Now there's what you would call a leading question:
Is President Obama selling out America?
That's how Bill O'Reilly started out last night's "Talking Points Memo" segment of his Fox News show: A question that none-too-subtly accuses the president of betraying not just his oath but the nation at large. Like the kind of thing John Birch Society members and militia leaders do reflexively.
And sure enough, he was off and running, helping promote the Bircherite notion that Obama is taking us toward a nefarious "one world government" in which America is enslaved under global rule:
Talking points believes fear is driving the president's numbers down -- some Americans believing he's not been effective on the economy so far, others feel his policies are too socialistic, with the Congressional Budget Office estimating the USA will run up about $9 trillion in deficit over the next ten years.
Some conservative pundits actually believe President Obama is a "Star Chamber" guy -- a man who secretly wants to turn America into a progressive country modeled on Western Europe. Also, they think, he wants to lessen the power of America and sign up for a one-world combine of governance.
In the past, that kind of thinking was labeled loony, but that's changing. Writing in today's Wall Street Journal, the former prime minister of Denmark said:
In Europe, we have been protected from the worst effects of the crisis thanks to welfare states built up over the past 60 years to cushion citizens from the threats posed by the free market. We can all count on state health care, social housing, education, unemployment support and other universal, tax-funded services. ...
The simplistic dictum of more markets and less government -- championed by Reagan, Thatcher and their ideological heirs -- has failed on a momentous scale. ...
I am hopeful that the G-20 will make progress ... We must keep up the pressure by demanding a globalization that works for everyone, and forge new alliances and new lines of communication across national boundaries. We must develop new, progressive ways to achieve global justice.
Well, Karl Marx could not have said it better. Global justice requires that a one-world government seize private property and distribute it so that every human being has roughly the same amount of resources.
So there you have it: "global justice" equals "one world government." Evidently, all that talk about cooperation is just
Now, when O'Reilly says "some conservative pundits" believe this stuff, he means far-right nutcases like Alan Keyes and the Birch Society. And while he tries to set position himself as being somehow slightly skeptical of such notions, in reality, this whole rant is nothing but an endorsement of their worldview.
Next: O'Reilly wonders aloud if a black man is capable of being president, because "some conservatives" have claimed all along he is incompetent by virtue of his mixed race ...
But what's noteworthy about this rant is that the basis for his thesis is, once again, entirely groundless -- because not only does Poul Nyrup Rasumussen, the European socialist whose op-ed he cites, have absolutely nothing to do with either President Obama or any of the G-20 leaders who met in London, but he doesn't actually promote a "global government" (beyond building an international framework for cooperation) or any of the other things O'Reilly characterizes the op-ed as saying.
You can read it yourself:
Note first of all O'Reilly's deceptive edit of the conclusive quote in his citation:
I am hopeful that the G-20 will make progress on these areas. But we cannot just leave it to them. We must keep up the pressure by demanding a globalization that works for everyone, and forge new alliances and new lines of communication across national boundaries. We must develop new, progressive ways to achieve global justice.
The "leave it to them" line makes irrevocably clear that Rasmussen sees the G-20 leaders as quite a separate entity from his own group of European Socialists. O'Reilly, however, is invested in suggesting that Obama is in bed with them, so of course it was edited out.
Indeed, Rasmussen even identifies himself with a separate group of socialists:
That's why, as the G-20 meets in London, an even larger group will meet in Brussels -- a group of progressive politicians, trade unionists, NGOs, academics and figures from major international institutions. This is the world conference of the Global Progressive Forum (GPF), which will bring together speakers from five continents to develop a new vision of a globalized world which benefits all. The GPF will take place in the European Parliament and will be opened by Bill Clinton. It will feature debates and discussions on the issues of global governance, trade, financial markets, decent work, migration and climate change, all aimed at coordinating global answers to what are global crises. It shows that the world's progressives are serious about making a solidaristic social model a reality for all.
This points up the larger problem: Rasmussen never argues for "global governance" beyond having a framework that creates international cooperation. He doesn't argue for "redistribution of wealth." None of this remotely suggests secret plans for creating a "one world government" -- unless you're a right-wing paranoid.