Podesta Compares Tea Party Republicans to Cult Members, Forgets Leader Was Socialist Nut Job — Updated
John Podesta was called in to save the Obama White House.
One of the first things he did was malign Republicans as glassy-eyed, suicidal followers who would drink the poison kool-aid:
According to interviews in recent weeks with an array of Obama insiders and a dozen current and former senior aides, Podesta’s hire is explicitly meant to shake things up inside the White House. In effect, I was told, it represents the clearest sign to date of the administration’s interest in shifting the paradigm of Obama’s presidency through the forceful, unapologetic and occasionally provocative application of White House power. Podesta, whose official mandate includes enforcement of numerous executive orders on emissions and the environment, suggested as much when he spoke with me earlier this fall about Obama’s team. “They need to focus on executive action given that they are facing a second term against a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress,” he told me.
He’s apologized for that, but it’s a glimpse of what’s to come. Consider this: Team Obama’s been playing with kid gloves on up until now.
Regarding the comparison, Podesta forgot one thing. Jonestown was the informal name for the “Peoples Temple Agricultural Project. It was a communist commune in Guyanacreated by the followers of Jim Jones.
He was a power player for Democrats when he was in America.
John Fund remembers:
I was living in San Francisco during the period when Jim Jones was a Democratic power broker, known for his ability to deliver thousands of votes. I recall that in 1976, Assemblyman Willie Brown, later the longtime speaker of that body, compared Jones to Martin Luther King, Angela Davis, Albert Einstein, and Chairman Mao in an introduction. That same year, Walter Mondale, Jimmy Carter’s vice-presidential candidate, met personally with Jones. So did Jimmy Carter’s wife, Rosalynn. Among dozens of accolades from leading Democrats that Jones collected was this one from Joseph Califano, who was secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under Jimmy Carter: “Knowing your commitment and compassion, your interest in protecting individual liberty and freedom have made an outstanding contribution to furthering the cause of human dignity.”
Jones basked in the glow of praise his People’s Temple garnered from gullible politicians, and San Francisco mayor George Moscone, later tragically assassinated in 1978, even appointed him to San Francisco’s housing commission. Jones had been responsible for an incredible vote-harvesting operation that may have made the difference in Moscone’s narrow 4,000-vote victory over conservative John Barbagelata in 1975.
Podesta attempted to tie the Tea Party to a product of the left. All he’s done is given us another opportunity to educate people on his ideology’s history of tragedy.
Newsbusters wrote about this too:
San Francisco Mayor George Moscone appointed him to the city’s housing authority. Willie Brown, who later served as Speaker of the California Assembly, in a 1976 introduction compared Jones to Martin Luther King, Angela Davis, Albert Einstein and Chairman Mao, according to one observer.
That same year Senator Walter Mondale, later elected vice president, invited Jones to meet with him on his campaign plane. The People’s Temple chief also had a personal meeting with Jimmy Carter’s wife, Rosalynn.
When Jones moved his operation to Guyana, he brought with him written accolades from liberal Democrats.
Wrote Walter Mondale: “Knowing of your congregation’s deep involvement in the major social and constitutional issues of our country is a great inspiration to me.”
Alaska Senator Mike Gravel thought the People’s Temple “was almost too good to be true.” California Congressman Don Edwards expressed the wish that “there were more like the people of the People’s Temple Christian Church.”
Joseph Califano, an official in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and secretary of health, education and welfare for Jimmy Carter wrote Jones: “Knowing your commitment and compassion, your interest in protecting individual liberty and freedom have made an outstanding contribution to furthering the cause of human dignity.”
Former Vice President Hubert Humphrey said that Jones’ work “is testimony to the positive and truly Christian approach to dealing with the myriad problems confronting our society today.”