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Chris Matthews’ Nouveau New Right

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Q: Who cares what Sarah Palin thinks?

A: Everybody who is somebody.

Now, my colleagues on the left detest this kind of talk, but only because it's true. She types two ridiculous words on Facebook like "death panels", it affects policy. She tweets, and Tucker Carlson makes it into news.

Next, she'll be calling down the works of heaven to the BP oil volcano from behind Twitter oh wait…

Even what she doesn't say, e.g. "happy father's day" to Levi, is news. Apparently, it takes two people to report it.

Recently, Chris Matthews took it on the jaw by the astroturfed faction of the tea bag set because of his special show, "The Rise of the New Right". Naturally, Sarah Palin came up. The links to the show are up, now. The show is worth watching for anyone interested in the current form of rightwing frother politics. The Palin-banshee footage is in part four.

Now, the teabaggers are threatening a boycott, labeling the show a "hit piece". (This, after deriding the left's boycott of Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin's upcoming reality TV show on TLC.)

Did they forget? A bunch of them so taken by Sarah's charms, were going to boycott Fox News itself because they weren't deferential enough, in their estimation. Something like that.

One could only hope Matthews had done a "hit piece" on the tea party. The tea party should in fact be grateful Matthews did not delve further into the roots of their bigotry, leaving the viewer instead with a fairly solid history of today's most vocal, headline-making faction of the extremist rightwing.

I've covered this history quite a bit, at Oh Crap, I Have A Crush on Sarah Palin.

With that in mind, let's go over a few things worth noting that Matthews missed or left out.

"New Right" is a misnomer. Or, perhaps Matthews intends to recycle the old Reagan-era, Weyrich/Viguerie label from their 1980 book, The New Right: We're Ready to Lead. Heretofore, the "New Right" were the post-Johnson, post-Watergate Reaganites ideologues (including the Reagan Democrats who never get any mention in these discussions of the teabaggers. That's shameful, because people should know the Reagan Democrats were the prototypes for the soccer moms, security moms, nascar dads, bogus hockey moms, and cetera.

Father Coughlin, anti-Semitic priest. Matthews included footage of the notorious Father Coughlin and made mention of the man's frothing anti-Semitism. There is a connection between the tea party's own anti-Semitism problem that Matthews left unexplored. See Adam Holland's exposés on this topic, as well as "Teabagger Follies: Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Antichrists, Militias and Anti-Semitism".

The ideological (and theological) split between the Ron Paul/Campaign for Liberty/whatreallyhappened/Alex Jones/libertarian-paleoconservative teabaggers versus astroturf/FreedomWorks/Dick Armey/Sarah Palin/neoconservative teabaggers. Matthews lumps them all together, when in fact there are stark ideological differences between these two groups. Plenty of ones and zeroes have been spent on this, including a couple coming from Oh Crap. It's worth it to note that Matthews includes the full interviews with 9/11 Truthbagger Alex Jones, and Rand Paul, though they go unnoticed as representatives of the libertarian-paleoconservative faction.

The John Birch Society. The John Birch Society is trying to make a comeback. Prior to 2010, the Birchers were considered a fringe movement by other conservatives. But the JBS, to the dismay of many cons, co-sponsored this year's CPAC. In turn, CPAC was notably eschewed by Palin but attended by Beck; Matthews includes some of Beck's CPAC footage. Jury's still out as to why; Sarah was just as mum about it as she is silent on her personal Christian beliefs. But the Bircher element may have had something to do with it. For his part, Beck has to fend off accusations of anti-Semitism himself, after promoting books by Elizabeth Dilling, one of American anti-Semitism's most notorious headcases.

