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June 5th, 2009
06:32 AM ET

Avlon: 'Wingnut' liberal calls for Obama's resignation

Editor’s note: John P. Avlon is the author of Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics and writes a weekly column for The Daily Beast. Previously, he served as Chief Speechwriter for New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and was a columnist and associate editor for The New York Sun.
[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Ted Rall (L) and Tom Tancredo (R)."]

In the wingnut view of the world, there is no accusation too extreme and no problem that can’t be solved with a demand for the president’s resignation. Need new proof? Take a look at this week’s wingnuts – Tom Tancredo and Ted Rall.

The debate over the Sotomayor Supreme Court nomination took an unexpected turn this week, with Republicans on defense after accusations of racism started sounding wingnutty even to some supporters.

Tom Tancredo’s comments were case in point. The creationist former Colorado congressman and self-styled anti-illegal immigrant crusader took to the airwaves and managed to conjure up not one but two howlers in the space of days.

Judge Sotomayor is a member of the National Council of La Raza, the country’s largest Hispanic civil rights organization, which counts among its 300 major sponsors companies like Wal-Mart. Even if you disagree with their prescription for immigration reform, it sounds pretty legit, right? Not in the world according to Tom Tancredo, who took an opportunity on CNN to describe the organization as “nothing more than a ... Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses.”

KKK comparisons are just short of Nazi comparisons in the hierarchy of out-of-bounds political metaphors. The KKK is the KKK – full stop. Unless there are actual lynchings involved, it’s best to back off.

But maybe Tancredo was just having an off moment, spurred by emotional scars from the immigration debate. He quickly surrendered any benefit of the doubt when he was asked by David Shuster on MSNBC whether he thought “the Obama administration hates white people.” Tancredo couldn’t quite bring himself to sound reasonable even in the face of that logical softball, pausing for thought and then saying “I don’t know.” When incredulously pushed again, Tancredo laid his cards on the table: “I have no idea whether they hate white people or not!”

Really? This would be news to the millions of white people who voted for Obama, let alone the white members of his cabinet and staff – to say nothing of the members of his mother’s family. For all the wingnut hocus pocus during the campaign, (remember the “Obama is the anti-Christ” emails?) the closest to this conspiracy theory was the Pennsylvania McCain volunteer who carved a “B” on her face, claiming she was assaulted by a black Obama supporter. Note to Republicans: Give the obsession with race a rest.

On the left, columnist and talented political cartoonist Ted Rall made something of a milestone for himself this week, by becoming the first figure on the left to call for President Obama’s resignation – because he hasn’t been liberal enough.

"The gap between the soaring expectations that accompanied Barack Obama's inauguration and his wretched performance is the broadest such chasm in recent historical memory. This guy makes Bill Clinton look like a paragon of integrity and follow-through…Obama is useless. Worse than that, he's dangerous. Which is why, if he has any patriotism left after the thousands of meetings he has sat through with corporate contributors, blood-sucking lobbyists and corrupt politicians, he ought to step down now–before he drags us further into the abyss."

The prime area of Rall’s anger at President Obama is his continuity with President Bush on detentions of terrorist suspects. Forget the heat he’s taken for announcing the close to Guantanamo without a plan for what to do with the detainees. And forget the fact that much of Obama’s success in closing the perceived “national security gap” between Democrats and Republicans has been due to his bipartisan national security appointments (most recently tapping New York Republican John McHugh to serve as Secretary of the Army) and centrist policies that have depolarized the debate over Iraq and focused our efforts on stabilizing Afghanistan.

For Rall, the absence of immediate reversal of all Bush national security policies is not just an unforgivable hypocrisy but a sign of something much more sinister: “there is something rotten inside him…Obama has revealed himself. He is a monster, and he should remove himself from power.”

These considered words were offered underneath the subheader, “With Democrats Like Him, Who Needs Dictators?” With dizzy and destructive Democrats like Rall, who needs rabid Republicans?

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of John Avlon.

Filed under: Wingnuts of the week
soundoff (227 Responses)
  1. marty-Lincoln NE

    Everyone needs to chill. We must all come together and work toward a true goal of helping each other. We can not continue on the journey of being divided into black, white, hispanic or what ever. We a of the human race. So until we stopping hating someone because of the color of one skin then the country will continue to decline and have many more issures.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  2. bob

    Star Wars – (Emperor of the Dark Side): "The hate is swelling in you now...Give in to your anger. With each passing moment you make yourself more my servant."

    They want and need us to fight amoungst ourselves lest we rage against them. Fool them all and wage peace. Come on, give us a hug.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  3. Ryan in VA

    You know, I absolutely LOVE the Wingnut of the Week segment. I know there are a lot of people on here questioning why they are given airtime at all. I have your answer, all summed up in one word:


    The mere fact that CNN is showing these idiots side-by-side speaks volumes to the organization's credit. They, unlike MSNBC and Fox News, actually see that the problem isn't Right Wing Extremism or Left Wing Extremism... the problem is EXTREMISM. That is what has been tearing this society into hard-line factions instead of healing divides.

