Thursday, June 22, 2006

Wingnut Ted: Digby posts an email from someone she calls 'Wingnut Ted'. On first reading I'm not convinced this isn't a troll or a joke from some clever kid. But most (including Digby) seem to take it as genuine.

If genuine, it is bizarre, and frightening. People have been completely brainwashed, believing nonsense, unaware that that is the case. It is a deep insight into the crisis of modern American politics. Progressives often argue that Ann Coulter should be ignored. I disagree. Coulter and her followers are a remarkable and important phenomenon that should be brought to the centre of discussion (and the ugliness identified with the Administration, if possible). The nearest thing we have in Australia would be Piers Akerman, Miranda Devine or Andrew Bolt, who I regard as paid propagandists, not journalists. They get their talking points from some rightwing thinktank (or Howard's press office) and off they go. Sometimes it is patently insincere (as well as hateful), such as when Akerman recently talked about 'man and dog' and 'man and goat' in reference to gay marriage on the ABC Insiders program. I dont believe Akerman (or Howard or Abbott for that matter) give two hoots about gays and gay marriage. They are simply working the political and propaganda advantage, no doubt influenced to some extent by the successful tactics of the US Republican party.

Digby's commenters, as usual, are as good as Digby:

boil: I don't get Ann Coulter's or Rush's shtick. Unfortunately I have lots of loved ones who do, and I'm always trying to understand. Their defenders say that they are not to to be taken literally, that they are satirists, humorists, etc. I don't get the joke. I also don't get how it is that Democrats hate America, when what Democrats are constantly fighting for is to uphold the Constitution. The America of the wingnutters seems to be divorced from the Constitution. It's some gung-ho far west ideal that has nothing to do with the laws that were meant to guarantee the freedom of American citizens. Government wiretapping without a warrant is against the law, yet to point that out is somehow un"American". Torture is against the law, yet to point that out is somehow to give comfort to the enemy. POinting out that criminals have rights that are spelled out in the Constitution is somehow to pander to pedophiles. I can see why rich pigs like Rush and Ann continue to shovel this shit, because hey profit from it, but what does it profit my Mom to toe the Repub line? She doesn't get any tax breaks, but boy she will not hesitate to call Russ Feingold a traitor. She claims to love America, but anyone who exercises their right to free speech at a Bush gathering deserves to go to jail. WTF?



For your sake, I am glad you do not understand it. Let me sum it up for you:

The new improved shiny Republican party of today believes America is a nation of men not laws. The "men" in this case is G.W. Bush and everyone who agrees absolutely with him and will toe the line no matter how absurd or ridiculous the policy may be.

That is: Bush = good.
Not Bush = bad.

Conservatism be damned, this is a cult of personality, an authoritarian and reactionary (and I might add spoiled and adolescent) personality at that. It is that simple.
I suspect that your loved who have these views also believe that men are inherently evil and cannot be trusted to do the right thing unsupervised. They are projecting their own weaknesses and faults onto everyone else. Too bad for them. Too bad for the rest of us too because unfortunately they are the people who keep theses bastards in power.

Alderaan: "Their defenders say that they are not to to be taken literally, that they are satirists, humorists, etc."

No, they are "kidding" the same way the racist guy in the office or around the dinner table is "kidding": not kidding at all, but he knows what he says is now socially unacceptable to the mainstream without pretending they don't really mean it.

[Bernard]: My view is that you have to call people on racism, hatespeech, fascism etc. It has to be not just socially, but also politically unacceptable, ie vocally condemned by both right and left. The right tactic was used orignally re Howard and Hanson, when Howard was called upon to publicly condemn her remarks. Howard of course, didnt condemn Hanson, but evaded the issue by talking about 'free speech', and ultimately profited enormously from Hanson. This is the distinguishing feature of his Prime Ministership. In time however, the right/conservatives must again condemn publicly and unequivocally the statement or exploitation of racist and fascist hatespeech.

Fencer X: The rightwing has mastered the art of simplification in it's debating tactics. They are capable of simplifying things so much that they no longer have any meaning, only emotional context - and I believe that is the point. They have taken Orwellian Doublespeak, used it to strip all meaning from many words in the English language and then replaced their meaning with emotional context. Everything they don't agree with can be lumped into a simple emotional category, "Bad/Scary/Dangerous." And since they have been so successful in removing rational thought from every day discussion in this country they are free to conflate anything that falls under the Bad/Scary/Dangerous emotional meme. This is what allows them to call Liberals terrorists and traitors, it allows them to say that Nazis and Communists are lionized by the ivory tower liberal elite, it empowers hate spewing, intellectually crippled serial liars like Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin and creates an enviornment completely hostile to rational discourse. Liberal arguments are automatically dismissed because we're the enemy, we hate America and we want the terrorists to win. So anything we say must be some subtle ploy to undermine America's will to fight those damn dirty Arab terrorists who want to destroy our American way of life (mom, apple pie and all). The villification of intellectuals only further complicates the matter. Informed discourse is seen as haughty, possibly subversive and probably manipulative.

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