Flakes On A Plane: Is This The Stupidest Fox News ‘Exclusive’ Ever?

The never-ending fount of lies, distortion, and disinformation that is known as Fox News has long ago ceased to surprise media watchers who are accustomed to their shameful propagandizing and absence of journalistic ethics. Yet every now and then, Fox still manages to find a way to embarrass themselves with ever-lower descents into idiocy. For example, Fox News contributor and hero-hating war criminal, Allen West, has provided Fox with an “exclusive” that will surely blow the lid off of the Benghazi affair: “Confidential Source Reveals To Me What Really Happened In Benghazi.”

Fox Nation Allen West

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The significance and credibility of this story was so profound that the Fox Nationalists featured it at the top of their website. West began his shocking expose by revealing that…

“Today as I returned from Detroit, I had a moment that I truly felt was God sent, as I don’t believe in coincidences. It happened on one of my flights, and it was two hours I will never forget.

“I was seated beside someone who personally knew one of the men who was there on the roof in Benghazi. This person was excited to share with me the ‘ground truth’ of what happened September 11, 2012.”

So West’s source for his exclusive was God, as represented by an anonymous stranger that happened to be sitting next to him on a plane. And who could possibly have more authority and respect than some dude (not to be confused with Jeff Lebowski) in the aisle seat on a flight from Detroit? The Dude then proceeded to tell West what some other dude, also anonymous, told him.

“My seat mate drew schematics to orient me to the ‘time and spacing’ and the direction of the attack. I learned about the repeated orders to the men at the CIA annex to stand down and do nothing — thank God two of them, Glenn Doherty and Ty Woods, lived up to their code of honor and ran to the sound of the guns, resulting in their loss of life.”

While West says he learned of orders to “stand down,” every credible, independent investigation found that no such orders were ever given. But West has the word of the dude on the plane, so that settles that argument. And why West thanks God that two men lost their lives while engaging the attackers can only be known to him.

West’s Dude also told him that “the attackers were indeed Ansar al-Sharia” and why Amb. Chris Stevens was in Benghazi in the first place (which West neglects to disclose in his article). He also alleged that there are others who are “being threatened with their pensions being cut off if they come forth to speak.” That’s a convenient excuse for the failure of any corroborating witnesses coming forward. However, it is also insulting and improbable because it presumes that people who put their very lives on the line for their country are scared off by losing some retirement income. In other words, what West expects us believe is that these patriots will throw their bodies in front of enemy bullets, but losing a paycheck will frighten them into silence.

West further alleges that his Dude told him about “covert weapons schemes” that involve the U.S. “supplying radical Islamists with weapons” in an international conspiracy that stretches from Libya to Syria and beyond. And for some reason the Dude was perfectly comfortable to spill his guts on a commercial airliner to the guy that sat down next to him. Of course, the Dude, as noted above, had no direct knowledge of anything he was saying. He was relaying what some other unidentified dude, who supposedly was in Benghazi at the time, told him.

This is what passes for an “exclusive” news report on Fox News? A third-hand tale of conspiracy theories and previously debunked allegations? There is absolutely no evidence that any of these assertions are accurate. To the contrary, some of them have already been proved false. And furthermore, there is no reason to give any credibility to a partisan wingnut who was forced to resign from the Army (West), recounting the ramblings of an airline passenger who says he knows someone who says that these myths are true. And yet, Fox News made this their top headline. Fair and balanced.

Allen West Of Fox News Maligns War Hero On Benghazi Committee

Let’s get this straight. Fox News has been obsessively fixated on turning the tragedy in Benghazi into a scandal for nearly two years. They admitted a year ago that their CEO Roger Ailes personally pushed the story in violation of journalistic ethics. They hyped the multiple committee investigations led by House Republicans and lobbied for the House to form a Select Committee to further beat the dead horse that has thus far produced no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the Obama administration.

After GOP Speaker John Boehner acquiesced to Fox’s demand for a Select Committee on the Politicization of Benghazi, Democrats contemplated whether they should participate in an obviously partisan political circus. Fox bitterly complained about the Democrats unwillingness to immediately validate the GOP charade. Eventually, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi reluctantly decided to assign members to the committee, which Fox News reported in their typically dishonest fashion.

And now, after all of that brazenly biased advocacy on behalf of the far-right Republican agenda to force additional and unnecessary inquisitions into Benghazi, representatives of Fox News are spewing offensive insults at the Democrats who have agreed to serve on the committee that Fox insisted that they serve on.

