Ellis Washington's Obama Derangement
Fascists? Nazis? Mobsters? Devils? Pagan gods? The WorldNetDaily columnist has likened Barack Obama (among others) to all of these and more. Unsurprisingly, he's also a worshipper of Michael Savage.
By Terry Krepel
According to the tagline on Ellis Washington's WorldNetDaily columns, he is a "professor of law and political science at Savannah State University" in Georgia. Given the amount of vitriol and false and misleading information in his columns, one has to wonder what kind of education Washington is providing to his students.
ConWebWatch has already documented Washington's eagerness to liken President Obama to Nazis -- he has claimed Obama would "make Goebbels blush with envy," asserted that "Goebbels' ideas" are"exemplified today" by Obama, and praised a college-bound student who wrote that, like Obama, 'Adolf Hitler and Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick convinced mass numbers of people that they were respectable through dialogue." (More on Kilpatrick later.)
That's far from the only venom Washington has hurled at Obama. In a Jan. 17 column, he cited Jonah Goldberg's book "Liberal Fascism" to claim that "I see Barack Obama mimicking the fascist and socialist policies of President Wilson." Washington doesn't mention that Goldberg's book has been largely discredited. In a Feb. 25 column, Washington managed to liken Obama to both a devil and a mobster:
How does the legend of Faust apply to Gov. Jindal's refusal to accept all of the $100 million dollars Obama is offering the state of Louisiana as part of it's share of stimulus package money. President Obama, like the suave, cosmopolitan Mephistopheles, has not only crafted and passed the largest wealth confiscation in the history of the world, but upon closer examination of the 1,000-plus pages of this bloated, complex and convoluted text, the devil is truly in the details.
Like an affliction of political Tourette's syndrome, Washington's insults just keep coming: In a series of columns with headlines apparently designed to suggest that Obama has violated every single one of the Ten Commandments, Washington has also called Obama a Manchurian candidate (March 25) and invoked pagan gods to claim that "we are currently witnessing a modern version of political idolatry with President Barack Obama" (March 28).
In a further exploration of Obama's purported idolatry in an April 1 column, Washington cited as evidence that Obama worships the "graven image" of the teleprompter: "Obama recently thanked himself for hosting a leader from Ireland. Why? Because the teleprompter told him to." In fact, Obama was making a joke referencing an teleprompter screwup earlier during the Irish leader's appearance.
In his Jan. 28 column, Washington accused Obama of using a Saul Alinsky tactic -- "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it" -- against Rush Limbaugh, even though Washington is using those same tactics against Obama -- in part by smearing him as a Nazi, a fascist, a mobster, etc. Washington even used Alinsky's tactic in the very same column in which he was purporting to decry them, dismissing anyone who agrees with Obama as "elitists, liberals and socialists" accusing liberals of using "every Machiavellian tactic to create a Leninist groupthink mentality." If that's not Alinsky-esque "personalizing" and "polarizing," what is?
The above mention of disgraced Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in the same breath as Hitler (and Obama) is a remnant of one of Washington's more bizarre smears -- of Kilpatrick as a sort of reverse racist. He wrote in an April 3, 2008, column:
AMERICA! Get yourself a big bucket of popcorn and a giant Coke, because the show KKK (King Kwame Kilpatrick) is about the give the world will make what the KKK (Ku Klux Klan) did to my people in Birmingham, in Selma, in Atlanta, in Mississippi, look like child's play.
Kilpatrick is going to travel the world lynching people and turning firehoses on them? We're confused.
A March 6, 2008, column -- presented as a even more bizarre dialectic between Kilpatrick, Socrates, and a Klan Grand Dragon -- referred to "Kwame 'Klan' Kilpatrick," and at one point, Washington had the "Grand Dragon" say:
At our height of power in 1925, the KKK had over 4 million members. We proudly marched 40,000 strong down Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House, yet our demonic hatred of blacks, Jews, Catholics and immigrants have no comparison with the pathology, despair, ignorance and black-on-black crime affecting the state of black America today terrorist tactics done by their own people in complicity with big-city black mayors, the public schools, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Democrat Party ... yet, the KKK is called a racist organization?!
