Sunday, November 07, 2010

George Soros, Evil American

In the Bloomberg Business Week profile he wrote, Devin Leonard observes:

As the waiters circled with warm banana-and-macadamia pudding, the conversation took on a darker tone. Donohue announced that the chamber had been digging into the funding sources of anti-globalization groups that might try to thwart their efforts overseas. "We found that 50 or 60 percent of their money comes from the same person," Donohue said dramatically. He wasn't ready to name names just yet. Instead, he acted like a man with a hand grenade in his pocket who couldn't wait to hurl it. "It's going to be a story," the chamber leader promised. The people sitting around the table seemed baffled. (Later, when asked if he was referring to George Soros, Donohue laughed and said, "That's a pretty good guess.")

It isn't only Tom Donohue, chief of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In October, Glenn Beck spun one of his conspiratorial tales, stating

George Soros, however, while we were like — he was wide awake and he's obviously been busy for many, many years. He's been expanding his influence through groups such as the Tides Foundation. And if you think it's too much to call him the evil emperor from "Star Wars" episode, really more of the "Episode Six" emperor.

If you think it's too much, well, he is the guy who's called for the managed decline of the U.S. dollar. Gee, George, thank you so much. I can't wait for my money to be worth less. Thank you.

See, what he does is buys up everything he can. He buys gold, like, right now, he's buying gold in huge sums, and then he just — he waits for the right time and then he says, I don't know, I think maybe currency is not going to go so well, I'm not sure if I'm going to stay, and he sells and everybody panics, and they collapse. Four times. You're going to go for number five?

(Glenn Beck against selling and buying gold? Perhaps General Mills is against the purchase and consumption of cereal.)

The same day, Rush Limbaugh exclaimed "You want to talk a little foreign money in politics? George Soros has admitted to donating $1 million to Media Matters for America."

This led Green Greenwald to note

George Soros, however, is an American citizen, with the full panoply of rights citizenship bestows (including the right to vote or run for office). He's been an American citizen for almost 50 years, since the age of 31 (Business Week: "George Soros became a naturalized American citizen in New York on Dec. 18, 1961, according to the Immigration & Naturalization Service"). He was born in Hungary in 1930, survived German occupation even as numerous Jews died, fled to London after the war to escape Communism, and then began working in New York in 1956. He lived and worked in the U.S. for many years and has given away many millions of dollars in philanthropy to American organizations.

What is it about Soros exactly that leads right-wing commentators -- including their long-time leader, Rush Limbaugh -- to falsely brand this American citizen a "foreigner"? The answer to that question provides substantial insight into the American Right and how they think about many things.

What is it about Soros exactly that leads right-wing commentators.... to falsely brand this American citizen a "foreigner"? It's a great question, with the obvious answer that a) Soros supports liberal causes; and b) the American right has little interest in facts.

Consider, however, an additional reason. A few days earlier, Beck had pledged $10,000 to America's offshoring champ, the U.S. Chamber, successfully urging his listeners also to contribute. That same organization secretly collects funds, as Think Progress has discovered and documented, converting them into ads attacking American politicians who have been cool to the Chamber's objectives- including sending as many jobs as possible abroad. Meanwhile, it opposes efforts to persuade American companies to bring jobs back to the U.S.A.

Greenwald gets to the heart of the matter- or at least attempts to. Perhaps the right is so enraged at Soros, whom it fears is striking the heart of American conservatism, precisely because he is an American citizen.

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