Anti-Semitism. There were some burbles about "race" in the Matthews docu, but as is predictable, "race" really means "Black people", and no one else. This is glaringly evident in Maddow's well-tempered grilling of Rand Paul on his position re: the Civil Rights Acts. The tea party apparently has no issues with recklessly invoking the Holocaust or using images of people's relatives who perished in the Holocaust to score political points. One need only check any comments section under articles at Campaign for Liberty, Daily Paul, Mike Rivero's Whatreallyhappened, Prison Planet/Infowars, and other anti-NWO/truthbagger sites for how many times "Jews", "Zionazis", "Israel-did-it" mutterings by the rank and file. This is not new behavior on the extremist right. It's foundational to it. These internal-shooting-gallery teabaggers even tag Rivero and Jones as crypto-Jewish Zionist plants.

The Constitution Party. Dontcha love these rightwingers who think they and only they are the only people on planet earth who work or pay any taxes? The Constitution Party is something of an 800 pound gorilla at the tea party and was completely missing from the Matthews doc. As Palin observers know all too well, Todd Palin's former party of choice, the Alaska Independence Party (AIP) is the AK affiliate of the Constitution Party. Matthews is correct to trace much of the tea party rhetoric to internet-based relative newcomers like Alex Jones. But much of the same rhetoric can be traced to the Constitution Party/fmr. US Taxpayers Party. More on the CP's (non-)relationship to Palin can be found "Scared of Sarah, Part 2" and in "Teabagger Follies".

Ross Perot. The Matthews doc included refrains to Pat Buchanan circa 1992, but left off the part about Ross Perot siphoning off a lot of what might now be considered the proto tea party. Even a dumb conservative as stupid as Dan Quayle sees the connection.

Many remember the Reform Party of the 1990s, which formed around the candidacy of Ross Perot. I sure do, because it eliminated any chance that President George H.W. Bush and I would prevail over Bill Clinton and Al Gore in 1992. What started as a grass-roots phenomenon ended with 19 percent support at the ballot box — and a majority of those voters would probably have gone Republican in a two-party race. Speaking on behalf of the Bush-Quayle campaign, to this day we firmly believe that Perot cost the Republican Party the White House. The 1992 election was the best showing for the movement Perot started, and whatever national influence it retained kept working to the benefit of Democrats.

In my estimation, this is precisely why Sarah Palin, who, prior to early this year had nothing to say to the tea party, was called to rein in those GOP teabaggers who were still reachable. Suddenly, the tea party became a beautiful movement worthy of her time, just so long as it was after her book tour. Bringing her on was smart thinking, because so far, it has worked. It's also worked in keeping Palin herself tethered to the GOP, instead of going third party, splintering the rightwing vote that much more.

The people who make up the tea party are those ever-willing to be led by the nose by any demagogue who tells them what they want to hear, this year, that they are being oppressed by the government and liberal minorities taking their money and forcing their business to serve us at integrated lunch counters instead of in the back. This is the same old GOP McCarthyite/Goldwateresque/Reaganoidalism repackaged for the '10s. Think about it; it was only a generation ago.

But now the tea party, whatever it's supposed to be, is a domestic movement with what will soon evidence a severe ideological split, becoming more pronounced by the day. The National Tea Party Federation already screens out the birthbaggers and the truthbaggers. Wise move. They, like Palin, know those people discredit them and that their presence harms their movement. Constitutionbaggers and other bigotbaggers are still welcome, for the moment, until the meme gets flung far and wide that the 'turfed teabaggers are really just duped, unpaid shills for big business. If screaming their Dick Armey talking points at reps' and senators' town hall meetings wasn't beginning enough, the GOP's obstructionist, party-of-no haste to apologize to BP for Obama's $20 bil "slush fund" has certainly started that in motion.

If they agree with Supreme Court rulings that corporations are persons, they should consider all that "personal responsibility" rhetoric they have tried to cram down the throats of American citizens since the Perot Era. Now it's time for corporations like BP to take some of that legendary "personal responsibility" and act like Normal-American people.

And let's hope we don't see the teabaggers at townhalls screaming on BP's behalf as they did for the insurance industry, even as Palin has flip flopped herself after telling her minions not to trust her husband's former foreign employer.

