies in her article are derived from her original false premises. (False premises are a wee bit divorced from factual evidence and proof and even from reality.)

While using logic like that…How the hell did she get a Pulitzer?

Pat Phelps

August 19th, 2009
10:36 am

Cynthia, your an idiot. When all else fails lets stur the pot once again by claiming racism. People that have legitimate problems with government health care express there views. Do you even know these people? Have you talked to them? On what do you base your comments of racism? Simple because we disagree doesn’t make me a racist. I didn’t vote for Obama because he was black, but because I don’t want to live in a socialist country. I have voted in the past for Dylan Glenn and Herman Cain, two black men, because I agree with their views. Why don’t you have an intelligent conversation about why we don’t like this health care bill instead of resorting to name calling.

Jessica

August 19th, 2009
10:37 am

The thing is, this so-called reform will be harmful to most Americans, including the people who are working so hard to get it passed. We can’t afford it, and we won’t be pleased with it once it’s in place. I hope the “right-wing conspiracy” can derail this socialist nightmare, but I know reform will probably happen. If you want to know how government healthcare will work out, take a look at the countries that already have it.
In a few years, when you have to wait for six hours in a doctor’s office for routine care, remember that this is what you wanted.
When your doctor is more concerned about following government policy than about your needs and getting a prescription filled is as frustrating as waiting in line at the post office or DMV, remember how glad you are to have Washington running the system.
When your sick kid can’t get the treatment you want for him because there is a cheaper option (never mind that you already tried it and it didn’t work), remember to tell the kid how happy you are to have Obamacare.
When your 93-year-old grandma can’t get a pacemaker because some bureaucrat doesn’t think it’s cost-effective to keep her alive for a few more years, remember that YOU helped push this through.
When you have to wait three years to get the knee surgery you need, remember to thank your lawmakers for “fixing” the system. Your senator, by the way, will NOT be waiting three years for surgery — he will be flying to another country to get it done at a clinic that caters to rich Americans.

Robby

August 19th, 2009
10:41 am

The idea that a handful (if that) of loud, gun-toting knuckleheads can shout down Ms. Tucker and the vast left-leaning media empire is downright laughable. So how many “criticizing the critics” columns must we endure before someone as bright and eloquent as Ms. Tucker takes a stab at telling us specifically why they feel that President Obama’s healthcare plan is the answer. And not just because he says it is, please.

Peter

August 19th, 2009
10:42 am

Here we are in the great state of Georgia where EDUCTION, is not a Big Priority !

Read the Blog, it will sum up that Point !

Class of '98

August 19th, 2009
10:52 am

Be honest, Cynthia… how frustrated were you that the guy carrying the machine gun at the townhall meeting was black?

YOU COULDN’T ACCUSE HIM OF RACISM!!!!! Because, after all, that’s the ONLY reason someone would disagree with messiah Obama, right?

Michael(NorthGA)

August 19th, 2009
10:59 am

You folks ever wonder if Cynthia and Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee’s butt’s glow bright red when their ready to mate? Especially, you left-wing pukes, Bob and Cindy!

Pompano

August 19th, 2009
11:02 am

Of course Cynthia Tucker/McKinney can’t form a cohesive explanation as to why the protestors are wrong – just resorts to the same lame Democrap luney-tunes strategy of name calling and faux racism.

It would be nice if the AJC employed a writer intelligent enough to actually comment on National matters instead of the tired old crap we’ve gotten from this woman for years. No wonder they can’t sell newspapers anymore!

Joey

August 19th, 2009
11:06 am

lovely liz;
The Right Wing would not view me as Right Wing, but I observed the VRWC fighting against Republicans, Democrats and sometimes both (and I helped on some issues) about:
Citizenship for Illegal Residents;
Increasing the size of the Government;
Supreme Court Nominations;
Unwise and un-necessary spending;
Selling Sea Ports to Foreign Governments;
Preventing Iran and N. Korea from developing Nuclear weapons; etc.

I suspect you could add a few more examples. Some of them might even be honest examples.

proud old guy

August 19th, 2009
11:19 am

Fascinating commentary by the unabashed liberal.

I find it interesting that it is OK for the dems to leverage Acorn, but it is a conspiracy for ordinary people to ask legitimate questions of their congressman. The problem with Cynthia and her ilk is that they are really afraid of the normal process of governance as defined in that inconvenient document called the constitution. If you think about it, most of the great liberal accomplishments are the result of activity through the courts. Much of the great FDR’s social program was ruled unconsitutional after the court returned to form. Remember, he packed the court to make sure that things would not get stopped. When dems have to deal with the messy process of convincing people that their ideas are good, they resort to exactly what we see here.

Unlike some people who have commented on this blog, there are a whole lot of people who have seen how poorly Obamacare works in places like Canada and England. They don’t want it.

So, they show up in places like town hall meetings with their congress person and they ask questions. They express their opinion.

It’s not a conspiracy, Cynthia dear, it’s a representative democracy and people are telling their representatives what they think.

In fact, if you think about it, Obama has done a great job of uniting the country. Millions of people are united in their opposition to his plan!

ctucker

August 19th, 2009
11:23 am

Pat, Where in the world did I say anything about race or racism in that column?

Chris Salzmann

August 19th, 2009
11:24 am

mike August 19th, 2009 7:52 am SAID: You ever notice that none of the health care reform’s supporters never make a case for their policy? Instead they just tell us that they hate conservatives. We knew that you felt that way already folks. How about making the case for the policy that you support instead of just trying to demonize its opponents?

CHRIS SAYS: Make a case for the policy we support? Like Health Care Reform? Here’s our case: Read the f*cking bill. Also, go to some truly NON-Partisan websites such as http://www.politifact.co or http://www.factcheck.org to filter out the lies being spread by conservative idiots. You know, like those lies about “Death Panels” spread and backed by conservatives, which have no basis in fact.

While you’re at it, name me one corporation tied to health care, insurance or pharma that is in favor or funding groups SUPPORTING reform? I can name you countless of the same corporate interests that are funding the opposition to reform. Which pretty much confirms the fact that most conservatives cannot think for themselves and are mindless tools to corporate special interests. You know, like those folks holding up signs saying “KEEP GOVT. OUT OF MY MEDICARE!”.

Here’s a fact: You folks in the opposition have the likes of Glenn Beck supporting you, we have FACTS. Enough said.

ncgreybr

August 19th, 2009
11:26 am

Pat Phelps said: “Cynthia, your an idiot. When all else fails lets stur the pot once again by claiming racism.”

I guess I missed that part in the column. Please, Pat, tell us where she mentions race in her column today.

Joey

August 19th, 2009
11:30 am

Don’t come here much, but ncgrebr’s 11:26 was interesting.

“…tell us where she mentions race in her column today.”

Today. Very good.

ncgreybr

August 19th, 2009
11:35 am

Sorry, Joey. I thought today’s discussion was about today’s column.

I forgot there are ventors that are like my ex and go back years to briing up things in an arguement.