Allen West

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Fox News contributor and Tea Party darling Allen West was a guest on the right-wing Janet Mefferd Radio Show where he criticized Democratic members of the committee before the committee has even convened. He called Rep. Adam Smith a “geeky little debater” and said that Rep. Linda Sanchez has a “very whiny way.” But he saved his most potent and repulsive commentary for Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a decorated Iraq war veteran and multiple amputee as a result of wounds she received in battle. West explicitly demeaned Duckworth’s patriotism saying that “I just don’t know where her loyalties lie.”

That would be an insensitive and nauseating remark about an American war hero from anyone, but coming from Allen West it is particularly disgusting. In 2003 Allen West was in Iraq where he tortured an innocent Iraqi police officer. For that abusive and illegal behavior West was charged with violating the Military Code of Justice, found guilty of three counts of aggravated assault, and relieved of his command. The final Army report confirmed that he had committed illegal acts and merited court-martial. He only escaped a court-martial due to the intervention of a couple of GOP torture supporters in congress. He was allowed to “resign” from the service but not without paying a fine and having his criminal conduct documented in his record.

Allen West has no moral foundation from which to criticize a brave and dedicated American like Tammy Duckworth. West should be ostracized by every military and veterans organization for his vile remarks. Yet that’s only a small part of West’s relentlessly despicable character. He regards anyone who disagrees with him to be a communist and/or a Nazi. Here are a few more comments that reveal his rancid hostility and hatred for Congress and any other American whom he perceives in his dementia to be his enemy.

  • I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party who are members of the Communist Party. [This was a reference to the Congressional Black Caucus]
  • If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat Party.
  • Barack Obama is undeserving of the title Commander-in-Chief.
  • [Obama] can take [his message] to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America.
  • You [Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz] are the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives.
  • Eric Holder is a bigger threat to our republic [than Al Qaeda].

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Fasten your seat belts. It’s gonna be bumpy summer as slimeballs like West, and the rest of the GOP/Tea Party/Fox News cabal of reprehensible weasels, unleash a torrent of incoherent vilification at anyone who dares to introduce fairness and truth into the public discourse on Benghazi or any other subject that twists the knickers of the unhinged right.

Allen West: There Never Was Any Racism Ever. What’s All The Fuss?

President Obama spoke last week in a very personal way about the experience of many African-Americans in a society that has struggled for decades to achieve equality. He expressed his recollection of the sort of prejudice that is well known by the black community saying that…

“There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. There are very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me—at least before I was a senator. There are very few African Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often.”

For his honesty, the President was lambasted by mostly white pundits and politicians who heard a very different message in his words. They accused him sowing division, ripping the country apart, and in an especially perverse interpretation, of professing racism himself.

Not to be left out, African-Tea-merican Allen West weighed in with his own recollections of being a black child in the South:

“I am a black male who grew up in the inner city of Atlanta and no one ever followed me in a mall. I don’t recall any doors clicking when I crossed the street. And I never had anyone clutching their handbag when I got on an elevator. I guess having two awesome parents who taught me to be a respectful young man paid dividends.”

Allen West

This actually explains a lot. Apparently West had a childhood that differed greatly from that of his peers. Having never been exposed to prejudice based on his race, it is somewhat more understandable how he could have grown up to be a mouthpiece for a racist movement and political ideology. Now we have a better idea of why West has placed himself at the front of a parade of white bigots who gleefully exploit him.

What is still difficult to comprehend is how West grew up in the environment that he describes. Could it be that the he was just so oblivious to the behavior of those around him that he simply didn’t notice the door-clickers and the handbag-clutchers? After all, while West claims to have never seen people follow him in malls, he does claim to have seen some eighty communists in the House of Representatives. Perhaps his cognitive ability is a little warped.

What point is West trying to make by noting his unique and improbable personal history? Is he asserting that other black men, including the President, are lying when they say they have been the subjects of prejudice? Does he think that there has never been a black man who was followed in a mall, or stopped by the police, or otherwise treated adversely because of his race? In West’s world there seems to be no trace of racism, and anyone who says otherwise is a liar.

Furthermore, West implies that his upbringing by “two awesome parents” is responsible for the fairy tale harmony he enjoyed growing up. By contrast he suggests that Obama’s single mother, and every other single-parent family, is the cause of rude children who deserve the harsh treatment they receive from bigots in malls and on elevators.

