Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Remembering Paul Weyrich

Posted by Charles II on May 23, 2013

My post on how the right is seeking to attack the IRS for its questioning of anti-abortion groups which may have broken the law unearthed a Max Blumenthal article on Paul Weyrich:

In 2001, Weyrich circulated a commentary accusing Jews of murdering Jesus. When a conservative writer named Evan Gahr attacked Weyrich as a “demented anti-Semite,” he learned how powerful the conservative founding father truly was. In short order, neoconservative activist David Horowitz barred Gahr from writing for his FrontPageMag and forced him to apologize to Weyrich.

Obsessed with ideological purity, Weyrich homed his most vitriolic attacks on the Republican congressional leadership. David Grann’s classic profile of Weyrich as a “Robespierre of the Right,” published in 1997 in the New Republic, is probably the best window into Weyrich’s often destructive efforts to force the GOP to the hard right. “The problem with Gingrich,” Weyrich said of the House majority leader at the time, “is that he does not have any immutable principles that he would die for.” (Weyrich sued The New Republic for libel after it published Grann’s article, a suit that was dismissed.)

In 1996, Weyrich was diagnosed with a debilitating spinal injury. Five years later, the injury consigned him to a wheelchair. He spent the last years of his life in constant pain, and took heavy doses of painkillers. In 2004, after a bad fall, Weyrich’s legs were amputated. But he soldiered on, addressing conservative conferences and pumping out a steady flow of commentaries urging the Republicans to stay tethered to their right-wing base.

In September 2006, foreshadowing Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s notorious remarks about her congressional colleagues two years later, Weyrich called for an FBI investigation of reporters who harbor subversive attitudes and urged the resurrection of the House Un-American Affairs Committee.

Paul Weyrich was truly one of God’s weirder pieces of work.

3 Responses to “Remembering Paul Weyrich”

  1. This part of Blumenthal’s article just stopped me cold:

    In 2001, Weyrich circulated a commentary accusing Jews of murdering Jesus. When a conservative writer named Evan Gahr attacked Weyrich as a “demented anti-Semite,” he learned how powerful the conservative founding father truly was. In short order, neoconservative activist David Horowitz barred Gahr from writing for his FrontPageMag and forced him to apologize to Weyrich.

    David Horowitz, the guy who makes his money accusing anyone he doesn’t like of being anti-Semitic, not only ignores an actual anti-Semite in his ranks, but punishes the person who pointed out the anti-Semite’s anti-Semitic behavior.

    Think about that for a moment, and then consider whether his motives for turning right-wing were all that noble, or if self interest (the same self-interest that led him to rename his favorite front group “The David Horowitz Freedom Center”) was involved.

    • Charles II said

      That was definitely a line to remember.

      To me, it’s incredible that a man could go from editing Ramparts, which exposed so much of the evil of the right, to being a tool of that same right.

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