One of the big reasons I love American politics is that nowhere else in the world can you find such a colorful cast of characters that pop up to add a little comedy to our otherwise deadly serious proceedings. Even the crooks are entertaining – if not personality wise then certainly in their marvelously inventive methods of purloining from the public purse.
Duke Cunningham may not have been much of a Congressman but he belongs in the Super Bowl of graft for his enormously inventive plans to enrich himself. “Dollar Bill” Jefferson gave a whole new meaning to the term “cold, hard cash.” Larry Craig’s straddles on more than just issues. And their friends in Congress can be even more entertaining and original in the ways they seek to separate the hard earned taxpayer coin from its owner.
Then there are the gadflies, the hangers on who wish to make an impact on our politics but only end up making idiots of themselves. Not surprisingly, I include myself in this group along with most (not all) bloggers, most columnists in major newspapers, most TV pundits, and anyone who writes for The Nation.
We are in “the boredom killing business,” as William Holden famously said in Paddy Cheyevsky’s brilliant and prescient take on TV news, the movie Network. And one of the best ways to alleviate ennui is to read books that purport to explain, analyze, or otherwise comment upon politics as it is currently practiced here in the United States.
Now the French, God bless ‘em, have a theory that you shouldn’t write about politics or history until at least 50 years have passed from the period you wish to study. Only after everyone is dead and their papers, diaries, letters, and post it notes are published can an author truly know and understand his subject.
This may be true. Then again, it might be a typical French excuse not to do any work. (Oh for God’s sake lighten up, I’m kidding you nitwits).
Be that as it may, today’s political authors immerse themselves in their subjects about as deeply as the puddle that forms after it rains in the utility room of my basement. Anything written by Sean Hannity must come with a piece of string so that the book can be tied to your desk lest it float away. The same goes for Ann Coulter and double for anything ever written about the Bush Administration by a liberal.
Then there are the books written to do a number on a candidate or political figure. There is nothing new about political hit pieces – Jefferson employed Philip Freneau to skewer Washington, Hamilton, and other federalists. The difference today is that they claim to be documented and “thoroughly researched.” Where Freneau would take great glee in airing all sorts of dirt on Alexander Hamilton (most of it untrue), political hatchet men today mask their attacks by hiding behind “scholarship.” Dolts who read these books are generally impressed because they contain hundreds of footnotes and feature a bibliography that rivals the Library of Congress.
But bad sourcing is still bad sourcing, even if you footnote it. And that appears to be the case with Jerome Corsi’s newst effort to insert himself into the presidential race with the publication of his book An Obama Nation.
Corsi’s career as an author is interesting. He’s written two books about a nuclear Iran that accuses politicians of actually paving the way for the mullahs to get the bomb. He’s written another book that tries to debunk peak oil. He wrote a book about border control with Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist whose main thesis is apparently that Bush is lax on border control because he wants to advance the idea of a North American Union with Canadians and Mexicans.
In short, Corsi is no ordinary Gadfly. He is a certifiable loon. He’s two shakes short of a martini. You cannot take anyone seriously who claims that US politicians are helping Iran get the bomb. Nor can you put any stock in anything written by a guy who thinks that any American president would give up American sovereignty just so he doesn’t have to pay any import duties on his Canadian bacon. It’s stupid. It’s cracked. It’s nutzo.
In a sane world. Jerome Corsi’s stuff might appear on the comic pages. Or placed next to the newest issue of Mad Magazine in the bookstore. But in today’s zany political culture, Corsi rates 100 guest appearances on talk shows and news programs. And apparently there are enough people out there who are either unaware or don’t care about his cockamamie views because Obama Nation will appear this week on the New York Times bestseller list at #1.
According to my old friend Pat Curley, Corsi is also a 9/11 truther who thinks that physicist Steve Jones is the bomb and Alex Jones worthy of an appearance on his show. In fact, the New York Times Caucus Blog informs us that the Obama project caused Corsi to delay his next big revelatory best seller; a book exposing the “lies” told by government in the 9/11 investigation.