If only all black kids were well behaved, respectable young men, there would never be any racism. On that, West agrees with Ted Nugent who recently said that the solution to racism was for African-Americans to be clean, well-spoken, and not so damn lazy. He never mentioned that white people should be less hateful. These are the sort of repugnant, easy answers that racists wallow in because it places the blame on the victims. And that is precisely what West is doing with his utterly unbelievable personal history.

Fox News Contributor Allen West On Eric Holder: Worse Than Al Qaeda

If you happened to be looking for another reason to be grateful that Allen West was booted from congress, you just got your wish.

West sent an email to his Batshit Brigade seeking money to fund his struggling Super PAC, The Allen West Guardian Fund. Apparently desperate to make an impression on the radical dimwits that make up his fan base, West chose to send a message that is one of the most disgusting expressions of anti-American hogwash since Osama Bin Laden’s “Death to America” video collection.

Allen West

The email featured photos of current Al Qaeda boss Ayman al-Zawahiri and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder with the question “Which of these men scares you the most?” West supplies his own answer saying: “I’ll tell you flat out — Eric Holder is a bigger threat to our Republic.”

The implications of that repulsive statement are unambiguous and far-reaching. Zawahiri is an international terrorist fugitive who is responsible for the deaths of more than 3,000 people on September 11, 2001, and many thousands more before and after that infamous date. If found he would instantly be captured or killed, and if taken into custody would very likely be tried and executed for crimes against humanity.

So obviously West regards Holder, an American patriot who has spent nearly his whole professional life in the service of his country, as somehow comparable to an Al Qaeda mass murderer. And if Zawahiri is fit for a death sentence, then what is West proposing for Holder whom he thinks is even worse.

West, you may recall, has a somewhat less respectable biography. He was kicked out of the Army just prior to being court-martialed for torturing an innocent Iraqi held in his custody. He went on in his single term in congress to falsely accuse the entire Progressive caucus of the House of Representatives of being card-carrying communists. He also likened the Democratic Party to Nazis and plantation masters who want to enslave American citizens. He baselessly asserted that there is a “stealth jihad” of our defense, financial, cultural, religious, and political systems.

The acute delusional paranoia exhibited by West should be considered a cry for help. West’s mental health is sinking like a rock tied to piano. And now he accelerates his downward spiral by disparaging a loyal American serving his country as being worse than the Al Qaeda monsters who are committed to our country’s destruction.

This is typically psychotic behavior from West, and it is unacceptable in the course of rational political debate in a democracy. However, it is apparently acceptable to employ someone like West as a commentator on a national news network. West articulates precisely the sort of hair-brained hostility and crackpot rage that Fox News was created to disseminate.

[Update] Not surprisingly, Fox News piles on:

Fox News

Allen West Joins Fox News As Senior Nazi Rhetoric Correspondent

It was just a matter of time. Allen West, the one-term congressman from Florida who lost his seat last November, has taken his place among the most notorious losers in the media who have found redemption at Fox News.

Allen West

Fox is a dedicated collector of washed up political failures who have little hope of gainful employment elsewhere. The list includes familiar names like Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Karl Rove, Dick Morris, and Scott Brown. It seems that any right-wing flame-out who needs a job can saunter over to Fox and sign up for wingnut welfare.

West is the perfect candidate for a career at Fox. He is unabashedly hostile toward anyone who holds views that differ from his. He is brimming with provocative and insulting tirades ready to be flung at ideological opponents. And West has already distinguished himself as a commie-phobic, Nazi-baiting extremist who engaged in mock executions against innocent Iraqis before being thrown out of the Army and running for congress.

West has a resume made for Fox. He articulates a message that has been the cornerstone of Fox’s mission since its inception. In many ways West can take over where former Fox talker Glenn Beck left off. Here is a sampling of West’s hyper-demented paranoia-speak that is so highly revered by Fox’s dimwitted audience:

  • I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party who are members of the Communist Party.
  • If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat Party.
  • President Obama seems determined to punish and wipe out economic success in this country, leveling tax weapons of mass destruction on all taxpayers.
  • Barack Obama is undeserving of the title Commander-in-Chief.
  • [Obama] can take [his message] to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America.
  • You [Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz] are the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives.
  • Mainstream media’s is no longer reporting the news, they are propagandizing […] Goebbels is doing somersaults and back flips in his grave.

