Political Animal


July 28, 2012 11:20 AM What Wingnut Welfare Looks Like

By Ryan Cooper

At the Monthly offices in DC we get a lot of books. Publishers want to get their stuff as much attention as possible, so sending free advance and review copies to magazines makes good sense, even if each copy has only a tiny chance of getting a review actually written. However, sometimes this can be taken too far:

Definitely not going to read that 24 times.

In case you can’t see, this is twenty-four copies of something called The Corruption Chronicles, some warmed-over right-wing agitprop about the president. Utterly unremarkable except how the sheer numbers inadvertently reveal just how much money is sloshing around the conservative propaganda machine. This is the cheapest of hackery, unlikely to accomplish much except a big recycling bill somewhere, yet they’ve sent a copy to just about every person that has ever worked at the Monthly. That kind of shotgun approach is expensive, and we’re not even a conservative publication! Imagine how many copies they must have sent to the National Review.

See here for more.

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Ryan Cooper is a National Correspondent at The Week, and a former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @ryanlcooper


  • Hedda Peraz on July 28, 2012 11:43 AM:

    It is part of Reagan's "Full employment for Printers and Lumberjacks Act", passed with little fanfare in his second term.

    As to all those books: Know anyone with a wood stove?

  • J on July 28, 2012 12:17 PM:

    I know it's asking a lot, but if you had the strength to take a peek, I'd be curious to know what the contents look like. I'm guessing some thing like. Saturday 11 May: accepted cup of coffee from well wisher without paying; Tues. 14 May, received two-hundred million dollars of Nazi gold from Kremlin intermediary acting on behalf of Kenyan revolutionary movement/secret Illuminati trilateral Masonic lodge.

  • Skip on July 28, 2012 12:35 PM:

    How about a little more "wingnut" writing for you.

    I've been reading the right's swift justification of Mitt's gaffes for hours already...like the Washington Post's "Romney isn’t out to make the world swoon"
    By Fouad Ajami, Published: July 27

    This one stood out because of the comments under that article, case in point.

    10:34 AM CDT
    "One thing is certain from reading the comments: liberals are scared. They should be. They are barely Americans as it is, hold the US Consitution in contempt, pray before altars of socialism - and delivered unto the United States the most incompetent and corrupt administration to ever hold office: Barack Hussein Obama, America's first communist president.You will not be forgiven after November. Nor should you!""

    I would blow this off, if there weren't more posts in concurrence with this person. I can't even explain the kaleidoscope of emotions their words flooded through me.

    What America is this now? How much more of these kinds of nationalist phobic sentiments will Mitt Romney sanction should he be elected in November? What else will he sanction? The comments in the WP scared me today, a national venue aiding the spew of vitriol, citizen against citizen.

    Is this still "just politics" or are we engaged in something far deeper and uglier which too many people are refusing to acknowledge, that we are at war inside our own country? Do non-conservatives believe that people who write like this will cure themselves, that the media who defines and encourages such speech will cure itself, that our WA leadership which embodies the worst of political and ideological division will suddenly come to their senses and lead us all down a more peaceful, unified path?

    Does anyone really believe that November will fix anything? If Obama wins, what will happen in the minds of the voices like the one above? If Mitt wins, non-conservatives can only guess what hell lies down that path.

    How loud were the calls for peace after Ms. Gifford was shot. Public shootings have continued and still the calls for peace go unsaid. These past few years I have grieved for my country and these past few months I have feared for my liberty, but not until now have I wondered about the safety of non-conservatives in the UnUnited States of What Once Was America.

    "You will not be forgiven after November"

  • TCinLA on July 28, 2012 12:47 PM:

    The "You will not be forgiven after November" attitude is even more scary when you consider the likelihood now is that they're going to lose. You don't just find this at Free Republic and places like that anymore. Read any of the "public" places like Yahoo News, and you get stuff from these people that is truly scary, the level of eliminationist hate that is expressed. Anyone who doesn't think there is a serious fascist movement in this country after looking at this stuff needs a brain implant. I really do believe that if they loose this time, they are going to act out violently.

    I think the Internet has helped this happen, because of the fact that anonymity lets them act out in ways they would never have thought of in person at the outset of their wingnuttery, but now they're comfortable with it, and they can (and do, as I have experienced) act that way in the "real" world as they have learned to do in the virtual world. Now they are ready - no need to be whipped up at Nuremburg Rallies, they do it every day on their computer.

  • DAY on July 28, 2012 12:47 PM:

    Skip, there is a large "Left Behind" cult out there, with talk of Armageddon and the Rapture. It is just the latest incarnation of Christianity's "you will get your reward in Heaven" sop for the masses.

