A New Thesaurus, Please

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Here’s an email I got today from Richard Viguerie’s shop:

Dear conservative friend,

In one of the White House’s creepiest acts yet, it has posted a blog, which amounts to asking citizens to turn in those opposing Obamacare.

They even set up an email address so citizens may tell the White House who is spreading “disinformation” (wink, wink) about Obamacare.

Can you believe it?  President Obama and his radical community organizers at the White House want literally to “keep track” of those who disagree with the government-run, potentially bankrupting health care bill, with its rationing of medical procedures to control costs, which Obama and Democrats in Congress are trying to ram through the system and into law.

They want information passed through “emails or even casual conversation.”  How Orwellian is that?

Totalitarian regimes, such as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, used similar tactics (without email, of course) to keep tabs on dissidents and other critics of those regimes.

I love the parenthetical remark at the end: “without email, of course.”  Wouldn’t want to be historically inaccurate or misleading!

OK, fine.  Richard Viguerie is nuts and it’s not fair to tar all of conservativedom by pretending he speaks for them.  But Steve Benen, who pointed out earlier today that one of the differences between lunacy on the left and lunacy on the right is that right wing lunacy frequently migrates from the fringe to serious political actors, informs me that Sen. John Cornyn (R–Tex.) is now serving up the same derangement:

Cornyn says this practice would let the White House collect personal information about people who oppose the President.

“By requesting citizens send ‘fishy’ emails to the White House, it is inevitable that the names, email, addresses, IP addresses and private speech of U.S. citizens will be reported to the White House,” Cornyn wrote in a letter to Obama. “You should not be surprised that these actions taken by your White House staff raise the specter of a data collection program.”

Cornyn asked Obama to cease the program immediately, or at the very least explain what the White House would do with the information it collects.

God save us.  Before long we’re going to have start inventing new words to describe these guys.  My thesaurus is running dry.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate