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The I Didn't Do It Gang

Having spent the last eight years collectively shitting themselves every time someone set off a cherry bomb in their vicinity, and then desperately looking around for someone with an Arabic-sounding name to blame it on, the right wing has become expert at politicizing violence. That's why it's so funny when they freak out whenever someone tries to do it to them.

Aside from the 9/11 attacks, there were no acts of terror on American soil lately that could be directly traced to Islamic fundamentalism; as a result, they had to really stretch in order to keep people scared of darkies. Thus the apolitical acts of lunatics got promoted to full-scale religious terrorism; events with no connection to terrorism were treated with extreme suspicion, and even the long-since-disproved rumor that right-wing militiaman Timothy McVeigh was in cahoots with Iranians got revived in a desperate attempt to make everyone as pants-pissy as the brave warriors of the keyboard battalions are.

Of course, it's difficult to prove ideological affiliation. Most experts on terrorism will tell you that the perpetrators of political violence scarcely need to conceal their sympathies, since getting publicity for their cause is part and parcel of the pattern of terror; but this never seemed to be the case in all the phantom-terror attacks noted by the conservative movement since 2001. Attempts were made to 'prove' the liberal Islamofascist bona fides of the perps by making note of their funny-sounding name, their suspicious swarthiness, their residence or employment in a city with a liberal reputation, or other factors it would be generous to call "intangible". But rarely if ever did they, for example, leave behind hundreds of blog posts, or a collection of books, or a lengthy manifesto making their political identity and ideological affiliation crystal-clear. Rarely if ever were they so outspoken that anyone who ever encountered them could tell you on which end of the political spectrum they dwelt.

Not so with the Obama-era terrorist. Whether it's the outspokenly conservative right-winger who murdered a Kansas abortion doctor, or the outspokenly conservative right-winger who murdered Unitarian churchgoers in Tennessee, or the outspokenly conservative right-winger who murdered women at a gym in Pennsylvania, or the outspokenly conservative right-winger who murdered policemen in Pittsburgh, or the outspokenly conservative right-winger who killed a security guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., or the outspokenly conservative right-wingers who murdered a Mexican family in Arizona, or the outspokenly conservative right-winger who went on a rape and murder spree in Massachusetts, or the outspokenly conservative right-winger who murdered immigrants in Florida, or the outspokenly conservative right-winger who killed two deputies in Florida, no grasping at straws is necessary. All of them left clear and easily detectable records, whether written or spoken, of their right-wing mania, their hatred of immigrants and ethnic groups and liberals, their violent dislike of Obama and his policies, their devotion to figures like Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter. None of them kept their politics a secret, and nobody had to do very much detective work to find out where they stood in the Great Culture War.

Of course, we are told by the very same people who mocked Islam as the "Religion of Pieces" every time a Muslim would do something wrong, none of these killers have anything to do with the conservative philosophy, or with right-wing principles, or with the heated, often bloody rhetoric of Beck and his fellow travelers. Unlike a left-wing terrorist like Bill Ayers, whose misdeeds forever taint anything ever said or done or thought by a liberal for all eternity, nothing these murderers have done can ever be used as evidence against the right and its beliefs. They are simply an entirely unrelated collection of lunatics, and no matter how immersed they are in the language and arguments of the modern right, they can in no way be used to call that language and those arguments into question.

And that's fair enough. But the right-wing apologists are getting so used to defending their own for their crazy behavior that they're even doing it preemptively, about people and situations for which there is no proof one way or another of political involvement. This paranoid, hyper-defensive posture is perhaps understandable for a group who's been caught with their ethical pants down so many times in recent memory, but it's really starting to get out of hand. Take, for an example, the recent death of census-taker Bill Sparkman. Although circumstantial evidence is pretty weighty -- Sparkman was found hanged with the word "FED" scrawled on his chest -- no official announcement of foul play has been made, and there's certainly no evidence that he was murdered by any of the many, many people that the right-wing blowhards have been preaching to for the last 15 years about the evils of big government. But those same blowhards -- perhaps feeling a tad vulnerable to such accusations, thanks to the ever-climbing bodycount delivered by their devotees -- are preparing a preemptive strike against what they apparently think is the inevitable revelation that some Dittohead did the deed. Some have taken a feather-touch approach; the best example here is Gay Patriot, who crafts what may be the finest sentence in the history of the passive voice:

Left-wing blogs have made much of the death of Bill Sparkman, a Kentucky census worker found asphyxiated next to a tree (to which he was tied) in eastern Kentucky.


That was fun, wasn't it? Let's try some more: "Left-wing columnists have made much of the death of James Chaney, a Mississippi civil rights activist found asphyxiated under a branch (to which he was tied) in eastern Mississippi." "Right-wing critics have made much of the death of John Kennedy, a Massachusetts government official found deceased inside a car (in which he was riding) in north Texas." Better still, though, is the ever-reliable Dan Riehl of Riehl World View, who speculates based on evidence he appears to have painstakingly constructed out of fairy dust that Sparkman was in fact a pedophile who was murdered in revenge for diddling young boys. If this turns out to be the case, I owe Dan Riehl an ice cream cone, but somehow, I don't think it's gonna shake down that way.

Comments

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perich
Sep. 28th, 2009 11:37 pm (UTC)
a Kentucky census worker found asphyxiated next to a tree (to which he was tied) in eastern Kentucky.

That ... that has to be satire, right? Or have we already broached the parody horizon?
anne_jumps
Sep. 28th, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC)
Having not gotten enough sleep last night (damn you, "Mad Men") I at first thought I was reading a sentence from Jesus' General and then remembered Gay Patriot was an actual right-wing blogger.
stavner
Sep. 28th, 2009 11:37 pm (UTC)
Who, Us?
This is why I gave up reading political blogs for a while.
flying_blind
Sep. 28th, 2009 11:59 pm (UTC)
You're making much of the blather of B. Daniel Blatt, whose arse (into which his head had been inserted) was found muttering in front of his computer.
roninspoon
Sep. 29th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
The right wing hate machine simply seems to be louder and more willing to shout into the wind. For far too many people, that increased volume seems to be all some people need to convince themselves of how right all their own hates and fears are.
archaica
Sep. 29th, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)
What scares me the most about the virulence of the right is that it proceeds as though this is the norm of American life, but when Move On says "General Betrayus" suddenly the sky is falling. The double standard is just so obvious as to be depressing.
solipsiae
Sep. 29th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
So well written.
krinndnz
Oct. 1st, 2009 01:17 pm (UTC)
I'm totally gonna use talking points from this.
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Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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