Slate’s David Weigel seems to have just discovered St. Louis’ Dana Loesch whom he designates his temporary, “accidental nemesis.” Today he is taken by the alacrity with which the right-wing St. Louis scold has jumped on the trumped-up claims of anti-Semitism in the Occupy movement that are currently being worked up by the right.
Weigel’s point, which is that all new social movements attract a few looney-tunes, is illustrated with a video of David Duke endorsing the Tea Party. I admit that I’m still not convinced that a healthy dose of Duke’s KKK-type philosophy does not animate at least some segments of Tea Partydom. This opinion was reinforced after I read Colin Woodard’s recent article in the Washington Monthly on the geographic distribution of the Tea Party, which notes that its area of greatest strength corresponds to what we traditionally think of as the South – where the conflict over issues of race may be more hidden than in the past, but arguably still run very deep.
Be that as it may, I think Weigel misses the real silliness of Loesch’s comment:
They have the blessing of Nancy Pelosi. They’re also endorsed by the Nazi Party of the United States. They’re also endorsed by Communists. These are things that we did not see with the tea party movement.
Weigel deals very effectively with the Nazi and Communist endorsements, but he ignores the presence of Nancy Pelosi on this list. Dana Loesch is evidently either so ignorant or so blinded by right-wing rhetoric that she thinks that Nancy Pelosi’s support for Occupy Wall Street is the equivalent of a lot of hot air from Nazis. We’re talking about the Nancy Pelosi who is the House Minority Leader, the first female Speaker of the House, and a respected California politician who was elected to office over and over again during the past 24 years. If you ask me, Loesch is trying to hit two birds with one stone, both the Occupy movement and Nancy Pelosi, an outspoken and proud progressive.
Bear in mind that Loesch is paid by CNN to express her opinions in a public forum. Does this fact leave you feeling as embarrassed about the state of public discourse as I do right now?