After calling Michelle Malkin’s book Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild “accurate and disturbing,” Young acknowledges that righties can get a little unhinged sometimes, too. Then she mentions Dave:
Dave Neiwert, a Seattle-based author and award-winning freelance journalist, has posted a rebuttal to Malkin on his website at dneiwert.blogspot.com. Neiwert documents a lot of nastiness on the right, including physical as well as verbal assaults. For every left-wing ”Kill Bush” T-shirt, he notes, there’s a right-wing ”Liberal hunting permit” bumper sticker.
I’ve never seen a “Kill Bush” T-shirt. Per Dave, this claim comes from Malkin. I’ll take her word for it that somebody has such a T-shirt for sale, but we don’t know if anyone bought them. Impeach Bush, on the other hand …
But this anecdotes illustrates another point that Young misses: Righties demonize liberalism far more broadly, and generally, than lefties demonize conservatism; see this old post for discussion and this post for an illuminating comparison of rightie and leftie book titles. Briefly, I argue that righties define liberalism in more broad-brush, demonic terms than lefties define conservatism. Although there is copious and robust snarking going both ways, I find it’s easier to find condemnations for liberalism itself on the Right Blogosphere than it is to find condemnations for conservatism itself on the Left Blogosphere. As I wrote earlier, “when liberals attack conservatives, liberals tend to be person- or issue-specific, and give reasons — This guy is a jerk because he did thus-and-so. This policy stinks because it’s going to have such-and-such effect.”
Comparing “shoot liberals” to “shoot Bush” illustrates my point. But let’s go on …
Neiwert makes a lot of excellent points, but unfortunately he can’t resist the temptation of arguing that right-wing nastiness is worse than the left-wing kind.
For instance, Neiwert argues that a number of leading conservative figures have employed rhetoric about rounding up the opposition. (Here’s Limbaugh again: ”Wouldn’t it be great if anybody who speaks out against this country, to kick them out of the country? . . . We’d get rid of Michael Moore, we’d get rid of half the Democratic Party. . .”) Such talk, Neiwert claims, has no real counterpart on the left. But was it much better when Garrison Keillor, who has an audience of nearly 4 million on National Public Radio, suggested taking the vote away from born-again Christians shortly after the 2004 election? Yes, it’s all in jest, but this is joking of a very poisonous kind.
I got news for you, honey lamb; the righties ain’t jokin‘. And notice we’re comparing violence (“kick them out of the country”) to non-violence (“taking away the vote”). I mean, we’re comparing raving mad, foaming-at-the-mouth Limbaugh to the courtly and often soporific Keillor, for pity’s sake. Give me a break.
Now we have another example. The LGF’ers are calling for James Wolcott’s decapitation. Yeah, beheading jokes are always knee-slappers.
The catalyst for this impromptu rally was my clinical diagnosis of Daniel Pipes as “a patronizing little shit,” which seemed to displease the footballers, not that any of them bothered to acquaint themselves with the causus belli (Pipes’ pipsqueak character smear of Muhammed Ali). Then again, the poor dears don’t seem to know the difference between an ocelot and an ocicat, another indictment of the limitations of home schooling.
This one sentence amid all that writhing distemper leapt out at me:
“May he [i.e., me] be kidnapped by ‘insurgents’ in Iraq then appear on an ugly net broadcast. I wonder, if in the moment before the knife started sawing into his fleashy neck if he might rethink his opinions on the GWOT.”
He later corrected the spelling to “fleshy,” lest anyone think I possess a flashy neck.
Y’know, I have called a lot of people names on this blog. I call them weenies and idiots and whackjobs. I describe their mental and educational limitations in colorful terms. But I honestly do not believe I have ever wished physical harm on anyone. And this goes for the many other liberal bloggers whose work I follow.
Our James W. continues,
More and more the rightwing militant “anti-idiotarians” (as they deludedly think of themselves)have been relishing the prospect of antiwar figures undergoing the Daniel Pearl treatment. They keep bringing it up as the retribution that’ll deliver certain choice heads on a platter. In a sick irony, Daniel Pearl’s marytrdom has provided a negative inspiration to certain super patriots professing to fight for truth, justice, and the American way.
For example, Anna Benson, the bodacious wife of a Mets pitcher, recently burst her bodice giving full lusty cry to an aria painting the glorious prospect of Michael Moore’s neck being used as a log.
“You are a selfish, pathetic excuse for an American, and you can take your big fat ass over to Iraq and get your pig head cut off and stuck on a pig pole. Then, you can have your equally as fat wife make a documentary about how loudly you squealed while terrorists were cutting through all the blubber and chins to get that 40 pound head off of you.”
And just this morning, the day after Christmas and the second day of Hannukah, blogdom’s zestiest Zionist party girl elevated the discourse by dismissing the concerns of legal scholars perturbed about Bush’s domestic spying thusly:
“Someone ought to tlell those legal scholars not to worry…….it’s smooth sailing once those Radical Islmonazis saw through their jugulars.”
(Her excitable italics.)
I assume her excitable spelling, too. But, for the record, I don’t find jokes about sawing through jugulars all that amusing.
I am not going to claim that no leftie ever wished physical harm, or death, or beheading, on a rightie. But it is a whole lot less common. And Mr. Wolcott knows why:
When rightwing bloggers and posters conjure that under Islam, Democrats–which they’ve come to call dhimmicrats–will get what’s coming to them (i.e., the business end of a butcher’s blade), it’s as if it’s a horrible fate that couldn’t possibly happen to them*–because it’s a death wish directed outward. The Islamic terrorists serve as proxies and stand-ins in this imaginary theater of cruelty, enacting what they (the warbloggers) would like to mete out to us (their domestic adversaries). …
…(*as another LGF poster put it: “Funny thing, the liberal mindset: expend all energy on phantom ‘enemys’, meanwhile the real enemy pounds at the fucking gate, ready to chop off their heads.” Note: “their,” not “our.” LGF’ers have a touching faith in the undetachablility of their own heads under the grisly Islamofascism they spend so many hours daydreaming about.)[emphasis added]
I think it’s often the case that the things people say they are afraid of are actually what they wish for. Survivalists are a good example; they are often people who feel marginalized or intimidated by the society they live in, so they hope for a day when that society is wiped out. Today’s Right Wing might be defined as a selective survivalist cult. They don’t want the entire society to be wiped out, just the liberal parts. And they aren’t joking.