Fourth-Right-Ness: Independence Day as a Tool for Partisan Sniping

The U.S. just celebrated its “birthday”, which it always does on the wrong day (July 4 instead of July 2, the date the Declaration of Independence was adopted, or August 2, the date most delegates signed it) and you might think that such an occasion would be one of national unity. But for many ideological extremists, it’s an opportunity to double down on their attacks against those who do not wholeheartedly concur with their extreme beliefs and values.

At a Republican Party barbecue in Georgia, Representative Paul Broun was offering up a prayer to the (presumably right-wing) God he claims to follow when he said :

Father, there are many who want to destroy us from outside this nation. Folks like al-Qaeda and the radical Islamists. But there are folks that want to destroy us from inside, the progressives and the socialists, who want to make this nation a nation that’s no longer under you, under God, but a nation that’s ruled by man.

It’s no secret that these people seem to think the most patriotic thing they can do is express their irrational, all-consuming hatred for half the citizens of the United States; and judging by Broun’s “prayer” it appears they also think it’s the most pious thing they can do. Surely God must hate all the same people they do, or what use is He?

There was an even cuter trick on a right-wing website called (in keeping with the prevailing concept that “journalism” entails misinformation and ideological indoctrination). This site is under the stewardship of Andrew Breitbart, whose truth allergies we’ve previously noted.

Here’s the deal: Big Journalism published the text of the Declaration of Independence, accompanied by an illustration of George Washington; and various words and phrases throughout the text are linked to other web pages that evidently are intended to suggest that President Obama is as tyrannical and oppressive as King George – though quite often, the links just give the impression of having been chosen at random. If you’re really bored and crave some cheap laughs, you might try looking at this post and clicking on some of these links.

If you click on the phrase “invasions on the rights of the people”, you’ll get a news story about how the House of Representatives passed the Health Care Reform Bill. Yes, you read that right. An action by the HOUSE to help extend the right of medical care to all citizens is deemed an INVASION OF RIGHTS by the PRESIDENT.

Click on the passage about how the king has “incited domestic insurrections”, and what do you get? A Wikipedia article about ACORN. Yep, the (former) existence of an organization devoted to improving the lives of disadvantaged citizens is proof positive that Barack Obama encourages people to form angry mobs bearing … well, guns and racist signs or something.

Oh, and try clicking on “harass our people”. Please, please do. You’ll connect with the blatant lie (now an official GOP talking point parroted by Newt Gingrich and John Boehner) that “Obamacare” will call for 16,000 new IRS agents to “track everyone’s bank accounts”.

And try the one about how he’s “ravaged our coasts”. That will take you to an op-ed at The National Review (another impeccable source of Big “Journalism”) about the administration’s moratorium on drilling. Yep, trying to stop oil companies from ravaging our coasts constitutes ravaging our coasts. If you’re a black Democrat and it’s a second Tuesday in March under a blue moon.

Propaganda like this even manages to take (relatively) legitimate concerns about some of Obama’s actions (e.g., Libya) and convert them into grossly inaccurate smears. What a breathtaking achievement.

Although this post is, unlike the “prayer”, ostensibly aimed at denouncing an individual rather than a large segment of the population, it’s hard not to connect the “patriotic” agenda of Breitbart and company with the Tea Party rhetoric, often incendiary and sometimes violent, of “taking back” THEIR country from the 53% of American voters who elected Barack Obama.

It’s hard to believe this is what the Founding Fathers had in mind. Or, for that matter, the putative Founding Father.


  1. This is a re-post of a post previously published on July 10. Publishing it again was the quickest way to eliminate a problematic bug.

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