Wednesday, January 28, 2004

The Nerve of George Soros

Via TPM: James Glassman in The American Enterprise lights into George Soros for wanting to get Bush out of office.

The Soros Threat

George Soros, the 38th richest person in the world according to Forbes, says that defeating President George W. Bush in 2004 is “the central focus of my life.” In an eye-popping interview recently with the Washington Post, he argued that “America under Bush is a danger to the world.”

“When I hear Bush say, ‘You’re either with us or against us,’ it reminds me of the Germans.” It evokes memories, he says, of the Nazi rhetoric of his childhood in Hungary.

This wild antipathy toward the President is making Soros–who earned his $7 billion as a hedge-fund buccaneer–the single biggest funder of efforts to get Bush out of the White House. The Post figures he has spent over $15 million so far, and he is ready to give more. The 2004 Presidential race, he told the Post, is “a matter of life and death.”

Glassman goes on in a somewhat breathless yet condescending tone, questioning Soros’s sanity by second-hand, quoting Robert Samuelson from Newsweek who once labeled Soros a “crackpot.” He concludes with this caveat:

Let me be clear: Soros earned his money, and he can spend it on whatever he wants. What concerns me is the monstrous hatred Soros has developed toward the President of the United States–hatred shared by others in his social circle.

My guess is that the $15 million Soros has spent is just the beginning. Most voters are blessedly immune to dumb arguments even when they are well-funded. Nevertheless, it would be foolish to take Soros lightly. He is emerging as a great threat not just to the re-election of George Bush, but to our truly open society as well.

So let me get this right: Soros is a threat to our “truly open society” because he supports the Democrats, but Richard Mellon Scaife, Rupert Murdoch, and Roger Ailes are not because they support the Republicans. The fact that Scaife, Murdoch, and Ailes actively worked to undermine the Clinton Administration is irrelevant because they had a higher calling, right?

Sometimes it just makes me sad to see that irony is dying and no one seems to notice.