Say it: Climate Deniers. And Yes, it Has Implications.

October 31, 2018


Left, GOP mailer in Connecticut, 2018. Right, Russian anti-semitic poster.

 I bring rage out. I do bring rage out. I always have. I think it was . . .  . I don’t know if that’s an asset or a liability, but whatever it is, I do. – Donald Trump

When I named the original video series “Climate Denial Crock of the Week”, there was a school of thought that said, “You shouldn’t call people “climate deniers”, because that sounds like “holocaust deniers”, and it’s over the top, and therefore rude and counterproductive.”
But my reasoning was, if you can deny objective science in regard to the greatest threat in history to life on this planet, what exactly should I call you?

Well, I stuck with it, and in a few years, even President Obama was saying “Climate denier”.

And as for the nasty, Holocausty associations, – well, here we are.
The party of climate denial has become the home for white supremacists and Neo-Nazi sympathizers.

“Soul-crushing to see how…GOP in my lifetime has gone from being a conservative party w/ a white nationalist fringe to essentially a white nationalist party w/ a conservative fringe..” – Conservative columnist Max Boot

Hartford Courant:

A campaign mailer showing a Jewish candidate for state Senate with a fistful of money is drawing condemnation for what critics say is its blatant anti-Semitic imagery.

It was sent out by Republican Ed Charamut and targets Democratic state Rep. Matthew Lesser, his opponent in the race for the 9th Senate District seat, which represents Middletown, Wethersfield, Newington, Cromwell and Rocky Hill.

The mailer, which arrived in some mailboxes Monday, has stoked controversy just days after 11 people were killed and six others were wounded in a synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh in what investigators have categorized as a hate crime.

It coincides with a spike in the number of reported anti-Semitic incidents across the nation, which the Anti-Defamation League says rose by 53 percent last year.

“I started getting text messages about it when I was at a forum with teachers in Cromwell [on Monday], people said they got an anti-Semitic flyer,” Lesser said. “I did not believe them, I thought there was a mistake. Someone showed it to me and I think it would be a gross understatement to say I was surprised.”

Lesser, 35, has served five terms as Middletown’s 100th House District representative.

Charamut, 60, a member of the Rocky Hill Town Council, stood by the content of the flyer in an email to The Courant Tuesday and accused Lesser of playing identity politics.

“Those wishing to portray a graphic illustration as something hateful are completely wrong,” Charamut wrote. “I reject hate speech in all its forms. The mailer draws a stark contrast between myself and Matt Lesser. Do you want to protect your wallets, or do you want to make Matt Lesser your new state Senator?”


Before he opened fire in a mass shooting that killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, witnesses say the gunman shouted, “All Jews must die.”

But the particular moment he (allegedly) chose for his massacre, and the place he chose to do it, show that what radicalized the assailant to the point of violence was a specific manifestation of anti-Semitism: blaming Jews in America for bringing in an invasion of nonwhite immigrants who would slaughter the white race.


His last post on the pro-hate-speech social-media site Gab, posted minutes before the synagogue massacre, spells it out — with a reference to HIAS, the Jewish nonprofit that resettles refugees in the United States:

The obsession that appears to have tipped the gunman over the edge was a conspiracy theory insinuating that the migrant caravan currently making its way through southern Mexico, and which President Donald Trump and conservative media have treated as an existential threat to the United States, is a Jewish plot.

His response was an attack that was both anti-Semitic — an attack on Jews and Jewish values — and characteristic of Trump-era xenophobia, which is generally expressed toward Muslims and Latinos.

Some Trump officials have all but admitted that the president has seized on the caravan to motivate Republicans to turn out in the midterms. Whether or not that’s true, it’s clear that the administration had no ability (and little apparent interest) to control just how that panic took shape. (Adam Serwer of the Atlantic has a must-read essay on what specific responsibility Trump and those in his administration may bear for the delusions that pushed the assailant to murder Jews.)

Washington Post:

Rep. Steve King met with members of a far-right Austrian party with historical Nazi ties during a European trip financed by a Holocaust memorial group.

In an interview with a website associated with the party, King (R-Iowa) declared that “Western civilization is on the decline,” spoke of the replacement of white Europeans by immigrants and criticized Hungarian American financier George Soros, who has backed liberal groups around the world.

