Tuesday, May 6, 2014

#1028: Judson Phillips

Judson Phillips is the founder and leader of Tea Party Nation, which is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and - illuminatingly - one of the central movers and shakers in the Tea Party movement. Phillips and his group organized the 2010 National Tea Party Convention, a rather controversial affair boycotted by several prominent Tea Party sympathizers due to its for-profit nature, and Phillips himself is completely crazy, stunningly moronic, and a pathological conspiracy theorist.

He is famous for his ardent defenses of freedom and liberty, and has accordingly for instance argued that voter rights should be restricted to property owners and decried the “anti-Constitutional legislation of civil rights” – according to Phillips older white Americans are the “real Americans” because they lived before that legislation. His insights into how society and economy work is rather brilliantly witnessed by this breathtaking example of ignorance combined with cognitive dissonance.

Phillips on Obama the gay atheist radical Muslim liberal communist nazi totalitarian usurper
For insight into the workings of the mind of a conspiracy theorist, one could do worse than look at Phillips’s reaction to Osama bin Laden’s death. According to Phillips, Obama opposed the raid on bin Laden’s compound but the military went through with it anyway, saying that Obama’s stern facial expression and serious demeanor in his address to the country shows that he was angry about the successful operation. Of course, Phillips has previously also claimed Obama only wanted to kill bin Laden to help his reelection campaign, but he’ll go for whatever comes across as loonier on any given occasion to appease his fans (for the updated story Phillips cite his source as a “story floating around the Internet,” which he takes to be a pretty reliable source whenever the Internet says something Phillips likes to hear). More recently, however, Phillips has also argued that Obama faked Bin Laden’s death and intentionally gave a drone to Iran for somewhat unclear reasons. Apparently the Boston marathon bombing was a conspiracy as well, and the clues in Phillips’s head point straight to Obama.

As one may have gathered, Phillips really doesn’t like Obama: “The obvious question people ask is ‘Is Obama a Muslim?’ I don’t think so. Obama is a Marxist and as such, if he truthfully answered the question, he is probably an atheist. However, there is no dispute that he was raised as a Muslim in Indonesia and certainly carries that cultural experience with him. What is beyond dispute is that Obama hates America. He hates everything that America stands for. He hates the goodness of America. He hates the prosperity of America. He hates the freedom of America … Obama certainly believes in the old adage, ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend.’ Islam is the enemy of America. It is the enemy of Christianity and Judaism. For Obama, it is a convenient ally to help him achieve his goals.” No one who has the remotest grip on sanity and reason would have managed to come up with that one.

On other occasions Phillips does not hesitate to agree with, say, fellow TPN-er Marcia Wood that Obama is a radical Muslim. He has also gone full-fledged birther (no, that doesn’t quite mesh with the details of the above characterization of Obama, but, as the characterization also shows, Phillips is no stranger to cognitive dissonance), and views Orly Taitz as something of a hero. He seems also to be under the impression that the investigation of birther champion Joe Arpaio will lead to criminal charges against Obama (also here). But then, Phillips’s understanding of such issues is … well, he did get some attention for his argument that Romney could still win the 2012 election – in late November 2012. Even the WND silently retracted that rant after a few hours.

He has also claimed that Obama might be a gay drug addict, which would clearly fit the profile of Obama as a follower of radical Islam (by the classic “I don’t like gays; I don’t like Muslims; I don’t like Obama; therefore Obama is a gay Muslim”-inference.)

Phillips on Democrats, OWS, communist liberals and totalitarian nazi Jews
Phillips is apparently completely convinced that the Democrats are going to impose a dictatorship, not only because Obama is a Marxist who hates and wants to destroy America (really), but because “liberals love dictatorships.” He absurdly claimed that Nazi Germany, Maoist China and the Soviet Union were all based on liberalism, arguing that liberals require dictatorships because their “ideas suck”.  That’s some political insight, there, and it explains why “Stalinist” and “Hitlerian Obama” is trying to “build a one-party state”, and why liberals, especially those in the Obama administration and the gay rights movement, “are looking more and more like Nazis every day” and seek “to destroy anyone who disagrees with them.” And he can show that no one really likes liberals either: “Sports teams are named after something admired. That’s why there is no sports team named the Democrats or the liberals,” says Judson Phillips.