Among the follow-up efforts to Jerome R. Corsi’s “Unfit for Command,” which inspired the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth attacks on Senator John Kerry in 2004, is “Obama Nation.” But the conservative commentator’s book about Senator Barack Obama appears to have distracted him from another project he was planning in January: exposing what he calls the government’s inadequate explanations about the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
A YouTube video making the rounds, especially among Obama supporters, mocks Mr. Corsi for a Jan. 29 interview on Alex Jones’s radio show, a forum for those who take a deeply skeptical view of government claims about the attacks. (Mr. Corsi also frequently talks about the “North American Union” and other threats from globalization during his appearances).
The clip has Mr. Corsi discussing the findings of Steven Jones, physicist and hero of the “9/11 Truth” movement who claims to have evidence that the World Trade Center towers collapsed due to explosives inside the building, not just the planes hitting them, during the attacks.
Alex Jones is a popular radio host – especially with the tin foil hat crowd as well as that upstanding, all American, all White bunch at Stormfront, the neo Nazi site that gave a lot of luvin to Ron Paul recently. And Pat has also dug up the fact that Corsi apparently has no qualms about appearing anywhere at anytime to discuss his book – even if the radio show he agrees to appear on is geared toward the sub-60 IQ set:
Perhaps Corsi’s most telling appearance, however, has been on The Political Cesspool, an overtly racist, anti-Semitic radio show hosted by self-avowed white nationalist James Edwards. Corsi was interviewed on the Cesspool on July 20 and is scheduled to appear again this Sunday, August 17, joining a recent guest roster that has included Christian Identity pastor Pete Peters, Holocaust denier Mark Weber and former Klan boss David Duke.
Along with promoting Corsi’s appearances, Edwards is boasting on his website that the three-hour weekly show will join the Republic Broadcasting Network in September. This conspiracy-minded network, heard via satellite and the web, features talk about a sinister “New World Order” and wild theories about the causes of 9/11. Shows that air on the network include The Piper Report, named after host Michael Collins Piper, who has contributed to the holocaust denial magazine The Barnes Review, and Mark Dankof’s America, which has interviewed Weber, director of the Institute for Historical Review, a leading Holocaust denial group.
Nice company you’re keeping there, Jerry.
And nice company my fellow conservatives are keeping if you buy his book. There are oodles of things to criticize, denounce, make sport, and laugh at Barack Obama about without having to use anything from this screwball’s book. In fact, I would chastise folks like my good friend Jon Henke of The Next Right, the excellent Peter Wehner of Commentary, and numerous other conservatives and center/right bloggers and pundits who have actually taken the time to try and seriously discredit Corsi and denounce his inaccuracies and idiocies. The best possible thing to do about Jerome Corsi is point a finger and laugh at him. Laugh at his utter, hopeless stupidity at believing that there is a plot to form a North American Union. Giggle at his belief that the World Trade Centers were blown up by the government. Snicker at his notion that currently serving American politicians knowingly aided the Iranian mullahs in their efforts to get the bomb.
Why waste time and effort in a dedicated and well researched effort to critique someone who actually believes Obama is some kind of closet Muslim or at best, has “ties” to the Muslim religion he is not telling us about. This is especially wrongheaded considering that when the subject of Obama’s religion comes up, there is a ready made campaign killer all set to make a spectacular comeback this fall.
Jeremiah Wright as a tool to defeat Obama is a helluva lot more potent than any Islam worshipping Obama did as an 8 year old kid. All that bringing up the fake and foolish story that Obama is a Muslim does is distract from the public concentrating on Wright as Obama mentor and friend. In short, by trying to “prove” a baseless, ridiculous, nutty story about Obama’s radical Islamic past, those pushing this meme are only hurting their own cause.
I frankly don’t care how much of Obama Nation is true and how much is part of Corsi’s overactive imagination. I don’t care what his conclusions are nor do I care to know his views on Obama as a man or a politician. To my mind, a book on Obama written by Mickey Mouse would have more credibility.
At least Mickey isn’t responsible for what comes out of his mouth.