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Tuesday 20 September 2011

Telegraph That Tax Tale!

We are still more than a year away from the next US Presidential Election, but that has not deterred those scrabbling around in the bear pit that is Maily Telegraph blogland, where three of their number have queued up to talk out of the wrong orifice on Barack Obama, class warfare, allegations of statism, and – bizarrely – Neil Kinnock. I kid you not.

First out of the traps has been Ed “Case” West, who is championing Mark Steyn. Who he? Steyn is good at Islamophobia, he’s filled in for the deeply unpleasant Rush Limbaugh, and has guested with Sean Hannity on Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse). Steyn claims that Barack Obama wants to introduce statism to the USA. West thinks he’s dead good.

Having seen West set the bar low, Tim “another fine mess” Stanley sets it yet lower, with an accusation of class warfare against Obama. The Prez’ mistake has been to tell the citizens of the USA something obvious: that some at least of the Bush era tax cuts will have to be rescinded to help draw down the deficit. Obama’s move is, of course, not put into recent historical context.

Instead, Stanley accuses the Prez of having “professorial disdain for the common man”. Obama, he tells, makes the mistake of not removing his tie before drinking beer. And, sounding the dog-whistle as required, readers are told that he has “swung to the hard left”. But this is a mere warm-up act for the rictus smile of Nile “Chauncey” Gardiner.

Gardiner is clearly miffed that Obama got out of bed this morning. So we get more accusations of class warfare, and of divisive language. There is a comparison with Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock, thus doing his own bit for dog-whistling. The usual accusations of the Prez being “left-wing”, “foolhardy”, “desperation”, and “in denial” are then added to the steaming pile.

Fortunately, and more entertainingly, we have the latest Real Time With Bill Maher to put things into context. Maher and guest Keith Olbermann took turns to try and get through to a “typical Republican voter” that taxes in the USA are at their lowest in fifty years, that Ronald Reagan raised taxes eleven times as well as tripling the debt, and that, er, wrestling is fake.

Trying to get today’s Republican to accept basic facts is like trying to get your dog to take a pill” asserts Maher. The same looks to be true of those Telegraph bloggers.

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