The John Birch Society almost over took the conservative movement during the rise of Barry Goldwater, but was beaten back by William F. Buckley and the NRO. The JBS's Robert Welch was obsessed with Communists and started multiple conspiracy theories around his delusions, including the one about Eisenhower being a Commie infiltrator.
Welch wrote in a widely circulated statement, The Politician, "Could Eisenhower really be simply a smart politician, entirely without principles and hungry for glory, who is only the tool of the Communists? The answer is yes." He went on. "With regard to ... Eisenhower, it is difficult to avoid raising the question of deliberate treason."
The controversial paragraph was removed before final publication of The Politician.
The sensationalism of Welch's charges against Eisenhower prompted several conservatives and Republicans, most prominently Goldwater and the intellectuals of William F. Buckley's circle, to renounce outright or quietly shun the group. Buckley, an early friend and admirer of Welch, regarded his accusations against Eisenhower as "paranoid and idiotic libels" and attempted unsuccessfully to purge Welch from the Birch Society. From then on Buckley, who was editor of National Review, became the leading intellectual spokesman and organizer of the anti-Bircher conservatives. In fact, Buckley's biographer John B. Judis wrote that "Buckley was beginning to worry that with the John Birch Society growing so rapidly, the right-wing upsurge in the country would take an ugly, even Fascist turn rather than leading toward the kind of conservatism National Review had promoted."
Using the cover of the Tea Party, the Birchers are making a huge comeback and they will find a conspiracy hidden in anything at all. Frank Gaffney gets a gold star for this one. Kudos to Think Progress:
Amidst the political upheaval in Egypt, conservatives are scare-mongering about the possible Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt. But leading neoconservative Frank Gaffney is taking Muslim Brotherhood fearmongering to new heights. This past weekend, Gaffney was a featured speaker at the Educational Policy Conference in St. Louis, an annual gathering of social conservatives. Gaffney used the opportunity to discuss how the Muslim Brotherhood is not only poised to implement a new theocracy in Egypt, but is also operating in the United States under “front groups” like the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil liberties group dedicated to “protecting the rights of all Americans, regardless of faith.”
TP: Do you think [Sharia law] has already infiltrated the federal government?
GAFFNEY: There are questionable people who are sympathetic to the program of the stealth jihadists who have influence with the United States government. Some I think are actually working for it, but for sure people who are persuaded that the folks that they need to work with to reach out to the Muslim-American community, for example, who incessantly turn to Muslim Brotherhood organizations for that purpose, are a very real problem.
TP: Can you name a few names, for instance in the federal government?
GAFFNEY: John Brennan. John Brennan is the Homeland Security Advisor for the President of the United States
TP: He’s complicit in this creep of Sharia law?
GAFFNEY: He’s absolutely daft on what the nature of the threat and is insistent upon using Brotherhood-front organizations as sources of information and as vehicles for reaching out to the Muslim-American community. Jim Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, has said that these sorts of groups are “sources of wisdom,” as he puts it, to the United States government. Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, is incessantly meeting with Muslim Brotherhood front organizations and I think has in the past, if not today, employed people who are associated with them.
This is sick and twisted, but as Digby noted this morning, according to the Tea Party, the Muslim Brotherhood and Obama are in cahoots.
This just in on my wingnut chainmail:
Have you ever wondered why President Obama has been relatively quiet and uninvolved in the uprising in Egypt? We dug up a two-year-old article that surprisingly shows a connection between Obama and, you guessed it, the Muslim Brotherhood! Obama was against Hamas during his presidential campaign and pro-Israel to get the Jewish vote. However, since he became president of the United States (POTUS), he has dissed Israel and is now spending billions of American taxpayers’ money to move and set up thousands of Hamas members within the United States homeland. Whose side is Obama on anyway?
Read this linked article. It will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. This article is supported with a list of credits at the bottom of the article that gives it legitimacy. This topic must be opened up for some serious debate. The man that is said to still rule in Washington, somehow, we keep seeing him and Henry Kissinger in the news quite frequently. Google these two words together "Banna Nazi."
It's important to to keep up with your history on kooky conspiracy theories. In the 80's the Birchers came back in the form of Abramoff/Norquist/Reed who went hog wild about Commies infiltrating our government. Then during the 90's under Clinton, the Alex Jones Black Helicopter squads invaded the fringes of Conservatism and Libertarians. They never go away on rebrand themselves. I wrote this in response to an idiotic piece written by Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post:
Barry Goldwater refused to dismiss the Birchers as wackos entirely because they were useful like the teabaggers, but he did attack Welch.
Rick Perlstein's: 'Beyond The Storm:'
The attendees fell into two camps. Buckley and Kirk said they were ready to write the Birchers out of the conservative movement altogether. Goldwater and others canceled accommodation. He thought there were a lot of 'nice guys' in the Society and not just 'kooks' and that it wasn't time to precipitate breaks in the conservatives' fragile movement.
They settled on a compromise. National Review would attack Robert Welch, not the John Birch Society. Goldwater would take the line that Welch was a crazy extremist, but that the Society itself was full of 'fine, upstanding citizens' working hard and well for the cause of Americanism.
Haven't we heard the same thing from Newtie and Rove about the teabaggers?