King spoke to the Unzensuriert site Aug. 24 in Vienna, a day after concluding a five-day journey to Jewish and Holocaust historical sites in Poland, including the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. The trip, including airfare to and from Europe, was financed by From the Depths, an international nonprofit group that seeks to educate lawmakers about the Holocaust.

Unzensuriert, which translates as “Uncensored,” is a publication associated with Austria’s Freedom Party, which was founded by a former Nazi SS officer and is now led by Heinz-Christian Strache, who was active in neo-Nazi circles as a youth. While the party has distanced itself from those connections, it recently embraced a hard-line anti-immigration stance while seeking ties with other far-right parties and leaders abroad.

The Hill:

GOP Rep. Steve King (Iowa) on Saturday defended his association with a Nazi-linked group in Austria, telling The Washington Post that the group is “far right.”

He made the comments about Austria’s Freedom Party, a group founded by a former Nazi SS officer and whose current leader was active in neo-Nazi circles, according to the paper.

“If they were in America pushing the platform that they push, they would be Republicans,” King, who is known for his inflammatory statements about immigration, told the Post.

King made comments lamenting the “decline” of Western civilization due to immigration in an August interview with Austria’s Freedom Party, according to the Post, asking: “What does this diversity bring that we don’t already have?”

His comments to the Post came after 11 worshippers were killed in a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, in what is the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history

Haaretz, Jerusalem:

The Republican Jewish Coalition called on Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida to acknowledge that his guest at Donald Trump‘s State of the Union speech is a Holocaust denier.

In a BuzzFeed News profile of Gaetz, the Republican congressman said that “Chuck Johnson is not a Holocaust denier and he’s not an anti-Semite. He’s a provoker, I should’ve vetted him better before inviting him to the State of the Union, I regret that I didn’t. That’s my fault. I take responsibility for it. But he is not a Holocaust denier.”

Gaetz invited Johnson to attend the State of the Union after his father fell ill and he had an extra ticket. Johnson had visited Gaetz’s office the morning of the address and angled for the ticket. The congressman said he thought Johnson seemed “polite.”

“This organization is deeply troubled by the comments from Charles C. Johnson, and it is incredibly important for the congressman to acknowledge he is a Holocaust denier and has extensive writings that attest to that and that it was wrong to bring him to the State of the Union,” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks told BuzzFeed in a statement. “We are deeply troubled by any inference that our organization believes otherwise.”

Johnson denied the Holocaust in an “Ask Reddit” session from January 2017. Asked about the “Jewish Question” and the Holocaust, Johnson replied, “I do not and never have believed the 6 million figure. I think the Red Cross numbers of 250,000 dead in the camps from typhus are more realistic.”

Mother Jones:

A Republican congressman who earlier this year got into trouble for hobnobbing with an accused Holocaust denier held a small fundraiser this summer, and the attendees included, yes, the very same alleged Holocaust denier. Also at the event was another GOP congressman who, too, had previously been criticized for associating with this fellow.

In January, Rep. Matt Gaetz, a conservative Republican firebrand from Florida, invited right-wing troll Charles C. Johnson to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech. Johnson, a notorious social media figure accused of being a white nationalist, had been permanently banned from Twitter for declaring that he wanted to “take out” a leader of Black Lives Matter. And in early 2017, Johnson had come under fire for denying the Holocaust. During an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit’s alt-right section, Johnson had been queried, “what are your thoughts on the Holocaust, WW2, and the JQ in general?” (“JQ” is neo-Nazi shorthand for the Jewish Question.) Johnson replied, “I do not and never have believed the six million figure. I think the Red Cross numbers of 250,000 dead in the camps from typhus are more realistic. I think the Allied bombing of Germany was a ware [sic] crime. I agree…about Auschwitz and the gas chambers not being real.”

Among the targets of a mail bomb campaign last week were George Soros, and Tom Steyer, well known philanthropists for progressive causes, who are frequently the targets of Republican and right-wing anti-semitic dog-whistling attacks.

