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Tuesday, April 21, 2009
The Latest Wingnut Meme
Yesterday morning, I was flipping through the stations and heard a local Rush Clone bitching and moaning about how presidential advisor David Axelrod was trying to marginalize conservatives, particularly those who were involved in the teabagging events last week. The basis for this accusation was something that Axelrod allegedly said about the teabaggers: ". . . I think any time that you have severe economic conditions, there is always an element of disaffection that can mutate into something that's unhealthy."
The local Rush wannabe then used his radio time to go into a long harangue about how poor wingnuts were being targeted as mutations by Axelrod and as terrorists by the Department of Homeland Security. Like the wingnut spin on the DHS report on right-wing extremists, the claim about Axelrod was a right-wing talking point that was taken out of context and is being spread by the usual suspects such as Fox News and Sean Hannity on his radio program.
The truth about what Axelrod said is more complicated. Axelrod made these comments in an interview with Harry Smith on Face the Nation. What these right-wingers failed to mention was that Smith asked Axelrod about the teabaggers AND the genuinely nutty talk by Texas governor Rick Perry about the possible secession of Texas from the United States. Here are Axelrod's comments in their full context:
SMITH: What do you make of this spreading and very public disaffection with, not only the government, but especially the Obama administration -- the tea parties this week? You even have the governor of Texas even using the word "secession"? What -- should Texas be allowed to secede?
UPDATE: Media Matters has a video and a response to the way that Axelrod's comments were distorted on Hannity's Fox News show.