    By equating one side's extremists with the other side's in lunacy, CNN is casting shame on BOTH as being out of touch with the actual main-stream of society. Hopefully, both sides are watching this and will soon begin to realize just how crazy the people they are listening to really are.

    Kudos, CNN! Keep up the good shaming, er, work!

    June 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  4. hmumm

    Tancredo and all the Focus on the Family racists in CO, are total WINGNUTS,,of course they are located in the most racist, right wing, enclave of idiocy ever created, colorado Springs, CO...which is also the home of the most homophobic "pastors" of gigantic nutcase churches...the "pastors" are homophobic, becaue they are are all latent homosexuals...about every two years, one of them is found in bed with a gay prostitute and a goat...

    June 10, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  5. Mason Green

    I submitted two suggestions of my own for next week: Newt Gingrich on the right and PETA on the left. Now, I just have to wait to see if Mr. Avlon takes my suggestions!

    June 9, 2009 at 8:51 pm |
  6. Doc McCalla

    Tancredo is just one of what I'm afraid of is too many people given press, that all share three things in common: Ignorance, Stupidity, and sadly... hearts that Hate.

    June 9, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  7. D Wurtz

    Some Republicans are so consistent in their POOR LOSER roles. Isn't it about time to say If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em. We are, after all, in this thing together. This country needs unity once and for all.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  8. laudyms

    Obama agreeable to taxing employer provided health insurance. Geithner tells China the US plans to end entitlements and social programs.
    Fraud-ridden banks and corporations are gifted with $Billions at the taxpayers expense.

    Rall's article was actually quite sensible. Read it yourself:

    June 6, 2009 at 7:07 pm |
  9. dontknow3

    What type of igmorance is this can the man try and do his job without the BS. Bush and former presidents got us to this point so calm down and Check post on OBAMA Saying Asa Lama Lakim at or Mahalo

    June 6, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  10. shelley

    Black, white, brown, christian, pagan, muslem, rich, middle class, poor, republican, democrat, independant, male, female, young, middle aged, old, eduated, uneducated, homosexual, hetrosexual. It matters not. WE ARE ALL THE SAME! It's time to get over prejudice people.

    June 6, 2009 at 8:20 am |


    June 6, 2009 at 3:42 am |
  12. TJ

    "For Rall, the absence of immediate reversal of all Bush national security policies is not just an unforgivable hypocrisy but a sign of something much more sinister.."

    there is an often heard ungrounded presumption about the source of outrage in the previous statement... it is _not_ "absence of immediate reversal" that is making some people outraged. it is Obama's proactive continuation and legal defense of a large number of Bush security policies that is the fuel for the backlash - most notably, policies that he campaigned loudly against and ones which entail substantial stretches in the scope of claimed power for the executive. his assurances that his power will not be abused are going to be a lot less reassuring when the next election rolls around and Congress hasn't done anything to actively assert the scope of their own power.

    June 6, 2009 at 2:50 am |
  13. Braino

    Admit the truth; it is illogical not to be a racist. All other things being equal, everyone prefers his race over all others, by nature.

    June 6, 2009 at 1:54 am |
  14. Jennifer in Missouri

    So after reading the comments posted here, I have a few more questions to ask; these are all hypothetical and my views of how things don't go both ways (ie Equality) (you don't have to reply, just aswer these to yourself).

    1) What would happen to me if I started a new television channel and named it "WET: White Entertainment Television". The blacks have one (BET). why can't I?

    2) What would happen to me if I got on stage and joked about some of the supposed stupid things black people, indians, hispanic or asian's do? Wanda Sikes did it while having dinner with Obama. And many other black comedians do it and STILL get standing ovations. What would be wrong if I did it? What makes it ok that blacks and other races can do it?

    3) What would happen if I started a group called the White Panthers? The Blacks did it back in the 70s and that was ok apparently. Why can't I?

    4) What would happen if I (being white) used the N word? (Not that I ever would because it's foul, but hypotheically speaking.....) Blacks use it all the time. Why is it such a dirty word that it's still ok to be used, even by blacks?

    5) What would happen if I made a month "White History Month"? Well, the blacks have one. why can't I?

    This is all completely hypothetical by the way, so don't take it literal. OPEN YOUR EYES PEOPLE. You see, you don't have to black to be discriminated upon for the color of your skin. But not many people see that. In this day and age, it's not a 2 sided card or a 2 way street. Racism doesn't come in just one form. It's goes against anyone different from the person pointing the finger. It's just too bad that this country has way too many ingnorant people who can't see this.

    June 5, 2009 at 11:17 pm |
  15. A Domestic Patriot!

