George Soros demands apology from Dennis Hastert

After Hastert tried to smear Soros as being in the pocket of international drug cartels, Soros has written a letter demanding Hastert apologize. Read the letter, but don’t hold your breath waiting for Hastert’s response

Try to imagine this, the speaker of the house actually saying these words, in an interview with Chris Wallace:

HASTERT: You know, I don’t know where George Soros gets his money. I don’t know where — if it comes overseas or from drug groups or where it comes from. And I…

WALLACE: Excuse me?

HASTERT: Well, that’s what he’s been for a number years — George Soros has been for legalizing drugs in this country. So, I mean, he’s got a lot of ancillary interests out there.

WALLACE: You think he may be getting money from the drug cartel?

HASTERT: I’m saying I don’t know where groups — could be people who support this type of thing. I’m saying we don’t know. The fact is we don’t know where this money comes from.

It seems that just a few years ago this sort of thing would have sparked a tidal wave of outrage, on all sides. But in the Age of bush, it seems it’s okay; it’s just the way things are done. If you have to break some kneecaps for political advantage, it’s fine.

America under bush has become a very ugly place, a smaller and lesser country than it was only four years earlier. And it wasn’t 911 that changed everything — it was bush. This guttersnipe should never have been allowed anywhere near the White House. What a desecration.

______________

Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 10 Comments

Let’s see…it’s OK with you if Soros funds ads that says the President of the United States is the equivalent of a certain dictator that murdered millions of jews, and has repeated this viewpoint in numerous interviews, but if the House Speaker (that’s the house of representatives, not the White House) says he doesn’t know where Soros gets his money and suggests some of it might come from drug cartels, that’s a desecration?

I’d say Soros deserves a lot more than what he’s gotten so far.

September 1, 2004 @ 12:22 am | Comment

Boo, I won’t tolerate lying here. Soros never funded any such commercial, ever. An ad was submitted to a moveon.org contest with the Hitler comparison and was then deleted. It was a stupid mistake, but moveon.org has done many good things. They never ran any such ad, ever. I request you document your claims here. I am waiting. All eyes are on you.

September 1, 2004 @ 8:12 am | Comment

OK Richard,
You’re partially correct.

I made two assertions:
1. That Soros funded ads.

and…

2. That Soros has made these comparisons in public on his own.

I’ll deal with the second one first because it leads into the first:

Look at Soros’ Washington Post interview (November 11, page A3):

So, he tells a major newspaper that Bush’s America reminds him of Nazi Germany and then he donates millions of dollars to an organization that produces an ad that morphs Bush to Hitler. What does that tell you?

However, you’re correct that he didn’t fund that particular ad directly, just the organization that produced it and thought it was a great ad until it became clear that it wasn’t having the intended effect.

September 1, 2004 @ 9:09 am | Comment

Sorry, somehow my quote from the Washington Post got deleted for some reason. Here it is:
Soros’ Washington Post interview (November 11, page A3):

Soros believes that a “supremacist ideology” guides this White House. He hears echoes in its rhetoric of his childhood in occupied Hungary. “When I hear Bush say, ‘You’re either with us or against us,’ it reminds me of the Germans.” It conjures up memories, he said, of Nazi slogans on the walls, Der Feind Hort mit (“The enemy is listening”). “My experiences under Nazi and Soviet rule have sensitized me,” he said in a soft Hungarian accent.

September 1, 2004 @ 9:11 am | Comment

Boo, your quote from the Post (link to relevant article) does not make it clear that Soros believes Bush is the equivalent of Hitler, just that the rhetoric that the administration is using to fight the war on terror is the same. Unlike the MoveOn ad, this does not suggest that Bush is going to wake up tomorrow and start killing ethnic minorities, just that his policies are horribly misguided. Since Bush is a political leader (and last time I looked, America was a democratic state), this is a legitimate criticism.

Hastert, on the other hand, taking a page from the Michelle Malkin book of insinuation, claims that Soros’ money is tainted by drug cartels, an accusation that, as far as I know, Hastert has failed to back up with evidence.

When the expression of political opinions are conflated with unsupported accusations, that, Boo, is “a desecration.”

September 1, 2004 @ 10:10 am | Comment

Martey is exactly right. Soros is saying the repressive tactics of the bush administration remind him of his boyhood memories of the Nazis — that’s fine; it’s not outrageous. He is surely not in any way comparing bush to Hitler the mass murderer. He is not suggesting some fantastical scenario, as Hastert did. A real equivalent would be if Soros said it was likely that bush had participated in a lynching, or had commisserated with Osama bin Laden, some direct and outrageous and slanderous accusation based on nothing at all, and capable of inflicting a deep smear. Please think about it carefully.

September 1, 2004 @ 11:29 am | Comment

A real equivalent would be if Soros said it was likely that bush had participated in a lynching, or had commisserated with Osama bin Laden,

Wrong; that’s not equivalent at all unless Hastert said it was “likely”. You’re just playing semantics. The truth is, Soros and Hastert are guilty of slanderous innuendo. Both guttersnipes have committed the desecration of (gasp) underhanded partisanship.

Not to mention breathless hyperbole.

I hate election years. Even the movies are poisoned.

September 1, 2004 @ 9:56 pm | Comment

That’s a valid point Sam. But tell me, where have the Dems done anything that you can compare to what Hastert did?

September 1, 2004 @ 9:59 pm | Comment

You’re kidding, right? It’s as if you just this year found out that partisans say nasty, dishonest things about each other! Dems have a solid history of ugly, disgusting smears, too. An instance that comes to mind as one of the dirtiest campaign ads in history……

On June 7, 1998, in Texas, my father was killed. He was beaten, chained, and then dragged three miles to his death, all because he was black. So when Governor George Bush refused to support hate crimes legislation, it was like my father was killed all over again.

Really smelly, especially considering that Texas DID have hate crimes legislation and that both killers got the death penalty. Still not considered too low or dishonest or slanderous; to imply that the candidate somehow supported race murders.

And again on bad language; it’s still a completely silly issue: as silly when the press made hay over kerrie saying “fuck” as in Cheney’s case. If you’d ever heard LBJ in private, you’d need a shower afterwards.

September 1, 2004 @ 11:21 pm | Comment

I don’t want to over-parse this, but I really don’t think your example of a distraught man whose father was brutally murdered compares in any way, shape or form to the United States speaker of the house saying on national television that he believes George Soros may be connected to international drug cartels — and if he didn’t use those exact words, that is the exact impression Hastert wanted to leave with the viewers, to the astonishment of even his Fox interviewer. Our top political leaders are expected to be a bit more responsible, a bit more sane. A man who lost his father to a hate crime can be excused his excesses, at least to some extent; he is not speaking for the Democratic Party (indeed, I don’t even know if he’s a Democrat, and it sounds as though he’s no scholar of US law). Hastert has a different and higher responsibility. If he doesn’t, then US politics really has become a complete circus of zero truth and zero responsibility.

September 2, 2004 @ 7:52 am | Comment

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.