Monday, October 13, 2008

Andy Martin: The Source Of The Smear

Today’s New York Times has a front-page, below the fold profile of Andy Martin, the right-wing wackadoodle who is now believed to have originated the “Obama is a secret Muslim” fabrication.

Martin started the story by posting a press release on the FreeRepublic in August 2004, just as Obama was coming to national attention for his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. The story took on a life of its own, embellished telephone-tree style each step of the way with more lies (“he took the oath of office on a Koran,” etc. etc.) until the lie has become like a persistent, hacking cough that Obama can’t seem to shake.

It’s a fascinating piece which you can read here. When I say Martin is a right-wing wackadoodle, I’m not joking. The state of Illinois denied him admission to the bar for psychological reasons:
He is a law school graduate, but his admission to the Illinois bar was blocked in the 1970s after a psychiatric finding of “moderately severe character defect manifested by well-documented ideation with a paranoid flavor and a grandiose character.”

Though he is not a lawyer, Mr. Martin went on to become a prodigious filer of lawsuits, and he made unsuccessful attempts to win public office for both parties in three states, as well as for president at least twice, in 1988 and 2000.

So, persecution/martyr complex--sounds like the entire Republican Party.

What’s really fascinating to me is the amount of bigotry and entrenched hatred that pervades this group of folks who peddle in character smears. Martin is a notorious anti-Semite--ironic, since his “secret Muslim” lie has found traction among some Jewish voters:

A motion he filed in a 1983 bankruptcy case called the judge “a crooked, slimy Jew who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race.”

In another motion, filed in 1983, Mr. Martin wrote, “I am able to understand how the Holocaust took place, and with every passing day feel less and less sorry that it did.”

In an interview, Mr. Martin denied some statements against Jews attributed to him in court papers, blaming malicious judges for inserting them.

But in his “48 Hours” interview in 1993, he affirmed a different anti-Semitic part of the affidavit that included the line about the Holocaust, saying, “The record speaks for itself.”

When asked Friday about an assertion in his court papers that “Jews, historically and in daily living, act through clans and in wolf pack syndrome,” he said, “That one sort of rings a bell.”

Meanwhile, Martin’s kindred spirit Jerome Corsi, recently expelled from Kenya, is a notorious Muslim and Catholic-hater.

I find it amazing that the Republican Party will give a wink and a nod to these hateful crackpots and let them do their dirty work. Martin needs to see a psychiatrist, not be handed a microphone. Yet, Fox News featured him in their anti-Obama “documentary” last week where they

allowed Mr. Martin to assert falsely and without challenge that Mr. Obama had once trained to overthrow the government.

This is supposed to be a news program?

Regardless of what happens with this election, the day will come when the Republican Party will have to answer for its actions. By embracing bigots like Corsi and Martin, the GOP is sowing the seeds of its own destruction. We’re seeing it now in the vitriol unleashed at McCain-Palin rallies; the bigotry is out there, Martin, Corsi and their ilk are feeding it, and the Republican Party, because they see a political benefit, is encouraging it.

But no matter what happens in November, this kind of ugliness at the heart of the GOP will destroy the Republican Party. And guess what: they won’t be able to blame Bill Clinton or the Democrats this time.