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Come Saturday Morning: Bachmann Fan Sez John McCain = Henri Petain

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Anyone who thought the extreme nutjob wing of the Republican Party would sit down and shut up once Mitt was anointed has now been disabused of that notion, as Scarecrow has already noted. It’s rather reminiscent of the attacks launched against John McCain, who like Romney was getting shelled by them no matter how hard to the right his panderings pulled.

In fact, McCain is still reviled by the right wing for the occasional sensible things he says and does, most notably his defense of the honorable and hardworking Huma Abedin. Abedin is one of adult toddler Michele Bachmann’s current rhetorical punching bags (Keith Ellison being another), and McCain rightly chastised Bachmann and fellow adult toddlers Lynn Westmoreland, Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert and Tom Rooney over this. As Ken Avidor notes, this sent Bachmann fan Walid Shoebat over the edge. On his website, Shoebat caps off a long and demented phillipic against the longtime Arizona senator thus: “John McCain is coming precariously close to a legacy similar to that of Henri-Philippe Petain, a French WWI hero who became a traitor in WWII when he conspired with the Nazis.”

So who in the world is Walid Shoebat? To judge from this AC360 profile, he’s yet another wingnut-welfare recipient working the terrorism grift, using a questionable résumé to get big bucks from gullible conservatives seeking to have their worst anti-Muslim prejudices reinforced:

Born in the West Bank, the son of an American mother, he says he was a Palestinian Liberation Organization terrorist in his youth who helped firebomb an Israeli bank in Bethlehem and spent time in an Israeli jail.

That billing helps him land speaking engagements like a May event in Rapid City — a forum put on by the state Office of Homeland Security, which paid Shoebat $5,000 for the appearance. He’s a darling on the church and university lecture circuit, with his speeches, books and video sales bringing in $500,000-plus in 2009, according to tax records.

“Being an ex-terrorist myself is to understand the mindset of a terrorist,” Shoebat told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.”

But CNN reporters in the United States, Israel and the Palestinian territories found no evidence that would support that biography. Neither Shoebat nor his business partner provided any proof of Shoebat’s involvement in terrorism, despite repeated requests.

CNN even went to Shoebat’s home town in Beit Sahour to interview his relatives and associates there, and they’re all essentially wondering why Shoebat is saying all this crazy nonsense. He’s about as much an Islamic terrorist as are TBogg’s beagles. He is, however, an honored fixture and useful idiot on the far-right rubber-chicken circuit.

Such are the most dedicated members of Michele Bachmann’s fan club, and of such are the members of the Republican base, which is why it’s pleasantly surprising to see John Boehner and former Bachmann presidential campaign manager Ed Rollins take her to task over the bigoted garbage she spews. I suspect they realize that her words could be hurting American security at home and abroad.

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