    And so too does it hold sway in the secular world. The whole Occupy Movement, the 99%ers, is about being Left Behind in this earthly realm. And, they see it as Wall Street is to blame.

    But, there is a another- larger?- group of "Left Behinds". They are suffering from the same income erosion, same loss of purchase power of their meager means, but instead of blaming Wall Street, they blame The Other. The Black Man in our White House. Tossing around terms like Socialist and Communist and Islam, without knowing the meaning of any of them. Their leaders- in the pulpit and in the government- are robbing them blind and telling them that it is The Other's fault.
    They are not bright enough to rant against the real causes of their situation, so they turn on a person. As they have done for millennia.

  • DAY on July 28, 2012 12:53 PM:

    With all the purported government spying on us- reading our emails, peering down my wife's cleavage with drones- I wonder if the Secret Service is fully occupied on checking out these internet 'eliminationists'.
    99% is just bluster, but the 1% is worrisome.

  • leopoldvon ranke on July 28, 2012 12:58 PM:

    Could you hawk them on the street at a quarter a copy? Not much income there but it would by a fast-food bargain lunch, which is no doubt of far more value.

    THe title does bring up another issue, though. An anonymous Romney advisor apparently told a reporter for the London Daily Telegraph that President Obama is insufficiently Anglo-Saxon to understand the “special relationship” between Great Britain and the United States. Romney advisor John Sununu, a former Reagan Administration official, has said that President Obama needs to learn how to be an American, and Romney himself has called the President “foreign.”

    Think it’s about time they just drop the pretense and call him a n____r.

  • c u n d gulag on July 28, 2012 1:22 PM:

    Why not just call this "The Schwartza KKKronikles!"?

    With a subtitle of "Black and Perilous Times for AmeriKKKa!!!"

    And yes, the eliminationism is strong in these people.

    We are nearing a Fascist tipping point.
    And the clowns quoting the Bible and waving the flag don't realize that THEY'RE the Fascists.

  • 57andfemale on July 28, 2012 1:23 PM:

    I was looking for information on the Colorado case, Newland v. Sebelius, about a corporation that makes ac and heating equipment, owned by Catholics, who brought suit on religious grounds to not provide 'abortion' and contraception. A Carter appointee judge issued an injunction yesterday in their favor.

    My reason for mentioning it in this post: I googled the case and found pages and pages of various groups in support of this case, all getting money and support. I could not find one single regular news source and not one source of progressive pushback.

    I admit to living in a progressive bubble but I thought I had a reasonable clue on the forces out there. I had no clue.

    It is huge. It is terrifying. At 62 years old I am astounded that we are on the verge of a Christianist taliban, combining forces with libertarian forces now called mainstream conservatism, that will turn our economy into a free-for-all, while decimating individual rights.

    I don't give a damn if some of us are no longer in love with PBO or don't think our Democratic congressperson is progressive enough. This is an election of immense proportions. They must be stopped. Stopping them is what will lead us back to American ideals. If we are the least bit complacent, we're screwed.

  • leopoldvanranke on July 28, 2012 2:15 PM:


    The judge's decision may be found at scribd.com. It's captioned "Hercules et al. v. Sibelius et al. Basically, the government argued that as a corporation, Hercules (owned by the Newland family) didn't have standing to assert a claim under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The judge didn't buy this.

    Instead he did a fairly standard analysis for issuing a preliminary injunction, and relied heavily on the exemptions in the "contraception provision" of the ACA that exempts "grandfathered plans," religious organizations and a safe harbor provision for certain charities.

    It will be truly interesting to see just how far this "corporations are people" strain of jurisprudence reaches.It seems "Citizens' United" was just the opening salvo.

    You could do what I do -- I don't spend my money with any person or organization with an avowedly religious bent.

  • sick -n-effin-tired on July 28, 2012 2:52 PM:

    These wars are being fueled by the oligarchs to distract the masses .
    They rile up these teabaggers so they won't notice the erosion of their rights and wealth.
    If Obama gets in even better . Primes them for Fascism
    See we need to do something......
    If Willard gets in
    See we need laws so this doesn't happen again...
    Things will not get better no matter what .
    The 1% is in almost full control of our MSM and Government
    Weep for your country.

  • delNorte on July 28, 2012 3:00 PM:

    You can trade them back in to Amazon for for a $3.85 Gift Card (each) = $92.40. That's almost real money.


    Feel free to write a review, even if you haven't read it.

  • Rick B on July 28, 2012 4:13 PM:

    This entire stream of comments demonstrates that we liberals and progressives are in a real battle. It's a culture clash between those who grew up a generation ago and are angry at all the social changes that have been inflicted on them (Civil Rights especially) and those of us who think America has changed since the rural agriculture-based society they were born into in the 30's, 40's, and 50's.

