Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Monday, April 6th, 2009.

Insanity Unleashed


Kevin Drum writes that the crazy Right is getting crazier.

A sense of besiegement has been the right’s stock in trade for as long as I’ve been alive.

But there is something different about their tone these days, and I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what it is. My tentative take is that there’s an inchoate quality to their fears that’s new.

See also “Scenes from the Real America” at the Washington Independent.

I don’t know that the wingnuts are any more “inchoate” than they’ve ever been. I don’t know that their problem is that they don’t have an enemy. I mean, who was their enemy in the 1990s? Bill Clinton, black helicopters, and the phantom liberal elite. Now they’ve got Barack Obama, Muslims, and the phantom liberal elite. What’s the diff?

Are they less sensible now than in their glory days when they stampeded us into Iraq or went after Dan Rather like a pack of rabid wolves? Yet there is a difference, as Gary Kamiya says.

With the collapse of the GOP into the party of Rush Limbaugh, and as Limbaugh and his ilk grow ever more reckless in their attacks on Obama, the boundaries between “respectable” right-wing paranoid hatred and “extreme” right-wing paranoid hatred are getting more blurred. Right-wing fanatic du jour Glenn Beck teased his recent Fox show with images of Hitler, Stalin and Lenin and said that he was wrong to say that Obama was leading America to socialism — because Obama is actually a fascist. “They’re marching us towards 1984,” Beck intoned. “Big Brother, he’s watching.”

I think the real difference is that, deep down, they know they’ve lost. They can’t admit it to themselves. They are still blustering as if they represent mainstream America. They still pretend to themselves the majority of Americans give a bleep what they think.

But the truth is, the majority of Americans don’t give a bleep what they think. They’re jokes.

President Obama is popular. Legislation gets passed without conservative votes. The nation is not in shock and awe of, or even paying attention to, their “tea parties.”

Remember back in January, when the stimulus bill passed in the House with no Republicans votes? For a time House Republicans seemed actually proud of themselves for standing together. Then they noticed nobody but them cared how they voted.

They threaten to “go Galt.” America says fine; go right ahead. Don’t let the door hit your butt on your way out.

This is the real danger. They still have the sense of besiegement, but before 2006 they felt they had power, and that they represented the mainstream. Now about all they have is paranoia and guns.

Watch your back.

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Bob Dylan

entertainment and popular culture

Dylan never ceases to be interesting.

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