I predict someone or something in the tea party movement is going to throw down the gauntlet over the usual gauntlet-throwing: Israel, and anti-Semitism. Those two things are the consistent burble under the soft underbelly of the extremist, bigot-fascist rightwing. The call for a boycott threat won't hurt Matthews. It's just a reprisal for the left boycotting their favored media/facebook/twitter talking heads, favorite sons, and beloved saviors. The extremist right has enough problems presenting a unified face to the public already. The fissures in the tea party underscore just how, and why.

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About OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin

  • This article stands as a remarkable monument to the arrogance and ignorance of the American left. So many lies from the media cobbled together into a nonsensical screed of hate and foolishness – truly impressive. Makes Chris Matthews look like the amateur propagandist he is.


  • Any time a conservative labels me uppity/elitist/arrogant it’s certain I’m on the right track. So, thanks.

  • I saw the Chris Matthews “propaganda show,” and while it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, it reminded me of Bill Maher’s Religulous, without the comic relief. Both void of the complete story and twisting the truth to make their point. Now this article is pure crap.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Dave, your criticism is worth more if you point out at least one lie as an example.

  • truly impressive. Makes Chris Matthews look like the amateur propagandist he is.

    sort of. he is a professional propagandist, because he is paid for it. you, on the other hand, are the amateur, even though you’re undoubtedly better at it.

  • So, when’s the teabagger rally in support of poor little oppressed BP?

    Have any of these astroturfed teabaggers ever considered what would happen to them if the evil satanic hitler stalin auschwitz homosexual gubbmint were to catch them dumping their oil change waste into the gulf of Mexico?

  • Dave, arrogance thrives on both sides especially the closer they get to the fringes. Frankly, I’m beginning to feel that these factions (on both sides) are bordering on treason. Unfortunately, under our trampled upon Constitution treason is defined as a citizen declaring War upon the government. The war of rhetoric doesn’t seem to count.

    We have rabid rightists who will do nothing to give this President assistance in getting our country out of the jam it is in. They play politics and attack him at every turn rather than do the AMERICAN thing and work in concert with the Administration. They view bipartisanship as a sign of weakness and, like it or not, there are those on the fringes of the Right who simply hate this President because he is half Black.

    I watched the special and filtered out the rhetoric Matthews was spinning. He’s equally responsible for the political divides. He blindly follows the Progressive mantra and refuses to acknowledge that there are intrinsic facets of the conservative message which deserve debate and adoption. Meanwhile, Keith Olbermann has spun completely out of control and is the Glenn Beck of the Left. Yet the cable news networks keep all these rectums on the air because ratings mean more than patriotism.

    Americans have a propensity to always blame one individual for its problems. Perhaps that is the natural reaction when a society is populated by a majority of monotheists who blame God for everything. Since God is not tangible, let’s blame the President.

    Like it or not, we don’t have the luxury of time in this Nation, folks. We don’t have until November elections. We don’t have until the 2012 Presidential elections. If our elected members of Congress fail to recognize that simple fact, then it is time for each of them, regardless of party, to be bounced out of office.

  • Baronius

    I checked out the author’s blog. Creepy.

  • So, when’s the teabagger rally in support of poor little oppressed BP?

    This question and the similar point raised in the article is a great example of why you shouldn’t be writing on topics you know nothing at all about, except for a general irrational hatred of anyone who opposes the establishment left.

    If you knew anything at all about the tea party movement and the broader liberty movement you would know that it is strongly anti-corporate. Sure, they don’t like Obama and his policies, but that doesn’t mean they like BP any better. They have a great concern that we’re seeing the emergence of a state-corporate alliance which will destroy the nation and the constitution, and they hold big business and especially banks and bailout recipients to be among the main enemies of the people.

    You’d know this if you’d bothered to do any research at all.


  • Jordan Richardson

    Still waiting on one of those lies, Dave. Just one example will do.

