Saturday, September 27, 2014

Incumbent Kansas senator claims U.S. is heading towards "National Socialism"

I found this Talking Points Memo story through Kevin Drum, and even I can't believe it.  From Talking Points Memo:
"There's a palpable fear among Kansans all across this state that the America that we love and cherish and honor will not be the same America for our kids and grandkids," Roberts said, "and that's wrong. That's very wrong."
He lamented that people are "losing faith in their government" and that the government "is losing faith in our people. That is a bad situation to be in." He said he was running to change that dynamic.
"We have to change course because our country is heading for national socialism," Roberts said. "That's not right. It's changing our culture. It's changing what we're all about."
According to TPM's PollTracker average, Roberts trails independent candidate Greg Orman by 1 point, 39 percent to 38 percent.
You can watch the YouTube video here:

An incumbent U.S. senator is now saying that the United States is heading for "national socialism!"  Excuse me Senator Pat Roberts, but do you know what "national socialism" really is?  From Wikipedia:
Nazism, Naziism,[1] or National Socialism in full (German: Nationalsozialismus), is the ideology and practice associated with the 20th-century German Nazi Party and state as well as other related far-right groups. It was also promoted in other European countries with large ethnic German communities, such as Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia.[2] Usually characterised as a form of fascism that incorporates scientific racism and antisemitism, Nazism originally developed from the influences of pan-Germanism, the Völkisch German nationalist movement and the anti-communist Freikorps paramilitary culture in post-First World War Germany, which many Germans felt had been left humiliated by the Treaty of Versailles.

German Nazism subscribed to theories of racial hierarchy and social Darwinism, asserted the superiority of an Aryan master race, and criticised both capitalism and communism for being associated with Jewish materialism. It aimed to overcome social divisions, with all parts of a racially homogenous society cooperating for national unity and regeneration and to secure territorial enlargement at the expense of supposedly inferior neighbouring nations. The use of the name "National Socialism" arose out of earlier attempts by German right-wing figures to create a nationalist redefinition of "socialism", as a reactionary alternative to both internationalist Marxist socialism and free market capitalism.
 Or I could put it in more simple terms by saying that "national socialism" was controlled and refined by this guy:

Now Kevin Drum speculates that Senator Roberts is too dumb to realize that "national socialism" really equates to Nazism--even Talking Points Memo questions Senator Roberts' reference.  According to this Washington Post story by Phil Rucker, Senator Roberts did not mean that the United States was heading towards Nazism, but "more like a European socialistic state..."  Okay, so Senator Roberts is too dumb to realize that "national socialism" really means Nazism. 

But is there a deeper story here? Senator Roberts claims that Kansas citizens are "losing faith in their government," while the government "is losing faith in our people."  Senator Roberts is now running to change that situation. 

And yet, what did Senator Pat Roberts do before this loss of faith between the Kansas citizens and government became apparent to him?  According to Wikipedia, Pat Roberts was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980, serving for eight congressional terms.  Roberts was then elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996, and is currently serving his third term.  In other words, Pat Roberts has been serving in both the House and Senate for a combined 34 years!  And only now Roberts is running to restore the faith between Kansas citizens and the government?  What was he doing for the past 34 years--18 years in the Senate and 16 years in the House?  According to the Washington Post:
Shirley Deege is a proud Republican. For as long as she can remember, the nurse has been voting for Pat Roberts — in the 1980s, when he represented a vast patchwork of dusty plains hamlets in the House; in 1996, when he first ran for the Senate; and every six years after that.

“Looking back over my life, I’m wondering, ‘What major things has he done for Kansas?’ I’m coming up empty,” said Deege, 53, as she sipped coffee while waiting for Roberts to arrive at the county fairgrounds in Kinsley this week.
“He’s spent so much time in Washington,” she added. “I know he has a house in Virginia. Dodge City is supposed to be his home, just up the highway, but I don’t hear of him coming back too much.”
Many Kansans feel the same about Roberts after his 33 years in elected office. Many more want him gone, even if it means replacing him with a political enigma named Greg Orman — a wealthy investor running as an independent who has declined to say whether he would caucus with Republicans or Democrats. 
The backlash against Roberts stems not from any single issue — ideologically, he has followed his party’s shift to the right — but from a widespread feeling that he has grown too insular in Washington and fallen out of touch.
“I’m 78 years old, and I’ve been voting for [Roberts] since the beginning,” Darrel Miller, a retired wheat farmer, said after seeing Roberts in Kinsley. “I don’t wish him any ill will. I just think we need a change.”
 What is especially ironic is that Roberts is running in a close Senate race with an unknown independent, in a heavily Republican state.  What is more, Roberts was seen with former Senate Republican leader Bob Dole in Kinsley, Kansas, where the ailing Dole is in the midst of his own farewell tour throughout his native state.  Bob Dole was a powerhouse U.S. Senator, Senate Majority and Minority Leader, and a former Republican presidential candidate in the 1996 election.  What did Senator Pat Roberts do in his career?  National GOP strategist and former Senator John McCain adviser John Weaver said, "He’s basically furniture in the Senate, and the people in Kansas know that....You could give the average Kansan 24 hours to come up with something Pat Roberts has done in the Senate, and after 24 hours, even the crickets would be standing there befuddled." 

The deeper story here is that Senator Pat Roberts is completely out-of-touch with ordinary Kansas citizens.  Pat Roberts was voted in during the same year Ronald Reagan took control of the Oval Office in 1980.   He has been in Washington for almost 34 years, probably voting a staunchly conservative, pro-business legislation and policies throughout his political career.  I'm also guessing Senator Roberts also supported Reagan's supply-sided economic theories and probably did not try to stop the 30-plus years of growing inequality between the extreme one percent rich and everyone else.   Pat Roberts' career was hobnobbing with the powerful political, business, and ubber-rich elites in Washington D.C. to the point of becoming an elitist himself.  He  ignored what's the matter with Kansas for years--decades even, as he played the elitist lifestyle..  Now that Kansas voters are waking up to this piece of furniture in the Senate, Senator Roberts is fighting for his political life in the tired, hard-right conservative meme of fear-mongering among the Tea Party activists in Kansas.  According to the WaPost article, Roberts has brought in former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, Senator Rand Paul (KY), Senator John McCain (AZ), and former Florida governor Jeb Bush to campaign for him.  In addition, the national Republican Party has forced Roberts to replace his campaign staff with out-of-state political operatives, who are now attacking independent Greg Orman, and attempting to "stir suspicions" among Kansas voters that the potential Republican Senate majority hinges on Roberts' re-election.  It is a classic, GOP fear-mongering technique to keep the voter base in check. 

The question to ask now is will the Kansas voters be swayed by the stale, fear-mongering from Senator Roberts and the GOP, or will they decide to go for an unknown change? 

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