The conspiracy theorist behind the right wing Hagel smears will be representing the California Republican Party at their convention. You might not know Ben Shapiro by name, but he’s the guy who started the smear that Chuck Hagel took funds from “friends of Hamas”. Since there is nothing the right likes more than prematurely deploying unproven innuendo, they parroted Ben’s conspiracy. It even managed to float to the rank of senator when Rand Paul lent it credence.
The problem is, as Dave Weigel pointed out, “There’s no proof that “Friends of Hamas” actually exists. At best, it’s an organization so secret that nobody in government has thought to mention its existence. At worst, it’s as fake as Manti Te’o’s girlfriend.” Weigel took to the plunge (not an easy task, I assure you) of writing the Breitbart editor to ask him if he had any proof that this group exists. Ben -I-represent-the-California-Republican-Party Shapiro wrote back, “The original story is the entirety of the information I have.”
So, that would be no. Ben Shapiro has no proof that Hagel takes money from some alleged terrorist group, because Ben has no proof that said group even exists. But that didn’t stop him from shooting the conspiracy into the hungry veins of the rage addicted right. As such, he is perfect to represent the GOP. He is even taking Karl Rove’s speaking slot.
Ben Shapiro, editor-at-large at Breitbart.com, has written for WorldNetDaily.com and is the author of books such as Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth and Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America. Yes, he is one of those conservatives– someone who knows how to cash in by selling conspiracy theories and self-help to the perpetually paranoid and self-pitying right.
The Sacramento Bee reported that Ben will be the salve to the Rove rift within the party, “The party had been seeking to book a speaker who would appeal to conservatives in light of a rift caused by Rove’s newly announced Conservative Victory Project, a super PAC that has come under fire from Tea Party supporters.”
Rove will still be speaking, but he has been moved to another time due to “scheduling conflicts.”
Shapiro urges conservatives to be stop being so “enfeebled”, to get on the attack instead of the defensive, especially in regards to charges of racism. “Not all conservatives are enfeebled,” he told the Daily Caller. “But they are on the defensive. Instead of responding to accusations of racism by calling out their accusers as cheap smear artists who forward racism by watering down the term, conservatives try to explain why they aren’t racist. That’s a losing tactic.”
Speaking of losing tactics, while that kind of rhetoric is popular with the base, it certainly won’t win over the key demographics the party needs.
Shapiro exemplified how to go on the offense during an appearance on Piers Morgan’s CNN show, explaining why civilians need military assault style weapons. After accusing Piers Morgan of “standing on the graves of dead children” (a reference to his charge that the “left” is using Newtown to push for gun safety), Shapiro explained, “They need them for the prospective possibility of resistance to tyranny.”
More from CNN:
“Where do you expect the tyranny to come from?” wondered Morgan.
“It could come from the United States,” came Shapiro’s answer.
“Do you understand how absurd you sound?” asked the host.
“Here’s where you go into the absurd and the bullying,” claimed Shapiro, repeating an assertion he’d made recently in his on-line writings, all the while mocking Morgan’s accent.
“I’m not the one that came in here and accused you of standing on the graves of dead children,” reminded Morgan.
You can see how Shapiro’s rhetoric might not be helpful for a party attempting to distance itself from doomsday preppers, anarchists, insurrectionists, self-pitying and enraged assault weapon advocates, con artists, grifters, self-deportation preachers and disenfranchisers of minorities.
In spite of his ability to put on a good show, brandishing his little pocket version of the Constitution with a wave on TV while mocking Piers Morgan’s accent, Ben Shapiro is just the kind of voice the Republican party would be avoiding if they were really aiming for a big tent. But the party can’t avoid voices like Shapiro if they want to keep their base. Rock, hard place.
So the guy behind the fictional Chuck Hagel conspiracy will be speaking for the Republican Party at the California state convention. Republicans are elevating the fringe element once again, and this time over Karl Rove.
This is many things, but winning is not one of them.