Of course, given that ordinary people hate liberals, how come Obama won the 2012 election? According to Phillips Obama won reelection in 2012 because more than a million people cast votes in two states, a number he reached because he is bad at thinking. (In fairness the number is at least more conservative than the estimate reached by former Libertarian vice presidential candidate Wayne Allyn Root, who estimates that Democrats “across the country” voted ten times each for President Obama, but the methods employed to reach those figures were similar.)

His denunciation of the Occupy Wall Street movement employed some of the same shining ideas. According to Phillips OWS had communist and Nazi ties, and he concluded that that OWS is a “well thought out plan by far left wing groups,” which the tea party must fight: “Good and evil cannot coexist … Either we totally defeat the far left in 2012 or we lose.” The Nazi connection apparently permeates the whole Democratic party – according to Phillips, this is somehow proven by the existence of Jewish Democratic groups. Phillips called the National Jewish Democratic Council a Nazi group that, like other liberals, is “in love with totalitarian regimes” such as Hitler’s Germany. Phillips said the group’s statement calling on Sen. Rand Paul to denounce Phillips’ recent comparison of liberals to Nazis, was akin to Nazi book burning and proves that liberals “want to allow no dissent or freedom to disagree.” No, he doesn’t quite understand … things.

During the 2010 elections, Phillips asserted that Keith Ellison is unfit for Congress in part because Ellison is Muslim. Instead Phillips endorsed the independent candidate Lynne Torgerson, who claims that Islam “is not a ‘religion’ recognizable under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

Phillips on killings and health care reform
His reaction to the attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords also gained him some controversy. First of all, Phillips claimed that the shooter was “a leftist lunatic,” apparently because one person who knew him in high school said he was a liberal several years ago. He then instructed members of Tea Party Nation to blame liberals for the attempted assassination to defend the tea party movement’s recent electoral gains and warned the group members that they “would be called upon to fight leftists in the days ahead and defend their movement.” He wasn’t particularly concerned for Giffords, in other words. In general, his responses to school shootings have a certain flair to them. In his initial response to the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, he emailed members an article about the massacre that sharply criticized teachers and urged government to cripple teachers’ unions and place guards like George Zimmerman at every school, suggesting that it should “be required that all teachers and other staff be armed and in trained in SWAT” because Americans should worry about “the bloodbath you may well see if Iranian and Hamas agents go en masse into the schools of this nation.”

Nor did the TPN fancy the health care reform (indeed, the Affordable Care Act is like rape, according to TPN spokesperson Darwin Rockantansky). And of course, the Supreme Court ruling was probably a conspiracy in which Chief Justice John Roberts was blackmailed to Support ObamaCare (details of the alleged conspiracy – which are truly glorious – are here).

Phillips on tolerance and gratitude
As one might have suspected, Phillips has recurrent difficulties with words, such as “tolerance”. Apparently disagreeing with him is an example of intolerance, and the fact that liberals have criticized Marcus Bachmann’s gay reversion therapies shows that “the left is not tolerant. The left never allows dissent” – since they do not endorse rightwing attempts to have gay people locked up and forced into treatment. But then again, Phillips seems to view homosexuality as an East Coast- generated conspiracy to ruin America. And he truly lamented Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed her state’s ‘right-to-discriminate’ bill, a decision which he believes will lead to “tyranny,” “fascism” and “slavery.” In fact, he believes that bakers will now be forced to bake penis cakes.

Phillips also seems to think that political positions should be determined by gratitude, and that those who disagree with him are – if not in a conspiracy – mentally disabled.

Diagnosis: A joke (but a bad one), and a persistent charicature of his own positions. Some people seem to take him seriously, and if you do you have proven beyond reasonable doubt that you are a moron. Since there are so many of the latter Phillips must nevertheless be considered dangerous.

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