Denier-Industrial-Complex Kooks (DICKs) scream: ‘Czar’ Browner is a ‘socialist’!

Another right-wing feeding frenzy, another opportunity to coin a new acronym [see “Diagnosing a victim of anti-science syndrome (ASS)“]. This was first published by the Wonk Room.

Drudge BrownerThe right wing has discovered that Carol Browner, President-elect Barack Obama’s new White House energy and environment adviser, was briefly a member of the Socialist International’s Commission for a Sustainable World Society. The commission first convened in November 2007 to “articulate from the world of progressive politics a way forward to address global environmental concerns, climate change and the issues of governance required to deal with these common challenges” at 10 Downing Street, hosted by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Leader of the British Labour Party.

The Socialist International is “the worldwide organisation of social democratic, socialist and labour parties” from Albania to Zimbabwe. Its members include the center-left New Democratic Party of Canada, the center-left Israeli Labor Party, and the ruling Labour Party in Great Britain. The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, founded by the U.S. government to support democracy in developing nations, works with Socialist International and other political parties “to help foster open, accountable and responsive political systems.”

Also, it has the word “Socialist” in its name. Not only that, the press is calling Carol Browner the “climate czar.” In a leap worthy of Stephen Colbert or Monty Python, the radical right wing is claiming these are signs that Barack Obama is going to transform the United States into a leftist dictatorship. The spread of this tale is interesting mostly as an examination of the interlocking web of conservative politics and corporate polluters:

January 2: Steven Milloy discovered Browner’s work with SI, emailing the bloggers at, run by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a right-wing anti-regulatory think tank. Steven Milloy is a one-man scientific denial industry, as publisher of, an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Cato Institute, and a columnist for and the New York Sun.

January 7: The story of Browner’s “utterly radical socialist agenda” reached the editorial pages of the DC and Baltimore Examiner last Wednesday. The Examiner newspapers are owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz, a right-wing evangelical Christian who built his father’s oil business into a far-ranging media, telecommunications, railroad, energy, and entertainment empire. He has served on the board of the American Petroleum Institute and founded the Discovery Institute, an intelligent-design think tank.

January 8: Newsbusters‘ Noel Sheppard reports that Browner is no longer listed as a member of the commission. Newsbusters is one of the many faces of the anti-regulatory media machine founded by Brent Bozell III (Business & Media Institute, Media Research Center). Bozell has also served on the board of the American Conservative Union. The National Review‘s resident global warming denier, Chris Horner, asks, “Hey, comrades, what’s to be ashamed of?!

January 9: By Friday, right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones called her a socialist agent for world government, as Steven Milloy asks about her “mysterious and Stalinist-like disappearance” from the SI website.

January 12: The Washington Times made Browner’s “socialist ties” its headline story today. The Times was founded by the Unification Church’s Sung Myung Moon, a right-wing evangelical religious leader who blames Jews for the Holocaust. From the Times the headline leapt to the Drudge Report, where Matt Drudge juxtaposed the story with headlines about extreme cold weather. Tipped off by the John Locke Foundation‘s Paul Chesser, the American Spectator calls the story “tremendously important” and “truly scary.” At the Heritage Foundation, Nick Loris (who previously equated the New Deal to Nazism) repeated Milloy’s bizarre mention of purges in Stalinist Russia. On his national radio show today, Glenn Beck used story to claim “almost everyone who does believe in global warming is a socialist.”

At, Republican lawyer Carol Platt Liebau reaches McCarthyite levels of rhetorical excess:

It’s just one more piece of proof that some elements in the environmentalist movement (and note: I said some, not all) are merely fronts for the some collectivist, totalitarian, statist impulses that have reared their ugly heads throughout the 20th century with such devastating results for so many.

That’s right, according to conservatives, Carol Browner’s meeting with the prime minister of Great Britain to discuss global warming is equivalent to the genocides of Stalin and Hitler. And it isn’t even January 20th yet.

