ebyEven mainstream business leaders buy into overheated TEA Party rhetoric when it comes to President Barack Obama.

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John Eby: Malice in Wonderland and hope versus nope

Published 6:22pm Sunday, August 29, 2010

Last month the chairman of Blackstone told Newsweek that raising taxes on private equity firms smacks of Nazi tactics. “It’s war, like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.”

This month in an editorial for his magazine, Steve Forbes calls the Obama administration “hostile and ignorant.”

“The truth is, not even the Franklin Roosevelt administration was as hostile to and ignorant of free enterprise as this administration,” Forbes wrote.

Then Forbes felt compelled to take it a step further: “One hesitates to bring up the economics of Benito Mussolini and his ilk because fascism means ugly nationalism and racism, as well as mass murder and aggressive war.”

So much for the restraint of hesitation. It’s clear Wall Street is blinded by wanting this administration to fail at any cost.

Obama played by the American rules of studying hard in great schools and is by all accounts a good husband and father and has spoken eloquently about patriotism, only to have self-appointed Glenn Beck trash him as racist.

The Commerce Department issued a revised second-quarter report for gross domestic product that shows sharp drops in growth, stoking fears of another recession just in time for the midterm elections.

How convenient. The very people who brought about our economic collapse are criticizing the president.

Some commentators have been heard suggesting the government needs someone from Goldman Sachs who knows their way around business.

Never mind that they and their ilk plunged this country into the greatest recession since the Great Depression.

Talk about Malice in Wonderland.

Where is the White House anger? Not that the president is being criticized, but at the venomous tenor of the rhetoric.

Reasonable independent voters, looking at the TEA Party, the birthers, the folks who want to dump the 14th Amendment and the 25 percent who insist Obama is a Muslim.

Hey, amnesiacs, let’s turn the reins of government back to the Party of No.

Yet a Newsweek poll shows numbers dead even when voters are asked if they will vote Democrat or Republican.

Republicans are already salivating about flooding the place with subpoenas and making the animosity directed at Bill Clinton in 1998 look like tee ball.

Investigations will replace legislation.

Nobody can remember successful CEOs at this level resorting to such disgraceful rhetoric in a country founded on decency and fundamental fairness.

Conservatives built a $400 million war chest to seize back control of Congress.

Obama said Aug. 21, “You’d think that reducing corporate and even foreign influence over our elections wouldn’t be a partisan issue, but the Republican leaders in Congress said no. In fact, they used their power to block the issue from even coming up for a vote. This can only mean that the leaders from the other party want to keep the public in the dark. They don’t want you to know which interests are paying for the ads.”

We can’t say Republicans are bereft of ideas.

Wis. Rep. Paul Ryan, 40, crafted an 87-page, 75-year plan, Roadmap for America’s Future, spelling out what the U.S. must do to cut federal spending and chip at our $13 trillion debt, but most of his GOP colleagues remain content to smother hope with nope.

He proposes semi-privatizing Social Security by allowing younger workers to divert part of their payments to individual accounts they could access at retirement.

Ryan suggests abolishing Medicare and replacing it with vouchers for private insurers. He proposes capping total spending and freezing non-defense discretionary spending, though he leaves defense spending unscathed.

Only 13 GOP House members endorse Ryan’s plan.

House minority leader John “Tan Man” Boehner from Ohio, says parts are done well, but others “I’ve got some doubts about.”

Liberal economist Paul Krugman in the New York Times wrote Ryan, who has a degree in economics as well as political science, is “serving up leftovers from the 1990s drenched in flimflam sauce.”

Boehner’s opponent plays up the fact he voted against a tax cut to help Ohio businesses buy equipment, a tax cut for auto sales to help rescue Ohio’s car industry and a tax cut for Ohio’s unemployed workers, but supported tax relief for millionaires that added $700 billion to the deficit but won’t create jobs.

Billboards play up Boehner’s 119 golf outings and his foe dubs him, “The most coin-operated politician in Washington. He couldn’t be further out of teach with the working middle class. His top contributors are the health industry, the pharmaceuticals industry, big oil, big tobacco. About 60 percent of his money comes out of (District 8) from big corporations and the super rich.”

Ryan is refreshing when he says in Time, “The deficit — that’s the hardest problem we have, and that’s why I’m working on it” while his colleagues hear only pollsters.

Remember back in 1993 when Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush rallied around Bill Clinton to back the North American Free Trade Agreement when it looked like NAFTA was going off the rails?

The silence of former chief executives on the Ground Zero Islamic center is deafening. One of George W. Bush’s finest moments was when he stood with Muslims after 9/11.

In fair and balanced news, Fox ignores that Ken Mehlman, the Republican operative who in 2004 ran the GOP anti-gay playbook, comes out as gay.

Hypocritical or ironic. You decide.

Beck, who July 29, 2009, claimed Obama has a “deep-seated hatred for white people … This guy is, I believe, a racist,” stands on the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial and compares himself to Martin Luther King in a non-partisan way.

Quite a contrast between the latter’s eloquent, inspirational words and the former’s mean-spirited ranting and time-traveling hatred that remains angry about Woodrow Wilson, though he certainly reflects a mood about the vanished American dream.

We’re supposed to believe that a history buff didn’t have Aug. 28, 1963, on his chalkboard when this opportunist scheduled this rally.

He and those he shares his Foxhole with are always on the offense, scheming up new ways to stir the pot in favor of their narrative to frighten paranoid white people.

Does a right-wing talking head like Beck distort MLK’s dream for America?

Seventy-seven percent said yes in a survey on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show.”

Chris Matthews reports Beck compares himself to the moon landing, Dowagiac and Niles visitor Rosa Parks and the Wright brothers.

“We have to do our part to make sure it backfires,” a Democratic Maryland congressman said on “Hardball.”

Matthews pointed out to a Democratic Florida congresswoman that if President Bush “had gotten his way,” privatized Social Security and tied it to the stock market, “100 percent of your constituents would be Democrats because they’d be looking at their Social Security checks based on the Dow Jones shriveled to nothing. If Bush had won, the Democrats, ironically, would be better off politically because older voters would say, ‘I can’t trust Republicans with my money.’ ”

According to the AARP, 37 percent of people ages 60 to 65 depend on Social Security for 50 percent or more of their income.

By 80, savings nest eggs are depleted and citizens are even more dependent on those monthly checks, yet the Tan Man is still talking about privatizing Social Security.

John Eby is Daily News managing editor. E-mail him at john.eby@leaderpub.com.

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