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Krugman- "The Paranoid style"

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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:01 AM
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Krugman- "The Paranoid style"
The Paranoid Style


Last week Dennis Hastert, the speaker of the House, explained the real cause of the Foley scandal. The people who want to see this thing blow up, he said, are ABC News and a lot of Democratic operatives, people funded by George Soros. Most news reports, to the extent they mentioned Mr. Hasterts claim at all, seemed to treat it as a momentary aberration. But it wasnt his first outburst along these lines. Back in 2004, Mr. Hastert said: You know, I dont know where George Soros gets his money. I dont know where if it comes overseas or from drug groups or where it comes from. Does Mr. Hastert really believe that George Soros and his operatives, conspiring with the evil news media, are responsible for the Foley scandal? Yes, he probably does. For one thing, demonization of Mr. Soros is widespread in right-wing circles. One can only imagine what people like Mr. Hastert or Tony Blankley, the editorial page editor of The Washington Times, who once described Mr. Soros as a Jew who figured out a way to survive the Holocaust, say behind closed doors.

More generally, Mr. Hastert is a leading figure in a political movement that exemplifies what the historian Richard Hofstadter famously called the paranoid style in American politics.

Hofstadters essay introducing the term was inspired by his observations of the radical right-wingers who seized control of the Republican Party in 1964. Today, the movement that nominated Barry Goldwater controls both Congress and the White House. As a result, political paranoia the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy Hofstadter described has gone mainstream. To read Hofstadters essay today is to be struck by the extent to which he seems to be describing the state of mind not of a lunatic fringe, but of key figures in our political and media establishment.

The paranoid spokesman, wrote Hofstadter, sees things in apocalyptic terms. ... He is always manning the barricades of civilization. Sure enough, Dick Cheney says that the war on terror is a battle for the future of civilization.

According to Hofstadter, for the paranoids, what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil, and because the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated. Three days after 9/11, President Bush promised to rid the world of evil. The paranoid demand for total triumph leads to the formulation of hopelessly unrealistic goals instead of focusing on Al Qaeda, well try to remake the Middle East and eliminate a vast axis of evil and since these goals are not even remotely attainable, failure constantly heightens the paranoids sense of frustration. Iraq, anyone?

more: /
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billybob537 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:10 AM
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1. Want to see this blow up?
How in God's name could this get worse? #1 Republican underaged GAY sex scandal!
#2 Covered up by Republican leadership!
#3 Leaked by former Republican staffer!
#4 Leaked on the same day as Republican "show legislation!"
#5 Republican's in "FULL BATSHIT CRAZY" denial mode!
#6 Four weeks and counting till Mid-Term election!
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:05 PM
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3. North Korea wants one on one negotiations with the U.S.
And everybody know what this paranoid administration thinks of negotiations.

Negotiations are to stall till the war toys are in place.
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texpatriot2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:12 PM
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2. K & R nm
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patcox2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:27 PM
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4. I will fight these conservatives with every fibre of my being
They are tearing asunder the foundation of freedom on which our country was founded.

There is a bit of the paranoid style on the left too, amongst those who man the ramparts with Mr. Pitt.
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:35 PM
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5. Link to Hofstadter's original essay ...
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