    You’d know this if you’d bothered to do any research at all.


  • Jordan, virtually every link in this article repeats a lie. I guess I should acknowledge that they are mostly not original lies.

    And the big lie of the whole piece is the attempt to conflate all sorts of very diverse groups together and thus transfer the eccentricities of tiny minorities within the movement to the whole movement. That’s the nubbin of what makes this and Matthews piece propaganda rather than balanced reporting.


  • Dan

    It’s fascinating to follow down the links and find out how far off the sanity grid the obsession with Palin and the tea party drives these people.

    I love Sarah. Her being stalked and driven from the governors office by frivolous legal maneuvers seems like a blessing in disguise now. She’s much more effective on the national stage. I worry about her safety though.

  • True, Dan. How far is it from writing this article and the strangely conflicted feelings of its author to becoming a true stalker and starting to show up at Palin events with bad intentions?


  • tom

    Exit Question: Who hates Palin more? Liberals in the lower 48 or AK conservatives?

  • Jordan Richardson


    So every link in this story (or “virtually”) every link in this story is a knowing deception like the fake Donald Trump “interview” published on this site? Interesting, I couldn’t find any cause to think that. The first several links are, in fact, words right from the horse’s mouth. So where are the deceptions, Dave? I’m asking for one measly example, hopefully accompanied by evidence that proves it’s a lie, in an article that you claim is filled with lies.

    Surely it’s not too much trouble for you to provide evidence of one such deception (and not the “nubbin” of the article, either, because that’s the author’s opinion) when you’re the one making the allegation. Or do you just mean to discredit the entire piece because you disagree with the author’s opinion?

    For crying out loud, Dave, you’re an editor here. How many more articles do you intend to discredit simply because you disagree with the core arguments? It’s not a “lie” because you don’t agree with the conclusions, but it is certainly lying to suggest that this article is “filled” with intentional deceptions.

    How far is it from writing this article and the strangely conflicted feelings of its author to becoming a true stalker and starting to show up at Palin events with bad intentions?

    Pretty fucking far.

  • And the big lie of the whole piece is the attempt to conflate all sorts of very diverse groups together and thus transfer the eccentricities of tiny minorities within the movement to the whole movement.

    you mean like when you make generalizations of “the left”?

    look in the mirror.

  • Ah yes, Sarah’s valiant conservative suitors come streaming out of the woodwork, defending poor hapless Joan of Arc 2.0 from supposed “stalkers” where there are none.

    How does following very public news stories about a public figure constitute “stalking”, simply because someone disagrees with the politics of the subject?

    No, Dave, the article delineates groups on the extremist right rather than conflates them. In fact, it’s Matthews who does the conflating, without acknowledging the distinction between the Paulite paleocons and the Palinite neocons; that was the entire point of the post. It’s a long-standing contention within movement conservatism in general, with or without Palin or whomever comes after her. They will also clash within the tea party/so-called “liberty” movement.

    Lol Matthews is wrong in his opinion that his show should scare liberals. Far from being scary people, paranoid, oversensitive, willy-nilly American conservatives are even more entertaining than television. Thanks for reminding me why I enjoy observing you.

  • Sarah Palin Sez:
    “Gulf disaster needs divine intervention as man’s efforts have been futile. Gulf lawmakers designate today Day of Prayer for solution/miracle”

    There goes Sarah’s solution, Hey! pray it away, while at the same time screaming Drill Baby Drill!! while all my little Shrimp, Dolphin, and Turtle friends are suffocating in OIL.


    Excellent article “Oh Crap”. Good job pointing out Matthews’ shortcomings. There are divisions/fractures/fissions in this Teabaggin astroturfed movement of fungible molecules. Thank you Foxin-Crazy Rupert Murdoch. If you don’t go back to Australia of your own free-will very soon, we will be forced to gather all the evidence of your treasonous, hateful behavior against America and deport you.