The recruitment of West by Fox News is another reminder that the rumblings around Fox late last year that they would be reviewing and moderating their extremist positions was a phony affectation designed for public relations purposes. After their decisive losses on both the presidential and congressional fields, Fox had good reason to readjust their sights, but they clearly prefer to double down on crazy. And they could not have found a crazier, more disreputable representative of the Obama-hating wing of rightist nutcases outside of the Teabagger Asylum. West is literally consumed by psychotic hallucinations of cartoon villains plotting to rule by tyrannical fiat and to deplete our precious bodily fluids.

Col. Allen “Ripper” West: You are witnessing an infiltration of not just the defense systems, but our financial systems, our cultural, religious, political, systems. So this is a whole-hearted stealth jihad type of attack.

Welcome to Fox News, Mr. West. You will surely feel right at home. And those of us who observe and comment on media could not be happier anticipating your contributions to the pool of conservative crackpottery.

CPAC So Far: The Conservative Miscreant Conference Doesn’t Disappoint

In the first two days of the Conservative Political Action Conference, the right-wingnut contingent was out in force and was not holding back on their animus and denial. They still believe that the reasons for their losing are related to poor messaging, not poor messages. So even with the highest rated cable news network blasting their propaganda 24/7, and polls showing that the American people overwhelmingly prefer the solutions advanced by Democrats, Republicans continue to cling to ideas that have been soundly rejected by voters.

That is, of course, good news for Democrats and President Obama. The more that rightist stars shine their light on absurdities and overt hatred, the more people will be repulsed and gravitate toward the left. Some examples of the tone-deaf rhetoric emanating from the CPAC ballrooms include these utterances from their heroes:

Donald Trump is very unhappy that the social safety net, that he and the right would love to see unravel, cannot be loosened without sacrificing votes:

Donald Trump

Allen West, the guy who says there are 70 card-carrying communists in congress, also thinks that his battle against his ideological opponents on the left is analogous to fighting terrorists.

Allen West

And Marco Rubio doesn’t want to be perceived as a bigot just because he holds bigoted views:

Marco Rubio

It is that sort of demented rancor expressed by these GOP Tea-holics that is keeping the party from corralling any support, particularly from minorities and young voters. Yet after throwing such temper tantrums, whose only purpose is to malign their perceived enemies, they persist in the delusion that their policy prescription is fine and it’s just their media, and in some cases their candidate selection, that is flawed.

No matter what they say about their presentation of conservatism, they had a fair shot with “severely conservative” Mitt Romney, and they lost. They had the most powerful name in media at their back, and they lost. The 2012 election pitted Obama against a right-wing onslaught that hit every plank in the far-right platform, and they lost badly. [Note: Although MSNBC and CNN both aired Romney’s CPAC speech live, Fox News ignored it entirely]

CPAC is doing precisely what it was intended to do: Spotlight the cream of the rightist crop. They cannot whine about deficient messaging when this is the all-star roster they themselves put on the field. The only problem that conservatives have is that their ideas are stuck in an archaic past, and they didn’t even work then. When they realize that and begin to adopt sensible policies that the American people favor, they might win back some support. But as things stand today, they are stubbornly holding fast to outdated and unpopular schemes designed to benefit the rich. And judging from the performances at CPAC, they don’t plan to change their grating tune.

Women In Combat: A Social Experiment?

Colonel Eugene Householder on opposing reforms to combat protocol:

“The army is not a sociological laboratory; to be effective it must be organized and trained according to the principles which will ensure success … Experiments are a danger to efficiency, discipline and morale and would result in ultimate defeat.”

That was the argument in 1941 against integrating army units and permitting black soldiers to fight alongside white soldiers. It is the same argument that is used against gays in the military. Bigots have a tendency to declare that morale and unit cohesion will suffer if soldiers are asked to serve with like-minded patriots who they regard as “different.” And now this insipid and disproven viewpoint is being aimed at women in the wake of the recent order by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to integrate women into combat units under certain conditions.

Allen West: “Now is not the time to play a social experiment with our ground combat forces…This is the misconceived liberal progressive vision of fairness and equality which could potentially lead to the demise of our military.”

Nothing hyperbolic about that, is there? It’s the typical alarmist overreaction that one would expect from West, who has so little faith in the integrity and loyalty of America’s soldiers that he actually believes that serving with women (which already occurs) would “lead to the demise of our military.” And there is retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, whose military career ended after making disparaging remarks about Muslims. Boykin is currently an executive at the right-wing Family Research Council. He had this to say about Panetta’s decision:

Boykin: “The people making this decision are doing so as part of another social experiment, and they have never lived nor fought with an infantry or Special Forces unit.”

