By Chip Berlet -- Researcher and Author covering civil rights and civil liberties.
Posted: August 19, 2009 10:22 PM
Barney Frank Slams LaRouchite Fascism at Healthcare Meeting
Right-wing demagogues have gotten a lot of mileage comparing universal health care to government “national socialism,” but when a woman castigating Congressman Barney Frank held up a sign comparing President Obama to Hitler, Frank did the right thing. The woman holding the LaRouchite manufactured sign -- depicting Obama with a cowlick and Hitler mustache -- confronted Frank by saying of Obama’s healthcare reform, “This policy is actually already on its way out. It already has been defeated by LaRouche. My question to you is, why do you continue to support a Nazi policy... as Obama has?"
But Barney Frank recognized the tiresome neofascist LaRouchite protestors for what they were. He glared at the LaRouchite and asked "On what planet do you spend most of your time?" He then turned serious. "You stand there with a picture of the President defaced to look like Hitler and compare the effort to increase health care to the Nazis," said Frank. "It is a tribute to the First Amendment that this kind of vile, contemptible nonsense is so freely propagated." Then, with his classic biting wit, Frank said: "Trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table, I have no interest in doing it." See video here.
Right Wing hacks and demagogues immediately filled the Internet with denunciations of Frank for abusing a constituent. Congratulations. We await their apologies. Inadvertently, these pro-Republican stooges were siding with a racist, sexist, homophobic, antisemitic, neofascist cult. It is reminiscent of the Nazi rag Der Stürmer. See some images from Der Stürmer: here.
Are the LaRouchites really fascists? You bet.
Jewish organizations across the political spectrum have called LaRouche not only an anti-semite but also a “small-time Hitler.” The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) warned against ignoring the "infiltration by the neo-Nazi elements of Lyndon H. LaRouche," and worried that too often, especially in the media, "the LaRouchites" are "dismissed as kooks….In an age of ideology, in an age of totalitarianism, it will not suffice for a political party to be indifferent to and ignorant about such a movement," said Moynihan. Ironically, when the New York Times covered Moynihan's speech, they showed cowardice by repeatedly substituting the softer term "fascist" wherever Moynihan had said "nazi."
Dennis King’s book on the cult was titled Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism. Read it online here.
I have written popular and scholarly studies identifying the LaRouchites as neofascists. You can find the details here.
So the Republican spinmeisters, right-wing radio and TV demagogues, and insurance company hacks have a tough decision. They can denounce the odious LaRouchite neofascists who have allied themselves with the right-wing populist protests against health care reform; or they can continue to lie in bed with these strange bedfellows who are heirs to Nazi propaganda techniques complete with the big lies, antisemitism, racism, and “vile, contemptible” claims.
Thanks Barney, for setting the record straight, as only a proud gay Jewish Democrat with an urban accent could. That's why he gets getting elected by a diverse constituency... he stands up, talks plain, and does the right thing. We could learn a lesson here.