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News :: Media
The Boston Herald: The 'Stupid Party' Newspaper
21 Jul 2014
Posted on July 21, 2014
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No one will mistake the Boston Herald for a credible news organization anytime soon, but since somebody must be buying it for it to still be in business, it’s probably important to highlight the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of its columnists every now and then.

While the lead Herald wingnut Howie Carr keeps his “readers” in stitches with his culture war comedy routine, columnists like Holly Robichaud are writing, with a straight face, some extremely stupid anti-Obama screeds. Business model and target demographics aside, these folks at the Herald don’t seem to have even a shred of self-respect.

Robichaud’s latest column (“How to destroy the US one step at a time”) doesn’t contain even one credible claim. Amazingly, she hasn’t even tried to camouflage her effort to recycle thoroughly debunked wingnut fantasies by slipping in some reasonable criticisms. She begins by using a Daniel Webster quotation to set up her thesis that President Obama’s actions are slowly “threatening the fundamental stability of our nation.” I’m pretty sure there must be a wingnut columnist manual somewhere that says its best to quote long dead white politicians when arguing that President Obama is destroying America.

Her first absurd claim is that the increasing national debt is part of Obama’s plan to destroy America from within. She writes, “the first step would be to jeopardize the country’s financial stability. Increasing the national debt by $7 trillion is a good starting point, and letting the debt keep growing until it overtakes the country’s gross national product is the death knell.” No one has more effectively and clearly exposed the folly of the “deficit scolds” as clearly and convincingly as Paul Krugman.

Next, Robichaud charges President Obama with encouraging “everyone to become dependent on government handouts instead of being self-sufficient.” I wonder what she wrote about the individual mandate? She didn’t even bother identifying the usual cherry-picked out of context “evidence” wingnuts usually rely on when trying to support this transparently absurd trope. Was she too lazy to mention the “Obama free cell phones for lazy welfare recipients” program? How might Robichaud respond to the argument that right wing columnists like her have become dependent on wingnut talking points instead of being intellectually self-sufficient?

Shifting to foreign policy, Robichaud next tries to blame Obama for the colossal failure that was the Iraq War. She writes, “notifying our enemies of a date certain for withdrawing our troops, such as we did in Iraq, is not a policy of strength.” Note the amusing difference between the ridiculously general charge of encouraging dependence on government followed up by an effort to spin a very specific action as if it were indicative of some great failure, or pattern of failure. This is the kind of wild logical inconsistency you get when your conclusions precede and dictate your argument and evidence. Probably in an effort to be a bit more current, Robichaud tries to buttress her foreign policy case by claiming that “[t]rading five Taliban prisoners for one soldier who walked away from his post is the worst negotiating ever.” So…we should only rescue American soldiers if the cost/benefit ratio works in our favor? Never mind the fact that this soldier has not been found guilty of desertion or that the released prisoners would have to be released anyway according to the laws of war. Rule of law…what’s that got to do with it? This sad spectacle is a vivid example of the fact and principle free wingnuttery that manifests itself in the condition known as “Obama Derangement Syndrome.”

Next, Robichaud reveals her complete ignorance of presidential action prior to 2009, and puts an exclamation point on her demonstrated misunderstanding of the rule of law. She writes, “[i]gnoring our Constitution along with the two other equal branches of government destabilizes the fabric of our society. Changing laws by executive fiat rather than the legislative process undermines our democracy. Our Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution so no one person could dictate.” Wow!

Finally, Robichaud adds her name to the list of wingnuts misinterpreting Thomas Jefferson’s quotation, “[a] nation without borders is no nation,” in order to use the plight of the refugees showing up at our southern border against the President. She writes, “[a]llowing people from other countries to hop, skip and jump over the border is a nonviolent invasion.” I guess she thought the symmetry of beginning and ending with misinterpreted quotations from long dead white guys was more important than honesty or reality-based analysis when it comes to anti-Obama screeds.

I think from now on I will encourage students who fail my introductory American government course to consider a career in right wing journalism. Carrying water for the Stupid Party ain’t pretty, but apparently its a living.
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