It is not a coincidence that the arguments in favor of discrimination sound so similar. They are always efforts on the part of intolerant, exclusionary elitists to dismiss the humanity of those they cannot abide. They aspire to keep the military (and America) a straight, white, male club that designates everyone else as second-class citizens. And, not surprisingly, Fox News concurs with those aspirations by promoting the views of the bigots.

Fox Nation

Life After Congress: Dennis Kucinich And Allen West Take Different Paths

The election last November returned President Obama and most of congress to the jobs they already had. However, a few notable exceptions resulted in changes to the Washington roster. This year we know what happened to a couple of the losers.

Dennis Kucinich was something of an enigma. He held fairly reliable liberal positions on issues related to the economy and the environment. He was also staunchly pro-life [Correction: Kucinich changed his position on abortion in 2002]. One of the more annoying traits he displayed was his eagerness to appear on Fox News where he would be abused by right-wing anchors and panelists and waste everyone’s time by expressing opinions that Fox viewers would never give serious consideration.

Now that he lost his seat in a primary that pitted him against a fellow Democrat due to redistricting, he is making the trek to Fox more permanent. It was announced today that Kucinich has signed on to be a regular contributor on the network that only hires Democrats as either targets to humiliate or puppets to manipulate into attacking their former colleagues.

Allen West was not enigmatic in the least. He was a flaming right-wing lunatic who believed that the Democratic caucus was teeming with commies and threw Nazi references around as if they were compliments. He was so certifiably nuts that even Fox wouldn’t touch him. So he signed up with the also-rans at Pajamas Media where he will be hosting a Glenn Beck style webcast. And viewers will have to shell out for the pleasure of watching West spew hyperbole and bile at his perceived enemies of liberty.

Both of these ex-legislators have made career choices that will lead them to ignominy. Kucinich will enjoy a bit of notoriety on his Fox perch for a while, but will lose respect due to his craven self-promotion and sycophancy to his new masters. For a preview of where he is headed he can look to other Fox News Democrats like Kirsten Powers, Pat Caddell, or Dick Morris. It’s not exactly a bright future.

In West’s case he will simply fade from the scene and be forgotten as befits a one-term representative who failed to distinguished himself as anything other than a psychotic, mouth-foaming crackpot. His model for the future is Glenn Beck who also has a subscription webcast. But West doesn’t have nearly the following or media savvy of Beck. Even so, Beck’s star has fallen precipitously since he was booted off of television. He is now relegated to a distant studio in Texas from which he sends out his alarmist communiques. Just yesterday Beck declared that civil war is imminent and displayed a loony flow chart that made little sense.

Glenn Beck

Beck never satisfactorily explained how this path would traverse from “Compromise” to the “President Complains” to a “Tragic Event” to “Blame” to an “Executive Order” to both “Violent Rebellion” and “Peace.” But that’s the beauty of insanity – no one expects it to make any sense. And in that respect West is a natural for this medium. His followers will surely find him and everyone else will forget that he ever existed.

One Term And Out: Allen West Finally Concedes Loss

Allen West (R-Whackjob), has finally given up his quixotic legal charades and conceded to Congressman-elect Patrick Murphy of Florida.

Allen West

In a rambling whine to the press, West complained that the election was fraught with corruption and wrapped his concession in a lame excuse, saying…

“Our legal team does not believe there are enough over-counted, undercounted or fraudulent votes to change the outcome of the election.”

Getting out our West-to-English dictionary reveals that the translation is: “We didn’t work hard enough on getting out our fraudulent vote.”

There is already much speculation on what West will do next. After being tossed out of the Army (and nearly court martialed) for malfeasance while serving in Iraq, and then being tossed out of congress for being a nut case who called his Democratic colleagues communists, his prospects are fairly narrow. What it comes down to is either a gig at Fox News or a talk radio show. He could also try a congressional comeback in a different district, or take up residency at a think tank. Ordinarily a think tank job would require being able to think, but that wouldn’t be the case for any of the right-wing organizations that would consider West.

Whatever West may chose to do in future, at least he will be unable to cast votes for the loony legislation that the Tea Party caucus in the House has been peddling. Perhaps he could join up with his fellow losers (Joe Walsh, Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Linda McMahon, etc.) and form a support group for delusional ex-candidates.

