The secretive and influential American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been toiling in the political shadows to advance a far-right agenda aimed at enhancing the power of corporations and suppressing the voice of the people. Their so-called “voter integrity” initiatives are thinly disguised efforts to obstruct the voting rights of minorities, students, seniors, and low income citizens. The Center for American Progress authored a study that details ALEC’s operations, it’s ties to the powerful in politics and business, and its pride in concealing its activities from the public:
“Under ALEC’s auspices, legislators, corporate representatives, and ALEC officials work together to draft model legislation. As ALEC spokesperson Michael Bowman told NPR, this system is especially effective because ‘you have legislators who will ask questions much more freely at our meetings because they are not under the eyes of the press, the eyes of the voters.’“
Recently, a campaign was launched by Color of Change and other activists to hold some of the enterprises bankrolling ALEC accountable for their support of the extremist organization. They include Altria, AT&T, ExxonMobil, Phizer, Wal-Mart, and, of course, the Koch brothers. The campaign has enjoyed some success in compelling Coca-Cola to terminate their relationship with ALEC. Pepsi, Intuit, and Kraft Foods are also severing ties with ALEC.
This citizen-driven movement is effective because free people in democratic societies are entitled to express themselves and redress their grievances with public and private institutions that have an impact on their lives. However, some rightist defenders of the ruling elite are appalled that ordinary citizens have found a way to join together and make their concerns heard. One of those is Breitbart editor Dana Loesch, who had this to say on her radio show in response to Coke’s announcement:
“Coca-Cola decided to side with an admitted Marxist, 9/11 truther, cop-killer supporter […] This is the guy whose company Coca-Cola is siding with. This is what happens. Progressives will target businesses and try to shut them down if they support those who are telling the truth. It’s a fascistic movement. Fascism is alive and well in the United States on the left.”
The alleged Marxist to whom Loesch is referring is Van Jones and her allegations are verifiably untrue. Jones is a firm believer in the ability of free markets to empower people and advance the goals of the American dream. In fact, he wrote the book on it. He never supported the 9/11 truth movement and even proved the allegation to be false. And his efforts on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal cannot be portrayed as supporting a cop-killer if the evidence shows that Abu-Jamal is innocent. Abu-Jamal’s death sentence was rescinded last year in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court. Also, Jones left Color of Change over two years, so Loesch’s attempt to associate him with this campaign is merely her way of trying to demonize the organization by associating it with a public figure who is hated by right-wingers because of their prior and continuing efforts to demonize him.
With everything that Loesch has gotten wrong in this affair, it is unsurprising that she also doesn’t understand political theory. Her accusations of fascism directed at a citizen effort to persuade Coke and other corporations to refrain from funding an extremist right-wing organization demonstrates her ignorance of the subject. She may want to consult the words of a man who is known to be something of an expert on fascism:
“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” ~ Benito Mussolini
So Loesch is aligning herself with giant multinational corporations who are seeking with ALEC to integrate their power with that of government, while simultaneously calling those who oppose such activity fascists. If anyone can plausibly be regarded as having fascist leanings it is the American right. Their obsession with advancing the interests of corporations and wealthy oligarchs, to the detriment of the people, is closer to the fascist model than anything else in the American political spectrum. Why do you suppose that Republicans and the Tea Party are funded so heavily by corporatists like Rupert Murdoch, the Koch brothers, and the rest of the Wall Street One Percenters? And is it just a coincidence that Mitt Romney, the GOP’s likely candidate for president, is from the same fraternity of elitists who want to decimate the government programs that benefit the poor and middle classes? Mussolini also said that fascism is revolutionary against liberalism “since it wants to reduce the size of the state to its necessary functions.” Sound familiar, Grover?
Ordinarily the twisted observations of Dana Loesch would be insignificant and harmless, but for their dimwitted asininity. Her radio show, and her work for Breitbart, are confined to the narrow world of uber-rightists who have already bought into the lies and slander of propagandists like Loesch. The problem is that Loesch is also a paid political analyst for CNN. It is wholly inappropriate for an allegedly credible news enterprise to employ someone who accuses millions of Americans of being fascists simply because they exercise their constitutional rights and participate in civic affairs.
Loesch has also accused the president of “siding with terrorists” and defended soldiers who urinated on the corpses of Afghan combatants. Now she maligns civic-minded Americans as akin to tyrants and perpetrators of torture and mass murder. Is that really the caliber of character that CNN wants to project? Unfortunately, based on the direction the network has taken the past couple of years, with the addition of people like Will Cain and Amy Holmes (of Glenn Beck’s Internet operation), and Erick Erickson (of RedState), it appears to be inescapably so.