Must Read Books:
Blinded by the Right

Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative. by David Brock. NY: Crown Publishers, 2002.

Note: The following are notes from the above book. I found the book seminal, eye-opening, life-changing. I recommend that you buy and read the entire book. Only by reading the entire book will you get the whole picture. The following quotes, I hope, will whet your appetite. --Colby Glass

"This is a terrible book. It is about lies told and reputations ruined. It is about what the conservative movement did, and what I did, as we plotted in the shadows, disregarded the law, and abused power to win even greater power" (xi).

"... in the '80s, "alternative" meant conservative... Something about the sanctimony of the PC campus of the mid-1980s gave conservatives in my generation a focus as we passed through the typical youthful phases of rebelliousness, anger, and confusion about identity" (16).

The "Washington Times [is] owned by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon" (20). "Moon founded his church in 1954 in Korea--which he believes is God's chosen nation. He teaches that Christian churches further Satan's power and has said that God punished Israel and the Jews in the Holocaust for rejecting Jesus" (24).

"The conservative movement [is] a well-financed, tightly run political machine intensely devoted to enacting a rigid ideological orthodoxy in the political realm... its roots in GOP Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-Communist witch-hunts of the 1950s... its exploitation of racial fears and cultural divisions.." (22).

"... the movement's agenda [is] militant anti-Communism, tax cuts to benefit corporations and the rich, dismantlement of affirmative action and social welfare programs, deregulation, and union-busting" (24).

"... the neoconservatives were able to position themselves into a place of cultural and political power bassed on a fundamental deception... with access to prestige media lik the New York Times, were able to label everyone in the liberal camp who disagreed with them as dangerous leftists and even as un-American" (34).

".. to save Reagan and his policies, we had to defend the illegal contra resupply effort and spin the lies told to Congress by top Reagan officials as unimportant technicalities... essentially endorsing lying under oath and obstructing justice... abetting the cover-up by bashing the Democrats and the media as Communist sympathizers" (43-4).

"For my conservative friends and me, the lessons of Iran-contra were twofold. Scandal politics--turning opponents into criminals--was strikingly effective. And conservative respect for the rule of law and constitutional principles and civility in politics could be sacrificed to the right ends" (44).

"More than any single figure, for the right, Bork's nomination represented the culmination of a strategy put in place at the beginning of the Reagan administration to force a right-wing economic and social agenda on the country by judicial fiat... right-wing judicial extremists, who belonged to a secretive legal network called the Federalist Society, which was devoted to restricting privacy rights and reproductive freedoms, rolling back civil rights gains, and thwarting the authority of government to regulate industry in the public interest... worked to strip away civil rights, voting rights, and environmental and consumer protections, and to defend discriminatory practices by cities, local schools, and religious institutions" (45).

"For the conservative movement, the hardball tactics of the anti-Bork effort would give license to mount a decade-long campaign of revenge and retribution against liberals and their media collaborators... Newt Gingrich captured well how we saw things in the movement: "..this is a civil war, only one side will prevail... This war has to be fought with the scale and duration and savagery that is only true of civil wars"" (47).

"One booklet on political tactics published by the Weyrich organization included a section saying that for the right reasons lying was to be regarded as a permissible "mental reservation".... Weyrich testified before the Senate that Bush's nominee for defense secretary, Senator John Tower of Texas, was a drunk and a womanizer... Weyrich's vicious attack on Tower demonstrated the new power of sexual politics, of making accusation with no proof... Sexual McCarthyism had been introduced into modern right-wing politics" (54-5).

Rush Limbaugh, "under the guise of facts and evidence and logic, was really putting out disinformation... A litany of his sserious factual errors--from his claim that no one had been indicted in the Iran-contra affair, when in fact there had been fourteen indictments, to his suggestion that Congress had opposed the American use of force in the Persian Gulf, though both houses had authorized it--appeared in the New Republic under the headline "Rush Limbaugh's Lies"" (56).

Please send comments to: Colby Glass, MLIS

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