Max Boot in the Washington Post:

After a “lone wolf” Islamist militant attack, the media invariably ask: What inspired him to kill? Usually the answer is found in Islamist militant propaganda. We need to ask the same question about right-wing terrorism. What inspired Cesar Sayoc to allegedly send mail bombs to prominent liberals? What inspired Robert Bowers to allegedly gun down 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue? What inspired Gregory Bush to allegedly kill two African Americans in Jeffersontown, Ky., after failing to enter a predominantly black church?

To ask these questions in no way obviates the perpetrators’ ultimate responsibility for the evil that they do. But terrorists do not operate in a vacuum. So who created the environment in which right-wing terrorism has become far more commonplace — and, since 9/11, far more deadly — than Islamist terrorism in America?

President Trump — by championing “nationalism,” denouncing “globalists” such as Jewish financier George Soros, vilifying immigrants as “snakes” and “animals,” fearmongering about a refugee caravan and defending white supremacists as “fine people” — bears a substantial share of the blame.

Business Insider:

In light of a wave of high-profile hate threats and attacks, President Donald Trump has been widely criticized in the media for stoking conspiracy theories and false narratives among the conservative fringe.

Now, a poll from the Public Religion Research Institute released Monday suggests that most Americans agree that Trump has “encouraged white supremacist groups” with his decisions and behavior.

The poll, which surveyed 2,509 adults from all 50 states through online surveys and live telephone interviews between September 17 and October 1, found that 54% of participants believed that Trump’s decisions and behavior have encouraged white supremacist groups, and 69% of participants said that Trump has “damaged the dignity of the presidency.”

The poll, while taking place before the more recent threats and attacks, suggests that even before the shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh and bomb threats sent to Trump critics, much of the public believed the narrative that Trump has played a roll in stoking hate.



While most political candidates can count on the unwavering support of their family members, two of the three children of Missouri Republican Steve West have a message for voters in the state’s 15th House District: Don’t vote for our dad.

“I can’t imagine him being in any level of government,” Steve West’s daughter Emily told The Kansas City Star. “He’s made multiple comments that are racist and homophobic and how he doesn’t like the Jews.”

Steve West’s son, Andy, contacted the paper on Tuesday with a similar message about his “fanatic” father.

“He must be stopped,” Andy West said. “His ideology is pure hatred.”

In a 30-minute phone conversation with NBC News on Wednesday evening, Steve West rebutted the claims made by his children.

“I’m not anti-Semitic,” he said. “I have no racism at all, and I’m not a homophobic.”

West blamed his fraught relationship with his children on his ex-wife, who he said “poisoned” them during an “extremely toxic divorce.”

Despite his assertions that he’s not a bigot, however, West has not been shy about voicing his extreme views. After West’s landslide victory in August’s GOP primary, The Star compiled a long list of offensive comments he made on his radio show, YouTube channel and website.

Regarding the LGBTQ community, West has said homosexuality and pedophilia are “absolutely linked,” and he called women’s athletics a “haven and breeding ground for lesbianism.”

When asked about these comments by NBC News, West doubled down on his claims, recalling a story about a heterosexual young woman who abandoned her college scholarship after being outnumbered by lesbians in the women’s locker room. He also claimed that homosexuality and pedophilia indeed “go hand in hand.”

“The homosexual world, they are by much greater percent predators — especially when it comes to boys,” he said. When asked for evidence to back these claims, he said to look up the work of Milo Yiannopoulos, a conservative gay provocateur who was fired from Breitbart after video was uncovered of him making sympathetic comments about child-adult sexual relationships.

2 Responses to “Say it: Climate Deniers. And Yes, it Has Implications.”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    There is a relevant term in today’s political climate: stochastic terrorism

    The use of mass, public communication, usually against a particular individual or group, which incites or inspires acts of terrorism which are statistically probable but happen seemingly at random.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      In more colorful and understandable language:

      2017, Clayton Delery, Out for Queer Blood:

      All of this fits with what the anonymous blogger G2G had to say in his expanded definition of stochastic terrorism:

      “you heat up the waters and stir the pot, knowing full well that sooner or later a lone wolf will pop up and do the deed. The fact that it will happen is as predictable as the fact that a heated pot of water will eventually boil. But the exact time and place of each incident will remain as random as the appearance of the first bubbles in the boiling pot.”

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