To which "Socrates" responds:
Are black people better off under the openly racist regime of Gov. George Wallace, police Chief Bull Connor and the Grand Dragon of the KKK, or are black people better off under the incompetent, arrogant and pathological black leadership of a Kwame "Klan" Kilpatrick? KKK or KKK? It is a paradox that may not be able to be answered in this generation; however, posing this question offers the seeds of hope for a new generation of leadership that refuses to be defined by skin color, but will only be judged by the content of their character.
It's difficult to imagine that Socrates would really resort to tossing out incendiary ad hominem attacks, as Washington portrays him doing.
A July 3, 2008, column again called Kilpatrick "KKK," taking care to throw in an Obama smear as well: "And what of Sen. B. Hussein Obama, who, though he has the most "audacious" voting record in the history of Congress, is only one step from the U.S. presidency. If you think that is outrageous, KKK is the front runner for a third term! Only in Detroit ... only in America!"
Washington is quite fond of hurling the KKK smear. A Jan. 26, 2008, column asserted: "Two of the KKK's most notable members, Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., and Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, are both proud Democrats their infamous membership in the KKK never repudiated by the Democrats to this day."
In fact, Byrd has repeatedly apologized for his Klan membership. As for Black, evidence suggests that he was a member for a couple of years in the 1920s out of a combination of political expediency and anti-Catholic animus, not out of racist sympathies. Anyway, his record of championing civil rights while on the court -- which Washington curiously fails to mention -- far outstrips his Klan link; as a review in a 1995 issue of Columbia Journalism Review of a Black biography notes, "he wrote a ringing opinion upholding the rights of four southern blacks from whom police had coerced a confession of murder" and "Black more than paid for his KKK affiliation with his support of the 1954 school desegregation decision, which rendered him until almost the end of his life a virtual exile in his home state [of Alabama]."
Washington also gets stuff just plain wrong.
His Feb. 7 column marked Ruth Bader Ginsburg's then-recent cancer surgery by citing "an interesting article on Justice Ginsburg by Edward Whelar," and proceeded to repeat alleged "facts" in the article that Washington made no apparent attempt to fact-check -- even though they have been debunked long ago. Let's examine a few, as quoted by Washington:
1. Protecting prostitution. Citing Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972), and Roe v. Wade (1973) as judicial precedent in support of prostitution, Ginsburg theorized that federal laws against prostitution "are subject to several constitutional and policy objections. Prostitution, as a consensual act between adults, is arguably within the zone of privacy protected by recent constitutional decisions." Ginsburg proposed that the federal laws against prostitution be repealed.
In fact, Ginsburg merely stated that an argument could be made that the act of prostitution is constitutionally protected. When the issue arose during Ginsburg's 1993 confirmation hearings, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch agreed that the sentence could not be construed as a stated position, much less a belief: "You were making an academic point. I understand. I'm not trying to indicate that you were justifying prostitution."
Certainly, as a law professor, Washington understands what an academic legal point is -- or perhaps not.
2. Protecting bigamy. Throughout her long legal career, Ginsburg has considered laws prohibiting the rights of bigamists "of questionable constitutionality since it appears to encroach impermissibly upon private relationships."
In fact, Ginsburg questioned the constitutionality of legislation that restricted the right of bigamists or "persons cohabiting with more than one person" to vote or hold office. Ginsburg wrote that the provision "appears to encroach impermissibly upon private relationships" and recommended that it "be narrowed to avoid conflict with constitutionally protected privacy interests."
6. Reducing the age of consent to 12. Ginsburg had recommended legislative changes that would reduce the age of consent for statutory rape under federal law from 16 to 12.
In fact, Ginsburg advocated no such thing. Ginsburg's report noted a 1973 Senate bill as an example of legislation that rejected the "traditional sex discriminatory fashion" in which the United States Code defined rape. The bill laid out three circumstances as constituting rape, including that "the other person is, in fact, less than twelve years old." But Ginsburg cited the bill only for the purposes of noting its gender-neutral language and did not address the merits of the clause regarding "age of consent."