    If an American Citizen is a wingnut when they question the validity of what they are being told by the media, when that information is in conflict with what is supported by fact, then you can call me a wing nut , too!
    This woman's decisions have been reversed 80% of the time by higher courts, and she said that a Latin (her) was able to arrive at better decisions than a white man. Now, forgetting the obvious racist implication to such a compaison between two individuals, but there is another issue here as well, and I am not hearing annyone address this either. So, is it the white vs hispanic aspect; or is it the man vs woman differences that she was speaking about, as well.... OR BOTH? The fact that she would make such a statement publically, says two things; she is just that comfortable with that position, or she is not smart enough to determine when to hold 'em, or when to fold 'em. She also said that her job as a judge and the Apellate Court was to make policy vs determining if the law was broken; you see the law being the determining factor. She is an anti-Constitutional, anti-2nd Amendment rights persoon, who is now being put in the position to further her beliefs, regardless of the law or the Constitution.
    This isn't a matter of anything other than she is not qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice. She also has very imited Constitutional Law experience, and no degree in that field. It is justy a bad choice. All conservatives knew we would see a liberal on the court, but knowing what effect her decisions will have on this country for the next 20+ yrs or so, should make any thinking American, who is not a far left marxist, shudder to contemplate.
    But, as with all the rest of the picks and appointments, politics seems to be the prime motivator vs actual competence, or motivation to uphold the current US Constitution!
    Look out libs, they are not coming for you now, but they will be, just as soon as they need to!
    In the Spirit of Liberty,
    A Domestic Patriot!

    June 5, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  16. Brandon

    This is crazy...all everyone is doing is arguing over race. Why? I wish I could explain this to my friends outside of this country. They grow up thinking america is free, happy, and and united. Then they see that we are by no means any of that. Racism builds on itself. One person says something then followed by another one. If we would all just shut our mouths about race maybe it would go away. Im sorry were a country that gives everthing an – between everything. Spain-americans, american-indian....african-american....white-american....ohh what we dont say that. Whites are just american apparently. We are so stuck up in this country we think that is not a form of rasicm. We are all americans.....stop with the names. And look at the republican party....its self destructing everyday....and those guys have to get on tv some how. I used to be a very republican minded person...until just this year...when all the guys that were pushed to the back of the party came up with crazy stories about how voting democrat helped terrorist. If someone can explain why that is please tell me. Some great things a republican did when that republican was voted it. Common sense would suggest its the other way around. Nothing happened when a democrat was in office and nothing has happened yet. Im just saying dont make up stupid crap that none of us care about. Its all just scare tactics. Lets face it name calling...lie telling...and trying to scare people is a bit highschoolish.

    June 5, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  17. Jennifer in Missouri

    To Rebecca in Dallas, I was saying the same thing when W was in office...................but you know what the main reply was? "When the big man is spending my hard earned money, he better spend it right or he's gonna face my critisism." Frankly, I agree. Obama hasn't done jack of what he said he was gonna do during his first 100 days, so now I'm watching the biggest tool in the box become even worthless than before. Sorry, but you asked.

    June 5, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  18. John

    My reply to some of the garbage and enlightenment from both sides!
    My Top Ten Replye’s!
    1. Ryden – Great comment, you make a lot of good point until the part about CNN.
    2. Realistic – Go away, when La Raza fly’s the US Flag upside down, then they have proven themselves to me.
    3. Rebecca from Dallas – no hope
    4. James – I think you are more qualified to be in office then anyone I have heard for a while. I'll vote for you..You seem to be one of the few that remember what common sense is.
    5. Kevin in Denver Colorado – Your comment doesn’t even deserve to be here, look at some of the leftist pun dents out there. For your information, Keith Oberman is no worse than Rush Limbaugeh except Rush speaks the facts.
    6. Jon – we don't care where they came from as long as they came legally.
    7 James – well said and spoken. You are obviously an adult that has thought this out. Well done and well spoken.
    8. Modern Dadaist – Uh.. it think I agree with you.. You speak way to smart for me so tone it down for this ignorant old southern boy . Thanks
    9. Freddie Keyes – For you, read the Bible. You might not believe what it says (that is an asummation on my part that may not be correct and I hope so), but it says there will always be hate, greed and corruption in this world (You know, evil ,the devil, satin, ect.) . And so far it has been correct.
    And number
    10. Moody – Tisc Tisc... Tom is not in power now so don't worry your self on that one. You know who is in power and you need to worry about him.

    If you want to call me a racist, fine, but you pay for the tee shirt! I'll wear it ! But that my opinion and you know what they say....

    June 5, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  19. Ben

    Louee. The mainstream of voters in this country are not paying attention. Since when was it okay for government to take over a private business? Since when were judges supposed to be empathetic?! There is a reason why justice is blind! Empathy is for the other two branches!! How is it extreme to question this?! Obama has done some good things and some very bad things. In my opinion, most of the good has been immediate and feel good. The bad, may crush us in the future.

