Perhaps this is all a case of “Great Minds Think Alike”.   But is looks to me like some part of the famed Democrat Party astroturf machine — Axelrod,, who knows — has ginned up an op-ed campaign designed to attack the Tea Party movement via a hoary smear against Friedrich Hayek and an equally bogus “refutation” of that fraudulent smear.  Below are some examples.  Read each of the letters to get full sense of the shared talk points memo behind them.

Joseph Steinman in The Florida Times-Union:

“With the tea party getting increasing attention, perhaps it’s time for a closer examination of just what it stands for .. Friedrich Hayek, the well-known Austrian economist and philosopher, is often cited by the movement’s followers for his argument that a government that intervenes in the economy will inevitably intervene in every aspect of its citizen’s lives.”

Ron Carrico in The San Diego Daily Transcript:

“The conservative right, lately led by Glenn Beck, has advocated the hands off/low tax economic theories of the 1800s and early 1900s, asking for a return to “fiscal conservatism” of Adam Smith and the individualism of novelist Ayn Rand .. Recently, Mr. Beck has advocated views of Claude Bastiat (1801-1850) .. Mr. Beck also refers to Friedrich Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” (1944), which argued that a government that intervenes in the economy will inevitably intervene in every aspect of its citizens’ lives.”

David Woolhiser in The Coloradoan:

“I have been mystified by tea party statements claiming that President Barack Obama is a “tyrant” leading the country to socialism equivalent to that of Nazi Germany or to communism. Then I read the 1944 book “Road to Surfdom,” by Friedrich Hayek — recently praised by Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.  Hayek was concerned about government programs in Europe and the United States that were leading to increased government involvement in markets and his thesis was that these programs would inevitably lead to communist or socialist dictatorships.”

At least part of the original astroturf memo seems to be taken directly from this NY Times article.  I’m guessing the confused “Surfdom” mistake was Mr. Woolhiser’s original blunder.  Although it would be funny if the “Road to Surfdom” meme began to show up in newspapers around the country …

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