    Think not? Remember, politicians are old farts. And it's the demagogues who cater to their electoral base and do whatever they demand to keep their jobs. For the best current example I am aware of look at Orrin Hatch who has just survived a primary by out-tea-bagging the tea-baggers. Bernie Sanders wouldn't do that, nor did Russ Feingold. Seniority gives the flexible demagogues the advantage and the power in the Senate.

    America is still moving from a rural agricultural society as it was in 1776 to an industrial urban society. The biggest shift has been since WW II. After WW II it was people from agricultural areas who moved to the city - but they didn't like living there so they created suburbs (with Ike's help when he set up the Interstate Highway system which destroyed most downtowns and created suburbs.) Towns that had bus systems in the 1950's closed them down in the 60's and 70's. Farm grown workers would not give up their cars.

    Remember also that the dominant class in any society reached their exalted position during the previous generation, so they resist changes that would knock them off their perch. Google Paul Ryan. He's from a small Wisconsin town (Janesville) where his family has been one of the movers and shakers. He's conservative because that's his family's source of power. And he is one of the up-and-coming Republicans in the Congress. He wouldn't know a city if it bit him. He hates them because they want to make him accountable for his power.

    So why are these troglodytes coming out of the woodwork now? America was becoming an urban centralized nation because it had to in order to deal with WW I, WW II, and the Cold War. The centralization and the rapid industrialization were done because the threat of war. When the threat of war disappeared with the end of the USSR then the local powers in the states started grabbing back the power they had cede to the federal government.

    That's the source of the small government low taxes crap, but the key is the elimination of taxes on local power centers - wealthy families and top corporate executives who have been able to use their power to get obscene CEO pay packages (their immediate assistants ride up the escalator with them.) And there is the power behind your "conservative movement" - the guys who were forced to cede power to FDR during the Depression and WW II.

    Corporations are also grabbing power back from the central government. That's the social basis of the Citizen's United decision. They can do this because the external national threat that allowed the creation of mass armies and the governments that created and supported them is not something that the local city and regional powers appreciate. But that's the process of nationalism, a process which was essential to the creation of the industrial revolution. The reason why Mexico's central government is so weak is, in my opinion, because Mexico has no significant external enemies. At least not since the U.S. stole the northern 55% of the nation in 1848. Now it's mostly just a rural wasteland and the residence of a lot of short-term cheap industrial and agricultural workers who replace the Chinese and Japanese workers in about 1900. The drug cartels in Mexico are quite analogous to America's predatory corporations and banks. (The drug cartels in Mexico also exist because America's misguided war on drugs creates a market for high-priced very profitable drugs while our NRA prevents the U.S. government from stopping the movement of firearms and ammunition south to fue

  • Anonymous on July 28, 2012 4:25 PM:

    There's a limit to these comments. Who knew? Here's the rest.

    "to fuel the violence. The Drug cartels in Mexico were created when Colombia and the U.S. broke up the Medellin and Cali cartels.)

    So in a macro sense the conservatives represent a resurgence of the older rural American culture which rejects the modern urban industrial culture. You will notice that the youth are not joining the conservatives - because, in my opinion, they are urban and industrial. The conservative movement will die off with the people raised in the agricultural rural culture. That will be about two decades more at most.

    After that rational government will return - because it is bureaucratic and bureaucracies demand social rationality. Go read Max Weber if you don't believe me."

  • mudwall jackson on July 28, 2012 7:01 PM:

    bullshit begats bullshit

  • Nancy Green on July 28, 2012 7:20 PM:

    To move up the list on NYT book review and Amazon you have to sell a lot of books. And when you buy truckloads of your own books to boost the sales numbers you have to get rid of them somewhere.

  • Anonymous on July 28, 2012 11:08 PM:

    Skip, this past week I got a screed from some wingnut in Arizona, I think, who listed several dozen reasons why Obama should not be reelected. Every one of them was either totally false or totally ridiculous. I sent a corrected copy back to him and he went ballistic. They ranged from birther nonsense to Moslem nonsense to everyone in his cabinet and administration being either a communist or at least a socialist. This guy was upset because Obama didn't wear a flag lapel pin. He thinks Obama "pals around with terrorists" on a daily basis. Taking student loans away from banks and lending money directly was somehow just awful. It went on and on in that manner.

    At first I thought it was someone doing a Saturday Night Live style parody of how unhinged wing nuts can be, but it turned out to be the real thing, and this guy really was unhinged. I suspect that maybe he got his material from the same place the Corruption Chronicles author got his.