Reading right-wing political blogs is, for me – as is squashing competition for L.L. Cool J – my hobby and job. Usually it's pretty entertaining; I've reached the point where I can, if nothing else, appreciate it for its absurdity and enjoy basking in the dumbness of the self-nominated superior. But this week, I have to admit, it's been a bit of a drag.
The week started badly, with respected intellectual Dennis Prager making the argument that "name-rape" – his phrase for slander, which is, after all, people saying mean things about you – is not only as bad as rape-rape (that is, being violently coerced into sexual intercourse), but in fact is actually worse. Citing such sterling figures as Raymond Donovan and Clarence Thomas, Prager argued that having your reputation muddied, unlike being forcibly sodomized, is a pain that never stops. (Both Mr. Donovan and Mr. Thomas seem to be doing all right for themselves, but this doesn't impede Prager's argument one bit.) Other right-wingers (most notably Dan Riehl) picked up the gauntlet thrown down by Prager, and went on to say that one can "get over" being raped, but one can never really recover from having someone say something about you that isn't provably true.
(None of this, by the way, should be construed to mean that right-wing conservatives don't care about rape. They care deeply, provided it is in one of the following contexts: a well-off white person being accused of it, or a Muslim committing it.)
Then, Riehl follows up this moment of glory by posting about Jessie Davis, a white woman murdered by her black boyfriend, who was married to a person not named Jessie Davis. Riehl and the abovementioned Misha both wrote lengthy tirades to the effect that the victim (who was killed in front of her young child) essentially was asking for it by carrying on with a married man. Showing an admirable restraint, Emperor Misha waited until the very last paragraph of his post to compare Davis' situation to that of a scantily-clad woman walking around in "the ghetto" – such a woman, of course, should not be surprised when she inevitably gets raped, because really, she's got it coming. (Still, if Dennis Prager can be believed, rape victims get off lucky, because it could have been worse; someone could have said something about them that wasn't true.)
There's also been a big right-wing meme floating around that the United States would benefit greatly from developing what is referred to as a "warrior culture". This sounds just swell, because, after all, look at the unparalleled freedom, quality of life, and cultural advancements enjoyed by other cultures who have put aggressive militarism at the pinnacle of their pyramid of values.
Finally, yesterday, there was Ann Coulter. Ann, who will surely enjoy being 70 years old and looking back at the legacy she leaves behind, decided that the stench of freshly stirred shit was not nearly rank enough around her person, and suggested that it would be great if John Edwards was assassinated by terrorists. This provoked a phone call from Edwards' wife, who previously has had to listen to Ann call her husband a faggot and suggest that the two enjoy capitalizing on the tragic death of their son. (Ann's spirited defense: hey, I said that stuff a long time ago, except for the terror thing, which was yesterday, but STOP TRYING TO CENSOR ME!) It was a noble effort on Mrs. Edwards' part to attempt to shame Ann into behaving like a decent human being, but it was predicated on the assumption that Ann has a sense of shame, an assumption that has long since been negated by every single thing she does and says.
I intended to end this with a lengthy paragraph about how I think it would be great if someone gave Ann Coulter a beating with a sack full of baseballs, but I fear that it might come across as misogynist, thus mooting the point I was trying to make early on in this post. (By the way, here's another thing that Dennis Prager said in his name-rape post: the primary, most common and most harmful form of sexism is sexism against men.) So I'll just repeat: it's been a tough week.