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PostSubject: SATURNDAY NIGHT   Sat Nov 15, 2008 10:16 pm

What Doesn't Kill The Far-Right Only Makes Them Crazier


For the last eight years, we've observed Karl Rove's non-reality based
universe in which logic was entirely abandoned in lieu of whatever
reality the administration invented in order to serve its ridiculous
policies and to mask its glaring nincompoopery. Intellectually
dishonest at best -- destructive and criminal at worst.

This didn't end on Election Day.

Since their thumpin' last week, the far-right has pushed the crazy
to eleven and snapped the knob clean off -- an opening salvo of twisted
hackery portending an insane four-to-eight years of attacks on the
Obama administration. If the last seven days have been any indication,
the far-right is shaping up to make the 1990s seem quaint -- even
erudite by comparison. That which used to be your basic, off-the-shelf
intellectual dishonesty has grown into, as Digby pointed out recently, full-on intellectual violence.

Intellectual violence. While not a new term, it perfectly defines
what we're seeing now: accusations and smears that so severely confound
logic they literally attack -- violate -- reality and the human
intellect. It's like a berzerker dervish of argumentative elbows and
fists indiscriminately flailing around, thwacking anything in its
orbit, so much so that constructing a counterpoint is literally
painful, "Why the hell am I trying to debunk this?! Ow! My head. Aw
hell, I need a drink."

The "Impeach Obama" Facebook groups,
for example. No, I'm not making that up. They're real and there's a
constant variety of disgruntled far-right Republicans joining up every
day. And, to our total lack of surprise, they're not ashamed in the
slightest to post comments like this one:

<blockquote>"Damn dems stole the election like they always do. GOD
wanted McCain and Palin in the White House. That's why it's called THE
WHITE HOUSE."</blockquote>

Apart from being a racist, this "Impeach Obama" Facebook member is
clearly the most awesome pollster in the world if he was able to sample
God. I tried to submit a friend request just so I could ask him if he
perchance enlisted a room of undecided cherubim for a Frank Luntz dial
group.

Shortly after discovering this, I was talking with a colleague and
found myself instinctively trying to form a rational argument about why
the Facebook members were wrong. It began with the obvious: "He's not
even the president yet!" And then, after I segued into Article II and
the constitutional grounds for impeachment, I stopped myself. What
in name of Randall P. MacMurphy am I doing? Arguing against this crap
is like explaining to a meth tweaker that the shadow people aren't real.

That's when I decided that it'd be more fun to just infiltrate one of
the groups and post comments like, "The moon landing was staged!" and,
"Obama is a bionic -- just like his half-aunt! I have proof!"

Then on Monday, Michelle Malkin posted an item in which she referred to the president-elect as the "overlord-elect."
And on Tuesday, Congressman Paul Broun told the AP, "You have to
remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I'm not
comparing him to Adolf Hitler. What I'm saying is there is the
potential." Uh-huh. On the scale of probability, "Obama is a fascist
dictator" is about as likely as "Broun is a Jedi Master." But it
doesn't matter. Reality is irrelevant.

The obvious intention here is to cobble together an abuse of power
meme against President-elect Obama, despite President Bush and Vice
President Cheney having, you know, spent the last eight years
consolidating executive power, authorizing torture, suspending habeas
corpus, illegally invading sovereign nations, ignoring congressional
subpoenas and eavesdropping on American citizens.

Whoops. There I go again, talking about facts and treating the crazy like it's real.

But clearly the most egregious post-election trespass came to us
from John Hinderaker of Powerline. Some back story: following the
president-elect's lighthearted Nancy Reagan sťance remark, Michelle Malkin referred to Obama as a "classless jerk"
(unlike President George W. "Those Weapons Have to Be Around Here
Somewhere" Bush, of course). And she treated the sťance comment as if
it were part of an on-going pattern of ridiculous Obama gaffes and
bloopers.

Picking up on Malkin's lead, Hinderaker wrote this week:

<blockquote>Bush never gets sloppy when he is speaking publicly. He
chooses his words with care and precision, which is why his style
sometimes seems halting. In the eight years he has been President, it
is remarkable how few gaffes or verbal blunders he has committed. If
Obama doesn't raise his standards, he will exceed Bush's total before
he is inaugurated.</blockquote>

No, seriously. I didn't make that up. A popular member of the
far-right intertubes actually wrote that. On a public website. That
people go to and read. Every day.

Come on now. Fess up, Hinderaker, you can't seriously believe all
that. I mean, I didn't think it was possible, but you succeeded in
making Malkin's "classless jerk" remarks appear respectable -- even
reasonable -- by comparison. Fact: not only is the president-elect one
of the finest orators in modern political history, but he far exceeds
President Bush in terms of intellectualism and verbal discipline. In
other words, a Bush gaffe reveals an inherent lack of intellectual
curiosity and a general ineptitude when it comes to, well, talking. An
Obama gaffe is an isolated incident, exclusive of his ability to speak,
think and reason. Nothing more.

I can't believe I even have to write that down. But that's precisely
what makes these arguments so violent. They literally crush logical
reality, making it almost impossible to ignore.

In a perfect world, we probably shouldn't react or to take these
things too seriously, and yet we'd be making a huge mistake to ignore
them altogether -- or to underestimate their efficacy. After all,
there's Drudge who somehow remains a bridge between the far-right's
intellectual violence and the establishment press. As we've learned
throughout the last ten years, it only takes some persistent badgering
and a series of red "SHOCK!" headlines for the crazy to travel by
osmosis into the mainstream.

So we're in for many more years of insanity from the far-right.
They're not dead. They're not as irrelevant as they deserve to be. And
they certainly don't suffer from writer's block when it comes to
outlandish and illogical attacks and smears.

Put it this way, if President-elect Obama so much as takes a long
weekend off this August, you can bet that the far-right will crap their
cages about Obama being lazy and shiftless.

BobCesca.com

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-cesca/what-doesnt-kill-the-far_b_143398.html
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