    Is there a party out there for Pro 2nd amendment pro choice non religious let gays do what they want fiscal conservatives who want the government to shrink and get out of our day to day lives type voters? Ive had it with these two teams of morons.

    Oh, and last thing..... TERM LIMITS FOR EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!

    June 5, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  20. Jennifer in Missouri

    So, I wonder;

    If racism has absolutely nothing to do with what's going on politically in the U.S, today, then why was it such a big deal that Obama was black and was elected? Frankly, not many people know or realize (sadly) that you CAN infact be black, indian, hispanic, asian AND be racist. Check out some of the commentary from the interviews made in downtown detroit shortly after the election, when some african americans were questioned as to why they didn't vote for McCain. Maybe, THEN we can understand how or the why.

    "Louee" left a comment stating "Obama Haters".....Haters? No, I don't think so. I don't hate the elected official who's wastefully spending my hard earned tax dollars. GM would be my prime example. So since that project didn't work out, Mr. Obama, may I have my money back? Or possibly put it somewhere other than an auto industry or treating your family to dinner upon the Eiffel Tower like you did last night?

    As for Sotomayor and the rest of the uneducated voters better known as "Sheep", I watch as this country continues to crumble. Speaking of majority vote anyhow, I wonder how the Acorn investigation is going anyhow? Yeah, the people (Acorn) who registered the entire Dallas Cowboys' Cheerleading squad to vote in Nevada and their votes that went to Obama. Dallas???..................Living in Nevada????.............Acorn under investigation?????.................Hmmm, wonder if Obama's education reform is gonna help the idiots in this country to figure what's going on THERE. Probably not.

    Did Obama finally submit a birth certificate by the way? Or is he still hiding his info like Clinton's medical records, until after he left office and we found out he was treated for cocaine addiction in the seventies and eighties (??)

    Just a few things to ponder on...........................

    June 5, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  21. shauna Glenside,PA

    go ahead cnn keep my comments in moderation like you always do. Then send me an email telling me you wont post my content. So much for free press.

    June 5, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  22. shauna Glenside,PA

    He's not even a citizen...I know nobody's only a usurper in the highest office, treason, etc. He was an indonesian citizen..they don't allow dual citizenships in Indonesia, so if he was born in hawaii (he wasn't) his mother would have had to renounce his american citizenship for him to get an indonesian citizenship. He traveled to pakistan in 1981...Pak. was in marshall law then and was restricted travel for AMERICAN citizens(bet that indonesian passport came in handy then) He has sealed his college records..why?? Could it be that they show he attended college on foriegn student aide paid for by the saudis? Geeze people do a little homework. It has nothing to do with color or religion(which he lied about) it has to do with being Constitutionally qualified for office. Go ahead label me a wingnut, do me a favor and disprove what I said point by point first.

    June 5, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  23. Elena

    How ignorant it is to say that TRUE LATINOS come from Spain and everybody else (like Mexico, according to you) are HISPANIC.

    Latinos, for your information, are all those peoples who speak a language that came from the latin language (italians, french, spanish, portuguese and most latin-american countries). Hispanics, on the other hand, are all those people whose culture identity have roots in what was then called Hispania and is now called España or Spain.

    So, all hispanics are latinos but not all latinos are hispanic. Inform yourself before you make such ignorant comments.

    June 5, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  24. Joe

    Republican trolls everywhere!

    Don't mind them, they are here just to cry about the fact that life is unfair and that their party has gone to the gutters.

    June 5, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  25. Eddie

    The only thing that is totally racist is “Affirmative Action”. It takes good quality applicants and replaces them with unworthy, unintelligent, hand-out seeking slugs from society. It shouldn’t matter what race you are. If you are more qualified then the next person then you should get the job. Period! Try looking up the “New Haven 20” firefighter suit, "Ricci vs. DeStefano". You will read where a bunch of firefighters who took the city exams for promotion get the exams thrown out due to so called minorities not preparing for the exam and passing. The minorities were also able to take the exam multiple times to get a passing exam score as well. Where Caucasian applicants could only take it once. This is such a disgrace! It will show you how one-sided and unfair Affirmative Action really is. Oh, and your precious Judge Sonia Sotomayor was one of the judges on the appeals court that voted for the City and against the Firefighters! How screwed up is that?! Even worst, this case is going to the Supreme Court soon where this same judge might get elected to. As I said, what a disgrace!!!!!

    June 5, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  26. bob

    Wow, the real wingnuts have posted here... I am sure the founding fathers are spinning in thier graves...

    June 5, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  27. Roscoe

    For years I've been waiting to say R.I.P. to the G.O.P. and it's about time!!!

    June 5, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
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