Why, Oh Weyrich?

December 18, 2008

weyrich_051002weyrichMike Allen of The Politico tells us here that conservative godfather Paul Weyrich has died (fits that Allen would report on something like that)…

Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform wrote this tribute: “Paul Weyrich created institutions and networks that incubated new and old powerful policies and strategies to advance liberty. … He brought leaders of various freedom impulses together. Most of the successes of the Conservative movement since the 1970s flowed from structures, organizations, and coalitions he started, created or nurtured. Paul also lived a balanced life with work, family and his faith. We will miss his puns and wisdom and hard work.”

Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review Online, who had the first word of his passing, called Weyrich “a Washington conservative institution” and “a patriot who lived a long life serving his nation.”

Yep, with endorsements from characters such as these, something must surely be up, right? Well, before it all “gets too thick,” if you know what I mean, I would ask that you consider some more stuff on Weyrich that will probably be glossed over as the corporate media hosannas start pouring in.

As Wikipedia tells us here, he began his career in journalism before he got a job as press secretary for Colorado Repug Senator Gordon L. Allott in 1967. From there, he met a guy named Jack Wilson, who was an aide to Joseph Coors, head of Coors Brewery, and…

…in 1973, with the financial backing of Coors, Weyrich and Ed Feulner founded the Heritage Foundation as a think tank to counterbalance prevailing sentiment on taxation and regulation, which they considered to be anti-business.

From there, Weyrich either launched or helped to launch a variety of conservative-friendly organizations that greased the skids for the wretched right-wing ascendancy this country experienced under The Sainted Ronnie R and from which we will probably be trying to extricate ourselves forever (Weyrich co-founded the “Moral Majority” with Jerry Falwell and coined the phrase).

And as Wikipedia also tells us, “Katherine Yurica has written that Weyrich guided Eric Heubeck in writing The Integration of Theory and Practice, the Free Congress Foundation’s strategic plan (the FCF was an organization founded by Weyrich NOT dedicated to erasing the separation of church and state – wink, wink) published in 2001 by the foundation,[18] which she says calls for the use of deception, misinformation and divisiveness to allow conservative evangelical Christian Republicans to gain and keep control of seats of power in the government of the United States.”

Among Weyrich’s many lowlights, it should be noted that he and Pat Robertson used the Mark Foley congressional page scandal to spread a truly odious falsehood about gay men (namely, that they’re prone to commit acts of sex abuse against children) here.

Weyrich also said that, upon his return to the United States after his tour of duty in Vietnam, John Kerry testified that our soldiers had committed “unspeakable atrocities,” which turned out to be false. In reality, however (as Media Matters also notes here), “Kerry simply recounted in his Senate testimony the stories of other Vietnam veterans who returned to the United States and related their personal experiences in the (so-called) Winter Soldier Investigation. There is no credible evidence of a Winter Soldier witness being discredited (though one witness claimed in September (2004) that he lied in his testimony).”

It should be noted, though, that Weyrich supported rail mass transit (possibly because of his spinal condition that left him in a wheelchair prior to the amputation of his legs after an accident), and he also opposed outsourcing, which goes to show that he did possess some redeeming qualities. However, this is not what people will truly remember about him (and here he is, a demagogue until the very end, claiming a few days ago that Barack Obama “wants to see to it that gay marriage is accepted nationally” and claiming that Obama supporters such as yours truly want “unlimited taxpayer-funded abortions” and also – wait for it – the dreaded return of the Fairness Doctrine…I might as well not even waste my time trying to refute that lie anymore; I’m offended that an organization that purports to represent my faith gave this cretin a forum).

Basically, whenever you or I hear of a story defaming a Democrat without substantiation, or any demographic or constituency that tends to support that party (unions, LBGT individuals, immigrants, etc.), it is very possible that the talking point or narrative in one form or another originated from an origination either founded by Weyrich or one for which he was an ideological fellow traveler. Such is the depth and breadth of his wingnuttery.

What a truly pitiable legacy.

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