Update: Bizarrely, Drudge and Newsbusters are also promoting a global warming denial story from the Russian web-based tabloid Pravda.

What do you expect from DICKs?

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8 Responses to Denier-Industrial-Complex Kooks (DICKs) scream: ‘Czar’ Browner is a ‘socialist’!

  1. johninoregon says:

    “Bizarrely, Drudge and Newsbusters are also promoting a global warming denial story from the Russian web-based tabloid Pravda.”

    And tellingly, neither Drudge nor NewsBusters apparently “did the Google” on the writer of the Pravda piece. If the had, they would have found that he’s an Oregon-based blogger who’s has also written that 9-11 was an inside job and expressed a a variety of alternative and leftist viewpoints that would make Drudge and NewsBusters fans blanch.

    But hey, why bother to check out a writer’s background and credibility? If he’s a global warming denier, that’s plenty good enough for this crowd.

  2. David B. Benson says:

    Its even less funny. :-(

  3. hapa says:

    “you’ll pry my baseless slander from my cold, dead hands”

  4. Joe, would you agree that the environmental community is lacking leadership? Stories like this tell me that our movement is badly lacking leadership at this point. As much as I admire the guy, Al Gore is simply not cutting it. He has alienated half the country. We need a leader who will show the average American that environmentalists aren’t socialists or hippies. We are patriotic, forward thinking people.

  5. Wes Rolley says:

    Of course the environmental community has leaders who are patriotic, forward thinking people. Nordhaus and Shellenberger would never be mistaken for socialists. Of course, they have also alienated their share of folks.

    Seriously, the problem is in the translation from ecological goals to political action. The legislation never matches the campaign speeches and compromise always favors those who have the power. To paraphrase my once upon a time Senator, Barry Goldwater “Moderation in the pursuit of ecological justice is no virtue.” (next sentence after his extremism in the defense of liberty comment).

    On the issues of climate, there can be no compromise or this world as we know it is done.

    Wes Rolley CoChair – EcoAction Committee, Green Party, US

  6. Kathy N says:

    I like the one about the metal earrings, but on a less serious note I equally liked the story about Palin discribed as a Grizzly Mom. Joe who is your choice to lead us in this time of silly McCarthyism types spouting off about Socialists trying to take over our goverment! AGAIN!! Didnt we hear all this garbage over and over from Kill a mother humping moose eight days of the week PALIN?? My main question when this crap rises to the surface of the cess pool is: What is the source of this abiding fear among conservatives that good for many is so bad?

  7. Lou Grinzo says:

    This issue of leadership is something I think about a lot in connection with my writing over on The Cost of Energy, particularly when I talk about the ongoing infowar between deniers and science.

    I think that there’s no way for anyone to lead on “our” side without getting Gored, for two reasons.

    First, the mass media is dumber than a sack of rocks on science issues, so they inevitably fall back on the tactic of covering their hindquarters via the “faux balance” move: This respected scientist says X, but this wackjob says otherwise, so there’s no consensus. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Second, the deniers have too much money and are too good at throwing garbage. We’re trying to convince the masses of a particular scientific truth, e.g. you have to take care of your teeth, while the deniers are running big-buck efforts telling people, “Who wants to do all that brushing? And flossing??? Here–have some candy and ignore those crazy people with the high-falutin’ degrees who are trying to run your life.” Hate that all you want, but the bottom line is that it plays very well with a lot of Americans who still cling to the rugged individualism/manifest destiny shtick, even in 2009.

    Sorry to sound so negative, but I honestly believe that in the US we’ve been reduced to trying to elect someone who sounds right-of-center and then hoping he or she switches gears once in office and actually (gasp!) listens to experts and does what’s in everyone’s long-term best interest.

  8. Jörg Haas says:

    By the way, also the German Social Democrats are members of the socialist international. German Chancellor Merkel is ruling in a coalition with them. And Spains ruling PSOE is also member of SI. From UK to Germany to Spain to Israel – according to the right wing probably all cruel totalitarian dictatorships. What a bad joke.