Washington also has notable oddball views (as if calling a black mayor a member of the KKK wasn't evidence enough). In a Nov. 10, 2007, column, he declared that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's declaration of a state of emergency was "necessary" (though "draconian") because he faced "a crucial Supreme Court decision was to be handed down that could overturn his recent election victory" and a related "tide of anarchy raging throughout Pakistan." Washington further endorsed the arrests of "a couple hundred" lawyers "[b]ecause the Supreme Court and their willing minions, the Pakistani bar, has time and time again undermined the rule of law in Pakistan and thus frustrated Musharraf's ability to effectively rule his nation." Washington offers no evidence to support this view. Washington then likened these Pakistani lawyers to the "damn liberal lawyers" in the U.S. who are "directing the war" in Iraq.
How often do you hear someone who claims to be a law professor endorsing the mass detainment of lawyers?
In a June 23, 2007, column, Washington used the occasion of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' birthday to place him in some extremely, if not ridiculously, lofty company:
If Justice Thomas is truly a great man, as I contend here, then why is he so hated by his own people? Like Prometheus, Elijah, David, Socrates, Jesus, St. Augustine, Galileo, Beethoven, Wilberforce, Booker T. Washington, Einstein, Churchill, Ronald Reagan, Mother Teresa and other iconoclasts, Justice Thomas refused to stay on the plantation or have his mind shackled by political mediocrities, subservient thinking or slavish liberal orthodoxy.
In addition to his slobbering sycophancy, Washington's statement echoes the conservative hypocrisy of using the "plantation" metaphor for bashing Democrats on matters of race while bashing liberals who use the exact same metaphor to criticize conservatives.
Washington has also expressed a strange affection for far-right radio host Michael Savage; in a July 5, 2008, column, he claimed that "Dr. Michael Savage" as "my favorite radio talk show host and a bona fide conservative intellectual." Because nothing says "intellectual" like telling someone to "get AIDS and die" or calling Nancy Pelosi "Mussolini in a skirt."
Washington followed that by repeating Savage's assertion that "[Alfred] Kinsey was a sexual pervert who made up his own data," adding, "Dr. Savage, as usual, is right on point." The only evidence that Kinsey "made up" anything comes mostly from notoriously anti-Kinsey "researcher" Judith Reisman, who has a habit of making up her own claims. Further, as the Kinsey Institute points out, Kinsey's statistics largely hold up today.
That led to the apparent premise of his column, and the silliest claim of them all: that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy was channeling Kinsey when he wrote the majority opinion in a case that blocked the death penalty for child rapists. Washington offered no real evidence for this claim, of course, other than citing an attack on Kinsey by Benjamin Wiker from his book "10 Books That Screwed Up the World" (of which Kinsey's "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" is listed as number one), which included this statement that Washington approvingly quotes:
Kinsey's pseudo-science became foundational for the sexual revolution, used both in courts and classrooms to push a limitless sexual revolution that began in the 1960s and through which we are still living. ... It will not be complete until it extinguishes all opposition, the greatest of which is Christianity. Once again, we see atheism at the root of rebellion.
What does that even mean? Wiker seems to be invoking the Butterfly Effect on top of the Depiction-Equals-Approval Fallacy.
Washington does invoke the Depiction-Equals-Approval fallacy himself through the statement, "Kinsey's one-man sexual revolution of the late 1940s lobbied and received academic legitimacy to render normal and to promote the vilest sexual ideas imaginable including, pedophilia, child rape, sadomasochism and bestiality."
Washington was able to merge his love of Savage and hatred of Obama in his April 11 column, invoking Savage -- whom he gushes is a source "pure genius and inspiration" -- to smear Obama's family (apparently unsatisfied with smearing only Obama himself). Approvingly citing Savage's claim that Obama has a "problem with women" and has an Oedipal complex that proves he has "resentment toward women that he has never been able to get beyond," Washington adds:
"Honor thy father and thy mother" are such utterly sublime words for the ages. How can one truly honor his father and mother if, as in Obama's case, they repeatedly abandoned the manchild and left him to the care of others? The mother, named "Stanley" by Obama's maternal grandfather, had to grapple with the rejection and psychic trauma of not being loved as a little girl because her father, Stanley Durham Sr., so desperately coveted having a boy child.
One has to wonder about Washington's own parentage that causes him to make such vicious attacks.
Indeed, only a person who thinks Michael Savage is a "bona fide conservative intellectual" would be found spewing such stuff. Does he force this kind of hateful, fact-free indoctrination on his students at Savannah State University as well?