Yeah, I know some might object to calling Geert Wilders a fascist. Certainly, it’s an overused insult. My usual metric for whether or not someone is a fascist is: do they spend an inordinate amount of time defending/excusing/conditionally praising Hitler? That’s not going to get you every fascist, but it nets all of more obvious cases (e.g. Jean-Marie Le Pen and Pat Buchanan). It’s one thing to say that Hitler got Germany out of the Great Depression before any other major country–which is true–but another to spend years of your life arguing that he was misunderstood, wasn’t all that bad, etc. I haven’t heard Geert Wilders talk about how Hitler was some misunderstood genius, which would seem to contradict the heuristic I just mentioned. But he is a man whose hyper-nationalist party scapegoats a small, Middle Eastern minority for nearly all of his country’s problems, and isn’t all that choosy about which freedoms to trample on in order to punish them. In any event, it looks like this clown’s brief spell of time in power is over:
Led by the controversial anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders, the PVV came to prominence with its anti-immigration Eurosceptic rhetoric.
But now its golden era may be over. Falling in the polls, the party’s anti-immigration policies are being abandoned by the Dutch, and with the collapse of the coalition government which he propped up, Mr Wilders has been stripped of his powerful kingmaker card. So is this the beginning of the end of the Freedom Party? [...]
Geert Tomlow used to be his right-hand man.
“He threw away everything,” he says. “Two weeks ago he was the man everyone watched, people hung on to his every word, he would tweet something and suddenly it would be all over the front pages.
“He will never enjoy that position again. He’s old news now, nobody cares what he has to say any more.”
Like many others, Geert Tomlow has now lost faith in the Freedom Party and believes Geert Wilders has accidentally thrown away his all-powerful trump card.
“I don’t think he thought about the consequences of his actions. He was having a love affair with power but in the end he couldn’t deliver and I think he was fed up. He was being forced to make a lot of concessions.
The lesson here is that, oftentimes, the extremists who get swept into power during economic stagnation are often unable to exploit it. Hitler is an obvious exception to this rule, sadly. But gaining power and wielding it effectively thankfully don’t always come in the same package. Does this offset the news that Greece’s fascist party has increased its vote share, that France’s is very nearly a major party now, etc.? Probably not. It is a silver lining, though.
- Paul Ryan is the third most unpopular Republican in the country, behind Palin and Gingrich. I hereby and immediately endorse a Paul Ryan presidential run.
- Much as I’d love to see Dutch hatemonger Geert Wilders in prison, I’m sort of relieved he didn’t get convicted of hate speech charges. I don’t want this bozo to become a martyr, and I don’t really think he said anything that actually merits legal punishment. Personally, I’d rather see him go to jail for child molestation or something like that to ruin his reputation, though I have no idea if he’s done anything like that, it would be optimal in terms of tainting his message.
- Kevin Drum is wrong. People don’t believe that spending and tax cuts will fix the economy just because Republicans say so. They believe it because high-profile Democrats, up to and including President Obama and Secretary Geithner, say the exact same thing too. Not necessarily coupled together like that, but come on…I can’t tell you how many times I’ve nearly vomited when one of those guys has said that a debt deal will improve the economy. HOW?!
- Umm…this is probably not good, though I’ve learned not to live and die on every twist and turn of a policy negotiation. Fucking health care reform nearly killed me a dozen times at least.
- This critique of Obama’s Afghanistan speech is all sorts o’ wrong. “Indeed, never before in American history have the exigencies of war and national security been more subordinated to a president’s perceived political needs than right now…” Please see Nixon, Richard M. “What we do propose is that we confront evil when and where we can, and always when it threatens the American national interest.” Except for when that evil pops up in an Asian or African country of limited strategic importance, eh? As for Afghanistan, the past ten years have proven us incapable of defeating the “evil” there. Not asserted at all in this critique: that we have anything to gain from a maximalist Afghan strategy, or even any sustained presence there at all. After all, there is more than one way to confront evil, though others require some measure of creativity.
- Personality crisis: Balloon Juice
- Give ‘em the boot, you know I’m a radical: Balloon Juice
- It’s not fair to deny me of the cross I bear that you gave to me: Balloon Juice
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