John Avlon updates his, “Obama Haters Book Club,” which now stands at 89, over at The Daily Beast.
Over the past four years, no less than 89 obsessively anti-Obama books have been published, as now catalogued by The Daily Beast. I’m not talking about cool statements of policy difference, but overheated and often unhinged screeds painting a picture of the president as a dangerous radical hell-bent on undermining the Republic by any means necessary. It is hate and hyper-partisan paranoia masquerading as high-minded patriotism…
…The titles themselves suggest palpable weirdness and un-wellness, a departure from reality commensurate with joining a cult. But the authors are not all fringe figures nervously typing up pamphlets in their basement. They include former elected officials, administration appointees, and at least one presidential candidate among with the parade of professional polarizers and right-wing shock jocks. You can check out our interactive gallery to figure out who is who, with their books helpfully divided into subject areas: Economy, Security, Media, HealthCare and, by far the most popular, Dangerous Radical.
They’ve been able to spread their message and make a lot of money in the process by hitting the hyper-partisan circuit with high-profile help. A stunning 56 of the authors in the Obama Haters Book Club have been featured on Fox News according to Lexis-Nexis searches, giving them valuable mass media exposure, the opportunity to preach to the conservative choir and sell books by the boatload.
Yes, the left was hard on George W Bush, sometimes unfairly so, however:
Compare that to the literature of Bush Derangement Syndrome, which totaled just 5 at the midterm elections of 2002 and rocketed up to 46 by November of 2004. Obama Derangement Syndrome shares some of the same qualities—truthers and birthers are in some respects mirror images of each other; obsessed with their targets alleged tyrannical ambitions and core illegitimacy—but they are not remotely equivalent.
There have been twice as many Obama Derangement Syndrome books as specimens of Bush Derangement Syndrome. The cycle of incitement has gotten worse and more widespread because it’s been semi-legitimized. Some of the same folks who called BDS treasonous see ODS as part of a patriotic resistance. This is more insidious than simple hypocrisy.
Barack Obama is the first Democratic president who has truly had to contend with the full spectrum of partisan media machinery. Hating Bill Clinton was an essentially analog event. Talk Radio was in its full glory, but Fox News was still in its infancy as was the Internet. So stories about Bubba’s alleged propensity for Marxism, murder, and drug-dealing never really got beyond John Birch Society and Moral Majority mailing lists. And now Bill Clinton seems to be, hilariously, every Republicans’ favorite living Democrat.