American Conservatives Who Still Think That Slavery Was A Good Thing

Right-Wing RacismFor obvious reasons, the American conservative movement has long been dogged by accusations of racism and racial insensitivity. From their famed Southern strategy to their determined efforts to suppress minority voting via phony voter ID initiatives to their race-baiting Obama attacks, conservatives have made clear their opposition to a tolerant, multicultural America. In fact, much of their electoral strategy relies on scaring older, white voters about blacks and Hispanics taking over “their” country.

It’s not uncommon to hear a prominent conservative, even one who holds elected office, make patently offensive remarks, yet some occasionally hit an unimaginable low. This week, it was revealed that Republican Rep. Jon Hubbard has published a book in which he wrote that “[T]he institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise.” He defended his book on Wednesday, telling the Jonesboro Sun that he still believed slavery to be a blessing because it helped blacks come to America. Yes, he praised slavery. And when given the opportunity to backpedal, he doubled down.

This article was also published on Alternet

You may think that this does not occur often. You would be wrong. Here are a few other prominent conservatives who have suggested slavery was not all that bad.

1) Pat Buchanan
In his essay “A Brief for Whitey,” Buchanan agreed that slavery was a net positive saying that, “America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.”

2 & 3) Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum
Bob Vander Plaats, the leader of the arch-conservative Family Leader, a religious organization that opposes same-sex marriage, got GOP presidential candidates Bachmann and Santorum to sign his pledge asserting that life for African-Americans was better during the era of slavery: “A child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.”

4) Art Robinson
Robinson was a publisher and a GOP candidate for congress in Oregon. One of the books he published included this evaluation of life under slavery: “The negroes on a well-ordered estate, under kind masters, were probably a happier class of people than the laborers upon any estate in Europe.”

5) Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson
Peterson is a conservative preacher who articulated this bit of gratitude: “Thank God for slavery, because if not, the blacks who are here would have been stuck in Africa.”

6) David Horowitz
Horowitz is the president of the David Horowitz Freedom Center and edits the ultra-conservative FrontPage Magazine. In a diatribe against reparations for slavery, Horowitz thought this argument celebrating the luxurious life of blacks in America would bolster his case: “If slave labor created wealth for Americans, then obviously it has created wealth for black Americans as well, including the descendants of slaves.”

7) Wes Riddle
Riddle was a GOP congressional candidate in Texas with some peculiar conspiracy theories on a variety of subjects. His appreciation for what slavery did for African-Americans was captured in this comment: “Are the descendants of slaves really worse off? Would Jesse Jackson be better off living in Uganda?”

8) Trent Franks
Franks is the sitting congressman for the 2nd congressional district in Arizona. As shown here, he believes that a comparison of the tribulations of African-Americans today to those of their ancestors in the Confederacy would favor a life in bondage: “Far more of the African American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by the policies of slavery.”

9) Ann Coulter
Known for her incendiary rhetoric and hate speech, Coulter was right in character telling Megyn Kelly of Fox News that, “The worst thing that was done to black people since slavery was the great society programs.”

10) Rep. Loy Mauch
This Arkansas GOP state legislator has found biblical support for his pro-slavery position. He wrote to the Democrat-Gazette to inquire, “If slavery were so God-awful, why didn’t Jesus or Paul condemn it, why was it in the Constitution and why wasn’t there a war before 1861?”

There is an almost palpable nostalgia amongst some conservatives for a bygone era wherein they could sip Mint Juleps under the Magnolias while the fields were tended to by unpaid lackeys. And it isn’t a vague insinuation. Mitt Romney supporter Ted Nugent declared explicitly that “I’m beginning to wonder if it would have been best had the South won the Civil War.” Allen West, the chairman of Romney’s Black Leadership Council, frequently portrays Democrats as plantation masters who want to enslave American citizens. And no one should regard it as a coincidence that so much of this racist animus has surfaced during the term of the first African-American president of the United States.

It’s one thing to harbor such offensive racial prejudices privately, but when people in public life are comfortable enough to openly express opinions like these, it reveals something of the character of their movement. And what’s worse is that conservative and Republican leaders, given the opportunity, refuse to repudiate the remarks. Mitt Romney has stated that all he’s concerned about is getting 50.1% of the vote, and if that means tolerating appeals to racist voters in order to attain his goal, then it’s just a part of the process. Conservatives often complain about being characterized as racists, but there’s a simple solution to that problem that would make it go away overnight: Stop being racist.